My experience of Marrakech Airport and its miles of queues
When, you have been travelling all day the last thing you need is more stress getting out of the airport, well Marrakech is one of the most stressful airports I have ever visited.
Whether arriving into Marrakech or departing Marrakech Menara Airport airport, be prepared for queuing queues and more queues. Most people seem to start their Morocco holidays from Marrakech so if you are planning a Morocco itinerary you are more than likely going to fly into or out of Menara airport.
Read about Day trips from Marrakech
Landing at Marrakech Airport
My flight from London went OK, no delays, no problems. It was when I landed that I started getting anxious and it is normally the flight that makes me anxious, so I like landing and getting through the airport.
Firstly I must have landed at the very last gate and it seemed we had to walk for miles. When we finally got to passport control, I breathed a sigh of relief until I saw the queues. There seemed to be thousands of people here waiting to get through immigration. The queues were also going very slow and didn’t even seem to be moving. I thought we must have arrived at peak time but apparently not, it is like this all day long.
We have to fill in a landing form big tip do this on the plane bring a pen. I waited until I got to passport control as I didn’t have a pen there were literally no pens either and everyone was rushing to get into these crazy queues.
I asked two people if I could borrow a pen they just ignored me, on the 3rd asked a lady who was about to say no but must have felt sorry for me so let me use her pen but I rushed filling in the form and missed some information off I think it was her huffing at me that was making me panic so I just gave her the pen back. Once I was in the queue another lady had her pen out so I kindly asked if I could borrow it as at the end of the day I was in front of her so she couldn’t go anywhere until after I got through anyway.
I spoke to someone that had been to Marrakech airport before and she said it takes about 2 hours to get through. There is no way I can stand for that amount of time, if I had done my research before and was aware about this, I would have arranged airport assistance I have learn this and now arrange this when travelling to an airport.
Fast Track at Marrakech airport
You can pay extra to fast track, so you have a fast track lane. I didn’t see anyone using this and it wasn’t until I got home and googled it and saw it was 50euros that I understood why no one would be using it. Plus, the website says you have to pre-book imagine paying a fast track ticket and then getting there and there is no queue. Compare that to £7 Bristol airport charges and it is ridiculous.
I went over the fast track desk, but he was taking ages with one family who were buying fast track tickets. I asked if there was a disabled line and he sent me over to some guy by the queue barrier who tried to send me back to fast track. I said I was disabled he said where is your wheelchair which really annoyed me. A lady came over to see what the problem was, so I explained I am disabled I can’t stand for long is there a disabled line. She said I had to organise it with my airline. I said what walk back to the airplane and she said no before I fly. Well I know this now but didn’t at the time. She said she would go and find out what I could do she was gone for about 10 minutes and the queue had not even moved far.
I was already started to get pains and getting very anxious, I didnt think I would sit down until the queue was gone but then another plane arrived, and the queue got even longer so I could be there a long time. My walking stick was in my suitcase I now know to always carry it in my hand luggage as if I had my stick at least I would have something to lean on.
The lady came back and again said I had to arrange it with my airline, and they couldn’t help. Her manager then came over and said I had to join the queue with everyone else I was nearly crying at this point, so I sat on the floor. She then told me to stand up and follow her she took me to a designated disabled line. She said next time pre-arrange or bring medical evidence. There were only 5 people in this queue, but it still took me 45 minutes I don’t understand how they can be so slow. Anyway, I was through yea!!!!
Finally got through got my bag and was glad to leave the airport. I had to scan my bag again to get out of airport, but this took minutes.
People outside were holding signs up for pick up and I found the tour company that I was booked with easily. There was also a taxi rank outside and a café that took euros as Morroco is a closed currency so at least you know you can buy a bottle of water whilst you are waiting for your pickup.
Departing from Marrakech airport
I got a taxi from Marrakesh for agreed price of 100 dirham you can get it cheaper. A taxi driver came to my riad as it was down a road that cars can’t get to and helped me with my luggage which is why I paid more but this was fine with me.
As I got out of the taxi a man came over with a trolley to help get my case to the door, I am sure that this is something else you have to pay for so I politely declined I could get my case the extra few steps to the door. It is only a few yards, so the trolley is really not needed. I had to scan bags to get into the airport this took about 10 minutes as the queue was moving quite fast, but some friends left the day before and they said it was a 30minute queue, so it does vary.
I am flying with Arabic air and I can’t check in online and can only check in 3 hours before. Since they didn’t change their clocks this year there has been confusion over timing and I arrived at the airport 1 hour early, but I guess that is better than being 1 hour late.
Marrakesh airport is quite big. I was checking in at desks 35-37 and it was easy to find the correct desk. I found a café and there were other seating areas to wait if the desk is not opened yet.
I didn’t realise that so many people would be using Marrakech airport, but it was very busy.
Be careful with Drones apparently, they are illegal to bring into or out of Morocco. My friend had one he had taken it apart but still got it picked up and he was taken into an interrogation room as apparently you can go to prison luckily, they let him go with a warning, but he said it was very scary.
I noticed quite a few plug sockets so you can charge your phone if needed.
I asked for assistance this time through security and got a bit of an attitude of the check in lady which you can read more about in my Arabic Air review. But I did get assistance and the queues were again very long and slow moving.
There were 3 separate queues one for scanning bags another just checking passport and then actual passport control. Not including the waiting time, I got through in less than 5 minutes so if you have any mobility limitations defiantly recommend booking special assistance.
Once through passport control the airport was calmer and didnt seem as busy. I was wheeled to my gate so didn’t do any shopping, however I noticed duty free. Near my gate there were four cafes that sold nice looking food not the general stuff you normally get at airports
I got a chicken and cheese toasted baguette and bottle of water for 75d there were lots of choices of hot and cold baguette and pizza, there was a patisserie that had delicious looking cakes and pastry another café and a Moroccan café where I got to try my first chicken patella and it was so tasty. I wasn’t being greedy the baguette was for dinner later as I had a good 8 hours until I would be home.
These seem weird as its spicy chicken in pastry covered in icing sugar but they are delicious and I just wish I had tried them before leaving Morocco as I would have definitely had more if you get chance to try one then you must.
There was a play area for kids plenty of seating and toilets and it was bright and clean. I noticed a smoking room and a VIP lounge.
I couldn’t understand the airport announcements even when made in English the accent was too strong, but the information is clear on the tv screens and signage around the airport makes it easy to find the gates.
Top tips for this airport: be prepared to queue so plan your time accordingly if you have mobility limitations then do arrange assistance with your airline.
Read More about Morocco
Arabic Air Review : Read More
Sindibad Spa Hotel in Marrakech : Read More
Hammam Spa Marrakech Be prepared to bare all : Read More
If you enjoyed my guide to Marrakech Airport please pin and share