Everything in Morocco is happening slowly. As Moroccans say, “let’s do the things the Moroccan way”, i.e. – slowly and quietly, without a hurry. Thus, for the first time in my life, I’ve missed a flight (from Casablanca to Madrid) and had to buy another ticket for a later flight. There were several reasons for missing out that flight. Here I want to share with you some tips for travelling through the Casablanca Airport Mohammed V so you don’t have the same stressful experience like me.
1 – For Casablanca Airport, Foresee More Time Than You Think You Need
When travelling to Morocco and using the taxi services, always anticipate a longer trip than you’ve been told it will be.
Taxi drivers use sometimes more circuitous routes to get you to pay more. In addition, they are very talkative and try to make you like them so you will give them a tip. Or even to earn your trust and to become your mediators in different situations.
So, always keep in mind – time in Morocco is a loose term and you should always ask yourself what motives lie behind the smiling faces. In half of the cases, the Moroccans are just polite, but in the other half, they may mislead you in different ways.
2 – At Casablanca Airport, You Need to Arrive at Least 3 Hours Prior the Flight
You need to be at the airport at least three hours in advance to avoid delays due to out-of-order check-in counters, unclear information on flights, long queues at passport control and baggage screening, etc. Definitely, you need more time at than at any European airport.
3 – Make Sure You Ask the Right People
When you need information, always consult only with the staff of the Information Desk or with those working on the check-in desks, or in the offices of the airlines. Never the airport staff that is walking around supposedly to help the passengers and make the process smoother.
Moroccans are companionable people who will always answer your question. The problem is that they are so cooperative that almost never happen to answer you with “I don’t know.” They will rather tell you what they think you want to hear. The person we asked gave us misleading information, and that’s why we were late for the check-in.
Photo by Jonathan Percy on Unsplash; airport Madrid
4 – Make Time for Filling the Forms & Waiting at Queues
EU citizens do not need a visa for travelling to Morocco if they stay up to 3 months. However, they must complete entry and exit forms in which they give personal information and indicate the address of accommodation in the country. The filling of this form does not take much time, but as there are many travellers sometimes queues are formed. Even more, there are always people who overtake others, so foresee more time for that too.
5 – Take Care for You Health Safety
Whenever you are in Morocco, carry anti-bacterial wipes with you. This is because you will not have access to water all the time, especially if you travel outside the major cities. I even advise the ladies always to bring intimate wipes. This is because (even at the airport) toilets are not well sanitized and sometimes there is no water, and only sometimes there is a soap or toilet paper.
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6 – Do Your Shopping …
If you are not able to buy gifts during your trip, you can always do it in the many shops at the airport. But the prices are quite high like in all airports. Another small disappointment is that from the first sight, there is a large variety of traditional gifts. Pottery, called “tajine”, leather shoes “Babush”, decorated bottles with argan oil, traditional Moroccan candies packaged beautifully … But when you start going around the shops, you see that all items are the same and not so good quality to deserve their high prices!
Because of that, make your shopping while travelling around the country and in the most authentic places – where the items are produced or found!
In conclusion, I will say that not everyone will have my bad luck and unpleasant experience of travelling through the airport in Casablanca. But it is always better to be prepared! Did you have a similar travel experience at other airports? Share them in the comments.
If you need a transfer from and to Airport Mohammed V in Casablanca, check these options.