This article has been updated on March 24th 2017 to reflect changes to airport restrictions.
As Morocco is a country that is vastly different from more Westernised countries, it should come as no surprise that airports run a little differently over that way as well.
It pays to be in the know before you arrive so that you can cruise through security and not have anything negative happen that may ruin your trip.
So, I’ve put this handy guide together to tell you all you need to know when flying to and from Agadir in Morocco…
Flying to Agadir – Landing Card
I’m sure you’ve likely seen a landing card when arriving in the USA and Agadir is the same on this side of things. You are required to fill out a landing card before arriving at the airport in Agadir. Your airline should give these out on the plane and make sure you fill it out then and there to avoid any delays or trouble with the Moroccan police.
This landing card will contain important information such as your name and passport number but will also ask for your hotel address in Agadir, so make sure you have a note of this with you on the plane.
Insider Tip: One small difference in the Moroccan landing card is that every passenger has to fill one out as opposed to one per party. Keep your card with your passport as you’ll be required to show both as soon as you enter the airport.
Arriving in Agadir – Passport Control
You’ll be required to show both your passport and landing card to an official before going through the actual passport control.
Yes, that’s right – both of your documents will be checked twice before you can pick up your luggage!
Flying from Agadir – Passport Control
Before you are even allowed to enter the airport at Agadir when going home, you’ll be required to show both your passport and boarding pass to an official. This is important – make sure you have your boarding pass or flight documents printed before you arrive at the airport as they will ask for this.
You will then show your passport again in order to check-in yourself and your luggage before going through the “official” passport control just before security checks.
When both entering and leaving Morocco, you will have your passport stamped to show the dates you are coming and going from the country.
Flying from Agadir – Exit Card
If you remember, you had to fill out a landing card when arriving in Agadir.
Well, you also have to fill out an exit card before going through security. Your hotel or travel operator should be able to provide these and you’ll need to fill it out before arriving at the airport because … yep, you guessed it, all of the people checking your passport will also want to see your completed exit card!
Flying from Agadir – Security
After you’ve just entered the airport, you will be asked to put your bags and pocket items into trays on a conveyor belt (much like you would during normal airport security checks). This is the first security check on you and your bags – there will be another more detailed one after you’ve checked in and shown your passport a second time.
Once you’ve headed through passport control, you will be at the usual security check you’re used to going through. When we were flying, they had only one station open so you may find yourself in a queue for some time.
Now, this is the important bit – make sure you follow the security rules to an absolute ‘t’! If the officials have to search your bags (or you) then they will actually stop everyone else going through security until they’ve finished. We were behind one man who was having a very thorough check and so we were waiting for 10 minutes just for them to finish with him. Don’t be that person!
Also, the airport staff regularly do spot checks of passports and fingerprinting. My other half was stopped and asked to show his passport and he had to have his prints taken, even though he’d cruised through security with his bags. We later found out that it was just a safety precaution so don’t panic too much if you do get spot checked as well!
IMPORTANT UPDATE: Following recent airport and airline restrictions, some airports in Morocco are now not allowed to permit passengers with electronic devices on-board if flying into the USA. These devices include kindle and e-book readers, iPads, cameras and laptops (mobile phones are allowed). From now on, you will be required to store these electronic devices within the hold rather than in your cabin bag. If flying to the USA, Agadir airport is not affected but the Mohammed V International airport in Casablanca is affected. If flying to the UK, Morocco is not yet a country on the list of affected ones, but may follow suit in future. This BBC News article offers a lot of information around these changes, so be sure to check it out before flying.
Flying from Agadir – The Airport
Agadir-Al Massira airport is fairly small in size but it does have a few duty free shops, cafes and a large open plan seating area. The shops display all of their prices in Euro, but you can request to pay in USD, GBP or Moroccan Dirham if you need to. Some of the shops do get a little funny about you paying in a different currency, but no-one completely refused us so it’s okay to request to pay in something other than Euros.
If you’re planning on exchanging your money back into your local currency at the airport on this side, then you’ll need to be exchanging more than 140 Moroccan Dirham in order to do so. I’m not too sure why they’re so strict about this but I suspect it’s to do with getting the best exchange rate … for themselves!
Okay, well that’s all I’ve got for you. Although it seems like there’s lots of rules to think about, if you know what you’re doing and listen to your travel operator then you should find that the security process is relatively straightforward and quick. That said, I hope you find this guide helpful in your travels to Agadir in Morocco!
Have you got any thoughts on this or airport security in general? Let me know in the comments…
PS This article has been updated on March 24th 2017 to reflect changes to airport restrictions.