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Customer Review scoring : Asuncion Silvio Pettirossi Airport
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2 reviews




Asuncion Silvio Pettirossi Airport by Jonathan Lacoste

6 February 2006   Customer Rating : n/a

Asuncion is a small and simple airport. From airport gate to curbside, the distance is no more than 50 meters. Upon arrival on AA (this was last month before AA cancelled their service to ASU), immigration was quick and efficient but baggage claim seemed to take forever. I must’ve waited for over 40 minutes which was unusual. Baggage claim in ASU is slow, but not that slow. Be prepared when arriving into Asuncion’s baggage claim area to be swarmed by baggage porters looking to make a big tip. As soon as you tell one “no”, another one will approach you. Departure wise, the departure hall is not that big and can easily get crowded. Especially between the hours of 1600-1800 when flights to Buenos Aires and a couple of flights to Sao Paulo are departing around that time block. It seems in Asuncion when one person is going out of the country, at least six relatives show up to say goodbye. Thus, the departure hall can easily turn into a sea of people. There are two small restaurants on each side of the departure hall but these were full of departing passengers and their large number of relatives/friends. Check-in quick and efficient. AA had Asuncion’s departure tax already included in the ticket price so I skipped the departure tax window. I’m not sure if Varig does the same and Dale’s review answers the question on TAM. No line for immigration and it’s off to wait in the departure gate area. A restaurant is inside that allows for a bite to eat or a final opportunity to sample Paraguay’s local beers. I always chose the latter. A number of street-style shops selling Paraguayan leather and lace products are located in the middle of the gate area. Between them and the duty free shop in the corner of the waiting area, I really couldn’t find anything worth buying. Business class passengers on AA did not have a business class lounge to wait in and I saw no indication of one for Varig’s business class passengers either. TAM flights into Asuncion are all Y configured. ASU has made some improvements over the years such as the addition of the duty free shop. Overall, Asuncion’s airport is a basic and “gets the job done” type of airport.

Asuncion Silvio Pettirossi Airport by Dale Hancock

27 January 2006

The Asuncion terminal is small – perhaps half a dozen gates. Arrival was simple – though the plane had to stop short of the jet way, lower the cabin door / stairs then taxi up to the jetway (TAM uses Fokker jets). Through passport control with no issues. While waiting for the baggage to be unloaded we were “found” by a rep from the Hotel Excelsior (the $110/nt suite included pick-up & drop-off at the airport). He helped us through the customs line (though the help certainly wasn’t needed), then on to the outside world where another contact with our name awaited. I asked about money exchange (zero Guarani for tips) & the initial contact took us over to a Hertz booth where we exchanged money. Most likely not the best rate. In retrospect the first contact was probably a local minion with the ability to get through to the Customs area & pass himself off as our legitimate contact, all for a little “propina” which he was not hesitant to ask for once we got to our car. For departure we left the hotel at 4:30 AM for our 6:00 AM flight, arriving with just less than an hour before flight time. No problems. TAM was efficient this time (see report under SCL) and check-in was completed in 10 minutes or less. Then on to the airport tax window – to the left of the check-in counters & to the right of the entry for passport control. $25 US p/p departure tax. The lady didn’t have US dollar change so we paid $310,000 Guarani – probably not a very good rate but it allowed us to leave the country with essentially zero local currency. Through the departure doors & the lady immediately to the left verifies you’ve paid your taxes & stamps the receipt. Then to the immigration officer. Again no problems. In the gate area with 30 minutes to spare. Harp music playing, free drinks (coffee, soda, water) at a little TAM kiosk. Restrooms are difficult to find – to the right of gate 2. It’s 5:30 in the morning and a few of the duty-free (mostly local craft) shops are actually open. For such a poor country with limited resources, ASU appears to be surprisingly well managed and efficient.




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