Panama Tocumen Airport Passenger Reviews and Panama Airport Traveller Reports
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT customer review : 2 September 2014 by Loren Pearce (USA)|
Rating : 3/10
I agree with most of the comments already posted regarding poor signage and poor selection of restaurants at very
high prices. It really is one of the worst airports for getting around.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT customer review : 4 July 2014 by Consuelo Reynolds (Canada)|
Rating : 6/10
Not impressed to get barked at to take shoes off (often no need elsewhere) nor for the ridiculous second security
lineup one has to go through if transiting back to U.S. - our flight back to Vancouver was through Houston. Once
goes through - no bathroom access unless one endures the lineup again - if even permitted to do so. Totally agree
with other postings re rude etc. Absolutely no need. Husband was singled out for extra scrutiny. At least that
staff member was relatively ok. Glad we had a better entry experience - it can affect how one feels about country
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT customer review : 3 April 2014 by Richard Vines (UK)|
Rating : 5/10
Not a bad airport but it feels like no one cares much. The signage is among the worst I have come across, with no
clues at to direction of baggage reclaim on arrival and no sign of gates no. 1-10 on departure. I only came across
one moving walkway that worked over two visits. The fact arriving and departing passengers mingle means a full and
time-consuming search before immigration and at the gate. It also means that if you buy water airside, you have to
throw it away before boarding. The idea of having young women conduct the rubdowns is novel. The staff varied
between unpleasant and very charming. I know it's like that at many airports, but this seemed more extreme.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT customer review : 21 January 2014 by Harold Bush (UK)|
Rating : 3/10
It is an efficient airport but staff are extremely rude. They seem to have failed charm school. Expect to be
shouted at by security personnel and for immigration officers to ask stupid questions.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT customer review : 25 December 2012 by A Ser (Panama)|
Rating : 8/10
It is a great airport to make connections between flights. It is definitely one of the most convenient for
traveling in Latin America. It has a lot of destinations, the strategic location, and a lot of duty free and
restaurants. It is very clean and the lines are not chaotic. If you speak Spanish or English you'll be just fine.
The workers are nice and it is quite an advantage that many countries do not need a visa to visit Panama.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT customer review : 7 September 2012 by Thomas Steffensen (UK)|
Rating : 10/10
I have continuously had stops for 3-5 hours while I am travelling between Belo Horizonte and Los Angeles.
The airport is small but still have plenty of duty free shops which always have great sales. Many people don't
know about the food courts upstairs but that's because they either don't ask or don't read the signs.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT customer review : 22 August 2012 by Rob Brook (UK)|
Rating : 7/10
Used this airport for transit from Amsterdam to San José (Costa Rica), and return. I agree with many of the
previous reviews. Small, a bit chaotic and crowded but it works just fine. Masses of duty free shops. If you
want somewhere quieter, sit in the chapel. I didn't know about the 2nd floor for food, so thanks to Andre
Franca for pointing that out. Maybe the signs could be clearer, and next time I use Panama to change flights
I'll seek this out.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT customer review : 31 January 2012 by Andre Franca (Brazil)|
Rating : 8/10
I found this airport really well kept, lots of shops, food carts on the second floor (maybe that's the why
people here complain, because they don't know there's a second floor only for food?). Duty free and more
duty free that is overprice. Connections are a breeze.
Panama Tocumen Airport customer review : 25 October 2010 by James Reilly
Customer Rating : 3/5
I agree on some points that Tocumen is well organized, clean, etc., but if you have a 3+ hour
layover you're better off taking a taxi (even share a taxi with someone and pay less) to
Panama City and wait there. With only one restaurant (a diner) in Tocumen, that tends to be
crowded most of the time and Continental’s President's club, there is no other quality food,
unless you consider an American hotdog from a cart vendor a meal. And how many duty-free shops
do they need? Every other store is either duty-free, perfume, liquor, clothes, TVs. How
about newspapers, magazines, travel accessories, bottled water - and more choices of food! I
have been traveling to Tocumen for over 5 years and nothing has changes except for more duty-
free shops! Well maybe after the expansion of the airport is complete we will see some changes.
Panama Tocumen Airport customer review : 16 April 2010 by B Marcello
Customer Rating : 4/5
I made a connection in Panama so spent just 3 hours there. The airport is very well-organized,
clean and is plenty of shops. The majority of the flights depart on time and all the
connections are organized so that yo don´t have to spend more than 3 hours waiting for the
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT review : 9
March 2010 : by Peter Harrison
Customer Rating : 5/5
I can only echo the comments of others, using the airport for transit only. I came from AMS
with KLM and found the connection with my COPA flight to MGA to be problem free. The same also
on my return leg. Facilities, shopping and eating places are excellent. A small airport with
only a short walk to any of the piers. Travelling from Europe my only alternative to get to
Nicaragua would have been via a US airport with all the legendary hassle. I would certainly
not hesitate to use this routing again for trips to Central/South America.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT review : 22
September 2009 : by Daniel Haverstrock
Customer Rating : 5/5
I came from Amsterdam with KLM and found the connection with my COPA flight very easy and
fast. It has free wireless internet connection, a huge duty free and 3 restaurants (2 fast
food restaurant and 1 international restaurant). Since this airport is small you dont have to
walk too much. It takes you like 6 minutes to walk all the airport. For me is a pleasure to
take connections on this airport.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT review : 17
August 2009 : by Dan Landis
Customer Rating : 4/5
Visited PTY (Panama Airport) again and I stand corrected. There is a souvenir shop before
immigration and a Subway sandwich shop as well as small restaurant. The airport gets a better
review from me this time than last!
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT review : 30
April 2009 : by Andre Souza
Customer Rating : 4/5
PTY is quite modern nowadays, much better than many Brazilian airports! Immigration is fast
and hassle free! There are many duty frees, and it's great to make conections there! Only have
good things to say about this airport so far.
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT review : 15
April 2009 : by D Lands
Customer Rating : 3/5
We just flew out of Tocumen and reiterate the comments. Nice building and plenty of seats -
but absolutely no airport amenities as opposed to duty free shops. There is one restaurant, no
place to buy a newspaper or souvenirs, and no snack bar. There are plenty of duty free shops
but I doubt someone would buy a $1000 computer at airport. The authorities should take out
half of the shops and put in a few more restaurants and souvenir shops. SJO Airport (San Jose,
Costa Rica) should be the model!
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT review : 20
March 2009 : by Carl Pilon
Customer Rating : 2/5
PTY looks nice, is relatively clean, and plenty of seating. Security checks are cramped,
jammed as they are under a staircase, but that is often the case when new security control
areas have been shoehorned into existing facilities. Gate area is bright and spacious, with
large windows overlooking the tarmac. What is unacceptable, though, is the sheer lack of
amenities: as several commenters have already pointed out, there is but one restaurant in the
building. That is grossly insufficient. To compound the problem, there is no convenience store
/ newsagent / bookshop in the terminal. Anywhere. If you want to buy a 42" plasma flat screen
TV (because that's such a convenient piece of carry-on luggage, right?), you'll find a half-
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT review : 13
December 2008 : by Ray Miles
Customer Rating : 2/5
I would rate PTY quite high in terms of ease of transfer, availability of seating and speed of
immigration. However, the fact that there is only one (poor) cafe/restaurant is an absolute
disgrace. Transferring there twice in the past ten days at the peak mid evening period, there were
long lines for a seat until about 8.30pm. When we did get one, the food was miserable and the coffee
virtually undrinkable. Meanwhile, the duty free and other shops are virtually empty. What a waste of
PANAMA TOCUMEN AIRPORT review : 22 July 2008 : by Lisa Broderick
Customer Rating : 4/5
I have been travelling through Tocumen 4-5 times per year for the past 10 years. I am impressed with
the improvements made recently. I would like to see a few more restaurants - a juice bar, coffee
shop perhaps. The one restaurant is soo popular you may miss your flight waiting for your order.
Panama Tocumen Airport by Ronald DePass
8 April 2008 Customer Rating :
PTY is the airport to depart and arrive from every time I travel, since I'm from Panama.
Renovations are showing quite an improvement compared to Tocumen's 2004 airport. PTY airport needs
to add more restaurants. Since it's COPA hub it will always be crowded between 8am - 12noon and 5pm
- 9pm. If you are PTY is a stop in your trip, make sure you plan it between 12 to 5 and/or after 9
in the evening, otherwise, it will be a very crowded airport. Overall, it's a small airport not to
compare with European's or North American airports, but user friendly and full of places to go
shopping. Need a food court urgently!
Panama Tocumen Airport by C Bunyard
21 January 2008 Customer Rating :
The airport looks more like a shopping mall than an airport. The design is geared much more toward
making money off bored travellers with long layovers (very common at this airport, especially with
Copa Airlines.) There is some space to walk though.
Panama Tocumen Airport by Oscar Palermo
13 January 2008 Customer Rating :
I had been traveling to Panama since 1999 when I was stationed at Ft Clayton. I noticed a lot of
improvement. There are still few areas need attention but it will be fixed. I will recommend few
more ATM machines.
Panama Tocumen Airport by F Dunbar
9 January 2008 Customer Rating :
I had a four-hour layover going to and coming from Colombia. There is only one restaurant (waitress
service) for passengers. It is crowded, expensive and has a limited menu. There are two hot dog
carts in other parts of the airport, which never seemed to be open. However there are many tax-free
shops (jewellery, perfume, electronics, candy, luggage, clothes.) If you don't love to shop, forget
it. My suggestions to passengers - avoid this layover. Next time, I'll pay the extra $100. Pack a
Panama Tocumen Airport by Kenneth Mackie
21 September 2007 Customer Rating :
Travelled through Tocumen for the first time in 2 years and was very impressed with the renovations.
There is still a problem at certain times of day with large queues rapidly developing for departing
passengers waiting to clear immigration and security and on the inbound also at Immigration. I
arrived on one leg at 11am on a Sunday and had a 30 minute wait for Immigration and the queue behind
me just kept getting longer. However the airside facilities are a great improvement on several years
ago, clean and modern and airy and much more spacious and some very good duty free shopping
Panama Tocumen Airport by Andres Bissot
22 September 2006 Customer Rating : n/a
Panama Tocumen airport is nearly finished with its renovation and is so
much better looking compared to when I first flew into PTY 4 years ago.
I was surprised of how fast they remodeled the airport and when I was
there when it was in the middle stage of the remodeling it still was not
complicated to go trough. There are many new popular stores there such
as Tommy Hilfiger and many more known stores. The only problem with PTY
is that the airport is begging to get to get over crowded in the morning
hours. They should have made a second security/ immigration check point,
the line was so long for that the flight was delayed ten more minutes to
wait for some passengers that were still in line at security. So if you
are flying out try to leave around 12-4pm when there are not too many
flights. All in all PTY is a great and easy airport to go trough.
Panama Tocumen Airport by Frank Schreiber
10 May 2006
To Dave Klassen's comment. ocumen International Airport is in its final
stages of a makeover with an investment of over US$70 million, this
might generate some discomfort on travelers but soon it will be ready
and new systems will be implemented to overcome any inconveniences
passenger might have experienced . The US$20.00 exit tax to leave the
country shall be included in your ticket. I would suggest you verify
with your travel agent or airline to verify if this was double charged.
As for weight in bags, it is nothing new you will visit a country and
depart with extra weight due to shopping, wet clothes, whatever it is,
it adds on weight. The airlines charge for the extra weight NOT the
airport. Every space available in airports is rented and due to the
traffic and volume of passengers retail space becomes expensive and this
will increase every single item on airport shops (ex. can of pop), not
only in Panama but also Toronto, Miami, New York, etc.
Panama Tocumen Airport by Justin Tsui
30 November 2005
Panama is taking shape bit by bit. It is convenient to fly through. As
Andrew mentioned, the $20 is already included in your ticket price, so
you don't need to pay again. Security checkpoints are good, though
grumpy sometimes. Not a serious matter. Arriving at the late hours at
9:30 and more is a headache as immigration and getting your luggage
takes a long time. I've arrived in Panama before at 9:30 a.m. or so and
immigration took me 5 minutes to clear! But of course, bear in mind that
all airlines from US and Europe have their landing slots allocated at
that time! It's a zoo at night! Overall, Tocumen is not all bad. Just
choose the right time of the day to arrive and you'll be fine.
Panama Tocumen Airport by Andrew Wilkins
29 August 2005
You very rarely need to pay the $20 departure tax anymore as it is included in most
tickets now. The only exceptions may be on charter flights. The airport is under
renovation and will be very nice once finished, some slight inconveniences
right not but nothing serious. I am sorry that one of the previous posters sees the
need to equate buying a soda in a corner store as against buying one at an airport
concession. (Actually sodas in the supermarket are 45 cents!!!) A $1.00 soda at a US
airport will probably set you back over $3.00. All in all Panama is one of the better
Central American airports and I fly regularly within the region.
Panama Tocumen Airport by John Sims
6 May 2005
This airport is very easy. Upon arrival on American Airlines, it took us 20 minutes to go through
customs and immigration. Once through immigration, our luggage was available and out we went. The
rental car companies are all right there in the airport and our experience with Hertz was first
rate. They bring the car right up to the curb. Going home, there are not a lot of dinning options.
There are a few places down by the rental car place and one place once you are through security in
the concourse. Prices are what you would expect in the US. There are several shops with liquor,
perfumes, cloths and electronics. Getting through immigration to depart took about 10 minutes and
this was at about 5 a.m. They did not charge us the $20 per person exit fee. This might have been
dumb luck, but we weren’t charged.
Panama Tocumen Airport by Dave Klassen
15 February 2005
This is the worst airport we've been to. Arriving in Panama is good (other than the 1 hour +
that it takes to get your luggage).
Leaving is quite a different story. They make one last attempt to grab all of your remaining
money. Starting with the $20 US tax to leave the country. Then they weigh your luggage,
anything over 40 kilos per couple, you're charged $6 per kilo. I talked to 6 couples who said their
luggage weighed in the 30's kilos in Toronto, yet here it all weighed around the 43 kilo
mark, allowing them to grab an extra $15-$20 US.
All 6 couples had the same luggage as when they arrived. All our souvenirs were in our carry-ons. We
even left some of what we brought in the motel room for the maids.
The prices in the airport were marked up by as much as 600%. One small example, a can of pop was 30
cents in town, at the airport it was as much as $2 US. I am not a smoker, but for those that are was
even more torture. They want everyone there 4 hrs before departure, yet there is absolutely no
smoking on the departure side of the airport - and you can't step outside the airport. This along with
a 5 hr non-smoking flight. One person asked if there was no way possible he could smoke. They told him the only way was for him
to go thru immigration back to the Panama side, have a smoke and pass thru immigration again.
Panama Tocumen Airport by Mac Chen
30 April 2004
This nice small efficient airport. In need of a refurbishment but I understand that there's a programme
in place to expand and modernize it's facilities. I've passed thru it several times and now, unlike
most Latin American airports, the airport tax is included in the ticket price - no longer need to
queue up and waste time in a government counter or worrying to have enough cash avail for it. The
second floor before passport control is always empty and nice place to relax. Once you go airside,
it's a duty-free hell, chock full of stores; place becomes hectic when all the flights from Copa
land/depart since connecting people literally run from store to store scooping up all kinds of
merchandise - supposedly it has the best bargains in the continent. Only caveats are the lack of
food establishments or a decent news stand, and too few seating areas in the transit part. Hopefully
this will be solved with the expansion plans in place. Overall nice, small, user-friendly place.
Panama Tocumen Airport by John Frewen-Lord
3 February 2004
This airport was quite a surprise. Arriving at 3 AM and getting through Panama immigration was the
only negative point. On departure, we found a very busy ground side concourse, but check in on our
Iberia flight to Miami was quite orderly and efficient. Don't forget to pay the $20 departure tax,
but there are airport staff cruising around making sure you've paid! Airside is where we found the
big surprise - a shopping concourse to rival Heathrow's! You could buy just about anything there,
and at very competitive prices. A view of one of the runways completes the picture. One thing was
bizarre though - aircraft taking off in opposite directions on the same runway, depending on which
end was closer!
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