"a poorly-organised airport"
Chris Scott-Barrett (Azerbaijan)
It is a pity that Kazakhstan has such a good national airline (Air Astana) but such a poorly-organised airport at Almaty. The problem mainly seems to be with the exit border controls. Not enough booths are manned while various uniformed and non-uniformed staff mill around occasionally allowing people through without queuing leading to frustration and annoyance among remaining passengers.
"a poorly organised airport"
D Olsson (Australia)
A poorly organised airport. It's not clear that international check-in is through the customs point. There were customs forms outside all in Russian. I filled one out to the best of my ability showed it to the guard and he just waved me through. My bags were checked briefly and no one looked at my form. Then I went to check-in which was quick and then to emigration. Beyond final security is a crowded room with expensive shops. PA announcements were indecipherable. I hope the new terminal is done properly because this one does nothing for Kazakhstan's and Air Astana's growing reputation.
"lines went very fast"
Ron Speli (United Kingdom)
Arrived from Seoul Korea on my way to Ust-Kamenogorsk Kazakhstan. No problems with Passport Control or Customs. Lines went very fast. Baggage claim was fast - then came the fun! As you exit the baggage claim area there is a gauntlet of taxi drivers trying to solicit you. I was in need of currency and I was followed by someone who wanted to assist me with my luggage. He also offered to assist me with the money exchange! I told him no several times and he finally listened and left me alone! I did not need a taxi as I was staying at the Aksunkar hotel which is walking distance from the terminal. All in all the airport was nice and the people were friendly. It was easy to navigate through although I only speak and read English. All signs and monitors have English. The only complaints I have is when I returned to Korea from UKK. The announcements on the PA are hard to understand and no restrooms in the international departures area once you past security. They will allow you to exit past security to go but you must pass through security again. Of course that means x-rays and metal detectors and empty your pockets - again! No issues with Customs or Immigration.
"terminal is clean"
Alberto Pezzotti (United Kingdom)
Almaty airport is fine. Usual CIS queue upon arrival at passport control. Barely no customs control upon arrival. The terminal is clean and you don't see any strange faces around. I also agree you should avoid people trying to take your luggage into the terminal and then charging high prices for the service. Upon departure for international flights you have to pass a customs control where they random pick somebody. I was picked-up but customs officers have been friendly and upon explanation why I was there everything was ok. Check in facilities are fine as is passport control duty free and toilets. A good improvement since my last visit in 2005 is a full body scan. I was randomly chosen for a check too (maybe it was my day for this) and in less than 3 mins I was back with the other passengers waiting for the plane.
David Fraisse (United Kingdom)
A vast improvement on the temporary arrangments that pertained after the old International terminal burned down. Customs (once a time-consuming and intimidating business) has disappeared in both Arrivals and Departures as has the on-arrival baggage scan. A clean modern and well-equipped terminal with a coffee shop for waiting until you are admitted for check-in (2 hours prior to international flights); a spacious departure lounge; good clean lavatories; a "business" lounge that charges for admission and where everyone smokes (though there's also a smoking booth in the departure lounge). Shopping nothing special; anything you might want (local vodka; caviar) is way cheaper in town. Watch out for scam-merchants trying to charge you for a luggage trolley.
"it is modern and clean"
Dave Stanley (United Kingdom)
Alun Hunt's comments are fair. The business lounge does seem to be used as the smoking lounge making it unusable for us non-smokers. The shopping is a little limited but it is modern and clean.
"staff generally OK"
Alan Hunt (United Kingdom)
A new terminal well set out for the high volume of traffic it handles. Composite business lounge charges for the privilege of wanting a drink but comfortable. Only issue I could see was the queues to actually get to the check in areas. On three occasions early in the morning when many flights depart they had just the one point of entry to check in. Once in the queues were no worse then anywhere else. Staff generally OK but too many people around wearing military style uniforms making it difficult to work out what their airport role was.