Panama Tocumen Airport

Customer Reviews

No Skytrax Rating
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Queuing Times 12345
Customer rating from 107 reviews
3/10
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1/10

"a very bad experience"

(United States)

Trip Verified | The entire floor is very dirty, the security personnel have a very despotic attitude, the seats are very very uncomfortable. In short, a very bad experience at that airport and with Copa Airlines.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitNovember 2022
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"It's absolutely shameful and disgraceful in every possible way"

(Spain)

Not Verified | Having had several subpar experiences at the old terminal (T1), I was really looking forward to using the new terminal (T2) on this trip PTY-MDE-PTY. The outbound flight from PTY was a wonderful opportunity to experience it - the terminal is spacious, clean, modern and efficient - everything that the old terminal isn't. Everything worked well from check in to security, passport control and boarding and I was impressed. All Copa flights depart from the new terminal and everything functioned well. I should've cautioned my enthusiasm after my departure experience as I had no idea what awaited me on my return. On the MDE-PTY return for some odd reason that nobody could explain the Copa arrivals came into the old terminal, which struck me as odd. Why would you build a beautiful new terminal and not use it for all of your flights. Be that as it may, the flight arrived at the old terminal, and I went down to passport control and got through quickly but when I wound up in baggage claim to collect my bag I was astounded to hear that the Copa bags are all delivered to the new terminal. So there I was through passport control and in baggage claim and learned I was in the wrong place. I had to exit baggage claim, make my way to the new terminal via a severely under air-conditioned bus or walk in 30 degree heat and rain. I finally got to T2 but because the baggage claim area is secure, it was not possible to freely enter to collect my bag. Airport personnel insisted I solicit help from Copa to get me inside to get my bag. I spoke with about 6 different Copa employees and spent approximately 30 minutes gaining access. The Copa employees were helpful but not terribly sympathetic. They told me it was totally my fault (blame the customer) that I didn't know the bags were to be delivered and collected at T2 despite a T1 arrival. In my defence I heard no announcement on board, was sent no notification via email or text, was told nothing about this when I checked in for the flight, was given no piece of paper that explained this in Spanish or English, there were no Copa employees who met the plane at the old terminal to advise us to stay airside to go to T2 to collect our bags, and nobody in passport control or baggage claim to explain, no screens advising. In short there was no communication on behalf of the airline to assist passengers. Logically any passenger who arrives in one terminal would logically expect their bag to arrive in the same terminal. This logic was completely lost on all airport and airline personnel as I tried to collect my bag. I simply cannot understand nor accept that the airline and airport are not at fault by choosing to build a new terminal then not use it, force passengers to walk 1 km in the heat to collect their bags at another terminal and then implementing a a scheme that provides zero information about this to passengers at any stage in the process. It's absolutely shameful and disgraceful in every possible way. The old terminal is filthy, staffed by rude employees who don't care and barely functions. The new terminal is quite nice but leave it to PTY and Copa to figure out how to completely ruin the passenger experience by forcing passengers to go through this Orwellian process. I will not be returning to this airport again as a result of this and wouldn't recommend to anyone. If you do fly in on Copa to T1 make sure you know exactly where your bags will be arriving.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitOctober 2022
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"food terrible and outrageously expensive"

(Canada)

Trip Verified | Worst airport I've ever been to - staff confiscated items on whim - checked suitcases ransacked frequently, with each occurrence resulting in damage from liquids not closed properly, locks removed and not returned, repacking resulting in crushed and broken items - outdated regulations applied, like requiring temperature checks for Canada, a year too late - 3 repeated security checks - cannot speak to passengers in boarding area - liquids bought in secure concourse confiscated before boarding - food is terrible and outrageously expensive, even for an airport. Dirty and very hot - badly designed, with outdoor walk to get to domestic terminal, where only a single vending machine is available - $50 for taxi, locals tell me they pay $10-15 for Truly nothing good to say about this awful place
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitSeptember 2022
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
4/10

"no restaurants, curbside or airside"

(Saudi Arabia)

Trip Verified | They decided to build a gigantic new terminal with no restaurants, curbside or airside, except for one lone Starbucks and a few vending machines. Brilliant.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJuly 2022
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"the signage throughout the airport is pretty bad"

(United States)

Trip Verified | There is not one restaurant. I walked the entire airport, including the 'food court' of the upstairs terminal 1. All of the food is tienda/'little stores' type places where you can buy pre-prepared sandwiches or empanadas. There's no place to sit and look at a menu and ask something to be prepared for you. About the most 'prepared' item you can ask for is a sub or some Ramen. It's incredibly depressing. A ton of duty free stores where you can buy junk but no restaurants. I got excited when I saw an upstairs with seats and tables in terminal 2 but it turns out its the Copa Airlines lounge (similar to an American Airlines or United lounge) where you have to be a member to enter. Also, the signage throughout the airport is pretty bad. Instead of fixing it they have airport employees stationed at escalators specifically to ask you where you're trying to go and tell you you're going the wrong way. Also, they have these bizarre metal posts in front of the escalators which makes navigating a rolling carry-on onto the escalators very difficult. I will add that they seem to have a decent number of restrooms, although the stalls can be difficult to get into with a carry on, and the cleanliness seems decent.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitJuly 2022
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
2/10

"treatment was completely humiliating"

(United States)

Trip Verified | I was returning to NY from Santa Cruz, Bolivia. I have done this route many times before - since I go to visit family often. At Viru Viru airport Santa Cruz, Bolivia i went through 2 security check points without any issues. Everyone was relatively friendly and respectful. Now once I arrived in Panama I wandered to the lounge since my flight was delayed an hour and i fell asleep, i woke up frazzled and made my way to the gate. I had forgotten that they put you through another security check point prior to boarding the plane. Which makes no sense by the way, since all you do is walk from one gate to another, but anyway. I put my belongings and shoes on the scanner belt and as I approached the metal detector one of the officers comes up to me rudely says “what do you have under that jacket” i said it’s not a jacket its a sweatshirt and all i have is a bra cami. Another agent comes and says “you need to take it off and put it on the belt”. I said what??? I’m not taking my clothes off. I started walked towards the metal detector and was rushed by 3 officers screaming Stop you are acting very suspicious one of them got in my face saying either take off the jacket here or I’ll take you to do an extensive search and you’ll miss your flight. At that point I took a deep breath and removed my sweatshirt. Mind you i am a very conservative dresser, being in a bra cami for me was like being naked, I covered my chest with my hands and walked through the detector. As quickly as I could I put my sweatshirt, and shoes on and grabbed my stuff. I would of expected at least an “I’m sorry for the inconvenience but we need to make sure everything is in order” or something- but nothing. The treatment was completely humiliating. I had never experienced something like this in any country. I understand there are complicated international travel laws, but this dehumanizing treatment isn’t right. I truly wish I didn’t have to go through this airport again, but we don’t have many choices. A few years ago when we flew back with our kids, my daughter was drinking her juice and since we couldn’t take it through security i told her to finish it and the officers were again beyond rude with a little girl (one with special needs as well). They kept telling her to hurry up and making what already is a tense situation for us even worse. They absolutely need some sensitivity training and learn how to interact with people at this airport. Traveling is stressful for most of us, we don’t need these incompetent people making it worse.
Experience At AirportTransit
Date VisitMay 2022
Type Of TravellerFamily Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages N/A
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"no regard for the security of my documents"

(Australia)

Trip Verified | Gate security staff confiscated my passport, threw it on a table in the open (everyone could access it) and then left it unattended. I asked to have it put in my bag to go through the security screen (2nd screening in 30 minutes) and was refused. Felt that their was no regard for the security of my documents. Staff were disrespectful and blasé. Also no toilets after going through the 2nd security screening. That is not acceptable. Overall the airport is not great but that is not a big deal. However the lack of security of documents and lack of basic facilities are extremely poor. Disgraceful.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2022
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
4/10

"really bad time"

(United States)

Trip Verified | I had a really bad time at this airport. My flight was delayed twice on the same day, so I went to get some food right in the area of my gate. When I came back downstairs from the food area, everyone waiting at my gate was gone!!! I was so scared that the flight came in and left. But after asking some people sitting around what happened, they said the people waiting for the same flight were moved to another gate, 108, all the way across the airport. But wait - an employee told me not to go way over there because they were still trying to get an updated status on the flight and I might go there only to have to come back. After more waiting, and ONLY after checking my email did I find out that the flight was canceled altogether! No one told me that. The poor souls were sent to an area that was closed off and had to come back over to get help. Delta handled the situation by providing us with an overnight hotel stay and a voucher for dinner, along with a bus ride to and from the hotel and back to the airport the next day. However, there were many rude employees at the airport who were no help at all. One employee had a dog surround me, and sniff me out along with my luggage while I was in a panic trying to figure out which way to leave the airport, go through immigration, Customs, etc. I was really lost as to which way to go and what to do because of a lack of help, direction and no good signage. Hardly anyone there spoke English. I understand the primary language is Spanish, but at an international airport, there should be more English speaking employees to help the many Americans that come back and forth there. Then we were rudely subjected to 2 security gate searches out of nowhere. There was no announcement, no warning. We had to get on a long line and be searched again! Everyone had to throw out their drinks they paid good money for, or should I say overpaid. This experience was my first experience in Panama City and I am very hesitant to return due to this poor treatment. I hear the country is really nice and this makes me sad. I was considering maybe trying to get a place there and at least go part-time, back and forth when I retire. But I don't want to have to go through this every time I want to travel. Needless to say, I agree with everyone else who posted on this forum.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2022
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"wouldn't recommend"

(Spain)

Trip Verified | Dreadful. No air conditioning, paid WiFi only, $7 coffee, disgusting food, rude employees. Other than that, absolutely fabulous. Needless to say wouldn't recommend. Hopefully, the new terminal will improve things but the old one is awful.
Experience At AirportDeparture Only
Date VisitMay 2022
Type Of TravellerSolo Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no
1/10

"Really really bad experience"

(Germany)

Not Verified | Everyone at this Airport is extremely rude and needs to be educated to do their Jobs better! And I am not sure if they really can‘t speak English of they just don’t want to because they are rude! Really really bad experience from beginning to end. We will try to avoid this Airport in the future for sure.
Experience At AirportArrival and Departure
Date VisitMay 2022
Type Of TravellerCouple Leisure
Queuing Times 12345
Terminal Cleanliness 12345
Terminal Seating 12345
Terminal Signs 12345
Food Beverages 12345
Airport Shopping 12345
Wifi Connectivity 12345
Airport Staff 12345
no