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Panama Airports

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Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 03 January 2006 10:14

When you leave your hometown airport for Panama City, cure you may want to take a second to appreciate some things that you will not again see for the length of your stay, especially during travel. First, airport organization—upon entering the Tocumen International Airport you'll feel like you're taking part in a cattle herding exercise.

Second, take a moment to appreciate the brilliantly delightful personalities you have working at your security checkpoints. My frisker at BWI Airport was named Stinkey and shouted out lines like “Homeland Security Playa! What!” Be forewarned, that you new officials in Panama will be very serious and humorless—almost as if they had just lost a pet crow or beta fish.

Last, try to take some time to remember your pants, long sleeve shirts, parkas, commando sweaters, balaclavas, and insulated underwear, since you wont be wearing them much once you touch down in paradise.

After you land in Panama, you must be very careful you are heading in the right direction to customs and baggage claim, since the airport can be confusing at times. In addition to using signs, one secret technique (which I am hesitantly offering to you) involves recognizing fellow passengers from your flight and following them wherever they go. This technique can sometimes be thrown off impostors and passengers with weak bladders.

Once you have succeeded with this technique you will be standing in front of a maze leading to immigration. In order to appear like you have been there before, you might want to get out a pen to fill out your obligatory tourist visa. Make sure to look for a representative from your airlines selling them. You can buy one of these visas for $5 and you'll need one (for each member of your group) to get through the lines with conviction and ease. Contrary to popular belief, wearing a large Panamanian flag wrapped around your body like a giant cigar will not help you fit in.

The next step is collecting your luggage, which is pretty self-explanatory. (Note: other terms for luggage that the airport might use include, but aren't limited to: baggage, turkeys, parcels, jiffy bags, junk, impedimenta, crow satchels, and crow gear)

Outside the airport you will find a wave of Caribbean heat as well as a line of anxious taxi drivers. To appear experienced, you should know that $25 is an appropriate fare to anywhere in Panama City and a tip is never necessary yet always appreciated. If you want to be adventurous, you can wander up the the drop-off area, where taxis drop off people departing on flights, and catch one of them for like $5-$10.

Congratulations my friend. You have made it through Panama's Tocumen International Airport like a pro. Next time, try to do it without a backup printed version of this guide in your pocket.

Get back to other articles on Panama Information

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john oughton
...
written by sutton47 , March 03, 2008
Thank you.I shall try to be smooth and debonair after a 13 hour flight without a cigarette.I may spend more energy looking for a smoking area than checking the bagagge has arrived.Still, that's what the old lady's there for;right?
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One thing forgotten
written by Mary Roush , September 23, 2008
How about the step after collecting your luggage but before you depart where they X-Ray your luggage. (Most people are used to having their luggage x-rayed when departing on a flight...but upon arriving? It's a bit weird and unexpected.)
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written by Wael , September 09, 2009
Get the $5 tourist visa at your departure airport (at the gate) and fill it out on the plane. Always have a pen on you. Don't you hate having to borrow a pen from someone in line?

Yes you have to run your luggage through the X-ray, but it's just for show. They never stop you or open the bags.

- Wael, http://steptolife.blogspot.com/
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Last Updated on Thursday, 21 August 2008 15:39
 
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