Copa, PTY looooong layover

Old Dec 25, 18, 2:16 pm
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Copa, PTY looooong layover

I am a portuguese speaker, and do not speak english (using Google translate to post here) and am flying to Miami. My layover at PTY will be last 15 hours, and because I do not speak english or spanish I am very anxious about it.

I want to know about the areas I should avoid ( so i am not leaving the boarding area) and what is there to do in the airport while I wait.
Is there free wifi?
Are there recharging areas?
Can anyone provide any info that might help me?

Last edited by MiriAnd; Dec 26, 18 at 4:33 am Reason: adding additional info
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Old Dec 25, 18, 3:28 pm
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How long is looooong (what time are you landing at and then leaving at)?

You only get 30 minutes of free wifi per day (calendar) now in PTY, per device

There are charging stations around at several of the gates - just check the walls around an empty gate to sit at and plug in

Presumably you do not have status and cannot access the Copa lounge? Do you have a Priority Pass? Lounge is much better than general boarding areas despite what people below this post will say. Free Wi-Fi here, free soft and alcohol drinks, some basic sanwiches & snacks and more comfortable chairs than the gates - I think you can buy access for $35-40, which might be worth it for you, as you can have a "free" shower, get all the above and relax before your flight, especially if you are there for 5-6 hours

You will not be able to leave the boarding area (airside) without knowing it, as to leave you need to go through immigration - basically do not walk down the big flights of stairs to immigration, but even if you do you can walk back up to the boarding areas

There are lots of fast food options one level up - above gates 20-23. Its very expensive in PTY airport compared to local prices in the city. Maybe $10-$12 for a burger and fries in Carls Junior

You do not really need to speak English or Spanish to get by in the airport. Just look at the screens for your gate number and be sure to be at it AT LEAST 1 hour before it departs - since you are going to the USA, you will need to do security again at the gate (xray for bags and metal detector - do not buy a water bottle before this, as they will take it off you). On this note, you might be asked to leave a gate area that you are sitting at if its doing as USA flight - just move to the next gate (try to pick one that is not going to USA, Canada or Europe)
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Old Dec 25, 18, 4:56 pm
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What do you speak? If you speak Portuguese you'll get by, if you speak Chinese (probably Mandarin but I'm not 100% sure) I think there's signage.

The guy above me said it all very well. But it all depends on how long the layover is.

The food court is small, crowded, and fairly expensive, unless your home currency is equivalent or valued higher than the USD.

The airport is decent, but there's just not much to do, unless you want to "duty free" shop. Again the problem is, it's pricey because of the USD. Not only that, but last 2 times I was there, they weren't taking credit cards. I asked why and I was told they had some problem with the company and that was it.

DON'T go down the stairs, that's customs.

Find a way to get into the COPA Club, it's not great, but there's comfortable chairs, desks to sit/work at, good wifi and booze. The bathrooms aren't great, they're small and crowded as well. I've never used the showers there but I've spent lots of hours in that lounge, I just load up some content on my laptop or use the wifi to stream.
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Old Dec 26, 18, 4:31 am
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Thank you guys for the info provided. All very helpful.

My layover is of 15 hours and I speak Portuguese.

Last edited by MiriAnd; Dec 26, 18 at 4:36 am Reason: additional info
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Old Dec 26, 18, 10:43 am
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When is the 15 hours? Overnight or after a morning arrival? If you're not trying to go during rush hour, it's less than 30 minutes to the city by Uber for a cost of ~US$12. If you don't have baggage to carry around, you might be able to go do the canal tour or go to a mall (e.g., Multiplaza) and still have plenty of time to spare. I like Panama, but the (current) airport is very boring. The new airport being built next door presumably will have more to do.
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Old Dec 27, 18, 8:32 am
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I will be there from 2 am until 9 pm
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Old Dec 27, 18, 10:37 am
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Originally Posted by MiriAnd View Post
I will be there from 2 am until 9 pm
That's perfect. You could beat the traffic into the city and then return to the airport before (or after) the evening traffic. If you don't have a lot of baggage to take with you, I'd go see the city. Fifteen hours at PTY airport would be incredibly boring.
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Old Jan 3, 19, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
The airport is decent, but there's just not much to do, unless you want to "duty free" shop. Again the problem is, it's pricey because of the USD. Not only that, but last 2 times I was there, they weren't taking credit cards. I asked why and I was told they had some problem with the company and that was it.
I read somewhere that the owner of the duty free shops was designated as a money launderer for drug traffickers under the US kingpin act and therefore his business could no longer access the US banking industry, which is why it is cash only
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Old Jan 23, 19, 7:54 pm
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I am not sure if you already traveled.
For such a long stay you can consider getting a hotel room so you can shower and sleep a little.
lots of nice hotels
if you speak Portuguese slowly and enunciate every work clearly, most people will understand basic sentences.
Panama city is relatively safe.
this is a tour from the airport to the canal and the old part (casco viejo); it is expensive but may be worth it.
https://www.viator.com/tours/Panama-.../d950-39483P12
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