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DL: LAX-PTY MR Can I just stay airside?

DL: LAX-PTY MR Can I just stay airside?

Old Aug 25, 15, 10:06 am
  #1  
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DL: LAX-PTY MR Can I just stay airside?

DL flights have about 11 hrs between arrival and departure for a quick turn.

Can I just stay airside and get the return boarding passes?
Is there just a transfer desk or do I have to go landside and check in?

Also if I read correctly there is not a visa involved just for a quick turn.

Has anyone recently done a quick turn to PTY and how do they look at this? Any questions asked as to why a quick turn and so on?
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Old Aug 25, 15, 11:03 pm
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Old Aug 27, 15, 1:14 pm
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Originally Posted by henwood View Post
DL flights have about 11 hrs between arrival and departure for a quick turn.

Can I just stay airside and get the return boarding passes?
Is there just a transfer desk or do I have to go landside and check in?

Also if I read correctly there is not a visa involved just for a quick turn.

Has anyone recently done a quick turn to PTY and how do they look at this? Any questions asked as to why a quick turn and so on?
I've never done a quick turn but went thru PTY a couple of months ago. It's pretty much like a US airport. You can stay airside or go downstairs to immigration/customs.

No kiosks inside the terminal that I could see but I didn't look for them either. Don't recall if there is a transfer desk. No visa required for US citizens and customs never asked a single question so if you do go landside you shouldn't have any problems getting back in. Security is typical US-style and fairly laid-back.

The only interesting thing I experienced was another gate-side security/x-ray scan prior to boarding - which was a joke cause it was simply a roped off area at the gate and not secure at all. Not sure if that was just a random thing or required for all US-bound flights.

Otherwise PTY is pretty unremarkable.
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Old Aug 28, 15, 11:47 pm
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Originally Posted by henwood View Post
Can I just stay airside and get the return boarding passes?
Is there just a transfer desk or do I have to go landside and check in?
I think the way to do this would be to check-in and get your BP online. There are no transfer desks. DL gate agent might also be able to give you a BP.

Originally Posted by mrswirl View Post
I've never done a quick turn but went thru PTY a couple of months ago. It's pretty much like a US airport. You can stay airside or go downstairs to immigration/customs.
It's not at all like a US airport. In the US, on an international arrival, you exit into a sterile area and are required to clear immigration and customs. At PTY, you exit straight into the terminal, airside, and can catch another flight without ever having to clear immigration/customs.
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Old Aug 29, 15, 8:55 am
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PTY is an easy airport, you're in the concourse and go wherever. It's brilliant for making connections. I've heard it's a nightmare for customs/security but since I've only ever transited I can't speak to that.

There's a really overpriced, crowded, small food court...it's like $12 USD to get a Quizno's combo. Gougers!

Also there may be areas where the AC doesn't work, stay the hell outta those hot spots lol.

That said, it's 11 hours, presumably you have no lounge access, not that the Copa Club is amazing. The airport is small (trying to be big) the bathrooms are pretty terrible, limited food, wifi is...average or below average, terminal has lots of seating but it can get kinda crowded too.

There's 2 good things about this airport.
- Electronics stores, there's multiple stores selling cameras/dvd players/ipods/gaming systems and everything in between. If you're a tech shopper you can kill 1-2 hours doing that and maybe find a sweet deal.
- It's great for connecting passengers.

But 11 hours? You'll wanna kill yourself. I really suggest looking into going into the Canal or even just venturing into town for a stroll/lunch or something. Even if customs is a HUGE mess you've got lots of time so you shouldn't be rushed.
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Old Aug 29, 15, 9:16 am
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Originally Posted by drvannostren View Post
But 11 hours? You'll wanna kill yourself. I really suggest looking into going into the Canal or even just venturing into town for a stroll/lunch or something. Even if customs is a HUGE mess you've got lots of time so you shouldn't be rushed.
Agreed. Either rent a car if you're feeling adventurous or hire a driver for the day. FAR better than sitting in that airport for 11 hours. Even if you have lounge access.

It is an easy transfer facility but I wouldn't want to spend that much time there.
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Old Aug 29, 15, 10:35 am
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Originally Posted by sbm12 View Post
It is an easy transfer facility but I wouldn't want to spend that much time there.
Two hours is about max. It's a hot, uncomfortable terminal with terrible food options.

For eleven hours, I would go to Casco Viejo or even the Canal.

Driving in PTY would be a total nightmare; it has some of the worst traffic and most poorly planned roads I've ever seen. I'd only rent a car if I was heading somewhere other than the city.
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Old Aug 29, 15, 11:04 am
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I've spent about 5 hours at PTY. Between food and just drinking in the Copa Club while watching soccer or something on my laptop, it's no big deal. But it's better to be there a short time. Based on the cost of the food I can only guess what the drinks would cost at that little bar mid terminal. That MAY be the only bar too, there's a bigger restaurant that probably serves as well, but I'm not sure. While the terminal is improving with the new areas, overall it's still not a place to spend much time plain and simple.
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Old Aug 30, 15, 1:26 pm
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Thanks for all the ideas.

But, DL flights arrives about 8:30 PM and departs 8:00AM.
That is not the best time of day to go sightseeing sadly.
I would love to go see the area but not very practical to do at night, is it?

As far as lounge access, I have Skyclub card. I dont think that gets me into the Copa Club does it?
What does a day pass cost?
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Old Aug 30, 15, 5:42 pm
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Well if we had known that in advance...I can't find a pass price quickly, but it's probably $50, but it's not 24/7 so you'll end up getting the boot probably at like 2300.

You really should just go into town or somewhere nearby for a cheap hotel, I'm sure there's multiple options. You're not gonna wanna stay in the airport.

Sleepinginairports.net has reviews, it looks like you can stay on the secure side, but everything shuts down at 2200 and there's not really vending machines so you'll be SOL for food or anything. From my experience the floor will be the place to sleep as the benches I think mostly have arm rests. I'm not saying this is the worst idea in the world, far from it, but you really should just go grab a hotel. Better yet if you have time, change your flight and give yourself 1 day in Panama to have a little fun and see some sights.
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