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Flight from Bocas to Panama City

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Flight from Bocas to Panama City

My boyfriend and I are flying from Bocas del Toro to Panama City (PAC airport) on March 15th, then taking a taxi from PAC airport to the Panama City international airport, PTY. If our flight to go home is leaving from PTY at 9:23pm, does anyone know if we could take a flight from Bocas del Toro to PAC that gets in at 6:15pm? I've read that it's a 40-60 minute cab ride from PAC to PTY, and that you're supposed to be at international flights at least 2 hours early, so it seems reasonable on paper--I was just wondering if anyone knows how reliable the Air Panama flights from Bocas to PAC are, and if the cab really is 40-60 minutes, or if it is usually slower with traffic, etc. Just trying to figure out if we need to take an earlier flight!

Many thanks, TripAdvisees!

10 replies to this topic
Madrid, Spain
posts: 6,053
reviews: 12
1. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

Remember it will take time to get off the plane and out of the airport.

I have no idea about punctuality of the flight from Bocas - but strongly suspect that it is variable.

Ottawa, Canada
posts: 642
reviews: 36
2. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

Ck the schedule, some days there are flights from Bocas directly to PTY. Otherwise I suggest going on the morning flight ...too tight a schedule IMHO

Morehead City...
posts: 8
reviews: 7
3. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

We alway stay in pan city for one night.the schedules don't work to guarantee getting flight.there are hostels and hotels for 50 and under.

Chicago, Illinois
posts: 1,332
reviews: 91
4. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

Definitely don't cut yourself short on time. Take the morning flight or the previous day afternoon flight then plan a day trip near PC on day of your flight.

Atlanta, Georgia...
Destination Expert
for Colon, Isla Grande, Portobelo
posts: 2,664
reviews: 11
5. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

If Panama had a motto, it would be "Almost." As in, you can almost count on people and things to leave or arrive almost on time. Or, you almost get the meal you ordered, and your room almost looks like the photos on the website. And, you can almost open an bank account in two or three visits because you almost meet all of the ever-changing list of requirements.

The point is, Panama is a third world country, and if you go there with first world expectations (like punctuality in air travel) you'll end up being frustrated and disappointed. Although, for being Panama's only regional airline, they do a very good job with flight operations and they are almost always almost on time.

Another thing to consider is weather. Typically, the heavy, plane-grounding tropical storms arrive in the afternoon. If any flight is going to be delayed by weather, it will invariably be an afternoon flight. For that reason, and from hard earned personal experience, I always fly to or from Albrook in the morning.

One last point -- all the flights going from Bocas originate in Panama City. So, if for any reason that plane is late getting into Bocas, your plane is late getting out.

Just doing the timetable math from your touchdown at Albrook (which is not the same time as stepping off the airplane at the gate or getting your luggage) and getting to the line at the counter at PTY by 7:23 -- the answer is "no way." You still have to get off the plane, wait for your luggage (which can easily take 30 minutes or so if there are other flights arriving and leaving at the same time). Then, you have to get a cab. The drive time can be as short as 35 minutes. But, not at that time of day. Sometimes, it can take 90 minutes to get through the city and to Tocumen.

I never fly into Panama City expecting to leave Tocumen on the same day. I always have a day of "pad" to avoid "almost" getting to my flight from Tomumen on time.

Edited: 1:42 pm, January 22, 2014
Santa Cruz...
posts: 5
reviews: 40
6. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

Notorious delays, as I speak from experience. The times are a pure guess.

Destination Expert
for Jaco, Bocas Town
posts: 3,849
reviews: 122
7. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

I would be comfortable taking the morning flight, but no way the afternoon. Weather too iffy

posts: 1
8. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

you sound so knowledgeable about flights!!! CAn I ask you about a 2 room condo or 2 bedroom house NOT in Bocas town but nearby with a convenient boat/water taxi to bocas? We would the peaceful ness of the Islands but go into Bocas for dinner or shopping for groceries. We would love to see the stars at night and wake to the ocean breeze. We plan on scuba diving and going over to Boquete as well. Is that something easy to do from Bocas?

bocas del toro...
posts: 83
reviews: 5
9. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

start a new topic

Santa Cruz...
posts: 1
10. Re: Flight from Bocas to Panama City

Ck out SanddollarbeachBB. It's everything you are describing and more: friendly helpful staff will help you find your way and plan your days (if you want them to), 3 acres of jungle and gardens right in front of a nice swimming beach, sleep to the sound of gentle waves, frogs and crickets, 15 minute bike ride to town.

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