The Flight to Panama

All of our stuff

The hotel airport shuttle left us in an obscure area. We struggled to move our luggage to the ticket terminal. Upon arriving to the ticket terminal, we were met with a long line coming out of the terminal and into the next area. After a few minutes of standing in the same spot without moving, I investigated by walking to the front of the line and found that the line was not for Delta Airlines.

We left for the TSA Security check with 60 minutes until flight time only to find the longest lines we have ever experienced. The lines wrapped around the escalator area and stopped about 100 feet of forming a completed circle. We were surprised at the movement of the line and reached the TSA entrance only to find a maze that folded time and time again upon itself. With 45 minutes until flight time, we entered the maze. At the end of the maze, passengers walked past a drug enforcement K9 and into the actual TSA scanning area. With 30 minutes until flight-time we entered the scanners.

I passed straight through however Karen needed extra scanning due to surgery hardware. Additionally, the TSA agent required that extra attention be paid to her boots. This resulted in a 15 minute delay for testing. We left the TSA area and headed for Terminal B. Only 15 minutes before flight time.

The doors of the train to Terminal B opened as we arrived. We entered exited the train to Terminal B with about 10 minutes remaining. As we reached the gate, we were among the last to board. Lesson learned – Get there earlier for international flights.

We arrived in Atlanta for our connection earlier than scheduled but were held on the tarmac until a gate was available. We arrived at Terminal E and walked to gate 33 where aur flight was almost completely boarded. We just made it!

The flight to Panama was smooth and we deplaned and followed the signs to immigration. When we reached the attendant at the entrance, she informed us that Delta actually has a different immigration area (at the other end of the terminal). So, after we reached the Delta Immigration line, the line moved quickly and we were fingerprinted and stamped into the country.

Our ride from the airport was with Julio Cisneros. Julio was waiting for us as we exited the baggage claim. The ride from the airport was quick and comfortable. He helped unload our baggage and brought the bags to our unit. He presented us with the keys to the unit and contacted our host Zamira.

Zamira reached out to let us know how to operate everything in the condo. She provided information on where to shop for groceries, nearby restaurants and a quite extensive list of things to see and do in Panama City.