I have the following route below. Can someone tell me if 1.2 hours is enough for taking the connecting flight in Panama? This will be international to international (arriving from GRU and departing to NAS).

From my research, it seems this is a tiny airport with only 2 terminals and the videos online showed that it is virtually empty due to COVID. There will also be no checked in luggage...only luggage will be carry on.

Legend: CMB - Sri Lanka, DXB - Dubai, GRU - Brazil, PTY - Panama, NAS - Bahamas, FPO - Bahamas

                 CMB      DXB      GRU      PTY      NAS      FPO
      03/26      02:55    05:55                                             Emirates
                          09:05    17:20                                    Emirates
      03/27                        01:30    06:24                           Copa
                                            07:48    11:42                  Copa
                                                     15:30    16:15         Bahamas Air
  • Will you be able to have both the Emirates and Copa flights on the same ticket? Or are you able to secure a visa for Brazil? TWOV in Brazil is restricted to "Passengers with a connecting flight booked on the same ticket in transit."
    – jcaron
    Mar 1, 2021 at 16:02
  • For the PTY connection itself, the rule is simple: if the airline allows you to book the connection (which they do), then they think it's doable, and they should support you if things go wrong. However, noting that the PTY-NAS flight seems to run only sporadically (only 3 flights available for booking over the next 3 months!), that seems like a pretty risky proposition, especially as the actual transit time is often as low as one hour. They will probably wait for connecting passengers for a short while, but if the incoming flight is delayed too much, all bets are off.
    – jcaron
    Mar 1, 2021 at 16:09
  • 1
    Flying under COVID 19 conditions with one connection is already asking for trouble. Having 3 connections is asking to get stranded somewhere or finding you can not use the tickets as the rules for one of the connecting airports or its country has changed.
    – Willeke
    Mar 1, 2021 at 16:42
  • This is all on one ticket sold by Emirates and it has 2 airlines - Emirates and COPA. So if things go wrong? Emirates should cover us right? Like give a hotel or temporary VISA or something? Also what happens if WE miss the connection PTY-NAS due to our fault?
    – zwdev2
    Mar 1, 2021 at 17:55
  • @jcaron: that's a really good point. Copa only flies to NAS three times in the next two months. What would happen if OP misses the connection (no fault)? What obligation would Copa have here?
    – Hilmar
    Mar 1, 2021 at 17:57

1 Answer 1


1.2 hours is enough for taking the connecting flight in Panama?

Generally yes, you have very a good chance of making this. But it's not guaranteed: 1h 20 min isn't that much time and there is always a chance that your inbound flight is severely delayed, that there are paperwork hiccups or process changes, etc.

No connection is ever 100% safe, so it comes down to a risk assessment. Since this is all on a single ticket, a missed connection is typically not much of a problem: If you miss it (through no fault of your own) the airline will simply put you on the next available flight.

Here is, however, where the rub in your case is. The next available flight may only be a week later. The next Copa flight is on Apr 3 and all other connections that I checked route through the USA. The USA has no concept of transit, so you would need at least a transit Visa and meet all Covid requirements for entering the US. In fact there are only three airports that serve Freeport at the moment: Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Nassau.

So your chances of missing the connection are small, but if you do , the consequences are potentially difficult to deal with and it's hard to predict what would happen. Copa is legally required to help you, but there is a limit to what they can do even with the best of intentions.

Your best shot is to call up Emirates or Copa and ask them directly what would happen if you miss the connection. Once you know how this would play out, you can decide whether it's ok to take the risk or not.

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