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Cairo airport 5 hour layover. Survival tips appreciated.

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Feb 2nd, 2005, 03:45 PM
  #1
kp
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Cairo airport 5 hour layover. Survival tips appreciated.

After 20 hours of flying and layovers we'll arrive in Cairo only to have a 5 hour layover before our flight to Amman.
I've read several reviews of the Cairo airport and they aren't very complimentary. Expensive but bad food, terminals that are generally dirty, limited seating, restroom attendants who become irate if you don't need their tissue, long lines at passport control, and staff who are downright hostile to tourists. Can this be true? I'd appreciate any survival tips for making our time there relaxing and enjoyable. Is there a restaurant you could recommend? What about shops? Thanks for any help.
kp is offline  
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Feb 2nd, 2005, 05:14 PM
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We were in the Cairo airport 3 years ago - hopefully someone else has been more recently and can tell you it has improved. Trying really hard to think of something nice to say about it. We were able to buy and English language newspaper after 12 days without any news coverage. (That is about all I can remember that was positive).

We encountered no hosility or irate attendants. It was just that the facility was not very nice - dirty, hard plastic chairs, limited vendors or stuff for sale.

I can say that compared to JFK 12 days before, there were more staff who actually spoke English and they were much nicer. Signage was in English, so at least you knew where you were going. Sorry - wish I could tell you otherwise.
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Feb 2nd, 2005, 05:58 PM
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We were in the Cairo airport this November. They have recently updated it. They just opened a third floor which has several shops (4 - 5). We did not find much to purchase, but it could help pass the time.
We would not recommend the food. It looked good to eyes, but the cake was very stale.
They do have a nice sitting area on the second floor. Tables off to the side of a cafe. We spent 3 hours there.

The staff had a similar disposition to that of the NY airport staff.

We did not notice it being dirty, just an average airport.

Hope this helps.
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Feb 8th, 2005, 12:22 PM
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Just got back from holiday to Kenya, Tanzania & Egypt. Cairo airport is under constant renovation it seems. What looks like is going to be a nicer facility is still not open despite trying to finish before the masses came back from pilgrimage. I found all that you write to be true unfortunately.
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