Updates on Cairo Airport?

Jul 29th, 2009, 03:05 PM
  #1  
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Updates on Cairo Airport?

I'll have over 6 hours to spend in the Cairo airport in September and over 8 hours coming home in October... has anyone been there recently with any survival tips? Please tell me there's a place that serves alcohol...
ValCanada is offline  
Jul 29th, 2009, 03:31 PM
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<>

Not that I'm aware of.....but maybe someone else knows for sure!

Sorry!!!
Grcxx3 is offline  
Jul 29th, 2009, 05:40 PM
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Why not bring your own along?
jfcarli is offline  
Jul 30th, 2009, 04:55 AM
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Wow, I think that would be a bad airport to spend so much time in. I only remember a very small snack bar and really not much seating. Maybe I was only seeing one particular terminal. Can you schedule some kind of local tour just for a few hours to get out of there on those days?
Leslie_S is offline  
Jul 30th, 2009, 11:02 AM
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They were building what looked like it will be a gorgeous new terminal when we were there last August. I gather it isn't done yet?
sf7307 is offline  
Jul 30th, 2009, 11:28 AM
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Thanks, Leslie_S - I'm surprised I didn't think of that - my flight just got changed yesterday so this new hassle is just sinking in (I used to have only a few hours each way - perfect for transfering planes and moving on). I'll gladly hop on a bus to take a look around! If anyone has done so recently, I'd like to hear of your experience.

I see from the airport website, though, that there have been MAJOR renovations completed as recently as April 2009 when a brand new Terminal 3 opened so I'm still hoping to hear from someone who's been there recently.

Val.
ValCanada is offline  
Jul 31st, 2009, 02:04 AM
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Val, 100% you can bet there will NOT be alcohol sales anywhere in the Cairo airport. We have beer, wine and alcohol for sale here in the city, but no dice at the airport. I have spent time in the Executive lounge for Business Class customers here in two different terminals and they don't even sell alcohol, much less give it away, so either bring a bunch of small bottles with you (if they will allow you to travel with them) or hire a tour to go somewhere out of the airport for your time here. Remember if you do that you need to buy a visa ($15 for Canadians) and you'll need to be back to the airport 2 hours in advance for International connections, 1 hour in advance for Domestic connections.
You also say you are here in Sept, but don't tell us when in Sept. If it is before the 20th, we will be in Ramadan making alcohol purchases that much harder to make, and traffic that much more of a problem to get back to the airport. What day of the week are you here? If on a Friday, let me invite you to the British Community Assoc Club house in Heliopolis where you can sit around, drink all day and meet new friends. It opens about 10 on Friday morning and will have alcohol available all day long, as well as cheap breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Let me know if you need directions on how to get there. At least it is close to the airport - sort of.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Jul 31st, 2009, 07:15 AM
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Thanks, Casual_Cairo! What a lovely invitation. My first day in Cairo is Saturday, September 12th (I arrive from London at 3:10 pm and leave for Nairobi at 9:45 pm) and my second day is Friday, October 2nd (I arrive at 8:25 am and don't leave again until 4:30pm). I am flying in Executive so I will have access to those lounges, too.

I don't mean to sound like alcohol is so important - it was only when I thought I'd be captive inside the airport that I thought a couple glasses of wine would help cure my boredom. I'm learning more about Cairo (again, I didn't think I'd be there until a few days ago so I didn't do any research) and I understand that I should be able to find something fun/interesting to do during my short time.

I've heard of a woman (an ex-pat from London) who provides a driving/tour guide service in Cairo so I sent her an inquiry into her rates - maybe she could drive me around a while - maybe I can see the Pyramids from the road? If not, I'd be happy to drop by the BCA.
ValCanada is offline  
Jul 31st, 2009, 07:28 AM
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I've also seen the suggestion that I buy a screw-top bottle of wine at the Duty Free shop in the Cairo airport in order to drink on my Egypt Air (Executive) flight to and from Nairobi. Will that work?
ValCanada is offline  
Jul 31st, 2009, 08:21 AM
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I don't think the Duty Free shops in the airport terminals have alcohol. The one outside the baggage area (where you leave to get taxis or whatever) do - but I don't remember ever seeing any actually inside the airport.
Grcxx3 is offline  
Jul 31st, 2009, 08:54 AM
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The new Terminal 3 is now open and in use. Are you flying EgyptAir? I think all of their international flights are in that terminal and their Star Alliance partners are supposed to be in that terminal, as well. You can check on flight arrivals and departures on the airport's website and see what terminal(s) you'll be using. One poster on airlinequality.com noted that he/she had flown through T3 several times and that alcohol was available in the bar/restaurant. There was some discussion on the Lonely Planet website of people with long layovers being issued a voucher for a hotel room and/or a free tour of the pyramids. It's certainly something that you could ask about. My upcoming layover at CAI is only 3+ hours, so I'm not going anywhere!
ShayTay is offline  
Jul 31st, 2009, 11:20 PM
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Your second trip through Cairo, you could do the pyramids. You'll have time that day. The first time through though will be in Ramadan and the BCA would be your best bet I think.

Regarding someone you could hire to take you around, Where is PERCY when I need him?
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Aug 1st, 2009, 04:38 PM
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ValCanada --
If you're looking for a tour guide - Debbie (above post) does tours. Check out her site for lots of options (I think I'm allowed to give it here) http://www.casualcairodetours.pyramids.net/

My mom & I spent an afternoon with her sailing in a felluca on the Nile - beautiful sunset sail with just the 3 of us and the captain of the ship. Delicious pitas & beer - thanks again Debbie!!
Leslie_S is offline  
Aug 2nd, 2009, 08:43 AM
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Thank you Leslie.
Casual_Cairo is offline  
Aug 3rd, 2009, 08:44 AM
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Thank you all for your ideas. I understand more now about the challenges during Ramadan and am resolved to either stay in the airport during my first layover or, if I get through lineups quickly, I could venture either to BCA or to a nearby hotel. During my second tour, I'm going to go and see the Pyramids and will check out the suggestions here about guides (although Karen at HeartofEgypt and I have been chatting and she seems wonderful). I'm now looking forward to my short time in Cairo rather than dreading it!

Val.
ValCanada is offline  
Aug 4th, 2009, 08:21 AM
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Glad you have some ideas to work with -- enjoy your trip -- mine was a trip of a lifetime and I can't wait to go back.
Leslie_S is offline  
Aug 10th, 2009, 07:30 AM
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as mentioned, buy a boottle in duty free and if you want a mixed drink just order the mixer with ice. remember if you leave security you can not bring the bottle back in. Given that it's Ramadan I would contain any drinking to within the airport.
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