Tashkent airport: reports and Q&A

All about Uzbekistan.
EvilDoctorK
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Re: Tashkent airport: reports and Q&A

Postby EvilDoctorK » Thu May 02, 2019 3:16 pm

There were two ATMs in the baggage hall after immigration .. I think one would have dispensed US$ against Visa .. the other one I think was just an exchange machine which would change US$ bills to Som .. so between the two of them I guess you could have got sorted .. I did not see anyone using them and wasn't sure how they worked ( the US$ seemed to allow massive withdrawals so I was scared!) ... ATM situation overall seems greatly improved from recent reports anyway .. perhaps just not so much at the airports/stations
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EvilDoctorK
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Re: Tashkent airport: reports and Q&A

Postby EvilDoctorK » Thu May 02, 2019 3:23 pm

Other things to note about Tashkent Airport in case it's useful for anyone

The International Terminal (Terminal 2) and the Domestic Terminal ( Terminal 3) are on opposite sides of the runway ( no idea if there is a terminal 1 !) ... This makes connections a pain obviously .. but also all the domestic flights we used actually parked up at the international terminal and then you got bussed around to the domestic terminal and had to wait an age for them to do the same drive with the luggage before it appeared ... don't bank on a quick exit from the airport for a domestic flight - you're looking at at least an extra 30 minutes from the aircraft parking.

Ignore the stuff about checkin times on the Uzbek airways site .. cut off for domestic flights is 40 minutes , there's no need to turn up more than an hour before hand ... there's almost nothing to do in the domestic airports so you'd go crazy if you turned up much before then
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InnaS
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Re: Tashkent airport: reports and Q&A

Postby InnaS » Thu May 09, 2019 6:46 pm

[/quote]

This is welcome news. Were you actually able to use these ATMs, or just observed that they existed? If you used them, what kind of bank card worked (Visa, MC, etc)? Any monetary limits?[/quote]

I just arrived in Tashkent. one ATM was VISA only, and wanted to 4% fee to withdraw money (add to that your home bank’s fee). Another 2 ATMs (on each side) are actual Exchange ATMs. Since the exchange from USD to UZS is sort of fixed, I exchanged $100 straight away.

In the middle, there is a friendly info booth, where you can get a SIM, 8gb, working for 1 month, set you back 42000 UZS. They can also arrange the official taxi to your hotel ($5). I used YandexTaxi app, which was 16000 UZS, deluxe car. You must pay in cash, no credit card option. Helpful to have that local SIM, and speak Russian. They will park after the taxi rank, after the fountain, where the car park is.

Based on the stories in the hostel, I think exchanging money with that machine was lucky if you arrive on a public holiday or weekend. Many other places in town will be closed.
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B7474U3
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Re: Tashkent airport: reports and Q&A

Postby B7474U3 » Mon May 13, 2019 6:50 am

I used Tashkent Airport earlier in the month.

Arrival was straight forward.

Immigration: There was no queue and I was on my way "visa-fee" quickly.

Money Changer: There are two money change desks at either end of the immigration desks. Both of these are double-fronted money change desks with one side serving customers before immigration and the other side serving customers after immigration - so it is possible to change money before and after immigration (assuming the desks are open of course). The had listed closing times at the desk (an hour lunch break, dinner break...etc). Notes had to be crisp and clean otherwise they wanted to charge 5% commission to exchange them. The exchange rate was the same rate I saw elsewhere in town.

ATM: There were two ATM machines in the baggage reclaim hall. I didn't use them so I don't know how they work.

SIM Card: There is a Tourist Information desk in the middle of the baggage hall that sold Sim Cards. A 30-day 8GB package with UMS was about 42,000 Som. The assistant takes copies of your passport, stamp and then registers the sim on a computer. It took about 5 minutes.

Taxis: The Tourist Information desk could organise taxis for a fixed rate. This was depending on distance with locations around the Hotel Uzbekistan being about 40,000 Som whilst further destinations were more (mine was 60,000 Som). Outside there were touts as well as a queue of officially marked taxis.

Departures: The check-in area was busy. Although being told to arrive 3 hours before, check-in for my flight didn't open until 2 hours before. I would aim to get there early but not too early. Immigration and security checks were straight forward and quick (I didn't have to queue at all). The departure area after immigration / security was quite nice. There was plenty of seating but shops / cafes were a bit more limited. Overall a smooth experience.

Domestic Terminal: There wasn't a taxi desk at the domestic terminal and I didn't see any official taxis waiting so the only option was to bargain.
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gaspar_murillo
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Re: Tashkent airport: reports and Q&A

Postby gaspar_murillo » Thu May 23, 2019 11:12 am

Hello everyone!

I just came from Uzbekistan (May 2019) and I went through Tashkent Airport 3 times. About sightseeing everyone knows or can read in a guide, but when everything goes about customs rules or security checks, I felt lack of information everywhere an, let's see, fear, as I have to travel with prescription medication, laptop and big photo camera.

I'm from Spain settled in Ukraine for a while and my ways of moving 11 days through Central Asia was the next:

Kiev-Almaty by plane (Air Astana)
Almaty-Tashkent (Uzbekistan Airways)
Tashkent-Samarkand (slow train)
Samarkand-Bukhara (train)
Bukhara-Tashkent by plane (Uzbekistan Airways)
Tashkent-Almaty by plane (Uzbekistan Airways)
Almaty-Kiev by plane (Air Astana)

1) ARRIVAL AT INTERNATIONAL TASHKENT TERMINAL: According to the topic here, I was so concerned about all the checks that you need to endure at Tashkent airport. No issues! I arrived in the international terminal for arrivals (a modern and efficient building) and passport control was very straightforward. Not a single question, on the contrary: officials at the airport were very welcoming, spoke English and look eager to see tourists. Luggage on the belt was handed very quickly, no more than 10 minutes after passport control. Then, it came my biggest fear: Crossing customs with sleeping pills (apparently limited). I asked to the custom official if I should declare this medication and she told me that for such small quantity (there were scarcely 6-7 pills but she was looking the literature) there's no need. Everything so efficient and with good manners. Officials seem more worried about electronic equipment. Other medicines were also not checked, although it's true that customs controls can be tight and tough, especially if you are traveling with heavy or oversized luggage (not my case). A crowd of taxi drivers is waiting outside the terminal and they are ready to rip you off at any time. Keep your way ahead and don't pay for a cab ride more than 5 USD even if you go to the end of Tashkent.

2) DEPARTURE FROM BUKHARA AIRPORT: I also took a domestic flight between Bukhara and Tashkent. In Bukhara's airport I had to undergo very tight controls. First, at the entrance of the airport perimeter. It was quick. Second, at the entrance of the building. It was also fine. Third, passport check after baggage drop-off. Fourth, and the annoying one, before the gate. It seems that Bukhara Airport doesn't see many tourist (most go by train). Then, when the guards at the control see a western foreigner they started to ask me whether I liked the country, what is my opinion about Uzbeks, how is football in Spain, everything in a funny way but at the same time, they were checking deeply my Mc Book Air, my charger is a little bit deteriorated and they were checking and re-checking the broken cable (they thought it could catch fire). They also overlooked my hardware and camera but no inspection of the content. All the security guards were very pleasant, but of course, it's annoying that you need to have all your electronic devices and chargers fully checked. Medication not checked. Anyway, I felt overwhelmed with how many checkpoints you need to struggle for an easy domestic flight. All in all, 30 minutes spent just for control procedures.

3) ARRIVAL AT DOMESTIC TASHKENT TERMINAL: Far away from international terminal. A bus brought us there from the runway. No controls. New room with only one belt. Checked-in luggage arrived soon and not a single security issue. Small but modern and clean building. Taxi drivers waiting outside.

4) DEPARTURE FROM TASHKENT INTERNATIONAL TERMINAL: Boring experience but good and helpful officials. Checkpoints every 10 meters. First: entrance to the airport perimeter through a detector arch and first passport check. Second, at the building, another passport and luggage control. Third: Customs, they ask you if you bring more 2000 USD. Hand luggage screened. No problems with medicines nor electronic devices. Even one custom official spoke Spanish and he was very happy to see me there :D Fourth: Main passport control. Everything very quick, registration slips just overlooked. I think these slips will not be needed anymore in short time. No questions and very friendly border officials. Fifth: Another plane ticket and passport control. Sixth: Security control before entering the gates. Hand luggage carefully checked but not as much as in Bukhara. First time in my life I had to stand 6 controls to access a plane. Annoying but, surprisingly, efficient process.

To sum up, I would say that despite the fact of bad reputation that border and customs officials in Uzbekistan have, I found something completely different. Very friendly, pleasant and helpful staff everywhere. They spoke English. They never harassed me, all procedures were always with a smile and you always have the chance to dialogue with them and explain them everything. They looked quite professional and understanding people, pleased to help visitors. Very quickly passport controls. Uzbekistan is becoming a very friendly tourist destination and they offer good management, but it's true that they take their work very seriously when it's about electronic devices. You will avoid time if you don't travel with computers or other suspicious stuff. Also don't bring too many medicines, only what you need for your trip in small quantities. Green corridors work very well and passport inspections are not hard (I'm EU citizen, I don't know how it works with Americans).
Departing experience from Tashkent Airport much better than leaving Almaty Airport (Kazakhstan). In Almaty, passport inspection is tough and difficult (like in Russia), easily they check and re-check (serious faces) with optical devices and lights whether all is right with your passport (the passport control can last up to 15 minutes) and security checks before the gate can be annoying. I was sent (as all foreigner men) to an inspection room for laptop and body check. In Almaty, officials look less welcoming to foreigners than Uzbeks. But as far as you don't do wrong things, you will not have problems in any country.

***Tashkent metro checks were also very good. Police very talkative and friendly. They even let me take pictures inside the subway.
**Uzbekistan Airways seems to me a very good airline too. 3 flights conducted by Airbus A-320, my favorite aircraft with standard service. I don't know why it's said in this site that it's so bad.
*Air Astana is a top air carrier. Very great treatment and custom service.
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