Here are the top ten things I noticed at the airport in Tababela, EC, as I began my current trip to Colombia....
10. With no traffic (at 2 a.m.), it took my Tababela Taxi company driver only 36 minutes to get me from Centro Histórico in Quito to the departures area at Mariscal Airport (UIO). Most of the route is super highway.
9. On the way to the airport I saw some lighted-entrance parking lots a few miles from the airport offering $3 to $5 a day rates with back and forth delivery of customer to the airport.
8. Johnny Rockets restaurant just inside the international entrance is open 24 hours. That includes Christmas, according to the anfitriona.
7. The menu is basically burgers, veggie burgers and shakes/floats with accompanying sides of fries, onion rings or 50/50. Johnny’s is the only restaurant I saw open in the early-morning hours, so don’t expect discount pricing.
6. Johnny Rockets will provide you with a carry-on container and bag on request. In my case, I ate half the veggie burger and had them wrap para llevar (yay-BAR) the other half, which I finished in the air.
5. My airport wheels could not go through Security unless I paid a $120 tarifa to Avianca air lines or had the wheels shrink-wrapped. I chose the latter option for $15. The wrap vendor attached the wheels to one of my checked bags, so the wheels and the bag were wrapped for the $15 charge.
4. There were free airport carts readily available near the entrance to international departures. You cannot use the cart at or past Security.
3. Past Security, as you head for the gates, there are various stores on both sides of your path .. selling luggage, sun glasses, mini-pillows and perfumes, among other things.
2. My Avianca flights (to Medellín, connecting in Bogotá) offered video entertainment, although there was not an extensive selection on the relatively short flights, via a screen attached to the seat in front of me. When I flew out of Quito on TAME back in February on a much longer flight to Buenos Aires, there was no video entertainment. Avianca is a Colombian Airline. TAME is owned by the government of Ecuador, which is offering to sell it.
And the number 1 thing I noticed when flying out of Quito....
1. The airport (which opened about three years ago) is user-friendly, extremely modern and clean ... and a pleasure to use.
cccmedia from Medellín, Colombia
My passport was required only one time as I headed for my flight to Bogotá connecting to Medellin, Colombia, at an immigration check-point. The rest of the time (Avianca desk, Security, etc.), presenting my cédula was sufficient. This may be because of an Andean agreement between Ecuador and its neighbors, Colombia and Peru.