American Samoa Immigration: Staying legal in Paradise

A common question about American Samoa is from people visiting and people considering a move to the island. What is American Samoa Immigration like? As you may notice, there is not much information online about what is and is not the rules. Read more

Taking the bus in American Samoa

 

If you are visiting American Samoa, the reality is you will probably need to take the local bus while on island. It is not as bad as it sounds to be honest. Riding the bus in American Samoa in different is every way. It just is not like we think of public transportation in America. Read more

Travel America : American Samoa – A Backpackers guide

Alot of Americans dream about doing a tour of travel America. It is a goal for many to visit their own country. One place that very few actually make it is American Samoa in the South Pacific. There is reasons for this. One of them being the distance (it is closer to Australia than California) and another is the cost of flights from the mainland. Read more

Pago Pago International Airport Guide

If you are flying into American Samoa, you will arrive at the Pago Pago International Airport in Tufuna. According to traffic controllers, it is known as PPG Airport. It is more accuately called Tafuna Airport because the airport is in the village of Tafuna, not Pago Pago which is by downtown American Samoa. It is 7 miles from Pago Pago village.

Like so many of the airports in the South Pacific, it was built in a rush to give American fighters and bombers places to take off from and land in the war in the Pacific against the Japanese. Pago Pago International was started before the war but was finished very quickly after the outbreak known as Pearl Harbor.


Three weeks after opening the airport, it was the host of a squadron of VMF-111 fighters. The primary role to protect the Navy as they came in from submarine attacks.

pago-pago-international-airport

Who goes to American Samoa today?

The history is cool but you came for useful information, right? You need to know who goes to the airport and when they travel. The answer is simple: Hawaiian Airlines has a monopoly on the air route for the long haul. It will not change anytime in the future.

If you are traveling from Samoa or to Samoa; the connections are on small planes that makes 4-5 trips a day. Between the two airlines, you have about 10 options to travel with. There are no special or promotions so you can plan for $160 round trip.


The important thing to know about travel to Samoa is on the other side. Polynesian Airlines lands at Fagali’i Airport that is just outside of Apia. Inter Islands Airways uses the international airport at Faleolo that is 30 kilometers from the town.

*Samoa Air is currently looking for new aircraft and dealing with governmental problems. 

Hawaiian-Airlines

The Hawaiian trip to Pago Pago International Airport

If you are traveling to American Samoa from anywhere beside the South Pacific (and Australia or New Zealand); you will probably be forced to pay the over priced ticket using Hawaiian Airlines. It goes on Mondays afternoon from Honolulu and returns later that night.

Prices are currently $589 one way and $1,027 round trip from Hawaii. According to Cheap-O-Air, a flight to Los Angeles (same distance) round trip is $483. The largest concern for traveling to American Samoa for most is the cost of the airfare.


According to the website of Hawaiian Airlines, they leave at 4:45pm out of Honolulu and arrive at Pago Pago International Airport at 9:30pm. The flight is 5 hours and 45 minutes. The return flight is 11:25pm and arrives the next morning back in Hawaii.

What about Ofu and Tau Airports in Manu’a?

The current situation with flights to Ofu and Tau is a moving target so you would have to contact Inter Island Airways as they are the only air service to the airports. They seem to only service them when they have the extra time, aircraft and pilots.


If you are going to the Manua Islands, I would suggest checking out the ferry downtown in Pago Pago. It goes about once a week.

Pago Pago c17

What about the terminal itself?

It is a pretty small airport even though it is classified as an international hub. It reminds me of a regional airport in the Philippines. There is no jet bridge at the airport. it is the old walk down the stairs way in American Samoa. The waiting room is modern and air conditioned.

However, US Congress currently has before it a plan to upgrade the Pago Pago International Airport that would include a jet bridge and completely new control tower.


It is also worth noting that American citizens are on US soil and they can remain in American Samoa as long as they wish. Citizens from a dozen other countries on the US Waiver program can come as they wish as well.




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American Samoa need Department of Tourism overhaul!

American Samoa Tourism needs a major overhaul and the problem is within the island, not outside. The reality is that the government is just not that serious about tourism and do not see a future in having people come to the island on vacation. This is sad at best. Read more

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Sadie’s by the Sea in Pago Pago, American Samoa Review

I stayed for a night at Sadie’s by the Sea in Pago Pago. It was a nice place that I would call a three star hotel. It is not really a resort but it is pretty nice by American Samoan standards. It is also worth noting stating that I did not sleep there. My experience is limited to the restaurant and bar. More the restaurant really; I do not drink. Read more

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Finding Tacos in American Samoa

I came across an article about a DIY Taco Crawl in Florida so what would be the tacos crawl of American Samoa? Let’s take a look.

If you like Mexican food and you happen to be in American Samoa, your options will be somewhat limited to tacos. However, there are some options that I know of.

If you are looking for real Mexican food and you are on island, you will be sad to know that only tacos are your option. This could be subject to change as American Samoans move home from time to time and open restaurants. Something could have popped up since I left the island. It is worth asking someone living on island for the latest. Read more

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Cost U Less in American Samoa is a life saver!

There is no Wal-Mart, Target, or K-Mart in American Samoa. In fact, there is only a Costco type store in the territory known as Cost U Less. (There is also one in Fiji). It is nothing special and many American Samoans feel it is Cost U More due to their pricing structure. However, without an ID to use the military PX, options are very limited in American Samoa. Read more

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Post Office in American Samoa is amazing!

I do not know about you but I love the US Post Office in American Samoa. The reason is because one thing that is very hard to do is get packages when you live in a remote island. I just love having the US economy at my fingertips. If you need to know, Wal-Mart does deliver to American Samoa for free! Read more

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American Samoa Immigration is different.

American Samoa is part of the United States but American Samoa Immigration is not. They operate outside the of the national system to a degree (as well as American Samoa customs). For most people, this does not matter as the basic laws apply in American Samoa. Read more