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Airport Taxes and Departure Time

Arlington, Texas
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Airport Taxes and Departure Time

Could somebody please tell me how much are airport taxes and when do you pay them? Also how far in advance do you have to be at the airport for your flight when returning home. We are flying out of San Jose.

Thanks!

.
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1. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

This was our experience a few weeks ago (Feburary, high season).

Departure tax is $26 per person. You can pay it anytime, including when you arrive, but we just paid it at departure. There is a special counter/desk to pay -- they ask that one person from your party get in line with ALL of your passports. (When we were there, there really wasn't a line but I've heard it can get backed up.) You can pay by cash or credit card -- the word is that credit cards are charged as "cash advances" which generally incur a fee by the CC company, so be aware. You can pay with US dollars or colons; they will give you change in the same currency.

At SJO, you must pay prior to checking in with your airline. They will give you a departure form which also has to be filled out (passport number, address, etc.); it was collected while we were in line to check our luggage.

We went directly to SJO from our Nature Air flight so we were there about 3 hours in advance for an US Airways flight. The US Airways counter wasn't even staffed until about noon, 2 hours before our flight. What we noticed, though, was that around noon, the airport started to really buzz and get crowded. By 1PM, the security line sort of wrapped around the terminal; it took us about an hour to get through to our gate.

The gate area in the afternoon is pretty chaotic. There's a food hall area (fried chicken, pizza, sandwiches, etc.) and several souvenir shops (Britt coffee, etc.) Also a pharmacy and duty-free liquor shop. There are very few seats for waiting.

Based on our (one) experience, I would plan on getting there at least 2 hours in advance, no shorter especially if your flight is mid-afternoon.

Seattle
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2. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

Are there any bars or other places you can hang out in the airport after the security checkpoint, or are they just fast-food places? We've got a TACA flight that leaves San Jose on a Saturday at 6:30 p.m., and while we want to be sure to allow plenty of time to check our bags and get through security, we also don't want to be standing around for a long time, especially if seating is limited.

Arlington, Texas
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3. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

Thanks for the answer. Is that all you have to pay is the departing tax. We arrive there at 12 noon and we leave at 1pm. So I think it would probably be better to pay it when we first get there so we can get it over with.

.
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4. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

Diver, how/from where are you getting there at noon? I think that's cutting it way too close for a 1PM flight.

LittleNosh, I don't think there's a bar but there are tables in the food area and I think I remember seeing some people with beers.

Arlington, Texas
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5. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

Oh my bad. I meant when we arrive in CR on the 1st day we arrive at 12 noon. And on our last day there, we leave at 1pm. We are about 25 minutes away from the airport. So you say 2 hours before we leave is enough time. Someone told me 3 hours. That seems like a long time. In Mexico, we get there 2 hours before and in Dallas, 2 hours before also, but then again we don't have to pay a departing tax. It is already in our tickets. I don't know how big their airport is, but I figure if we get the departing tax out of the way when we get there, then we don't have to worry about it when we leave.

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6. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

There are some hotels in SJ where you can purchase your departure tax before you go to catch your flight. It sure makes it a lot easier than doing it at the airport.

St. Petersburg...
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7. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

In the sort of central food court, with the Cafe Britt store (one of many), Burger King, a sub/sandwich place, there are stairs & an escalator in the middle. At the bottom you will find a bar which costs like a dollar to get into, with tv's and tables. It is the only place to smoke after security, so it's mainly smokers but if you want a drink that's the only place I can think of.

Arlington, Texas
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8. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

Where do you find these hotels? We are staying at the Britania on the first and last night only. I am going to email them and ask them.

Thanks

Seattle
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9. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

Thanks for the info on the facilities at the San Jose airport. Kind of funny that the only restaurants there are American-type fast-food places, no?

10. Re: Airport Taxes and Departure Time

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