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Proof of Onward Travel

Seoul, South Korea
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Proof of Onward Travel

Hi guys, I'll be starting a 4 month trip to Central America in April, starting in Costa Rica. I was wondering if anyone had any problem with boarding flights to Costa Rica without proof of onward travel? My flight out of Costa Rica isn't until 4 months (more than the 90 day visa) after arriving.

I will be flighting with Spirit Airlines from La Guardia (via Fort Lauderdale). I've seen that there is a company online that can buy international bus tickets to Nicaragua for $69 and send you proof of travel via e-mail. Would something like this be necessary or should I just risk it?

Cheers,

Dave

54 replies to this topic
Costa Rica
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1. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

The airlines are supposed to ask you to provide proof of an onward ticket. Sometimes they do.... sometimes they don't.

You could buy an onward airline ticket that is fully refundable. It's doesn't have to be a ticket to your origin - it could be a ticket anywhere. From San Jose to Managua or from San Jose to Bocas del Toro for instance.

If you go to the airport without the onward ticket (bus or airline) and they ask you for it, you will be required to buy an airline ticket. You then will lose the flexibility of buying a ticket with any airline -- unless you go away from the Spirit desk and get on the internet and buy a ticket with some other airline.

With some airlines, getting a refund is pretty easy and prompt and you can do it via internet rather than having to go to an office.

So if you decide to take your chances, be prepared for that -- maybe arrive a bit early just in case.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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2. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

No airline will let you in at any flight without the ticket to leave the country...BUT...some will do it...by accident or somenthing else...but at landing inmigration officers will ask for...since is the law!

roadadvisor

Playa Conchal...
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3. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

Interesting, so you do have a return ticket but after the 90 day limit. I suspect it would be largely down to immigration to decide if they let you in.....the extra bus ticket can only help your case. There are now new signs at immigration warning of fines of $100 for every month you overstay your visa.

Playa Conchal...
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4. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

Definitely also worth checking with Spirit, to see if you will actually be allowed to board.

Seoul, South Korea
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5. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

Thanks for your replies guys, I may just buy a bus ticket to cover my back, I ll be heading to nicaragua so I can try and book a bus which I could use (as well as use for passing immigration!)

Costa Rica
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6. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

Simon- What you wrote makes a lot of sense -- but -- the law states that a person arriving in Costa Rica must have an onward ticket - out of Costa Rica. Obviously, if you have a ticket out of Panama, you will have to leave Costa Rica to get there! But common sense doesn't always prevail with Immigration.

I would suspect that if he contacts Spirit, they will probably say "Oh, yes, you have to have an onward ticket!" But if he just shows up, it may or may not be enforced.

I recently flew to the US and back to Costa Rica on Delta. Printed at the top of my boarding pass was the following: INTL - ONWARD TICKET REQUIRED but not one Delta employee asked me I actually had an onward ticket.

I think that some airlines come down pretty heavy on it: Frontier and Jet Blue have both asked me for onward ticket. I did fly once from Ft. Lauderdale to SJO but I can't remember if they asked me or not.

If someone arrives in Costa Rica without an onward ticket and it is caught at Passport Control/Immigration, the airline will be fined $10,000 and has the responsibility of returning the person to his/her origin at no charge.

Dave: Another person wanting to buy a ticket from TicaBus said that it is possible to do online if you use the Contact form and not the Reservations or booking form.

Edited: 08 March 2013, 18:35
Hamilton, Bermuda
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7. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

What is the status of this if you are flying into SJO and leaving Costa Rica on a cruise ship

Playa Conchal...
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8. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

Hattie, he does have an onward ticket but after the 90 days.

Costa Rica
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9. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

Oh, Simon, thank you. I forgot about that....sorry.

Still - I don't know if it will work because it's more than 90 days.

What some people have done is buy a ticket out of the country less than 90 days and then when they get here, change it to the date they want. Of course, you have to be careful to note how much the airline will charge for changes.

San Jose, Costa Rica
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10. Re: Proof of Onward Travel

He can buy a MCO and then with that on hand he can buy a airlriline ticket going anywhere...the MCO at least to cover one way air to PTY from SJO or LIR...of course buy the MCO prior the arrival in SJO or LIR

roadadvisori

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