We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Airport security took all my liquid items...

Oregon
Level Contributor
67 posts
8 reviews
Save Topic
Airport security took all my liquid items...

I just got back from a fantastic five-night stay in Costa Rica. I would say my only complaint for the whole trip was the final security check at the airport.

At the boarding gate (on my plane back to the U.S.) you have to offer up your bags for hand searches. The security officer cleared my entire baggie of liquid items (which included travel size toothpaste, sunscreen, contact solution, etc...) and took my deodorant as well. Each time he looked at the items and said "no, no, no" (he didn't speak much English and I don't speak much Spanish). I wasn't going to be bothered to complain over a few dollars worth of stuff, but I found this "fleecing" odd. Meanwhile, my girlfriend didn't have any of her liquid items taken away except for the $3 bottle of Pepsi she just bought at the terminal for the flight over - which irked her.

What is the standard in these searches? What experiences have you had? I'm mostly just curious?

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,654 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

It's standard for the secondary screening to confiscate any liquids over 3 oz - including that bottle of water or soda that you just bought.

However, I am truly puzzled as to why your 3-oz items were confiscated. That's a new one on me. The only thing I can think is that he was new and really didn't quite know what he was doing. Hopefully, one of the other security personnel set him straight.

Oregon
Level Contributor
67 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

OK - I figured maybe he was new. He did ask a supervisor regarding the deodorant (which is not liquid by our TSA standards, of course). The supervisor backed him up on the deodorant, but all those sub 3 oz. items came after that and, your right, maybe he didn't know the procedures...

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,654 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

Other than your "adventure" at the airport - what did you do during your time in Costa Rica?

London, England...
Level Contributor
2,556 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

Yeh, this is poxy BS that happens in no other country in the world I've visited.

CR fans blame the US, others blame CR. Either way it's a joke and there were same hefty arguments flying around last time I departed CR because of it.

In every other country in the world the 'liquids' rule applies to stuff carried in hand luggage when taken through security. 99% of people know this and, as with sharp pointy objects, don't bother bringing any but stock up once past security and in the departure lounges.

The screw-job in CR is that once through security, and with absolutely no forewarning, they then flog you hideously expensive (even for an airport) liquid products which then get taken off you when you get to your gate and find another final security check which also applies the 'liquids' rule.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,654 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

1. Guess what, David? Almost ALL of the airline security rules were put in place due to pressure from the US. That is true. I can testify to this as a person who has flown out of Costa Rica for many years and read the news here for many years.

2. The "secondary screening" was necessary when inbound and outbound passengers could "mix." More pressure from the US.

3. Now that the inbound and outbound passengers are separate, the secondary screening should no longer be necessary - but hey, it's the government we are dealing with here!

4. I have had sellers of bottled water TELL me that it would be confiscated at the secondary screening. Not everyone will do this - but some will.

But you're right, it's real BS to buy an $6 bottle of water to take on the plane and then have it taken away at the last minute.

Edited: 31 July 2013, 15:11
Oregon
Level Contributor
67 posts
8 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

Yeah I do think there should have been a warning on sales of bottled drinks around the airport - one would generally assume it's ok (as it would be flying in and from the U.S.) to buy a drink in the terminal and take it with you. This takes me back to last year when I bought an Inca Kola at the Lima airport and they asked if I was flying to the U.S. (I was flying to Easter Island). The next guy behind me was flying to the U.S. and they refused the sale on a bottle of Coke. In that case they were a bit overly proactive (what if I just want to drink it right in front of them before boarding?) - but at least you don't lose your $ on an empty purchase.

I usually do a lot of research on costs and also somehow missed the $29/pp exit tax and $3 entry and exit fees for the smaller airports (in my case, Quepos), but whatever. I mean, it could be worse (it's $100 to leave Chile, even if transiting, so I hear). You just have to be prepared for unexpected costs as a traveler these days anyway, even if your planning to keep costs low for the duration of the trip.

I actually really enjoyed flying Sansa into and out of Quepos. First experience on a Cessna and got me over my fears of flying in one. Very professional crew and service at each airport in their case. Minimal security checks compared to the major airlines, of course (none out of Quepos) - kinda made flying hassle-free. I'd recommend it just for the great views...

Spent the vacation in Manuel Antonio, seeing monkeys and swimming in the beaches. Just relaxing and fun. First time in Costa Rica and Central America as a whole.

Costa Rica
Level Contributor
25,654 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

Thanks, stangsfan, sounds like you had a great time.

Kansas City
Level Contributor
333 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

About 15 minutes prior to boarding our airline made a couple of announcements with the suggestion to drink any bottled water or other beverage purchased after passing through security because it would not be allowed on board. Of course with all of the noise and commotion in the terminal it would have been easy to miss those announcements and I saw a lot of full bottles of water and soda on the inspection tables. Sorry your travel sized were also confiscated.

San Jose, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
46,402 posts
35 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

Yes they did exactly the same thing to me...now no more water while boarding...

Roadadvisor

Huntsville, Canada
Level Contributor
368 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Airport security took all my liquid items...

Flying Sansa (from SJO Feb '13) to Tambor and had to jump hoops for security check. Then flying back a week later there was absolutly no security check of any kind. Doesn't matter what country your in, the security screeners are very low in the food chain and it becomes hit and miss as to what they let through.