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.

Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Which Bogota hotels are on sale?
dd/mm/yyyy dd/mm/yyyy
See hotels
Pearland, Texas
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Save Topic
Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

We had a 15 hour layover at Bogota from Quito to Houston and almost had to pay $250 for 4 people for the airport exit tax.

We were not aware of this tax but were told that if we stayed less than 24 hours, we would not have to pay the tax of $64/per person for US citizens. The only problem was that the Continental rep wanted to see our ticket stubs for the Quito to Bogota flight on Copa Airlines. We told her we threw it away, as most people do, because we didn't think we needed it but showed her the stamped time of entry by the immigration officer but she rudely refused to accept it. She was the most uncooperative airline personnel I've ever encounter in all my travels. She was rude to all the other Continental passengers and I've already sent my complaint to Continental. Her name is "Lady Mendoza" so you better hope you don't run into her.

Even after going to Copa Airlines to get a copy of our receipt of the previous flight, she would not accept it. it's almost as though she has a financial interest for us to pay the tax. Thankfully, another Continental employee came to our rescue, to the dismay of the other employee and we didn't have to pay $250. But this entire ordeal took an hour to resolve, with my wife going back and forth to Copa, the tax office and Continental, with a screaming 3 year old baby in her arms.

My advice to you is to not go through Bogota because honestly, you're not missing much. If that doesn't work, keep that ticket stub from the first flight and don't have a longer layover than 24 hours. $64/per person exit fee is shameful to any tourist wanting to visit Columbia.

San Miguel de...
Level Contributor
6,018 posts
122 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Actually, most countries have an exit tax but it's often incorporated in the price of the ticket so you don't notice it. At Bogotá it sometimes is and sometimes isn't. Last time I was there I left at the same time as a friend who was flying with CO to Europe via the US. She didn't pay anything, but I was flying on Mexicana and did. However, visitors who stay less than 30 days pay a reduced rate (about $30US), but you have to go to a special desk at the airport to have your ticket or BP stamped. The CO agent should have known that. And she also should have known that transit passengers pay nothing. So you probably have grounds for complaint.

However, to say that most passengers throw away their BPs is wrong-headed. I never do, since it is precisely in an emergency situation like the one you faced that you might need it. You learnt your lesson there.

Sorry for your unfortunate experience, but it worked out in the end. And please don't use it to denigrate Bogotá. You will find that most of us on these forums think it a very pleasant city.

(You are lucky that you have never had to transit in Houston as an international passenger)

Bogota, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Colombia
Level Contributor
3,885 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Or other U.S cities for that matter! Nothing against you Larry or your family but some unlucky U.S citizens are used as scapegoats bc of the poor treatment given to Colombians flying to the U.S, I know bc my wife is Colombian.

Hey i know what you mean Eldorado Airport can be a real cluster **** some of the time.I have flown into Eldorado(Bogota) for 34 yrs. believe me things have changed for the better.

I agree with Londinense the problem lies with Continental & you shouldn't gauge Bogota or any other city for that matter by your bad experience at their airport or a bad airline.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
562 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

I have traveled to Bogota about 18 times and never had to pay an exit tax. The exit tax is only if you have stayed for longer than 30 days or something like that. Maybe you and the Continental person hit a language barrier, but what I believe she was asking was for the tax exoneration ticket that you get so you don't have to pay a tax. The way it works in Colombia (not just Bogota) is when you show up at the airport, you go to the tax exoneration line, show them your passport, and if you have been there less than 30 days (or maybe it is 60 days) based on your entry stamp, they stamp your passport and give you a ticket that says you don't need to pay the tax. When you go to check in, you give the airline rep that ticket and you are not taxed. Many people go to checkin line without this ticket, and they are sent to the tax exoneration line before being given a boarding pass. I am almost positive that the rep was asking you for the tax exoneration ticket and not your boarding pass from Copa. By law, if you do not give the checkin agent the tax exoneration ticket they have to charge a tax.

Also, so there are not misunderstandings, the tax exoneration has nothing to do with what airline you fly or whether taxes were included with your ticket. I have never shown an airline ticket to the tax exoneration people, just my passport. I have stayed in Colombia from 3 to 11 days and always received an exoneration.

Boston...
Level Contributor
49 posts
110 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Departure taxes are very common and almost always included in the cost of the airline ticket as a courtesy to the passenger (American for example handles it this way, but they are not alone). People who say they did not pay the Colombian departure tax after visiting the country probably are unaware that it was collected by the airline when the ticket was purchased and the payment handled by the airline.

In Colombia, if you stay less than the number of days stamped in your passport upon entry, you are entitled to a significant discount (about 50%). The discount entitlement is a stamped slip of paper obtained at the airport (desk #19 at El Dorado) and handle it before going to the airline counter. The airline ticket agent will retain it.

Departing in mid March was an easy process and no lines at desk #19.

Pearland, Texas
Level Contributor
10 posts
1 review
Save Reply
5. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Londinense and Playa4u,

As I said, this was primarily an issue dealing with this particular Continental agent. Another Continental employee did everything she could to remedy the situation and she did. But this bad experience capped off a not so enjoyable 15 hour stay in Bogota.

And my wife and I have traveled extensively throughout the world, probably to over 25 countries and all of the US for my work. I have never ever needed the ticket stub after we had used it to get onto a plane.

Bogota, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Colombia
Level Contributor
3,885 posts
7 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Thanxs for putting it in simple language Boston Trav.00 so if Das stamps your passport 90 days & you lv. before the 90 days are up you pay 50% of how much $ ?. Is it still the same for Colombian nationals, i believe they payed more Dep tax than us( for. trav.?)

I never really thought about it until last trip to Mexico & Belize where Mex. Migra. try to scam unwary trav. who lv. Mex. by land into paying the exit Tax twice. Then return to Mex.again to fly home the dep.tax is incl. in your ticket.

Taxes are taxes no one likes to pay them unless they are put to good use LMAO! Travelers must be on guard for scams at all times.

Yes Larry thanx for bringing this matter to our att. we remember how hard it can be to travel with a small child. hats off to you for incl. your family on a biz. trip.

Saludos,

...Playa

Oakland, California
Level Contributor
723 posts
88 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

That is very strange. The exit tax is typically included in the Continental ticket price. I've never had to pay and that's after vacationing in Colombia.

Paris, France
Level Contributor
562 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Larrypebble are you sure they were asking you for your boarding pass stub and not the tax exoneration ticket? Did you go to the tax exoneration line and receive the ticket and a stamp in your passport that says you don't need to pay a tax? If not, this is what the Continental agent was asking for not your old boarding pass stub. Please let us know if you went to the tax exoneration line or not.

BostonTraveler, Irrespective of what airline you fly, if you stay in Colombia more than 60 days you will be required to pay an exit tax. When you arrive at the airport to leave Colombia you must go to the tax exoneration line where they will look at the entry stamp in your passport to see when you arrived. If you have been in Colombia for less than 60 days they will stamp over your entry stamp and give you a slip of paper (the ticket) that you take to the check in counter. This ticket exempts you from paying the exit tax. I am aware there are departure taxes etc. included in tickets, but this tax is separate and based on how long someone stays in Colombia. I have never provided airline or ticket information to the people at the exoneration desk to receive this. My co-workers who living in Colombia have to pay this tax each time they leave Colombia even if they are flying on the same flight as me.

Edited: 11 April 2011, 01:27
UK it's a OK
Level Contributor
375 posts
6 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Larrypebblebe clearly did something wrong IE not getting the exit exemption slip because there is no problem once you have it and to advise others not to exit Bogota is disrespectful

I had no problems getting the exemption slip, leaving without paying any tax and my advice is to definately exit in to Bogota if your layover time allows - not to means you're missing out on a great city with really friendly people

As a UK citizen my biggest grip is the customs officials at USA airports. In my experience they are rude and unwelcoming - not everyone visiting America wants to stay there forever and they would do well to bare this in mind

Los Angeles...
Level Contributor
274 posts
40 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

I would also argue that the original poster did not follow common sense with the entry/exit procedure in Bogota. These procedures are typical of anywhere in the world and not unlike any country or it's airport system.

The posters problem is not with the Cont. rep. nor the CO airport but simply ignorance of standard airport operating procedures. Perhaps a valuable life lesson was learned at not too great a price of $250. jajajaja.

This is coming from a California man who does not speak nor understand Spanish yet has flown in and out of this Bogota airport 5 times in the past 14 months. Never an issue matter-of-fact, like Sapporosushi mentions I could voice a laundry list of complaints with my own LAX system.

The Traveler