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Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Pearland, Texas
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10 posts
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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.

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,772 posts
97 reviews
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31. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

I had to pay last time I left MDE - I have a business visa so not limited to 60 days at a time - had stayed 90 days and got hit with an exit tax - was told up to 60 days and I would have avoided it even on a business visa.

When departing on Spirit for the US at MDE - you are required to go to the tax booth - they look at your passport and then put a sticker on the back - no sticker you have to pay Spirit the additional money - with a sticker - nada.

The fee was about $35.

Going back to FLL next month on Spirit - it will be slightly less than 60 days - so I should not have to pay it - but we will see.

Bogota, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Colombia
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32. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

I hear ya..maybe they overlooked it or they overheard my rant re: extra luggage surcharge or perhaps like the airlines they're consistently inconsistent!!

Edited: 14 March 2012, 01:02
washington, dc
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241 posts
115 reviews
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33. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

We just returned after spending 63 days in Colombia. We flew Avianca.

Though we've paid exit taxes before in other countries and also speak some Spanish we experienced a bit of confusion about the tax also. Admittedly we had not thought about tax or looked into the rules. We went directly to check in desk. The nice attendant looked at our passports and sent us to the tax desk, whereupon they sent us back to the attendant without an exemption form. Whereupon the Avianca person told us to go back to the tax desk.

There, finally a manager accompanied us back to Avianca to tell the agent that we were not entitled to an exemption and needed to pay the $38 per person exit tax (presumably because we had stayed more than 60 days). I'm still not sure why there was confusion. Why didn't the Avianca agent just ask us to pay the 38 tax when we first went to the counter and she saw we'd been there more than 60 days? Maybe she didn't notice? But twice? Maybe she thought the tax desk would cut us some slack since we were just 3 days over?

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,772 posts
97 reviews
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34. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Yep- over the 60 day thing - the airlines relie on the tax counter to tell them who has to pay and who does not -

San Diego...
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16 posts
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35. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Sorry to if this question has been answered, I'm a littles confused by everything I've read on this post and what I've read online regarding exit/entrance taxes. When I depart BOG on Monday I'll have stayed 32 days. Should I expect to pay $32? Thanks so much! :)

Bogota, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Colombia
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7 reviews
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36. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Qbini,look at your airline ticket - at the bottom of the ticket where they include the various taxes - you'll find Colombian airport tax, if it has been included in the price of your ticket you won't pay anything more.It usually runs around $34 - $35 - nevertheless you'll be required to get an exit stamp before you finish your checkin - depending on what airline you use - the desk will be on the left side as you enter the international terminal.

btw i hope you enjoyed your trip!

Dallas, Texas
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460 posts
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37. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

Pardon me while I back up this conversation a few steps...

My advice would be never to book flights with a 15-hour layover at all if it can be avoided (and moving about in and around Latin America it generally can).

But I also never throw away any little slip of paper I'm given (though I lost one once in Peru). I just got back from my last trip a week ago and emptied out my left outside pocket of my leather jacket (where ALL random slips of paper go). What a mess! :o)

WQsr

http://youtu.be/Mi2Eps_kJ0I

United States
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94 posts
25 reviews
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38. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

We did not have to pay an airport departure tax in Bogota while we had a 7 hour layover there.

We arrived at 5:30 AM and the booth to get an exemption ticket was closed and we decided to just go into the city anyway.

When we returned to the airport we ignorantly had the taxi driver drop us off at the wrong terminal and then had to seriously rush to get to the right place (the airport staff was incredibly helpful) and certainly didn't get any exemption during the rush.

The result. Nothing happened. No one asked us for any ticket or to pay any tax.

We had seen so much contradictory evidence about the airport tax. Even when we asked at the Bogota airport we heard contradictory stuff, but we certainly were not asked to pay any tax.

London, United...
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4 posts
2 reviews
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39. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

We`re leaving Bogota for the UK tomorrow and have been here less than 30 days - will we be asked to pay the tax? I have no idea if it included in the ticket or not.. Thanks!!

CDY
Medellin, Colombia
Destination Expert
for Panama City
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3,772 posts
97 reviews
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40. Re: Horrible Experience with Airport Exit Tax

9 times out of ten it is in the price of your ticket - the issue is if you stay over 60 days then there is an aditional tax.