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Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

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Courtenay, Canada
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Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

I am a Canadian flying with my family from Victoria BC Canada, to San Fran, and then to Huston before going to Costa Rica. All my flights are with United Airlines. We only have an hour in Huston before our next flight. I know it only takes 7 minutes to get to my gate, however I wanted to know if there is any immigration or customs protocol I will need to do before getting on the plane to Costa Rica?

Houston, Texas
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1. Re: Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

JodieZuc: You will clear US immigrations and customs at SFO (since YYJ is not a pre-clearance airport).

When you land in Houston (IAH), all you need to do is deplane and walk to your new gate. Keep in mind that gates change from day-to-day, so I'm not sure how you "know" it will only be 7 minutes from gate to gate, but an hour should be plenty of time in most situations. Here's the terminal map for IAH:

united.com/web/…iah.aspx

When you do get to your gate, will have to show them your passport one last time. Enjoy your trip.

Dallas
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2. Re: Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

Be sure that when you re-check your luggage at SFO (after Customs), you check it all the way through to Costa Rica. You do not want to have to pick it up and re-check in Houston. Show the check-in person your full itinerary and double-check the luggage tags carefully to be sure they are correct before you release your bags.

Check the departure board in Houston as soon as you deplane to find your next gate. Keep your passports with you.

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

You should be fine. I am not sure how it works on the West coast of Canada but Toronto for example you actually clear US customs and immigration in Toronto itself. Either way when you get to Houston it will be like a domestic flight, you should already have the boarding passes (from Victoria).

If the return is the reverse then, in Houston, you will have to get the bags out clear customs and immigration, drop off the bags and proceed to the gate.

Houston, Texas
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4. Re: Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

Hi J,

No, all you need to do is get to your gate for your flight to Costa Rica, which is probably leaving from terminal E. You will be asked to show your passport at the gate, before boarding, which is to make sure that everyone has the proper documentation to enter the country of Costa Rica. You should be able to get all of your boarding passes for your flights, when you leave Canada.

You will have plenty of time to get to your gate, but try to get to your gate, then go for food, drinks, magazines, etc, after you are in the area of your departure gate. Terminal E is the newest, largest terminal, and has lots of options for all of these.

Enjoy SJO; we love it...don't miss coconut flan, where ever it's served!

que le vaya bien,

cc,

Cupcake

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5. Re: Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

..also,you will go through Customs in SFO,so no more of that,until you land in San Jose,and go through their Customs system, which was fairly easy.As you leave Costa Rica, everyone has to pay a country tax that is NOT included in your airline ticket,so get to the SJO airport 30 minutes early as you leave to return. There is a desk right across from the United counter there, and you need to pay in cash,but they have a row of ATM's for your use. You need your passport and your airline ticket, to get the receipt for this tax, then you will turn to the United counter there, to check in your baggage for your return flight.

On your return, when you land in Houston, if you are flying through California, you DO have to get your baggage, and recheck it to your next flight. You will enter Immigrations at IAH (Canadians can process on the US Citizen side,and it will be quicker for you), and then go downstairs to get your bags in Customs, then recheck it with United.

If your flight is Directly from IAH to Canada, then you do Not have to claim your bags, if all flights are on United, and not Air Canada. You do, however, have to process through the CBP system when you land; everyone does.

There are airline personnel to help you determine this ,when you land at IAH.

One more tip: If you are buying coffee, purchase it at a local grocery store on one of the last days of your trip. The cost is about half of what you pay for, at the SJO airport, and there are many different, wonderful brands to buy at the supermercado (grocery store, in Spanish).

Enjoy!

cc,

Cupcake

Edited: 05 January 2014, 00:31
Courtenay, Canada
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6. Re: Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

thank you!

Courtenay, Canada
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7. Re: Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

Wow - thanks everyone for all the tips!!! Very kind indeed.

8. Re: Huston Airport protocol before Costa Rica

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