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Flying To Costa Rica: What To Know About International Flights To Costa Rica, Departure Tax, Airlines, Check-In, Baggage, And More!

Flying To Costa Rica: What To Know About International Flights To Costa Rica, Departure Tax, Airlines, Check-In, Baggage, And More!

NOTE: The content on this page was last updated on July 15th, 2017.

WE SIFTED THROUGH HUNDREDS OF PAGES OF INFORMATION ON MULTIPLE AIRLINES’ WEBSITES TO FIND INFORMATION ABOUT FLYING TO COSTA RICA SO YOU DON’T NEED TO

Costa Rica trip planning can be overwhelming, and often equally mind-boggling is the process of determining how to get to and from the country. From determining which airline to choose, to which day of the week and time of day would be the best to fly, to which ticket is the most advantageous or affordable, it is no wonder discourse on flying to Costa Rica is more a headache than a discussion that can be summed up in a heartbeat.

Then again, that’s what we are here for; to help take some of the moans and groans out of the process of trip planning to make way for stress-free travel experiences.

Case in point, our blog post Which Costa Rica Airport Is The Best? Comparing Costa Rica’s San Jose (SJO) And Liberia (LIR) Airports, which we designed to help travellers minimize the amount of time spent researching the differences and similarities between Costa Rica’s two viable international airport options so more time could be spent finalizing decisions and moving on.

And, we’re at it again; this time with the intent of saving minutes, hours, and days of precious trip planning and travel time by making Costa Rica flight information more readily available and awfully convenient. Yes, we sifted through hundreds of pages of information on multiple airlines’ websites so you don’t need to. Want to know how much time in advance you should arrive at the airport? Or during which window of time you can check your luggage? Or whether you will be required to pay Costa Rica’s airport departure tax (or whether the tax has already been included in the cost of your ticket)? No problem; we have done our very best to compile the answers to these questions and more for you below.

Our disclaimer:

Although we have done our best to compile the most accurate information below, airline policies and recommendations are subject to change at any time without notice. We will not be held responsible for any errors or omissions of information on this page. In anticipation of your flight to or from Costa Rica, please verify the details provided below with airline or airport support staff directly.

Do you already know the name of the airline you plan to use to get to and from Costa Rica? Great! Locate it below to review the information we have available.

Note: N/A entries below indicate that our search was unable to determine an answer to the question. If you know the answer, feel free to provide it to us (and other readers/travellers) in the comment section at the bottom of this post.

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH AEROMEXICO

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Aeromexico’s website here.

Need to contact Aeromexico in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 2231-6891
Airport Offices: (506) 2440-1353 / (506) 2440-13541

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 120 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: N/A minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 40 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of December 1st 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Aeromexico’s flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Aeromexico flight status

Click here for Aeromexico delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH AIR BERLIN

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Air Berlin’s website here.

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24-30 hours prior to departure depending on the departure location
  • Last-call for check-in: 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes prior to departure depending on the departure location
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: N/A
  • Boarding gate closes: N/A

Click here to check your Air Berlin flight status

Click here for Air Berlin delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH AIR CANADA

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Air Canada’s website here.

Need to contact Air Canada in Costa Rica?

Central Line: 0800-052-1988
Airport Offices: (506) 2243-1860 / (506) 2243-1862
San Jose Offices: (506) 2440-0580 / (506) 2442-1904

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 3 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 15 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of December 5th 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Air Canada’s flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Air Canada flight status

Click here for Air Canada delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH AIR FRANCE

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Air France’s website here.

Need to contact Air France in Costa Rica?

Central Line: 0800-226-1994
San Jose Office: (506) 2228-4070

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 or 30 hours prior to departure, depending on the departure location
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 30 hours prior to departure for departures from the Paris-Charles de Gaulle airport only
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 20 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of November 2nd 2016, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Air France’s flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Air France flight status

Click here for Air France delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH AIR PANAMA

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Air Panama’s website here.

Need to contact Air Panama in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 2222-0433
Airport Office: (506) 2431-1793

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: N/A; online check-in not available
  • Last-call for check-in: N/A
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: N/A minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: N/A minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of November 1st 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Air Panama’s flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Online flight status check is not provided by Air Panama

Click here for Air Panama delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH AIR TRANSAT

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Air Transat’s website here.

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: N/A

Click here to check your Air Transat flight status

Click here for Air Transat delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH ALASKA AIRLINES

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Alaska Airlines’ website here.

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: varies across departure locations
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 30 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of January 1st 2016, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Alaska Airlines’ flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Alaska Airlines flight status

Click here for Alaska Airlines delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH AMERICAN AIRLINES (US AIRWAYS)

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on American Airlines’ website here.

Need to contact American Airlines (US Airways) in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 2248-9010
Airport Office: (506) 2442-8800

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 90 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage:  N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage:  N/A
  • Boarding gate closes: 30 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of June 15th 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of American Airlines’ flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your American Airlines flight status

Click here for American Airlines delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH AVIANCA/TACA/LACSA

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Avianca’s website here.

Need to contact Avianca/TACA/LACSA in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 2299-8222
Airport Offices: (506) 2437-3940 / (506) 2443-3555

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: N/A
  • Boarding gate closes: N/A
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of June 30th 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Avianca’s flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Avianca flight status

Click here for Avianca delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH BRITISH AIRWAYS

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on British Airways’ website here.

Need to contact British Airways in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 2441-2591

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 3 hours prior to departure or 3:30am, whichever is later
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 20 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of March 1st 2017, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of British Airways’ flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your British Airways flight status

Click here for British Airways delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH CONDOR

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Condor’s website here.

Need to contact Condor in Costa Rica?

San Jose Office: (506) 2440-2612

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 45 minutes prior to departure

Click here to check your Condor flight status

Click here for Condor delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH COPA AIRLINES

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Copa Airlines’ website here.

Need to contact Copa Airlines in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 2223-2672
Airport Office: (506) 2441-4742

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 36 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 4 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: N/A
  • Boarding gate closes: 45 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of August 1st 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Copa Airlines’ flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Copa Airlines flight status

Click here for Copa Airlines delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH CUBANA

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Cubana’s website here.

Need to contact Cubana in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 2221-6918

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: N/A
  • Last-call for check-in: 40 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: N/A minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: N/A

Online flight status check is not provided by Cubana

Click here for Cubana delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH DELTA AIRLINES

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Delta Airlines’ website here.

Need to contact Delta Airlines in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 2257-4141
Airport Office: (506) 2440-4802
San Jose Office: (506) 2257-2992

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 6 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 15 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of September 1st 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Delta Airlines’ flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Delta Airlines flight status

Click here for Delta Airlines delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH FRONTIER AIRLINES

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Frontier Airlines’ website here.

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 30 minutes prior to departure

Click here to check your Frontier Airlines flight status

Click here for Frontier Airlines delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH IBERIA

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Iberia’s website here.

Need to contact Iberia in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 4000-0225
Airport Office: (506) 2441-2591

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 90 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 90 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: N/A

Click here to check your Iberia flight status

Click here for Iberia delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH JETBLUE

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on JetBlue’s website here.

Need to contact JetBlue in Costa Rica?

Central Line: 0800-012-1666
Airport Office: (506) 2441-6851

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 6 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 20 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of June 22nd 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of JetBlue’s flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your JetBlue flight status

Click here for JetBlue delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH SOUTHWEST

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Southwest’s website here.

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60-90 minutes prior to departure depending on the departure location
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60-90 minutes prior to departure depending on the departure location
  • Boarding gate closes: 30 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of December 15th 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Southwest’s flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Southwest flight status

Click here for Southwest delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH SPIRIT AIRLINES

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Spirit Airlines’ website here.

Need to contact Spirit Airlines in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 4000-1887
Airport Offices: (506) 2441-2052 / (506) 2430-9652 / (506) 8703-9941

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 4 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 30 minutes prior to departure

Click here to check your Spirit Airlines flight status

Click here for Spirit Airlines delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH UNITED AIRLINES (CONTINENTAL)

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on United Airlines’ website here.

Need to contact United Airlines (Continental) in Costa Rica?

Central Line: 0800-0444-0005
Airport Offices: (506) 2442-1904 / (506) 2440-0580
San Jose Office: (506) 2296-5589

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120-180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 30 minutes prior to departure
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of October 6th 2015, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of United Airlines’ flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your United Airlines flight status

Click here for United Airlines delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH VOLARIS

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on Volaris’ website here.

Need to contact Volaris in Costa Rica?

Central Line: (506) 4002-7462

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: N/A
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 180 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: N/A
  • Costa Rica’s airport departure tax: As of February 10th 2017, Costa Rica’s airport departure tax is included in the cost of Volaris’ flight ticket; travellers flying on this airline do not need to pay the airport departure tax upon arrival at the airport (note: this information is applicable for flights departing from the SJO airport; if you plan to depart from the LIR airport, please confirm the same with the airline or airport staff directly)

Click here to check your Volaris flight status

Click here for Volaris delayed flight and flight cancellation information

FLYING TO COSTA RICA WITH WESTJET

For the most up-to-date information, please verify the below details on WestJet’s website here.

  • Ideal time to check-in at the airport: 120 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to check in online: 24 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for check-in: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Earliest time to drop-off checked luggage: 3 hours prior to departure
  • Last-call for checked baggage: 60 minutes prior to departure
  • Boarding gate closes: 40 minutes prior to departure

Click here to check your WestJet flight status

Click here for WestJet delayed flight and flight cancellation information

IN A HURRY AND NEED TO TRACK A FLIGHT? USE THESE HANDY SJO AIRPORT AND LIR AIRPORT FLIGHT TRACKER TOOLS WHEN FLYING TO COSTA RICA

Will you be flying into or out of the SJO Airport?

Click here to access the SJO Airport’s flight tracker tool
(to use the flight tracker, click on the lime green “search flight” button on the page)

Will you be flying into or out of the LIR Airport?

Click here to access the LIR Airport’s flight tracker tool 

QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: When you fly (to Costa Rica or elsewhere), which airline do you prefer to travel with and why?

Pura vida!

Nikki and Ricky

DIY Costa Rica

Costa Rica tour discounts



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