Old Sep 7, 10, 7:08 am
  #7  
baggageinhall
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: London
Programs: BA
Posts: 2,359

SJO-MIA
American Airlines (Coach)
Boeing 757
Seats: 25B and C


Bags retrieved, we walked back to the International Terminal and joined the line to pay the Costa Rican departure tax. First time visitors to Costa Rica all seem to do the same thing (us included), you join the line and as you get closer, are able to read the signs that state that using a credit card to pay the tax will be classified as a cash advance by your card issuer. Cue people leaving the line to queue at the ATM to withdraw US Dollars and then rejoining the queue. My own slight variation was to leave my card in the ATM machine and walk off with my money. A good samaritan came running after me to return it and I thanked him profusely.

Tax paid, we joined the American Airlines check-in queue. Despite having 7 desks open, it moved very slowly and it took almost 45 minutes before we were called to a desk. Boarding passes in hand we went through security where Mrs BiH's handbag was subject to great scrutiny. The language barrier meant that it took place in silence with the bag eventually handed back with a nod "okay".

We made our way to the gate. Here we found a few others who had been at the wedding. They had taken a private taxi from Quepos to the airport. It had left an hour before us and arrived before check-in was open. They had been waiting around and looked tired. Our flight was slightly delayed and eventually we were called to board. Thusfar we had been spared the usual liquid restrictions but people were seemingly being stopped randomly on the jet bridge and items confiscated.

The last few rows were quite sparsely populated so each couple had three seats. I moved to the window seat and took a photo as we began pushback. San Jose airport appears to have been extensively rebuilt and looks very much like the usual glass and steel structure seen across the world. The gates used by AA appear to be new and the building work in the photo below would seem to be the existing gate area being rebuilt.



Tired from the last few days, I (and most around me) fell asleep soon after take off waking only when the drinks cart reached our row. I had a Ginger Ale and continued (re-)reading "The Man who ate the World". Soon we we beginning our descent into Miami. The warm haze of Southern Florida illuminated the cabin as we flew past MIA and then turned back to land. We reached our gate and then waited almost 20 minutes whilst an errant jetway was slowly coaxed into life. The ground crew's persistence was much appreciated as the heavens opened shortly after we arrived on stand. Eventually we made our way out of the aircraft and in to the terminal building. We had arrived at the remote E gates which looked deserted as we made our way to the train that links back to the main building. The remote gates have their own FIDS area but we were directed to the main terminal and the facilities there.

I have a knack of picking the slowest queue and so ordinarily I invite whomever I'm with to choose. For some reason, I ignored my own poor form and we paid dearly. We appear to have picked the queue where everyone in front of us had a problem of some sort. We moved queue a couple of times until it was almost empty and we were amongst the last of the wave we arrived in to be processed. At one stage, I saw the Officer who had processed us on the way into Miami, report for duty and take over at a booth nearby. Mrs BiH vetoed my plan to move to his queue for she feared that I wouldn't be able to help myself reply sarcastically if faced with the same barrage of questions. All the bags from our flight had been delivered by the time we reached the carousel. The ground staff had started to remove them from the belt and pile them up in the corner of the hall.

The other couple were flying home on Swiss via Zurich. They went to find their check-in desk as we found ours.

Last edited by baggageinhall; Sep 7, 10 at 7:24 am
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