Quick turn in SJO?

Old May 8, 16, 12:24 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Programs: DL DM, DL AMEX Reserve
Posts: 271
Quick turn in SJO?

Looking at doing a MR (SEA-LAX-SJO) and turning around an hour later. Any weirdness I should know about, like difficulty checking into the next flight?
PirateJeff is offline  
Old May 8, 16, 12:27 am
  #2  
FlyerTalk Evangelist, Moderator, Information Desk, Ambassador, Alaska Airlines
Hilton Contributor BadgeIHG Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: ANC, MRI
Programs: AS MVP Gold75K, AS 1MM, Maika`i Card, AGR, HH Gold, Hertz PC, Marriott LTG, SPG Gold, CO, 7H, BA, 8E
Posts: 41,299
I'd be leery.

You have to wait in a line to pay cash for some of your departure fees. Not sure a turn would void this. And that line can get pretty backed up.

Now if you *don't* have to enter the country, things would be vastly improved. But uncertain if that is possible.
beckoa is offline  
Old May 8, 16, 12:38 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Programs: DL DM, DL AMEX Reserve
Posts: 271
I don't need to entry the country.
PirateJeff is offline  
Old May 8, 16, 12:53 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 5,268
Originally Posted by PirateJeff View Post
I don't need to entry the country.
I'm pretty sure that ALL customers are required to clear customs and immigration upon arrival in SJO. You'll need to check in then and clear security and pay the departure fee. I can't see that an hour would be enough time for any of that.
AS Flyer is offline  
Old May 8, 16, 2:31 am
  #5  
Ambassador: Alaska Airlines
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: ANC, SAP
Programs: AS MVP Gold, Priority Pass
Posts: 1,760
Originally Posted by PirateJeff View Post
I don't need to entry the country.
Originally Posted by AS Flyer View Post
I'm pretty sure that ALL customers are required to clear customs and immigration upon arrival in SJO. You'll need to check in then and clear security and pay the departure fee. I can't see that an hour would be enough time for any of that.
As a transit passenger, you do not need to pay the departure tax. It is waived for pax who are in the country less than 12 (or maybe 24) hours. My experience with this was flying Copa, I had an all day layover in SJO. I left the airport and spent the day in the city with friends, still I did not have to pay the fee. Upon exiting the airport, I inquired about this with immigration and they marked my passport as a transit passenger.

All that said, would you actually have to go through customs and immigration anyway? I don't believe so, actually. Both Avianca and Copa have connections there. I've connected there before, international to international, and never had to leave the secure area.
ANC RED-EYE is offline  
Old May 8, 16, 11:18 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP, BW Plat, SPG Gold, IHG Plat
Posts: 7,380
Originally Posted by AS Flyer View Post
I'm pretty sure that ALL customers are required to clear customs and immigration upon arrival in SJO. You'll need to check in then and clear security and pay the departure fee. I can't see that an hour would be enough time for any of that.
Actually I did a quick turn on UA in SJO a few years or so ago and when you arrive in SJO, you're just let out into the main terminal and you don't have to go through customs unless you want to (similar to LIM and GUA). With that said, when I went to board my departing flight after wandering around the airport for a little while, the GA said that somehow they noticed I hadn't passed through customs and that created an issue with me boarding my flight. It looked like I might have to deal with the issue and take another flight, but they let me board anyway. Since they don't force arriving passengers through customs on arrival, I can't imagine why they even made an issue of it, but it's something to be aware of. Perhaps the airline gets a record of passengers who don't pass through customs?? Not sure...
PDXPremier is offline  
Old May 8, 16, 3:11 pm
  #7  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 17,253
Originally Posted by PirateJeff View Post
Looking at doing a MR (SEA-LAX-SJO) and turning around an hour later. Any weirdness I should know about, like difficulty checking into the next flight?
How does this make economic sense as an MR compared to, say, a SEA-LAX-BWI or SEA-SAN-MCO, or SEA-California-Hawaii turn? There's a whole crapload of foreign and domestic taxes you get hosed with on that turn you don't get on a domestic-only itinerary. Doesn't that affect the cost-effectiveness of the MR?

Originally Posted by PDXPremier View Post
Actually I did a quick turn on UA in SJO a few years or so ago and when you arrive in SJO, you're just let out into the main terminal and you don't have to go through customs unless you want to (similar to LIM and GUA). With that said, when I went to board my departing flight after wandering around the airport for a little while, the GA said that somehow they noticed I hadn't passed through customs and that created an issue with me boarding my flight. It looked like I might have to deal with the issue and take another flight, but they let me board anyway. Since they don't force arriving passengers through customs on arrival, I can't imagine why they even made an issue of it, but it's something to be aware of. Perhaps the airline gets a record of passengers who don't pass through customs?? Not sure...
That would make me leery; maybe UA let you do it nicely as a one-off.

And as for why they would care; countries care about things like people who come to them or do weird things that don't conform to normal travel patterns. Something about people making planes go boom into tall buildings has kind of spooked them. That or there could be other odd patterns; smuggling, who knows?

Certainly MRs that cross international boundaries aren't illegal, but they tend to make people look at you funny at customs and immigration.

It's of note that OP isn't going to have the option of another flight the same day if he misses the 1x AS flight, unlike UA...

Last edited by eponymous_coward; May 8, 16 at 3:17 pm
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old May 8, 16, 4:00 pm
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Programs: DL DM, DL AMEX Reserve
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
How does this make economic sense as an MR compared to, say, a SEA-LAX-BWI or SEA-SAN-MCO, or SEA-California-Hawaii turn? There's a whole crapload of foreign and domestic taxes you get hosed with on that turn you don't get on a domestic-only itinerary. Doesn't that affect the cost-effectiveness of the MR?
It's a P run. < 7 CPM in first class. I don't think that works out on the other options you presented (would love to be proven wrong..)
PirateJeff is offline  
Old May 8, 16, 7:47 pm
  #9  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 17,253
Originally Posted by PirateJeff View Post
It's a P run. < 7 CPM in first class. I don't think that works out on the other options you presented (would love to be proven wrong..)
I see. Interesting. I'd probably do it as a weekend (it seems such a waste to blow off Costa Rica as a MR).

Last edited by eponymous_coward; May 8, 16 at 7:56 pm
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old May 8, 16, 7:57 pm
  #10  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Programs: DL DM, DL AMEX Reserve
Posts: 271
Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
I see. Interesting. I'd probably do it as a weekend (it seems such a waste to blow off Costa Rica as a MR).
Ah, I see you're also in SEA. I agree that I should probably spend a day or two in country now that I think about it.
PirateJeff is offline  
Old May 8, 16, 8:04 pm
  #11  
FlyerTalk Evangelist
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: SEA, but up and down the coast a lot
Programs: OneSky Alliance Elite+ with Zirconium and oak leaf cluster, Braniff Unobtainium
Posts: 17,253
I'm doing something similar: I have the tail end of an AA J award on AS I can use (turn the SEA destination into a stopover). The daughter would pout if I went to Hawaii before her graduation present, so off to SJD for a weekend it is (down on award, back up on paid ticket).

The catch is that SJO cannot be used as part of an AA Europe-North America award; Hawaii and Mexico can though. Tons of availability on award for SJD, coach fares one way are OK.
eponymous_coward is online now  
Old May 9, 16, 2:06 am
  #12  
Hyatt Contributor Badge
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: SIN
Programs: AA, AS, UA, WN; Hilton, Hyatt, IHG, SPG
Posts: 1,038
I had to transit in SJO last Aug/Sep. I didn't have to clear customs/immigration. Just walk up the transit, and clear security (pretty quick with no line). I then got a Copa desk to print my boarding pass (I was flying Copa).
solewalker is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread