overnight layover at SJO

Old Aug 6, 18, 12:03 am
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overnight layover at SJO

I need to fly to Panama but for some reason including even a 6-hour stop in SJO subtracts about $350 from the price. Unfortunately, that 6-hour stop would be from 9:00 pm to 3:00 am. Has anyone done an overnight layover at SJO recently? As far as I can tell, there aren't any lounges available during those hours, but is there anything open or otherwise going on at SJO overnight? If not, is there anything very near the airport? Thanks.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 7:02 am
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Everything closes during those hours. When I've flown out on early-morning flights, I've noticed shops and eating places in the airport all seem to open around 5:00 or 6:00.

There's a Denny's across the highway from the airport. Of course, they're open 24 hours. You'd almost need to take a taxi there. The distance is short, but without sidewalks and it being a busy highway and it being dark, walking wouldn't be safe.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 9:54 am
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Thanks very much. By any chance, do you know Copa's hours at SJO? I assume I'll need to collect my bag from United, clear customs and immigration, and then check my bag with Copa for the SJO-PTY flight. Hoping I can check in at 9:00 pm or 10:00 pm and not have to deal with my bag overnight, but that might not be possible. (The flight to PTY is at 4:00 am.) Thanks again.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 5:58 pm
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Everything closes during those hours. When I've flown out on early-morning flights, I've noticed shops and eating places in the airport all seem to open around 5:00 or 6:00.

There's a Denny's across the highway from the airport. Of course, they're open 24 hours. You'd almost need to take a taxi there. The distance is short, but without sidewalks and it being a busy highway and it being dark, walking wouldn't be safe.
You can take the shared Hampton Inn / Holiday Inn Express shuttle to "see if there is availability", and then walk to the Casino Fiesta/Denny's that is right there.

https://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopi..._San_Jose.html
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Old Aug 6, 18, 6:00 pm
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Thanks very much.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 10:10 pm
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The Copa counter is not going to be open at 9 pm for a 4 am flight. This is all on one ticket, right? SJO does do int'l-to-int'l transfers. Can United transfer your bags to Copa at SJO? Can United issue your Copa boarding pass at your original check-in? United and/or Copa would have to answer that. Call them and ask.

It still raises the question of what you'll do with yourself in the middle of the night
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Old Aug 7, 18, 9:10 am
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
The Copa counter is not going to be open at 9 pm for a 4 am flight. This is all on one ticket, right? SJO does do int'l-to-int'l transfers. Can United transfer your bags to Copa at SJO? Can United issue your Copa boarding pass at your original check-in? United and/or Copa would have to answer that. Call them and ask.

It still raises the question of what you'll do with yourself in the middle of the night
Nope to all these from previous experience. UA will check to SJO, at SJO you will have to claim and recheck in, the problem is the time gap. And the counters obviously won't be open.

Good news is the 430AM flight ALWAYS departs on time!

I would head over to the Dennys or Fiesta Casino if you want to do something. You could also find a cheap Airbnb near the airport to crash for the night. Two months ago I flew in from MAN via EWR to SJO and upon arrival immediately turned around back to EWR for personal reasons. I arrived at 7PM and was leaving again at 7AM. I went to the hotel across the street and asked if they could hook me up. I got a $45 night stay with them, which wasn't bad. Slept like 5 hours and taxi took like 30 seconds to get me to the airport.
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Old Aug 7, 18, 12:05 pm
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Thanks for the feedback.

By the time I clear customs and immigration and get my bag, I'd only have about 5 hours to kill, so a hotel room would be more trouble than it would be worth. The Denny's seems like a good option.

Anyone know what time the Copa desk opens for that 4:30 am flight? Thanks again.
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Old Aug 8, 18, 6:32 am
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Originally Posted by joe_miami View Post
Thanks for the feedback.

By the time I clear customs and immigration and get my bag, I'd only have about 5 hours to kill, so a hotel room would be more trouble than it would be worth. The Denny's seems like a good option.

Anyone know what time the Copa desk opens for that 4:30 am flight? Thanks again.
2.5-3 hours before.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 5:46 pm
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There is a small restaurant/cafe right outside the exit on the same level. You may be able to sit there and have some coffee for few hours. Just a thought!
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Old Aug 15, 18, 10:03 pm
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Originally Posted by SJOGuy View Post
Everything closes during those hours. When I've flown out on early-morning flights, I've noticed shops and eating places in the airport all seem to open around 5:00 or 6:00.

There's a Denny's across the highway from the airport. Of course, they're open 24 hours. You'd almost need to take a taxi there. The distance is short, but without sidewalks and it being a busy highway and it being dark, walking wouldn't be safe.
Heh, I parked my motorcycle in an Alamacen Fiscal there and walked all around the airport at night. It's safe and perfectly doable.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 9:29 am
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No. When I say walking to Denny's wouldn't be safe, I'm not talking about crime. There's no sidewalk and it would mean crossing a busy highway in the dark.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 7:17 am
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Originally Posted by caliform View Post
Heh, I parked my motorcycle in an Alamacen Fiscal there and walked all around the airport at night. It's safe and perfectly doable.
No, it's not, really. Heck, ask anyone that works at Almacen Fiscal and tell them you think it's safe and they'll burst in laughter. It's an isolated area with little to no traffic, crossing a highway and although not a shady part of town, definitely not safe to walk alone at night. Specially if you look foreign.

Be real folks, we don't want to shame our country but the straight up really is that pretty much no where is safe to walk by yourself at night now days. Specially at the hours the OP will be around midnight until 3am.
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