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Airlines Offer Reduced Fares for Elections

Regional airlines Taca and Copa are working to reduce the number of “noshows” on Election Day by offering discounted tickets to Costa Ricans who wish to fly in from any of its 41 destinations.

Taca spokeswoman Sofía Valverde said that, depending on the location, the El Salvador-based company’s discount could be as much as 50 percent.

“It’s a way to contribute to Costa Rican democracy and give Ticos living outside the country the opportunity to exercise their right and responsibility to vote,” said Valverde. “We don’t keep track of the number of people who have taken advantage of the offer, but we know people have.”

Elections procedures do not allow for absentee voting. Therefore, Ticos who live outside the country cannot participate in the vote unless they physically return to cast their ballots.

To qualify for the reduced fare, the passenger must present a Costa Rican identification card or passport proving Costa Rican citizenship and the passenger must be of voting age. He or she must also show that the trip is for the purpose of voting.

Asked whether she expects the promotion to benefit one candidate over another, Valverde said that’s not something Taca can control.

“We are looking to support democracy, independent of the candidates,” she said.

Copa Airlines also announced discounts for Election Day travel. According to Copa’s Web site, one-way flights from New York cost $125; from Orlando, Florida, $169; from Los Angeles, California, $119; and from Managua, Nicaragua, $79.

According to elections officials, absentee voting will be available for the presidential elections in 2014.

For more information, contact Taca at 2299-8222 or 1-800-400-8222, or visit Copa’s Web site at

–Chrissie Long

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