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No more waiting in line to pay exit tax for fliers on American, US Airways and Copa

Some travelers might feel like they’re in first class as they glide past the often long line to pay the exit tax at Costa Rica’s Juan Santamaría International Airport starting this June.

American Airlines, US Airways and Copa Airlines are the first three airlines to bundle Costa Rica’s $29 exit tax into the ticket price, saving their customers another wait in line at the airport, according to a statement from the Costa Rican International Airline Association.

The news comes after months of delays implementing the Finance Ministry’s Exonet system to collect the tax.

Tickets bought on or after March 23 with an exit date after June 14 will have the exit tax already included in the ticket price for American and US Airways.

Copa Airlines passengers who buy their tickets during the week of March 23 (the airline has yet to announce the exact date) and plan to leave Costa Rica after June 14 will also have their exit tax included in the price.

The tax, which has been in place since 2003, currently is paid at a special counter at the airport, Bancrédito branches, or at travel agencies. A passenger must pay it before checking in for a flight.

During the tourism high season from December to April, the line to pay the tax has been known to snake out of the terminal at Juan Santamaría International Airport outside of San José.

In the meantime, Avianca passengers will still have to pay their exit tax separately. But at least they can look forward to new routes to London on the Colombian carrier.

Starting July 1, Avianca will offer seven flights a week out of San José with service to London on new Boeing 787s, according to a statement from the airline Thursday.

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