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Airlines start alerting travelers with flights to Costa Rica

March 19, 2020

Airlines have begun warning travelers with flights to or from Costa Rica to review and, if necessary, adjust their itineraries.

The communications come in response to Costa Rica declaring a State of Emergency and restricting entry to tourists between March 19 and April 12 in an effort to slow the spread of coronavirus.

Southwest Airlines sent an e-mail to passengers with flights to Costa Rica advising them that “due to a recent government mandate in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19), we are proactively notifying you that your upcoming trip to, from, or connecting through Costa Rica … could be affected.”

The low-cost carrier, which typically offers daily nonstop service between Fort Lauderdale (FLL) and the San José area, shows tickets as “unavailable” until May 4.

Southwest Airlines flight schedule
Southwest's "Low Fare Calendar" shows no available tickets in April. Screenshot.

On its website, Southwest says its last flight from the United States to Costa Rica will operate on Wednesday, March 18, while its last flight from Costa Rica to the United States will operate on Sunday, March 22.

JetBlue, which also flies nonstop between Fort Lauderdale and SJO, is selling no tickets on the route between March 20 and April 12.

JetBlue coronavirus
JetBlue is cutting flights to Costa Rica. Screenshot.

Copa Airlines is offering passengers with itineraries to Costa Rica the option to use the full value of their ticket toward a future flight. The airline is reducing its capacity by at least 80% in April 2020, it announced.

Copa Airlines email
Copa Airlines is offering passengers the ability to rebook flights without penalty. Screenshot.

Avianca has also suspended most flights to and from Costa Rica, according to Teletica.

As of press time, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Spirit Airlines and United Airlines are all still offering tickets between Costa Rica and the United States during the travel restriction.

However, a reader shared that her March 24 flight on Delta from the San José area to Los Angeles (LAX) had been canceled; the airline rebooked her on the same route the next day.

Airlines have asked travelers to confirm itineraries and make changes online when possible, as their phone lines are busy. Many carriers are waiving change and cancellation fees due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Our friends at AviacionCR have compiled the following list for Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO): 

  • Aeroméxico: Flights suspended until April 12.
  • Air Panama: Flights suspended until April 2.
  • Air Transat: Suspending flights on March 22.
  • Alaska: Flights suspended from March 22 to April 12.
  • American: Flights suspended from March 26 until May. 
  • Avianca: Maintaining flights to Bogotá and Panamá only.
  • Condor: Flights suspended until April 16.
  • Copa: Reducing frequencies to Panamá; suspending routes to Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.
  • Delta: Reducing frequency of flights.
  • JetBlue: Flights suspended until from March 19 to April 12.
  • LATAM: Flights suspended until April 12.
  • Lufthansa: Flights suspended from March 22 to April 13.
  • Southwest: Flights suspended from March 22 until May 4.
  • United: Flights suspended from March 26 to April 4.
  • WestJet: Suspending flights on March 21.

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