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United, Spirit and American Airlines offering U.S. repatriation flights from Costa Rica

August 19, 2020

The United States Embassy in Costa Rica has coordinated with United Airlines, Spirit Airlines and American Airlines to offer repatriation flights from Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) near San José.

Below is the alert from the U.S. Embassy:

* * * *

United Airlines will operate three commercial repatriation flights each week from Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) to Houston, Texas (IAH).  These flights will take place on Monday, Thursday, and Friday through August 31.  United Airlines will not conduct flights from Daniel Oduber Quiros Airport in Liberia during August.  Please visit united.com for details on pricing and flight times.

Spirit Airlines will also offer an additional commercial repatriation flight from Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) to Fort Lauderdale, Florida (FLL) on Friday, August 28.  Please visit spirit.com for details on pricing and flight time.

American Airlines will now also offer commercial repatriation flights from Juan Santamaria Airport (SJO) to Dalls, Texas (DFW) on Thursday, August 20 and Thursday August 27. Please visit aa.com for details on pricing and flight times.

These flights are open to public booking but seats are limited.  The U.S. Embassy is not able to assist with arranging onward travel from Houston, Dallas, and Ft. Lauderdale.

* * * *

Costa Rican citizens and residents in the United States can typically book seats on the outbound flights from the U.S. to Costa Rica. Only citizens and residents can currently enter Costa Rica from the United States; they will be issued a 14-day home isolation order upon their arrival.

Proof of a negative coronavirus test and travel insurance are not required for citizens and residents arriving on repatriation flights. However, residents must show proof of current payment into the Costa Rica Social Security System (Caja).

The Costa Rican Consulate has indicated that tourists cannot enter Costa Rica via a repatriation flight. (In other words, according to the Consulate, Canadian cannot enter Costa Rica as a tourist by flying from Toronto to Houston to SJO.)

Health regulations at U.S. airports are managed by the airport and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP).  There are currently no specific measures in place at IAH, FLL or DFW, according to the U.S. Embassy.

All three airlines require that passengers wear face coverings while on board; travelers must also wear masks while at Juan Santamaría International Airport.

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