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Airline crew robbed en route to Costa Rica airport, report says

March 17, 2021

Passengers on American Airlines flight 1204 from Costa Rica to Miami endured a seven-hour delay on Tuesday due to some pretty unusual circumstances.

According to a report from travel news site View from the Wing, the flight crew was robbed at gunpoint while they were en route from their hotel to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) near San José.

Per the report, the perpetrators littered debris on the road, and when the driver stopped to clear a path, the thieves entered the vehicle brandishing weapons.

American Airlines confirmed the news in a statement to View from The Wing:

“We are aware that our crew members unfortunately fell victim to a crime while en route to Juan Santamaría International Airport (SJO) on March 16,” said American Airlines spokesperson Sarah Jantz.

“Our security team is in close contact with local law enforcement and have acted quickly to implement enhanced measures to ensure the safety of our team members.”

We reached out to Costa Rica’s Public Security Ministry (MSP) and the Judicial Investigation Police (OIJ), but neither could provide more information about the events.

Costa Rica is generally a safe destination for visitors, though the U.S. State Department last year issued a Level 2 travel advisory for the country due to crime.

“While petty crime is the predominant threat for tourists in Costa Rica, violent crime, including armed robbery, homicide and sexual assault, occurs in Costa Rica,” the U.S. State Department advisory reads. “The Costa Rican government provides additional security resources in areas frequented by tourists.”

Following a lengthy delay in Costa Rica, the American Airlines flight eventually made it safely to its South Florida destination.

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