Juan-Santamaria-Alajuela
San Jose airport. File photo.

Airlines tell you to be at the airport at least three hours prior to departure. But that wasn’t enough for a passenger who spent 3 hours in detention by Costa Rica’s airport police (Servicio de Vigilancia Aérea – SVA) and the Ministry of Security (Ministerio de Seguridad Pública – MSP), missing his flight.

It took a writ of Habeas Corpus filed with the Constitutional Court by the man, who refuted the attitude of the San Jose airport authorities.

The passenger, whose identity and nationality was not revealed in the statement by the Court, was detained due to contents of his carry-on. However, the hours passed and no one told him his offence. Finally he missed his flight.

“I was never informed of what offence I had committed, they kept me for more than 3 hours in detention, restricting my freedom of movement and therefore missed my flight,” said the Constitutional Court statement.

According to the statement, the magistrates felt that law enforcement authorities had other less drastic options to resolve the matter without warranting detention.

Apparently, the man had in his carry-on various liquids and gels not permitted aboard the aircraft.

The incident occurred last month, the Court statement was issued on June 24.