The departure tax counter at the San José airport.
The departure tax counter at the San José airport is located to the right of entrance A.

QCOSTARICA – American Airlines, US Airways and Copa Airlines this week will be the first airlines in Costa Rica to include the airport departure tax on airline tickets.

According to a statement by the Asociación de Líneas Áreas (ALA) – Association of Airlines – starting next week, the three airlines will include the departure tax on all flights departing from June 15 onwards.

Costa Rica announced last December the change from charging passengers the departure tax at the airport counter, to including it in the ticket. But there have been delays, mostly to clearing up the exemptions, said ALA president, Rafael Sanchez.

The change is a welcomed one by the thousands of tourists who each day have to line up at the tax counter to pay the departure tax, prior to checking in at the airline counter.

The change also eliminates the option of some tourists to pay a surcharge at their hotel to avoid the line at the airport.

“The tax included in the ticket will mean less time in lines at the airport and we hope more (airlines) will incorporate the tax in the ticket,” said Costa Rica vice-president, Ana Helena Chacon.

The US$29 departure tax applies to every passenger, each time, leaving the country by way of the Juan Santamaría (San José) and Daniel Oduber (Liberia) airports. The departure tax was established by the “Ley Reguladora de los Derechos de Salida del Territorio Nacional”, of October 2002.

The tax revenue is used to finance the Consejo Técnico de Aviación Civil (Civil Aviation) and applied exclusively for the expansion and modernization of the country’s airports.

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