Leaving Costa Rica by way of the Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO), known as the San Jose Airport, means long waits to your fight. Rules at the airport require check-in at the airline counter of at least one hour, though most airlines recommend two and even up to three hours.

At peak travel hours, you will most likely spend most of that time in line, if not at the airline counter given you have already pre-checked in or have no bags, Your VIP status means nothing at the police control and personal inspection. During other hours, from airline counter to gate can be less than 20 minutes.

The waiting areas of the terminal are quite comfortable. There is WiFi, shops and eateries. But if you want to take advantage of the downtime (waiting) to catch on work and social media nothing beats the VIP lounge.

There are three at the SJO: the VIP Lounge BAC Credomatic at Gates 19-20,  the VIP lounge Costa Rica at Gate 5, lower level and the Santamaria VIP at Gate 5 upper level.

What’s the difference? Let’s look at all three.

VIP Lounge BAC Credomatic

This lounge is for BAC Credomatic cardholders*. The lounge offers unlimited food and drinks, WiFi service, kid’s play zone, meeting rooms, restrooms and a BAC Credomatic kiosk.

All cardholders can enter with up to two companions, for more a fee of US$18 per person for additional companions. Without a BAC card, the fee is US$28 per visit.

The lounge is open Monday to Sunday from 4:00 am to 8:00 pm.

*The cards that have these benefits are: Platinum Card American Express, Miles Plus Mastercard Black, Miles Plus Visa Infinite, ConnectMiles Visa Infinite, AAdvantage Mastercard Black, ConnectMiles Visa Platinum, AAdvantage Mastercard Platinum, Win Platinum Master Awards, Win Platinum Visa Awards , Credomatic Platinum MasterCard Points, Platinum Credomatic Visa Points, Platinum CashBack Mastercard, Platinum CashBack Visa.

Complete regulation of this program can be found: www.baccredomatic.com 

VIP lounge Costa Rica

This lounge is exclusively for Star Alliance VIP passengers among others. This lounge offers hot and cold food and beverage stations. It has a restaurant and a la carte sushi bar. Unlimited drinks are offered to passengers with Star Alliance Gold status at the Bar.

It has high-speed Wi-Fi Internet, cable television and computers at your disposal. National magazines and newspapers. Printing and document scanning service, information on Copa flights. And in this lounge, you can purchase INS Travel Insurance.

Available to: Star Alliance affiliated airlines executive class passengers (United, Avianca, Air Canada and Copa); Frequent Star Alliance travelers, with Gold status, and their companion; MasterCard Black or Platinum cardholders from any bank or country; Platinum cardholders of Davivienda, Scotiabank, Promerica, Lafise, Improsa, Prival Bank, BCT and INS Medical.

For other passengers the VIP costs US$ 30 per day, includes a Panini Homero or two drinks.

The lounge is open Monday to Sunday from 4:00 am to 8:00 pm.

Santamaria VIP

This exclusive area for VIP passengers offers hot and cold drinks stations, as well as complimentary snacks and fruits. You will also find an à la carte restaurant and sushi bar, as well as an alcoholic beverage station, with cost on the menu.

It has high-speed Wi-Fi Internet, cable television and computers at your disposal. International magazines and newspapers.

Available to:

  • Avianca passengers in executive class or Life Miles
  • Iberia (with an invitation of the airline)
  • American Express Card (Credomatic, selected cards)
  • Star Alliance, Executive Class.

Any other passenger can use the VIP lounge for US$28.00

The lounge is open Monday from Sunday from 4:00 am to 8:00 pm.

For more information on VIP lounges at the San Jose airport, flight information (arrivals and departures), airline directory, and other useful airport information click here for English or Español.

Happy travels from the Q!