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Nervous about US Airways flight San Diego to Phoenix to SJO, Costa Rica!

Nervous about US Airways flight San Diego to Phoenix to SJO, Costa Rica!

Old Dec 5th, 2010, 11:18 PM
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Nervous about US Airways flight San Diego to Phoenix to SJO, Costa Rica!

We booked our flights to Costa Rica on US Airways for our January anniversary trip to Costa Rica. I'm nervous! US Airways wasn't my first choice, but my husband liked the price, and the total flight time was relatively short. We fly San Diego to Phoenix, AZ to SJO, Costa Rica, and we only have 1 hour between flights at the Phoenix airport.

I would have preferred flying American Airlines and connecting in Dallas. But that costs more and total flight time is longer.

Now I'm worried, but of course the tickets are nonrefundable. I don't like flying, so normally I prefer a longer time between legs of a flight...having only 1 hour at the Phoenix airport makes me worry about missing the 2nd flight, feeling rushed, or arriving in Costa Rica without our luggage.

Can anyone share their recent experiences with flying US Airways, especially if you have flown San Diego to Phoenix, AZ to SJO Costa Rica? (with a 1-hour stop in Phoenix)

The last time I flew US Airways was several years ago, and that was to the east coast. I much preferred the return flight on JetBlue. But of course we can't get to Costa Rica on JetBlue unless we went far out of our way.

Well I'm hoping US Airways gets us and our luggage to Costa Rica. Maybe I will be pleasantly surprised. Or looking on the bright side, since they are going to lose our luggage that means I don't need to pack anything.
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 05:21 AM
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I think you have to have some faith that, nearly all the time, these connections work out just fine. They wouldn't offer such an itinerary if it weren't possible to make the connection for you and your luggage. Remember that there are no international formalities for you leaving the United States. Coming back, you'll go through immigration and customs in PHX and I hope you have more than one hour on your return. But on your way to Costa Rica, you'll just walk to your connecting gate. That's it.

If something happens the day of your trip that the weather is bad and you are delayed out of San Diego, well, deal with that then. Don't worry about that for the next month. You have a nice trip coming up and you'll have a great time. Focus on that.
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 05:48 AM
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Relax connexions there are seamless it is one of their hubs

so they will even hold the SJO for the SAN flight

very doubtful you will miss...

still www.insuremytrip.com is always wise

for me Amex Global TRavel Shield from $1/day

provides me with good cover and most importantly

feelings of peace and security while traveling

So relax no worries odds are overwhelming you

will be just fine.
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 08:07 AM
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Hopefully the flights are out of the same terminal. I try to avoid Phoenix after a few experiences of running through the airport to make US Airways connections at opposite ends.

If they are not in the same terminal I would see if I could arrange one of those golf cart shuttle transfers for mobility impaired.
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 10:26 AM
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I've flown US Air Seattle thru Phoenix to Puerto Vallarta a bunch of times. I have never had a bad experienced. 1 hour is enough on the way down, because that should normall be just a gate-to-gate transfer in the same part of the airport. Be sure you have more time on your returning flight though, because you've got to do immigrations and customs, and change terminals, and Phoenix is a big spreadout airport.
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 10:29 AM
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Flights are not out of the same terminal......and sometimes it involves a sprint. I took that same flight (Reno to Phoenix, and hour in Phoenix, Phoenix to San Jose, CR), and while it wasn't a leisurely go potty, get a latte, do some shopping layover, we made it. I have also cut it close in Phoenix on USAir with a 45 minute layover enroute to Cabo, but *so far* have made it!
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 03:31 PM
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I'm with Jeff. There is no control over this, therefore pointless to worry about it. Most of the time, it works out fine. If something quirky happens, you can deal with it then. There just isn't any other way to keep your sanity. You've gotta do the big chill!
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 04:22 PM
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Thanks for the correction, tenthumbs. I have always just had to walk across the hall on the transfer going down.
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 04:54 PM
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Jeff_Costa_Rica: Thanks your nice, logical, and hopeful answer! I am now trying to turn my focus away from worrying about the flight...and trying to plan fun things like...how we will get up to see the beautiful Poas volcano area at the end of our trip. 8-)

qwovadis: As a matter of fact I was just going to look at travel insurance on insuremytrip.com ! I have used TravelGuard previously, but never had to submit a claim. I am curious about why you prefer Amex Global Travel Shield? Do you book that also on insuremytrip.com or is it a benefit that comes with your credit card? Thanks for the optimistic note.

mlgb: Oh boy I hope we don't get assigned to opposite terminals. My husband could easily run but I would be a lot slower at present as I have a tender spot on bottom of my foot. (capsulitis I think. it comes and goes.) I've never ordered one of those golf cart shuttle transfers before for the mobility impaired...as usually I can walk just fine. I can walk or hike just fine for at least 1 hour even with a sore foot...and if I'm lucky like I was in Switzerland, I can sometimes handle an all-day hike. The tender spot comes and goes. The doc told me never ever to walk barefoot on a hard surface again...but I didn't believe him til now!

suze: Thanks...I think you are probably right....I think its just a gate change on the way to Costa Rica...but on the way back it's more complicated...fortunately on the way back we do have 2 hours. Also I don't tend to get so nervous about missing connections when I'm flying home...I'm more worried about getting to Costa Rica. From what everyone says it sounds like we will be ok. We also called the airline and they said the gates haven't been assigned yet for the flight to Costa Rica...they didn't say anything about changing terminals. Keeping fingers crossed!

shillmac: I guess I do things backwards. I worry ahead of time. Then if and when something happens, I'm usually one of the calmest people around, because I've already done my worrying ahead of time so it's hard to take me by surprise...I've already imagined the worst!

You all have helped me as always...thanks so much! I couldn't travel without Fodors, the fodors forums, and tripadvisor! I have managed to move beyond this worry partly by saying to myself..ok so I miss the connection in Phoenix...so what? What happens after that? By imagining how we would deal with that, I feel better actually. The worst thing that would happen is we would spend a lovely vacation in exotic Phoenix, and rent a car and drive home to San Diego and miss the trip to Costa Rica. Our luggage would go to Costa Rica without us and I would buy new luggage for my next trip. Well I can survive that so its ok! My adult kids fondly call me the family worrier...they said it's my job and I do it well!
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 10:46 PM
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As was pointed out above, you won't have time to have a leisurely lunch or go shopping during your hour layover, but I doubt you'll have to run. You'll walk to your gate even if it's in another terminal and you should have plenty of time. And you won't be spending your vacation in Phoenix either. You'll be in beautiful Costa Rica.
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Old Dec 6th, 2010, 10:47 PM
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You'd have a long distance to get from gate to gate if you went American through Dallas too.
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 05:00 AM
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Oh boy, that's the truth.
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 07:14 AM
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On the topic of fretting, we had a dear friend who seemed to obsess about every tiny detail, and seemed to be oblivious to the obvious solution to each problem. When she returned from a trip to Costa Rica, she compiled a Q&A for fretters. I have extracted a few of those questions that seem to apply to Bosque del Cabo, and submit them here with permission. Somehow, I don't feel that she was being alltogether serious, and hardly any of these points are relevant to the poster's questions.

Q: How do I know which side of the bed to sleep on?
A: Choose the side you sleep on at home.

Q: Which of the complimentary hiking sticks should I choose?
A: Pick one that coordinates with your outfit.

Q: Can we use the umbrellas we find in our cabinas?
A: Yes, if it's raining.

Q: What should I do if I encounter a taper on the trail?
A: Take it back to your cabina and light it when the lights go out.

Q: Ok, what should I do if I find a tapir on the trail?
A: Take its picture.

Q: If I find a puma with a thorn in its paw, should I pull it out?
A: No! This is a trick. They just love pink monkeys.

Q: Can people see me when I am using the outdoor shower?
A: Not easily. You may have to stand on a chair or something. Otherwise only the monkeys in the trees will know for sure, but watch out for pink monkeys.

Q: Is it a good idea to turn on all the lights when I get up during the night?
A: It depends on what you are wearing.

Q: Should I check the toilet for wildlife before using it?
A: If you want, but will see more wildlife from your porch.

Q: Will the mosquito net protect us against vampires?
A: Yes, except for the ones named Shirley or Leslie.

Q: If I zip up my duffel after each use, will it be free of scorpions?
A: Yes, unless you brought some from home.

Q: How do I avoid getting hit by a poison dart frog?
A: Stay out of range.

Q: No, I mean what do I do about the little frogs that have poison on their skin.
A: Skin them before you eat them.

Q: Since I can't use a hair drier, what should I do about my hair?
A: Don't get it wet.

Q: Where is the best place to vew monkeys?
A: Under them.
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 08:26 AM
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This is hysterical! Thanks for posting!!
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 10:06 AM
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LMAO! Love the pink monkeys.
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 01:53 PM
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Melissa, you may be fortunate and have the kind of karma suze does and simply have to walk down the hall, but I've always had to go from one end to the opposite.....something about domestic arrivals (from Reno) and international departures (to Mexico or Costa Rica) maybe they somehow know I need the exercise!! At any rate, spend your time planning your trip and the fun things you will do in Costa Rica instead of worrying about what might go wrong!
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Old Dec 7th, 2010, 03:25 PM
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Mine was the same, domestic arrival, international departure, and I most often walked from gate B2 to gate B8 or something like that. It's always been right across the way.

Return is entirely different where for THAT I have always had to sprint about 5 miles thru the Phoenix airport (only partly kidding).
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Old Dec 8th, 2010, 04:41 AM
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We should add to the Q and A:

Q: What do you do if you need to go to the bathroom on the Titi Trail?

A: Go ahead and go, but try not to squat in front of Aida's wildlife camera. And try not to squat for too long--you don't want to look like a peccary should a puma venture along.
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Old Dec 8th, 2010, 09:38 AM
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then I'm right, suze.....they must know I need the exercise!!
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Old Dec 8th, 2010, 09:25 PM
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Flights are not out of the same terminal

This is wrong, all USAir flights use Terminal 4. It's a big terminal with four sections (Southwest uses 2 wings, USAir uses A & B) but still the same terminal and you don't have to go thru screening a 2nd time. A & B are connected via a walkway with 'moving sidewalks', shouldn't take more than 15 minutes worst case.
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