Sansa Air Warning

Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 02:26 PM
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Sansa Air Warning

Just back from Costa Rica, with a hairy travel tale re: Sansa Air. We had a confirmed reservation on Sansa at 11:45 a.m. yesterday from Quepos to San Jose, a half hour flight, leaving plenty of time to arrive for for our 2:30 p.m. flight from San Jose to San Salvador, then home from there to Boston. We arrived at the Quepos airport at 11:00, everything seemed fine until the Sansa manager there told us there were too many people for the 12-seater plane. He filled it up, but told us not to worry, they were adding a flight, and the next flight would leave a few minutes later. I started to get nervous around 12:30, and told him about our next flight, and he said "no problem, the airport won't be crowded, you'll get there in plenty of time." Our "11:45" flight finally left at 1:00, arriving at 1:35. By the time we got to the other terminal, it was 1:45, 45 minutes before our scheduled departure on TACA, with a huge line of people awaiting check-in. I spoke to the woman taking checking our passports, who said there was nothing she could do. We got in line, and I went up to the front desk, explained the situation, and was told that the flight was full, and didn't include us, we should've been there two hours in advance, and to stay in line and they'd let us know what alternatives they could arrange for us when we got to the front of the line. About five minutes before takeoff, a TACA rep came through the line calling "Boston" and grabbed us, and helped us through security and onto the plane, with seconds to spare. Very stressful way to end the trip. So if someone, anywhere, tells you the next plane will be along "a few minutes later," make sure they know about your connections, and unless you have hours of wiggle room, make sure you're on the first plane.
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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 04:21 PM
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There is a strong point to be made here. Domestic travel in Costa Rica (whether it is by air, private transfer, rental car, or bus) should IDEALLY be scheduled the day before a connecting flight and not the day of. It just isn't worth the stress that occurs with a scheduling problem (or unexpected anything). This most likely holds true for all countries. There is plenty to do in and around San Jose itself to entertain oneself the evening before and the morning of "international flight day"!
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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 05:34 PM
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I agree with shillmac:
I would never fly from Tamarindo or quepos or Osa Peninsula on the same day to ctach at flight at San Jose, unless I had hours to spare and even then, I would not do it.
My flight left San Jose at 2 PM ,so on that morning,I went to Zoo Avenue near the airport , to kill the morning, but I was already in Alajuela.
Glad you got to Boston okay, hope you are not prone to Panic attacks!!!!!
percy

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Old Feb 22nd, 2004, 07:25 PM
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Ditto: We've had good luck with Sansa flying OUT of San Jose on same day of arrival, but would never schedule a flight the same day with a connecting flight back into San Jose and out of the country. Sansa flights are seldom on time and the lines at the main terminal out can be really LONG.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 09:14 AM
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Another post to make this point even stronger! I would not schedule both flights for the same day. If you had a travel agent, they would tell you the same. For one thing, domestic flights are rarely on time. For another, the weather in CR changes so quickly that an unexpected thunderstorm or strong wind could easily delay a domestic flight on a small airplane (even though big commercial airliners are flying).

There are a lot of places to stay within an easy driving distance of the SJ airport that are worth spending the night at anyway - we are usually able to relax, have a nice dinner and take it easy which is a great way to end the vacation.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 02:01 PM
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TACA..did you fly them out of Boston. Met the rep at the Travel Show and very impressed with their destinations.. Tempted to try them to fly where others don't.. How did you like them.
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Old Feb 23rd, 2004, 04:12 PM
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Yes, I flew TACA out of Boston and had no problems whatsoever. We flew from Boston to San Salvador, had only half an hour between planes and then flew LACSA (which I believe is somehow affiliated with TACA) from San Salvador to San Jose. They were all fine. And thanks to all who gave me advice about Sansa - definitely a learning experience.
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