Liberia Airport Exit Taxes

Liberia Airport Exit Taxes (Exit Tax)

NOTE – If you’re traveling by land the departure tax is completely different.

In Costa Rica for decades the departure or exit tax ($29 per person) was paid at a counter in the airport at check-in. Now it is probably included in the ticket price depending on when you purchased tickets and which airline.
Departure Tax Breakdown
The new system including the tax in tickets was announced in November of 2014 but airlines adopted it slowly and sporadically some passengers still must pay at the counter – probably continuing through 2017. See Examples & Is It Included?
Don’t Pay Twice!
Airlines do not have access to individual fare breakdowns which are more accurate. It is up to individual travelers to determine if they paid in advance. Unfortunately once travelers board the flight there is no mechanism for refunds that we are aware of.
If the exit tax is included on your ticket go to check-in not the departure tax counter.
Paying the Departure or Exit Tax at the Airport
If the departure tax for Costa Rica was not included in your airline tickets it must still be paid in cash (U.S. dollars, Costa Rican Colones or a mix) or by credit card (extra fees apply for credit cards) before you check in at the airline counter for your flight.
The tax is $29 per person (infants and children too whether they are occupying a seat or not).

Passengers boarding at San Jose Airport
Most of the tax goes into the general fund of the Costa Rican government but some is used to improve airports, provide security and pay for marketing campaigns to try to attract more visitors…
Paying the Exit Tax in Advance
You may pay your departure tax in advance by presenting your passport at participating hotel and resort’s front desk. Generally the hotels will charge you a service fee of $2 to $10 per person and accept the same methods of payment as at the airports.
Increases in the Costa Rica Departure Tax
In mid-June 2016 the president issued a decree raising the tax from $29 to $31 with the increase earmarked for animal welfare. Apparently no one could figure out how to collect the extra $2 so a few days later the executive branch announced that the decree was on hold indefinitely for further study.
The legislature is also working on a bill to increase the tax by $4 to support the Costa Rican Olympic team…stay tuned…

There’s a secret office for paying your departure tax at LIR. Never seen a line at Banco Lafise east of the check-in gates.

Departure Tax Examples & Is It Included?

There are several reasons to figure out if the departure tax is included in your airfare or not.
If you’re looking for the best airfares you need to know that some include the extra $29 and some do not. If it’s not included you will have to pay it later increasing the effective fare.
If you don’t know it has already been included you may pay it twice (once in the ticket and again at the airport).
If it is included you can leave for the airport 15-30 minutes later because it’s one less line you have to wait in.
There’s No Simple List – You Have to Look At Your Ticket
Because different airlines started collecting the tax at different times and collected it sporadically it’s not possible to make a list of airlines and “safe” dates for inclusion. Many people have told us their airline’s customer service phone representatives have no idea what the tax is or how to help.
The Asociación de Líneas Aéreas lists the following major airlines as collecting the tax as part of the ticket price as of March 2017
Aeroméxico
Air Canadá
Air France
Alaska Airlines
American Airlines
British Airways
Condor
Copa
Delta
Edelweiss
Iberia
Interjet
Jetblue Airways
LACSA
Southwest
Taca Airlines
United Airlines
US Airways

…since they don’t indicate when the airline began adding the tax it’s impossible for you to be sure that just because they’re collecting now they were collecting when you purchased your tickets.
The only way to be sure you’ve paid is the look at the taxes and fees listed on your fare breakdown.
It Probably Won’t Say “Costa Rica Exit Tax”
That would be too simple. Each airline appears to have its own lingo but if your round trip tax total for flights from the U.S. is roughly $130 it probably is included and if the total is $100 it probably is not.
There are a couple of examples below of fare breakdowns. None of them list a “departure tax” or any single tax that is equal to the $29 total normally paid at the departure tax desk.
United lists “International Boarding Tax” and “Costa Rica Baggage Inspection Fee” totaling $29 – these are the departure tax.
American airlines also seems to be collecting the tax but their nomenclature is even harder to decipher. It seems that the $29 is listed as “Other Taxes” plus a “Sierra Leone – Immigration Fee” these are the departure tax. Obviously the itinerary doesn’t go anywhere near Sierra Leone and they’ve either made a mistake or are just using this as a bizarre placeholder. A reader who’s flying Delta wrote to tell us that the departure tax is included on his tickets and labeled “B1”
You’ll need to carefully inspect the tax breakdown on any tickets you purchase or consider purchasing.
United (included)
total $130.93
September 11th Security Fee $5.60
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge $4.50
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge $4.50
U.S. Transportation Tax $17.70
Costa Rica Tourism Arrival Tax $15.00
Costa Rica Security Fee $1.52
U.S. Transportation Tax $17.70
International Boarding Tax $27.00
Costa Rica Baggage Inspection Fee $2.00
Costa Rica Security Fee $1.52
Costa Rica Common Area User Charge $6.29
U.S. Customs User Fee $5.50
U.S. Immigration User Fee $7.00
U.S. APHIS User Fee $5.00
September 11th Security Fee $5.60
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge $4.50
United Airlines Total Adult Tax $130.93
American (included)
total $130.93
U.S. Security Fee $11.20
U.S. Passenger Facility Charge $13.50
Costa Rica-Tourism Arrival Tax $15.00
Sierra Leone-Immigration Fee $2.00
Other Taxes $27.00
Costa Rica-Intl Security Fee $3.04
U.S. Transportation Tax $35.40
U.S. Aphis User Fee $5.00
U.S. Customs User Fee $5.50
Costa Rica-Common Area User Charge $6.29
U.S. Federal Inspection Fee $7.00

Summary

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