Flights to Central America

(11 Posts)
bigTillyMint Fri 28-Feb-14 21:21:16

DH is trying to book flights to Costa Rica, but is a bit befuddled. On flights via tha US, do you have to collect baggage, get a visa and check in again for the onward flight?

dontyouknow Sat 01-Mar-14 14:22:08

I'm not sure quite what you have to do changing planes in the US but it may well be easier to change in Europe instead if you can. Do Iberia fly there (changing Madrid) - they fly quite a few places in latin america.

bigTillyMint Sat 01-Mar-14 15:19:22

Thats a good idea - I'll pass it on! He said via Canada might be doable. Apparently the shennamigans in the US needs 4 hoursshock

justabigdisco Sat 01-Mar-14 15:24:34

Yes if you are transferring in the US you need to get off, collect your bags and check in again (going through security). Transfers should allow enough time for this though.

justabigdisco Sat 01-Mar-14 15:24:48

I doubt you need a visa though.

bigTillyMint Sat 01-Mar-14 15:32:47

DH seemed to think it is some sort of visa type thing that costs £10 each. It's the time rather than the money!

He would be better off flying to Madrid from the UK and changing planes there to transfer to South America. Madrid is Iberia's main hub for Central and Southern America (they codeshare with BA). Advise him to look at Iberia's scheduled departures for South American from Madrid.

Using Madrid too would also save the time and hassle of transferring through the US which can take an absolute age (and yes he would need to complete an online ESTA application as well costing $14 US which is about £9 sterling).

bigTillyMint Sat 01-Mar-14 17:21:04

Right, that sounds like a possible plan, thanks.

It's actually for our summer holiday. We like to travel independently!

HermioneWeasley Sat 01-Mar-14 17:24:07

I second the Madrid idea

If you use a flight booker like dial-a-flight they are brilliant with advice on things like this.

Cuxibamba Sun 16-Mar-14 17:19:21

I agree about Madrid. I'm in Central/South America (not Costa Rica) and when I'm going to visit the UK next summer, we're stopping off there and transferring.

lessonsintightropes Tue 18-Mar-14 00:46:13

If you stick with the original plan, yes you need an ESTA and yes, you need to progress through immigration, pick up bags and re check in again. It's a total arse, we did this when flying to Costa Rica a couple of years ago and nearly missed our connection in Miami due to long queues (and only just managed it because a nice queue managing lady took pity on us). Definitely better to do another option if possible.

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