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Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

Westchester, New...
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Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

Just looked at my credit card statement. The departure tax at Liberia Airport was $28.58 when I left Dec 9. You are directed to a window to pay this, where, conveniently, they accept Credit Cards. BE AWARE this is not a credit card transaction.... it is processed as a CASH ADVANCE....which means, as I just discovered, my credit card charged me $10 plus interest!!! I am a pretty observant and alert traveller and was in no rush. I did not see any sign indicating this or I would have handed them the money in US cash!

I hope someone learns from my experience!

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Costa Rica
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51. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

No, you do not have to pay in that case. You have your boarding pass and you don't need to check in again and you don't need to pay any departure tax.

Gurnee, Illinois...
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52. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

Same happened here. However, I feel that the Bank PNC has blame also. I did not want to pay this $10 for the EXACT same reason and they said too bad it was a legit transaction. I don't know, when I say 'do you take credit cards?' I always thought the word credit meant exactly that...not cash. Shame on you PNC bank for once again stealing my money!

Costa Rica
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53. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

I don't think that Bank PNC is to blame. (I'm assuming this is your local bank.) Rather -- it's the way the transaction is handled by the Departure Tax desk. It is handled as a cash transaction. If your bank charges a fee for a cash transaction, then it is legitimate.

By the way, there are signs at the Departure Tax desk that say - if you use a credit card it will be treated as a cash transaction.

ontario
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54. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

I just checked my credit card statement and was charged $4 cash advance plus interest. Not too much money. Buy my credit card company says that other countries like Mexico also do this kind of thing. Who has time to read this when you want to get the heck out of there!!!

My airline or tour company should have told me this at the same time that they told me that I have to pay the departure tax. !!!!!

Costa Rica
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55. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

If you booked with a tour company, they certainly should have told you.

However, I don't agree that the airline should have told you. Really, you need to take some responsibility for yourself. International airlines fly to countries with all sorts of rules that change all the time. Are you willing to pay more for your ticket to hire the extra people just so you don't have to do some research on your own?

If you had spent 20 minutes on this forum, you would have known what to expect. You found this thread about Departure Tax after all.

Rochester, New York
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56. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

Same thing happened to me. I am writing to Costa Rican agencies involved in this along with tourist bureau to let them know this is deceptive. A clear sign advising of charge is needed. Costa Rica depends upon tourists and if enough complain they may do something.

Costa Rica
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57. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

Well, I just wish that Costa Rica would imbed this Departure Tax in the airline ticket. Then you could all complain to the airline about the rise in ticket prices rather than having to deal with this over and over again on this forum.

La Fortuna de San...
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58. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

I've been biting my tongue on this as I try to avoid negative topics, but this whole thread is ridiculous. How can anybody be so upset over $10? That's less than the average trip to McDonalds. How was your vacation?

With just a small amount of research before traveling you could have avoided this major expense as there are numerous threads on this topic in every forum. There are also signs at the airport that specifically state this is a cash advance and you will be charged $10.

Costa Rica
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59. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

I often wonder that, too, explorinCA. Why is there so much angst over a $10 charge as part of a $1500 vacation? And yes, with the tiniest of advance preparation, people will know about that. All the guidebooks and all the travel forums as well as travel blogs write about it and any travel agent that doesn't know it shouldn't be booking trips to Costa Rica.

Wayne, New Jersey
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60. Re: Costa Rica Departure Tax T R I C K ! Beware ! ! ! ! !

To answer why people are so upset over something that others (who did not have to pay) see as trivial. Everybody wants to think of themselves as a savvy consumer and does not to want to feel duped or mislead. IMHO, most of these people in this case are more embarrassed at missing something that I have seen clearly marked and need to cast blame about as cover. Thou doth protest too much!

In all cases involving tax, whether here or paying local taxes on-line, the taxing authority will NEVER absorb the credit card charges that are passed to all other vendors. There are only two ways to avoid this: Add a surcharge of ~3%, as my local tax authority does for online payments, or treat it as a cash advance, where the consumer pays the fees.

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