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Flying from LA to Costa Rica – Cheap Airline Flights from LAX to SJO

Updated on June 4, 2012

Cheap Flights From LAX to SJO

Finding advertised cheap flights from LA to Costa Rica is not very difficult. However, finding a cheap flight that is actually available from LA to Costa Rica is difficult. It is a frustrating, time consuming process and will leave you pulling your hair out. Even with flexible travel dates and I do mean flexible, you will still have a hard time finding cheap tickets from LA to Costa Rica. Oh sure you can find a quoted price that looks cheap when you see the first price. For example, using the Travelocity website I found a cheap flight from LA (LAX) to San Jose (SJO) Costa Rica for under $218 return, before taxes and fees. Wow!  Well hold your horses, when I tried to go through with the booking, the price more than doubled to $456.55. The other problem with this flight was that it involved an overnight stay. Cab fares and a hotel are going to add substantially to the cost of this cheap flight, not to mention the hassle of an overnight stay.

Striving for thorough research for this article, I continued with this booking, selecting the departure and return flights which Travelocity indicated were available seats. I was using extremely flexible dates and did select available seats. Then when I got to the part of the site that confirms your seats, prior to entering credit card information, I got this message “One or more of your flights cannot be confirmed with the participating airline. Due to heavy volume, some low fares sell out very quickly and one or more of your flights is no longer available at the fare you selected”. I am sure I am not the only one that gets this type of message. It is so frustrating and wastes so much time.

Cheap Flights - Lousy Connections

These lousy connections are the other frustrating function of finding a cheap flight from LA to Costa Rica. The cheap flight I found involved an overnight stay in Mexico City. The next cheap flight I found from LA to Costa Rica, involved an overnight stay in Charlotte, North Carolina on the return portion of the trip.

Travel Search Engines - Travelocity and Mobissimo

It is not Travelocity or the other travel search engines fault, it is the way the airline's are doing business. I like the service of Travelocity. I have booked travel and hotels with them many times and I feel confident that my booking is secure. Another travel search engine that I have started to use frequently when I am looking for information on cheap flights or good deals on hotels is Mobissimo. Mobissimo is based in San Francisco, their website aggregates the online results from over 180 consolidators, ticket vendors and online travel agencies and shows a comparison of the best deals found on the web. You select from the best rates and are redirected to that website. They do not charge a fee for this, they make their money by advertisements on their website. I find the Mobissimo website fast and easy to navigate. It does come up with some cheap flights not shown on some of the other travel search engines.

It's a good idea to compare flight ticket prices with Mobissimo and another travel search engine like Expedia or Travelocity. This will give you a general idea of what are the best deals available for your travel dates. As stated, you'll want to go through to the point where you can see what the ticket price will be with taxes and fees.

My suggestion for finding a Cheap Flight to Costa Rica from LA

After you have checked the travel search engines, go to Spirt Airlines website and enter your travel dates. I find that I can usually get a cheap flight to Costa Rica on the day or within a day or two of my desired departure date.  Also when you book with Spirit, most of the time they are running promotions, their most common promotion is $24 off round-trip tickets. Make sure you do take advantage of their promotions before you book a flight.

One thing that is important to note is that Spirit have started to put fees on carry-on baggage as well now on their flights. If you are not traveling light, you may end up finding Spirit is not the cheapest flight available. So be sure to consider what your luggage will cost with Spirit versus another airline.

Which Spirit Airlines flight to choose to get to Costa Rica?

The flight to Costa Rica goes through Fort Lauderdale where Spirit Air have their hub for all of their Latin American destinations. The flight to Costa Rica from Fort Lauderdale is in the morning, so it can involve an overnight stay in Fort Lauderdale. The way to avoid this is to choose the 11:35 PM departure out of LA. It will get you into Fort Lauderdale a couple of hours before your connecting flight. There is no security check again in Fort Lauderdale, so there is plenty of time for the connection. The flight gets into San Jose, Costa Rica at 11:40 AM.

Cheap Flight Under $500 to Costa Rica From LA

If you follow this suggestion you should be able to book a cheap flight from LA to San Jose Costa Rica for under $500 after taxes and fees. The one important point to also consider is how many bags you will be taking with you, because even though Spirit Air's tickets are cheap, they try to make up for it with the “extras”. If you can travel lightly, this is a good cheap way to get from LA to Costa Rica.

If you have found a good regular option to fly cheap to Costa Rica, please let me know in the comments section, and I will check it out and update this article if other cheap flights are suggested.

Santa Teresa Costa Rica

Costa Rica has many beautiful places to visit on your vacation. Santa Teresa and Mal Pais is an area of Costa Rica on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula that I highly recommend if you are looking for an adventure away from the overcrowded beach areas like Tamarindo or Playa Jaco.

In Santa Teresa and Mal Pais you will find a good selection of hotels and restaurants for every budget. The area is stunning in its raw beauty. Mal Pais borders the beautiful Cabo Blanco National Park.

Learn to Surf in Santa Teresa Costa Rica

There is a beach in Santa Teresa Costa Rica called Playa Carmen. This is one of the best beaches in the world to learn to surf. The waves are great year round. The surrounding area attracts surfers from all over the world for their world class waves. This area is great for surfers of all levels.

If you are new to surfing, check this out, How to Surf. Surfhow is a free on-line guide to surfing, complete with instructional surf videos.


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