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Earlier this year I visited the Andaz Papagayo in Costa Rica and fell in love with the “pura vida” lifestyle. Traveling there, I flew into Liberia Airport, though newly minted international airline Southwest just announced that they have plans to serve the countries’ other main airport, San Jose. Southwest Airlines is planning to launch new service to San Jose, Costa Rica next spring, which would begin March 7, 2015 between Baltimore (BWI) and Juan Santamaria International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica.
San Jose will be the newest destination for Southwest Airlines after the integration with AirTran Airways is completed by the end of the year. Southwest is in the process of adding several other international destinations, including Aruba, Nassau, Montego Bay, Cancun, Mexico City, San Los Cabos, and Punta Cana. Several of these cities were converted from AirTran destinations, but San Jose is completely new to the company altogether.
It’s an exciting time at Southwest Airlines, as they just unveiled their new look earlier this week. The Wright Amendment is also being lifted soon, so Southwest will be expanding their service from Dallas-Love Field. They were once known as the airline for short hop flights, but over the past several years that has been changing with the introduction of their 175 passenger Boeing 737-800 aircraft and new international destinations.
This is great if you have the Southwest Companion Pass, which you can earn by accumulating 110,000 Companion Pass eligible points or 100 one-way flights within a single calendar year, since it will mean another new destination you can fly to and bring your companion for free.
Tickets to Costa Rica are not yet available, as Southwest has to wait for approval from the Department of Transportation before it can start booking flights, but it will be interesting to try Southwest Airlines on some of these long-haul flights.
What are your thoughts of Southwest Airlines venturing into these new international markets?