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Airfare deals are typically only available on limited dates. We recommend that you use Google Flights to find dates to fly, then book through an online travel agency, such as Orbitz, which allows you to cancel flights without penalty by 11pm Eastern Time within one day of booking. Remember: Fares may disappear quickly, so book right away and take advantage of Orbitz’s courtesy cancellation if you’re unable to travel.
If you opted not to pull the trigger on yesterday’s $321 fare to Costa Rica, you’re in luck. Fares from at least one major US city have dropped below $200 round-trip. You can fly nonstop from Newark to Liberia, Costa Rica for just $193 in January and February of 2016, but there’s a catch: You may need to begin your travel at Philadelphia’s 30th Street Amtrak Station (ZFV) — which is great if you live in Philly, but could through a wrench in the works if you’re planning to depart from NYC, instead.
You might not be familiar with ZFV — it’s the airport code for Philly’s Amtrak hub, and if you use this as your origin, United will pair Amtrak segments with nonstop flights from Newark (included in the fare). To begin travel, you need to take Amtrak from Philly to Newark Airport and transfer to your flight, but you can generally call United to drop the Amtrak segments whenever there’s an Amtrak schedule change — and with these flights not available until early next year, there will almost certainly be an Amtrak schedule change before you depart — at which point you can simply drop that segment and begin travel at EWR.
As a reminder, Liberia (LIR) is the gateway to Costa Rica’s Pacific coast, located just 30 minutes from hotels in Papagayo, including Westin and JW Marriott resorts. Or you can fly to San Jose for $250 round-trip.
Route(s): ZFV to LIR
Booking Link: Orbitz
Here are a few examples of what you can book:
Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to Liberia, Costa Rica for $193 in January on United (earns 4,372 PQMs):
Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to Liberia, Costa Rica for $193 in February on United (earns 4,372 PQMs):
Philadelphia (Amtrak station) to San Jose, Costa Rica for $250 in January on United (earns 4,402 PQMs):
Maximize Your Purchase
Don’t forget to use a credit card that earns additional points on airfare purchases, such as the American Express Premier Rewards Gold or Citi Prestige (3x on airfare) or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (2x on all travel purchases). Check out this post for more on maximizing airfare purchases.
If you’re able to score one of these tickets, please share the good news in the comments below! Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.