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Posted by on Jun 15, 2013 in Costa Rica, Tips, Travel | 10 comments

Flying Business Class can Make Economic Cents

Flying Business Class can Make Economic Cents

We have been in Costa Rica for a total of 3 weeks now. A  family emergency caused us to return to the States for 2 weeks right at our 1-week mark in country and we have been back for 2 weeks. During these 3 weeks we have learned so much about the tico people/culture, about our town of Grecia and living in a foreign country. I thought a good start to this blogging gig would be to share some of the things we have learned. For this post and the next 2 blog posts I will write about 3 things we have learned in our first 3 weeks of living in Costa Rica.

Why Fly Business Class?

Love to FlyWhen we decided to move to Costa Rica we quickly determined that we did not want to ship our entire household there. We had spent years accumulating “stuff” and part of this process was to eliminate as much clutter as possible and with the exception of Jen’s grand piano and our dog this process was painless and in fact liberating. In the end we ended up with about a pallet worth of stuff that we were going to ship. We received 3, not so different, quotes from 3 different shippers and they all came between $2500 – $3000 for a 4’ x 4’ x 5’ pallet. This did not fit the budget we had planned for; our initial research suggested about $1500 for a pallet. So, we began looking at paring down a bit more and looking at shipping our stuff via checked luggage.

We had already purchased our tickets on American Airlines and after a bit of research we determined that we could take, per person; 1 carry on, 1 personal item such as a purse or a backpack and 5 checked on suitcases (50#’s or under). For the checked on items the breakdown was; 1st bag free, 2nd bag $40 and bags 3 – 5 were $150 each. So, if we maxed out we could take 14 pieces of luggage (inclusive of carry on items) for just under $1,000. In the end we took 7 checked on pieces of luggage for a total cost of $530. Yeah – under budget.  What a deal, right?

After some additional research it turns out we could have done this differently and achieved a better result both in cost and comfort. It turns out for $150 per ticket (one way) we could have upgraded to Business Class. The benefits of Business Class are not confined to not having to sit next to someone you don’t know in tight quarters or the extra leg room for my 6’3” frame; the additional advantages are you get 3 free checked on bags AND those bags can weigh 70#’s each as opposed to the economy class’ #50 weight limit. With the extra weight limit we could have moved things around and fit into 6 (FREE) checked on bags and spent $300 extra for the upgrade instead of $530 for the bags.  I doubt we will be traveling anywhere with 9 total pieces of luggage again, but this tip may help you some day.

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Hasta Luego,


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Greg Seymour is a quitter. At 41 Greg and his wife Jen quit their jobs, sold damn near everything they owned and became Intentionally Unemployed and retired early to Costa Rica.
In addition to writing on this blog, Greg has written for other online publications and has written two popular books about living in Costa Rica:
Greg Seymour Amazon Author Page

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  1. That is great to know! I wish I would have heard about that before I moved!!!!!! It would have solved many problems and countless times weighing my bags and getting rid of more stuff (that I had to rebuy for double when I got here!).

    • I wish I would have known as well – I guess better late than never will hopefully help someone in their move.

  2. That is good to know, Thanks.

    • Thanks Joe.

  3. Hey Grega Rica,

    Nice first post. I always wondered how poeple get their stuff over when they go abroad. I also wondered about the cost. Thanks for posting this! I bet you are enjoying coffee in the hills as we speak.

    • Thanks Rob. There are different ways to ship based on the amount of stuff you are bringing. If you have a whole house worth of stuff you can fill a container or half container. In our case the options were pallet by boat or air cargo or in suitcases. Suitcases made the most sense. Yes, coffee on the patio every morning.

  4. Thats some great info. Would you happen to know any info on a container. I have children and think i will need to bring my furniture and stuff. I am trying to be in C.R. this time next year.

    • Natasha, I am no expert on shipping a container as that was never part of our research. I would suggest posing the question on the Expatriates in Costa Rica FaceBook Group. If you have not joined it, do, there is a great wealth of information.

  5. Holà Gregorio,

    I discovered your site this morning and I’m leaving on Wednesday. I’m glad I did though and I’m gonna read it all, because I also would like to retire here or at least, spend my winters in the sun.

    I have been here since Feb. 15, rented a house in the neighbourhood of Quepos and had a wonderful time. So I will continue reading and will probably have questions later.

    Hasta luego



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