San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Travelers Suffer Delays at Airports

Immigration authorities this week lamented an overheated computer server that caused hours-long waits for tourists this weekend at DanielOduberInternationalAirport in the northwestern Guanacaste capital of Liberia.

Immigration’s computer system at the Liberia airport went down at about noon Saturday, forcing passengers to have to wait up to an hour and a half under the hot summer sun, according to the daily La Nación.

The computer crash also caused a chaotic traffic jam of planes waiting to land and take off as well as vehicles waiting to transport passengers to and from the airport.

Immigration Director Mario Zamora told La Nación his administration has consulted several private businesses about loaning the airport an air conditioner to keep the server from overheating while Immigration goes through the process of buying and installing one, which could take as long as three months.

During the past two weeks, the server has been going down periodically, according to the Liberia terminal’s director Rosales Analive, who charged that neither Civil Aviation nor the Public Works and Transport Ministry (MOPT) have taken responsibility for badly needed improvements to the airport, such as additional space indoors for passengers to wait.

The National Tourism Chamber (CANATUR) Wednesday released a statement denouncing the long lines, delayed flights and inadequate customer service at the airport. The chamber called for the government to “pay attention to these irregularities” before Easter Holy Week, a busy travel week early next month.

Meanwhile, The Tico Times Monday morning received reports of lines leading up to the security check at Juan Santamaría International Airport, just northwest of San José, snaking out the door and down the street while officials frantically offered passengers $400-600 vouchers to take a later flight. Alterra Partners, the airport’s administrator, did not return phone calls for comment.


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