Review: United Airlines B737-8, Houston – Liberia

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The first leg of our journey was on the first flight of the day between Vancouver International Airport and the United hub, George Bush International Airport in Houston, Texas, United States of America.


This post is one chapter on our trip to Costa Rica. This trip was booked and credited to Air Canada Aeroplan and Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy). For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: United Airlines B737-8, Houston – Liberia

After departing the United Lounge Concourse E, George Bush International Airport, it was a short walk to the departing gate in the bright and spacious “E” concourse. My son proclaimed to the gate agent “I’m headed to Costa Rica!!!” with only the thrill that could be had of a new world traveler. The gate agent couldn’t have looked more dis-interested, probably having heard such a comment a hundred times over during a day of work.

United Gate Mazes
IAH flight boards
United Airlines
Economy Class
IAH-LIR (Houston George Bush Intercontinental – Liberia Daniel Oduber Quiros International)
UA 1510 – Economy Class (V)
5:43 PM – 8:17 PM
August 25, 2013
Booked: Boeing 737-800
Flown: Boeing 737-800

It was a super light load with perhaps 60 seats filled on the Boeing 737-800 service down to LIR. The service on board was straight forward with the usual buy on board and drink services being offered.

We arrived to a completely dead and generally closed Liberia airport on arrival. In 2012, Costa Rica had recently invested $35 million in a new airport terminal for Liberia so the facilities were spacious, if not a little sparse at times. We cleared Immigration with a green stamp entry stamp for 20 days, and arrived into a non air conditioned baggage hall.  

Baggage Claim at Costa Rica Airport

The daylight saving time was not recognized inn Costa Rica so the clocks went back one hour from Houston. 

On our way out, all our bags were X-Ray’d at Customs before we hit the door. Crossing International borders by plane, my son was a little worried that the Costa Rican’ Custom’s officials were going to seize his Nerf rocket projectile gun, not fully understanding of the food and drug checks usually associated with Customs Inspections. Walking into the public area, it was pretty dark. There wasn’t anywhere to eat on the public arrival side of the airport and nothing really seemed close to pick up any snacks for the road. There were lots of advertising signs for a Hilton Garden hotel across the road from the airport which we saw was not walking distance with bags.

In closing:

The service down from Houston to Costa Rica with United Airlines was another no nonsense affair. Perhaps the only minus is that this International service is on narrow body aircraft instead of a nice wide body plane and all the comfort and stability that a large plane offers. Aside from that, United Airlines can be counted on to offer consistent and reliable, if not a little boring service, to get you to your destination.


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