Review: United Airlines B737-7, Liberia – Newark

The first leg of our journey home was a trip via the East Coast of the United States from Liberia, Costa Rica to Newark, New Jersey, USA.


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 B737-7, Liberia – Newark

Before we knew it, it was sadly time to return home. It’s never fun to leave after a holiday but it’s something that comes with the anticipation of getting home.

Transferring to the Airport:

We used the hotel transfer services again from Servicios Rizo from the hotel to the airport. As the hotel is well on the gated golf course property, and behind a security gate, there weren’t a lot of taxi’s lined up for guests (or other obvious cheaper options available). MrsWT73Jr was sick upon arrival at the airport. He wasn’t sick from the driver’s driving style, but likely because he was in the middle of the van and the paved roads were no where near as smooth as the highways in North America. The highways seemed to be not always engineered properly with uneven paved surfaces filled with boggy drops causing an uncomfortable bouncing along the way. 

Headed Back to the Airport
Airport Statues of Daniel Oduber Quiros

Arriving to the Liberia Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport:

We walked into the air conditioned terminal and got a bit surprised with the airport tax. Liberia still requires payment “in advance of check in” of airport tax $29 USD per passenger. The collection of the Departure tax was sponsored by a local bank and payment required prior to entering the check in queues. Of course, this caused a massive amount of passengers blocking the check in queues while the airport ground staff checked departure tax receipts, and so any efforts of getting through the queues without tripping over people confused about the non signed process was non existent. The departure tax accepted Visa and MC (No Amex) but strangely was charged as a cash advance instead of a purchase. We scrounged up $87 US Cash for the three of us to avoid paying unnecessary cash advance interest thankfully. 

In exchange for the departure tax, the Liberia Daniel Oduber Quiros International airport at Liberia was in good condition. It was much nicer than many of the touristy airports that I have traveled to. 

This was first time in my worldwide traveling career that I have checked in anywhere underneath a beautiful cow motif. 

Checking In Under Cows

United checked us in for both of our flights, with bags tagged to Vancouver and Air Canada boarding passes issued on United ticket stock. 

No lounges here on the secure or public sides with only a Quizno’s, a tiny hidden duty free shop near gate 1 & 2, and two giant Café Britt shops monopolizing the secure airside portion of the concourse. 

Lean Departures Board for Departing Flights

Since there was no lounge, and we’d just gotten word of a 2 hour flight delay, we opted for a sit down lunch at the Café Players. It’s a good thing I whipped out the xe.com calculator. This was the most expensive airport lunch that I’d had in a while. Even the outdoor menu had it’s prices hidden. 

The Players Cafe – Liberia

Player’s Cafe – Liberia
Full Menu with Hidden Prices

Lunch was cheaper in the Maldives at the Mahe airport last year where food is outrageously expensive due to the transportation cost. Today’s lunch was $95 USD for 2 beers, a Pepsi and three entrees.

First World Airport Prices

We hung out here as long as we could and eventually made it to the gate, which had another pleasant animal providing “overwatch”.

United Gate Area – Gate 4
United Airlines
Economy Class
LIR-EWR (Liberia Daniel Oduber Quiros International – Newark Liberty International Airport)
UA 1446– Economy Class (V)
1:11 PM – 8:25 PM
August 25, 2013
Booked: Boeing 737-700
Flown: Boeing 737-700

On board, we settled into the United 3 – 3 economy configuration. We were seated over the wings today, which made for a comfortable ride back.

Waiting to Depart at LIR
Last sights of the new LIR airport

As we departed the airport, we passed by the lonely Hilton Garden Inn at LIR.

A Hotel in the Middle of a no where field
Lush Greens on the Climb over Guanacaste

United was nice enough to turn on the Direct TV to all on account of the delay, so that kept my son entertained. 

Views of the Costa Rican’ Coastline on the climb to cruise altitude

We had a pleasant flight up the eastern sea board, passing over Cuba and had a nice sunset on the way up.

Moving Map on our way home over the Carribean
A Dark Cabin on the way back
Sunset Views looking Eastward

We had a few thunderstorms on the way back but otherwise an uneventful return back through the USA. 

Arriving to Newark International Airport:

We arrived at Newark and zipped through US Customs with Global Entry. My son pronounced “Holy guacamole!” when he saw the number of US customs wickets at Newark Liberty International Airport. The immigration lines were pretty much dead and fortunately, the GE kiosk even was able to register my nine year old’s fingerprints through his Nexus application. The talking holograph face on the public side of the arrivals hall as you exit was also entertaining.

My thoughts on our United Airlines flight:

The service back to the americas from Costa Rica to Newark with United Airlines was another pretty straight forward affair. The Liberia Costa Rica airport was much better than I expected, along with an airport tax and prices to match.

Like on the way down, 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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