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Southwest Airlines Officially Launches Flights from Houston Hobby to Costa Rica

Costa Rica Travel – It is now less expensive for me to travel home to Houston than it is for me to take a trip to Nicaragua or Panama.  With round trip flights for about $250 with 2 checked bags it is going to be a good time to go pick up Christmas gifts.

Southwest airlines costa rica flightsDallas-based Southwest Airlines Co. (NYSE: LUV) has officially opened its international terminal at Hobby Airport.

The five-gate terminal, which opened Oct. 15, has been under construction since September 2013. It puts Houston in a rare class in the United States: Houston is now one of only three municipalities with two international airports in its boundaries.

The inaugural flight for the new international terminal will be to Cancun, Mexico. In addition, Southwest will fly regular flights to and from Aruba, Jamaica, Costa Rica, the Bahamas, Belize and other cities in Mexico.

Southwest Airlines will operate four out of the five gates, and the Houston Airport System will control the fifth gate. There’s been no indication as to who will use that fifth gate. All five gates are capable of handling domestic and international passengers.

The $156 million project is the first of its kind for Southwest Airlines, which has big intentions on growing its presence in the Houston market, CEO Gary Kelly has previously said.

The new terminal features an expansive new Southwest Airlines ticket counter, which opened Oct. 1, a new federal inspection station capable of handling 900 to 1,000 passengers an hour, five gates with the ability to build the terminal out to 12 gates if needed, new restaurants and bars, and art from local artists.

The new, 3,000-space parking garage next to the terminal will open partially around Thanksgiving, said project manager Bill Manning. The second half of the garage will open in 2016.

By Joe Martin, From Houston Business Journal, Edited by Dan Stevens

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