Review of Sansa Airlines flight Liberia San José in Economy

Airline Sansa Airlines
Flight RZ5745
Class Economy
Seat 4B
Aircraft Cessna 208
Flight time 01:00
Take-off 15 Mar 24, 19:40
Arrival at 15 Mar 24, 20:40
RZ 2 reviews
jettoajet
By GOLD 184
Published on 28th March 2024

intro


This was a fun flight so I will try to make this a fun report😜.

For the next portion of my LATAM adventure, I had to find a way to re-position from Liberia to San Jose to catch a flight with Volaris to Bogota the next morning. The only option when it comes to flying is with Sansa which in turn causes a monopoly on all prices (more on that later). However, what is cool about it is that the plane taking me to San Jose would be a Cessna Caravan, and I hadn't flown one since I was in Africa 13 years ago!

Well, this flight certainly didn't disappoint. From seeing the runway when landing, to hearing the propellor on the Caravan, to rattling through the rough air on approach; it was so much fun! 


routing


Routing

  • AS1330 - Economy - Los Angeles → Liberia - Boeing 737-900ER Past
  • RZ 5745- Economy- Liberia- San Jose- Cessna Caravan You are here
  • Q64102- Economy- San Jose- Bogota- Airbus A319 Coming soon
  • AV105- Economy- Bogota- Cusco- Airbus A320neo Coming soon
  • AV105- Economy- Cusco- La Paz- Airbus A319 Coming soon
  • LA890- Economy- La Paz- Santa Cruz- Santiago- Airbus A320 Coming soon
  • LA750- Economy- Santiago- Sao Paulo- Airbus A321 Coming soon
  • LA3338- Economy- Sao Paulo- Rio De Janeiro- Airbus A321 Coming soon
  • G31033- Economy- Rio De Janeiro- Sao Paulo- Boeing 737-700 Coming soon
  • LA715- Business- Sao Paulo- Santiago- Boeing 787-9 Coming soon
  • LA602- Business- Santiago- Los Angeles- Boeing 787-9 Coming soon

how i booked


From what I am aware of, Sansa Airlines doesn't offer any mileage awards when it comes to booking flights. With Sansa having a monopoly, this short flight cost me 157$ one way from Liberia- San Jose. Yes, this is expensive for such a short flight, although I was flying on a Cessna Caravan so I would do it again in a heartbeat!


transiting liberia


After heading through immigration, which was brutal, to say the least (you can read about it at the end of my Alaska 737-900 review), I had to make my way outside of arrivals and back to check-in. 


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Thankfully, the Liberia airport is small, so it only took a couple of minutes to get there. The departure area was deserted at this hour as most flights leave by 4 pm minus one to Canada at 7 pm.


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check in


With Sansa being the only true flag carrier operating out of Liberia (I believe), I was surprised to see that the check-in area had one desk on the very far right of the terminal.


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I made my way over to the solo desk, which had a solo agent.


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There was no line at this hour as the flight was still 2 and a half hours away from departure.


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around liberia airport


After immigration, I was petrified that the line to get through security would be just as long. Once again, it was empty!


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Okay, here's a quick note for anyone flying through the airports here in Costa Rica. Everything is ridiculously expensive, absurd. Even worse than the USA! A ham and cheese croissant cost me $ 13$ and a bottle of water was $ 7$. At least in LAX, I got a ham and cheese croissant for 6$…


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Once quickly through immigration, I found a cozy spot to write blog posts and do some plane spotting. Am I flying on that PJ or the Caravan😉.


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A Sansa Caravan was taking off to SJO as I was plane-spotting.


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And remember that Air Transat Neo that was delayed…


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Around 5:40 pm, I headed down to gate 5, roughly an hour before departure. There was a white Sansa plane that was delayed heading over to SJO. I asked if I could get on but apparently, it was full 😰.


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As the sunset, no Sansa plane was in sight or on the descent, uh oh!


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No information was relayed to any of the passengers until 7 pm, 20 minutes after the scheduled departure. However, I could see on FlightAware where our plane was!


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Finally, at 7:15 pm our plane pulled into the gate, phew! I was getting worried there as I might have had to change all of my plans! 



She is a beauty, isn't she? Lit up at night, this might go toe to toe with the prettiest livery I have seen on an airplane. 


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boarding


Spirit Airlines, you might need to follow suit with what Sansa Airlines did during boarding. At 7:15 pm, the gate agents brought us outside and we waited by the boarding door as the inbound passengers offloaded. Within 10 minutes, the plane switched bags and passengers over. Seriously, Spirit, don't do this, we don't need more cost-cutting measures.

Let's take a look at our bird tonight, shall we?



There are no assigned seats much like with Air Tahiti, and sadly, I was the last to board😒 due to my mesmerization of this Caravan. Here's our tail number for today's flight.


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We made our way down the jetbridge, or should I say made our way up the steps of the flip-down door of the Cessna Caravan!😂


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Here's a better look at three steps that take you from the ground into this little metal tube. Wild to think that to get up a remote jetbridge to a 777 is about 30-50 steps but for this Caravan is about a 1/10th.


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the seat/cabin


Seats are laid out in a 1-2 configuration across 4 rows, so if you board early, you should be able to snag a window unlike me😳.

Our flight today was relatively full, with only two empty seats out of the 12. I opted for the last row since there was somewhat of a window, more on that in a bit.


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Frontier you better watch out, you better not cry, you better not pout I'm telling you why, Sansa's legroom is coming to town😉. The pitch was much better than I expected and was more comfortable for a short flight. High marks here, Sansa baby!


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Behind me was a small cargo hold for carry-ons. When you enter you drop your bags here, and when you leave, you pick them out of the "stocking". Am I really this excited for Christmas in March???

In case the sleigh (okay this joke made no sense) flew over your head, there are no overhead bins as the reindeer need to conserve their energy and the extra weight might tire them out. 


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Sansa is quite a safe airline, but in case of emergencies, there is an emergency exit behind row 4. 


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the flight


After getting the clearance from ATC, remember: he sees you when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake🙂, we headed out onto the Liberia runway. 


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As I mentioned, row 4 has a partial window view.

Liberia requires a back taxi, but since there were no other planes around at the time, we had no wait. 


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Eventually, the Cessna Caravan made it to the end of the runway where we did a sharp U-Turn.



We motored off from Liberia at 7:40 pm local time.


A Cessna Caravan is a light aircraft and can take off on short runways. We were airborne way before we even hit the terminal!


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For the first time in my life, I watched the lights reflect off of the wing. This now might be the coolest moment from a plane until a cooler moment later…


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The rest of the flight was uneventful. It was a pleasant evening to fly and climb up to 11,000 feet from what the captain said. There was no IFE entertainment, no USB plugs, and the only snack service consisted of a cliff bar I had in my pocket😅.

Until we started our descent at 8:20… Suddenly, we were being thrown around like a dryer when you stuff all of your sheets in at once!

All of those worried feelings went away when we lined up at 8:28, the runway came into sight.


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The most memorable aviation experience in my life came from a flight in Africa. They oversold the flight and put me in the First Officer's seat for a 2-hour flight. It was also the only time we ever diverted, due to a Zebras crossing the runway😅.

It was amazing to relive a similar experience here.


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Another quirk is how slow you fly compared to other jets when landing. 


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We touched down at 8:33 pm local time, quite a bit later than our scheduled time😂.


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After a few twists and turns we made it to the domestic terminal.


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De-planing was efficient, looking at all of the US carriers as it is the slow boat to Manila sometimes😩.

There were multiple different caravans located all over and being maintained.



A ground staff member was waiting to escort us all over to the terminal exit. It was a short walk, but my bag was broken!!!


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I called my Uber and made my way to the Airbnb I would stay at (more on that in the next post)!


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Thanks so much for reading. If you are interested in reading about the accomodation angle and activites from my adventures, feel free to check it out here!

See more

Verdict

Sansa Airlines

7.3/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering7.0

Liberia - LIR

5.3/10
Efficiency5.5
Access5.5
Services4.5
Cleanliness5.5

San José - SJO

8.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

I am so happy I went out of my way to fly with Sansa. Reading online, I found a couple of bad reviews about them. However, I found them to be quite friendly, and they only slipped up when they did not inform us of the delay. Delays happen, and with a small fleet, you have to expect it.

All in all, it was a great experience flying with Sansa. The plane was comfortable (and safe), we saw the runway when landing, and everything was pretty much perfect for getting from one destination to another. Albeit the price was a little bit high, I think 98$ is more fair.

Related

9 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 647735 by
    ThomasDutch SILVER 639 Comments
    The last row tends to be the most unpleasant one due to rudder, but if you're a massive fan of rollercoasters, there is your free ride haha :). Interesting route with a Caravan to be flown as I would have assumed it to be a busier route. Thanks for reporting though as I enjoyed the read.
    • Comment 647736 by
      jettoajet GOLD AUTHOR 71 Comments
      Thanks so much for reading and for your comment! So true, it’s like rollercoaster, as they say “in for a penny, in for a pound” so might as well rough it out in the back.

      Agreed is a bit strange but super epic at the same time as I only known a few carriers in Central America & Asia that operate them on commercial routes (could be vastly wrong through)

      Once again, thanks so much!
  • Comment 648218 by
    Chibcha SILVER 552 Comments
    Nice to experience a domestic flight in Central America, its quite unusual!

    BTW, it seems the Caravan flights are like taking a small minivan ride in our tropical countries !

    Thanks for sharing !
    • Comment 648223 by
      jettoajet GOLD AUTHOR 71 Comments
      Thanks for reading Chibcha! Your second line made me laugh out loud as I imagined a minivan ride up to Pacaya in Guatemala and then thought of the flapping plane meme😂. It is unusual but the more I look into it I didn't know that there are some carriers in Belize and Panama apparently!

      Anyway, thanks so much for reading and bringing back a fond memory with your comment😅. Have a great day!
  • Comment 648261 by
    AviaCharles 11 Comments
    WOW I have never flown on a Cessna or any tiny prop plane this was so cool I thought you would have been terrified the whole flight seeing as the plane is tiny.
    • Comment 648279 by
      jettoajet GOLD AUTHOR 71 Comments
      Thank you for your comment! If you ever get a chance, it's certainly something you will never forget! It's a little scary but I have been learning to embrace impermanence in life 😅 . Thanks again!
  • Comment 648277 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6718 Comments
    Thanks for another fun and exotic review! The AvGeek in me would be so excited about a flight like this, but every other part of me, especially the paranoid dad part would be scared out of my mind. I think the smallest I've ever been in is a Dash-8 200---I can't imagine flying in one of these airborne minivans haha.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 648280 by
      jettoajet GOLD AUTHOR 71 Comments
      Thanks for your comment Kevin, and for tuning in! Dream come true for an Avgeek but I can understand your paranoid dad side to this😅. When I was younger my mum took us in a Caravan in Africa and was worried the whole flight!

      Quite the difference to a dash 8-200 but if you ever get the chance, it's certainly worth it. Rumor has it that Sansa has had fewer accidents than Boeing in the past 15 years though😉😂 (just joking I'm not on this abandon Boeing trend that's going around/ugh aircraft politics😂, I'm getting off track). Thanks for reading Kevin!
      • Comment 648281 by
        KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6718 Comments
        I almost flew them once on a domestic flight in Costa Rica and then I saw it was operated by Cessnas and said NOPE lol. And that was before having a kid. One day I’ll work up the courage! 😅

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