According to SmarterTravel, there are several items that one should not buy at a airport. See this link for the entire slide show.
I like this site, since before Kayak and Hipmunk, it was a good site to get discounts for air travel. So instead of picking airport to airport travel plans, Smarter Travel identifies the sales that airlines offer and that may mean flying out of a different airport. But if that saves you some bucks, why not?
Here is the open air check in at Puerto Plata, DR.