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Topic: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: OB1783P
Posted 2007-09-01 03:33:44 and read 13769 times.

Last June, I purchased a ticket from BWI to UIO, and back GYE to BWI (both ways via IAH) from Continental.com, giving myself 8 full days to travel through Ecuador. The ticket was a little more expensive than a straight GYE and back

On August 16, I arrived at BWI three hours in advance, and proceeded through security which took about 20 minutes. Throughout my adventure, I never checked my bag.

The 737-300 was already at the gate



Alas, a first announcement of a short delay due to weather at IAH was made, followed by many more. We finally left close to three hours late. Flight #1527 (very full) was uneventful but I was concerned about my Quito connection. I hoped that if flights couldn't land at HIA, there was a good chance they would be delayed departing too.

In HIA three hours later, the weather was glorious. I ran across the whole terminal, but the Quito flight, #653 (it would have been on a 757) had just left. "We kept it behind one hour" the agent said, as if I was a late, late boy.

I went to the customer service window, where I stood in line for close to one hour. The agent offered me a seat three days later. I asked: "What about Guayaquil?" Yes, there was still room, and the flight was 90 minutes late. At least, I'd be in Ecuador tonight.



In the boarding line, I talked to a California man who had just gone through the same ordeal coming from LAX. But customer service upgraded him! Grrrrr.

Anyway, this 5 hour flight, #810, about 3/4 full, was on a 737-800. Nothing unusual to report.





By the time we cleared immigration at Guayaquil, it was close to 2 a.m. I asked an information agent at what time the first flight to UIO would be, and he said 7:30. Perfect.

So I spent the first night of my vacation on this cozy bench.



The office of TAME (pronounce it Tammy, please) opened at 6:00 sharp. I purchased a one way GYE-UIO for $56. At the check in, a kind agent offered me a seat on the right, to best enjoy the views.



Although groggy, I was in a good mood, because I knew that TAME still operates 727-200s.







HC-BHM was in superb shape, looking not a day older than her Continental 737 great nieces. Unlike in my last 727 experience, with Aerocontinente in 2003, there were no skin plates, the seats matched, and all the service panels were neatly snapped in place.

We took off with a roar, and flight #300 was a 40 minute delight although the volcanoes were obscured by clouds. There was even time for a small warm sandwich on the almost-full flight.







They say that UIO is today's Kai-Tak, but the approach was straightforward, and the landing was lovely.





Now, before we get to the return, a few pictures from Ecuador.











During my last full day, in Cuenca, I walked by the Continental office by chance. I decided to stop in and tell them my story. Perhaps they would upgrade me. Yeah right.



Good thing I went! The agent (very helpful) told me that, as a no show on the way down, I had been kicked out of the system. She apologized, reintroduced me into the system, and made me promise I would be in GYE the following day at 10 p.m. latest (for the 1:10 a.m. departure).

An hour or so later, my bag was stolen in Cuenca, with my chapstick, my postcards, and my notebook (which explains why this report is less precise than some, no gate numbers, no tail numbers...) My feelings were hurt.

Anyway, on August 24, I had a scenic 5 hour bus ride from Cuenca to Guayaquil. After a thrilling taxi ride, I was back in the GYE terminal, which looks like an illegitimate son of IAD.



Guess what: the IAH flight was delayed by three hours. At least this time, I was reticketed for BWI at the window. There would be no suspense... and no upgrade.





At least we were more fortunate than the DL passengers, who were told after three hours that their flight was cancelled. Imagine a very sleepy riot at the Delta gate.

A sweet, pretty 5-foot tall agent offered me to spend the last hour or so in the VIP lounge.



Finally, we boarded the 737-800 at 3:45 a.m. and the flight, #818 was very, very quiet. The announced movie was never shown, and the (awful) dinner was served to a few brave souls, in pitch darkness. Swedish and Lebanese travelers I had met at a hacienda near Cotopaxi were summoned to help during a medical situation before landing, with a good outcome.





Back in IAH, completely groggy, I went back to customer service (I don't give up, do I?) expecting at least the keys to the city. She told me to call the 800 number once I got home. Boohoo.

At least, the very last flight, #326 on a 737-300, was CO at its best: sunny F/As offering us countless drinks.





After a good night's sleep, I called 1-800-we-care2, and after telling my whole story, I was offered $50 to use within a year, or 500 miles on my account. I took the miles.



[Edited 2007-09-01 03:36:11]

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: Cory6188
Posted 2007-09-01 04:58:32 and read 13688 times.

Nice report, but I have one question - was there any particular reason for the delays? In my experience, it would be unlike CO to simply delay a flight without giving any reason or explanation for doing so, but I guess that anything is possible...if it was for weather or something like that, I guess that it is excusable, but if the delays were CO's fault, then shame on them for not getting their act together.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: Semsem
Posted 2007-09-01 09:08:23 and read 13528 times.

Great pictures. Hope one day to go to Ecuador. I am not surprised that the food was bad on CO. On international flights they nickel and dime in this particular area.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: AA737-823
Posted 2007-09-01 09:31:27 and read 13506 times.

So you're disappointed in this trip on CO because there was weather at Houston, and they didn't upgrade you to first due to your inconvenience?

Gosh, that's a cryin' shame.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: OB1783P
Posted 2007-09-01 14:57:25 and read 13321 times.

Quoting Cory6188 (Reply 1):
I have one question - was there any particular reason for the delays?

On the way to Ecuador, the delay was indirectly caused by weather in Houston while we were still on the ground in Baltimore. From what I overheard, if we had left Baltimore earlier, there wouldn't have been a gate to welcome us in Houston. As I said, when we landed in IAH, there was not a cloud in the sky, the ground was almost dry... and the UIO flight had left.

On the way back, there was a mechanical reason. The flight had taken off, then returned to Houston before flying down to Guayaquil to pick us up.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
So you're disappointed in this trip on CO because there was weather at Houston, and they didn't upgrade you to first due to your inconvenience?

Not exactly. I'm disappointed because it took as long to fly to and back from Ecuador as it would have to and from Asia. I'm satisfied with the 500 miles as a compensation for my inconvenience. I would have been upgraded on the GYE-IAH segment (by the agent who let me in the VIP lounge), but the flight was full.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: Bofredrik
Posted 2007-09-02 10:04:56 and read 12997 times.

In EU (European Union) do we have a system for compensation
when a flight is delayed*. Something for US airlines that fly domestic
and international flights?
http://www.airsafe.com/complain/bumping.htm

* Excl. Ryanair who usually do not care about it.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: Mexicana757
Posted 2007-09-03 08:20:26 and read 12770 times.

Great trip reports and pictures. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Ecuador. By looking at your pictures it pushes the country to the top of the list to a must see for me in the near future.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: AA300B
Posted 2007-09-03 23:17:08 and read 12640 times.

Great trip report!
l took the same flight from IAH to GYE almost a year ago and had the same experience with the connections in IAH, but you got lucky since you got to ride on one of Tame's beautiful 727. l hope you liked the beautiful country that it is Ecuador and thanks for the trip report!

AA300B

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: OB1783P
Posted 2007-09-03 23:49:15 and read 12626 times.

I loved Ecuador. I'm ashamed that I expected it to be a little like "Peru 2, the Sequel." But Ecuador really has a distinct flavor from its Southern neighbor, and I definitely liked Ecuador food better. So, where next? Bolivia or Colombia?

And you're right, flying a pristine condition 727 was worth sleeping on a wire bench and waking up looking like an Excel spreadsheet.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: Evan767
Posted 2007-09-04 00:07:40 and read 12616 times.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
So you're disappointed in this trip on CO because there was weather at Houston

Answer here:

Quoting OB1783P (Reply 4):
mechanical reason



Quoting OB1783P (Reply 4):
mechanical



Quoting OB1783P (Reply 4):
mechanical



Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
Gosh, that's a cryin' shame.

Looks like someone owes someone an apology after not getting the whole story! You should be glad that OB1783P is a calm man and didnt take too much offense at your remark.

Nice report.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: BA319-131
Posted 2007-09-09 10:31:08 and read 12245 times.

Great TR, really enjoyed the read and pictures.

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):
In the boarding line, I talked to a California man who had just gone through the same ordeal coming from LAX. But customer service upgraded him! Grrrrr.

- Unlucky, though perhaps he had more seneority in CO's Onepass program?

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):
The office of TAME (pronounce it Tammy, please) opened at 6:00 sharp. I purchased a one way GYE-UIO for $56

- Wow, that's pretty cheap, good job too as it was an unexpected flight.

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):
I knew that TAME still operates 727-200s.

- Hmm, Lucky bugger!!!

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):
Good thing I went! The agent (very helpful) told me that, as a no show on the way down, I had been kicked out of the system. She apologized, reintroduced me into the system, and made me promise I would be in GYE the following day at 10 p.m. latest (for the 1:10 a.m. departure).

- Good job you popped in, surecly CO could see you still flew into the country via another city?

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):
An hour or so later, my bag was stolen in Cuenca, with my chapstick, my postcards, and my notebook (which explains why this report is less precise than some, no gate numbers, no tail numbers...) My feelings were hurt.

- Sorry man, that's real unlucky, good job the camera was not in the bag at the time.

Thanks again.

Regards

Mark

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: LHStarAlliance
Posted 2007-09-16 19:16:47 and read 11995 times.

Quoting OB1783P (Thread starter):

Quito is the city where I lived most time of my live till yet , I MISS IT !!


Great T/R !

Thanx  Wink

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: TACAA320
Posted 2007-09-19 07:34:31 and read 11803 times.

Great TR!

Ecuador is indeed a beautiful country, and nice people.

I always have "bad feelings" about CO. BTW, that "food" looks awful.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: IAHFLYR
Posted 2007-09-21 15:21:55 and read 11571 times.

Quoting AA737-823 (Reply 3):
So you're disappointed in this trip on CO because there was weather at Houston

Really....I expected a horrid experience from the title of the thread!

Quoting OB1783P (Reply 4):
when we landed in IAH, there was not a cloud in the sky, the ground was almost dry... and the UIO flight had left.

That indicates nothing really, quite often the weather is not over top of the airport, could be a line of weather impacting arrivals/departure routes into the terminal airspace or routes being flown through a specific ARTCC sector that has delays going into that sector, much of which would not be explained other than weather delay by an agent.

Your flight from IAH-UIO may also not have been impacted with the delay that was applied to your flight from BWI as mentioned earlier as it could have come from the west coast, been on the ground at the hanger or any number of reasons.

Quoting Evan767 (Reply 9):
Looks like someone owes someone an apology after not getting the whole story! You should be glad that OB1783P is a calm man and didnt take too much offense at your remark.

Nah....I don't believe that is necessary.

Great pictures to be sure, but the title is a little over the top from a calm person, from what I read in the report.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: XA744
Posted 2007-09-21 23:45:50 and read 11503 times.

Oh, exhilarating Ecuador, a place I sill have to go to !!!

OB1783p, can clearly see you are a very sensible and sensitive person.

Thanks for such a beautiful and touchy TR, enjoyed every bit of it !!!

Best regards

Edited for typo. Sorry !!!

[Edited 2007-09-21 23:47:15]

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: OB1783P
Posted 2007-09-24 02:04:00 and read 11346 times.

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 13):
Really....I expected a horrid experience from the title of the thread!

I am sorry if "CO Disappoints" can be misconstrued for "Horrid Experience on CO."

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 13):
Great pictures to be sure, but the title is a little over the top from a calm person.

Well, it was disappointing to have to spend the first night of my vacation on a wire bench in the wrong city, and TAME did help getting me back on track. CO disappointed me all the more because I am used to fine reliability on their part. I will still fly CO in the future. Next time, I'll fly EWR - TLV (no connections, he he).

XA744, yes you must go to Ecuador, There are great biking and hiking opportunities, to be sure.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: IAHFLYR
Posted 2007-09-24 13:22:19 and read 11275 times.

Quoting OB1783P (Reply 15):
CO disappointed me all the more because I am used to fine reliability on their part

Again, how do you blame CO for weather delay causing you to miss your connection?

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: TACAA320
Posted 2007-10-01 15:40:55 and read 11041 times.

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 16):

Again, how do you blame CO for weather delay causing you to miss your connection?

If you carefully read the whole initial thread you will find that he is [or was] disappointed with CO for some other reasons. I don't think he's not blaming CO for the weather [which will be obviously an error].

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: B747forever
Posted 2007-10-31 09:46:56 and read 10709 times.

Great TR.

The pics are really good.

Bad that you didn't have a good flight experience.

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: BlueElephant
Posted 2007-11-01 05:16:06 and read 10650 times.

Wow...I Hope you liked the country...I happened to think it was Great Place...

do you remember those places in the pictures?

Looks like some old parts of Quito, Banos and some other town to me...

Where all did you go?

My favorite area is Banos...beautiful place.


Cheers!

Topic: RE: To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day
Username: OB1783P
Posted 2007-11-01 15:17:47 and read 10626 times.

Quoting BlueElephant (Reply 19):
Where all did you go?

I went to Quito (Inside Church photo)

Cotopaxi

Pujili (Market photo)

Banos (River and Cloud Forest photos)

Ingapirca

and Cuenca (Outside Church photo)

I agree that the BaƱos area is wonderful. I loved riding a bike down the Avenue of Waterfalls to the Devil's Bucket waterfall.

So, Blue Elephant, where next for me? Colombia? Bolivia? Suriname?

I have tons of pictures at my OTHER favorite web site: http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/3a66d/8c0/


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