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To Ecuador: CO Disappoints, Tame Saves The Day  
User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 13766 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]


I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
20 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineCory6188 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 2692 posts, RR: 6
Reply 1, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 13685 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.

User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 13525 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.

User currently offlineAA737-823 From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 5873 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 13503 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.


User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 13318 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.



I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
User currently offlineBofredrik From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 12994 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.


User currently offlineMexicana757 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 3045 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 12767 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.

User currently offlineAA300B From Ecuador, joined Jul 2004, 103 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 12637 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



F28, Md-88, DC-10, E-145, E-170, E-190, A310, A300, A319, A320, 721,722, 732, 73G, 738, 752, 753, 763, 777!
User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 12 hours ago) and read 12623 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.



I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (7 years 1 month 3 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 12613 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.



The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 10, posted (7 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 12242 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

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



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineLHStarAlliance From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (7 years 1 month 1 week 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 11992 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


User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (7 years 1 month 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 11800 times:

Great TR!

Ecuador is indeed a beautiful country, and nice people.

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


User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 13, posted (7 years 1 month 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 11568 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.



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineXA744 From Mexico, joined Mar 2004, 734 posts, RR: 3
Reply 14, posted (7 years 1 month 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 11500 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]


No matter how you fly...just never get your wings clipped !
User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (7 years 1 month 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 11343 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.



I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
User currently offlineIAHFLYR From United States of America, joined Jun 2005, 4790 posts, RR: 22
Reply 16, posted (7 years 1 month 22 hours ago) and read 11272 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?



Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
User currently offlineTACAA320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (7 years 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 11038 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].


User currently onlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17079 posts, RR: 10
Reply 18, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10706 times:

Great TR.

The pics are really good.

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

Thank you for sharing.

B747forever.



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineBlueElephant From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 1813 posts, RR: 6
Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 4 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 10647 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!


User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (6 years 11 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 10623 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 Baños 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/



I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
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