Old Jul 31, 19, 8:40 pm
  #6  
jasonvr
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: So Cal
Programs: UA scum/0.699MM, WN ALP/CP, Hyatt Diamond, MR/SPG Gold,Hertz PC, National EE, Carlson Silver
Posts: 5,118
OP here - we have finally returned from our overall trip and wanted to give an update

Overall, we were pretty hosed. We arrived in Quito on Sunday morning and that is when we realized we had no bags. We were scheduled to leave for our boat at 7:30am the next day. CM and UA were really no help, but I did find out the bags were still in Denver and CM doesn't fly DEN-PTY on Sunday which means there was no way they were going to leave DEN on CM on Sunday. UA told me they were scheduled to depart on Monday to PTY which means they couldn't get to Ecuador until at least Tuesday (DEN-PTY is an overnight flight). I tried to convince someone to get the bags to Houston so they could take the IAH-UIO flight on UA, but I just got static from both parties.

Knowing that we wouldn't get our bags, we rushed out to find necessities in Quito with only about 5 hours to do so. We managed to buy toiletries and some minimum clothes (socks, underwear, flip flops, bathing suits, pajamas, shirts, pants) totaling about $400. We knew that CM was on the hook for $50 per day and the Sapphire Reserve was on the hook for $100 per day per person. We figured we'd definitely be delayed by at least 2 days.

The next day at UIO after we checked in for our flights to SCY, we went and talked to the CM and UA staff at UIO. CM didn't really help much and neither did UA. CM tried to figure out what to do, but really offered no solution. At least the understood the problem though. I did get some scan times from the UA agent, and it appears that UA was definitely late in transferring the bags to CM. The timestamp was after the departure of the CM flight. We left it in the hands of our cruise operator to continue working on it.

On Tuesday we heard that our bags still weren't in Ecuador. Then there was news that they might get into the Galapagos Islands in time for us to pay someone with a speedboat ($600-$800) to go from GPS airport out to the boat. But then that was quickly dashed as it wouldn't make it in time to make that feasible. So, we ended up being resigned to waiting until we were back close to GPS on Saturday, almost a week after we arrived. So Saturday comes and we have to give $65 to the cruise operator so someone from there staff can take a ferry to get the bags and come back. And finally, Saturday during dinner our bags arrived on the boat......and we departed from the boat Monday morning.....so we had our bags a grand total of a day and half on the boat.

So overall pretty miserable. And while yes, we should get reimbursed for everything we bought, and hopefully the $65 ferry fee. But that doesn't really help with the fact that we ended up wearing the same clothes over and over for almost a week. We also never got to use all the things we bought for this trip (high UPF lightweight shirts and pants, reef safe sunblock, etc). And while I am probably eligible for more than 2 days of compensation, there is absolutely no way we could have used it. In Quito we didn't know how long we'd be without the bags and once we were in the Islands there was no way to buy anything additional.

Looking at the bag tags, there are all sorts "Expedite" and "Rush" stickers, but clearly that didn't happen. The final leg ended up being on EQ (TAME)

After I got hope, I did find an email that I didn't see before dated July 17 (Wednesday) from the CM Office at UIO, saying:
I WRITE YOU TO INFORM YOU THAT WE KEEP YOUR LUGGAGE IN THE COPA AIRLINES OFFICE WE HAVE CALLED THE HOTEL MARRIOT AND WE ARE INFORMED THAT YOU ARE NOT ALREADY FOUND HERE PLEASE WHEN IT IS POSSIBLE TO CONTACT US TO INDICATE US YOUR NEW ADDRESS AND COORDINATE THE DELIVERY.
I find that particularly infuriating since CM was definitely aware that we would no longer be at the hotel and I know that the cruise operator was in contact with them

So now starts the fun of recovering my money and figuring out how many days to claim (when I got the bags or when the bags got to the Galapagos, or when they got to UIO, or....)
jasonvr is offline