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Anyone else on CM unintended "Tour of Mercosur" Thurs-Sat 16-18 Jun?

Anyone else on CM unintended "Tour of Mercosur" Thurs-Sat 16-18 Jun?

Old Jun 19, 16, 10:22 am
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Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Atlántida, Canelones, Uruguay (MVD) and rarely GNV
Programs: AV LifeMiles, CM ConnectMiles, BA Exec Club. Former:ex-ASGold, ex-UA1K, ex-COPlat, ex-NWGold.
Posts: 2,673
Anyone else on CM unintended "Tour of Mercosur" Thurs-Sat 16-18 Jun?

AKA the June 16 nonstop (directo) PTY-MVD with special extra bonus destinations of Asunción, Paraguay for several hours 17 Jun, then Buenos Aires overnight after actually getting to MVD but diverting while over Carrasco Intl? CM368 of 16 Jun which was supposed to arrive 0646 17 Jun. Actual arrival at MVD about noon yesterday the 18th.

I have to hand it to Copa onboard and ground staff, they did a 97% good job in taking care of us.

The 3% is the perhaps-deliberate minimalist (as in, nada) communication of details while it was happening. In both the 17 Jun 5am "Whoops, we're turning towards ASU" and the approx 11am "We're at MVD and now we're going to EZE" diversions, the moving map showed it with no word from either the flight deck or the cabin crew. For the ASU diversion, no word at all other than "Prepare for landing in Asunción", and for the EZE departure, a few minutes after I asked one of the FA's why we were now heading towards BsAs. My Spanish is not fluent but is sufficient to have heard and understood most of any diversion announcement if there had been any. More to the point, both onboard, and then at EZE in terms of details of accomodations and transport, dozens of native Spanish speaker passengers also were confused about what was going on.

But what WAS going on, was actually better than I expected for a weather-related diversion. (Supposedly MVD had Stephen King-ian levels of fog.) Which strengthens my "never fly US-based airlines if possible" resolve in favor of staying with CM as well as AV and LA(LP,JJ,etc.) Copa arranged coffee, tea, milk, OJ at ASU while giving us reasonably good status updates once in the terminal. When we got to EZE after MVD apparently closing again that morning for fog (the purported reason), they told us they were arranging hotel overnight for a flight the next day.

There was a bit of a clustermess from giving very unclear in-terminal directions about where everyone was supposed to go for the custom shuttle to the hotel, but eventually about 140 pax got to the bus and a nice stay at the NH City Hotel right near the Casa Rosada. Including a decent buffet lunch and dinner, though at an obscenely early time for BsAs (2000-2200!) Given the shuttle back was to be at 0615 for an alleged 0900 departure (in reality about 1145), having a bunch of earlier-bedtime uruguayos (compared to Porteños) and a few estadosunidense up late probably would have been a mess in the morning.

So overall, a very good service recovery, on something where if I'd been on AA, in my experience the GAs call the cops for "disruptive passenger making threats" if you so much as politely request if there is a hotel discount voucher. (True story, which I posted elsewhere here on FT a few years ago.) The only thing Copa did not due right, IMHO, was proactive and clear announcements about what exactly they were doing, what was the cause of the diversion, where *specifically* we should go for the hotel bus they chartered, and especially, why we were not landing at the very MVD destination over which we were actually circling in apparently mostly-clear conditions. Which did get several pax angry (in a tranquilo uruguayo type of anger).

I'm guessing, and it was partly confirmed with friendly discussions I had with the FAs, that it was probably a combo of MVD traffic backup from the earlier heavy-fog closure or other required hold, with running out of maximum duty time including being legal to continue flying. If they could be guaranteed to be landing in EZE in 30 minutes but might have to hold for 60 before landing in MVD, they might have been totally illegal. But that's kind of "inside fútbol" to non-frequent-flyers, so maybe "We're diverting" (5 minutes after obviously diverting) seemed better to CM crew.

Overall, still a very good service recovery that actually improved rather than worsened my opinion of Copa. And the ConnectMiles posted while still in ASU even before heading to MVD and thence to EZE!

Last edited by MarkXS; Jun 19, 16 at 10:45 am Reason: Meant "16-18 Jun" whoops still tired!
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