$150 baggage fee for skis???

Old Jul 30, 18, 9:32 am
  #1  
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$150 baggage fee for skis???

Flyin from LIR to COR with a connection in PTY. Looks like Copa charges $150 for a ski bag! Is there anyway to avoid this fee? Looks like if you're a PreferMember they waive it. Any chance to become PreferMember for cheap?

Also says that you are only allowed one pair of skis per bag. I was hoping to combine two pairs of skis into one bag. Any chance they will actually check the number of skis in the bag?

$150 seems expensive for skis.

Thanks!
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Old Jul 30, 18, 10:38 pm
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If it says member, just joining starts as a member, so join, which is free. Which is pretty cheap.
However reading their website small sports equipment which excludes skis can be part of the baggage allowance if you are a Prefer Member (which is free). The only advantage seems to be that weight or size (of the various "small" items) is not an issue for members. This likely is a benefit mainly for golfers.
The large items are clearly separate , cost $150, have nothing to do with Prefer Member status and one pair of skis is allowed per fee. They are not part of the regular allowance though so that means normal luggage is not reduced by the paid for items. But there is a size and weight limit, with very specific limits for surfboards one presumes due to how large they are. Will they look for how many skis there are? Probably not unless the bag is obviously carrying a lot of skis.
I can imagine depending on where you board they may not have seen a lot of skis so the size of the bag may not signal an abundance of skis over the quota.
On the other hand $150 a bag to them is better than $150 for two crammed into one, so expect to pay $300. After a peek inside.
It seems a little unfair that a huge surfboard which must be bigger and heavier than 4 skis is treated the same but airlines are not renowned for their logic.
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Old Jul 31, 18, 6:44 am
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Originally Posted by ricktoronto View Post
If it says member, just joining starts as a member, so join, which is free. Which is pretty cheap.
It says ConnectMiles PreferMember passengers. I believe that this means Silver or higher, even though the lowest tier (where everyone starts) is called "Member" on ConnectMiles. But you are not a PreferMember at this stage.

Solid choice of wording on their part!

Cheapest way to get this is to get a BAC Visa Infinite or BAC Amex Plat Connect Miles cards, but enjoy the fun of trying to open a bank account in Panama

Originally Posted by ricktoronto View Post
However reading their website small sports equipment which excludes skis can be part of the baggage allowance if you are a Prefer Member (which is free). The only advantage seems to be that weight or size (of the various "small" items) is not an issue for members. This likely is a benefit mainly for golfers.
The large items are clearly separate , cost $150, have nothing to do with Prefer Member status and one pair of skis is allowed per fee. They are not part of the regular allowance though so that means normal luggage is not reduced by the paid for items.
Disagree with this, after reading this page:

https://www.copaair.com/en/web/us/mu...ents-equipment

Originally Posted by Copa Website
Copa Airlines is updating its sports equipment policy. Sports equipment is divided into two categories: small sports equipment and large sports equipment. This policy will apply to all flights effective August 1, 2018.ConnectMiles PreferMember passengers may check sports equipment as part of their luggage allowance (overweight and oversize fees will not apply). Passengers exceeding the number of items in their luggage allowance will be required to pay the fee of USD150.00 per item of sports equipment.
BOLDING mine

It then goes on to split up what it means by small and large pieces. Both of these are free for Silver+ from their wording here imo, so long as you are at or under your total baggage allowance. It might well be different wording in the Spanish version, or elsewhere on their site or in the terms. Welcome to Panama
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Old Jul 31, 18, 7:26 pm
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No, they are pretty clear dividing large and small and including small in the allowance, but with a fee, the large not affecting the allowance, and the Prefer Member status is not going to matter for the large items. Or the allowance. The OP has no status or even a membership so I predict $300 smackeroos once they see the two pairs of skis in the one surprisingly heavy bag.

So his status, membership or lack of status is moot.
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Old Aug 1, 18, 7:12 pm
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Thanks for the help! I'm hoping to avoid the $300 fee by putting both skis in one ski bag.

Hopefully that way I will only get charged for the $150 fee of a bag that is too long....I've already weighed the ski bag with both skis in it and it's well under the weight limit.

I'm just hoping they don't realize it's a ski bag, and just think it's a long bag. It's only $150 extra for the abnormal length, but $300 extra if they are stickers to the "one pair of skis" per ski bag rule.

Also, I'm wondering if a $20 tip to the gate agent I check in with at Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) will help solve this whole headache for me?
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Old Aug 6, 18, 8:47 am
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Originally Posted by petomoo View Post
Thanks for the help! I'm hoping to avoid the $300 fee by putting both skis in one ski bag.

Hopefully that way I will only get charged for the $150 fee of a bag that is too long....I've already weighed the ski bag with both skis in it and it's well under the weight limit.

I'm just hoping they don't realize it's a ski bag, and just think it's a long bag. It's only $150 extra for the abnormal length, but $300 extra if they are stickers to the "one pair of skis" per ski bag rule.

Also, I'm wondering if a $20 tip to the gate agent I check in with at Liberia, Costa Rica (LIR) will help solve this whole headache for me?
No chance at all. A) $20 isn't even worthy of being considered a tip in Costa Rica for him to do something he isn't supposed to and risk his job. That's literally 10,000 colones (-+). Even if it was bigger than that, I doubt they will waive the fee. B) They're closely watched and unless it's a supervisor you want to tip big time, someone will likely notice.

I would cough it up personally. Copa employees are not the best to bribe, they're pretty straight by the book.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 12:10 pm
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Thanks for the reply. Now I have another question. We just got an email to upgrade to business class through some sort of bidding process. Our seats were purchased via United Miles.

So, looks like the minimum bid per ticket would be around $200.

Do you know if we end up getting the business class seats do we get to bring the skis for free as part of the business class service? If that's the case might as well get business class since it's only $50 more than paying for the bag fees on the skis.

Also, the flight is LIR-PTY-COR so it's actually 2 bids. If we didn't get business on the first leg, I would hate to get stuck with the ski baggage free PLUS the business upgrade on the 2nd segment.

Thanks for your help @Redwood839 !
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Old Aug 6, 18, 2:48 pm
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I called an agent, she said no ski bag fee if flying business class.

Then I used the chat function on CopaAir.com and the chat agent said the ski bag fee is NOT waived if flying business.

So, looks like I won't be getting the business upgrade to cover the ski bag costs.

Seems like Copa makes some of the baggage policies unclear so they can make some more change off of customers. If I had bought a business class fare and then got charged $150 for a ski bag I would be pissed! What say you @Redwood839
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Old Aug 6, 18, 2:50 pm
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Originally Posted by petomoo View Post
Thanks for the reply. Now I have another question. We just got an email to upgrade to business class through some sort of bidding process. Our seats were purchased via United Miles.

So, looks like the minimum bid per ticket would be around $200.

Do you know if we end up getting the business class seats do we get to bring the skis for free as part of the business class service? If that's the case might as well get business class since it's only $50 more than paying for the bag fees on the skis.

Also, the flight is LIR-PTY-COR so it's actually 2 bids. If we didn't get business on the first leg, I would hate to get stuck with the ski baggage free PLUS the business upgrade on the 2nd segment.

Thanks for your help @Redwood839 !
Good question. I would be under the slight impression that just then you MIGHT get away with it if you're travelling light, but they might ask you to pay for it anyway, it just depends on who checks you in. EDIT: Was suggesting you called COPA but looks like you already did and chat gave you something else. Try chat in a few hours and see if you can get someone to say it's waived, take a screenshot and boom.

As far as bidding, you want business on the first sector, that will entitle you to luggage and other perks. It's harder to get them if it's the second sector. I've had this happened a couple of times. Bid at the lowest you can for LIR-PTY, not many people fly business on that route. Stay within the yellow marker on their gauge thing though. You might be able to persuade an agent at PTY if the COR flight is empty to move you cheap to business.

Even more edit: When checking in, be friendly but not over the top. Unfortunately Costa Rica is not known for their customer service, and most times they pretend to be friendly. (and no I'm not putting down my country, it's jsut the way it is). You won't win a they told me this argument unless you got proof, just be nice, state your facts and that you were told XYZ. If you're MileagePlus something, bring that up. There's still some people being proud that COPA was part of United in a way.
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Old Aug 6, 18, 3:13 pm
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Great idea with the chat bot screen shots! That's why I was hesitant to take the phone agent's words. The check-in people could have different ideas than what somebody on the phone told me.

The LIR-PTY upgrade is $80 per person at the lowest to keep it "in the yellow". Let's say we do end up both getting the LIR-PTY segment in business, will they check the ski bag all the way to Cordoba, or will they try to charge us $150 for the PTY-COR segment? That's the big gamble with this.

I would be willing to pay $160 total for two passengers to get the business upgrade on the LIR-PTY segment, IF i knew that the ski bag would be included free of charge for the whole itinerary.

What I don't want to happen is paying for the business upgrade AND having to pay the $150 ski bag fee (keep in mind, it could be up to $300 since I'm putting both pairs of skis in one bag instead of separate, but they still are under the weight limit)

We are traveling decently light. One ski bag (with our two pairs of skis inside) one checked bag total, and each brining a carry-on and personal item.
@Redwood839 you're right that at the end of the day it's the agent in charge.

Also, when you mention the agents in PTY moving us "cheap to business" does that mean I just pay with credit card or cash in PTY for an upgrade? This seems crazy to me, but I'm willing to shell out some money for a cheap business class upgrade considering these seats were bought with United miles originally. Thanks for all your help.
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Old Aug 9, 18, 3:35 pm
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Originally Posted by petomoo View Post
I called an agent, she said no ski bag fee if flying business class.

Then I used the chat function on CopaAir.com and the chat agent said the ski bag fee is NOT waived if flying business.

So, looks like I won't be getting the business upgrade to cover the ski bag costs.

Seems like Copa makes some of the baggage policies unclear so they can make some more change off of customers. If I had bought a business class fare and then got charged $150 for a ski bag I would be pissed! What say you @Redwood839
Since the luggage rules say nothing about "large sports equipment" e.g. ski bags or surfboards, inflatable unicorns, etc., in business class, why are you upset they did not write an exception to that rule just for you? They clearly say it's $150 regardless of part of or not part of the allowance which does change for business class vs. economy.
All this energy trying to game the system, read it in only your favour and bribing people vs. just follow the rules and pay what they ask.
I bet the two sets in one reasonably sized bag might pass because if it does not appear abnormal, a Copa employee will not likely look inside to see, though two pairs of boots checked and only "one pair" of skis might make them curious enough to try.
Hope they have not noted in your record all these hijinks and such trying to get something for nothing and making them intrigued enough to snoop at check-in.
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Old Aug 14, 18, 9:43 am
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They ended up only caring about the overall weight of all the bags, which we had to pay a $150 fee for being 5 or 6 kgs over for. They didn't even care about the ski bag. Agent was just focused on how much all the bags weighed. I was so focused on the ski bag fee I forgot to see what the weight limits were for the carry on bags.
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Old Aug 16, 18, 7:57 pm
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Originally Posted by petomoo View Post
They ended up only caring about the overall weight of all the bags, which we had to pay a $150 fee for being 5 or 6 kgs over for. They didn't even care about the ski bag. Agent was just focused on how much all the bags weighed. I was so focused on the ski bag fee I forgot to see what the weight limits were for the carry on bags.
They have never weighed my carry on bags on dozens of Copa flights.
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Old Aug 17, 18, 7:06 am
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Same here, that's very strange. They look extremely bulky?
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Old Aug 17, 18, 6:58 pm
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Originally Posted by petomoo View Post
They ended up only caring about the overall weight of all the bags
Could you provide more details of exactly what this means? Are you suggesting they combined the total weight of your checked luggage and your carry-on bags to compare against some value?

As others suggest after your post, I have never had Copa weigh my carry-on bag, ever, in 10+ years of frequent flying. On very rare occasions, they have asked to allow them to attach a "carry-on bag" ribbon to my rollaboard. But certainly never weighed, or performed any sort of calculation for a combined total weight. And that includes some trips with my family, with numerous bags.

As far as the rest of this thread goes, lack of specificity, contradicting responses from Copa, agent capriciousness, general uncertainty, varied unexplained results, all are normal.
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