VDB on Copa

Old Apr 3, 19, 1:15 pm
  #1  
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VDB on Copa

It seems like there has to be an existing Copa VDB thread, but I couldn’t find it with Google or on the first 4-5 pages of the forum.

Copa seems to be at or near 100% loads from PTY to MIA today. Anyone here VDB with Copa lately? Do they only VDB at the gate or might they do it at the counter? Does having a checked bag affect one’s ability to VDB? What do the offers typically look like? I assume hotel, meals, Uber, etc., are covered or at least negotiable?

Thanks for all feedback.
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Old Apr 3, 19, 3:35 pm
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Never had a VDB with Copa, and never even seen them asking for volunteers at any stage. Only "VDB" for an economy passenger I have heard of was an Op-Up to business class

I was on a flight 2 weeks ago to MCO, which was Y0 a couple of days before the flight, with about J11 (could tell from upgrade page). Flight went out full in J, and economy looked busy enough

I would guess that its harder to VDB from PTY for the sole reason that they can always change the plane. If you were to be on the newer 800, and they are over by 4-5, then they could easily switch to the older 800, which has 6 extra seats. Many times I have checked in for one plane type, and then when I boarded it was either the other 800, and once the 700 (that was to either MIA or MCO, and it was maybe 50% capacity)

Please report back though!
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Old Apr 4, 19, 10:21 am
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Nothing doing re: VDB last night. They battlefield upgraded a lady from way back in economy and then filled her E seat. I believe the flight went out full but there was no mention of volunteers at the gate.
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Old Apr 8, 19, 10:38 pm
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There seems to be several complaints on Twitter recently regarding people being denied boarding / not getting seat. Obviously we are only getting one side of the story, but there are 2 notable stand outs:

1) A current WTA professional (top 150 in the world) posted a couple of days ago that she was not given a seat at check-in and that her bags were tagged with stand by. She said that she was on a paid ticket. It appears that she made the flight in the end

2) A Panamanian Youtuber with 2.5M subscribers (and hundreds of thousands / millions of followers on Instagram, Twitter, etc) said that she was denied boarding today due to her flight being oversold. She claimed to have arrived on time for the flight. Seems that she was put on a flight 4 hours later

There are quite a few others complaining about the same thing too, which could indicate that there is actually something going on here (enough where its probably not just a couple of people who missed check-in / boarding times and are complaining on Twitter)
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:22 am
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I have connected in PTY (and a few connections in SJO) on Copa maybe 120 times combined north and south and have never seen anyone asked to give up a seat, never heard an announcement from nearby gates (where they have the circular gate setup there are a lot of gates near each other) and never been asked, so maybe just great luck.

I only fly Copa in refundable J so maybe they don't oversell business class, but even then I'd hear the denial announcements for others. Maybe this is new or related to the 737 MAX but I thought they only had a couple delivered so far.

I think there have been standbys not boarded but those are not the same since they are throwing the dice. One thing I have noticed is crazy high prices over the last 6-8 months vs. Avianca on the same routes making Copa not a good option, other than schedule.

As for the 149th ranked tennis player I doubt that was of much importance to Copa if they even knew which I bet they didn't. I can't see how it's relevant.
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:48 am
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Originally Posted by ricktoronto View Post
As for the 149th ranked tennis player I doubt that was of much importance to Copa if they even knew which I bet they didn't. I can't see how it's relevant.
They most likely did not know, or care, who she was. imo its relevant due to it not being a random/faceless/nameless person on twitter, so should have a larger chance of it being a truthful occurrence
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Old Apr 9, 19, 11:59 am
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The odd thing about that case is the tennis player assuredly travels a lot and presumably would know to choose a seat when booking, but claimed she had no seat at check-in, as if she was IDB'd. (Meanwhile, it seems like a high percentage of Copa pax don't choose a seat at booking. I keep seeing flights that are almost empty three or fours days out but then full once the check-in window opens.)
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Old Apr 23, 19, 7:13 am
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The number of complaints about this on twitter has really jumped in the last few days. It appears that people are mainly complaining saying that they were not allowed board (or did not have a seat) and had to get a later flight. According to one, 10 people did not get on a flight to CR last night

Only 1 person has thanked Copa because of it: "made a couple of bucks for giving up my seat in Panama... thanks CopaAirlines". I asked them for details, but they didn't reply

Presumably from that last one, they are offering compensation. Unsure if they are seeking volunteers or just the last X people trying to board (or get confirmed seats) are told that they are not getting on - surely for flights to/from the US this would be against DOT regs?

I have 6 flights next week, none of them look anywhere close to oversold (Y9 B9 M9...9) for most of them
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Old May 2, 19, 7:42 am
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First flight when to Y0 pretty soon after my post above for today’s CM208 to SFO. At the gate currently and asked if they are oversold still. Was told yes. I offered to volunteer so long as I was rebooked into C to protect my J Seat (upgraded on all 6 legs). I was told no, would only protect economy seat for later and $350 voucher. Told them to come back to me when they can get me into C for this flight and my return later today (meant to be on CM209, so would end up being CM383 after midnight).

Flight manager came over and said it’s now $400 and can put me in business class, but only guaranteed on the CM382, not for CM383 on the return after midnight. I told him I need this C as well.

People are def getting IDBd on this flight.

I told him to board and talk to me when he can sort the C for CM383 also. Currently in 2F.

Will update this post as I get more info.

—-

Just asked the gate agent at the front of the plane, told that they don’t need anyone now. Wonder when the complaint will hit twitter. Also I put this at prolly a 50% chance of landing in Cancun on the way to SFO

——

3-4 bags sitting outside of the plane on the ground as the plane pushed back!

Last edited by pmarrsouth; May 2, 19 at 8:32 am
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