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Delayed bags on way to Galapagos, kinda hosed

Delayed bags on way to Galapagos, kinda hosed


Old Jul 14, 19, 7:26 pm
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Programs: UA scum/0.699MM, WN ALP/CP, Hyatt Diamond, MR/SPG Gold,Hertz PC, National EE, Carlson Silver
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Delayed bags on way to Galapagos, kinda hosed

Just flew on a UA issued award ticket LAX-DEN-PTY-UIO. All segments on Copa except the first. No bags arrived at UIO. At PTY I noticed in the UA app that it stated my bags had been rerouted. Talked to the people at the Copa Club and they said the bags were in their possession and that the message meant it had been transferred to them. Apparently the bags never left Denver. Both sides are blaming each other. Copa says United never transferred the bags to them. United says Copa never picked up the bags. Not even sure which is a correct statement.. Whose responsibility is the transfer?

We did take a weather delay at LAX due to a ground stop in Denver. But we're still had enough time to get off the plane, get to the train, transfer terminals, do a document check, board and sit in our J seats for 20 minutes. Should have been more than enough time to transfer the bags. Copa also acknowledged 2 bags checked in when we did the document check, so they knew about them at that point

We leave tomorrow morning on our AV flight to SCY and then we're on a boat for seven days. I've talked to UA and CM and gotten nowhere. Concierge at the Marriott has been talking with his contacts at CM trying to get resolution. I tried to get United to get the bag onto a flight to Houston so it could take the UA IAH-UIO but they just directed me to CM

Latest this evening is that there a chance the bags arrive tonight on the Houston flight but no one can offer any guarantees. Flight from Houston lands about 1135pm

Anyone have some sagely advice? Any way for our bags to catch up to us in the Galapagos considering CM doesn't fly there? We also don't come back thru UIO. We go SCY-GYE on AV and then GYE-PTY-SJO on CM again so I have no idea where we can get our bags assuming they don't make it tonight.
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Old Jul 14, 19, 8:41 pm
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Sounds like United really dropped the ball. My experience with CM through PTY is that they've transferred bags when I had a 15 minute connection due to being a bit late inbound so clearly by not even letting the bags start the journey it's United's fault. Maybe buy what you need, claim insurance and ask CM to hold the bags in Panama or send them to GYE where they should fly to and get them there. If both Avianca and Copa fly to GYE from Panama then I am sure they could manage that.
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Old Jul 15, 19, 11:57 pm
Join Date: Feb 2014
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If itís all on one ticket (LAX-UIO), then itís the responsibility of the last carrier you flew, as the last operating carrier

Both airlines will blame each other, which is unfortunately standard for many issues between these (and other) partners

I would suggest you see what both Copa and your CC/insurance provider will allow you to purchase in case your bags do not show (obviously cannot double dip, but see your options)

If your bags made it out of DEN tonight on CM, then the earliest you will get them is 10:18am from CM374 in UIO

Keep on CM about this and get updates as to what is going on - Skype is free to call them. Twitter might also help, but will be unresponsive at this time

Hopefully you get your bags back in time, but if not, I would expect your bags to be sitting in UIO


I see you posted this yesterday, so some of the above is irrelevant
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Old Jul 27, 19, 1:19 pm
Join Date: Jan 2017
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If you purchased the flights with a Sapphire Reserve Card you should get $100/day until the bags show up. What credit card did you purchase the flights with?
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Old Jul 27, 19, 3:35 pm
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Fortunately, you do not need to assess blame or fault. Nor do UA or CM. It is solely the responsibility of the last delivering carrier to get your bags to you and to pay for interim expenses and ultimately for loss or damage. That is CM and CM alone.

Thus, it does not matter what did or did not happen at DEN (nor frankly is it remotely possible for an agent at UIO or a phone agent to know who left what where and who did or did not deliver what). In short, both carriers are simply trying to get rid of you. UA should simply tell you to deal with CM and CM should deal with you and be done with it.

Stop calling UA, it has nothing to do with this. File a report with CM, make sure that CM has your delivery address & a valid mobile. If you are going to be incommunicado for a week, make arrangements with a friend back in the US to act for you. Provide their name & number and provide the friend with instructions, e.g., whether the bags should be delivered to a hotel to which you are returning or back to the US.

In the meantime, as this is an international flight, it is covered by the Montreal Convention. Each of you should purchase the necessities and keep receipts. Necessities will be more here because you are gone for 7 days. The maximum under the Convention is approximately $1,650 per passenger. If the bags are not recovered, that will be the maximum as well and any interim amounts will be payable as well.

Insurance may help here, but as it appears that if the bags are only delayed by a day and you are gone for 7 more, you would likely only collect the one day. Thus, this may be one of the few times where you do better through the carrier.
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Old Jul 31, 19, 8:40 pm
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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 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....)
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