COPA Baggage woes to increase

Old Sep 18, 19, 12:44 pm
  #1  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: usually Panama
Programs: OnePass / ASmileageplan / AAdvantage / Amtrak / ChoiceRewards / etc.
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COPA Baggage woes to increase

COPA appears to be automating their systems to the point of eliminating agents altogether.

I checked in at UIO and informed the agent that I would need my suitcase in PTY (overnight layover anyway) but she checked it through to DAV regardless, saying that the system wouldn't let her change it. "You'll have to clear customs and immigration in Panama City anyways." I told her that it was highly unlikely that I would be able to make the final leg of my flight following a meeting scheduled at the airport on arrival.

On arrival, my bag had been sent to Secure Storage and nobody was available to fetch it. "Come back in a few hours when we aren't busy. The agents upstairs (pre-security) can get your bag for you."

Returning 2 hours later, not only were the agents unwilling to get the bag, but stated that it was impossible as all baggage personnel had gone home for the day.

I informed them that I was on the next flight out on a different carrier, as COPA doesn't fly to that city. "Send an email to Lost and Found Baggage and they will forward your suitcase." I did following arrival and have never heard from them.

Upon return to Panama over 2 weeks later, the desk agents informed me that my bag was in DAV. I went overland as I would arrive a day sooner.

Visiting the agents at DAV started a minor investigation into where the bags went, as they were not only not at DAV, but had not even left PTY. They got the bags delivered the following day, but it was disturbing to the staff at DAV that they had to jump through so many hoops to even locate the bag, not understanding why they had not been forwarded.

Moral of the Story: COPA service is increasingly inconsistent, with automation reducing the scope of assistance available to passengers and encouraging inaction by agents. (Try booking a flight on copaair.com to a destination served by a Star Alliance partner - such as Vail, Colorado - and it will be obvious.)
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Old Sep 25, 19, 12:58 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: JFK BOS LAX
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Sounds about right to me...

Sorry for your woes.
CatchFlightsNotFeelings is online now  
Old Sep 26, 19, 5:12 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: usually Panama
Programs: OnePass / ASmileageplan / AAdvantage / Amtrak / ChoiceRewards / etc.
Posts: 22
COPA used to rank in my Top 5 Airlines. The professionalism of the agents at DAV tells me that the rot is probably in PTY or Corporate. Looks like I will be flying other carriers more.
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