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Told to check in for TACA 3 hrs before flight time???

Told to check in for TACA 3 hrs before flight time???

 
Old Feb 16, 05, 4:40 pm
  #1  
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Told to check in for TACA 3 hrs before flight time???

I called TACA tonight to confirm my reservation and was told I needed to check in for my flight 3 hours before departure! Is this BS or do they have some sort of circus/disorganized check in procedure that will require three hours?

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Old Feb 18, 05, 6:57 am
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I flew LACSA from JFK to SJO in business. The check in at JFK was orderly at 5:00AM. On the return, the afternoon checkin at SJO was a nightmare. It took at least 30 min on the Executiva line, and the coach line was incredible. I ended up getting voluntarily bumped for $600 and flew out the next day. Bottom line, it may take three hours!
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Old Feb 18, 05, 8:28 am
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Wow, that's amazing. I don't mind showing up 3 hours early for my departure out of IAD but my return leaves at 6am. No freakin way I'm showing up at the airport at 3am!!!!
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Old Feb 18, 05, 9:31 am
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I remember on my million mile run and we noticed that some of the flights left BEFORE the scheduled time.
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Old Feb 19, 05, 2:39 pm
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Originally Posted by MileageAddict
Wow, that's amazing. I don't mind showing up 3 hours early for my departure out of IAD but my return leaves at 6am. No freakin way I'm showing up at the airport at 3am!!!!

Which airport are you returning from?? Find out when the counter opens-- if they only open at 4:30, then you'll be fine if you arrive after.

Thinking of my recent experiences in MGA, there was quite a line to check in as just 2-3 agents worked the flight, so it will take time--- but my hunch is 90 min. should be good.
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Old Feb 22, 05, 11:05 am
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Check in

I am leaving EZE (Buenos Aires) on Thur at 7:10am. TACA now says I need to be there by 4:10am (It was 2 hours 10 days ago) But they recently had a drug run uncovered on Southern Winds from B.A. involving some airport officials. So changed administration of the security and cracked down. So I guess more serching of bags, etc.

Will try to get on FT in a week to report.

BUT at LAX flying on TACA it took about 2 hours from check in to get to gate. We were business class, but people in front (2 ticket counters) had one group of about 6 with oversized bags. They had to repack and wrap tape around bags to get them oked. Other counter had problem with tickets. Then I found out afterward the group in front of me were NOT business class, but TACA did not kick them to regular line!!

After boarding pass, the line was 30-40 min to get Checked bags thru a seperate security line. (But they did move people ahead that had flights leaving within 30 minutes, which slowed the line!!)

Then, the regular security line with carry ons took about 20 minutes!

I have never seen such a mess -- and this was LAX Bradley Internation Terminal. I asked and they said that was normal.

So 3 hours may not be B.S.

When in San Jose, CR used transit for a 7 hour layover and rest and shower at a nearby B&B. Exit was fast and re-entry, including completing the transit form, was only about 15 minutes. Still San Jose is a medium airport that needs the renovation completed - after at least 3 years!

PS. Southern Winds is taking a lot of heat for the cocaine smuggling that some of their executivew seem to be involved in. If taking them, keep close tabs on the news - as they may be in trouble if govt. subsidy halts.
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Old Feb 22, 05, 11:56 am
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Originally Posted by Schutzee
I flew LACSA from JFK to SJO in business. The check in at JFK was orderly at 5:00AM. On the return, the afternoon checkin at SJO was a nightmare. It took at least 30 min on the Executiva line, and the coach line was incredible. I ended up getting voluntarily bumped for $600 and flew out the next day. Bottom line, it may take three hours!
I just returned on TACA last night from SJO-LAX. SJO was an absolute nightmare! At least the TACA check-in desk was. I arrived at the airport with 1 hour and 45 minutes to spare. I thought that might be enough time, but as it was I was pulled out of line along with the last 4 people to check in for our flight to LAX. I was told to hurry to the gate and I got there within 15 minutes of departure. I boarded the plane and 1/2 the plane boarded after me with "Duty Free" shopping bags!
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Old Feb 22, 05, 3:04 pm
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I arrived at IAD at 12:55pm for my 2:50pm departure. This was plenty of time and I to wait 30 minutes until boarding time.

Returning from PTY, I arrived at the airport at 4:40am for my 6:00am departure. Extremely slow check-in procedure and passport control. I ended up waiting at the gate less than 3 minutes before boarding began!

Interesting sidenote: Both SAL and PTY require shoe removal for security screening...arrrghhh!
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Old Feb 25, 05, 9:23 am
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My wife and I fly at least once a year with Taca to UIO via SJO from JFK. I recall back in December 2003 they told us to be at the airport 4 HOURS before our 6am flight. We arrived around 3 hours before and there were quite a few people on line already. It has always been generally chaotic at JFK and very slow every time we have flown Taca the past 5 years.

The last time we flew Taca over Memorial Day weekend in 2004 we arrived early, but a co-worker of my wife arrived a little less than 2 hours before the flight and they refused to let her check in and they apparently had no other flights that day to put her on. Her mom and sister who were flying with her had already checked in and that made no difference to Taca. She was in tears, and went home. She later negotiated a partial refund/credit.
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Old Feb 27, 05, 7:28 am
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Last week I arrived an hour and a half early for a 7:00 AM flight from MEX to SJO. The counter was completely empty and the staff wanted to refuse me boarding until they realized that I was flying on a paid business class ticket. A guy that arrived at the same time was turned away. Crossing immigration and security was a breeze and I was at the gate 20 minutes after checking in. A couple of side notes: first, I walked by the TACA VIP club (which in MEX is in the domestic side ... so you end up having to cross immigration twice) but it wasn't worth the walk ... I only stayed a couple of minutes. Second, the poor guy that got turned away would be very upset if he realized that the flight was delayed by an hour because the crew needed additional rest time before being allowed back in service
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Old Feb 27, 05, 9:05 pm
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From EZE

Our flight from EZE to Lima and SJO left at 7:10am. With driver arriving at hotel early, we got to EZE a few minutes past 4am. No lines. Boarding pass, tax counter, security and immigration took total of about 20 min. So lots of dead time drinking coffee in gate area. (I did notice about an hour later lines in secuity were much longer.)

PS. In SJO there is a brand, new VIP lounge. But no airline members. They have some banks sponsering. They hope to get TACA or AA to add as a club, but not yet. They charge $35 to enter - with bar, internet, some sandwiches (I think), and nice couches and A/C. Looked very nice, but I did not pay to use. It is behind the bottom of stairway - near the smoking bar and the best restrooms in the airport.
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Old Feb 27, 05, 11:08 pm
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Thanks for your report, SAPMAN. I'm heading to EZE on March 2 and will return on the same 7:10 am flight to LIM on March 10. Will be using business class check-in, and am wondering, based on your experience, what time I should reasonably expect to be there by. I'm also considering utilizing the city check-in the day before at Taca's downtown office in the hopes that it might save some time and aggravation...
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Old Mar 6, 05, 10:22 am
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Answer to below note (if you get on line in next 4 days): I would be at EZE airport by 5am. Although you will have some waiting in security lines, should not be more than 15 min. There is a seperate ticket counter line for Business. We arrived in BA late the night before leaving, so did not use the TACA office for early check in (so cannot comment on that).

Inside security there is not too much other than Duty Free shop. There is a coffee area near gate 5 that opens at 4am. The newsstand gets papers (incl B.A. Herald) about 6am.

ONE CAUTION: When we got to Lima (stop on way to SJO), we were required to deplane into terminal (a very nice terminal with shops). When getting to gate, we discovered we needed a NEW boarding pass even though we were through passengers. They had prepared these in advance, BUT they had put us in COACH (not our same business seats)!! This happened to 2 others who had full fare tickets also!

After complaining, they apparently moved some other passengers back to coach who they had "upgraded" to business and got us Business seats.

I would check carefully in BA about seat assignment all the way to San Jose. Also go to gate right away in San Jose to get re-boarding passes and check seats.


Originally Posted by freeflyer
Thanks for your report, SAPMAN. I'm heading to EZE on March 2 and will return on the same 7:10 am flight to LIM on March 10. Will be using business class check-in, and am wondering, based on your experience, what time I should reasonably expect to be there by. I'm also considering utilizing the city check-in the day before at Taca's downtown office in the hopes that it might save some time and aggravation...
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Old Mar 6, 05, 10:51 am
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Totally Disorganized In Their Ground Operations

My wife and I just completed Taca Business Class Ecuador roundtrip LAX/SJO/GYE and UIO/SJO/LAX. While the inflight service, food, etc. was just fine, their ground operations at ALL points was a total disaster!!!


Experienced The Following:
1) Wrong hours for counter openings (LAX - 3 different times provided, UIO info not available). Told Business Class VIP lounger available for early check-in in LAX, none at all except in UIO (very nice VIP lounge).
2) Wrong terminal information (LAX moved to Terminal 2 two months ago but all information was for Bradley)
3) Wrong class seating (Coach out of LAX, business all the rest - Corrected, but only after effort expended to do so)
4) Schedule changes not shown on confirmations even after confirmation calls made to Taca res - 50 minutes earlier departure at UIO, both return flight numbers changed, actual arrival time and schedule at SJO 40 minutes later than confirmation forms.
5) Poorly run gate operations (1 person running boarding initially at SJO and taking time to help 2 parties with wrong class seating, not boarding the flight until 10-15 minutes late when 2 other people finally showed up to help).
6) Lost one bag on arrival at LAX (30 minute late arrival due to late departure from SJO) and there were no TACA personnel available to assist. Finally went to TACA counter in Terminal 2 (after clearing Customs, Immigration at Bradley) and filed claim. Other bag was soaked on outside). Called Taca baggage claim before leaving LAX next morning, no answer. Finally connected after arriving home on Southwest. Had bag awaiting in her office, was put on wring belt????) Received it at airport after having to drive back out to get it.

As I said to begin with, TOTAL DISASTER! Is this any way to run an airline? I'm glad that I have only enough miles left for one more roundtrip and then I don't know if I would want to go through all of this again. Might just let the miles expire!

Last edited by Bobarb; Mar 6, 05 at 11:00 am
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Old Mar 8, 05, 8:56 am
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Originally Posted by Bobarb
I'm glad that I have only enough miles left for one more roundtrip and then I don't know if I would want to go through all of this again. Might just let the miles expire!
Email or PM me if you really mean that. I'm sure we could come up with a mutually beneficial trade!
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