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TA dwngrds its NUTS; CE srvce levels at all time low;lots of sch chgs = MORE MILE 4U

TA dwngrds its NUTS; CE srvce levels at all time low;lots of sch chgs = MORE MILE 4U

 
Old Nov 29, 05, 1:04 pm
  #1  
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Location: 3A - most likey <> BKK <--> EZE; TACA 3A nobody, but GP million miler; Hilton Gold sometimes. Successfully divorced from CO PLAT.
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TA dwngds it's NUTS svc: BC svc hits all time LOW; lots of sched chgs = MORE MILES 4U

Just in from Thanksgiving trip. New impressions to follow (if you wud like to hear ).

Best thing TA has HAD going for it WAS its nut service IMHO. Nice warmed high quality nuts served in a rather large rectangular plastic ramekin. Be advised: the ramekin has now been downgraded to a small circular flimsy bowl... somewhat like a small plastic cigarette ashtray. It's really cheap, and totally TAcky! And so, of course, this new enhancement means you will get less nuts.

New lingo has also been introduced: 'TACA HUB SAN SALVADOR',' TACA HUB SAN JOSE', and 'TACA HUB LIM' is being used everywhere. It's even officially in the Inflight magazine now with the appropriate names listed on the route map.

So now all your flights are bound for 'TACA HUB SAN SALVADOR y conecciones', etc.

Lots of schedule changes, last minute cancellations = more miles 4 U if rebooked on competition. You might want to check your schedules or not - depending on how you look at being rerouted on another carrier, etc.

My TACA flight cancelled this morning. = WOO HOO - CO FIRST!

Sitting in Pres Club in Houston now = more miles 4free! LOL!

Latest trip report w CO comparison of service will be found <here> in a day or two.

Cheers.

Last edited by tvl4free; Nov 29, 05 at 5:18 pm
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Old Nov 29, 05, 3:35 pm
  #2  
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Hard to believe that they would put someone traveling on a FreeBe onto CO or anyone else. Is IAH like DFW in that TA doesnt have its people running the show, at DFW its AA people and could be they dont really care much about anything.

But the paper tkts have written all over the place its not good for travel except on TA.

Unless things changed over night Flights from MIA, LAX, JFK still fly to GUA non-stop, as well as to SJO and SAL. I also dont understand the LIM part except thats where you hav eto connect to get to SCL,EZE,SAO, but getting to LIM is a different story, and even if its 2 and not a 3 stopper it doesnt raelly matter much as there is only 1 flight out of LIM per day further South

Last edited by craz; Nov 29, 05 at 3:40 pm
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Old Nov 29, 05, 5:23 pm
  #3  
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They will handwrite you a new ticket for the reroute. Just be sure it has J, D, or C - not Y - in the appropriate COS spot.
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Old Nov 30, 05, 3:47 pm
  #4  
 
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This is hardly the most important part of this thread, but since you brought it up...
On ALL 8 of my recent flights from BOS-GRU and back we got the big dishes of warmed nuts. I got so many nuts I made myself sick!

And more important, every one of my flights was on time and the (many) connections were painless.

One glitch that anyone going to Brazil should know about, however. If you overnight in Lima (and leave the airport) you will need a Yellow Fever vaccination in order to continue on to Brazil. You can get the vaccination in Lima quite easily but you have to wait 10 days after you get the vaccination before you can enter Brazil. So beware.

I found out when I tried to check in for my flight to Sao Paulo. Taca neglected to tell me about this requirement when they booked the flights with the overnight layover. Taca did waive the change fee and rescheduled my flight for 10 days later. So even though it wasn't part of the plan I finally got to see Machu Picchu!
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Old Nov 30, 05, 5:54 pm
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We had some adventures on our flights to/from SFO & Panama. The flights go SFO-SAL-SJO, with SAL listed as a stop, though it's really a connection. The distinction is important when the flight arrives an hour late, as ours did. The "stop" ended up lasting about 10 hours. Tons of people missed their connections, and TACA had only one lady working at the desk to sort out the mess. TACA handled the situation fairly well, given the limited resources they assigned to it. Breakfast was brought out to all the people that missed their flights, and it took about 2 hours for everything to be sorted out. About ten people had to spend the night in San Salvador before catching their new flights. They gave us lunch vouchers and day rooms at the nearby Quality Inn. We took advantage of the time to do some shopping in the city, and (of course) eat some Pollo Campero. We ended up in Panama 9 hours late, and TACA put us in coach for the last two flights (not much to complain about given the short 1 hour flights).

In retrospect, I made a huge tactical error not taking TACA up on their request for volunteers in SFO. They were quite oversold and got up to $600 per person. They would have taken all 4 of us and rerouted us on Continental (in coach). Had we taken this offer, we would have arrived 6 hours earlier, enjoyed some sleep in SF, and had $2,400 for future flights.

The return flights worked out OK, though the agents in PTY were unable to provide us with boarding passes for the SJO-SAL-SFO legs. The gentleman said that their ticking system was very confused by the "D" class award tickets, as these are normally upgrades, and upgrades can't be approved except at the gate. Can't wait to see how this works out for our 7-leg flights to Cuzco next month.

TACA service was uneven. I find it really hard to sleep on the SFO-SAL red-eye (in Business Class especially) because the food service drags on for so long. Clase Executiva has indeed slipped some, but it wasn't that great 5 years ago, either.
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Old Dec 1, 05, 12:53 pm
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OK, I have to ask....at least half the people getting on the plane in SAL had boxes of chicken. The scent on the plane was unmistakable. What's the deal with this chicken?
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Old Dec 1, 05, 1:27 pm
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Originally Posted by stephlac
OK, I have to ask....at least half the people getting on the plane in SAL had boxes of chicken. The scent on the plane was unmistakable. What's the deal with this chicken?
saw the same thing on my SAL-JFK flight last Thurs, 3 of the peopel were with me in 1st.

Does US Customs actually let them bring it thru. I would have thought that if they didnt eat it on the flight that Customs would confiscate it as being Illegal to bring in Food Products


side issue:anyone going to or connecting in SAL, there are Many Duty Free Shops selling the exact same item that are owned by different people. Thusly Prices do vary I was able to save bet $5 to $10 on a couple of bottles each of Scotch. I also found that my favorite Cologne was no Bargain in SAL and was $6 cheaper in SJO . So as usually Know Your Prices.

Last edited by craz; Dec 1, 05 at 1:31 pm
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Old Dec 1, 05, 5:29 pm
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Originally Posted by stephlac
OK, I have to ask....at least half the people getting on the plane in SAL had boxes of chicken. The scent on the plane was unmistakable. What's the deal with this chicken?
That's what I wanted to know the first time I took the SAL-SFO flight. I happened to be extremely hungry and noticed that about 10% of the people were carrying on chicken. I subsequently asked one the passengers and he told me about Pollo Campero. In short, it's a central american fried chicken chain, not generally available in the US, so it's a popular gift to give friends and relatives a taste of home.

Their site:
http://www.campero.com/index_flash.php

There are lots of funny stories about this on internet, including one that references TACA: From http://infoguat.guatemala.org/GNU%20...1-2003.htm#H1:

"Pollo Campero, a leader among Latin-food sellers in the U.S., is a Guatemala City seller of spicy fried chicken that developed its product back in the 1970's. Years ago, passengers flying back to the U.S. from Guatemala and El Salvador were boarding Grupo TACA planes, a Central American airline consortium, with freshly-cooked chicken Campero packages bought at stands in the airport and the spicy aroma lingered in the cabin causing complaints from fellow passengers that were not familiar with the smell. TACA asked Campero to consider using sealed, odorless packaging on its products because of the enduring smell that remained in their planes. Today, a large percentage of the $4 million in chicken sold annually by Campero at its Guatemala City and San Salvador airport outlets makes its way to the U.S. on TACA flights in the hands of nostalgic Central Americans taking Campero products to relatives and friends back in the U.S."

Last year I was determined to get some of this chicken on my return from Belize. This turned into a Seinfeld episode of sorts. When I tried to find the place in the airport, I found that it was outside of security. However some very helpful security guards/police took action for me. They used a cell phone to call the store, and had someone run the chicken through the airport for me. This was a little embarrasing, but I was committed at that point. They had me wait near the x-ray machine. I started to sweat a little, as the chicken took a while to appear, past my scheduled boarding time, in fact. It did arrive, though, and the guy put the box on the conveyor through security. I handed him the cash (plus a tip, obviously), and enjoyed my first taste of that tender, crispy chicken. It really is good. Fried chicken, but I prefer it to all the US brands.

My family and I subsequently enjoyed it several times while vacationing in Costa Rica. They're all hooked, too.

There are now restaurants in LA and Washington DC. As a result, I was able to blow some El Salvadorans' minds on a recent trip down to San Salvador. I had picked up a 21-piecer the previous day in Washington DC. I brought the large box to the airport (SFO), along with last few remaining pieces, and carried it prominently on the flight. I'm thinking this might be one of the few times the chicken ever flew south?
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Old Dec 5, 05, 11:00 pm
  #9  
 
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Thanks Pudding Guy for the detailed account of the mysterious chicken! Now that I know the name, I remember seeing some of these places on my drive through Central America last year. It never occurred to me to stop and try it. I guess I assume all chain chicken places are like KFC. Not my cup of tea (or bucket of chicken, as the case may be). I guess I'll to give it a try on my next trip.
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Old Dec 11, 05, 9:41 am
  #10  
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Is Pollo Campero the chicken place that is located in the Food Court in SJO airport?

I can't rember.
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Old Dec 12, 05, 6:02 pm
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Pollo Campero is located near the Hampton Inn about a mile from the airport. We just had lunch there a week ago on a 5-hour layover before our flight to Chicago. I don't recall a chicken outlet at the airport. It's great that they run a free shuttle every 10 minutes between the businesses near the Hampton and the airport.
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Old Dec 19, 05, 8:10 pm
  #12  
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I finally got around to posting my TR. It's here for your amusement.
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Old Dec 19, 05, 10:05 pm
  #13  
 
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I'm sorry to hear the service has deteriorated on TACA -- I remember the service as being pretty good when I did my million-mile run. I'll be flying from ORD to PTY via GUA and SJO over Christmas and will see for myself (although I neither expect nor want much service on a flight that departs at 2 a.m.). I'm astounded I was able to get 5 business class award seats for travel during Christmas time!
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Old Dec 20, 05, 7:30 pm
  #14  
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Flew Taca (well LACSA to be precise) JFK-SJO-UIO a couple of days ago. Admittedly no great shakes, but not the awful picture painted by some recently. Offered pre-departure drinks and coats/jackets were collected. Crew was very friendly. Blankets and pillows were also distributed. The bagel-based breakfast on JFK-SJO was pretty dire but the beef sandwich (alterantive was a chicken one) was pretty tasty. And espresso still available too. Foodwise, what you get in business seems to be the same that they sell in coach.
I was expecting the worst in the light of various recent comments but it was not too bad. Clearly, they won't win awards, but they are more or less OK, at least on that route.
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Old Dec 21, 05, 10:39 am
  #15  
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Originally Posted by NickB
Flew Taca (well LACSA to be precise) JFK-SJO-UIO a couple of days ago. Admittedly no great shakes, but not the awful picture painted by some recently. Offered pre-departure drinks and coats/jackets were collected. Crew was very friendly. Blankets and pillows were also distributed. The bagel-based breakfast on JFK-SJO was pretty dire but the beef sandwich (alterantive was a chicken one) was pretty tasty. And espresso still available too. Foodwise, what you get in business seems to be the same that they sell in coach.
I was expecting the worst in the light of various recent comments but it was not too bad. Clearly, they won't win awards, but they are more or less OK, at least on that route.
Whoa , I flew that flight 4 times always on Sundays, and after reading your post Im wondering which Airline I was flying on, since it was Never as good as you described it even once.

Pillows??!!! I havent seen pillows on TA or LR whatsoever! also Except for 1 trip NO Blankets either for anyone! Twice did they offer to hang up my jacket thats out of 12 flights. The closets are usually full with all the Crews items, so there was no room for the passengers things, no kidding.

I did those flights within the last 6 weeks to boot. Including 12/11 where I was Uped to Biz by an agent who always checked me in and didnt want me to sit in coach when there were seats empty in Biz, so I ended up in BIZ all the way thru GYE.

Are you sure you were on LR????? And not CO
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