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Old Feb 11, 00, 9:34 am
  #181  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Programs: Latinpass Million Miler. BA Gold.
Posts: 3,530
re seata

I do apologize for putting the SAETA news un the board the other day without quoting the source. I should have known better. I hadn't returned until now, and I see a few people have reacted.

Just to clear up a few things - the last thing I'd want to do is make things more difficult for 'a small airline'. I posted the message in this thread (and NOT eg in the general news) to warn people planning a mileage run of the situation, because I wouldn't want people stuck in Ecuador with a ticket nobody accepts.

I did read the message posted by sidneyjb on the 6th feb, and it concerned something completely different. This was new, probably superceding what he heard on the sixth. I also tried to call SAETA, but didn't manage to get through. I'm glad he managed and confirmed that they are not operating for the time being.

I also read the spanish article posted - a bit confusing to say the least. I checked the hoy website, and there is no news on SAETA - in spite of the message just posted by sidneyjb. The airline website itself is 'under construction'

I did say in my message: check with the airline before you leave, but perhaps my form of words may have caused confusion (I am not a native English speaker), so when I said "I understand", what I meant was, "I have read, but not personally confirmed". However, I cannot confirm all that I read, and I treat some sources as reliable. My mistake was I should have mentioned the source, so other people can decide for themselves whether that source is reliable . This leads me to the source. I read the article on a subscription aviation news service called Air Transport Intelligence. I have copied the article below. It is even more pessimistic that I was, which is partly why I didn't put it here in the first place.

Finally, as I said I have e-mailed latinpass and guy booth yesterday. So far I have received no reply, but I am sure they will. I will put the reply on the board when I get it.

--------------------------------------------
Equador's SAETA ceases flight operations

Ecuadorian carrier SAETA and its domestic subsidiary SAN, have cancelled all flights with effect from 8 February.

Last September the carrier took its first step in restructuring operations by returning to its lessor the Airbus A320 used on routes from Ecuador to Miami and Bogotá.

However, SAETA did not receive FAA authorisation to resume services on the profitable Miami route with a Boeing 737-300,
because of the country's Category II safety rating.

In recent months SAETA has exclusively operated a fleet of Boeing 727 aircraft on the air shuttle between Quito and Guayaquil, to the Galapagos and Lima.

Local reports suggest TAME, the airline's pool partner in the Quito-Guayaquil air shuttle, has stopped accepting SAETA tickets because of lack of payment, effectively terminating the joint exploitation of Ecuador's busiest route. TAME has already increased its capacity on the air shuttle and Galapagos routes and is reportedly evaluating operations to Lima.

ATI's phone calls to SAETA's headquarters in Guayaquil and its Miami office were not answered, but industry sources say it is unlikely that SAETA will return to the air. Ecuador is suffering its worst economic crisis in decades which, combined with the eruption of two volcanoes, has caused a drop in tourism and business travel.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence
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Old Feb 11, 00, 8:07 pm
  #182  
 
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Thank You. ATI
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Old Feb 11, 00, 9:10 pm
  #183  
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The way things are going with this promo, I wonder who will be the first FlyerTalker to be stranded in the jungles of Central/South America because one of the carriers has suspended/terminated operations. Anyone who successfully meets the requirements of this promo AND actually gets credit for the million miles deserves a spot next to the Pudding Guy in the Frequent Flyer Hall of Fame!
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Old Feb 12, 00, 8:14 am
  #184  
 
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MileKing : You forgot to add " And gets to use their 1,000,000 miles "
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Old Feb 12, 00, 9:09 am
  #185  
 
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I want to make a run for this but am a little confused in how people are interpreting the Latin Pass rules about "international segments." To me, this means flying from one country to another.

For the million miles promotion does one have to fly an international segment on EACH of the following ten partner airlines: ACES, AEROPOSTAL, AVIANCA, COPA, GRUPO TACA <which includes LACSA, AVIATECA, TACA>, NICA<any flight with the Grupo Taca from Miami to Managua or viceversa only>, SAETA<which apparently doesn't operate at the moment>, KLM, TWA, US AIRWAYS, and NATIONAL AIRLINES??

Also, do international segments on LACSA and AVIATECA and TACA count as SEPARATE international segments (i.e, three int'l segments) towards the total TEN partner international segments? Or do they only count as meeting the international segment requirement of Grupo Taca--one of the ten partner airlines?

Also, do three domestic segments (within the US only and not INTERnational) on either US Airways or National airlines count towards the bonus?

A literal interpretation of the Latin Pass web guidelines would suggest that some of the planned itineraries posted here would not qualify. Is this right? What am I missing?
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Old Feb 12, 00, 10:28 am
  #186  
 
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The Latin Pass saga goes on!

I have continued to monitor the postings on this thread with interest, and have planned a 'mileage run' myself departing in 3 weeks time (4 days in the first week of March).

As an employee of an airline in the UK, I have been fortunate enough to get the kind people in our staff travel office to look at the Galileo and Sabre reservations systems to check out the flights with SAETA. They have said that currently, flights are showing in the res system but are showing a zero availability. This apparently applies to all their flights.

I have devised an itinerary that will allow me to go for the 500,000 miles (taking just 32 hours to complete with no overnight hotel stays required) and it offers travel on 7 carriers including SAETA but if the worse comes to the worse and SAETA is no longer operating, then the ticket is transferable to ACES and so I still have the 6 carriers requirement met.

I would love to go for the Million Miles, but increasingly it is seeming nigh impossible with the ambiguity r;e NICA flight qualifications, and SAETA situation.

One would think though, that LatinPass would perhaps be understanding of these difficulties and still offer the 1 million miles to those who tried but were 'caught' out by the unsettled situation with these smaller carriers.

I do hope that SAETA is able to return to operation, but we'll have to wait and see I suppose!

Kind Regards
Samuel
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Old Feb 12, 00, 10:30 am
  #187  
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You only have to have international segments on the member airlines: Aces, Aeropostal, Avianca, Aviateca, Copa, Lacsa, Nica, Saeta, Taca, and Taca-Perú. Note that Grupo Taca is not one airline, but four: Aviateca, Lacsa, Nica, and Taca. Nica is no longer flying, so a flight from MIA to MGA on Lacsa or Taca will fill the Nica requirement.

LatinPass has not said that the partner airline flights have to be international. Also, while National Airlines is now a partner airline, the official rules on the LatinPass web site only mention TWA, KLM, and USAirways as qualifying for this promotion. So if you're going to fly National, be sure to get something in writing from LatinPass first (and let us all know what they say!).
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Old Feb 12, 00, 11:17 am
  #188  
 
Join Date: Apr 1999
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I haven't really been reading this thread carefully up until now, but it looks as thought I will pull a business trip to Bogota, Columbia in March and thought I might get in on the fun.

If the trip comes off, I'll have a three day weekend (Friday night through Monday evening) in which I can fly, plus trips to and from Bogota, Columbia to get to my client. Would it be possible to go for the 500K miles over a long weekend like this?

I'm just looking for a quick yes/no from you good folks who have been strategizing on this for the last month. If you tell me it sounds doable, I'll print out this long discussion and the other one about going for 500K miles and start investigating itineraries.

Thanks in advance for the assist.

[This message has been edited by dgolds (edited 02-12-2000).]
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Old Feb 12, 00, 12:07 pm
  #189  
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Definitely doable.

------------------
Cheers.

Leo.
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Old Feb 12, 00, 12:10 pm
  #190  
 
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Leo: Cool! Thanks, I'll print out this l-o-o-n-g thread and start making my plans.
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Old Feb 12, 00, 11:44 pm
  #191  
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I think I finally generated a good itinerary
from Aruba with just 2 nights along the way.

Can anyone recommend good hotels near the
airport for Panama and Caracas?

I see Latinpass partner hotels such as
Marriott in the city at PTY and Hilton
in downtown Caracas but both seem to be
over 20 miles from the airport ;-(

I haven't had luck finding any information on
good hotels near the airport. The Holiday Inn
might be close at PTY but the website isn't
clear on distances.

Thanks! Bill
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Old Feb 12, 00, 11:57 pm
  #192  
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The itinerary that I'm looking at is:

AUA-CCS VH823 1535-1630 4/15 Sat Aeropostal
* may not fly on Sat so may need to
substitute AUA-CUR-CCS which has VH
CCS-BOG AV79 0730-0820 4/16 Sun Avianca
BOG-SJU VX508 1115-1425 4/16 Sun Aces
SJU-PTY CM401 1605-1845 4/16 Sun Copa
PTY-SJO TA522 0600-0610 4/17 Mon Taca
SJO-CCS LR610 1045-1545 4/17 Mon Lacsa
CCS-AUA ALM517 1945-2135 4/17 Mon ALM
Not Latinpass

If anyone sees a mistake in the schedule,
please let me know!!!

It priced out pretty well too ...around $1000. A lot better than my original routes
which went all the way to SAL-SAP-GUA to
get Aviateca and several duplicate Copa/Lacsa.

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Old Feb 13, 00, 9:30 am
  #193  
 
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Just a quick update.

Sydneyjb. I took your advise and called Saeta myself last week. And "yes" they are NOT operating any flights at this time. Therefore my previous posting about them having their inventory showing 0 availability was correct. Latispass sent me an e-mail saying they hope to be flying again in about three weeks. !! (hope?).

I actually gave up on doing the run for a million, I settled for 500K.

Mex SAL - AVIATECA
SAL MGA TACA
MGA SJO COPA
SJO BOG LACSA
BOG CCS AVIANCA
CSS MIA AEROPOSTAL

About $1100 in business class.



[This message has been edited by MileSmiles (edited 02-13-2000).]
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Old Feb 13, 00, 11:25 am
  #194  
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Well, I've got time on my hands to make a decision. I have to be in Buenos Aires on June 8th. So, I will fly into Guatemala and do the million or 500,000. Surely, if in a "few weeks" SAETA is not flying again, LP will have to make amends to this promotion.

------------------
Cheers.

Leo.
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Old Feb 13, 00, 11:46 am
  #195  
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Bend, Oregon, USA -- Latinpass500K, Hilton Gold
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Bill Hall:

I've been working on your routing suggestion and have found it quite efficient and will likely follow it except starting in Miami and substituting Aeropostal 501 MIA-CCS and ending with Aeropostal 500 CCS ($320.80RT) as follows:

MIA-CCS VH501 1050-1500 4/1 Sat Aeropostal
CCS-BOG AV79 0730-0820 4/2 Sun Avianca
BOG-SJU VX508 1115-1425 4/2 Sun Aces
SJU-PTY CM401 1605-1845 4/2 Sun Copa
PTY-SJO TA522 0600-0610 4/3 Mon Taca
SJO-CCS LR610 1045-1545 4/3 Mon Lacsa
CCS-MIA VH500 0720-0930 4/4 Mon Aeropostal

My only concerns are if LR610 is a code share and if Latinpass will allow me to book together ($1,367.80) or if I need to book all segments separately ($1,768).

CCS hotels seem to be quite expensive (Intercontinental; $150) and same with rental car (AVIS, $51.30). PTY hotel is less (Intercontinental; $100) and car (AVIS, $$22.80). However, this gets the three hotel and car requirement out of the way.

Any suggestions/comments from others on the routing, segments concerns and/or hotels?

Is CCS safe to overnight? PTY?

Many thanks --

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