Connection in Panama

Old May 13, 13, 2:51 pm
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Connection in Panama

I need to fly from ORD to GRU on 6/1. A non-stop is over $4500 at this point, so I'm looking at connections on COPA. The United site is showing one with a connection in Panama City with only 1 hour 2 minutes. Is that sufficient for a connection? I don't usually leave that short of a connection, but my next option is a 3 hour connection.

I've never connected in Panama, so I'm not sure of transit rules. Any help is appreciated.

Last edited by dj506; May 13, 13 at 2:57 pm
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Old May 13, 13, 2:58 pm
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Connections in Panama City are very easy. Some flights on Copa's website indicate a 35 minute layover is sufficent. There is no need for an additional security check nor a visa (if a US Citizen). The Premier Access benefits apply to Copa as well. All of Copa's flights are eligible for CPU as well.
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Old May 13, 13, 3:08 pm
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Thanks for the quick response. Now, as long as I can actually get out of ORD on time, I should be good to go. And yes, I know ORD and on-time are oxymorons.
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Old May 13, 13, 3:22 pm
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30 minutes is enough, so if everything is on time the hour should be fine. Safe travels!
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Old May 13, 13, 4:05 pm
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US started new service to GRU out of CLT and the fares were dirt cheap last time I checked.
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Old May 13, 13, 4:08 pm
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Yes that is sufficient. Copa is a well run airline and PTY is very compact.

I would suggest you buy the ticket from Copa rather than United. If you buy the UA codeshare there are several potential complications along the way. Check to see if Copa has a D fare (Business Promo) available - it often costs little more than Y. Note also that Copa is currently running a 25% PQM bonus (you won't get that if you buy through United).

btw, I am sitting in the PTY Copa Club right now.
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Old May 13, 13, 4:14 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
Yes that is sufficient. Copa is a well run airline and PTY is very compact.

I would suggest you buy the ticket from Copa rather than United. If you buy the UA codeshare there are several potential complications along the way. Check to see if Copa has a D fare (Business Promo) available - it often costs little more than Y. Note also that Copa is currently running a 25% PQM bonus (you won't get that if you buy through United).

btw, I am sitting in the PTY Copa Club right now.
+1 to all of the above.

I would not worry about a short connection. COPA has never misconnected me, and I have connected through PTY at least 100 times.

IME, COPA pads their schedules and flights leave the gate on time or early, so early arrival at PTY is the norm.

The only downside that I have seen for using UA codeshare is that you cannot check in on line. All of the upgrades work the same. That said, if you can book at copaair.com, the 25% PQM bonus is a plus.

The nice thing about the flight from ORD is that it leaves at a time when there are few other flights from the international terminal, so security is fast.
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Old May 13, 13, 4:22 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
. . . I would suggest you buy the ticket from Copa rather than United. . .
Can you GPU a ticket issued on Copa stock?
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Old May 13, 13, 4:30 pm
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Originally Posted by burlax View Post
Can you GPU a ticket issued on Copa stock?
Yes. Copa is Mileage Plus. But I don't know why you would want to. I just buy the D fare. It's an incredible bargain.
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Old May 13, 13, 4:59 pm
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Originally Posted by ual744777sta View Post
All of Copa's flights are eligible for CPU as well.
I booked a Copa flight on PL. I have my 1K number on the itin. Is there anything else I need to do to make the CPU process work properly?

This will be my first time on COPA.
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Old May 13, 13, 5:05 pm
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Originally Posted by hobo13 View Post
I booked a Copa flight on PL. I have my 1K number on the itin. Is there anything else I need to do to make the CPU process work properly?

This will be my first time on COPA.
Edited to read: PL? Is that Priceline? I have no idea. Is that even upgradeable? I would call Copa and see if you're on the list. The Copa CS folks tend to be very nice.

Last edited by Kacee; May 13, 13 at 5:19 pm
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Old May 13, 13, 5:22 pm
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So I booked the flight through my corporate travel site (as required by my employer). I've gone on the United site and it's showing I'm in fare class Y, but no upgrade request is showing. So, what do I need to do for a CPU.

I do have two GPUs left, but would prefer to save them if I can for an upcoming trip to China. I just checked the United site and it won't let me apply a GPU to the outgoing COPA flights or to redeem miles for an upgrade.
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Old May 13, 13, 5:30 pm
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Originally Posted by dj506 View Post
So I booked the flight through my corporate travel site (as required by my employer). I've gone on the United site and it's showing I'm in fare class Y, but no upgrade request is showing. So, what do I need to do for a CPU.

I do have two GPUs left, but would prefer to save them if I can for an upcoming trip to China. I just checked the United site and it won't let me apply a GPU to the outgoing COPA flights or to redeem miles for an upgrade.
The CPU should process, I've gotten them that way before. But I would call. Not sure whether you try United or Copa first (but suspect it's going to ultimately be up to Copa to help you). Note also that UA fare code is not necessarily going to match up to Copa's. Copa has a much simpler fare structure.
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Old May 13, 13, 6:01 pm
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Originally Posted by Kacee View Post
The CPU should process, I've gotten them that way before. But I would call.
No need to call. CPU's always process just fine on COPA. Some people assume that you are guaranteed a CPU as a 1K, but, like UA, sometimes you don't make the cut. It happens to me once in a while. My next COPA flight is showing only two open seats in business more than a week out.

If you want to apply a GPU call United. Ask to be transferred to the *A desk. They will know how to handle it. This applies whether you bought the ticket on COPA or UA stock. If you call COPA, they will have no idea what you are talking about and tell you to call United.

If you want to check availability, GPU and RPU inventory show as "Z" on United and as "I" on COPA.

You should also know that RPU's work for any COPA route, even those to southern South America.
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Old May 13, 13, 6:14 pm
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Originally Posted by coolcoil View Post
No need to call. CPU's always process just fine on COPA. Some people assume that you are guaranteed a CPU as a 1K, but, like UA, sometimes you don't make the cut. It happens to me once in a while. My next COPA flight is showing only two open seats in business more than a week out.

If you want to apply a GPU call United. Ask to be transferred to the *A desk. They will know how to handle it. This applies whether you bought the ticket on COPA or UA stock. If you call COPA, they will have no idea what you are talking about and tell you to call United.

If you want to check availability, GPU and RPU inventory show as "Z" on United and as "I" on COPA.

You should also know that RPU's work for any COPA route, even those to southern South America.
So they work just find no matter the ticketing agency, or the ticketing stock?
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