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On a return flight on Copa Airlines from Chile to USA, I was forced by family circumstances to delay my departure. I visited the ticket office in Santiago and requested a change. I had to pay a penalty of US$300 and lose another $160 for premium seats I had already purchased. When I went online to reserve my seats, I was informed that I had also lost all my online privileges and could no longer reserve seats or check in. What kind of airline punishes passengers because they are forced to make a change in their reservations? Copa is not only a mediocre airline at best, but instead of trying to attract new passengers, it rips them off! Needless to say, this was my first and last trip on Copa.
I called Copa to change the return date of two round trip tickets and to add a destination. This incurred a 600 change fee (300 per person). Not even 20 minutes later, I called back because the agent failed to book a connecting flight. Copa demanded an additional 600 change fee again. I looked at Expedia and found that a brand new flight would cost less and there is a 24 hour grace period. I ended up booking with Expedia. Also, the company doesn't email a receipt that includes the change fee for their services. They only show the flight difference. The fees are charged as a lump sump on the credit card. I've attached an image that shows the charges as "pending". This is the first (and last) time I will fly with this airline.
We are writing about a problem we encountered this past week when attempting to travel with COPA to a family reunion in Bluefields Nicaragua. We made our reservations on the phone with a COPA agent on October 19th, 2017. Because we were travelling with our 5 year old, we made the decision to break-up the trip from Boston to Nicaragua with an overnight at an airport hotel in Panama City.
When we booked our flights, the COPA agent never advised us that after a layover in Panama City, we would be required to have the Yellow Fever vaccine in order to fly to Nicaragua. The COPA agent at Logan Airport in Boston who checked us in (on March 10, 2018) also failed to inform us of the Yellow Fever vaccine requirement. It was not until we arrived at the Panama City airport to check in for our flight to Managua (on March 11, 2018) that we were informed by COPA agent that we could not check in, that we would need the YF vaccine and a 10 day quarantine. We were effectively stranded in Panama City with our 5 year old, while the rest of our family was gathered in Nicaragua.
As a result of COPA’s failure to inform us of the YF vaccine requirement for passengers flying from Panama City to Nicaragua, we lost money in COPA flights, domestic flights within Nicaragua, and fees for cancelled/no-shows at hotels in Nicaragua. We incurred significant costs finding room and board in Panama. When we attempted to head home, we were informed that we’d have to pay for new tickets, change fees, and penalties. It is incomprehensible to us that with Panama City being COPA’s hub that it would not be routine to warn all passengers traveling through Panama to Central America of this vaccine requirement. Aside from the incalculable emotional hardship our family was put through due to COPA’s negligence, we are asking COPA to reimburse us for the costs that we incurred, while never reaching our destination.
We have submitted our complaint through the COPA Airlines website and have taken to Twitter with our story to warn others about this YF vaccine requirement, since COPA doesn't seem concerned with informing their passengers about it. Not surprisingly COPA is happy to charge customers for having to change their flights due to the vaccine restrictions and regularly emails customers about frequent flyers programs yet never sends a single email communication regarding the YF vaccine requirement to COPA customers.
This is the first time that I have flown with Copa Airlines, I was with my 3 year old daughter. We had to get off the airplane in Panama because there was something wrong, a half hour later we took off to Costa Rica but they told some of us that we had missed our connection and we would have to go back to Panama. I had ask them if our luggage would for sure come with us (my mom even called to make sure) and they assured us it would... When I got my tickets they had split me and my daughter apart, I was in the front and my 3 yo daughter was in the back, (not happening) but the lady was kind enough to switch, we got to Panama and had to get off the plane just to get new tickets and again they split my daughter and I apart (seriously)... At this point it was almost 1:00 in the morning. My daughter was crying and the flight attendants were super nice to me and her and tried to help the best they could...
We finally got to our destination and of course OUR LUGGAGE DID NOT ARRIVE! I was furious and they assured the 7 passengers that were on the same flight that our luggage would come the next day... I had NOTHING. No clothes for my daughter, not change of underwear. Nada!! The next day I went back to get my luggage (I had to stay there for 2 extra days because I had no luggage). They only gave me 2 of my suitcase!!! The next day the rest came except for one. Which had all my daughter's medications. They said no one can find it.
At this point I’m livid. And all they could say to me was “why would you put it in the luggage” and I said (yes I yelled) “I didn’t think you guys would lose all my flippin' suitcases!!! And if something happens to my daughter and I don’t have her medications this will not be good for you!" Well I ended up travelling to my locations and guess what, after one 5 days. Yes 5!!! They found my luggage. I’m am now travelling once again with my daughter and Although the flight attendants were absolutely great, I don’t think I’ll travel Copa Airlines again.
My review is based on the COPA Airlines change policy. I have had to change flights a few times in my life and expect the usual $50 to $100 change fee. Not at COPA. They wanted $275 to change the ticket date plus, even though the ticket price I paid originally was over $50 less than the new fare, because it was a different class they wanted to charge me the difference at $164.
But, this was only on the departure leg. For the return leg, that involved the same situation (the lower price was a different fare class than the original purchase fare class), they did not change that price to the higher one (thankfully though). I understand that most people do not change ticket dates but typically it is not this hard. If this is the start of my trip I can imagine it will only get worse and I will be sure to spread the news of COPA's ineptitude and terrible customer service. I will gladly pay the extra cost in the future to travel on a different airline. At this rate, I could have purchased a first class ticket.
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Lost my bag, somewhere in my transfers from Toronto to Barranquilla, Columbia, got it back 3 days after I got home. The only compensation I have been offered is to wait 15 days to then fill out a request for compensation to a max of three days at $50 a day. Anyone who has travelled knows there's a lot of purchases that are cash/ pesos only. As a result of my lost luggage I had out of pocket expenses of $460 dollars as I had to rent a tux etc for a wedding. If you have no receipts you get nothing. The biggest insult was the constant lies.
Every day I was lead to believe my bag had been found and it would be there the next day. For a international company, I found that I could get no one to speak or understand English in Columbia that worked for Copa. I had to get a the bride to call every day to speak Spanish to get any information, she really didn't need the extra stress. Then when I left and landed in Panama City the first English speaking agent told me they hadn't even found my bag. A very special occasion was Tarnished all due to COPA Airline. Fly any other carrier than COPA. If you're into getting a runaround, getting frustrated by more than 12 Copa reps then go for it, and good luck.
I took something like 8 flights with Copa Airlines with connections in Panama City, and I would recommend that airline to anybody traveling to South America. You can choose your seat for free, you have free meals and snacks on the plane and the staff speak English. The connection in PTY is really easy (1hr is enough time!), you don't need to pick up your bag and recheck it and the gates are easy to find. And something important, I never experienced a delayed flight with them!
Also, one day before my trip leaving from Montréal to Lima, when I went on the website to do the web check-in, something was wrong with my e-ticket and I was told that my reservation code was not working (it was working before). I got really stressed and didn't know what to do, so I went on the chat to ask someone to help me with that situation. Someone speaking a good English answered me right away and fixed what was wrong (took less than 5 minutes) and I could process to do my web check-in. So, in my opinion, you shouldn't hesitate to book with them (even if they are not always the cheapest).
Copa caused me to miss my return flight because my backpack was too big (the same bag/size I used on the original flight). The customer service at the counter and over the phone was incredibly rude and unhelpful. They wanted me to pay another $800 on top of the original $185 that I paid for the flight from Medellin to LAX. Apparently this is a common problem so I will obviously never fly with Copa again. Their prices aren't even that great.
The greed of Copa Airlines - Please do not fly on Copa Airlines. I want to share a bad experience that I had with Panamanian company Copa Airlines and Orbitz, on February 18, 2017, I bought 6 tickets to travel from Boston to Quito. These tickets were purchased through the company Orbitz, almost 5 months in advance as they were for a pleasure trip that began on July 4, 2017, and ended with our return to Boston on July 27, 2017.
In mid-May I received some bad news from Quito, where I learned that my mother was diagnosed with cancer and they did not give her more than 3 months to live. I immediately bought some tickets and on May 23 flew to Ecuador to be at her side. Two weeks later I returned to the United States because my mother was a little more stable. Unfortunately, a week later I had to return again because it got much worse. This time I ended up staying until July 27.
On July 2, 2017, my mother succumbed to cancer and the rest of my family traveled to Quito on July 4 as scheduled. But as I was already in Quito, in mid-June, I called Copa Airlines to tell them that I was not going to use the first part of the travel ticket since I was already in Ecuador. They told me that I had to call Orbitz, since I had bought my tickets there. I called Orbitz and after 2 calls and 5 hours of talking to them, they just sold me a one way ticket for almost double the money of my regular fair that already owned.
Copa Airlines told Orbitz, if I did not use the first part of my ticket (Boston-Quito) They would cancel the return too. So I was forced to buy a new ticket so I could return to Boston with my family. Not only that I was not allowed to use the return ticket that I already had, but they charged me a fine for canceling the first ticket and switching to a new one, using the same day and flight that I bought more than 5 months in advance.
Orbitz asked me to send a letter from the doctors who took care of my mother and also the death certificate. On my return I put everything together and sent as I was asked, 2 months later after not hearing anything from Orbitz, I called again, they put me on hold for over an hour and when the person came back, he asked me to resend all the paperwork again. All of that just so that days later Copa Airlines said that the death of a parent is not a basis to return any money, including the penalty for the change of flight.
If that is how they treat passengers in domestic calamity, how would they treat others? I will never fly that airline again, I guess I can’t be the only one who has gone through this, but the greed of this airline is worth sharing and asking everyone if they can, not use it in their travels. To add to the insult, they sell tickets offering Wi-Fi and entertainment, the planes are so old that we did not even have Wi-Fi, nor did the ceiling televisions work. Please share this experience and let people know how Copa Airlines treats its passengers and how they make their money. Please help me change these policies that benefit only these airlines and leave customers without resources to do anything.
On the 28th of September, '17 I tried to buy a ticket via copaair.com from Bogota (BOG) to Panama (PTY) and also from Panama (PTY) to Santo Domingo (SDQ). After filling on my credit card informations to their system I got an e-mail from Copa Airlines with a reservation code. However I couldn't get any e-ticket. I was written in the e-mail that they are going to send me the e-ticket after processing payment issue from my bank. Then I asked to my bank (Garanti Bankas) in Turkey and my bank said me yes the process had done and sent me a confirmation code.
After all I went to an office of Copa Airlines in San Jose, Costa Rica. I explained everything and the lad talked to Copa Center and she said me that Copa will make my refund, the process couldn't be done. So I should to buy a ticket at this office, then I bought. However even I sent all my documents and everything to Copa Airlines e-mail addresses about this issue, they even send me any response neither any apologize nothing. Basically they stole my 882,80$ and I couldn't get any information from Copa Airlines side. You can see attached all my documents.
My wife and my kids were flying to Miami from Pereira. They showed up to the counter and the counter lady looked at my kids' American passport and said they are 1 day over the stay. Instead of helping by guiding my wife she placed the whole family off the flight... Giving our seats to Bystanding passengers... They had lots of people on standby???
My wife got the 1 day overstayed fixed with Immigration. As she went back to the counter the Supervisor big shot tells her that she was going to miss the flight even though the plane was still loading passengers... "Therefore she had to be placed on the next day flight but there was going to be a 1200.00 to 3000.00 dollar charge".... Got on the phone and Copa or supervisors nowhere to be found. I had to purchased a new ticket through American and my wife was able to make it in the next day. I am suing them!!!
Copa Airlines has now more than doubled their prices for domestic flights here in Panama. It is outrageous that all these airlines are allowed to get away with this price gouging while at the same time making record profits. And to think that some of you actually believe that they appreciate their customers!
We were flying from Lima, Peru to New Orleans with a break/transit in Panama City. We landed in Panama on time, my husband went to the banos/bathroom as he was feeling sick and cold, we had eaten different meals on the flight from Lima. The flight boarded on time and we taxied to some spot and then waited over 30 minutes before moving again. During this waiting my husband had to use the sick bag, there was only one for our two seats. There was no announcement as to why we were waiting to take off even though the plane had boarded on time.
There is an announcement for cabin staff to prepare for takeoff and then we head off. The plane has leveled off but the seat belt sign stays on and lights are off. Twenty five minutes into the flight three people have got up to use the toilet but seatbelt sign still on, no messages in Spanish or English, no turbulence. My husband has now been holding a half full sick bag for around 50 minutes and we don't have a spare. Seatbelt sign eventually off I press the call for the steward, call sign goes off with no help.
On the second try a lady arrives, my husband holds up the bag and asks for water, even saying 'aqua.' I ask for another sick bag. She looks like she has never seen a sick bag in her life and looks at us hopelessly. We repeat, "Water and sick bag please and pass the bag." She disappears, at least she took the bag, but does not return with a spare bag or water. Fifteen minutes later I press the call button again, after about eight minutes a different steward arrives, we ask for water and a sick bag, she doesn't seem to understand sick bag so I opened the pocket to show what was there and mimed throwing up, she nodded returned with a water in a plastic cup (hence a small serve) in about three minutes and came back with two bags after another five.
After half an hour or so my husband was sick again, he really was very discreet and as quiet as possible. I pressed the call button and after ten minutes a steward arrived and we handed over the bag, though the presentation of the bag seemed to perplex and surprise the steward, and asked for water, getting a small cup in about three minutes and another bag dropped in passing about five minutes later.
When the food trolley arrived the steward wouldn't make eye contact with my husband in the window seat and looked to me, I got water for my husband and a drink for me. I wasn't going to risk the food as it was the previous flight that had caused the problem we think. Luckily he wasn't sick again, we made one more call for water, but that was because the two third full cups were not a lot of water.
We're told we will be landing in twenty five minutes. About ten minutes later US customs forms are delivered. Well in my case dropped from over my shoulder behind me by a different steward, it was the Spanish version. I hit the call button, and one of the female stewards nervously comes to my spot, I hold up the form and say, "English please." This seems an unusual request and she rifles through the pile of forms and finds an English one. I can't believe our being English speaking is so difficult since we are about to land in New Orleans!
I feel like the cabin crew are barely trained, surely English for sick bag please while holding a used one is no leap. But most significantly there was no basic human caring, no sympathy. Even if one person being sick is scary surely they should do their best to make us comfortable so we don't disturb other customers? I don't think other customers were aware because we were very quiet but also the lights were off for the whole flight from 6:30 pm to 11:00pm except for the last ten minutes of landing, I felt the whole light off thing was to minimise any service opportunities. I tried to use the website to complain about our treatment. When I get to the right section it says I have to load the form in Google chrome. I download and use Google chrome and the same message appears, clearly they are not interested in improvement. We won't be flying COPA again.
I've traveled with Copa at least half a dozen times. As far as I could tell, they did everything right, and they beat the competition on price. I was surprised by all the negative reviews. Yes, it's true that if you talk to 6 Copa employees you will receive 6 different answers. But that holds true for everything in Central America.
Bought a ticket with Copa Airlines from Chicago to Brazil with a layover in Panama City. I wanted to use my Star Alliance Premier upgrade for the way back. According to United's website, the way to do that is to call a United Mileage Plus rep and they will do the upgrade for you. And so I did. With my upgrade confirmed, I began my trip. When I tried to board my return flight, I was called aside to the counter, where I was told that my return ticket is invalid (although I had a boarding ticket showing a seat number). Why? Because the COPA can see the reservation for a business class ticket, but they cannot see that it was paid. I said, "Fine, please put me in an economy seat instead." "No we cannot," they said, although there are economy seats available, I cannot board the flight at all.
Here I am, in Sao Paulo, with a paid, confirmed boarding ticket in my hand, with vacant seats on the plane, but I am denied boarding. WHAT??? Well, the COPA reps tell me to call reservations and ask to rebook. On the phone, COPA reservations reps say they cannot see how much was the fare because it was bought through a travel agent so they cannot do anything about it (?). Can't rebook, not even for a penalty. Computer says no! As one of the reviewers above me said once they go into "not our problem" mode, there's no way out. "Go talk to your travel agent, go talk to United, not our problem." Called United, they insist that they did book an upgrade for me, but they cannot do anything because it's not their ticket. Go call COPA... Catch-22.
UPDATE: United budged and put me on a flight back... Even they couldn't cope with COPA! If it was up to COPA, I think I would be stuck in Sao Paulo forever. In summary, I've been mistreated and abused by airlines many times before, but this certainly sets a new record. And if you are considering flying COPA I say to you: NO! NO! The sweetness of the fare is not worth your well-being and mental health.
On 03/02/17 my friend and I had a flight to Panama City from NYC JFK schedule for 8:55AM on Copa Airlines. We arrived at the airline counter at 7:50AM, 10 minutes before closing the check-in desk (which can be verify in their security camera system). The agent informed us she was about to close flight for check-ins and because we didn’t do our check-in online (a Copa airline system that does not work) and have bags with us she was not able to check us in.
She suggested to call Copa customer service or come back to her later on. She also said the airline was going to charge us for putting us into the next flight schedule for 2:25pm and that it could be less expensive for us if we decided to do it right there with her instead of calling customer again. She recommended us to come back to the counter at 10:15am and look for help and try to get into the next flight. We did so.
Unfortunately for us the new agent, after us telling her the incident said our reservation was completely cancelled due to a NO-SHOW (no matter we were there 10 min before the closed the flight). She also said we had to pay a fee of 140 dollars per person and to buy a new ticket to come back because ours was also cancel. This new ticket to come back to NYC was around 1000 dollars.
We left the counter to discuss our financial options and after 15 min we went back to her to explore fair and accessible options for us. Close to 11:20am we spoke to two other different agents asking for help.The looked at each other like not knowing what to do. One of them tried explaining the other one the charges we were supposed to pay but even her couldn’t understand why and how much. Apparently neither of the agents who were talking to us were able to calculate the correct charges and/or give us options.
Overtime we went back to the counter it was a different amount and the prices were inconsistent and higher every time. At 1:10pm, 15 min before closing the second flight to Panama, the agent notified us with the correct amount we were supposed to pay. It was $1200 dollars per person. We explained we did not have that kind of money and that we were willing to pay the fee and begged them to put us on the flight. They said NO. The only way to take the flight was buying a new ticket from them right there for $1200 dollars. At 2:25pm the flight left. An hour later after debating about solutions we decided to call Copa customer service again and ask one more time for help.
After more than 40 minutes of waiting someone asked me to tell him the situation one more time, then she put me on hold for another 10 minutes. When she came back she said our roundtrip flight was cancelled because we did not arrived (which is not true). I tried to explain what had happened so she could help us since I was still hoping someone would give us options and understand the situation. I asked four basic questions about our situation and for each of them she put me on hold. It took 5-7 minutes per question. In the forty minutes duration of the call this person did not understand what we were going through. What she offered us was continue waiting at the airport for 8 more hours and pay a penalty of $280 dollars plus $150 dollars for agency fees and other $108 for other fees and $1000 dollars for the flight back to NYC.
As the reservation was made through Expedia I contacted them around 5:00pm. They explained to us the only charge we had to pay was $280 and I could be able to use the ticket at any time in the future. They said Copa had cancelled the flight. She suggested to take the third and last flight Copa had schedule for that day at 1:00am. She said if we decided to take that fly we could work all the changes on Copa website or at their counter by 10:00pm and that they, Expedia, will contact them also to discuss the situation. An hour later I tried to check the information on the Copa website and after several attempts I was not able.
I called Copa customer service again and they said we already were on the next flight for 1:00am. After almost 13 hours at the airport I called them again to notify them I wasn’t going to be able to fly. I was already feeling sick and not in good condition to be on a plane. The person this time told me they already had withdrawn $280 dollars.
This is the worst experience ever. Copa Air service is insensitive. It is solely designed to get more and more money from its customers without any human consideration and without offering any kind of customer service. Their ticket brokers at JFK, JFK managers, website check in and customer service over the phone are inefficient. In more than 20 years that we have traveled we had never experienced a bad treatment like this, such complicated and inhuman service.
I purchased a ticket online for my father to attend my aunt's funeral. When reviewing my credit card activity I noticed the amount of the ticket charged twice. One charge was Copa Air and the other Copa Web. I immediately call customer service to resolve the issue and was then directed to email the escalation department for assistance. I sent my information and received an automated email as a response saying that someone would contact me in 48 hours regarding the issue. No one did! I called customer service again and they said no information was received and to resubmit the information again and wait another 2 days.
The lack of communication is ridiculous! After almost an hour on the phone they miraculously find the email I sent and tell me it's being worked on and I should hear from the agent in charge of my claim, Genesis **. I received one email from this person and nothing more. Considering this is their mess and it consistently happens (based on past reviews). For anyone reading this DO NOT PURCHASE ONLINE WITH THIS AIRLINE! In the end you will pay more out of pocket than what you think you are saving. HOW MANY MORE DAYS FOR A REFUND?
My father had a return date for April 03, 2017. My mother and I called multiple times inquiring about return date changes. My mother agreed to changing it to February 9th, 2017. There was a fee but nothing was paid for. Upon calling my father to let him know the new return date he declined due to illness. We called back since we didn't pay for the change. We were under the impression that the flight return date change was not finalized. We made multiple attempts explaining the situation to keep original return date and even asked to speak to manager or supervisor and the manager on duty refused. Only communicated through the representative we were dealing with. As a manager that is completely unprofessional and poor customer service. We were told there is no return date on our flight now. We paid over 1000 dollars for the ticket, and were told we have to pay for a flight change to return to Canada.
I would like to inform all customers that this airline is so inefficient and worst of all has no work ethics. They charged my card with no authorization and now I HAVE TO BE FOLLOWING them for my refund. Their departments lack of communication and don't know the correct processes for which they all provide a bad service. When we initially called on Dec 6, 2016 we asked if they requested a Yellow fever vaccine to fly to Bahamas. They said NO. When we get to Panama City we can't board since we weren't wearing the yellow fever vaccine. We are now claiming to be refunded for Bahamas tickets that we never used, on top of that, they charge extra my card with NO AUTHORIZATION and with no valid reason. They should not be part of Star Alliance.
I booked a trip through Groupon and the airline my deal came with was Copa Airlines. Long story short, my connecting flight was delayed causing me to arrive to the Copa's check-in counter at 4:10 PM and my flight to my final destination was suppose to board at 5:44 PM. There was no one at the check-in counter. A TSA agent gave me a number to call Airport Customer Service to report no one was at the Copa counter. After I did so, someone came up but would not let us check in. He said we missed the three hour window for international flights to check in. NOWHERE ON THEIR WEBSITE DOES IT SAY THEY CLOSE CHECK-IN THREE HOURS PRIOR TO A FLIGHT BOARDING.
He didn't care that we already paid for the flight and our connecting flight was delayed. We asked him for a later flight and he said nothing was available for that evening or THE NEXT TWO DAYS. We ended up flying one way with American Airlines because Copa wouldn't let us board. When we tried to return they charged us each an $160.00 "missed" arrival flight fee! They would not let us fly home if we didn't pay it. Keep in mind, this is a flight that we already paid for!!
When we got back to the States, I contacted their Customer Service and that's when I really found out how much of a joke this "business" is. On their automated email signature it says they will respond to your email within 15 DAYS, and they responded to me in 14! Wow. I spoke with Evelyn ** and Diana ** and they stand behind their airline agents not assisting us with check-in.
I now see why my deal through Groupon was so cheap. No one would book with Copa if they had the choice! If you want further verification of Corrupt Copa, read their review on Consumer Affairs, their Boycott Copa Airlines Facebook pages, Yelp, etc. They only had 3 desk open and it's 2016 but they don't have self-check-in kiosk. COPA JUST WANTS YOUR MONEY. PLEASE RUN!!
On December 10, I arrived at the Toronto airport at 4:20am to check-in for my 19 hour flight to Guatemala. I had 2 50 lbs. bags to check in and had 2 small carry-on plus my laptop bag. I was asked for my passport and then I was asked to see the carry on bags. When I showed her, the agent told me that I had to get rid of one. I told her to charge me for the other one and she said no in a very rude voice. After, she said, that if I didn't get rid of one, I would not be able to travel. That's when I called my friend who had dropped me off to come and pick up one bag. To my surprise, the agent had called the cops on me. She told the officers that I was intoxicated and that I was danger for all the passengers. I was no intoxicated. I started crying and went into a state of shock and had a panic attack. I've never had any problems with the law. I am a good Canadian Citizen.
The manager informed my friend to tell me to go back in an hour and that he would check me in. I was in no state to fly. I had been crying for a very long time. Now, Copa Airlines has said to me that if I want to fly I need to buy another ticket at a cost of almost $1,000. I was going to Guatemala to spend Christmas with my family and celebrate my niece's 15th birthday and my nephew's 18 birthday. 34 years ago, my father was killed on December 30 and my brother is celebrating their birthdays on December 29 to have better memories. Unfortunately, Thanks to Copa Airlines Staff, I'll still have the sad memories of my father's assassination.
It has been four days since our terrible and traumatic experience with Copa Airlines. About 4 months ago I bought my grandmother, Maria **, an airplane ticket to go visit my aunt in Chile from Colombia. Her booking number was **. I trusted Copa Airlines to transport and be attentive to my 75 year old grandmother since she was traveling alone. It is with great regret that I say I should not have put my grandmothers wellbeing in the hands of this airline. My grandmother has been traveling for almost 20 years to the United States and Spain with various airlines; therefore, she is not new at flying and dealing with different providers. The experience she had with Copa Airlines on Tuesday, November 29th 2016, has been by far her worst.
My aunt Consuelo dropped my grandmother off at the Copa Airlines check in counter in Santiago, Chile at around 9 a.m. on Tuesday, November 29th. After checking her in, she left my grandmother in the care of the third party company that offers the wheelchair transportation services to seniors and trusted that they would take her to her departure gate on time. After all, this is the reason why they are contracted by Copa Airlines and why my grandmother gave the woman a tip. My aunt left my grandmother at the airport three hours before her flight which was scheduled to depart at 12:26 p.m. The woman who transported her in the wheelchair across security dropped her off at gate 17 and told her she would be back to take her to her designated departure gate once it was announced.
Over 2 hours passed, and as time approached boarding time, my grandmother alerted the Copa Airlines personnel that she needed to be taken to the correct gate. These people assured her that she would be taken on time and that the woman would be back for her. When my grandmother realized it was almost noon she started becoming very upset because she knew that if she wasnt taken to her departure gate she would miss her flight. At this moment, one young gentleman tried to rush her to her gate only to find out that her flight had already departed. This incident unleashed a series of events. My grandmother missed her connecting flight to Panama and as a result her flight to her final destination - Pereira, Colombia, which was scheduled for later that evening at 9:34 p.m.
The Copa Airlines employees at the Santiago Chile Airport apologized for their negligence of transporting her and set her up to fly 11 hours later to Panama. My grandmother spent 11 hours sitting around waiting for the flight that would take her to Panama. While in Chile, the employees put my grandmother in the VIP lounge where they made sure she was comfortable until her next flight and not left alone in case of an emergency. My family and I found out about the inopportune event when my grandmother called and we immediately contacted Copa Airlines in Chile. They assured my grandmother, my aunt and I that she would also be put in the VIP lounge in Panama since she would arrive at 6 a.m. the next day and would have to wait over 16 hours until 9:30 p.m. when her next flight would depart because there is only one flight per day to Pereira.
When I called the Copa Airlines USA customer service number on the 30th of November to verify that my grandmother was still in good health considering the strenuous circumstances she was being put through due to their negligence, the manager Christina that came on the phone tried for over 2 hours to call the Panama airport and locate my grandmother in the VIP lounges. After waiting for 2.5 hours on the phone, Christina came back to tell me that they had lost my grandmother after she had been taken off the airplane and that she was not in one of the VIP lounges as had been promised.
Apparently she had been dropped off in one of the departure gates to wait for the next 16 hours alone. My grandmother was left completely unattended for over 16 hours at a random gate in an airport. Christina informed me that she was trying to contact the manager on duty that day, Mr. Arnunfo ** so that he can make proper arrangements for my grandmother while she was at the airport in Panama. The manager Christina was not able to locate Mr. **. Furthermore, when we contacted the Copa Airlines in Chile where my grandmother had been the evening before they assured my aunt that she was in the VIP lounge in Panama, which was not true.
My grandmothers health was put in jeopardy by Copa Airlines. If the woman at the Chilean airport had taken her to her gate on time, my grandmother would have not spent over 36 hours in airports waiting to get to her final destination. When I bought her ticket months ago, I took great care to explicitly buy a ticket that would prevent her from waiting in airports a long time. Furthermore, I purchased travel protection. All of that didnt matter at the end. All the extra money I spent did not matter because my grandmother arrived to Colombia on Wednesday night, over 38 hours later with swollen feet and enormous fatigue and discomfort on her back and legs.
It has taken me four days to calm down and write this complaint. Also, I have been in conference with my lawyer reviewing the possibilities of a lawsuit against Copa Airlines for negligence and for putting the welfare of an elderly customer in jeopardy. My grandmother has been visiting her doctors in Colombia and they are completing a thorough checkup in order to rule out permanent damage from the exhaustion and fatigue she suffered while in the care of Copa Airlines. I request a full refund for this trip. I am embarrassed to find that Copa Airlines is in part a Colombian airline company. You would think that they would take care of their own people, instead of turning a blind eye when clearly it was their mistake that my grandmother missed her flight and was left alone to suffer for almost two days.
It is revolting to think that this is how Copa Airlines treats their customers, especially the elderly whom require more attention and are left in the hands of their third party companies, which provide services like wheelchair transportation. An airline that makes these kind mistakes should not be in business. This mistake could have been costly. It could have cost my grandmothers wellbeing or even worst, her life. More severe health complications could have afflicted my grandmother as a result of waiting two days in airports completely unattended, all thanks to the negligence of Copa Airlines.
I recently booked a flight on Copa Airlines for a personal event in Guatemala. My flight plan was O'Hare, Panama City, San Jose Costa Rica, and Guatemala City. My flight down was uneventful, but the return flight was a nightmare. I arrived at the Guatemala City airport at 3:45 am for a 6:15 flight departure. I joined several people in line. There were no ticket counter personnel in place, so we stood around waiting... and waiting... and waiting. Finally, at almost 4:30 am, a few women sauntered into position behind the counter. After spending several moments flipping their hair, chatting with each other, disappearing behind a door and then coming back, they started checking in passengers. It was a very long process, as each check-in was punctuated by several side conversations with other check-in personnel or miscellaneous airport personnel walking by.
I was finally checked in at 4:50 am, leaving me 35 minutes to clear security and be at my gate by the 5:27 am gate check-in. I did get through security and made it to my gate. I boarded my flight, which was only 5 minutes late in departing, by some miracle, and we arrived on time in Panama City. That is where the real nightmare began -- I didn't realize it, but the antics in Guatemala City were just a warm-up.
I had an 8 hour layover in Panama City, so I thought I would find something to eat, browse the stores a little, and get to my gate in plenty of time. However, customer service at that airport is nonexistent. Service was so excruciatingly slow in the food court that I finally ate the Guatemalan candy in my carry-on that I had purchased as souvenirs for friends at home. I got a bottle of water and a Coke at some stand and began to peruse the boards to see if my departure gate had changed from what was on the original boarding pass.
I looked at those flight boards for 7 hours, and my flight was never posted. I went to the Copa customer service desk, but there was never any personnel staffing it. I went to gate number 4, where I was supposed to depart, but was told my flight wasn't scheduled for that gate. I went back to the central area, checked customer service, which still wasn't staffed. Checked the boards, which still weren't updated, and sat at Gate 20. After about 4 hours of this, a woman leisurely strolled up to the customer service desk. I immediately approached her, was told I would have to wait while she checked something else, and then looked on in astonishment as she finally got up, walked away, and disappeared. It was another 45 minutes before someone came back.
I was finally told my departure was at Gate 4, so I went back over there to wait for another 3 and a quarter hours. A flight to Quito was boarding, but I waited through that and the new information that was posted confirmed it was my departure gate. I settled in to wait, with my water and Coke purchased at the airport. There were 2 other people waiting for the flight, both of whom were trying to rest. This proved impossible, as no fewer than 12 women appeared, apparently ready to perform another security screening at the gate. They sat in all the customer seats (which were by now filling up with passengers), screeching, gossiping, and cackling at the top of their lungs. This continued for well over 2 hours.
Then, as abruptly as they had descended, they all got up and meandered over to the security screening equipment, while one woman started appearing before passengers, giving them commands in Spanish. As I didn't speak Spanish, I didn't know what she said. When I said, "No habla Espanol," she rolled her eyes, spluttered off something else, then pointed in back of me. It appeared we were going through another security screening, as the entire area had been cordoned off. Fine...
It was now one hour before the flight was to depart, all the passengers were appearing for the boarding check-in, and after spending 2 hours sitting around listening to the security personnel trade personal gossip, they were finally going to start working 300+ passengers through a screening. So I went through the screening, where they confiscated my water and Coke. When I told the I had purchased them in the airport, they just jabbered, waved their hands, and threw the liquids in the trash. I wouldn't have minded if there was a sign in English explaining it was policy or something, but I was angry that there was no one who could explain anything in English. I found a seat, waited... and had to go to the bathroom before the 5 hour flight I was about to board.
I grabbed my bags, walked under the rope, and went to the bathroom. When I returned and attempted to re-enter the waiting area, one of the women planted herself in front of me and started talking again, jabbing toward me with her finger. I repeated I didn't speak Spanish, so she then pointed and gave me a shove toward the screening line, which I went through again.
No one spoke a single word of English; there were no signs or instructions in English; and this was a flight that was going to Chicago, Illinois in the US. Needless to say, after all the screenings, which proceeded at the pace of a turtle stuck in hot tar on the road, the flight was half an hour late departing. While the flight crew was fine, they could not make up for the downright insolence and in-your-face attitude of the airport personnel.
The icing on the cake? When I finally arrived home, eager to give my kids their souvenirs, I opened my bags only to find complete mayhem. The worldwide accessible, TSA-approved locks that I had been assured by Copa Airlines were easily accessible by their personnel with a key? Gone. They had not only been removed from my bags but were not returned, leading me to believe that the baggage security in Panama City had never bothered with a key, but just cut them off. And my baggage?
They had opened every zippered bag, every wrapped object, every plastic bag with dirty clothes and souvenirs and cosmetics, etc. and literally just dumped it all together in the center of each bag. It was a jumbled mess, with liquids over everything because even the clear Ziploc bags that held my shampoo, etc. had been dumped and the bottles had come open (or were perhaps deliberately opened). Several of the souvenirs I had purchased had been stolen, as were a few coins and notes of Guatemalan money I had unwittingly left in a zippered bag.
Dishonest. Rude. Unprofessional. Deliberately aggressive and unwilling to help. Take your pick of an adjective to describe Copa and the Panama City airport in particular. I will be writing to my congressmen, state representatives, and the Department of Transportation to find out why we allow this airline to do business with the United States. I will be avoiding this airline in the future, and I would highly advise anyone else to do the same.
This company has no places to insert a middle name. However when you put your first and last name, the company said that your name is incomplete and you will not board the plane. Now when you're trying to explain the situation they say that it is impossible to add the name. They always mention that it is a policy of not adding the extra missing name. In addition, they say you have to buy another ticket and the money that you spent to buy the previous ticket will be refunded after taking the necessary taxes in the next two months.
Further, customer service representatives don't know what they are doing. When you call or write an email, everyone will give a different answer. They bounced customers around in their call center and treat them like pigs. If you don't speak Spanish, they will hang up the phone in your face as well. When you inquire about a refund, they will tell you that they are not responsible in order to avoid paying the full amount.
I clearly don't know why the United States allow this airline to do business in the U.S or land in our shores. They are not compatible with the fair business practices that we have in this country. They should remain in Panama and treat their people like that rather than create glitch in their system in order to steal our citizens' money. I will contact the department of transportation to report this unfair act. I notice COPA Airlines is a company that does not understand customers and they treat them like pigs. It is time to petition this company and look into their business practices. Perhaps and only perhaps customers can get a peace of mind. Please please get rid of COPA so that they don't land in our shores.
I flew Newark to Panama City on United flight 1021 on 9/11 and then had a connecting flight on Copa flight 216 on 9/11. It was all one ticket and the 2 airlines have a code share.The United flight was delayed, and I called up Copa from Newark to inform them that I would be cutting it close on my connecting flight, and they said they will work with United to make sure I don't miss my flight to Rio assuming the United flight got in within a reasonable time. I was going on a business trip, and to me being in Rio on time was critical. To my dismay, while United made up for the delay, the Copa flight from Panama left leaving me stranded until the next day. United provided me with overnight hotel stay and it took me two hours to get out of immigration and customs at Panama City.
The following afternoon, I reached Tocumen airport to get on my rescheduled Copa flight to Rio Janeiro. This time, Copa's flight was delayed, and yet they didn't inform the passengers until they arrived at the gate. There was no apology, customers were laying around like cattle and the delay was over 3 hours. By this time, I had unnecessarily spent ~24 hours at Panama City which was horrible as I lost one day's worth of work. The flight from Panama City to Rio is almost 8 hours long, the seats in business class don't even recline beyond 45 degrees, and it's an overnight, very uncomfortable flight. Food was terrible, there are loud TV announcements going off in the middle of the night.
The fare wasn't cheap. For the delay caused and the unapologetic, customer insensitive behavior, Copa's behavior and service is like that of a third world airline treating its passengers with no dignity. My colleagues who flew United all the way from Newark to Rio through Houston or American through Miami, had no issues at all. I dread going back home as I will have to fly Copa again. That will be my last time. I would advise everyone to avoid this airline and Panama City airport.
I was charged $142.60 (ONE HUNDRED FORTY TWO DOLLARS AND 60 CENTS) for ONE (1) suitcase and it was NOT delivered to my destination: SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA. The manner in which the customer is treated does not justify the amount charged. The aggressiveness and lack of respect to the consumer, makes one feel as you are receiving a FREE service when the reality is that the end DOES NOT JUSTIFY the manner in which they conduct their business. I will request a refund of my $142.60 because I am retired with a fixed income and COPA lost my baggage, after a brutal verbal abuse from their representants.
I traveled to Brazil before the Olympics from late April-May, 2016 with Copa Airlines. Originally had traveling arrangements and 2 roundtrip tickets to Brazil in March. Unfortunately, I had a emergency, was in the hospital and had surgery! There was no alternative to cancelling flights or receiving credit for flight cancellation even with proof of documentation for medical emergency. When I called Copa Airlines to change my flight for a future date I had 2 options; Lose my flight = loss of money. Pay for a new flight. Either way I ended up losing money. I want to be credited for a future flight or my money back for buying 2 round trip tickets. There should be alternatives for EMERGENCIES!!!
COPA Airlines. Getting your confirmed tickets purchased with Aeroplan will involve a great deal of luck. Round trip Toronto Canada Guayaquil Ecuador transiting through Panama (and Bahamas on return) purchased with Aeroplan points. COPA is a Star Alliance member, and my tickets were purchased 4 months prior to travel. I received documents from Aeroplan that all was confirmed. One month prior to travel I decided to e-mail COPA to confirm my reservations. No reply.
Problem 1... outward bound. Arrived Panama via AirCanada Rouge for connection to Ecuador via COPA. Went to get our boarding cards from COPA agent. "Nope, you have no tickets." The COPA agent was banging on the computer like it was her first time. After 30 minutes looking, "nope, no tickets. Not our problem, you need to call Aeroplan." What????? I'm in Panama with no phone, and my flight is in 1 hour. Isn't there something else you can do like talk to a supervisor? "Nope, not our fault, call Aeroplan."
Luckily, the flight crew was still kicking around from my AirCanada flight... explained the situ... showed her my confirmed itinerary. She went in to her system, pulled up my e-tickets... yup, everything is fine... COPA are idiots (like this isn't the first time)... let's go. So, now I've got an AC employee holding COPAs feet to the fire... After 20 more minutes or so and another employee... yup there we are. Seems we have confirmed tickets after all, but tickets booked with points are put into a different place and blah blah. Got our boarding passes. Later on I thought what about coming back??? Went to a different COPA agent, she popped in my name, up comes all the info for my return trip... yup... were there... no problems. Printed off my full itinerary to assure me. OK.
Problem 2 homeward bound. Day before travel went online to see my COPA reservations for Guayaquil Panama - Bahamas. In Bahamas I switch to AirCanada. I'm not worried about that. Only thing coming up is Panama - Bahamas, no Guayaquil - Panama. Tried inquiring via their chat service, but that was a useless endeavor. Off to the airport. Yup, I have a confirmed ticket from Panama, but not to Panama. "Well, how can that be? Don't you see it's the same trip?" "Yup, we have your name but Aeroplan obviously didn't confirm the seat. There are seats available, but none that I can give you because you're in the points category points fly standby." Well that's a new one.
"No no no look at all the documentation I have Aeroplan says confirmed, COPA itinerary I got in Panama says confirmed I am not standby." I explained the problem I encountered (and resolved) on my way down... try looking elsewhere. "Nope, you have to call Aeroplan." Tried convincing the agent she has to look for me in a different way. "Nope, not our fault, call Aeroplan." 1 hour later no success talking with a human from Aeroplan. Only sitting on hold before the automated system booted me.
Back to desk, "please try harder to find me." Same response. "Only option is to buy a ticket Guayaquil - Panama... only first class left. $800 please." Off to travel agent across the hall. Yes, she'll sell me one but she's worried I would be stuck in Panama given this comedy of errors that is COPA... I should go back and get proof in my hands that Panama - Bahamas is confirmed.
OK, back to COPA... but now I ask to talk to the shift supervisor. Same story... "nothing we can do... call Aeroplan... their mistake..." blah blah. "No no I'll accept that. I just want you to print off confirmation of my Panama - Bahamas ticket. And if possible, a document showing the screw up on the Guayaquil ticket so I have something to use when I get home and talk with Aeroplan." Whenever I have problems with companies I always try to turn verbal into written. Watch Judge Judy for insight into that. OK, she can see me but doesn't know how to print my confirmation. She calls someone. Blah blah... click click click. Oh, look, my seat on Guayaquil was just confirmed BS... I understood the conversation perfectly. She was just told how to pull me up... JUST LIKE I was trying to explain about what happened in Panama.
I have my tickets. All is well. Later on, check on line, yup, everything is now showing. Morale of story. Be prepared to go through hell to get your tickets when booked with Aeroplan. This is not the fault of Aeroplan, but clearly COPA employees do not know how to use their own system. And when confronted with the need to step up to go above and beyond to help a (about to be) stranded traveler, their default mode seems to be "not our problem." Yes. Yes it was, in both cases.
If you find yourself having to deal with COPA to get your confirmed tickets, once they go into not our fault mode, you'll need to find some way to change the script so that they're forced into doing an action that makes them have to talk to someone else who is hopefully more competent. They will not do it willingly. Only when you can maneuver them into a situation where they cant use not our fault as a reply will you have a shot at getting a different outcome. I don't know if this is a cultural or corporate attitude, but I only got unstuck in both cases by luck, in my opinion. I don't like traveling on luck.
My wife and I traveled with Copa on the way here to New York and the air stewardess was extremely rude with me, but I didn't make a big deal out of it. Today my wife is returning to Brazil with a layover in Panama City. Now they tell her that she is on stand-by! We bought confirmed tickets for more than 1,000 USD back in March and now they say she's on stand-by because they overbooked the flights due to the Olympics. Is this a joke or what? Steer clear of this airlines if you can! We got sucked in due to the extremely low prices, but the old adage never fails: You get what you pay for.
Copa is a very dishonest company. I was forced to purchase a ticket at the airport to return to Nicaragua, before they would issue boarding passes to me and my traveling companion. The price for one-way was almost $500 dollars. Roundtrip, $392. She had bus tickets showing she was returning to Nicaragua. I could see the scam here. The ticket counter said they were not valid? We purchased the tickets. After getting home, we noticed the price on the tickets was $342. I guess the guy at the counter got a $50 tip. I think they are thieves. The ticket dates need to be changed, I am sure NOBODY at Copa will do this without a huge fee. Guess she can use the ticket to return to Nicaragua and come back on the bus... Customer service at Copa SUCKS!
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