Copa Boeing 737 MAX 9 Flight Cancellation & Rebooking Expertise

Airways, Copa included, that function Boeing 737 MAX 9 plane have struggled to function their schedule as a consequence of plane being grounded for security inspections.

I used to be scheduled to fly on Copa from Mexico Metropolis to Rio de Janeiro on January 9, however ultimately, after being persistent, I acquired them to rebook on LATAM and arrived in Rio roughly 12 hours later than initially deliberate.

You’ll be able to entry Copa right here.

Copa Flight Cancellation & Rebooking Expertise

Once I just lately lined pilferage from checked baggage (learn extra right here) with Copa, I famous within the feedback that I used to be scheduled to fly on the airline quickly. Copa had a great enterprise class fare from Mexico Metropolis to Rio de Janeiro, and my plan was to credit score the flight to Flying Blue, which continues to award elite qualifying and elite standing bonus miles for all companion flights via April 1, 2024.

Verify-in & Lounge:

Copa operates from Terminal 2 on the Mexico Metropolis Airport, and there was a notice on the app in regards to the Boeing 737 Max 9 scenario, however every thing was supposedly on time.

I’m not positive what Copa’s designated lounge is at Terminal 2 as a result of I have a tendency to make use of the superb and quiet HSBC lounge (no airline or Precedence Move entry).

There was nothing taking place on the gate when the boarding was alleged to be ending, and a pilot was by the rostrum. I sat down and shortly acquired a message that the flight was delayed by a few hours.

I went again to the lounge and known as Copa. I requested them to rebook me as this delay would imply a missed connection in Panama. I used to be advised that they might not rebook me but (solely hours after the scheduled departure time) and that the airport would take care of it both on the gate or on the check-in.

I discovered a means from the safety space to the check-in and requested the brokers to rebook me. Then I used to be instantly advised that the flight could be about to go away and that the delay was incorrect. I used to be advised to undergo the safety once more and to the gate.

The safety line refused to permit me again to the safe space, because the time on my boarding move was previous the scheduled departure time, and I returned to the check-in space.

Rebooking

I fired up the ExpertFlyer on my telephone to see what choices there could be from Mexico Metropolis to Rio de Janeiro, and the alternatives had been non-existent. I requested to be rebooked on the direct AeroMexico flight to Sao Paulo, and I might take care of the home Brazil leg individually.

Whereas I used to be discussing this feature, one other passenger got here and advised me that the flight was now cancelled, and all people could be coming to the check-in space after choosing up their probably checked baggage.

The check-in space was a bit chaotic. I’m virtually positive that there was not a single AeroMexico worker round, and their dealing with agent Swissport staff had been current.

After most likely an hour on the desk, I used to be lastly advised that they might solely rebook me on AeroMexico Financial system to Sao Paulo, though I had paid for enterprise, and that AeroMexico wouldn’t permit them to take a enterprise seat. I consider that this was not appropriate. I requested for a FIM; I’m undecided if these are nonetheless round, however I used to be advised they might not give me one.

They tried to get me to take a flight in economic system to Panama after which go on standby/waitlist for the Panama – Rio section, however I wouldn’t settle for this, as I virtually definitely would find yourself at the back of the aircraft and never within the cabin that I had paid for. Copa’s schedule was in an entire disarray with cancellations and important delays all through the community.

I had extra choices in Mexico Metropolis moderately than being stranded in Panama with none clear thought of what number of hours or days I would wish to spend there to get a flight to Rio.

I made a decision to chop my loss and go to a lodge to kind this out. The subsequent problem was to get to the safe baggage declare space to choose up the bags that ought to be ready there. I used to be the final one to choose up the baggage, and two Swissport staff had been ready with my luggage.

I satisfied one of many Customs Officers to chop the road, as there was no customs requirement technically as my luggage hadn’t even left Mexico.

Rebooking

I made a reserving on the Hyatt Regency Polanco and took an Uber. It was a rush hour, so driving to the lodge would take appreciable time.

I known as Copa once more and acquired an agent via who tried to rebook me first on their service. There was one thing out there for FRIDAY (keep in mind this was Tuesday), however she then advised me that this flight could be canceled as effectively, ultimately, because it was operated on a Max plane.

She then advised me they might solely rebook on Aerolineas Argentinas (no thanks) or LATAM inside South America. I instantly checked on ExpertFlyer to see what choices had been out there.

LATAM flies from Mexico Metropolis to each Sao Paulo and Santiago. The Sao Paulo flight was too shut, so I attempted to get her to rebook by way of Santiago,  with the final section within the economic system.

None of those choices had been developing on her methods, and she or he mentioned that they might solely rebook on providers that the system gave them, and there have been none. There was nothing she might provide.

She was useful your entire time, however clearly, there have been system limitations in place on what these front-line brokers might do, and I requested her to place me via to her supervisor. I arrived on the lodge and went to the foyer bar to conclude this name.

My name was transferred to this supervisor, however then there was instantly a name coming from Panama that I took. The supervisor was calling me.

He might discover the MEX-SCL-GIG connection however was uncertain if their system allowed them to rebook for these flights and if they’d return as confirmed by LATAM.

LATAM MEX-SCL

LATAM SCL-GIG

I simply requested him to do a guide promote for these segments to see if they arrive again as confirmed (HK) or unable to substantiate (UC). At one level, he thought that I used to be a journey agent calling on behalf of a consumer. He put me on maintain, and we by some means acquired disconnected, or the decision was dropped.

I quickly, nevertheless, acquired an up to date e-ticket receipt that confirmed the LATAM flights confirmed, and by chance, I had not but checked in to the Hyatt and simply took an Uber again to the airport. There was not a lot time to spare to keep away from lacking the flight.

LATAM leaves from the Terminal 2 on the Mexico Metropolis Worldwide Airport. I chatted with the staff on the check-in desk in regards to the ordeal for the day, they usually talked about the “enterprise promo” fare that Copa had rebooked me on, and it was okay. Maybe Copa has an settlement with LATAM and Aerolineas Argentinas that they settle for the “coupon” at its face worth.

I requested the agent to place my Alaska quantity to the PNR to see what posts after the flights.

The 787 Dreamliner flight was easy, and though I’m not an enormous fan of those 2-2-2 cabins, no one sat beside me. I declined all of the providers for the flight and slept via it.

I had a couple of hours to kill in SCL. I spent it working within the lounge earlier than the four-hour flight within the frugality of economic system to Rio de Janeiro, the place I arrived roughly 12 hours previous the unique early morning arrival from Panama.

Right here’s what I don’t perceive:

1. Airport

Airport staff ought to have all of the authority to swiftly rebook affected passengers with out having to name inner reservations. How would you think about doing this when you’ve got 170 passengers in entrance of you, and every would take 15 to half-hour, if not longer, to course of?

2. Rebookings to Different Airways

When it’s clear that the airline can not fly its schedule and is uncertain what flights take off and when, wouldn’t or not it’s higher to reduce the load and transfer as many passengers as doable to different airways?

This will price a bit of money however would permit restoration and get again to one thing resembling an everyday schedule sooner, moderately than having tens of 1000’s of passengers stranded in Panama and varied outposts for days.

3. Schedule

Copa scheduled and nonetheless schedules flights to be operated by this plane kind that has been grounded. Why wouldn’t they take away all of them from the schedule after which arrange a sensible schedule of fights they’ll function and begin from there?

I’ve to present Copa credit score for swiftly getting via to their name middle, and all of the brokers had a great command of English.

My Copa Pilferage Declare Expertise:

Compensation Clinic: Pilferage From Delayed Baggage (Avianca & Copa)

Conclusion

If I had not identified what my rights as a passenger are, I might think about that Copa would have pressured me to fly to Rio de Janeiro on standby, and sure, each of those segments had been in coach, days later than initially deliberate. I might have wanted to take care of fare distinction calculations at a later level which will have yielded cost of a few hundred {dollars}.

All the staff, together with the Swissport ones, had been nice, however getting them to do what they had been alleged to with out being very persistent was difficult.

The Santiago detour on LATAM and the final section weren’t optimum (I used to be pondering of ditching the final section to spend a couple of days there), however manageable.

It’s tough to see how Copa might function something resembling their normal schedule until they only take these Max 9 flights out from their system, not pretending these will fly, and begin constructing a schedule they’ll function till there’s a repair for this door and probably different points these airframes could have.

Have you ever resulted in a canceled or delayed flight as a consequence of Boeing 737 Max 9 points, and the way the airways dealt with the rebooking and reaccommodating course of? Please remark under.


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