Double prices or “oh god! oh my god!”
Aistė | Surfing, Windsurfing, Kitesurfing, Travel | July 19, 2010
We’ve spent 6 weeks in Ecuador. It’s a beautiful country, however, it wasn’t very welcoming to us. We had to move for couple of times. The wind was absent (due to El nino effect) and due to that we didn’t have any work (no wind – no fun). However, we are positive people and we tried to laugh about all our experiences at the same time hoping that bad luck will end one day.
However, apparently we had to leave the country itself to end the bad luck. And it wasn’t easy to leave Ecuador either…
It was very thoughtful of us to come to the airport 5 hours before the flight. Though TACA airline policies on the internet are clear ($50 for a surf board) reality proved to be different. As soon as we saw BIG eyes of the check-in girl, we knew that we´re in trouble. As usual we were traveling with 2 biiig windsurf bags + 1 kitesurf bag + 2 bags for personal belongings = 4-5 bags varies on the packing (pretty compact knowing the amount of things ) We are used to pay for the sports equipment – it’s not a problem for us. However, we were not used to paying for the same bag twice. The girl told us that our 5th bag is extra and no matter that we pay for it $100 as for sports equipment (not $50, as indicated on the website), we have to pay for it once more as for the extra bag (175$)…
Do I need to say that we don’t like being charged twice? Moreover, when none of this was mentioned in the policies that you can find on the internet. So we asked the girl to call her boss. We waited for Emilia (the boss) for 20 minutes. When she came we were left disappointed even more. She showed no effort to find the solution to the problem, no effort for somekind of compromise. She just kept repeating ¨I’m sorry you have to pay¨. 375$. We asked her politely to bring us the baggage policies stated on the internet in English. She disappeared. For good. We waited. Hour and a half. None of the girls wanted to take the responsibility and check us in. And the time was running short.
Finally the miracle we didn´t expect happened. One girl called Carolina started to talk to us and look for the compromise. She was and is clearly more client oriented than the sum of all the other girls + the boss. It doesn´t matter that we had to repack all our things twice – she was looking for solution. Finally we paid 250$ and we were checked in, however we already were late to the plane. And Brasilia might not want to let us in because we didn’t have a return ticket. Once again Carolina helped us. She talked to Brazilian officers, she led us to the plane and even canceled our security check. Thank you girl!
This was the beginning of our trip. It lasted for 24 hours more. Planes were late, transfers were complicated and boarder officers, most likely, tired. However, we did it! Finally we enjoy sunny weather, warm Atlantic ocean, constant winds and warm welcoming atmosphere in Brazil!
The goal of this blog is to send a message to fellow travelers, surfers etc. TACA airlines has double prices and if you can avoid flying with them in South America, do it!