November 10, 2006

Reveiw of COPA, TAME, and Continental Airlines

On October 24, 2006, I took a two week trip to Ecuador. I have to say that COPA, and TAME airlines were heads above U.S. Continental Airlines. Continental barrages you with a a film from its president alluding the high quality of standards of his airline. However, the food I must say on the flight from Houston to Panama was awful. They provided the choice of a beef or turkey sandwich. My beef sandwich in aluminum was burnt. And on the way back from Panama I had a ham sandwich which was burnt. I didn't finish either one. The service was fair but nothing notable. 

I was greatly impressed both with the quality of aircraft and most of all the service with COPA. They seem to have an enthusiasm for flying and provided good service. They were attentive and the planes immaculate on both flights to and from Ecuador connecting in Panama. The airport in Panama City is exceptional and offers exceptional shopping. This is the true airline hub for Latin America.

I remember in the old days of the 1980's flying TAME in Ecuador and wondering if I would make it. Operated by the Ecuadorian military the service was acceptable and the planes looked dreary. However, with three airlines competing for business within Ecuador at this time, TAME has clearly picked up the pace.  New planes and excellent service gets my dollar. I was pleasantly impressed that in the 30 minute flight from Guayaquil and Quito that attendants are actually able to serve a small snack and beverage in the short space of time. TAME should be proud of how they have changed things around. Also, the new airport in Guayaquil is outstanding and is world class compared to the older facilities of Quito. However, this will change in 2009 when the new airport in Quito is opened some 40 minutes outside Quito. No more cheap taxis to Gringolandia. In most cases your ticket is cheapest by purchasing online or at the airport counter. Most people pay a higher ticket price through an agency.


If you are going to Ecuador be sure purchase a copy of my latest book "Culture Shock! Ecuador". You can find it at Amazon for an amazingly low price of $10.85.