With Big White in port waiting to be loaded to the Zenith Leader (NYK) vehicle carrier RoRo ship it was time to buy the tickets for the Guayaquil flight. It was way more expensive than expected. After having the flight booked I sent off a booking for Blaze to Copa Air. They require vaccination certificate, Panama salud certificate, vet certificate not older than 10 days, photo of dog in crate, photo of dog beside crate, dog and crate weight, dog age, breed, crate size. Everything was OK beside the crate size, as in their opinion the crate had to be larger. They charge the dog ticket based on weight and cubic volume. They couldn’t offer more guidelines than ‘the dog should be comfortable in the crate’. Blaze was feeling awesome in this crate, but no, not according to Copa. I asked the hostel manager to call a taxi and he looked at me “don’t even dream going out, it’s standstill on the streets”. It’s Panama on Friday afternoon. So I sent an email to Copa Cargo that the crate will be solved next morning. Sure thing taxi came early, a minivan, loaded up the crate and went quickly to the wrong Discovery Center. I’s a funny name for a warehouse and who knew that there are two of them. Another 15 minutes and we were at the right warehouse this time. Of course they had no larger crates, ‘next week maybe’ they said, which could mean anything this part of the world. Sure, but our flight is in 3 days. A lucky moment hit us and the crate price was refunded, then we drove across the road to Melo (sort of pet store, but they sell BBQ’s too, funny combination). They had exactly same size of crate as the refunded one or a gigantic one, for bear cubs or hippos I guess, for $ 287 USD +tax, no discount! You read that right. I asked if it’s coming with engine too, we’re talking about 5 kg of recycled plastic here. In the meantime an email popped up, Copa wanted the photo of the new crate by noon. Photo with the dog in the crate. Dog is at hostel. Burning smell was coming out of my brain. There’s no time to go to another pet store. While frantically running up and down between the shelves thinking of the disaster coming up in this whole dog shipping soap opera my eyes got hooked on a crate which seemed to be the right size but no door on it. One of the workers lifted it off and hey, there was a door inside the crate. According to the store personnel the door was not belonging to this crate. Turned out that it’s a strange door but belongs to this crate. Price $190.00. Gotta be kidding me. I pointed to the crate and asked the manager “last price please!”. We agreed to $150.00 and 2 minutes later the taxi was on the road taking shortcuts of the shortcuts. An email with dog in crate photo went out at 11:32 AM, no answer. Two more photos at 11:44 AM. No answer. Should I say the word? Call to Copa Air Cargo came unanswered, call to Copa Airlines came with “There’s nothing we can do, it’s a different company”. An email finally poured in at 1:35 PM.
“Good afternoon Ms. Barna
receive the picture, however on arrival peers do not work weekend on Monday confirmed me as I proceed with the booking.
since I expect confirmation from peers.
Agente de Servicio al Cliente”
That sounds just about like my Spanish, I take it as we’re cool for the Monday flight.