Panama City, Panama. A Prelude

Our flight out of Cartagena departed at 9:36 am, so we arrived the required three hours in advance and proceeded to the BC check in line. We were flying Copa Airlines and they had a promotion where we could bid on a Business Class upgrade and if successful we would get the upgrade for the price we bid. We were successful so we were looking forward to breakfast in the BC lounge and maybe a further snack on our flight. We bypassed all the Economy lines and proceeded to check in except we couldn’t check in (they did not allow us to) because we did not have proof of an onward flight out of Panama.

This is only the second time this has ever happened to us ever in all of our travels and no matter how hard we pleaded to just check us the in and we’ll deal with it at the other end if need be, they wouldn’t.

So now we’re scrambling but fortunately we arrived early so we had time to feverishly find a flight, make sure it could be cancelled within 24 hours, pay and then wait to receive the email confirmation with our etickets. “You have mail!” Yes, our etickets arrived within seconds. All set.

We proceeded back to the check in counter. When the agent asked for proof of onward travel we showed her our flights. She didn’t ask to see who the passengers were or anything other than the most basic information. We could have taken a frigging screen shot of any itinerary and it seems this would have sufficed. This kind of BS really ticks us off!

So now we’re looking forward to the business class lounge where we can unwind a little so we proceed through customs and immigration and security only to find out on the other end that there is no Copa Airlines Business Class Lounge in Cartagena International Airpot! We doubt there was one in Medellin so our guess is the only lounge they have is in Bogota International.

We’re starving by this point so we patiently wait in line at a tiny food kiosk stuck in the corner by the entrance to the public washrooms and purchase two cafe Americana and two ham and cheese sandwiches lightly toasted in some sort of moisture removing apparatus resulting in a warm and very dry ham and cheese delight.

We did get to board before most of the other passengers but all that meant was we had to wait in the hot sun on the tarmac for 10 minutes longer than all the other suckers while waiting for the cleaning crew to finish their business.

The seats on our flight were comfortable, the cheesy or some other kind of flavoured crispy twists were superb and the coffee and orange juice, “naranka!” I was told is the correct pronunciation, were divine.

One hour later, welcome to Panama City.

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