GringoPost | Ecuador: Cuenca Express Update

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Cuenca Express Update

Hello from…unfortunately…still Dallas. Feels almost like a “Sleepless in Seattle” lead in title.
As many of you know, we have had two flights cancelled. The first was March 23rd, “The Original.” The second was May 4th, “The Replacement.” Then there was what I hoped would be “The Third Time’s the Charm” on June 10th. 

Guess what, Saturday, like every other day during this debacle, I woke up, ran to my PC, opened www.spirit.com to confirm the June was still scheduled. And…bad news…all of Spirit’s flights are cancelled until July 5th. After I stopped crying, literally, I got on the phone and booked a flight on July 7th. Maybe we will get lucky.

First, I appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding. Many of you have gone “beyond” understanding and are still sending us packages. Thank you. Once we are able to return, the income from these packages will help cover the cost of the trip which now includes a 14-day hotel stay in Guayaquil that we will have to pay for. And that’s ok. Happy to do it. If I can just get home.

Also, several people have been faithful at sharing information about the “humanitarian” and “repatriation” flights and it’s been helpful. It’s also been tempting to think about catching one of those. But here are the problems:

1) Let’s say I book a flight for…pick a day…May 15…with pick an airline…Eastern…or LATAM…those are two names I have seen providing these returning flights. I believe I can get approved as a “senior citizen” over 65. That’s one of the groups being allowed back. As a permanent resident of a “certain age” I would qualify.

2) Then, I get to Miami and go to check my four or five 75 to 100-pound bags…all the things of “yours” that we are bringing back. And the ticket agent says, sir, you are only allowed two bags on this flight plus your carry-on. What do I do then?

3) This flight won’t originate in Dallas with a connecting flight in Fort Lauderdale which is the Spirit itinerary. I will have to buy a ticket to get to Miami and then check the bags thru to Guayaquil. If that happened, what would I do with the surplus bags in Miami?

That’s the first set of problems: The plane ride. The second is the bus.

1) Currently, my understanding is after 14 days of being quarantined in a "government approved" hotel the government is providing/requiring a bus to take you from Guayaquil to Cuenca. What do I do if they tell me, again, there’s an X bag limit? What do I do with the extra bags?

2) Then there's the next question and possible the most challenging/frightening: Spending 14 days locked in a hotel room in Guayaquil. 

Hopefully that is something I can survive. If it’s an option, I will stay at the Hotel Oro Verde. Then, when the bus driver says, there’s a two-bag limit, we would at least have the option to check the bags with the hotel and return for them.

None of these situations are ideal but I don’t know what to do. I don’t know how dependable any answers I might receive now from any airline or any government entity in terms of allowed baggage.
Bottom line, the only reasonable choice seems to be to wait it out.

If anyone has any ideas, I am open to suggestions. If anyone has a friend with a Lear jet…or even a Citation…let me know. 

At the moment, based upon everything we know and the things we don’t know as well, I think, the only reasonable path is to sit tight.

Last thought. Some of you folks are still sending packages and that’s fine. We still have room. So, if you believe I will, eventually be returning, feel free to send us the things you need, and we will do our best to get them to you ASAP.

The silver lining in this cloud…there must be one right…is that I am getting to know our two-year-old grandson, Logan. But the six-year-old and five-year-old in Cuenca, Hannah and Naomy, think I have abandoned them so that’s a double-edged sword as well. Damned if you do…damned if you don’t.
Anyone that wants to talk, feel free to call on WhatsApp @ 095 927 9375 or on my US cell number @ 214 676 2275

Until then, stay safe and stay sane. 

Thanks,

Steve

Cuenca. July 7, 2020

Steve Feuerbacher: support@cuencaexpress.com 214 676 2275 or 095 927 9375 -WhatsApp