Ecuador Baggage Warning


Here is an Ecuador baggage warning from Merri.

Have any of you seen Morgan Freeman’s soul comedy, 10 Items or less?

Well, I entitle this sad story of travel  4 Items or less:  Moratorium on Ecuador Baggage.

For years, when Gary and I lived in Old Naples, we traveled to Ecuador and the world out of Miami Airport.  Often in the holiday season, we would be standing in long check in lines.  We’d often hear the notice that there was moratorium on baggage or that there was a moratorium on cardboard boxes.

We’d look at each other, shake our heads and wonder and then worry about what we’d do if we were one of those unlucky ones.

Well, two years ago in December as we flew out of Tampa, we found out what would happen.  When we checked in (although we had permission as first class passengers to take 3 bags each), we were allowed only 4 bags not 5 not 6.  We offered to pay more but our check in lady was adamant.

We bring a lot of bags to Ecuador loaded with things that people need or Meson de las Flores needs and gifts.  Well, there we stood (our ride to the airport long departed) with 5 bags instead of 4.

What to do?  We’ve become acquainted with the same elderly porter now for many years and always seek him out, and he said “Let’s get out of line right now”.  Then he stepped up to the counter and said, “Please let me have their 4 baggage tags.”

Well, we were already 70 lbs in each bag!  But he proceeded to stuff things in 4 bags leaving one of our suitcases empty.  He shrugged,
put the tags on the four and we offered him our now empty bag.

He said…”Well, we’ve been meeting here every December and we’re like family now, aren’t we?”

(Here I must admit that Gary is a very generous tipper everywhere he goes…)

Yesterday, as I was packing up for Ecuador, planning on 3 bags per person as I was told when I bought the tickets last week.  I had a bit of an urge to call and make sure all was well…”No, she said, “there’s a moratorium on bags to all of South America!”

“Why?”  we asked.

It’s the time when people return and they are loaded with weight and  gifts and whatever, so much so that the plane is easily overloaded.  Especially in the high altitudes of the Andes.

Well, I had to sit down and take a deep breath.  So many promises I have made, so many things to take.  All new uniforms for the staff, gifts for everyone and our paintings!  We’ve been trying to take a group of paintings down now for over a year.  They are all packaged and conform and are ready…but they are our 5th bag!

The only thing that we could think of to do…is to send you a note that until January 16 (whether one pays extra or not), bags are restricted to Ecuador to be only 2 bags, 70 lbs. each.  And of course the lady did say you can carry on 40 lbs!

All I could think of is Gary, Mahananda and me in the Atlanta Airport with all our personal items, computers and her needs AND 40 lbs. each traipsing from one terminal to the next…no thank you.

So, if you get a call from me, don’t answer….as I’ll be begging you to bring some stuff down for us!

Merri

Until January 16, only 2 bags checked per person, up to 70 lbs. each.

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