According to reports in Colombian aviation journal Torre El Dorado, on Sunday, Valentine’s day, the president of the new airline being established in Ecuador, Eduardo Delgado, was inexplicably denied boarding by Avianca as he sought to board Avianca flight 1633 from Guayaquíl to Quito.
Finance Colombia reached out to multiple contacts within Avianca for comments or clarification but received no response.
According to Delgado and evidenced by graphics provided, he was at the departure gate well before the 15-minute cutoff when flight boarding is closed in preparation for takeoff. Generally, airlines battle at the executive level, but extend courtesies and cooperation to industry colleagues, for example, making provisions to transport pilots and crew of competitors in exchange for reciprocal courtesies.
Finance Colombia reached out to multiple contacts within Avianca for comments or clarification but received no response. Torre El Dorado indicates that likewise, it has received only silence from the Bogotá based airline.
Hoy fue negado el embarque de nuestro CEO en un vuelo de @Avianca de #Guayaquil a #Quito, pese a estar en puerta 20 minutos antes de la hora salida. En #EcuatorianaAirlines esto no sucederá, nuestra prioridad serán los usuarios, respetando nuestras propias políticas. pic.twitter.com/1GaJVgHofA
— Ecuatoriana Airlines (@EcuatorianaAir1) February 15, 2021
According to Delgado, who is in the process of launching a new airline in Ecuador called Ecuatoriana Airlines, he presented himself at the departure gate at 5:10pm but was denied boarding by “Mrs. Chang” even though the departure time was 5:30pm. Avianca’s published policy is the cutoff for check-in (at the counter and before security) is 35 minutes before departure, and the cutoff for boarding is 15 minutes before departure.
Financially troubled Avianca, currently in Chapter 11 bankruptcy in the US has been abandoning perks and courtesies, possibly in an effort to reduce costs. Recently it reworked its LifeMiles loyalty program and pricing structure, making it more costly and requiring more flights for passengers to accumulate the same level of benefits, while closing its VIP lounges and reneging on access commitments to loyalty members.