There’s trouble in paradise. Lodge owners in ecotourism hotspot the Osa Peninsulaare complaining that Nature Air flights are sending their customers’ luggage late – sometimes by days – putting a cramp in their vacations.
Nature Air officials counter by pointing out that fuel issues make it difficult to please everyone, since lack of refueling facilities at the Puerto Jiménez airport means the planes must carry enough fuel to make the return journey.
“There’s not many things internally we can do as a company,” said Alexi Huntley, the airline’s sales and marketing director.
The main issue is that travelers bringing lots of luggage are sometimes not able to travel on the same flight with their luggage, meaning someone has to pick it up later.Huntley said Nature Air did do something to alleviate the problem during the high season, scheduling an extra flight just for luggage. He said it cost the company more than $100,000 and lost revenue.
“There’s no airline in the world that would take that type of money off its bottom line,” he said.
But Urias Porras, the customer coordinator at the Iguana Lodge, said since the high season ended, so did the extra flight.
Sometimes his lodgers have to wait two days to get their luggage, or pay for a taxi to pick it up.
While Huntley chalked most of the problem up to lack of refueling facilities, he also said Osa tourists tend to have more “gear,” making their luggage bulkier. Not all lodge operators are annoyed at Nature Air.
Adriana Domenech, the manager of El Remanso, said that while there have been some problems with luggage arriving on time, the complaints of some lodge operators were “ridiculous.” Nature Air, she said, has comparatively very good service.
“They’ve always done what they need to do.”