Originally Posted by holly
im now in panama trying to arrange flight for bike and myself to bogata on thursday have been told to bring bike to them on wed for packing .i have no spanish although luckily have met a fellow traveler who is helping translate for me. any info about airports places to stay close to airports copa is the airline we are using to freight the bike if anyone has any experiance of how they opperate eg do they take care of customs or help with veichle permit cant get any answers from them by phone here any advice or experiences would be very much appricated
The cargo terminal is a couple of kilometers down the road from the passenger terminal. Go early to the terminal 8-9 o'clock. Before you enter the cargo terminal you have to talk with customs that are in a small house just as you enter. Then go to the Copa office/storage. They might let you drive the bike on to an airline pallet and strap it down right away and its best if you are there for the process, so they don't drop the bike or something happens if they do it on their own.
They might ask for you to empty tank and oil and even air out of tires. Just say you have an empty tank, oil is not flammable and the air there's no reason to let out it will destroy the tires and they have to pay if the tires are damaged. Then they will usually leave it all like it is. Its not a rule from Copa that you need a seperate crate or pallet, so it quite easy to just strap it down on the airline pallet.
Then you need the airway bill with correct information, chassis no. and so on and then you go back to customs to cancel your panamanien temp. import. Then you go back to Copa and sort the rest of the paper out and you're good to go. Hitchhike back to the passenger terminal or try to find a taxi (quite hard). The area between the two terminals are not safe. So don't walk. You can thet get a plane same day with for example copa. Then you'll arrive early in Bogota so you have time to sort out where to go and so on. I don't nomuch about the procedure in Bogota, but I thinks it all fairly easy with Copa and customs.
If you change your mind you can fly with Copa to Cali all Wednesdays evenings and I can help you with all the customs here. The boss of Copa Cargo in Colombia has his office one block from my hostel here, so I have helped out several bikers and done it myself!
Keep On Ridin' In The Free World