Warning: En Parapente Andamos / Parapente Paraíso (Bogotá)
I absolutely do not recommend En Parapente Andamos or Parapente Paraíso at all, under any circumstances.
From what I’ve seen and experienced with both of these companies, if nothing goes wrong, then you’ll have a great experience. If however something does go wrong, then they will not treat you right.
On Saturday October 15th around 11am, after waiting out bad weather for 2 hours, my girlfriend and I were off on our first paragliding adventure. Unfortunately, it will also be our last.
When my girlfriend and her tandem pilot were trying to land, they almost touched the ground but were blown back and up at the last second. They weren’t able to clear the house/café behind the landing area and instead were pushed onto it. They hit the roof on a plastic part which broke, were dragged slightly, and the pilot ended up rolling on top of my girlfriend. They ended up getting down through a hole in the roof.
Luckily this was not a bad accident but resulted in my girlfriend having many scrapes and bruises all over her body, with her discovering new ones still. Right afterwards, she was in a state of shock for more than 30 minutes with her teeth chattering, tears falling, and being unable to remember much of the minutes prior (her memories returned that night and kept her awake).
Yes, accidents happen but it’s not that it happened, rather it’s how the staff of En Parapente Andamos and Parapente Paraiso treated us after it actually did…
It seemed like we were an inconvenience and they wanted to stop dealing with us and get rid of us, their words of course were to the contrary. It seemed like they were trying to cover themselves instead of trying to help us, repeatedly emphasizing that accidents never happen with them, but I am not so sure. When speaking to us, they were not taking it very seriously, insensitively joking that it could have been a lot worse.
We had to ask for first aid (which they had to go find and returned with only bandaids and cream); we had to ask for ice for the first few bruises she noticed. We were told if my girlfriend feels dizzy or faints later, to let her rest. Perhaps they should have advised calling the doctors / professionals instead.
We were given mint tea though. And the guy that was intermittently talking to us recommended multiple times that we ask for our meal or whatever we wanted for free. An hour after trying to return to normal and eating, we asked for this. In response, not only did the supervisor deny us this, but her words were insensitive and harsh and belittled what had happened, calling it “just an incident”, they had already given us tea, and company policy does not allow for anything else. It didn’t matter that a member of her staff had recommended we ask for this.
This was revealing of their true colors and how they really felt about what happened, us, and customers in general. We are people. We are not some emotionless widgets that you take money from and discard. This conversation was the absolute last straw and triggered uncontrollable tears from my girlfriend and left me furious.
The compensation for the food was not about the money, it was not that expensive, but it was about treating us sensitively and with human decency after a traumatic incident. Flying for the first time and getting into an unexpected accident is traumatic. My girlfriend still cries when thinking about the events; the overall behavior of the staff of En Parapente Andamos and Parapente Paraiso, especially the supervisor that dealt with us, was completely unhelpful and unacceptable.
Here are my recommendations for En Parapente Andamos and Parapente Paraiso to become decent, but until then I do not recommend their services to anyone, under any circumstances:
1. Padding for customers in case there are harsher landings, for example elbow pads, knee pads, and shin guards. This would have prevented many of the cuts and bruises that my girlfriend was inflicted with.
2. Immediate medical aid and services on hand that treats in a humane and sensitive manner
3. Sensitive policies for treating people when an accident does happen