Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
VLN-BOG-PTY On Avianca J Class  
User currently offlinemvecchi4 From Venezuela, joined Apr 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 3 months 4 days 11 hours ago) and read 13511 times:

Howdy everyone, and welcome to my third report on A.net

So this report includes a quick trip I had to go to PTY on Avianca. This is my first report on an international flight leaving from VLN (my hometown) so it’s kind of special on this side.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not proud of VLN. It’s an airport that was built without any kind of future and it seems to be doomed to stay that way for a long time given the recent declarations from the government.

So today’s route is as follows:

PTY por mvecchi4, en Flickr">

All the pictures in this report were taken with my phone, so sorry for the quality.

I booked my ticket directly in Avianca’s site (avianca.com). I really like AV’s site because it lets you customize your trip as much as possible. The only downside was that I couldn’t choose my seat in advance, only at the OLCI.

One comment I had was that I looked at the fares on CM from VLN to PTY which is the only direct flight and it was around VEF 6.200 in Y, but AV had the PTY route with a stopover in BOG for VEF 4.800 (weird) so I decided to take the plunge with AV and buy a Business Class ticket for around VEF 5.800.

I’ve always loved AV. A couple of years ago, while I was in charge of the HR organization for the company I worked for in its Colombia branch I had to go to BOG every other month so AV was my first airline where I was truly a frequent flyer, and the first airline where I redeemed miles for a ticket.

So anyways, let’s get to the bottom of it.

I do the OLCI the day before (exactly 24 hours prior to the departure time) and the boarding pass states that my limit for arriving at the airport was 10.45am. I arrive at the airport at 10.30 and this is what I find.


Closed counter.

I tell them I’m on the flight the agents looked at me like I was crazy. I wasn’t going to check any bags (just had my carry on) and I already did my check in. The flight was on time and there was a huge line for the security clearance.

Anyways, I am checked in and given new boarding passes (it seems normal now that even though I do the OLCI they still give you new boarding passes.


So here’s a view of the airport. You can see the line for security to the left.


The counters for Avior (I think they fly to AUA) and DAE (For CUR).

Most airlines have a single flight daily our of VLN. Only sometimes they allow 2 flights (peak times I think).


This is the CM counter. And the outside of the airport.


INAC Office to the left (Civil Aviation Authority of Venezuela). And the line for security.

In CCS, the ticket already has the airport tax included, at VLN you still have to go pay the tax. I didn’t have any cash so I had to withdraw from an ATM on site. I was pretty sure the ATMs wouldn’t work but at the end I was lucky.


Another view. There’s some refurbishment in the back.


My boarding pass. Since I’m a LifeMiles member they show both my last names and both my names.


The Security line, (Only one).


AV, InselAir and DAE Ticket offices.

After going through security you get questioned and your luggage is rechecked by National Guards. Seems stupid since you’re getting your carry on checked by an x-ray machine, but they still double check.


Departures area at VLN


People waiting to be the first to board, even if they board in groups.


The other side of the departures area.

As you may have guessed there is no VIP Lounge to be seen in this airport.


The bird taking me to BOG this morning.


The walkway to the plane.


Ground agent announcing the departure of the flight.

So everyone stands up and gets in line even when the agent announced that only Star Elite, LifeMiles elite and Business Class Pax were to board first.

There is no discrimination from the agent and he doesn’t check if the passengers are classified as above.

While going into the walkway we get checked AGAIN by the National Guard.


The bird.


Closer to the bird.


I snapped this one just as I was getting on the plane. Pretty good uh?

The Flight

Date: August 29th 2012
Carrier: Avianca (AV)
Flight Number: AV117
Departure City: Valencia (Arturo Michelena Int’l) – Venezuela (VLN)
Arrival City: Bogotá (El Dorado Int’l)– Colombia (BOG)
Aircraft Type: Airbus A318
Registration: N618MX (Ex Mexicana)
Scheduled Departure Time: 11.45
Actual Departure Time: 12.10
Scheduled Arrival Time: 13:02
Actual Arrival Time: 13:30
Flight Duration: 1.20
Seat Number: 1A (J Class)
Configuration: 2-2 in J and 3-3 in Y




The seat


Legroom shot.


On board reading materials.


Safety card.


My view while on the ground.


Today’s menu.


Cover of the menu.


Welcome aboard page.

Couple of minutes later the in flight duty free catalogs were passed to the passengers.


Catalog


Business Class seats. Although this was in the “Avianca en Revista” magazine this were not the seats I was in. This was an old A319 with no personal IFE just the screens above.

At this point we’re already delayed, so this guy wasn’t really happy.




This promo in the magazine lists AV hubs as LIM, SAL, BOG and SJO. But there’s nowhere any mention of TA. Is this AV trying to get people accustomed for a single AV brand throughout AviancaTaca?.



Some facts on Avianca. They seem to be doing pretty well.



Still delayed. Not sure what the problem is at this point.



View of the airport from the plane. Arturo Michelena International Airport.

At the end there was a group of 8 asian looking people getting in the plane (we had been on the plane for 30 minutes already) and then they closed the door and got cleared for takeoff. This happened around 12.10pm.

Takeoff was at around 12.15pm. I noticed a very noisy takeoff. I’m not sure if it happens often with A319 but I almost couldn’t stand the level of noise I was experiencing from the engines at full throttle.

Also, I noticed the capitain on the PA used the word “decolar” for “takeoff” instead of “despegar”. I don’t speak Portuguese but I’m pretty sure “decolar” is takeoff in Portuguese. Pherhaps this was an AV Brasil pilot or something???.

So about 15 minutes after takeoff…


Hot towels were provided. The towels were soaked and extremely hot. Water was dripping from my hands the moment I touched the towel.

And the meal service began.


AV brand detail in the linen.


So the menu here is chicken drumsticks with potatoes and vegetables, fresh salad and a Colombian chocolate cake.

I have to admit the chicken was absolutely great!. The potatoes weren’t though.



Salad.



Chicken and potatoes.



Avianca brand detail in the fork. Nice touch (saw this on LA a couple of weeks back).



Look outside the plane.



Short video of us gliding through the clouds

After that it was a rather uneventful flight. It’s a short hop anyways.



Here you can see the BOG savannah.


Short video of the landing.



The sight in BOG with Iberia’s cargo going by. I see Aerogal beside it.


AV A330.


NK is in the house headed to FLL.


Same A330 but better picture quality.


AA B757 I guess?



As usual, VLN flights are on remote stand by so they bus us back to the terminal.



Walking down the arrivals walkway. This goes either to the passport control area or to international connections (back to the upper floor).



This guy was letting people know the right line for international connections (no customs necessary.).


The line for international connections was very long and slow. This is a downside in BOG as they should have more security equipment to ease this process. There’s only one x-ray machine and one metal detector, se there’s a huge bottleneck.



Despegar.com with great publicity along the terminal.



The sight in BOG.



Sorry, blurry picture.

So I get to my gate but I still had 20 minutes to spare, so I decided to go grab a glass of wine in the Admiral’s Club. I hadn’t been in the club before so this was a good opportunity.



Entrance to the Admiral’s Club.



The lounge is shared with DL and LH according to these signs.



TV room inside the club



Club



Avianca bird standing in front of AA’s Admiral’s Club.



More AC.


Glass of wine and IB’s Ronda Magazine.



My view.

I used the Wifi to call home and call my pick up service at PTY.

So after a couple of minutes (and after I finished my wine) I headed back to the gate. But first, I had to get one of these.


Potato chips – chicken flavor. Yes CHICKEN!. They are the absolute best and every time someone tells me they’re going to Colombia I beg for chicken chips!.

So anyways, I arrived a little late to the boarding process and Business was already in. So I squeezed in front of everyone to get checked and get to the aircraft.


View of the entrance.


My seat, notice this one has the personal IFE.



Noise-cancelling headphones!.



TA plane as our neighbor.



My screen.


People getting in.


More people getting in.



Boarding Pass


Outlet.


Legroom shot.


These seats do have the powerports.


USB slot and the headphone slot.


Champaign was served as people came in.


While reading Ronda, I noticed IB got an award from IATA for their excellence in baggage handling. My luggage has been lost three times in the past, one of them with IB.


One of the attendants making PA announcements.


Hot towels were passed out.


Ronda Magazine on AV



The remote.

So a couple of minutes into the flight the meal service started. No menus were given this time.


Beef ravioli with salad.


It was quite good.


Aircraft System screen in the galley.


Gotta love the Simpsons!



And Flanders!



The usual sight when arriving at PTY.


Short video of the landing.


PTY

So we get to the jetway and start deplaining.


Does anybody know what this is? Is it some kind of MRO facility for AA? This view is from the jetway.

So I start walking to the Passport Control area and notice something is missing.


This used to be the Admiral’s Club at PTY.

Turns out now it’s the Priority Pass Lounge as AA closed their Admiral’s Club in PTY. I was in this club last February.


Blurry photo of the passport control line.

After passport control I breezed through the baggage claim as I had no checked baggage and went through customs. Less than 2 minutes later I was landside.

Conclusion

Avianca provides consistent top quality service. This is my first time flying AV after their Star Alliance joining and I think that they have everything they need to be in a global alliance such as Star, I’m very happy for them and AviancaPlus (the predecessor of their LifeMiles FF program) was my very first incursion into the Frequent Flyer programs.

I am looking forward to fly into BOG and their brand new international terminal. I’m curious to see if the transit for international destinations is there will significantly improve over what they have now (the long line with 1 security check). I might try that next time I got to PTY or when I try TAME’s new CCS-BOG service.


Return Trip Highlights


Avianca checkin counters @ PTY


PTY at 5am


More PTY @ 5am


Completely empty hallways.



Brakefast plate. Omelette with grilled tomato, croissant and fruit.

AV does not have a lounge in PTY (bad bad bad) but I managed to get into the lounge in BOG on the return trip.


Avianca’s VIP Room. It was crowded!.


This side not so crowded.


Sandwiches.


Fruit. The attendants were not very polite (which is rare for Colombians who are extremely polite everywhere).


More brakefast options.


My meal.


Lounge view.


Entrance to the VIP room.

So this is all there is for this report. Thanks for stopping by.

Feedback is always appreciated

Miguel.



Future Reports – Booked Flights

CCS-ATL-MCO on Delta (DL) - late September
CCS-PTY on SBA Airlines (S3) - December
VLN-PTY-PUJ on Copa Airlines (CM) - December

Past Reports
CCS-HKG On AF Premium Voyageur (by mvecchi4 May 26 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part I Peru Trip - CCS-LIM With LA Y Cabin (by mvecchi4 Sep 8 2012 in Trip Reports)
Part II Peru Trip - LIM-CUZ With StarPeru Y Cabin (by mvecchi4 Sep 8 2012 in Trip Reports)

21 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2468 posts, RR: 4
Reply 1, posted (2 years 3 months 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 13236 times:

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
The counters for Avior (I think they fly to AUA)

Nope, Avior is flying to several destinations - like Barcelona, Maracaibo, Puerto Ordaz, plus Miami and PTY/Panama with the classic B737-200!

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
AA B757 I guess?

Have a look at the engines- B767...


User currently offlineAirAfreak From United States of America, joined Apr 2012, 745 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (2 years 3 months 4 days 7 hours ago) and read 13106 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hola Miguel!

Thank you for taking the time to show us your experience with Avianca! And now, I am very hungry for pasta as only a few moments ago, I was deciding on whether or not to order a pizza at this early hour of the day!!! hahahaha!

I've always wanted to visit Colombia, specifically, Santa Marta as I heard of the beautiful surrounding coastal areas are beautiful!

How was PTY? Other than the canal, what else do tourists prefer to do while in Panama? Do you have any photos from your trip into the city?

Thank you and much appreciated!!!!

Saludos desde Los Angeles,
AirAfreak =]



Do you lead an Intercontinental life?
User currently offlinemvecchi4 From Venezuela, joined Apr 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 3 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 12977 times:

Quoting debonair (Reply 1):
Nope, Avior is flying to several destinations - like Barcelona, Maracaibo, Puerto Ordaz, plus Miami and PTY/Panama with the classic B737-200!

Hi Debonair,

Thanks for your feedback. However, I believe most international destinations for Avior leave from BLA and not VLN. This is the international terminal at VLN. MIA and PTY leave from VLN using the domestic terminal and do layovers in BLA, and then proceed to the international destination.

I believe BLA is a replica of the international terminal at VLN. Anyone know about this? Never been to BLA.

It would be interesting to have further information on this.

Quoting debonair (Reply 1):
Have a look at the engines- B767...

Oops... my mistake.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
How was PTY? Other than the canal, what else do tourists prefer to do while in Panama? Do you have any photos from your trip into the city?

Aside from the Canal, to me, there's not so much to see in Panama other than shopping, dining and entertainment. Old Panama (Panama La Vieja) is beautiful and the "Centro" is also quite interesting also.

This particular trip was mostly business. I'm a Hard Rock Café Collector and I went to the newly opened Hard Rock Hotel Megapolis. I'll post some photos later when I have WiFi available. Other than that there was no tourism in this particular trip.

Colombia is a whole different deal. I would recomend it 50 times over Panama. Bogota is absolutely gorgeous and Colombians are the best in every way possible, Bolivar Square, The Salt Cathedral, Andres Carne de Res, Monserrate just to name a few are wonderful. Been to CTG also and its beautiful too.

Been looking forward to see Santa Marta, but I've heard that the only "good" thing (at least for Venezuelans) is the site where Bolivar died.

Thanks all and best regards.


User currently offlineZrs70 From United States of America, joined Dec 2000, 3221 posts, RR: 9
Reply 4, posted (2 years 3 months 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 12730 times:

Excellent report!!!!

Word of caution: never a good idea to show your boarding card with name/ PNR/ ticket number on a public forum!



14 year airliners.net vet! 2000-2013
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 5, posted (2 years 3 months 4 days ago) and read 12602 times:

Great report as usual, and specially nice as covering my most favourite airline Avianca + VLN airport - I think its the first report covering VLN or?

Quite interesting that I never used VLN - even I am bascially every 2 weeks their due to business, but last week I had to rebook a Insel Air Flight CUR-CCS to CUR-VLN and have to say it was great, ok I was in the front of the MD83 - but it took me exact 3 min the immigration and 2 min the customs - but only 2 because the guardia nacional hadnt opened / activated the exit door... of course if you are one of the last ones its pritty bad as they have only 2 immigration officeres in VLN

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
One comment I had was that I looked at the fares on CM from VLN to PTY which is the only direct flight and it was around VEF 6.200 in Y, but AV had the PTY route with a stopover in BOG for VEF 4.800 (weird) so I decided to take the plunge with AV and buy a Business Class ticket for around VEF 5.800.

not a bad deal, its always nice to have some good fares on Business Class!

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Anyways, I am checked in and given new boarding passes (it seems normal now that even though I do the OLCI they still give you new boarding passes.

depends on what carriers, it happends always to me in Venezuela, but not in Peru, Europe, Brazli etc.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
In CCS, the ticket already has the airport tax included, at VLN you still have to go pay the tax. I didn’t have any cash so I had to withdraw from an ATM on site. I was pretty sure the ATMs wouldn’t work but at the end I was lucky.

you were really lucky, tried to get some cash on the ATM after arrival on my Insel Air flight and both ATMs were not working...

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
While going into the walkway we get checked AGAIN by the National Guard.

oh my friends are also quite bussy in VLN - they should bettter prevent that somebody steals aircrafts and went than full of drugs to spain with the stolen aircraft...

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
So the menu here is chicken drumsticks with potatoes and vegetables, fresh salad and a Colombian chocolate cake.

looks good, also I have to recognize that in the 90s the Avianca catering was still much better!

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
The lounge is shared with DL and LH according to these signs.

pritty bad the lounge in my opinion, used it several times and they have nothing special.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Beef ravioli with salad.

again a decent meal for such a short flight

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):

Turns out now it’s the Priority Pass Lounge as AA closed their Admiral’s Club in PTY. I was in this club last February.

well it makes sence... AA has only a few flights left in PTY and Priotity Pass has tons of members in SouthAmerica

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Brakefast plate. Omelette with grilled tomato, croissant and fruit.

very nice!

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
AV does not have a lounge in PTY (bad bad bad) but I managed to get into the lounge in BOG on the return trip.

well understandable that they do not have a loung in PTY they are handling I think max 35 business pax per day ex PTY... but I think its a matter of time AV passengers will have access to the Copa Club

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Fruit. The attendants were not very polite (which is rare for Colombians who are extremely polite everywhere).

interesting, they are serving the same food since they opened the lounge many years ago.

Quoting debonair (Reply 1):
Nope, Avior is flying to several destinations - like Barcelona, Maracaibo, Puerto Ordaz, plus Miami and PTY/Panama with the classic B737-200!

well not true... and remember domestic flights are handled by a seperate terminal.

Quoting AirAfreak (Reply 2):
How was PTY? Other than the canal, what else do tourists prefer to do while in Panama? Do you have any photos from your trip into the city?

well you have great casinos, a tons of hot girls... good shopping etc.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 3):
Thanks for your feedback. However, I believe most international destinations for Avior leave from BLA and not VLN. This is the international terminal at VLN. MIA and PTY leave from VLN using the domestic terminal and do layovers in BLA, and then proceed to the international destination.

absolutely correct

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 3):
Aside from the Canal, to me, there's not so much to see in Panama other than shopping, dining and entertainment. Old Panama (Panama La Vieja) is beautiful and the "Centro" is also quite interesting also.

well all in all Panama City is a nice affair.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 3):
Colombia is a whole different deal. I would recomend it 50 times over Panama. Bogota is absolutely gorgeous and Colombians are the best in every way possible, Bolivar Square, The Salt Cathedral, Andres Carne de Res, Monserrate just to name a few are wonderful. Been to CTG also and its beautiful too.

go to San Andres and Medellin, stunning places!

Cheers and thanks again for the great report
Avianca

pd: still waiting your feedback about Project crossing the pacific!  



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1965 posts, RR: 24
Reply 6, posted (2 years 3 months 4 days ago) and read 12560 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good report! Avianca J looks pretty nice on short flights! Food looks to be of a high standard. We just got back from Mexico flying United F and the food served was much less appealing, than what it looks like you got on your flights!

Thanks for sharing!

Best,

Matthew (767747)


User currently offlinemvecchi4 From Venezuela, joined Apr 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 3 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 12068 times:

Hey All!

Quoting Zrs70 (Reply 4):
Word of caution: never a good idea to show your boarding card with name/ PNR/ ticket number on a public forum!

I usually just wipe my last name out. But I guess it's always a good thing to do that. Thanks!

Quoting Avianca (Reply 5):
Quite interesting that I never used VLN - even I am bascially every 2 weeks their due to business, but last week I had to rebook a Insel Air Flight CUR-CCS to CUR-VLN and have to say it was great, ok I was in the front of the MD83 - but it took me exact 3 min the immigration and 2 min the customs - but only 2 because the guardia nacional hadnt opened / activated the exit door... of course if you are one of the last ones its pritty bad as they have only 2 immigration officeres in VLN

Insel has consistent service. I've flown them a few times in the past since is the smoothest connection when going to MIA from VLN (Other choices would be CM through PTY or AV through BOG, aside from Dae which is basically the same connection in CUR as Insel).

The reason you went out so quickly was because you were in the front of the plane. I've spent 40+ minutes on immigration and 30+ minutes at baggage claim. This particular trip, since I was in J, it took me 10 minutes from the plane to the parking site (did not check any luggage)

Quoting Avianca (Reply 5):
it happends always to me in Venezuela, but not in Peru, Europe, Brazli etc

In VLN, only CM uses the same pass you print as the actual boarding pass.

I think that when I went CCS-SCL on LA last year they used the printed OLCI pass.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 5):
oh my friends are also quite bussy in VLN - they should bettter prevent that somebody steals aircrafts and went than full of drugs to spain with the stolen aircraft...

This is what bothers me. Extra security but at the end traffikers end up doing their thing.

VLN does not have an X-Ray machine for checked luggage screening. So its very common to hear your name called out in the departure lounge so you can go in the back and get questioned on something the Guard noticed from your suitcase.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 5):
AA has only a few flights left in PTY and Priotity Pass has tons of members in SouthAmerica

Bad for me as an Admiral's Club member and not Piority Pass.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 5):
go to San Andres and Medellin, stunning places!

Been to MDE for Christmas last year. I have to admit that I didn't like much though. BOG rules!.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 5):
pd: still waiting your feedback about Project crossing the pacific!

Had a very busy week so sorry. This report's been ready for a week and I didn't have the time to upload until now. Will get back to you soon.

Best regards,

Miguel.


User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 8, posted (2 years 3 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 12033 times:

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
Insel has consistent service. I've flown them a few times in the past since is the smoothest connection when going to MIA from VLN (Other choices would be CM through PTY or AV through BOG, aside from Dae which is basically the same connection in CUR as Insel).

yeah, looks like Insel is doing very good connecting VLN passengers to MIA and even to CLT!
I was surprised - once we landed an announcement was made that due to weight and balance they had to leave behind 50 bags in MIA of connecting passengers to VLN... quite bad, the last time I heard such an anoucement on a MDE-CCS VH flight years ago - 2 days later my luggage arrived robbed...

A nice surprise was that it seems that Insel is making a tombola on each flight and the 1 winner gets back the ticket price

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
VLN does not have an X-Ray machine for checked luggage screening. So its very common to hear your name called out in the departure lounge so you can go in the back and get questioned on something the Guard noticed from your suitcase.

quite funny, as VLN has on the cargo side a big X-Ray machine for the imports, even CCS does not have one... anyhow the guards are not only searching for drugs.. .once saw that they took a Korean passenger on AF to check his luggage, and wow, he had like 10 bottles of scotch in the bag, so - as a gentleman he had to give at least 1 bottle to these as..... otherwise no flight for him on that day.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 7):
Been to MDE for Christmas last year. I have to admit that I didn't like much though. BOG rules!.

Wow I am surprised, you are the first person that I know that did not like MDE, did you had any bad experience during the trip?

Cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinecybergus From Venezuela, joined Mar 2006, 510 posts, RR: 10
Reply 9, posted (2 years 3 months 2 days ago) and read 11644 times:

Hey Miguel:

Superb TR. I really enjoyed and it is great to see this kind of pics from another airport in Venezuela different than CCS. I didn't know the actual shape of the VLN terminal. Hard to tell but is in deep need of an expansion and renewal to allow more traffic, not only because of the amount of flights but for the importance of Valencia as a city (Hopefully in the near future this becomes a reality...)

Another thing that really amazed me was the lack of logistic in BOG as a connection point. I thought AV has worked a lot to improve the connectivity at BOG but it seems that with one queue the process is kinda slow. Is there any advance on the new terminal there?

Overall my congratulations for your TR and keep them coming!

Cheers

Tavo



LAN Excellence in Flight
User currently offlinechristao17 From Thailand, joined Apr 2005, 942 posts, RR: 8
Reply 10, posted (2 years 3 months 1 day 20 hours ago) and read 11517 times:

Wow, the Avianca color scheme is beautiful. Thanks for sharing the trip report.


Keeping the "civil" in civil aviation...
User currently offlinebogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 820 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (2 years 3 months 2 hours ago) and read 11014 times:

Quoting cybergus (Reply 9):
Another thing that really amazed me was the lack of logistic in BOG as a connection point. I thought AV has worked a lot to improve the connectivity at BOG but it seems that with one queue the process is kinda slow. Is there any advance on the new terminal there?

The new international terminal is virtually ready, it is undergoing trials before its official opening on the 17th of October.
You can check on the following link a few pictures of how it is looking right now. The old building will be torn down and the rest of the international terminal and new domestic terminal should be ready by 2014. http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=567636&page=95


User currently offlineluisde8cd From Pitcairn Islands, joined Aug 2004, 2575 posts, RR: 31
Reply 12, posted (2 years 2 months 4 weeks 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 10785 times:

Miguel,

Awesome report! Thanks for sharing =)

I share your concerns about BOG as a connecting airport, it simply sucks. I find El Dorado to be the worse major airport in South America for three particular reasons:

1) Lack of gates (lots of remote positions)
2) Painful international connections
3) Pray that you don't arrive at peak time or else you'll lose at least 1hr in immigration.

If I had the choice, I would had paid Copa coach and flight non-stop VLN-PTY. What could be a 1:45hr trip, via BOG is around 5hrs. Yet I understand you have a special feeling for Avianca, hehe.

As others have said, thanks for postings a report and pics of a Venezuelan airport other than CCS and PMV (both aiports can be easily found in this forum). I believe we're still missing reports from MAR, BRM, BLA and PZO.

Regarding Panama, I think there're a lot of things to do as a tourist there: beaches in the Pacific, Amador Causeway, Casco Antiguo, Panama Viejo, Former Panama Canal Zone, Miraflores Locks, Gamboa Resort. For those who want to venture out of the city, you can get a 2hr ferry or 15min flight to Contadora Island, or fly to San Blas islands in the Caribbean between Colon and Colombia. Also Bocas del Toro in the Costa Rican border offers nice beaches and is only a 45min flight away from Albrook airport.

Please keep those reports coming! I think I'll post soon a report in Taca PTY-SAL E90 a/c with PTV touchscreen IFE =)

Saludos,
Luis


User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7632 posts, RR: 42
Reply 13, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 10410 times:

Hi Miguel,

Great report! It is very nice. Thanks for taking the time to write it and share it with everyone. I don't think there are many AV J-class reports on the forum, so it was a very nice surprise.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Business Class seats. Although this was in the “Avianca en Revista” magazine this were not the seats I was in. This was an old A319 with no personal IFE just the screens above.

Maybe because you were on an ex-MX A318 and the magazine is advertising the new business class on the A319s and A320s.



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlinemvecchi4 From Venezuela, joined Apr 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 10333 times:

Hey all!,

Quoting Avianca (Reply 8):
once we landed an announcement was made that due to weight and balance they had to leave behind 50 bags in MIA of connecting passengers to VLN.

This is very common. Venezuelans going to spend their CADIVI allowances in MIA is a must. Everyone brings their 2, 50lbs bags and the MD-82/83(?) can only take as much!.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 8):
A nice surprise was that it seems that Insel is making a tombola on each flight and the 1 winner gets back the ticket price

I know 3 people who have won that. You only win the same segment you are though. But it's a very good thing I guess. You actually win another ticket from what I'm told, so if you're flying MIA-CUR, you will need to buy CCS-CUR-MIA (free ticket) then CUR-CCS.

Seems like a great way to get you to come back.

Quoting Avianca (Reply 8):
Wow I am surprised, you are the first person that I know that did not like MDE, did you had any bad experience during the trip?

I wouldn't say bad experience per se. Just didn't get the feeling of it. Other than a huge Bandeja Paisa (Colombian dish) I wasn't that impressed.

I think that maybe it was that I didn't have a local recommending cool spots. We went on by ourselves. Hopefully I will go back and have someone show me the sights.

Quoting cybergus (Reply 9):
Hard to tell but is in deep need of an expansion and renewal to allow more traffic, not only because of the amount of flights but for the importance of Valencia as a city (Hopefully in the near future this becomes a reality...)

3rd most important city in the country (head to head with MAR) but then again we have this airport  .

Given the recent developments in Venezuelan aviation i truly doubt any expansion or overhaul is in the pipeline in the future. I heard of plans for a new airport in the southern part of Carabobo which would potentially be shared with Cojedes (San Carlos), but that is politically unacceptable at this point.

I read it on this thread. There's even pictures!.
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=400473

Quoting cybergus (Reply 9):
Another thing that really amazed me was the lack of logistic in BOG as a connection point. I thought AV has worked a lot to improve the connectivity at BOG but it seems that with one queue the process is kinda slow.

The improvement is more on the staff side than the infrastructure. Only one security checkpoint is just unacceptable, but I think they won't do anything with it as the new terminal is opened.

Quoting cybergus (Reply 9):
Is there any advance on the new terminal there?
Quoting bogota (Reply 11):
The new international terminal is virtually ready, it is undergoing trials before its official opening on the 17th of October.

Yes, just read the first trial flights are starting to land there. Hopefully I will get to try it as I might need to do this same route in late October.

http://www.caracol.com.co/noticias/b...-bogota/20120920/nota/1765179.aspx

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 12):
share your concerns about BOG as a connecting airport, it simply sucks. I find El Dorado to be the worse major airport in South America for three particular reasons:


Never had an international only connection in BOG before. I've had domestic connections in reverse (MDE-BOG-CCS) and it was also painful.

I've argued with people before that I prefer the look and feel of CCS over BOG anyday. Even MDE is way better. The new terminal for BOG was a must. But they have to keep expanding.

A couple of years ago I travelled very frequently (every other month) to BOG from VLN and I don't ever remember walking through a jetway. This was my first time.

[quote=EddieDude,reply=13]I don't think there are many AV J-class reports on the forum, so it was a very nice surprise.
That's what I thought. Thanks!

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 13):
Maybe because you were on an ex-MX A318 and the magazine is advertising the new business class on the A319s and A320s.

You know that now that I think about it, I did know it was an ex-Mexicana plane only when writing this report since I looked the registration up on Airfleets.es, but that was only after I wrote the actual report and I just updated the ex-Mexicana part in the flight info section. Thanks for noticing.

Thanks all for your comments.

Best regards,

Miguel.


User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5129 posts, RR: 55
Reply 15, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 10103 times:

So great to see a report ex-VLN. Thanks for sharing.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
The line for international connections was very long and slow. This is a downside in BOG as they should have more security equipment to ease this process. There’s only one x-ray machine and one metal detector, se there’s a huge bottleneck.
Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 12):
I share your concerns about BOG as a connecting airport, it simply sucks. I find El Dorado to be the worse major airport in South America for three particular reasons:

1) Lack of gates (lots of remote positions)
2) Painful international connections
3) Pray that you don't arrive at peak time or else you'll lose at least 1hr in immigration.

If I had the choice, I would had paid Copa coach and flight non-stop VLN-PTY. What could be a 1:45hr trip, via BOG is around 5hrs. Yet I understand you have a special feeling for Avianca, hehe.

= Luisde8cd and I have had our difference (hehe), but I strongly agree with this. Why anyone would transit BOG is beyond me? It is OK as an O&D airport, but the transit experience is totally crap. That one machine before you head back upstairs is totally inadequate ... and forget it if you have separate PNR's.

I know you are a fan of Avianca - but I find service on COPA MUCH better.

Thanks a lot for sharing this with us.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5934 posts, RR: 40
Reply 16, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 10062 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 15):
Why anyone would transit BOG is beyond me? It is OK as an O&D airport, but the transit experience is totally crap. That one machine before you head back upstairs is totally inadequate ... and forget it if you have separate PNR's.

because tthe price is good?

well I traveled so far only 1 via BOG on an internatinoal connectino CCS-BOG-LIM and have to say it was quite good, even we had a delay ex CCS - and we made the connection within 15 min.

cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5129 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (2 years 2 months 3 weeks 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 10042 times:

Quoting Avianca (Reply 16):
because tthe price is good?

= Fair enough.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlineRCS763AV From Colombia, joined Jun 2004, 4396 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 9442 times:

Cool report mvecchi4, nice to see VLN and AV's J class. It's a shame how latin american governments sometimes forget that infrastructure is vital to the development of a nation (VLN is in no way an adequate airport for Valencia, nor is BOG for Bogotá).

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 15):
Why anyone would transit BOG is beyond me? It is OK as an O&D airport, but the transit experience is totally crap.

I actually thin BOG is also a crap airport for us O&D passengers! Try international arrivals and baggage claim at the 12-2pm, 8-10pm peak times. Or check-in at any of AV's flight banks. A nightmare. Fortunately from october 18 all of us traveling internationally will get to experience a decent service for the first time in decades.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
Also, I noticed the capitain on the PA used the word “decolar” for “takeoff” instead of “despegar”. I don’t speak Portuguese but I’m pretty sure “decolar” is takeoff in Portuguese. Pherhaps this was an AV Brasil pilot or something???

Not really, decolar is just a synonym to despegar in spanish.


User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 427 posts, RR: 8
Reply 19, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 2 days 12 hours ago) and read 9100 times:

Hi mvecchi4 !
nice VLN premiere so happy  
Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
AV had the PTY route with a stopover in BOG for VEF 4.800 (weird) so I decided to take the plunge with AV and buy a Business Class ticket for around VEF 5.800.

is this more than 1000 euro (the currency converter also shows that amount )...this is too much for that service and COPA requesting that amount for Y !?! ... or am I completely miscalculated this

Quoting mvecchi4 (Thread starter):
AV brand detail in the linen.

AV have the most beautiful color scheme in Americas and a lot of things is nicely designed ... interior is comfortable with the update offer even in Y class but for me kinda plain ...
but MAD-BOG with AV is on my "to fly list" but after opening a new terminal
stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8588 posts, RR: 54
Reply 20, posted (2 years 2 months 2 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 8834 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

This brought back good memories of two flights I had with AV in JCL back in 2010, more than happy to fly with them again.

Cheers

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinemvecchi4 From Venezuela, joined Apr 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (2 years 2 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 8465 times:

Thank you all for your comments.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 15):
Why anyone would transit BOG is beyond me? It is OK as an O&D airport, but the transit experience is totally crap. That one machine before you head back upstairs is totally inadequate ... and forget it if you have separate PNR's.

If I'd known this I'd probably would've opted for CM. I've used BOG many times in the past but not for int'l connections. I guess it will all be solved with the new terminal. I might need to do this same route in a few weeks so maybe I'll repost with the new BOG terminal in it.

Also, the price difference is out of this world. I truly can't understand the fare structure for CM.

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 18):
Try international arrivals and baggage claim at the 12-2pm

Been there, done that. Dreadful.

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 18):
Not really, decolar is just a synonym to despegar in spanish.

I guess my spanish is not that good hahahahaha.

Quoting stipica (Reply 19):
is this more than 1000 euro (the currency converter also shows that amount )...this is too much for that service and COPA requesting that amount for Y !?! ... or am I completely miscalculated this

Under the official rate (which is what CM uses) it is. It would take a whole thread to explain why this price is relatively normal (not to say cheap) in Venezuela.

Currency conversion is a mess down here, so I guess we're paying for "exposure" insurance and other corporate reserves. I think abrelosojos might be able to explain better?

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 20):
Nice report and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Many thanks.

Best regards all,

Miguel.


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic VLN-BOG-PTY On Avianca J Class
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
It Begins: MNL-SIN-MNL On SQ Y Class posted Mon Jan 23 2012 21:56:16 by grecomark
Karachi - New York - Karachi On Etihad J Class posted Thu Jul 14 2011 13:01:14 by KHI747
A Magical Ride Back To Bangkok On EK385 F Class posted Wed Feb 9 2011 09:29:27 by magicalcarpet
HND-OKA On JAL Y Class posted Tue Sep 14 2010 03:06:54 by 777ord
London-Vienna-Split On OS C Class- With Pics posted Wed Jun 10 2009 13:06:01 by Cambrian
LCY-DUS-FRA-LHR On LH C Class (Lots Of Pics) posted Wed Jun 18 2008 04:18:02 by Cambrian
OSL-CPH-SEA On SAS C Class posted Tue Jun 10 2008 15:47:05 by MountainDew
Bali On Garuda J Class B734 & B738 (Pics) posted Wed Mar 19 2008 09:17:13 by ThaiA345
PIT-ORD-SFO-FAT On UA Y Class Part 2 Of 2 posted Tue Jan 8 2008 01:31:42 by Jasp25
Follow Up VX On First Class VX JFK-SFO posted Mon Aug 13 2007 07:48:43 by Carfield

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format