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Crazy TA/CM Routing Through Latam Including TGU  
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 8731 times:

Dear all, welcome to my newest trip report!

This time a hardcore MilagePlus award ex CCS on the newest Star members TA and CM in a crazy routing consisting of CCS-LIM-MDE-PTY-TGU-SAP-PTY-BOG-CCS in only 3 days!

Around 2 months ago I found out that the 12th of October (a national holiday in most Latam countries) was on a Friday, hence I thought it would be good opportunity to plan a trip on this long weekend, specially as my family was visiting during starting of October Colombia (mostly driven due to the presidential elections that were held the past 7th of October, and in order to prevent any complicate situation).

On my agenda was a trip to TGU – an airport I was looking forward to visit since a long time due to the stunning approach.
As I traveled this year a lot with COPA and had some miles to burn, and specially the normal ticket prices to TGU ex CCS are quite expensive I started to search on UA.com the possibilities, after some research I found finally for 20.000 miles a really nice combo – with a lot of flying. Tried to book only but my (German) credit card went not true, most probably due to the restrictions we have here with foreign exchange control, at least I was able to get an booking code and called immediately the Premier Phone line – and within 10 minutes everything was sorted out and they accepted my German credit card. Shortly I received the booking confirmation to my e-mail and I was really delighted.

Time passed shortly over and finally the day was in.

The exact schedule.

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As the first leg was leaving CCS at 05:50am, the night before was quite short, better to say – instead of sleeping I diced to work the night and at 02:30am I took a nice shower and made my way from Caracas to Maiquetia were the Airport serving Caracas is located. This time as travelling with no luggage etc at all I diced to take my own car and use the airport parking, leaving at 03:00am honestly is not nice in Caracas as security is mayor concern. Anyhow I made my way through the deserted neighborhood and was within 5 minutes at the highway… ufff a little bit more relaxed know I made my way down to Maiquetia within 25 minutes, of course the traffic was non existing, quite the opposite of day time were without a problem I can take 2 to 3 hours from my apartment to the airport.

Went to the parking lot and straight my way to the check-in on the East side of the international terminal which was already quite busy and with long lines, at the same time TACA had 2 check in counters Avianca next door already proceeded also with the check in of the 06:55am departure to BOG. Made my way to the business class counters thanks to my LifeMiles Silver status… I was quite happy as only 1 family were in front of me, but looks like they had a problem with their tickets… and the lady on the eco counter just ignored me hence I had to wait around 40 minutes for the check-in. In my opinion a absolutely no go!

My today’s luggage.
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That’s the difference a man travelling alone – when I am travelling with my beloved Colombian Mother or Wife, it’s quite the opposite, they never ever travel with less than 100kgs of luggage… I think it’s a Colombian habit…

Finally I was on turn, and the lady on the check-in was friendly and said good morning Sir, I hand over my ticket and passport and she started to type… her face started to be a little bit confused and then she asked me if the itinerary is correct? My response was just with a big smile, YES!!! Also I asked her to type in my LifeMiles number as I was ticketed on UA ticket stock and was not able to put in my data… She put it in and asked me a Mr. Avianca you are Silver flyer? Yes I am – and I asked – its correct that with Milage Tickets you are not enabled to get upgrades correct? She told me – no, also Award tickets are open for upgrades – bingo! Well for me LifeMiles and MilagePlus are really the best mileage programs for South America as you get Silver status (also on STAR) with just 22000 on LifeMiles and 25000 on Milage Plus which means you get unlimited upgrades for IntraAmerican flights in case of positive space availability – a great perk! She gave me my boarding pass – today 9D Economy but she told me you are waiting listed for the upgrade and she will inform me at the gate…

Well the scheduled aircraft was today the type I most love – yes the Embraer 190 – quite a long flight CCS-LIM (around 4 hours) for that aircraft, but as before mentioned I love this airplane and on TA and on CM the aircraft is really comfortable also in ECO!

Well had outside the terminal some cigarettes and made my way to security, as typically for CCS a totally mess with long lanes and only 2 security counters working, beside the early TA departure you have before 7am also a A320 of AV to BOG, A CM 737-700 to BOG, a ACM 737-800 to PTY, Santa Barbara B.757-200 to MIA and followed by some other early departures on AA to MIA, UA to IAH, DL to ATL, AC to YYZ etc.

Had to queue for around 40 minutes and finally I passed the security and went straight to Immigration. This was a blast and within 2 minutes I was cleared. So I had still 60 minutes to boarding – should I go to the lounge or straight to the gate? Well I really don’t like the Lounge that Priority Pass is using in CCS (the Premier Club) and as it was too early for booze, the only thing that is ok in that Lounge) I decided to go straight to the gate, it was today 25 or 26, can remember well, but it was at least one of the gates that are quite new – a part of the airport terminal I never used and I was really surprised about all the new shops etc they installed there.

So I relaxed at the gate and just let pass through the time. The gate area was quite busy, and my hope to get an upgrade was quite small, as all smelled like a full flight… TA announced the boarding – starting with Business, Star Gold and LifeMiles Gold and Silver members… I jumped up, and went to gate, the lady checked my passport and boarding ticket and told…aaa one second please, went to the counter and Bingo – Mr. Avianca you are upgraded, have a nice and safe flight! Wow I was really happy as I had no sleep all the night I would be now at least to rest a little bit more comfortable after having a nice breakfast in this sexy aircraft.
I was the second to board and the Purser welcomed me, I went straight to my seat at 2D

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Seconds after, the Purser asked me if I would like to have as welcome drink some Water or Orange Juice, well no champagne at this hour of the day J hence I decided to go for some water.

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The rest of the passengers boarded step by step and the captain gave some words including that the departure will be minimal delayed by 15 minutes… Finally door was closed and today only 2 passengers including me in Business – hence I switched seat to a window! Eco load was around 95% - totally capacity of 97 passengers on TA Emb190.


Very comfortable seats including personal TV, not only in Business also in ECO.

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Good old B727F of DHL Aviation – to be exact Vensecar

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We were pushed backed and we made our way to the runway followed by a very powerful take off – which was quite long the run due to the heavy load for the long flight to LIM.

I stared to rest a little bit and enjoy the views from the window, soon around 30 minutes after take of the Purser came to me and asked if I would like to have breakfast, my answer was of course Yes and she asked me if I would like to have a ham and cheese sandwich or some French toast, I diced for the sandwich, and asked also for some orange juice and coffee with milk.

Breakfast arrived including some very nice fresh fruits to start with to refresh up.

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All in all a very nice affair – also I have to complain that I never understood why SouthAmerican carrier gave in business such cheap Orange Juice, better to say sugar water… is it really to complicate to serve some fresh squeezed juice?

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After my breakfast it was time to sleep a little bit, the time passed quite fast by, and I woke up around 40 minutes before the approach to Lima – quite some turbulences north of Lima, a nice bumpy ride! I love it.

The Andes northwest of Lima

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I made this approach many many times in the last years, as till end of 2011 I was living for some years in Lima due to work.

I started to get a little bit nervous as my connection was quite quick – but on the other hand TA has a great hub system in Lima.
We made straight into LIM and finally after nearly 9 months I was back in Lima… hands down the best airport in South America!

I deplaned made my way to the connecting flight securities which was deserted, what means that all incoming flights already arrived – I made it through in 1 minute and searched for my leaving gate, bingo the same aircraft that brought me in from CCS would bring me today to MDE. I went to the gate counter and asked if my upgrade was approved, and unfortunately the answer was Sir we are totally full today – ok no problem – as TA Eco service at least is not bad either, the aircraft was prepared and some 20 minutes later the boarding was announced, made my way to the gate, and within minutes I arrived to my seat.

9D today, unfortunately no window seat today, and as before mentioned fully flight today. I traveled many times in the past LIM-MDE but always with a stop in UIO, TA just started with 4 weekly nonstop flights LIM-MDE + 3 weekly AeroGal LIM-UIO-MDE instead of 7 – 1 stop flights they had in the past. Also the other carrier on the route LA is still flying via UIO.

The boarding in general took some time and after 20 minutes the doors finally were closed and the last luggage was stored.

The aircraft was pushed baked and we made again straight our way to the runway, passing by many LA A319, Peruvian Airlines 737 and some Star Peru aircrafts. Also I noticed that it looks finally LA/LP installed an own hanger at LIM. Always a nice sight in LIM are all the older aircrafts that are there for maintenance, in this case including 2 Conviasa 737-200, but their shape was so bad that I doubt the will fly again.
Powerful take off – passing a part of the city of LIM heading east over the Pacific followed by a sharp turn to the right, meaning heading north. I used this time a little bit my personal TV, looking a Simpson episode and then slept for a while till the service of Lunch started. Today’s choice Pasta or Chicken (will the standard offer on Eco class these days). I decided for the Chicken, in this case it was Sweet Sour with rice and a small salad.

The beverage service on TA including domestic flights is really great, including soft drinks, juices, beer, wine and some hard liquor like Scotch, Vodka, Rum etc.. much better than LAN on short or medium range flights!

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And some beer to go with it. Interesting they serve TECATE, a Mexican beer that is not sold at all in the Peruvian market, but from my many visits in the US I know the brand of from time to time for sure it’s not a bad brew!



Oh really, the hot options should be on all carriers in eco a little bit bigger, after the food a second drink service was offered and I opted for a Cuba Libre and know it was time for some more TV, Man in Black 3

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The time passed by and soon we started our decent into beautiful MDE – arrival was a bit bumpy but it least our aircraft arrived ahead of the other international flights – in this case CM ex PTY and CCS, meaning that immigration should be quick. I was asked how long I will stay and my answer was unfortunately 1 night!
As I had no luggage I went through customs – and this time the channel system showed red, meaning x ray of my 2 mini bags, also this was done within seconds and went straight to take a taxi in order to start with the journey down to Medellin City, without luggage I normally take the bus, but today the airport was very busy and as my stay was already short I had no intention to lose more time. Anyhow what a hell how expensive these days are the taxis from the airport to the city, it’s around 35 USD well yes maybe still cheap comparing to most other cities, but I remember still the prices from MDE in the past.

The journey is around 1 hour from the airport and I arrived at the home of my mother in law, were already my wife and my little sunshine daughter were waiting.
The weather was quite bad in MDE today so no other choice than to see the great soccer game between Colombia and Paraguay, Colombia of course won it – and it’s in a good way to qualify finally and after 16 years again for a WorldCup!

I played with my little daughter and it was already time to go to bet, as my next flight CM MDE-PTY was leaving at 08:55am next morning. I also preordered a Taxi for the next day and after a long and resting sleep I woke up at 05:30am had a shower and waited the taxi. As mentioned before the Colombians love to travel with heavy luggage and my wife prepared for me 2 big bags each with 35 kilos … in order to bring stuff from our house in Medellin back home to Caracas…. The taxi arrived and we made our way through foggy Medellin up to the airport located in RioNegro. Arrived at around 7am I made my way to CM Business Class counter were the check in agent again was confused do to the strange schedule… he was able to check me in for all pending legs beside of my TACA flight from TGU to SAP this same night. I received a window seat for the MDE-PTY leg, no upgrade today as CM is using their all economy Emb190 on the routing. Also he told me that the PTY-TGU was overbooked and no chance for window, what was really a bad news, as I was finally doing this trip only due to get the approach in TGU.

MDE Terminal from outside.

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Went through security and immigration and as I still had around 1 hour till boarding I decided to have some breakfast. But first I went to the gate to register myself ( looks like this has to be done for all international departures ex MDE) and asked again for a window seat for the PTY-TGU leg, which was again denied as there was no availability.

My number 1 soda in Colombia, Postobon Manzana, this time and for the first time in the diet version, honestly the true stuff is much much better



A nice gourmet sandwich – including the drink for 11 USD.



Now it was time for some spotting.

VivaColombia at the Cargo tarmac

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The Embraer for today’s MDE-PTY flight

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AA – prepared for the daily MDE-MIA flight

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Boarding was called and again a smooth boarding process.

The leg room on CM EMB190

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Bye Bye MDE, hope to see you soon.

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Push-back and powerful take off for the short 1 hour hop to Panama City.

Already in flight

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Service started and for breakfast today on offer Chicken or Ham and Cheese sandwich, I think CM is also known as the “sandwich” airline in eco.

Had some great Colombian coffee and some blackberry juice – which is very popular in Colombia. Also some grapes were served.

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The food was ok – and soon we started our decent into PTY – what I really love are the descents into PTY, always stunning views!

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Ships waiting the enter into the channel

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Now it’s not Miami. Impressive how Panama developed in the last years.

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As I had still 1 hour for the next flights, I decided to stop shortly by at the ex Presidential Club in PTY and know Copa Club.

Well it was already 10:30am so time for a nice Scotch Soda in the lounge. They serve black label, could be of course worse 

Also I had a bagel witch cream cheese to go along with the Scotch, I know maybe a strange combo and I also took an Apple for later today.

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At the lounge entrance I asked again if maybe a window seat was popped up but unfortunately the answer was no – even the flight is overbooked – so no chance Sir, know I was starting to get really pissed of… but well there is nothing to do. Made my way to the gate, made a short stop at the Duty Free, bought some stuff, and arriving at the gate they already started with the boarding process. Anyhow I asked again and for the 4 time for a window seat, but again no positive answer. So I made my way to the aircraft – oh God, I was so pissed off.

A new special color scheme of CM?

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Today aircraft was a CM 737-700 PTY-TGU, CM is operating 2 times a day into TGU, the first flight of the day is a EMB190 PTY-SJO-TGU and the second of the day a B.737-700 PTY-TGU nonstop, even I love the Emb I booked the B737 flight as a bigger aircraft should mean even a better approach into crazy TGU

At least I was at row 5 – the bulkhead.

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Also I asked the purser if he see any chance to get me a window seat, as I told him clearly that I am traveling to TGU only to make the approach. He was really friendly I told me he will see what he can do, the boarding took around 30 minutes and full flight today 100% load – so again no business upgrade on this segment. The pushback started and to my surprise the purser came to my row and asked the passenger on the window seat if he see a chance to switch with me at least during the approach, nice gesture and bingo the passenger told no problem  well I was still not totally happy as it was a window on the right side of the aircraft and the “perfect” place is to sit on TGU approach on the left… but hey better than nothing and really very nice of the Purser!

Flight was slightly delayed and we made our take off, of one of the last aircrafts of the mid-morning hub bank out of PTY.

The flight was uneventful – and for service I had a Panamanian Beer (Atlas) and YES sandwich again, Chicken for me this time. Sorry no picture of it.

Around 30 minutes before the approach the decent started and the passenger told me to switch the seats!

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Looks like not only Spain is Don Quijote land 



Finally the stunning approach started. Just can say wow, the aircraft made long long turns… over TGU

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The final approach is a long left turn – you are feeling that the turn will take forever and in some sort its creazy as on the left side you are passing by very near houses and on the right side basically nearly hitting already the mountains.

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And here we go!

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Unbelievable how short the runway is, never felt such a heavy breaking of an aircraft! WOW finally I made my way to TGU, a very special approach – I would say my personal top 3 of approaches so far are TGU, CUZ and UIO!

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The noon US traffic at TGU

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A Taca Regional ATR42 one of the aircrafts that I was booked for later today on TGU-SAP

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UA bound to IAH.

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Good bye and thanks Copa!

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Deboarding was quite fast – using stairs as TGU has only limited gangways – in order to reach the immigration you have to pass all the departure area, and honestly the airport is small but the terminal very modern!
The immigration was a mess, took over 1 hour, honestly bad publicity for an airport and an country – saying that way hello to their gusts.

Hope you enjoyed the first part of the report of my most recent trip – part 2 covering TGU-SAP-PTY-BOG-CCS on TA/CM will coming soon.

Thanks for your feedback

Cheers
Avianca


Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
27 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 8314 times:

second part split up TGU-SAP flight.



The second part starts with after immigration, also my luggage was checked in till SAP – I was quite sure it won’t work, hence I asked at the luggage belt, and the CM staff told me I have to clear customs and check in again at TA, as I had 6 hours of stopover I asked them if TA counter are really open and they told me yes… I was nearly sure that this was not true due to finally limited flights out of TGU of all carriers, even TA has the biggest operations there. So I passed the customs mentioning that I am only for transit in the country as I would leave tomorrow again in the morning ex SAP, anyhow they checked fiscally the luggage but without a problem I was cleared. So I made my way to the check-in counters of the quite small but very modern terminal, and bingo at happened what I already thought, the counter was closed till 02:30pm, meaning I had to wait for 2,5 hours…. After waiting and waiting the check in was finally opened, including a long lane of passengers, I was cleared within minutes and again without my heave luggage! Yeah.

TGU Terminal from inside.

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TGU outside the terminal – if you don’t know that there is an airport you basically cannot see it, as it is in the middle of the city.

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As I still had 3 hours to go, but unfortunately all the interesting arrivals were already gone, I decided to make a city tour with a Taxi for the stiff price of 40 USD for 2 hours.
Anyhow It was quite nice and the driver showed me the complete city. In the meantime a very hard shower started and the airport was closed – back at the airport I made my way through security to my gate in order to catch my last flight for today TGU-SAP on TA ATR42.

The terminal was basically deserted and only 2 flight left for today a TA ATR42 to SJO and my flight SAP, also TA had to cancel due to the airport closure the arrival and same time departure of the TGU-SAL flight affecting many passengers with other final destinations, looks like TA routes a lot of passengers via SAL hub. Meaning that passengers were rebooked via SJO and SAP but basically now forced with overnight connections.

Rainy weather TA to SJO

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I downloaded my e-mails on the free WIFI – good perk! And finally boarding was starting, the flight had around 30 min of delay.

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Today my seat was 2 C – also the flight was empty around 15 passengers meaning I could switch after the door were closed.

Quite funny is the outlet of row 1, looks like a bus or train, never saw this on an airplane.

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So we made our way to the runway and again a powerful take off, holy shit, the runway is really really short, and the ATR took around 80% of the length.

Soon the service started, and I was surprised that on this short flight even a snack was offered.

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I had some Sprit to go with it, the snack was a small ham and cheese sandwich and some pretzel mix.



The flight was a little bumpy and finally we started our decent into SAP.

We deplaned on the tarmac,

AA from MIA

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My ATR

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The terminal was deserted looks like it was one of the todays last flights, waited some minutes for my luggage, and already the driver of the transfer I booked to my hostel was waiting for me.

Made our 30 min way to the hostel, had a shower and went to bed.



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8283 times:

After a resting night I woke up at 05:00am had again a shower – wow very hot weather in SAP even at night, and at 05:30 am I left again the hostel bound to the airport for the 07:20am departure on Emb190 CM to PTY, the first daily flight out of SAP is operated by CM Colombia.

Arrived at 06:00am the airport and made straight my way to the business class check-in, I was the second in the lane, and the check in area was a chaos – once I was attended I knew why, as the flight yesterday night arrived some hours late, the today’s departure was delayed for 4 hours due to crew rest issues… bingo… meaning I would have to reroute on the PTY-BOG leg later today, and all connecting flights from PTY were full… than they had also problems with my tickets and it took 2 hours – no 2,5 hours to fix this including several calls to the help desk. In the meantime I had some breakfast and some nice conversation with an Immigration officer, we talked about the country, world politics and of course also the local politics – including the coup d’état that took place 3 years ago in Honduras.

Traditional Honduran breakfast, in form of a Baleada, a tortilla filled with refried frijoles, egg and meat, unbelievable how cheap Honduras is, for a breakfast at the airport including a Soda only 2 USD.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0575.jpg

After heaving two of these goodies, I went back to the check-in and finally they fixed the problem, and they handed me out the boarding passes for today’s flight, including an upgrade on PTY-BOG.
Also they gave me a 200 USD voucher for compensation, not bad at all, specially that I was still making my final leg as scheduled (BOG-CCS).

What really pisses of are the departure taxes ex Honduras, nearly 40 USD and even you have to pay if you don’t stay more than 24 hours in the country, quite different like in countries like Colombia etc.

The bank were the departure taxes must be paid was quite busy and it took me 30 minutes, after that I went straight to security and emigrations which was very fast.

Inside the terminal, again even the building is old, very modern inside!

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0577.jpg

Taca bound to MIA



I still had some minutes till boarding hence I bought me a cup of delicious Hondurenan coffee, wow how cheap only 1 USD for a cup, were you find this?

Finally boarding started

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0578.jpg

I was quite surprised to see that they use one of the Business / Eco aircrafts CM Colombia has – but they are not offering at all Business class on this flight.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0579.jpg

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http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0581.jpg

Good by Honduras!

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0582.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0583.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0584.jpg


Boarding was finalized and wow the flight was very empty, maybe 25% load today, due to the mess at check in I first thought the flight is completely full.

CM has 2 daily flights ex SAP the first nonstop to PTY and the second at afternoon via SJO.

We made our way to runway and powerful take off, bounding to the south.

The service started around 45 minutes after take of and on offering today for the delayed breakfast, eggs or French toast, I took the Toast.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0586.jpg

It was ok, also not very hot and quite small.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0588.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0589.jpg

Flight time was a little bit less than 2 hours and we started our decent into PTY

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0590.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0591.jpg

Welcome to PTY

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0592.jpg

Avior B737 to BLA

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0593.jpg


Santa Barbara B767-300 to CCS

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0594.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0595.jpg

We made our way to the new gates that recently opened in PTY.

The CM Colombia B737-700 that should be bring in the next hour to BOG.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0596.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0597.jpg

The new pier, it still not 100 finished regarding shops etc, but in general it was very needed and looks nice!

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0598.jpg



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8239 times:

So I went shortly to the restroom and went to the departure gate, next to my arrival gate, in order to catch my PTY-BOG flight, operated by CM Colombia B737-700.
I had a chat and then I heard they paged for my name. I first thought, shit I will be downgraded or any other problem with my connection to CCS… but no, they told me Mr. Avianca, you arrived on delayed flight ex SAP and as you are Premier flyer here you have a 15 usd voucher for a lunch… wow I was impressed! I asked as the boarding was scheduled already within 15 minutes if I have the time and the agent told me yes, just hurry a little bit up… ok went to the food court, that honestly I was not aware of that is exiting in PTY and choose a nice sandwich – and went back to my gate were the flight was already boarding, I went to the business lane were the agent asked me if I was traveling in Business as I should take the normal lane, and I told him yes I am booked in business today… ok – no further problem and made my way to the sexy B737.



http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0601.jpg

And my sandwich before the take off

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0599.jpg


Flight was totally fully booked today – including jump seats were taken by deadheading crew.

We made our way to the runway and another nice take off and bound to the south to BOG.

Today’s joice in business class was a hot chicken sandwich or an beef empanada I went for the second one, including some JW Black on the rocks and some sparkling water

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0602.jpg

To finish the meal on this short flight an Baileys.



On these short flights the crew have a real hard work to do, serving 12 business class passengers with a meal on this short hop is quite challenging.

The flight was rather uneventful and soon we started our decent into BOG.

We made our way to the old national terminal and deplaned via stairs and went via bus to the immigration.

Some pictures of the traffic in BOG and the old tower.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0604.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0605.jpg

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http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0623.jpg



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 8221 times:

Immigration was a blast, and hey, how the immi and emigration area in BOG changed over the last year! They really adapted to their needs! Also many people still are saying its quite bad!
Customs was a little bit more a hazel but also I was cleared within minutes.

So I went out of the arrival terminal to have some cigarets and to check out how El Dorado changed with the new terminal coming in place in the next days.


http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0624.jpg

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0625.jpg

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http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0628.jpg

Time passed by and after 1 hour I went to the CM check in counters to ask if my upgrade was approved, they told me they are quite full today but I am on the waiting list.
So I cleared emigration and security again quite fast and went to the Avianca lounge, but their I found out that I forgot my Life Miles Silver card at home, hence no chance to get it, than I went to the Admirals club as they also accept the Priority pass. Have to say the offerings today were much better than in the past, had some nipples and 2 glasses of Baileys.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0630.jpg

And it was time to check out a little bit Airliners.net

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0631.jpg


Around 30 minutes before the boarding I left and saw this sign



So the Admirals club will be closed down in the next day’s…

Made my way to the crowed boarding area – were I was called 10 minutes before the departure, I said bingo Upgrade… but no, they just wanted to check my onforwarding ticket ex CCS or if I am resident..

So finally boarding was called and I made my way into again a CM Colombia B737-700… I had the seat 10A… flight was full, but after they finished the boarding some of the gate crew came and asked for Mr. Avianca… I said here I am … thought no, problems with my luggage… but no, the lady told me your upgrade was approved in the very last moment please join us today in business. Yeah… great way to finish the trip.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0634.jpg


Made my way to the Business section, were only 2 seats were left and choose 1C.

Made our way to the runway and a powerful take off as common in Bog.

The offer for dinner was Beef Buritos, the only option that was left, but quite ok!

Had it with some more Black Label and Sparkling water.

http://i5.photobucket.com/albums/y190/avianca/Star%20trip%202012/CIMG0635.jpg

The flight time was 1.5 hours and soon we started our decent into CCS – and arrived at 11:15pm local time.

Immigration was fast, and I made my way to the duty free, bought some Scoth, and went to the belt waiting my luggage, that in fact arrived as the very first one.
Passed customs, went to the parking lot and off to Caracas to my apartment.

All in all a crazy schedule, but hey we all love flying and very positive are really the miles programs were you even get upgrades on award tickets!

Hope you enjoyed the report and the upcoming trip is next weekend on Dutch Antilles Express F100 CCS-CUR-CCS and than in December CCS-FRA-MUC.
Also I am already working on some nice trip for 2013, including a business class flight to Asia, I am still trying to decide between Thailand or Indonesia.

Thanks for your comments and cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinedc9northwest From Switzerland, joined Feb 2007, 2269 posts, RR: 7
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 8173 times:

Hi avianca,

Nice report here and good to see TGU featured. I was just thinking it would be nice to fly there sometime... and then logged in to A.net and what did I see... a flight to TGU!

Nice to hear about some good service of CM, upgrades and all that.

Oh, and of course nice to get a window seat into TGU even if just for approach  

Thanks a lot for writing this report up, it was a pleasant read.


User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 8054 times:

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
Nice report here and good to see TGU featured. I was just thinking it would be nice to fly there sometime... and then logged in to A.net and what did I see... a flight to TGU!

an absolut must go!

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
Nice to hear about some good service of CM, upgrades and all that.

yes both TA and CM provide a great perk in this aspect.

Quoting dc9northwest (Reply 5):
Oh, and of course nice to get a window seat into TGU even if just for approach

absolutly.

thanks for your nice words.

regards
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6494 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 7965 times:

Hi Avianca!

Nice report with lots of pictures !

Great to see you do so much flying in such a short time!

Very good value for the miles !

Looking forward to your next report !

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 15
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 7920 times:

Hey

Great report and stunnig pics, especially the TGU approach pics are stunning.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlineAA767LOVER From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2007, 592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 7785 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

We are very much alike! I love these crazy routes and multi-leg stops. One day I hope to get to TGU as well just to experience the landing! You are my inspiration (for future flights! I'm very envious! LOL).


J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 12 hours ago) and read 7578 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Nice report with lots of pictures !

you are welcom, well I have urgently to buy a good cam, part of the pictures are even donde with my lausy BlackBerry phone...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Great to see you do so much flying in such a short time!
Very good value for the miles !

yes it was great, but honestly enough for this short time, more flights would be to much.

btw, if I am not wrong you mentioned in one of my last reports that you are planing a trip with CM to CTG, already done or booked?

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 8):
Great report and stunnig pics, especially the TGU approach pics are stunning.

thanks for your comments.

Quoting AA767LOVER (Reply 9):
One day I hope to get to TGU as well just to experience the landing

its great and a must do! also CUZ should be on your list! also a great approach.

Quoting AA767LOVER (Reply 9):
You are my inspiration (for future flights! I'm very envious! LOL).

jajaja, yeah - I see I am not the only crazy around here...  

Cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinemvecchi4 From Venezuela, joined Apr 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 7499 times:

Wonderful report. Nice pictures!

Quoting Avianca (Thread starter):
This time as travelling with no luggage etc at all I diced to take my own car and use the airport parking

Have you done this before?. I wanted to do this in the past and everyone I asked told me not to do it. I spend over VEF 2.500 for transportation between VLN and CCS every time I use CCS and I've always wanted to do that.

Quoting Avianca (Thread starter):
one second please, went to the counter and Bingo – Mr. Avianca you are upgraded

You're getting used to that uh? jajaja Congrats!

Quoting Avianca (Thread starter):
And some beer to go with it. Interesting they serve TECATE, a Mexican beer that is not sold at all in the Peruvian market, but from my many visits in the US I know the brand of from time to time for sure it’s not a bad brew!

Every time I've flown TA ex-CCS I got Tecate (Then again those times I was flying to MEX) but I guess TA has some sort of good deal on that particular brand.

Best regards and keep em' coming!.

Miguel.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6494 posts, RR: 55
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 7321 times:

Quoting Avianca (Reply 10):
mentioned in one of my last reports that you are planing a trip with CM to CTG, already done or booked?

Tentatively scheduled for February. I fly stand by so don't book anything, usually. I'll let you know as it gets closer.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 7258 times:

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 11):
Have you done this before?. I wanted to do this in the past and everyone I asked told me not to do it. I spend over VEF 2.500 for transportation between VLN and CCS every time I use CCS and I've always wanted to do that.

well its the first time since years I have done this, honestly the national part I do not recomend it, and in fact I got even some parts of my car stolen in the past (around 4 yours ago), the international parking lot I feel more save. anyway I only would do it if you stay max 2 - 3 days, I think to do the same coming weekend that I am traveling over the weekend to CUR. And yes taxi costs are incredible expensive specially to VLN ex CCS

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 11):

You're getting used to that uh? jajaja Congrats!

oh yes I love it!

pd: sorry I have still pending to answer your last e-mails... I am sorry about the delay, will try my best to make it tomorrow.

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 11):

Every time I've flown TA ex-CCS I got Tecate (Then again those times I was flying to MEX) but I guess TA has some sort of good deal on that particular brand.

could be, as they are also serving Tecate on Peruvian domestic flights and this brand is not known at all in Peru.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 12):
Tentatively scheduled for February. I fly stand by so don't book anything, usually. I'll let you know as it gets closer.

sounds good, you will really enjoy PTY and CTG!

Cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineAA767LOVER From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2007, 592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 8 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 6803 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting Avianca (Reply 10):

Man, I gotta learn to travel with you. The wife would hate it for sure!
I'm bound for LIM on 20 something of April next year, can't remember the exact date (24th I think)
and then routing up to SJO via ATL using my Skymiles on Biz (763/73H) and then, SJO-PTY the next morning for a 4 day conference in Panama. Then I stay and visit with old friends in Panama for about a week after the conference ends before heading back to LAX for my next day connection back across the Pacific to HKG.

I'm not sure about the Transpacific sector; haven't decided yet; Probably EVA AIR via TPE (very good, from what I heard).



J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 15, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 6699 times:

Quoting AA767LOVER (Reply 14):
Man, I gotta learn to travel with you. The wife would hate it for sure!
I'm bound for LIM on 20 something of April next year, can't remember the exact date (24th I think)
and then routing up to SJO via ATL using my Skymiles on Biz (763/73H) and then, SJO-PTY the next morning for a 4 day conference in Panama. Then I stay and visit with old friends in Panama for about a week after the conference ends before heading back to LAX for my next day connection back across the Pacific to HKG.

I'm not sure about the Transpacific sector; haven't decided yet; Probably EVA AIR via TPE (very good, from what I heard).

sounds great!

I booked today my next nice trip.

CCS-IAH-LAX-HNL with UA day 1
HNL-GUM with 5 stops the island hopper on day 3
GUM-NRT with UA on day 4
NRT-SJC with NH on the 787 day 7
SJC-IAH-CCS with UA on day 7

  cheers Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinemvecchi4 From Venezuela, joined Apr 2012, 89 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 6 days 4 hours ago) and read 6573 times:

Quoting Avianca (Reply 15):
I booked today my next nice trip.

You finally did it!. What about Indonesia?

I'm in PTY now though should be back at VLN by the end of the week, lets plan to hop on to TA's last flight!

Regards,

Miguel.


User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 17, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6512 times:

Quoting mvecchi4 (Reply 16):
You finally did it!. What about Indonesia?

I'm in PTY now though should be back at VLN by the end of the week, lets plan to hop on to TA's last flight!

Hi Miguel, yes, I am really happy specially about the price!

Well Indonesia should be end of June, in the next days I will start to search for the tickets  

let me know once you are back .

cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinestipica From Croatia, joined Feb 2011, 426 posts, RR: 8
Reply 18, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 6342 times:

Hi Avianca !

Quoting Avianca (Thread starter):
in Caracas as security is mayor concern. Anyhow I made my way through the deserted neighborhood and was within 5 minutes at the highway… ufff a little bit more relaxed

but what could you happen if you are driving ok maybe on semaphore or I am naive

Quoting Avianca (Thread starter):
So I made my way to the aircraft – oh God, I was so pissed off.

no pre-book seat option on TA/CM

Quoting Avianca (Thread starter):
my wife prepared for me 2 big bags each with 35 kilos

with such itinerary wow congratulations

Quoting Avianca (Thread starter):
Today my seat was 2 C

this used to be 9A-CTU and I flew with that plane several time from ZAG to SPU ... OU sold all ATR42 to the Aviateca
thanks stipica  



Open your eyes and think
User currently offlineAA767LOVER From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2007, 592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6322 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Should come through HKG. Can meet for spotting!


J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 20, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 3 days 22 hours ago) and read 6182 times:

Quoting stipica (Reply 18):
but what could you happen if you are driving ok maybe on semaphore or I am naive

well not naive, but looks like you are not familar with Caracas   what not can happen... and regarding the "semaforo" never stop in CCS on a red light during the night...

Quoting stipica (Reply 18):
no pre-book seat option on TA/CM

well it was a miles ticket booked on UA stock - so it was not possible...

Quoting stipica (Reply 18):

with such itinerary wow congratulations

it was horrbible...

Quoting stipica (Reply 18):
this used to be 9A-CTU and I flew with that plane several time from ZAG to SPU ... OU sold all ATR42 to the Aviateca

interesting, I was not aware that the bird was flying before in good old europe.



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlinereifel From Germany, joined Feb 2005, 1327 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 5834 times:

Wow what a nice trip! CM/TA took very good care of you with all these vouchers and upgrades  

User currently offlineAvianca From Venezuela, joined Jan 2005, 5922 posts, RR: 40
Reply 22, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 5701 times:

Quoting AA767LOVER (Reply 19):
Should come through HKG. Can meet for spotting!

would be great but this time I do not make it, was actually last year in HKG had a great week!
maybe for later 2013!

Quoting reifel (Reply 21):
Wow what a nice trip! CM/TA took very good care of you with all these vouchers and upgrades

thanks! yes thats why I love CM/TA and AV.

cheers
Avianca



Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
User currently offlineAA767LOVER From Hong Kong, joined Aug 2007, 592 posts, RR: 0
Reply 23, posted (1 year 8 months 3 weeks 21 hours ago) and read 5665 times:
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I too would love to head over to CCS and experience Chavez land for myself; I'm refunding one of my sectors - LIM to SJO on TACA so I can use the miles later for something else within Asia perhaps. I used my Delta miles in Business to do LIM-ATL-SJO so I can experience the 763 Delta in Business, but I doubt they've finished the 763 interior mods.


J.I. Tsui, American Advantage Member, United Mileage Plus (Premier)
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5074 posts, RR: 55
Reply 24, posted (1 year 7 months 3 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 5360 times:

For the record, I got tired just reading of this itinerary  . I don't know how you do these crazy things! Thanks for sharing, and the good thing is that you made it to MDE and see the family! Both airlines look OK for these sector lengths. You know, for a nameless client in Latin America, I have been doing a lot of flying on CM and TA. I must admit that the service on TA has improved significantly. The LIM based TA crew are usually fantastic - have had some stellar ones on recent SJO/LIM segments and even the SAL based crew which can be a hit or miss have been positive. Onboard amenities such as food remain marginally better on CM, but I continue to find TA crew in general to be a lot better.

Thanks for taking us in your insane adventures.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
25 Post contains images Avianca : well if you make it once to CCS let me know! Did this year DL for LIM-ATL use the 763 as per my understanding they used in the past the -400. ah ...
26 Post contains images Mexicana757 : Avianca Great TR, was a pleasure to read about the interesting itinerary you flew. Nice pictures. I know how you feel when it comes to not getting a w
27 Avianca : thanks man, yeah its terrible flying and not window seat is a big NO GO! yeah it was not bad specially for the short flight, but CM is also recongniz
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