Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
GRU-BOG-CCS (Part 4 Of A South America Trip)  
User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Posted (8 years 1 month 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 6137 times:

And finally, the last part of my South American trip, with 10 flights in 10 days.

Tuesday 01/08/2006
I left the Marriott hotel before 06:00, as I was ready, having finished the check-out at 05:50, and as a shuttle left before 06:00, probably to be in place at the airport for the first return trip, at 06:00 also.
So I arrived at the AV check-in counters at 06:03.


7 check-in desks were opened, 2 for business class, one for "Avianca Plus"¨, 3 for Economy, and one for a group.
I started to queue, with around 40 persons in front of me. The business desks were empty most of the time, and an agent came and showing me my suitcase, my laptop bag and my small backpack, asked if it was for one person.
As I answered yes, she went to the two persons behind me in the line, who had 1 suitcase and one hand carry baggage each, and made them pass to an empty Business counter. I did not understand the logic behind this choice, and I still wonder if the fact that I had two hand carry items was the reason for not sending me to the Business counter (and therefore giving me the pleasure of queuing 40 more minutes).
I finally checked in at 06:50, without any effort from the agent to give me a window seat. The boarding pass mentioned a boarding time of 07:00, for a departure scheduled at 08:30. I really believe that putting totally exaggerated boarding times is in fact counter productive, as passengers (at least those with some experience) will disregard these times, knowing they do not mean anything.

I went to the safety check and passport control, and while I was waiting there, the AV crew passed us. It was 07:05, they were not late in absolute, but still late for a boarding announced at 07:00!

I wanted to do some duty free shopping, in order to spend my last reales. In the first shop, which was mainly selling perfumes and alcohol, I selected some local chocolates. The clerk told me that there was a promotion on these products in another shop nearby, which in fact was only selling local products. So I went there to buy. But, when I wanted to pay, my reales were refused; I had to pay with USD!
While I can understand the reasons of such an obligation in case of imported duty-free items, I think it is quite exaggerated to apply it also for products made in the country. So I left the chocolates there.

Flight AV 86 GRU-BOG
B762ER - N986AN
Scheduled 08:30 / 12:20
Real 08:26 / 12:31

I was at the gate around 07:45, but nothing was still displayed on the monitor. At 07:51 there was an announcement for boarding of priority passengers, and boarding started at 07:53. The gate monitor was updated with the flight number at 07:57.

My seat (9J), was in a mini eco cabin located between Business class and the galley. The seat was not very wide, and had a seatback too low to give me an adequate head support. Furthermore there was a footrest more disturbing than useful as, in its up position, it was in painful conflict with my tibias, and in its low position it was also quite bothering. In summary a level of comfort a little insufficient for a 6 hours flight (there is a 2 hour time difference between GRU and BOG), and I would think twice before booking a transatlantic flight aboard such a plane.



Boarding was finished at 08:20, and headphones were distributed immediately. Strangely there were not symmetrical:


Doors were closed at 08:26, with a 100% load factor, and we pushed-back at 08:27.
The safety demo was played with the video system (no IFE), and we took off at 08:38, under a light rain.
At 09:37 an aperitif was served.


The movie (Age of Ice 2) was shown on the video screen.


After the movie (11.50 GRU time) the lights were switched on and small hot towels were given, followed by the meal. Meals were given by two FA, one friendly, the other (older) far less.


The food was lacking salt, but there was no salt on the tray, unfortunately.
I have not been able to identify from what was made the yellow mousse: a fruit, only chemicals?
So nothing to remember about this meal.

The rest of the flight was uneventful, but the quality of service of the cabin crew was below what you could expect on such a flight. For example at a moment in the flight an empty plastic bag (had contained a blanket) was in the middle of the aisle. 2 FA passed just walking over it. It was finally by a small boy who was playing in the aisle!

Descent started at 11:55, we landed at 12.25, and doors were opened at 12:31.

The transfer was similar to the transfer done 10 days earlier, and described in the part 1 of my trip report.
For my next, and last, flight of this trip, the Boarding Pass emitted in GRU mentioned a departure time of 15:50 (which was the original schedule), but the flight was effectively announced at 15:00 on the monitors in BOG, as indicated in my new itinerary printed nearly one week ago. I wonder why it has not been possible to emit a correct boarding pass, you would assume that the data used to emit the boarding pass should be the up to date data regarding the flight!


Flight AV 80 BOG-CCS
B763ER -N948AV
Scheduled 15:00 / 17:50
Real 15:02 / 17:56

Boarding started at 14:28, by business class passengers, families with children and rows 20 and higher.
The cabin was more worn than on my previous flight, but without the bothering footrest.
The boarding continued until 15:01 (maybe an effect of Boarding passes mentioning 15:50?), doors were closed at 15:02 with a load factor of 95% and we pushed back at 15:04.

After taxing we waited for some time, and took off at 15:23.

A snack was served, with the same sandwich than on the CCS-BOG flight at the beginning of the trip (and not better).
The snack:


We landed at 17:53, facing west which is not so frequent in CCS. 4 planes were waiting in line for take of which IB, TP and AZ confirming the CCS systematical wait before take-off.
Doors were opened at 17:56, and I reached immigration at 18:00.

CCS - Arriving at the immigration area:

There was some queue, as various flights were arriving, but even with 7 persons in front of me I passed quite rapidly and waited my luggage for some minutes before receiving it.

CCS - Baggage claim seen from the public area.


At 18:45 I was outside the airport, and we left with the driver, using "la carretera vieja", where there was nobody.


Summary of this trip (Part 1 to Part4):
During this trip, all airlines used (AV, LP, TA, JJ, G3) were quite good for the technical part: most of the flights were on time, or with reasonable delays (i.e. not putting carefully built plans in jeopardy).


On board service was more variable, but this depends a lot on the crew. For example on AV, flights with smaller planes were better than flights with larger planes. But I would not base a statistic on 4 flights made on an airline I has never flown before.
The TACA experience was by far the worst, due to a mix of terrible schedule (but it was my only possibility), bad service in the airport, and inadequate on board a service (I would not put the blame on the flight attendants here, but on the airline manager in charge of this field who should take into account that a night flight should be treated differently from a day flight.

The reservation/ticketing was complex, considering the numbers of airlines involved. But things were far from perfect:
- the (real ?) cancellation of my itinerary remains a mystery.
- the schedule change made by AV for the last flight was not well managed: I discovered it by pure chance, and the boarding pass given for the flight did not reflected a schedule change made various days ago.
Additionally one can wonder the logic of the baggage allowance given by airlines that are all from South America.
- AV gave 30 kg,
- LP gave 20 kg,
- TA (JJ codeshare) used the piece concept,
- JJ and G3 gave 23 kg.
Complex, to say the least.

The weakest part of the air transport remains the airports, with consistent difficulties to have accurate and timely information displayed to passengers. You would think that with all the computerized systems used nowadays updating information which after all is quite basic, is something easy, but apparently this is not the case!
As I had also experienced this in a lot of airports around the world I guess this is a generic problems related to airports.


And so here ends my trip report, if you had arrived at this point after having read its 4 parts I can only congratulate you for your patience and thank you for your attention.

PS. For Frequent Flyers miles addicts (I know we are not in Flyertalk  Wink !), and 12 days after my last flight, the 4 AV flights have been duly credited to my Flying blue account. But nothing for JJ yet.


Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLuisde8cd From Pitcairn Islands, joined Aug 2004, 2571 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 5978 times:

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
I wanted to do some duty free shopping, in order to spend my last reales. In the first shop, which was mainly selling perfumes and alcohol, I selected some local chocolates. The clerk told me that there was a promotion on these products in another shop nearby, which in fact was only selling local products. So I went there to buy. But, when I wanted to pay, my reales were refused; I had to pay with USD!
While I can understand the reasons of such an obligation in case of imported duty-free items, I think it is quite exaggerated to apply it also for products made in the country. So I left the chocolates there.

Sad to hear that. Those kind of policies, usually keep tourists out from buying local products, thus losing potential overseas customers. Could you spend your Reales in other goods?

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
BOG-CCS = load factor of 95%

Good to hear that AV fills its planes to CCS.

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
We landed at 17:53, facing west which is not so frequent in CCS. 4 planes were waiting in line for take of which IB, TP and AZ confirming the CCS systematical wait before take-off.

Precise timing there TGV, as a matter of fact, I was spotting near CCS on that afternoon and I remember the three planes you mentioned (IB, TP, AZ) taking off over my beach apartment at 6pm. If I recall correctly they took off in this order: AZ TP and IB. All of them took off in less than 4 minutes. I really like it when winds blow west to east because CCS shifts runways and planes take off really low over my apartment. I really love the sound that the RR powered 757s make when they take off.

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
At 18:45 I was outside the airport, and we left with the driver, using "la carretera vieja", where there was nobody.

How long did it take you to get to Caracas?

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):

And so here ends my trip report, if you had arrived at this point after having read its 4 parts I can only congratulate you for your patience and thank you for your attention.

Thanks for sharing your South American experience with us TGV. This is indeed the most interesting and longest report regarding air travel in my continent. Keep more reports coming, especially AF CCS-CDG, I might fly them on March on my way to Geneva.

Saludos desde Monterrey,
Luis


User currently offline777jaah From Colombia, joined Jan 2006, 1403 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 5938 times:

Thanks for all your reports. Not often we get to read this kind of tr on southamerican airlines and routes.

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
The weakest part of the air transport remains the airports, with consistent difficulties to have accurate and timely information displayed to passengers.

Agree 100% in this. Most of southamerican airports I've been, have very poor information por pax, it gets even worst in medium size cities, where sometimes a cop have better info on departure, boarding and arrivals times than any screen.

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
The TACA experience was by far the worst

A friend just did BOG-MIA-BOG, and he sincerely regrets flyimg them. On their way to MIA, a 2 hr delay in SJC made the trip longer (he was travelling with his parents, wife and his 5 month old baby), and the staff wasn't really helpful with them, no food voucher, not too many things to be said of them, but basically, he saved barely $100 compared to AV per pax, and he regrets it. Even more, AV would have taken him to FLL, right were he wanted to get, instead of adding 1 extra hour of trip driving from MIA to Fort Lauderdale. I bet hell pay those $100 bucks with enough pleasure next time.

Once again, thanks for your tr, hopefully, you'll keep writing more like these "saga" you just did.

Cheers

JAAH



Next flights: AV BOG-ADZ-BOG, AV-UA BOG-IAD-ORD-IAD-BOG, BOG-FLL-BOG, LA BOG-MIA-BOG J
User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 3, posted (8 years 1 month 5 days 7 hours ago) and read 5852 times:

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 1):
Could you spend your Reales in other goods?

In fact I did not try, I will change them in something else (maybe Bolivares  Smile )

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 1):
Precise timing there TGV

Well, my first job, before slipping into railways engineering was railways operations. We are used to precise timings!

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 1):
How long did it take you to get to Caracas?

Around 1 hour. We finished at night, and so without excess speed. But I was at 22:00 in Valencia.

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 1):
Keep more reports coming, especially AF CCS-CDG

Well maybe I will try, but I am not sure I could write something very interesting. I have flown so much AF around the globe (I am Life Platinum due to 10 years Frequence Plus in a row when I was living in Paris), that sometimes I think I could do the FA job (I hope FlySSC will never read this sentence  boxedin  !).
And so I have not, in an AF plane, the new eye I had for this South American trip.
Anyway I have a CCS-CDG-CCS flight planned for next month, so maybe (but if you have specific questions you can pm me).

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 2):


Quoting TGV (Thread starter):

The TACA experience was by far the worst

A friend just did BOG-MIA-BOG, and he sincerely regrets flyimg them.

I had only one flight with them, but the reactions regarding Taca I have got after this trip report are all negative. So I will try to avoid them in my future routings.

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 1):
Thanks for sharing your South American experience with us TGV.



Quoting 777jaah (Reply 2):
Thanks for all your reports.

You are welcome.
And Luis you know (just read your interesting FC Barcelona report) it requires some work.  tired 



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8541 posts, RR: 54
Reply 4, posted (8 years 1 month 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 5768 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report, many thanks.

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
The boarding pass mentioned a boarding time of 07:00, for a departure scheduled at 08:30. I really believe that putting totally exaggerated boarding times is in fact counter productive, as passengers (at least those with some experience) will disregard these times, knowing they do not mean anything.

- I agree, we would find it way too long and just ignore.

Regards

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 offlineSumma767 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2561 posts, RR: 6
Reply 5, posted (8 years 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 5593 times:

Hey there,
Thanks for your time in writing your experiences in concise but informative report.

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
there was a footrest more disturbing than useful as, in its up position, it was in painful conflict with my tibias, and in its low position it was also quite bothering

Then AV should take them out! They would also save themselves some weight. In this day and age every little helps..
I have travelled AV long haul and have found the leg room reasonable (at 33/34" better than BA anyway), but I also agree that the footrests are unnecessary.

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
headphones were distributed immediately. Strangely there were not symmetrical

I can only imagine that it is for ease of recognising which side is Left and which one Right.

Whilst on the subjet, I see that the earphones are a new type, presumibly to go with a new video system being rolled out (LCD screens instead of the main projection screens and the auxilliary CRT (standard television screens).

I gather from your pics that the screens have not been updated yet. At least I see the projector casing in situ and what look like CTRs. Can you confirm?

Incidently, the change to LCD would save over 300Kg in weight per airplane.

As for the food, it seems more desirable to me than I what I had in my flight yesterday.. Though that was the least of my concerns. TR coming soon.


User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 6, posted (8 years 4 weeks 7 hours ago) and read 5540 times:

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 5):


Quoting TGV (Thread starter):

headphones were distributed immediately. Strangely they were not symmetrical

I can only imagine that it is for ease of recognising which side is Left and which one Right.

Maybe.
But some days ago on my LAN flight betwen GYE and LIM the headphones were quite similar but symmetrical.

In fact I should have checked with my neighbour to see if he had the same situation.

Quoting Summa767 (Reply 5):
I gather from your pics that the screens have not been updated yet. At least I see the projector casing in situ and what look like CTRs. Can you confirm?

Good question ! I have to admit I did not check in details the system. Here is a picture of the screen in the mini eco cabin where I was seated, if it can give you additional information:


Quoting Summa767 (Reply 5):
As for the food, it seems more desirable to me than I what I had in my flight yesterday.

Well, I have to say it was quite inferior to what we usually have on the AF long haul flights, but I may be biased here  Wink



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently offlineLipeGIG From Brazil, joined May 2005, 11438 posts, RR: 58
Reply 7, posted (8 years 4 weeks 5 hours ago) and read 5525 times:
AIRLINERS.NET CREW
FORUM MODERATOR

Nice trip report!

Quoting TGV (Thread starter):
I had to pay with USD!
While I can understand the reasons of such an obligation in case of imported duty-free items, I think it is quite exaggerated to apply it also for products made in the country. So I left the chocolates there.

You're unlucky. A new law in Brazil allows Duty Free to accept R$ was published just a few days after you depart. Next time you can buy any kind of stuff !

Felipe



New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 8, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 5499 times:

Hi TGV.

It was a nice report you did, and it was nice to review BOG airport again ( I was there in mid July, but flying CO and also AV, but a domestic flight to CLO ). I didn't flew the 767, I flew the 757 and the MD82, and I must agree with you a bit that AV fleet needs an urgent "refreshment", the 757 was almost 14 years old and the MD82 already passed 14 years too.
Regarding BOG airport I found it a bit chaotic, specially when I checked-in for my domestic flight BOG-CLO, my flight was at 8:00 AM and I got there before 7:00 and suddenly all I could see was huge lines of people without any understanding were I should go....so I went to a side AV desk, showed my ticket and the lady pointed me were should I go....and then things got much better, and the fact that most of the portuguese speak a "bit of spanish" really helped a lot!!! Did you had the chance to buy some stuff at BOG airport? I got a coffée licor ( it looks like Baileys or Carolans but......much, much better!!! ) named MACARSI that is absolutely fantastic and also JUAN VALDEZ coffée, also marvelous. And by the way, your impressions about Bogotá City and colombian people?
Regards


User currently offlineSumma767 From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2561 posts, RR: 6
Reply 9, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 5463 times:

Quoting TGV (Reply 6):
Here is a picture of the screen in the mini eco cabin where I was seated, if it can give you additional information:

Hey, thanks for that photo! It does look like an LCD, but the small screens still appear the old type and the projector appears to be there. I guess these will be updated in stages.

Quoting TGV (Reply 6):
Well, I have to say it was quite inferior to what we usually have on the AF long haul flights, but I may be biased here

Well, AF food has a fine reputation. I hope I can try their product at the end of the year.


User currently offlineTGV From France, joined Dec 2004, 874 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (8 years 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 5409 times:

Quoting LipeGIG (Reply 7):
You're unlucky. A new law in Brazil allows Duty Free to accept R$ was published just a few days after you depart. Next time you can buy any kind of stuff !

Thanks for the info. So I will keep my Reales for my next visit (I HAVE to come back to Rio to see the city with a temperature higher than 18 degrees Celsius !)

Quoting CV990 (Reply 8):
And by the way, your impressions about Bogot� City and colombian people?

In fact I was only in transit, so I don't have any impression about the city (and I know only the airside of the airport).
But now that AV has a direct flight from VLN, where I live, I may use it to spend a week-end in Bogota.



Avoid 777 with 3-4-3 config in Y ! They are real sardine cans. (AF/KL for example)
User currently offlineCV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 3 weeks 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 5377 times:

Hi TGV!

Thanks for your information and I think that you will like Bogotá! I visited during a full day, I really enjoyed the big square, those avenues full of people and of course the food...I tasted a soup called ajjiaco and it was very, very delicious, and of course all those exotic juices like guanavana, lulo, tree tomato, mango etc. etc. and finnally I tried arepa and that is very interesting too!
Regards


Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic GRU-BOG-CCS (Part 4 Of A South America Trip)
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...
CCS-BOG-GYE (Part 1 Of A South America Trip) posted Sun Jul 30 2006 14:59:56 by TGV
GYE-LIM-GRU-VIX (Part 2 Of A South America Trip) posted Fri Aug 4 2006 02:23:47 by TGV
VIX-CGH-GRU-GIG-GRU (Part 3 Of A SouthAmericaTrip) posted Tue Aug 8 2006 15:14:26 by TGV
Part 2 Of My AF PHL-CDG-DUS Trip. posted Fri Jan 6 2006 00:04:16 by Cgnnrw
Part 2 Of My Trip : BWI-ORF On WN With Pictures! posted Tue Jan 25 2005 04:06:52 by ISLIPwn
Northwest CMH-MEM-MCO (Part 1 Of Trip) posted Wed Aug 21 2002 18:23:05 by DeltaRules
Most Important Part Of Trip Report? posted Thu Mar 14 2002 17:37:02 by CoAir@IAH
SEA-LAX-SIN-BLR-HYD (Part 1 Of 2) On AS, SQ, S2 posted Wed Feb 22 2006 19:08:30 by Robsch
MCI-BKK Star Alliance First Class - Part 5 Of 5 posted Sun Aug 28 2005 22:36:34 by Christao17
MCI-BKK Star Alliance First Class - Part 4 Of 5 posted Sun Aug 28 2005 22:11:46 by Christao17

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format