This is my first trip report, hope you enjoy.
Avianca AV0020 BOG
The day arrived. After a lot of waiting, it was finally time to leave for ElDorado Intl. Airport and catch AV
´s 763 midnight service to JFK
. We left home like at 8:20 pm. The flight was scheduled for 11:55pm, so we had to arrive at nine. At this time of the night the airport is quite congested, with flights departing to Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Guayaquil, Lima, Caracas, La Paz and of course New York, plus a handful of domestic flights. We took circunvalar avenue, then 26th street and after eldorado avenue. It took us 30 from our home in Rosales, so we arrived 10 minutes earlier, at 8:50. The airport was FULL. Many international carriers were arriving from their destinations. We went to the check-in area and a very nice baggage handler put us in the business class counter when he saw my dad´s official passport.
Check-in was a breeze and Avianca´s employees were warm and helping. When we got to the 2nd floor, we noticed that we still had 2 hours for our flight to depart.
After a long wait, we were told to go to the customs at 10:30 by the woman who was in the info kiosk, when we went in, the area was almost totally empty. The emigration agent took 3 minutes to check our passports and visas, and we went through a deserted in-bond (it was already 11:00) and from the security check straight to the gate. We saw that the concourse had been refurbished, it had new plasma TV
's, that I had only seen in the counters before, it had fresh new paint and every waiting room was separated from each other by some nice glass walls.
Gate 5 was bustling with all types of passengers. Businessmen, families with children, people travelling alone, and americans. Yes, americans. When we got through we had a view of our big and fat 767-300, the only in AV
´s, fleet, N948AV. We went in, and as the flight was boarding, i snatched a blanket from a business class seat (very comfortable conf. 2-1-2) The rest of the boarding took 13 minutes, but i dindnt pay attention at the other passengers, since i was accomodating my seat, 27E (middle row).
We pushed back at 11:52 pm, 3 minutes before scheduled takeoff. Instructions were given in Spanish and English, the cabin crew presented themselves and we satrted our way to the runway. Our row had no screens nearby, so we had to see the safety video in the main one. This was a real bummer. Soon we started screaming down the runway for a 44 second run, and we were airborne at 12:04, exactly 9 minutes late, hardly AviancaÂ´s fault. I asked a old-looking flight attendant if there was a screen near our seat (maybe the came down like in the A320) and he rudely replied; can´t you see, there a big one right there pointing the main screen, which was like 8 rows from us. Well, music choice was good, but a bit outdated, they still put -Hey Baby- from no doubt as a hit. I found the 763´s seat pitch to be very comfortable, like 33-34 inches, they really made it good with the new interior. Whe suffered some turbulence in the climbout, as almost always when taking off from BOG
. The seat beside me was one of the only 3 left alone in the main cabin. We leveled at 35000ft. 30 min. Later, and hot towels were passed. A little after, a snack was served but it was kinda bad. The burgerÂ´s meat was not tasty and rough (oh, how uncommon is that, airline food being lousy). The beverage service consisted in a choice of pepsi and postobon (colombian company) products, as well as coffe, tea, wines and whiskey.
Afte the trays were taken away, is went to check the business class cabin. Only 6 of the 20 seats were occupied. When i got to my seat, the movie started. And i must say, -Win a date with Tad Williams- is a bad, bad movie. After watching it for 20 min., I surrendered to boredom. I simply canÂ´t sleep in any kind of aircraft, so, for the 3 hours coming, i dedicated myself to hear music. Like one hour before the flight´s end, we all saw sunrise, it was a beautiful sight, and im sorry i have no pics, but, as i told you, i was in the middle row.
We started our descent at 5:44 am local time, with the classic cabin beep and the announcement from the cockpit to fasten our seatbelts. A very noisy baby kept on crying in the row in fron of me, i only wished she was destroyed for the next 10 minutes. Flaps came down amd we were told that we would land in 5 minutes. Fas came around taking he earphones and the blankets. The nose went down and we made a steep turn over the atlantic ocean. Landing gear came down, the nose went up flaps were at their full, we passed Jamaica Bay and landed with a crosswind really hard, since the left landing gear touched like 7 seconds after the right one. We passed over a terminal in which some UALs, a BA
747, an AC
319 and a lot of AWAs were in the gates. The by the B6
terminal, and after we parked on terminal 4, between a TACA A320 and an ELAL 777. Immigration was quick, as only 3 flights had arrived, AV
. Soon we picked our bags and went to the arrivals hall. Dad´s friend was there waiting for us, and he drove us to his house, where we would stay for 7 days, not including a drive to Washington.
[Edited 2004-07-23 20:08:51]
[Edited 2004-07-23 20:10:41]
[Edited 2004-07-23 20:11:22]