abrelosojos
Posts: 4049
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Fri Jul 14, 2006 12:26 pm

Trip Report: 001
Date: 06-Jul-06
Dep.Arr.Time: 2135/0030+1/02:55hrs
Flight: AVIANCA, AV 75
Routing: BOG-LIM
Aircraft: 763
Seat: Economy, 9A

I > Background:

I live in Caracas and NYC and was on vacation to Cartagena – one of my favorite cities in the world. After Cartagena, I went to see my friends in Lima for a long weekend before returning home. Best routing was on Avianca flying CTG-BOG-LIM.

This is my first trip report. Please be gentle accordingly and do let me know what you think. I am specifically interested in areas you thought were good and what needs improvement. I was aiming for brevity and lucidity.

II > Pre-Flight:

a) Before Airport: Booking was easy using AV’s online site at www.avianca.com. If you are a Spanish speaker, the site is generally easy to use. The English version does have some bugs and I found it annoying when some random parts just did not have the appropriate translation. Buying the ticket was easy. However, AV changed its CTG-BOG and BOG-LIM flight schedules 9 times and since the routing was the same, it took 7 phone calls to have the e-ticket changed. Also, I was annoyed at the suggestion that I spend 12 hours at BOG on transit when I was headed back from LIM due to schedule change. AV would not put me on DL. Routing was LIM-BOG-JFK. English customer service reps based in Medellin are satisfactory. Their Spanish speaking supervisors were far superior.

b) At Airport: Checkin at BOG was pretty straightforward. The agent was nice and friendly though there was some confusion regarding the departure tax. I was quoted 3 different prices! The lines were manageable and I was able to utilize the PREMIER line showing my DL Platinum card. After checking-in, I proceeded to the 2nd floor at BOG which has many shops and eateries. This area is used for both domestic and international travelers and is pre-security check. I checked my email at the DINERS lounge – which was nothing to write about and closed early at 2000. I then went through immigration where the Colombian officer was very friendly and amused with my LIECHTENSTEIN passport. Post immigration there are a number of shops and café’s, then the security check, and then a row of gates. Interestingly, there are no shops after the security check-point. I managed to buy a rather expensive memory chip for my camera (prices are high) and have an excellent Arrepa con Pollo just before the security check.

Post security, you proceed to the gate where your boarding card is verified. Security seems ok and definitely much reduced. Passengers flying to the U.S. were screened significantly more. The gate area felt small and I am curious how passengers are accommodated on B747/A340 flights. AV ground crew did a good job with boarding procedures … using the standard J & Elite/Pax needing help & Infants/ and then boarding by the rear of the plane.

Upon entering the plane, there was usual Latin mad-rush to change seats. My seat was occupied by someone else and we ensured in a game of musical chairs as their was significant domino effects! Interestingly, the man who occupied my seat also had the same seat number … in a flight that is not in sold out position, I fail to see how that happens. Anyways, I never understand this urge to change pre-assigned seats. Its one of the many bonds that run through Latin America and India  .

Check-In:


Airport:



Boarding Area:


III > In-Flight:

a) Service Schedule + Impressions: In my opinion, Colombians have hands-down (well, most Colombians) the best accent in Spanish. Its time the crew take some courses in English. Except the initial welcome (in very poor English), none of the announcements were made in English. This was also true on my domestic flights. For flight to the U.S., English was atrocious. After initial pushback, we climbed to our cruising altitude of 35,000ft. There were hot towels (luke warm) and refreshments were served soon afterwords. Refreshments included beverages and some Chilean and Colombian wine. I had some Chilean white which was pretty good. This was followed by a meal service and another round of drinks or café. Peruvian custom forms were distributed soon afterwords. Finally, duty-free sales were conducted. In a novel method, crew came in with the duty-free catalogue and gave it to only those who asked … they then noted the seat number in their notebook … prior to disembarkation, these catalogues were duly collected back.

b) Aircraft + Seats: Avianca’s red colour scheme is truly impressive and the aircrafts look smart inside and out. Small touches like their red blankets add to the air of quality and panache. The 767-300 seats provide decent legroom (33-34’) and the recline is extremely generous for Y. While these aircrafts are old, I did not find them to necessarily show their age.

Aircraft:


Seat Leg-Room:


Seat Recline:


Seat Angle View:


Cabin:



c) Meal:

Meal service was poor in presentation and quality. Choices included a beef pasta or a Thai noodles with chicken. I chose the later. It was very bland … though the portion was satisfactory.



d) Inflight Entertainment:

The 767-300’s have old styled IFEs and the movie shows on board was SHAGGY DOG. Sound and picture quality were above average. Avianca’s inflight magazine is only in Spanish and no supplemental English reading can be found.



e) Crew:

AV’s inflight crew was pretty and efficient. They served with a smile and responded to my call requests for water promptly. I was actually pleasantly surprised as I had heard some horror stories in the past. Crew looked stunning in their red uniform with the traditional red shawl coat (I don’t know what its called – it’s a native Indian thing).

IV > Post-Flight:

Lima airport has changed significantly since my last visit in 2000. I found Jorge Chavez to have all the amenities to rival major airports in Europe and North America. Its not quite Asian airports yet, but in my opinion the best airport experience in Latin America. Caracas (post-revamp) comes a close second and only loses to Lima due to the excellent immigration (I was the first person from LIECHTENSTEIN in the system) and baggage delivery which came in pretty fast.

Lima Airport:


IV > Impressions + Score:

While Avianca would not win any global competition, it is definitely one of the best carriers in Latin America at the moment and finally reflects the natural charm and hospitality of the Colombian people. The warm crew hospitality and punctual service satisfied my need for being transported from point A to point B without stress and made me overlook the poor inflight meal and entertainment options. If an AV employee reads this, I would strongly recommend having English training for the crew AND having English Colombian immigration forms. These forms are pretty complicated and are in Spanish. Worse, the Avianca magazine has directions also only in Spanish. I would fly them again without hesitation.

Reservation: 5.0
Check-In: 8.5
Lounge: N/A
Boarding: 6.0
Seat: 8.5
IFE: 6.0
Crew Service: 8.0
Food: 6.0
Beverages: 7.0
Amenity Kits + Others Freebies: 5.0 (standard default score)
Disembarkation: 8.0
On-Time Record: 10.0
OVERALL IMPRESSION: 7.09

(Scores are based on comparison with other airlines in THAT class of service – No comparison of Y vs. F for example)

Other Non-Trip Pictures:

Cartagena Airport:


F100 on CTG-BOG:


[Edited 2006-07-14 05:27:30]

[Edited 2006-07-14 05:30:23]

[Edited 2006-07-14 05:44:57]
Live, and let live.
 
RCS763AV
Posts: 3648
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:22 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Fri Jul 14, 2006 2:48 pm

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
(I don’t know what its called – it’s a native Indian thing).

Avianca´s timeless "Ruana Roja".

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
While Avianca would not win any global competition, it is definitely one of the best carriers in Latin America at the moment and finally reflects the natural charm and hospitality of the Colombian people. The warm crew hospitality and punctual service satisfied my need for being transported from point A to point B without stress and made me overlook the poor inflight meal and entertainment options. If an AV employee reads this, I would strongly recommend having English training for the crew AND having English Colombian immigration forms. These forms are pretty complicated and are in Spanish. Worse, the Avianca magazine has directions also only in Spanish. I would fly them again without hesitation.

Indeed, AV´s entertainment is very poor, but they are starting to put new systems on the aircraft. What i find weird, is that your 767 had the new interior and yet it didnt have the new IFE system. The food is just ok in Y, but in J its really nice. AV´s crew just make the difference, if it weren´t for them (who learned from the ACES crew during Summa times) AV would be a very mediocre airline in terms of service.

About Avianca en revista, the mag, i find it also very rare that the only part in english is the CEO´s note. Euforia used to have the articles in spainsh and english. I think those are minor mistakes that have slipped through all the transformation process.
 
bongo
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2003 5:32 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:29 pm

Excellent trip report, excellent pictures. Thanks a lot for your kind comments about Colombia and Colombians.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Colombians have hands-down (well, most Colombians) the best accent in Spanish.

Thank you !

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Colombian wine.

No !!! Only Chilean wine.

What was the AV 767 registration?
MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
 
767747
Posts: 2122
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Fri Jul 14, 2006 11:34 pm

Nice report and pictures! I don't hear much about Avianca! They sound like a good airline. The food looks okay, at least you got something. Looking forward to more reports.
I love to fly!
 
RICARIZA
Posts: 2023
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:56 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sat Jul 15, 2006 12:24 am

Thank you for this report. I really like your objectivity and the way you state the facts...

I have to tell you that the food looks nasty and the presentation is far below poor. I hope AV keeps improving these details..

I will make my trip report in J soon.
I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
 
erikgnoha
Posts: 201
Joined: Sat Jun 24, 2006 2:16 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:29 am

Great trip report!!! The legroom looks nice. I myself tried Avianca's product in Y during the leg BOG-CCS last summer in one of their 767-300. It was already in the new color scheme. Maybe it was the same aircraft that yours. About the food, i have the same experience as you. It didn't look good, and it didn't taste good, but for a one a half hop, i couldn't complain.

The thing with flying with Avianca is that you dont have to worry about anything and that is a plus. Keep the good work.
Venezuela, donde los suenos renacen
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4049
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sat Jul 15, 2006 3:29 am

Quoting RCS763AV (Reply 1):
I think those are minor mistakes that have slipped through all the transformation process.

= AV caters to mainly Spanish speakers so I understand the need for their magazine to be primarily in Spanish. I think the one section that could be in English is in the back of the magazine which explains how to fill the Colombian Immigration Form. The form itself on all my flights (even ex-NYC) has been in Spanish and it would help non-Spanish speakers if an English guide was published. Colombia is a fascinating destination and I think small touches like this could make it more tourist-friendly.

Cheers,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
RCS763AV
Posts: 3648
Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2004 1:22 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sat Jul 15, 2006 3:38 am

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
, Colombians have hands-down (well, most Colombians) the best accent in Spanish.

Thank you!

You are right, there should at least be an english guide to fill out those forms. That way the tourists would fell less insecure.
 
LH417AF025
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:56 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sat Jul 15, 2006 2:42 pm

Quoting Abrelosojos (Thread starter):
Colombians have hands-down (well, most Colombians) the best accent in Spanish

after the Spaniards of course...  Silly  Wink
 
777jaah
Posts: 852
Joined: Thu Jan 05, 2006 11:38 pm

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sun Jul 16, 2006 11:07 pm

Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 4):
I will make my trip report in J soon.

Just curious, MIA-BOG??


JAAH
Next flights: AV BOG-ADZ-BOG, AV-UA BOG-IAD-ORD-IAD-BOG, BOG-FLL-BOG, LA BOG-MIA-BOG J
 
TACAA320
Posts: 7153
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:03 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Mon Jul 17, 2006 2:49 am

Quoting 767747 (Reply 3):
They sound like a good airline.

Good?

It's excellent. Specially when you compare AV with any [even CO] American carrier.

Great report !
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4049
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Fri Jul 21, 2006 5:16 am

Quoting LH417AF025 (Reply 8):
after the Spaniards of course...

= You are being sarcastic ... right? I am not a huge fan of the whole CORA-THON  Smile.

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 10):
Good?

It's excellent. Specially when you compare AV with any [even CO] American carrier.

= I am not a fan of CO. I rank AV higher than CO ... but a shade below UA and B6. Within Latin America, I think I rank AV below JJ ... but shades higher than CM, TACA, AR, and LA. Again, this is my personal subjective consideration.

-A.

PS: I miss Colombia already.
Live, and let live.
 
RICARIZA
Posts: 2023
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:56 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sat Jul 22, 2006 2:41 am

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 9):
Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 4):
I will make my trip report in J soon.

Just curious, MIA-BOG??

Yes...

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 11):
PS: I miss Colombia already.

That's very nice of you.. THX
I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
 
TACAA320
Posts: 7153
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2004 3:03 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sun Jul 23, 2006 1:40 pm

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 11):
but shades higher than CM

Agreed.

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 11):
LA.

Not agreed.
This is also my personal subjective consideration.
'Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind'. Albert Einstein
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4049
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:45 am

Quoting TACAA320 (Reply 13):
Not agreed.
This is also my personal subjective consideration.

= Cool. It would be rather boring if everyone agreed with everything I said  Smile.

-A
Live, and let live.
 
LH417AF025
Posts: 181
Joined: Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:56 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Mon Jul 24, 2006 12:08 pm

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 11):
You are being sarcastic ... right? I am not a huge fan of the whole CORA-THON

i am being serious!!! it is the real spanish!!  Smile
 
Avianca
Posts: 5270
Joined: Tue Jan 25, 2005 5:33 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Sun Oct 24, 2010 7:04 am

Hi Alex,

just searched for your first report here in A.net and it was already a realy nice report, but really really interesting how you changed withtin the last 4 years the reports.

This particuala report was really intersting for me as I am using from time to time the AV service from LIM to Colombia.

Cheers
Avianca
Colombia es el Mundo Y el Mundo es Colombia
 
abrelosojos
Posts: 4049
Joined: Sun May 29, 2005 6:48 am

RE: AV 75: 06/JUL/06: BOG-LIM: Y Cabin (pics)

Mon Oct 25, 2010 5:32 pm

Quoting Avianca (Reply 16):
Hi Alex,

just searched for your first report here in A.net and it was already a realy nice report, but really really interesting how you changed withtin the last 4 years the reports.

This particuala report was really intersting for me as I am using from time to time the AV service from LIM to Colombia.

Cheers
Avianca

= Wow. Thanks for the trip down memory lane. I don't think I would have scored Avianca this high based on all the reports since then  . Maybe, time to do this review once more ...

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.

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