Now after recovering from my trip, and after spending a few days in the south of Portugal relaxing on the beach it was time to come back to Lisbon and then to share with you my trip report, so here it goes:
Flight: CO65 - LIS/EWR
Airplane: Boeing 757-200 ( no winglets...)
Flying time: 7:25 minutes
Photo © Airsnaps - WorldAirlineImages
My trip started quite early that morning, at 7:00 AM I was picked up by a friend and went to LIS airport. I checked CO homepage before to see if my flight was delayed, it was about 30 minutes, that gave me the feeling that I would be OK at EWR during my transit to BOG. We boarded quite nicely and the pushback was right on time, 10:35 AM. We had to taxi to RN03 but all went fine, just had to wait a few minutes for a TP A320 that landed and right away we took-off, very powerfull for our Atlantic crossing. Our plane was maybe 90/95% full and after we passed Loures our 757 turned left to head to the sea, meanwhile we passed over Mafra, then the last land we saw was Ericeira ãnd then it was time for a long flight over the ocean. At 11:05 we were at FL280/523 mph, at 11:10 we crossed FL300 and at 11:15 we were at FL330/545 mph, then it was time to start serving our meals, first we had a bag of honey peanuts with soda, then the main meal came, I had beef with some side thing that I can't remember, a salad and a cake, all with complementary non-alcoholic drinks. It was time o start seeing our movies for the day, first it was "Good-night, good luck", then "Forever Young" and finnally "Town & Country", meanwhile we passed close to Azores islands and kept going on heading to EWR. A little more than two hours of flight we were at FL350 andour final level was 37000/485 mph, then they served our light meal and soon we started to descend to EWR, all went smooth all way to our airport.
I was quite curious to see how my transit at EWR would go, and actually it went quite fine, first it was the passport check, everything went ok, the new thing is that I needed to put m both pointing fingers in a smal device with a rede light under it and look to a small camera. Then I went to get my bag, cleared the customs and rechecked my bag again, giving me still some 40 minutes before I was ready to leave EWR, so the nightmare the people can sayabout transit in USA airports didn't really bother me at all. Now I was ready for my next leg.
Airplane: Boeing 737-700 ( with winglets )
Flying time: 6:25 minutes
Photo © Alastair T. Gardiner - WorldAirImages
Our flight was scheduled to leave on time, but agroup of late passengers got us leaving our gate some 15 minutes latter. Then after the pushback we were heding to our runway when I noticed that our plane was returning back to our gate again, now we started to listen our pilot saying that there was a message saying that one of our engines had a problem with a "filter"..he said that it would take us from 15 to 20 minutes to fix it...but just after an hour we pushed back again. At this time, of course the traffic started to built dramatically and we had a long delay until we could take-off. When we lined up with the runway I saw two huge lines full of airplanes waiting...pretty wild!!! Wetook off and we started to make a wide right turn, giving me a great view of Manhattan, then we headed to the sea again and thecrew started to serve our dinner. We got a hot sanwish with a salad and desert, all with drinks, I actually asked for a Bloody Mary and paid $5,00! The movies shwon were "Ice Age Meltdown" and "Pink Panther", funny movies that put a very stressy and bored passenger group in high spirits, then the night came and there's no way we could see anything until I had the chance betwen movies to look down and I saw what it looked like colombian coast, then I noticed a thunderstorm a bit far from our flight, but when we where maybe 1 hour from landing our Captain said that we needed to put our seatbelts on because we were about to pass a very heavy turbulence. Soon our 737-700 started to shake and bump quite strongly and when I looked outside I could see our wings flapping but what really impressed me most was to see that the lightnings around our plane transformed the black night in a bright day...just unbelievable...after maybe 30/45 minutes the flight got smooth again and soon we landed at BOG with a nice aplause from all passengers.
When I arrived to BOG I cleared pretty fast with customs and passport control and when I was outside the person that picked me up told me that I lost my flight to CLO, so I had to sleep in Bogota and head next morning to BOG airport again. Next morning when I got to BOG the scenery in the airport looked pretty wild to me, lts of people around the airport, and I was quite worried, so I went to AV desk and asked about my flight. A lady showed were I sould go and all changed then. I did my check-in quite nicely and I was ready to try AV for the first time.
Flight: AV9231 - BOG/CLO
Airplane: Boeing 757-200
Flying time: 1:00
Photo © Erick Stamm
I followed the signs that said "Puente Aerea", that lead me to a bus that was going to get me to my flight. During the bus ride I asked the driver if I could take some pictures, the guy was cool enough to say yes, he waited until I was donne and just said that if I saw a blue truck I should stop. I saw quite a few AV F-50's, F-100's, MD80's, a 767-200 and a all white 757. Then O boarded my 757, the plane was maybe 70/75% full and I even had a full row for myself. I learned latter that my flight after CLO was going to MIA. Our Captain was Mr. Jorge Gutierres and soon we took-off from the ruway that has the main terminal on our left side and when you take-off you have Bogota ahead of you. Our 757 did a sharp right turn and soon we were over the clouds heading for CLO. During our flight the crew offered us coffee, juice and water. I noticed that our 757 still had those monitors in the middle, although the plane was clean and in good shape, it loked a bit old. During the flight I saw a big mountain full of snow just before we started to descend to CLO, then we did a nice left trn and I started to see the flat ground full of fields with sugar cane, very impressive, then we landed with our terminal on our left side. I noticed two mettalic DC-6 parked on the side but I couldn't see who's airline where they. Then I left my plane, checked out and it was time to discover Cali.
Flight: AV9208 - CLO/BOG
Seat: 16D ( latter I changed, I don't exactely know but I think it was 14A )
Flying time: 0:45 minutes
Photo © Andrés Dallimonti
I was very happy to fly again in a MadDog MD83, the plane was in full AV colours but said "Operated by SAM". The flight was quite full and soon our Captain, Mr. Hector Sierra greeted us and we were ready for take off. We left in the same direction I landed and this time I could clearly see those 2 "ghost" DC-6's. They looked in a good shape like they are still around flying, maybe still transporting sugar cane in Colombia???. Ayway our flight went quite fast, we got again the drinks and soon we started to descend to land. THis time we landed on the other runway again facing Bogota but with the terminal on our right side. Now I had a few days of meetings in Bogota, but also had time to see the capital and try the extremely tasty JUAN VALDEZ coffee!!! Then it was time to say good-bye to this great country.
Flight: CO880 - BOG/EWR
Airplane: Boeing 737-700 ( with winglets
Flying time: 5:45 minutes
Photo © Art Brett - Photovation Images
I arrived quite eraly to BOG airport, the check-in at that time was ok. I passed that pretty fast and then I had sometime to see the traffic. Aeropostal MD80, AAA300-600, COPA 737-800 with winglets, an AV 767, our 2 CO 737-700, one of them to Houston, and then a MP MD11F, a 767-200F from TAMPA Cargo. Then it was time to board and ake-off. We used the same runway I landed from CLO, and this time I could see at least 3 C-27J Spartans from USAF...I wonder what are they doing at BOG. The take-off went well, we did a sharp left turn and I coul then see Bogota, quite a huge big city, and then we started to climb. Then it was time the crew to serve our lunch, and hot ham and cheese sandwish with salad and desert ( very close to what we got from EWR to BOG..) and we started to see the movies, it was "Aquamarine" and "Pink Panther" again. After some time I started to see the sea and the I saw Jamaica, Cuba, Bermuda and Bahamas. I was astonished to see the colour of the Caribean Sea, just outstanding, those colours are great! Then we got into USA, I couldn't figure out where we were passing by ( it was a pitty that in both flights to and from Colombia the small CO screens were just used to see the movies and some advertisements, we never had a chance to see any flight information...) until I saw PHL airport down, then I knew we were close to EWR. Then it was time to land, we landed in the ruway with Mahattan at our right side and it was time to go shopping!
Because I had 4 hours I decided to try and get to New Jersey ardens Mall, and it was worth of it. They have a counrtesy bus every 30 minutes, you pay a token of $2,00 but the shops are great...well at least my wife and kids loved it!!! It takes about 10 minutes from EWR to the mall, so I would say that if you between 3 to 4 hours thats a great place to go!!! Well you can always see the airplanes....
Now it was time for my final flight.
Flight: CO64 - EWR/LIS
Airplane: Boeing 757-200 ( with winglets )
Flying time: 7:05 minutes
Photo © Montague Smith-WorldWide Aviation Photos
We left a bit late, about 25 minutes, but then we had to wait about an hour until we took-off. But finally we were in the air, the flight was 95% full and soon we had our crew, Captain Dacid Baidy ( it sounded like this..) and 1St. Officer Luis Fernandez welcoming us. After we levelled, first at FL350 and then FL360 all way to LIS the crew started to serve us the meal, we had the option of chicken or beef, I tried and loved the beef with mash potatoes with spinnash, a green salad and a cake. Then we saw the movies, gain "Aquamarine" and the good "Wild Wild West". The flight went smooth just with a portion that got a bit bumpy, then we saw the sunrise, very nice ovr the Atlantic, and the crew served us the breakfast, a hot croissant and a fruit salad. Then we aproached LIS seeing Cascais and Guincho on our left, we left flying side-by-side with the coast, then over Costa da Caparica a neat left tur and a long steady aproach to LIS airport. The landing was smooth and when we left the plane it was quite hot!
Overall I enjoyed flying with CO, the guys have a good product, it's not the best but I was nice to fly with CO.
I wait your comments.