NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:49 am

To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:33 am

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Hello! And welcome to my third Trip Report on Airliners.net, which covers my journey from Caracas, Venezuela to Ibiza, Spain through air, land, and sea!

WARNING: There's a LOT of pictures! .






Year after year, my extended family organizes one or two family gatherings. Most families gather in the same place year after year, but we're.. as you will see, kinda spread. 3 generations spread across Spain, Venezuela, Mexico, The Netherlands, Germany, United States, and Colombia. So as you may assume, it's never easy to plan anything that involves the whole family!


Our 2013 gathering took place in Florida, and this trip has its origins at Miami International Airport while having lunch at a Chili's before everyone goes back to their homes. We began discussing where will we gather in 2014, and since our last 3 gatherings took place on this side of the pond, this time it was Europe's turn! Eventually we came up with the idea of the Spanish Mediterranean, and after months of pondering between Barcelona, Girona, Alicante, Ibiza or Mallorca, we settled for 2 weeks in Ibiza in July 2014 and rented a villa  


Although I live and study in Miami, I knew in advance I would be spending a few months in Mexico City with my immediate family during the summer, so in the beginning our point of departure was going to be MEX. But in early May, two things happened that changed our plans: 1) Due to my dad's work-related commitments, our family would not be able to go to Ibiza during those days. And 2) I would go with my mom and sister to go to visit my mother side's family in Caracas in July. Since I had a few savings, I decided to split it in two trips and go to both Venezuela and Spain.


Now my departure point to Ibiza would be Caracas, but as some of you may be aware, due to the currency crisis, finding a ticket from CCS to anywhere has become an impossible task unless you want to spend $5000-$6000 (in coach, that is). So the best option now was to buy a roundtrip MEX-CCS-MEX and then fly to Spain from there.


By the time of purchasing, the cheapest and most convenient choice for me was a combo of Copa/Copa Colombia on MEX-PTY-CCS-BOG-MEX for $958 and MEX-MAD-MEX on Iberia for $1311 + $131 for the Balearia ferry to Ibiza, which would depart from the city of Denia, Alicante, a 4h ride from Madrid. In the end, I would depart CCS on July 23rd at 6:10am, fly through BOG and arrive at MEX on the same day at 2:00pm, spend the night there, fly out to MAD the next day at 8:25pm and arriving in MAD at 2:20pm on July 25th, where I would spend the night, and early on the 26th I would join my family on the ride to Denia for the 5:00pm ferry to Ibiza, which would arrive at 8:30pm.


This Trip Report will cover the 4-day journey from Caracas to Ibiza.



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NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:49 am

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:41 am




.DAY 1. WEDNESDAY, JULY 23




It had been two wonderful weeks in my homeland spending time with my family, catching up with old friends, visiting the places where I spent my first 15 years of life, and enjoying the simple fact of being there once again. After all, despite all its problems, home is home. But now it was time to go see my other side of the family on the other side of the pond!  


It was 1:30am when my phone's alarm woke me up... ehmm, It's 1:30am. I'm usually still wide awake by this time, especially during the summer, so needless to say I barely got any sleep at all, even though I had been in bed since 10pm trying in vain to at least close my eyes. I finished packing up a few things, had a coffee and waited for my ride to the airport to arrive at 2:00am.


Exactly at 2:00am I got a text from the driver telling me he was in front of the building. I said goodbye to my mom, who woke up to say goodbye and my sister, who was still awake and headed down for the lobby. Since it was so early, traffic was virtually nonexistent and thus the ride to the airport didn't take longer than 35 minutes (Which is fast considering the airport is not located in Caracas itself) By 2:40am I was already standing at the Copa Airlines check-in counters, which were already quite busy. In addition to my AeroRepublica (Copa Colombia) flight to Bogota, a flight to Panama City was also scheduled 20 minutes after mine. I was the 5th or 6th in line for check-in. Judging by the tagged luggage I saw, a significant number of pax would be flying to MEX as well, both via PTY and BOG.



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Here's where the interesting part begins... The check-in lady, not convinced with my passport and reservation, asks me for a proof of immigration from Mexico. I tell her I don't live in Mexico, that I live in the US, and she then asks me for a ticket of return to the US... So I tell her I don't have it yet, that I won't be back in the US until August, that Mexico is just a stop on my way to Spain and that my parents live there. I show her my reservation on MEX-MAD-MEX and she asks me "You are Venezuelan, you live in Miami, you came here from Mexico, are now coming back there for just 1 day and then you're going to Madrid?" She didn't seem quite convinced... But I understand her concern, let's just look at the facts: 20 year male from Miami travelling alone from Venezuela to Mexico, spending one night in Mexico and then continuing on to Spain. One does not need to be a rocket scientist to know that the four places mentioned (Miami, Venezuela, Mexico and Spain) are in the alert map for drug smuggling, and the fact that I'm a 20 year old male just made me fit right in the profile, so I understand their questioning and I'm actually glad they're doing something to prevent it.


Eventually I checked-in my luggage and got my boarding passes all the way to MEX. I had pre-selected seats 23F on the CCS-BOG leg and 23A on the BOG-MEX one. After checking-in I was then told to line in one of counters to pay the infamous breathing fee (Yes, in case you didn't know, since a few months ago you have to pay 127,00 Bolivars ($18) for oxygen at CCS... pathetic. Show's how desperate they are for cash. More info here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/11/travel/venezuela-airport-air/) ) The line was quite large, and after over half from the moment I arrived at the check-in line, till I paid my nonsense fee for breathing, I was set to go...



The terminal, quiet so early in the morning, especially after airlines reduced or suspended services to the airport due to the large debt owed by the Venezuelan Government.
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Even though I was done checking in by 3:15am, security screening would not begin until 4:00am, so I had to wait 45 minutes for it to open... I lined up after 30-40 more people and since I had nothing else to do, I sat on the floor and did some reading.


Waiting for screening to begin...
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"Cromointerferencia de color aditivo", the famous work of art by kinetic artist Carlos Cruz Diez that has been the floor of Maiquetia for 36 years.




Time goes by so much faster when you're reading, so in the blink of an eye it was 4:00am already and the line started to move into security and passport control. From this point on the line moved fairly quickly. When it was my turn to go through, the officer told me to step aside for additional screening. "fitting the profile again" I thought to myself... and sure enough, I was asked virtually the same questions I got from the check-in lady. I had to explain it all over again to the officer (who was much friendlier than the lady, btw) and after a pat down and a carry-on inspection he apologized and let me go to Passport control, where as fast as saying "good morning" I got my departure stamp and was wished a safe trip.


Once inside, I verified on the FIDS that I was departing from Gate 28, which is the farthest one from the checkpoint. Not many flights this morning... Only 5 gates were occupied, whereas 6-10 months ago all gates used to be occupied overnight. The effects of the service reductions and suspensions are especially noticeable at this time of the day. Only 2 Copa 73G, an SBA 757, a Delta 738 and a Conviasa E190 were occupying the gates at the international terminal.




On my way to my gate, I spotted the SBA 757, getting ready to operate the first flight of the day, S3 1515, the 6:00am departure to Miami.
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After walking from corner to corner of the terminal back and forth two times, with poor light for long exposures at most gates and no shops open yet, I sat down near my gate and continued on with my reading... Judging by the number of people that started filling the gate, it looked like it was going to be a full flight.

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By 5:20am, the pre-dawn light allowed be to take a couple pictures of my plane. HP-1371CMP will take me to Bogota this morning as P5 641. It is one of 5 (4 at the time of the flight) 737-700s in the AeroRepublica fleet. Delivered in October of 1999 to Copa Airlines, it was transferred to AeroRepublica in June of 2010.
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Gate areas @CCS
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By 5:40am, boarding announcements for Group 1 (Business Class, Frequent Fliers, Elites, Families with small children, people reduced mobility, etc...) and shortly after, my group, Group 2, was called for boarding. The same lady who checked me in took my boarding pass and wished me a pleasant flight.



.

Flight #: P5 641

Route: Caracas, Simon Bolivar CCS|SVMI - Bogota, El Dorado BOG|SKBO

Airline: Copa Colombia (Operated by AeroRepublica)

Aircraft: Boeing 737-7V3(WL) - HP-1371CMP(cn 30049) Del: 10/14/1999

Seat: 23F

Load Factor: 100%

ETD: 6:10am / ATD:6:15am

ETA: 7:40am / ATA: 7:26am



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Photo © Felipe Escalona - Aviation Photography of Panama
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Photo © Juan José Saldarriaga Pardo





Making my way down the Jetway.
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The sticker at the door promotes Copa's new destinations: Montreal, Ft. Lauderdale, and Georgetown, Guyana.
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Although there were two flight attendants at the door, they both were too busy minding their own business to welcome anyone aboard. The interior of the plane, although in great condition, was starting to show its age. The screens were playing a slideshow of Copa's destinations. Impressive network, I must say! PTY is really the Hub of the Americas.
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I made my way to 23F. Legroom seemed to be fine, but then again I'm 5'5'', so for me any legroom will do! Haha
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Our gate neighbor! Can't complain!
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My row mates were an elderly man and his nurse, who sat next to me. Like I predicted, there was a 100% load on this flight. By our ETD of 6:10am the door was already closed but for some reason we did not start pushback until 6:15am. Meh, 5 minutes... no biggie. We were welcomed aboard Copa Airlines Flight 641 to Bogota operated by AeroRepublica. The safety demo was the same as the Panamanian Copa one.


After pushback, we made a short taxiing down to Runway 10 for takeoff, where we rolled down under a gorgeous sunrise, followed by a sharp turn as we headed west to Bogota.
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As soon as we reached cruising altitude, the cabin crew began the service, which consisted of a coconut muffin, a granola bar, and a couple grapes. I was expecting a hot meal, as my other flights with Copa all included one.
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The rest of the flight was uneventful, although we hit a little turbulence around the Andes. I put on my headphones and started reading the Copa Airlines magazine "Panorama" which included many interesting and well-written articles.


We're on one of those 4 73Gs operated by Copa Airlines Colombia.
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Somewhere over the Colombia-Venezuela border. I always found the Panamanian registrations funnily too long.
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After a short hour and 10 minutes of flight, we began our descent into El Dorado international airport  .
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We landed on Runway 13L and taxied to El Dorado's new terminal. Can you spot the DC3?  .
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Some local birds.
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We parked at gate 46 next to this Avianca A330, N342AV. More on it later!
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One last look at HP-1371CMP before heading for transit.
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My flight to Mexico City would not depart until 9:30am, so I had a little over an hour to explore El Dorado's beautiful new terminal! I followed the long corridor to the transit area, where there was a security checkpoint that did not take too long.

On my way to transit, there's no need for passport control for international-to-international connections at BOG.
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Since that little muffin on the plane was not enough, and I didn't have anything to eat at CCS, I was starting to get hungry... and I couldn't miss the chance to go to a Juan Valdez Cafe while I was in Colombia! So I went and purchased a roasted pork sandwich along with their famous coffee, and searched the web for a few minutes.  .
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After walking around the terminal a little more, I decided to go to my gate around 8:40am. I noticed that my flight would be leaving from Gate "52A".. which I found weird as it was the only alphanumeric gate, all the other gates consisted of numbers only... and then there was that outcasted Copa flight to MEX awkwardly leaving from Gate 52A! It kind of felt like Harry Potter at platform 9 3/4!


hmmm... there's a mention of 52, but no mention of 52A. But since 52 was the last gate in the terminal, my flight would undoubtly leave from somewhere down there! At this point it was almost certain it was a bus gate.
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And here we are! Gate 52A, a bus gate, as suspected! I was getting excited! The gate was located on a small and rather dark room at ground level with 2 other gates, where two Avianca flights to Havana and Panama City were departing. I counted at least 25 people at the gate that flew from CCS with me, but I'm sure it was more than that.
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Boarding announcements for Copa Airlines Colombia flight 680 to Mexico City were made at 8:50am. No mention of AeroRepublica at their hub, weird. Although boarding began at 8:50am, only elites and other priority groups boarded their bus, the rest of us had to wait for another bus, which came about 7-8 minutes later. Notice the vandalized no smoking sign. Gracias por fumar, "thank you for smoking" LOL.
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.

Flight #: P5 680

Route: Bogota, El Dorado BOG|SKBO - Mexico City, Lic. Benito Juarez MEX|MMMX

Airline: Copa Colombia (Operated by AeroRepublica)

Aircraft: Boeing 737-7V3(WL) - HP-1372CMP(cn 28607) Del: 10/21/1999

Seat: 23A

Load Factor: 80% approx

ETD: 9:30am / ATD: 9:30am

ETA: 2:23pm / ATA: 2:02pm



View Large View Medium
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Photo © Michael F. McLaughlin
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Photo © Johan S. Gomez

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After a short ride from the terminal, we stopped in front of HP-1372CMP, delivered to Copa Airlines in October of 1999, and transferred to AeroRepublica during 2010, just like HP-1371CMP who brought to BOG. The air in Bogota was rather cold, which felt great in the middle of the summer!
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Contrary to the CCS-BOG flight, the crew on this leg was much more cheerful and friendly. After the warm welcome, I made my way to 23A and was then given the Mexican immigration and customs forms, which oddly happened at this stage of the flight instead of later on in the middle of the flight. I like it better this way, means I don't have to get up later to get my pen from my carryon in the overhead bin.


The cabin in HP-1372CMP was in great condition like its sister 1371, and although it's only a couple months older, the years were less noticeable on this one.


Yay! Whole row to myself! great! .
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Boarding was finished quickly enough, and by the time of our ETD, the door of the plane was closed. We ended up pushing back right on schedule. The flight was around 80% full, and I was lucky to get the whole row to myself! I didn't see anyone else on the plane having a full row  . Flight time to Mexico City would be approximately 4 hours and 30 minutes.


We taxied a long way to Runway 13R in what took 10-12 minutes, and once there we had to wait another 10 minutes in line for takeoff. While we passed the terminal I noticed that N342AV, the Star Alliance A330 that was next to us when we arrived from CCS and was going to be operating the 8:30am Avianca flight to MEX, was still at the gate, meaning it had a one hour delay. The gate I arrived at had now been occupied by a company E190.


Please pardon the very dirty window, despite the plane being in great condition, this detail was very disappointing...
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The Conviasa E190 I saw earlier at CCS
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Old El Dorado and New El Dorado!
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While we waited for takeoff I spotted the Colombian Air Force KC-767 on takeoff roll! What a beautiful bird! if only I wasn't stuck behind that dirty window...
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Finally, some 20 minutes after pushback, we made our way down Runway 13R and headed north towards MEX.
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Typical overcast day in Bogota... can't wait to visit the city in December!
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Climbing out of BOG
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Since the window was dirty, I had the whole row to myself, and I hadn't had any real sleep in over 24 hours I decided to snooze for a while. I woke up a couple hours later right on time for the meal service, when the cabin crew was doing the service two rows down from mine. The main course choices on this flight were Chicken with rice and vegetables or beef with mashed potatoes. I went with the former and it turned out to be the exact same meal I received on PTY-CCS a couple weeks back. Although the rice and vegetables were ok, the chicken lacked some taste, but everything was edible. Also the metal cutlery was a plus.
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Following the meal service, I went back with my reading for another hour or so. Yep, that's my bookmark! .
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I snoozed again for the remaining of the flight and woke up with the announce that we had started our descent into Benito Juarez International Airport.


Mexico City in all its immensity down below
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Flying over Colonia Polanco, where my family resides.
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Hey, I can see my house from here! .
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"Viraje a plaza". This was my first time doing the new approach into MMMX that began in late May. The famous sharp turn into Runway 05R is now much smoother.
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Seconds from touchdown on 05R
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And look who got here before us! N342AV! This little unintentional experiment showed me how faster the A330 compared to the 73G.  By the time we rolled down the runway at BOG, the plane was still halfway between the gate and the runway, so taking into account the waiting for takeoff time, it would've departed BOG 10-15 minutes after we did, and yet it arrived earlier than us.
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Two familiar sights at the Mexicana MRO facility. Both of SBA's 767s receiving maintenance at the same time. Notice the EC Air Congo 767WL as well.
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We taxied towards Terminal 2 and taxied by the presidential ramp.
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This trip started next to a 727 and it ends next to a 727!
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We parked at position 52 at Terminal 2, where Copa operates from in addition to Aeromexico, Delta, LAN and Aeromar. Immigration was located a very short walk from our arriving gate.
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As usual, immigration in MEX didn't even take 2 minutes from the moment I lined up until I got my passport stamped. MEX is my favorite airport for passport control, it's always so smooth!
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In MEX, all luggage arriving from South America must undergo additional security procedures, and since there were a few flights from South America arriving at the same time (including the nonstop AMX flight from CCS) it took a full 20-25 minutes before the first bags came out at belt. My bag came out 6th or 7th and I was ready to go through customs.


Before heading out, one of the officials asked me where I was coming from. Not surprisingly, the moment I said "Caracas" I was instructed to step aside for additional screening. And after a full inspection of my luggage and a few questions, I was told I could go.


I grabbed an airport cab and went to my parents' place in Colonia Polanco, where I would be spending the next 24 hours before heading for Madrid!  


A Typical stormy summer afternoon in Mexico City
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.To be continued...
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:49 am

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:52 am




.DAY 2. THURSDAY, JULY 24




After spending the night at my parents' place, I woke up around 9:30am and the first thing I did was check Flightradar24 to see which aircraft would be my ride to Madrid later in the day. When I booked on Iberia.com, my reservation showed "Airbus Industrie A340-600" as the aircraft type, which meant it would be one of the non-refurbished A346s in the fleet, as the refurbished A346s are labeled as "A340-500" for differentiation purposes.


On the Iberia long haul fleet, 6 A340-600 and the 5 A340-300 remain with the infamous old interiors without individual entertainment. The majority of the long haul fleet has been refurbished up to 2014 standards, but IB6402 on July 24th was going to be in one of the few non-refurbished A346s still flying. Now, I wasn't actually mad since I barely use PTVs at all, but it would've been nice to try the New Iberia!


While I was hoping for a last-minute swap to a refurbished A346, I was very happy to find out that my flight was going to be operated by EC-JNQ "Antonio Machado"! Named after the famous Spanish poet. I had been very familiar with the name for over a decade, as one of my childhood's favorite songs, one of those that you never forget, 1969's "Caminante no hay Camino" by composer Joan Manuel Serrat is a song about Antonio Machado and his most famous poem, of the same name. My grandfather, who is a fan of poetry, taught me about Machado and some of his work when I was around 7 years old. And every year in elementary school I would passionately recite the same poem over and over again in our yearly declamation contest. I had dreamt of flying on the "Antonio Machado" for years. I grew up with that name, and on that day, it would be flying me to the Motherland!  I was very excited!

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The view from my bedroom. It had rained all night, so the weather in Mexico City that day was still rather stormy.
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Although my flight wasn't going to depart until 8:25pm, I would be leaving the house at 3:30pm. My father had an important meeting that day and he could only take me to the airport at that time. No problem for me! Rather early than late  .
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We got to Benito Juarez International Airport's Terminal 1, where my flight would be departing from, at around 4:15pm. Although it was 4 hours before the ETD, the Iberia check-in counters, which were virtually empty so early, and since I had already checked-in online, I just needed to check my luggage and get my boarding pass. Even though I checked-in online, I told them that I had nowhere to print my boarding pass so I asked them if they could print it for me. I lied, hehe. It's not that I have nowhere to print my boarding pass, it's just that I like keeping the airline-branded ones as a souvenir for all my flights. A piece of paper with a bar code is just not the same  https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3882/15360880056_d791566857_b.jpg



Boarding pass in hand, it was now 4:20pm and it was still a few hours before the flight. I went to grab lunch at the food court before going through the checkpoint, where I headed once I was done eating. Although the European rush hour at MEX was starting, with 747s from Air France, Lufthansa, KLM and British Airways, as well as my IB A346 all at the same time, the line at the checkpoint was small and it moved very smoothly.


The ghost of Mexicana still haunts most of Terminal 1!
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Duty Free area right after the security checkpoint
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Terminal 1's cramped spaces. Added to the almost total lack of natural light and overall claustrophobic feeling to it, it's not the most pleasant airport terminal out there. Far from it.. Good thing they have a brand new airport coming up in the next decade! it's very necessary.
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IB6402 to Madrid would be leaving from Gate 24.
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At around 6:12pm, I saw a familiar sight through the jail cell, Ehmm, I mean, "window". Terminal 1 has these ridiculous metal bars on the windows that not only make the place feel more dark and cramped , it reduces all possibilities of a good shot in the tarmac. Here's the Antonio Machado completing the inbound flight from Madrid!
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If only those stupid metal bars and that double glass weren't there!  https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3902/15197427227_7d258e6eaa_b.jpg


Gate 24
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Boarding commenced at 7:35pm with the usual announcement for Business Class, Frequent Fliers, Elites, Families with small children, people reduced mobility, etc... There were a lot of elderly passengers on this flight so the priority line was quite large. Once they were all in, Group 1, the rear cabin of the A346 (rows 37 to 50) was called for boarding. Since I had pre-selected Seat 46L months ago that meant it was my time to board my favorite bird, the A340-600! .



.

Flight #: IB6402

Route: Mexico City Lic. Benito Juarez MEX|MMMX - Madrid Barajas Adolfo Suarez MAD|LEMD

Airline: Iberia

Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A340-642 - EC-JNQ (msn 727) named "Antonio Machado

Seat: 46L

Load Factor: 95% approx

ETD: 8:25pm / ATD: 8:25pm

ETA: 2:20pm / ATA: 1:52pm



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Fabricio Jiménez
View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Spotter Mexico

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We were greeted and welcomed warmly at the door and I made my way down the cabin to seat 46L, located in the rear of the aircraft. I always choose rows 45 or 46 when flying on the Iberia A346. As someone who loves a good view of the engines, but also loves seeing all the flaps and spoilers in action, the last few rows of the A346 are perfect as you can see both at the same time.


Bienvenidos a bordo!
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By the time I got to my seat, I noticed I already had a seat mate, a very chatty elderly Korean lady who would later tell me all about her life! haha

EC-JNQ is a non-refurbished bird as expected, but not a problem for me as I don't depend on a PTV to enjoy a fly or not, a good window is the best entertainment  .
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The view from my seat, with a nice Lufthansa 748.
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By the looks of it, this was going to be another full flight. The aircraft filled little by little until door 2L was closed at 8:23pm. I counted around 6 empty seats near my zone, all middle seats.. The typical Spanish music that sounded throughout the cabin was interrupted by the welcome announcements followed shortly by the safety video as we pushed back from the gate on time.
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Once the safety video was over, Captain Gomez-Ferlado introduced himself and the crew and explained the route we would take, flying north over the Gulf of Mexico, then New Orleans, Atlanta, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Halifax and finally entering Spanish territory through Galicia. Our estimated flight time was of 10 hours and 35 minutes, and we would arrive in Barajas by 1:50pm, 30 minutes ahead of schedule. He wished us a pleasant flight as we taxied to Runway 05R for takeoff.
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Tail Cameras! Love this feature!!
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Taxiing towards Runway 05R
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After a few A320s of Interjet and Volaris, it was our turn for takeoff. We taxied to 05R and the 4 engines spooled down full power! Since MEX is hot and at high altitude, and the A340s are not necessarily the most overpowered airplanes built, we struggled a little to lift, but after what seemed forever we were airborne and on our way to Spain!
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As we climbed out of MEX, my seat mate and I began chatting. She was a Korean catholic missionary who lived in Rome and was in Mexico on a religious mission. In fact, she spoke to me in Italian most of the time as her Spanish was very basic, as is my Italian. So we pretty much spoke in two languages at the same time. She was connecting to Rome and had no idea how to get to her departure gate, so I did what I could to help her in broken italian! using the map of Terminal 4 featured on the Iberia magazine "Ronda".



About an hour and a half later, while we crossed the Gulf of Mexico, the crew began with the preparations for dinner, and after a few minutes they started the service, during which time I took the chance to get a few shots of the cabin and the galley

"La cocina"
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Just a reminder of where we are .
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Calm atmosphere in the cabin prior to the meal service. A Documentary about some of Iberia's new (or more appropriately, resumed) destinations was being played. It featured Santo Domingo, Montevideo and Zagreb.
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I went back to my seat in time for the meal service, which consisted on either Chicken with vegetables or Pasta. I went with the latter, which actually tasted better than it looked! haha. The passion fruit dessert was good too. The crew did several rounds during the service offering more bread, coffee or tea multiple times. I chose the tea.
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Once the meal service was over, the cabin lights were dimmed and the crew went row by row requesting us to lower our window shades so the sunlight doesn't wake anyone up in a few hours. By this time we were cruising at 36,000ft over Louisiana and I entertained myself by watching the lights down below.

The movie "Transcendence" began playing at this time. In addition to it, "The Amazing Spiderman 2" and "3 Days to Kill" were also played in the overhead monitors, with the airshow and information about the route in between.

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I spent the next 3 or so hours looking at the lights of the several US cities we flew over: Atlanta (including some huge electric storms), Washington D.C., New York City, Boston, etc... It was really cool and you could spot a few airports at night. I saw DCA, LGA and BOS!

Over Washington D.C. Can you find DCA?  .
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Somewhere between D.C. and NYC, in what lasted for about 7-10 seconds, the exterior lights were switched on! My assumption is that there was another plane flying by close to us and the pilots switched the lights on to improve visibility from the other plane. Could anyone confirm this? I found it curious.
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New York City! I was surprised to see how lit up the wing was by all the light pollution below!
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After we left the US and Canada behind, I waited for another couple hours to see the sunrise. My favorite part of any east-bound transatlantic crossing is watching the sunrise over the Atlantic! During this time the crew passed by offering a drinks and a little snack box containing a small sandwich and a chocolate bar for those awake. I didn't take pictures of it as the lights were never turned on during this mid-flight service.




DAY 3. FRIDAY, JULY 25


5 hours and a few minutes into the flight, the sun began rising over the North Atlantic!
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Isn't it beautiful?
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Now that the sun was up, light from my window was starting to illuminate the whole cabin, and since I didn't want to bother anyone, I closed my shade. Since we had nothing but ocean down under for at least another 5 hours, I took the time to doze off for a few hours.


By the time I woke up we still had 2 more hours of flight to go, I tried to get more rest but since I wasn't able to, I turned on the reading light and began reading my book. I noticed that someone a few rows down raised his/her window shade for a few seconds, so I did the same.


Just halfway up, to avoid waking anyone up!
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With one hour to go before landing, the cabin lights were switched on and everyone began to slowly wake up. The cabin crew began preparing the service. Breakfast consisted of a ham and cheese croissant, fruits, and a muffin. Additionally, like on dinner, the crew did several rounds offering coffee and tea multiple times. Once again I chose tea.
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At this time, 40 minutes before landing, the overhead monitors began playing the Madrid Barajas Terminal 4 transit guide, with detailed information about making connections at the terminal. As always with IB's long haul flights, we will arrive at the satellite building, where all non-Schengen arrive/depart.


Once the connecting guide was over, the screens displayed the connecting gates for the flight. Not many connections on this one.. the Iberia mid-morning bank out of Barajas had already departed a couple hours before, so most of the connections on this flight were to Northern Spain (Asturias, La Coruna, Vigo, Bilbao) or high-frequency destinations (Rome, Lisbon, Barcelona). The earlier MEX-MAD flight that arrives at 6:30am carries much more connections than ours.
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It was past 1pm local time and we were already cruising over the Iberian Peninsula! At around 1:30pm, Captain Gomez-Ferlado announced that we had begun our descent into Madrid Barajas Adolfo Suarez International Airport, and that we would be landing shortly!
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Typical Spanish scenery below  .
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We were cleared for landing on Runway 32L, the typical runway for long haul flights at Barajas.
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"La Muñoza", Iberia's maintenance facility.
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Iberia's MD88 fleet! I remember flying these birds in what seems like yesterday! Can't believe it's been 6 years since they were retired, time goes by so fast! :
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About to touchdown on 32L
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aaaand Touchdown! Reverses and spoilers! This is why I love these seats on the A346!
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We touched down at 1:52pm, 28 minutes earlier than our 2:20pm ETA.


Barajas Terminal 4! My favorite building on earth! .
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It's hard to get used to the name "Adolfo Suarez"...
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My first sighting of a Ukrainian International bird! Not sure if I'd like to fly them with the current situation in Ukraine.
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We arrived at Position 536, Gate U67. Which means "Antonio Machado" will be operating a US-bound flight next, as U67 is one of the few gates dedicated for flights to the US. This is my second time arriving at this gate, first time was on an Iberia A340-300 from Caracas in 2008.
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Before deboarding, I asked the chief flight attendant at the door if I could take a picture of the cockpit, to which she cheerfully replied "Of course! Follow me!"  

We passed by the Business Plus Class cabin, looking a little messy after the long flight. She told me that every single Business Class was sold on the flight! She added that the premium cabins always sell great on the MEX flights, and that during the last few years that Iberia offered First Class service (prior to 2005), the MEX flights were the only ones in the whole network in which the First Class was profitable. Pretty impressive! For IB, MAD-MEX is the equivalent of LHR-JFK for BA.
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Quick cockpit shot! The pilots were already out and I didn't want to take too long taking the picture.
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Business Plus again, love these seats! Notice the Chief Flight Attendant in the aisle. Cheers to her for being so friendly!
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...And cheers to you, Mr. Machado, for the ride!
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EC-LUB "Tikal" was next to us at U69 getting ready to operate IB6117 to Miami.
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Walking out through the jetway.
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One last look at the "Antonio Machado". She would be operating IB6253 to New York JFK later in the day. Notice the pilots getting in the van!
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Entering the terminal on level 2
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I can't get over how beautiful this building is!
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Making my way down to Immigration
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Since most of my flight had already gone through immigration, and we were, at the time, the only flight arriving (An IB A343 from Guatemala/El Salvador had just arrived and was taxiing to the gate, and in 10 minutes an Avianca A330 from Bogota was scheduled to arrive, in which were one of my aunts and her family) I didn't encounter any lines at all and went straight to the officer. He greeted me, asked "vacation?" to which I answered yes, he then stamped my passport and welcomed me to Spain!


Once through immigration I now had to get to the main building to collect my luggage. For that I had to take the automatic train that connects the main building with the satellite, which is located on level -2.
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The train ride from T4S to T4 takes approximately 4 minutes
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The luggage belts are located in Level 0 of the main building
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Belt 05 was assigned to my flight
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By the time I got to the belt, my luggage was already out! So I grabbed it and went outside, where two of my uncles were waiting for me and my aunt+her family coming on the Avianca flight from Bogota, which by the time had already landed. We waited around 35 minutes for them and then headed for my aunt's house in Paracuellos de Jarama, a suburb of Madrid located close to the airport.


We were off to Ibiza the next day!




To be continued...
 
omidp
Posts: 207
Joined: Sat Jun 19, 2010 8:39 am

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:01 am

Amazing TR. Loved the pictures. Thank you  
 
User avatar
Ytraveller
Posts: 1287
Joined: Tue Jul 09, 2013 3:47 pm

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:48 am

Hi NachoJFX,


What a wonderful report. Your pictures are very crisp and beautiful, especially the ones you took climbing out of PTY and descending into MEX. It’s kind of odd to see no PTVs on a transatlantic flight, but as you said, the window is your entertainment   And I agree, the terminal at MAD looks very interesting from the inside!


Thanks for sharing,
- Ytraveller
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:49 am

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:02 am



(If you only wanted to see planes, you may want to stop here. From now on it will be mostly non-aviation related pictures  )



Since we only had a few hours in Madrid, there wasn't much to see on this short visit! We went to a restaurant in the Gran Via for dinner and also visited Puerta de Alcala, Plaza Cibeles and other landmarks of the city in those few hours before heading back to the house for some sleep!


Gran Via de Madrid
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Puerta de Alcala
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The Motherland!
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This amazing viewpoint of the airport is located in Paracuellos de Jarama. Terminal 4 looks even better at night! In the lower right corner is gate U67, where I had arrived earlier in the day.
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DAY 4. SATURDAY, JULY 26


We got up around 7am and we planned to leave the house by 9:00am, that would be enough time for the 4h-5h ride to Denia, Alicante (depending on traffic), where we expected to arrive just shy of 3pm, with a couple hours to spare before the ferry left for Ibiza at 5pm!

Good morning, Madrid!
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Since we were 12 people divided in 3 compact cars, with enough luggage for 2 weeks, we spent a good amount of time trying to fit everything in. By the time we were ready to leave the house, it was around 9:30am... but no cause for alarm since we purposely proposed to leave the house early to avoid any inconveniences.. just like this! haha


We ended up arriving at Denia's Balearia port by 2:15pm, faster than all of us expected! The sun was fierce and the temperature was very high. We were hungry and thirsty so we sat in a little bar and ordered some tapas!


The picturesque city of Denia from the port.
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Shortly after, our ferry to Ibiza arrived! S.F. Alhucemas was delivered new to Balearia in 2010 and is a new generation Ferry.
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The Balearia Port is also a very modern building, built in 2011 IIRC.
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On the third level of the Balearia port, we underwent a little X-ray screening before being allowed into the ship, which was accessed through a very long walkway that offered a great view of the Alhucemas.
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The view from the ferry. The journey from Denia to Ibiza lasts 3h 25mins, and we expected to get to the island a little past 8:00pm
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Land in sight!
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Inbound IBZ traffic was flying very low over our ship, like this airberlin A320
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And there it is! Ibiza Airport in the distance.
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Somewhere... beyond the sea...
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After 4 days of traveling, we finally reached Ibiza! Here we are Entering Marina de Botafoc, where our ship was going to arrive.
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Dalt Vila, Ibiza's old town, in the sunset
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I love these old ferries! The Posidonia does the short Ibiza-Formentera route 7 times a day.
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The Castavi Jet also does the Ibiza-Formentera route back and forth every day.
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A Nice catch as we got off the ferry!
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- - - - - - - - - - -

The next few pictures were taken in different points of the island during our 2-week stay. We had a magnific time exploring every corner of it, and would love to be back one day! It's a fantastic place!


"Cap Nono"
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A cliff a few meters from our place, every night my cousins and I would come here and count stories!
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Beautiful sunset
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The villa
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A hidden little Cala. There's thousands of those!
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Eivissa
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Dalt Vila
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https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3904/15387116362_bb4c1c6898_b.jpg



Hope you guys enjoyed this report! All feedback is welcome! 
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:49 am

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:08 am

Quoting omidp (Reply 3):
Amazing TR. Loved the pictures. Thank you

Thank you, omidp!  
Quoting ytraveller (Reply 4):
What a wonderful report. Your pictures are very crisp and beautiful,

Thanks ytraveller!! 
Quoting ytraveller (Reply 4):
especially the ones you took climbing out of PTY

PTY? Don't you mean CCS? :P

Quoting ytraveller (Reply 4):
It’s kind of odd to see no PTVs on a transatlantic flight

It is! Iberia joinded the PTV party a little too late... as of today most of the long haul fleet has been refurbished. 6 A340-600s (EC-IZY, JBA, JCY, JCZ, JFX and JNQ) remain with the old interiors but are scheduled for refurbishment and should be completed by the first quarter of 2015.

As for the A340-300, they won't be around for much longer so they won't be getting any new interiors.
 
ilyag
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 9:11 am

Wonderful report, thank you very much!

Reminds me of my trip with IB last summer. We actually got the old 343 on the MAD-JFK leg but surprisingly it wasn't as bad as I expected - it had new-ish slim seats with great legroom and recline, which made the flight very comfortable, despite the lack of PTVs. MAD T4 the most beautiful terminal I have ever seen, period.
 
gabrielchew
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:48 am

Great report - looks like you had a nice trip (and a great villa to end up in in IBZ!).

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
After checking-in I was then told to line in one of counters to pay the infamous breathing fee (Yes, in case you didn't know, since a few months ago you have to pay 127,00 Bolivars ($18) for oxygen at CCS... pathetic. Show's how desperate they are for cash.

Outrageous!! The ultimate in unbundling

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
My flight to Mexico City would not depart until 9:30am, so I had a little over an hour to explore El Dorado's beautiful new terminal! I followed the long corridor to the transit area, where there was a security checkpoint that did not take too long.

That looks a lot nicer than the old international terminal I used in ~2010.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):

If only those stupid metal bars and that double glass weren't there!

I hate those stupid bars. Why are Mexican Airports so anti-windows?
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: AMS-RIX-BUD-VDA,ETH-TLV-FCO-LHR,STN-TXL-LCY,LTN-CPH-LTN,LGW-SZG,MUC-LHR
 
luv2fly
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 1:06 pm

One of the best trip reports I have read in a really long time....
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
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sultanils
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 2:42 pm

Hey mr Nacho  

That was a very nice read accompanied with most excellent pictures    Also I’m happily surprised to see a positive review on a longhaul IB flight. It brings back memories from 2001 when I also flew this route on IB albeit on a leased Air Atlanta B747-300. Having flown IB recently on short haul in Europe, I’m convinced their new identity has changed things for the better.

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 1):
to pay the infamous breathing fee

That is really ridiculous and if it only were in the benefit of the people travelling through the airport.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
I spotted the SBA 757

In one way or another, the SBA livery doesn’t suit the B757 at all.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
One last look at HP-1371CMP before heading for transit.

Those registrations are long and complicated to remember.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
his little unintentional experiment showed me how faster the A330 compared to the 73G

Or perhaps it got a more direct route?

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 2):
as the refurbished A346s are labeled as "A340-500" for differentiation purposes.

Oh, really  Wow!

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 2):
Now, I wasn't actually mad since I barely use PTVs at all, but it would've been nice to try the New Iberia!

That’s what I thought a few months ago as well as I specifically booked a MAD-LHR flight that is operated by one of their widebodies. Alas, in stead of a shiny and new A333 I got the oldest A343 in the fleet 

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 2):
Isn't it beautiful?

Gorgeous photos!

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
Before deboarding, I asked the chief flight attendant at the door if I could take a picture of the cockpit, to which she cheerfully replied "Of course! Follow me!"

Is this IB we’re talking about  

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
mfc
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 4:27 pm

Hi Nacho!

Very nice trip report! Your pictures are amazing! Glad to see you had a nice flight on Iberia. Last week I flew MAD-MIA-MAD with my family, it was the first time we experienced the "new Iberia" on long haul and we were pleasantly surprised. We got A333s with the new interiors on both flights, the new IFE was very nice, after EK's ICE is the best I have ever tried. Food and crew were very nice too. I even used the flight attendant call button in the middle of the night to ask for a glass of water and the FA responded promptly! It's not like crews were horrible in my experiences in the past, I had some flights with great crews, but on other flights the crew left a lot be desired. From now on I hope that they keep good service standards.

I also have a story with Iberia's airplanes names, when I was a little child I learnt the names of the 747 fleet: Cervantes, Tirso de Molina, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Federico García Lorca, Calderón de la Barca... all of them were writers and poets. When I studied them later at school it was very interesting for me to learn more about them and read some of their work.

The photos of my hometown (Madrid) are awesome too, as well are Ibiza's. I haven't been there yet but it is on my list of "places to go".

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
Business Plus again, love these seats!

Me too, I haven't tried the new ones yet but those are very comfy and spacious.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
"La cocina"

Spanish FAs call it "galley" actually .

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
the Iberia mid-morning bank out of Barajas had already departed a couple hours before, so most of the connections on this flight were to Northern Spain
Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
We arrived at Position 536, Gate U67. Which means "Antonio Machado" will be operating a US-bound flight next, as U67 is one of the few gates dedicated for flights to the US.

You seem to know a lot of details of Iberia, just as me!  I also arrived at U67 last Wednesday from Miami.


Thanks for your report! Keep the coming!

Un saludo,

Martin
So, we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past
 
buck3y3nut
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 5:21 pm

Wonderful trip report and truly amazing pictures. I loved the ones from Ibiza! Thanks a ton for sharing this awesome report  

Cheers
 
MonsieurX
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 6:38 pm

Brilliant report, with an interesting routing to boot! Correct me if I'm wrong, but even though un-refurbished to the latest standards, the cabin interior on IB still looks to be very good and not tatty or tired???

X
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 10:29 pm

Quoting ilyag (Reply 7):
Wonderful report, thank you very much!

Thank you, ilyag!

Quoting ilyag (Reply 7):
Reminds me of my trip with IB last summer. We actually got the old 343 on the MAD-JFK leg but surprisingly it wasn't as bad as I expected - it had new-ish slim seats with great legroom and recline, which made the flight very comfortable, despite the lack of PTVs

The refurbished (known as "Caribbean Configuration") A343 seats are very nice, I agree! Although they still lack the PTVs, it is 100 times better than the original A343 seats!

Quoting ilyag (Reply 7):
MAD T4 the most beautiful terminal I have ever seen, period.

Couldn't agree more 
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
Great report - looks like you had a nice trip (and a great villa to end up in in IBZ!).

Thanks Gabriel!  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
Outrageous!! The ultimate in unbundling

It's so pathetic it's even funny!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
I hate those stupid bars. Why are Mexican Airports so anti-windows?

My thoughts exactly! I don't know of any Mexican airports that offer good tarmac views, except for maybe Tijuana as I've seen in some pictures! I hope the new MEX airport will have some windows at least...

Quoting luv2fly (Reply 9):
One of the best trip reports I have read in a really long time....

Thank you, luv2fly! 
Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
That was a very nice read accompanied with most excellent pictures Also I’m happily surprised to see a positive review on a longhaul IB flight. It brings back memories from 2001 when I also flew this route on IB albeit on a leased Air Atlanta B747-300. Having flown IB recently on short haul in Europe, I’m convinced their new identity has changed things for the better.

Thank you very much, Sultanis! I agree with you. Even though the livery is definitely not the best, I've noticed that the rebranding had a major impact not only on the product offered, but also in the friendliness and service of the cabin crew! Some people say "oh Iberia should've never changed their livery". but that's just one small part of a big change that has been happening in Iberia for a couple years, like you said, for the better. I am very happy with their new identity.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
In one way or another, the SBA livery doesn’t suit the B757 at all.

I quite disagree in there  I think it looks awesome on the 757, better than on the 767!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Or perhaps it got a more direct route?

That could also be  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
Oh, really Wow!

Haha yep! Just like up to a few months ago when they had two different configurations on the A343 fleet. The standard was designated as A340-300 and the Caribbean configuration was designated as A340-200.

Makes it a little confusing for us avgeeks  If I was Iberia I would've designated them "A340-600A" and "A340-600B" or something like that   I remember Alitalia doing something similar with their 763s. Depending on the configuration they were either designated "767-300" or "767-400"



Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):
That’s what I thought a few months ago as well as I specifically booked a MAD-LHR flight that is operated by one of their widebodies. Alas, in stead of a shiny and new A333 I got the oldest A343 in the fleet

I assume you mean one of the Standard ones? :P A few months ago there were two standard A343s operating: EC-IDF and EC-IIH. They always kept the same configuration and were not converted to Caribbean. Those are gone by now though 
Quoting sultanils (Reply 10):

Is this IB we’re talking about

Oh it sure is!  
Quoting mfc (Reply 11):

Very nice trip report! Your pictures are amazing!

Gracias Martin! 
Quoting mfc (Reply 11):
Last week I flew MAD-MIA-MAD with my family, it was the first time we experienced the "new Iberia" on long haul and we were pleasantly surprised.

Same here! Like I said, the "New Iberia" has had a major impact in the whole experience in all aspects of the service! I was pleasantly surprised as well (even though I got a "Semi-New Iberia" since I didn't get to try the new interiors! haha)

Quoting mfc (Reply 11):
I also have a story with Iberia's airplanes names, when I was a little child I learnt the names of the 747 fleet: Cervantes, Tirso de Molina, Juan Ramón Jiménez, Federico García Lorca, Calderón de la Barca... all of them were writers and poets. When I studied them later at school it was very interesting for me to learn more about them and read some of their work.

We're very alike on that!  I know the names and registrations of all the A340s that have been operated at one time by the Iberia! From EC-GGS "Concha Espina" all the way to EC-LFS "Ciudad de Mexico" Like you, I've done my research on every one of those names, who they were, and what they did! Some I already knew like Gaudi, Salvador Dali, and Antonio Machado, but I found it very interesting to research some of the other people like Agustina de Aragon, Pio Baroja, etc!

I was kind of dissapointed when they started naming their long haul fleet after places in 2010. "Rio Amazonas" or "Galapagos Ecuador" is just not the same!

Quoting mfc (Reply 11):
Spanish FAs call it "galley" actually .

Oh, I didn't know that!  
Quoting mfc (Reply 11):
You seem to know a lot of details of Iberia, just as me!

I'm a fellow "Iber"!  I know about Iberia more than any other airline!
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Sep 29, 2014 11:34 pm

Quoting buck3y3nut (Reply 12):
Wonderful trip report and truly amazing pictures. I loved the ones from Ibiza! Thanks a ton for sharing this awesome report

Cheers

Thank you very much, buck3y3nut! 
Quoting MonsieurX (Reply 13):
Brilliant report, with an interesting routing to boot! Correct me if I'm wrong, but even though un-refurbished to the latest standards, the cabin interior on IB still looks to be very good and not tatty or tired???

Thank you, Monsieur X! Even though the aircraft lacked PTVs, the aircraft was in excellent condition!
 
767747
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Tue Sep 30, 2014 1:48 am

Great to see another report from you, NachoJFX! Amazing photos throughout the whole journey!

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
Now my departure point to Ibiza would be Caracas, but as some of you may be aware, due to the currency crisis, finding a ticket from CCS to anywhere has become an impossible task unless you want to spend $5000-$6000 (in coach, that is). So the best option now was to buy a roundtrip MEX-CCS-MEX and then fly to Spain from there.

Wow, that's awful. I remember reading about this in Enrique Perrella's article in Airways.

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 1):
Eventually I checked-in my luggage and got my boarding passes all the way to MEX. I had pre-selected seats 23F on the CCS-BOG leg and 23A on the BOG-MEX one. After checking-in I was then told to line in one of counters to pay the infamous breathing fee (Yes, in case you didn't know, since a few months ago you have to pay 127,00 Bolivars ($18) for oxygen at CCS... pathetic. Show's how desperate they are for cash. More info here: http://www.cnn.com/2014/07/11/travel/venezuela-airport-air/) ) The line was quite large, and after over half from the moment I arrived at the check-in line, till I paid my nonsense fee for breathing, I was set to go...

That is crazy!

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 2):
The ghost of Mexicana still haunts most of Terminal 1!

Wow, I'm surprised they haven't gotten rid of these counters yet. It's been 4 years now since Mexicana stopped operations ...

Iberia doesn't look too bad. I've read reports that they're an airline to avoid, but your report sheds a really nice light on them. I wouldn't like the no PTV's, but food, and service sounds like it was pretty decent.

Looking forward to your return journey!

Matthew
I love to fly!
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Tue Sep 30, 2014 4:57 pm

Hola!

Nice report, thanks for sharing. Great pictures! IB long haul isn't often covered here so it's quite interesting. Did the f/a's make drink runs throughout the night or did they dispensary into the galley as their reputation is? Good to read that the chief purser was at least nice.

Regards,

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
eielef
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Tue Sep 30, 2014 6:04 pm

Nice report mate!
I used to be a frequent flyer on the EZE-MAD-EZE route and got bored of the nonstop options. Later changed to via GRU, BOG, and once i dared to something at least scaring: SLA-EZE-LIM-UIO-CLO-BOG-CDG-MAD-LTN-NRN and return was NRN-SDR-MAD-CDG-BOG-LIM-LPB-SRE-VVI-TUC. I spent more than 4 days in each direction flying in various airlines, from LAN (LAN Argentina, LAN Perú and LAN Ecuador), Avianca, Air France, EasyJet, RyanAir, AirNostrum, TACA and Aerosur Bolivia.
I promised my self I'd never do such a long trip again...

I completely love BOG new terminal, although I just saw it last year as transit passenger. I wouldn't be afraid of saying its the best airport in South America. SCL and LIM are just too overcrowded and haven't change a bit in the last years. EZE is still a mess, and GRU/GIG are both big old dirty bus stations.
Haven't been to CCS nor UIO new airport (old one was really sad).

Anyway, thanks for sharing. Spain is an awesome country, I miss it much.

Thanks for sharing!
Un fuerte abrazo,
[email protected]
 
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AirAfreak
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Tue Sep 30, 2014 10:36 pm

Buenos Dias, NachoJFX!!!

Your trip report was a true pleasure to read this afternoon and your photos are absolutely perfect!!!!

It seems you had a nice inflight experience with Iberia Staff, which is always nice to hear! I'm also happy to hear IB does well selling it's premium services from Mexico... Now, I would love to see the return of IB flights from MIA-CUN with those parked MD-88's!!! It's been a long time since I've flown those!

I really love the views over South America and your journey around Madrid and Ibiza, too!!!

How nice of you to assist your fellow passenger with connecting gate information - and a missionary at that! I am sure she blessed you with safe travels for your good will! Which brings me to another reason why I love to travel is for the diversity in people all around the world: An Italian-Speaking Korean residing in Rome is not something you hear of every day - and I am part-Korean, myself!

Have a wonderful time in Ibiza and a pleasant onward journey.

Bon Voyage,

AirAfreak  
Korean Air | Excellence in Flight.
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:45 pm

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Great to see another report from you, NachoJFX! Amazing photos throughout the whole journey!

Thank you very much, Matthew! 
Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):

Wow, I'm surprised they haven't gotten rid of these counters yet. It's been 4 years now since Mexicana stopped operations ...

If you think that's bad wait till you see the domestic area of Terminal 1!

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2942/15408116901_7562b5f9ab_b.jpg

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):
Iberia doesn't look too bad. I've read reports that they're an airline to avoid, but your report sheds a really nice light on them. I wouldn't like the no PTV's, but food, and service sounds like it was pretty decent.

I've flown on Iberia more than any other airlines, and I've had nothing but good experiences with them! Maybe I'm just a lucky guy, but I never had a single bad experience with Iberia except for a lost bag on a tight connection, but then again that happens on any airline!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 16):

Looking forward to your return journey!

I wasn't planning on making a report on the return since it would be more of the same, but since you mentioned it, I'll share a few pictures from the return on here! https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3931/15410859512_968037aefa_b.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3927/15388146186_9c288c78d1_b.jpg

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2944/15224438519_cf0ecf96fb_b.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3929/15388149036_75bb3f7046_b.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3929/15408010001_43698779f8_b.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3930/15388148006_1e1dd440af_b.jpg

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2943/15411244895_47ecbf3c85_b.jpg

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2943/15224709267_44a191d7ca_b.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3927/15224509630_97905005f7_b.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3930/15224511890_91dd6c19fd_b.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3927/15224661557_d769d6c138_b.jpg

https://farm3.staticflickr.com/2950/15224436229_f6216423b6_b.jpg

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3927/15410856142_464335b112_b.jpg
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Wed Oct 01, 2014 2:58 pm

Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 17):
Nice report, thanks for sharing. Great pictures! IB long haul isn't often covered here so it's quite interesting.

Thank you, Crimson! 
Quoting CrimsonNL (Reply 17):
Did the f/a's make drink runs throughout the night or did they dispensary into the galley as their reputation is?

The service provided from the Flight Attendants on both outbound and inbound was great, if not amazing! Not only were they very involved with the passengers in all stages of the flight, but they always had a smile too. They even went beyond expectations by giving small kids a small Iberia bag pack containing crayons, stickers, drawing book, etc... It was a very nice touch!

Quoting eielef (Reply 18):
Nice report mate!

Gracias Eielef!!  
Quoting eielef (Reply 18):
and once i dared to something at least scaring: SLA-EZE-LIM-UIO-CLO-BOG-CDG-MAD-LTN-NRN and return was NRN-SDR-MAD-CDG-BOG-LIM-LPB-SRE-VVI-TUC. I spent more than 4 days in each direction flying in various airlines, from LAN (LAN Argentina, LAN Perú and LAN Ecuador), Avianca, Air France, EasyJet, RyanAir, AirNostrum, TACA and Aerosur Bolivia.

Wow, quite a journey!  Would love to make a similar routing one day though, just for the experience!

Quoting airafreak (Reply 19):
our trip report was a true pleasure to read this afternoon and your photos are absolutely perfect!!!!

Thank you very much, airafreak! 
Quoting airafreak (Reply 19):
It seems you had a nice inflight experience with Iberia Staff, which is always nice to hear!

Contrary to Iberia's general reputation, I've never been dissapointed with Iberia staff! In fact, my best flight ever was on Iberia as well, when I was flying as an Unaccompanied Minor in 2009, I should post a Trip Report about it one day!  
Quoting airafreak (Reply 19):
I really love the views over South America and your journey around Madrid and Ibiza, too!!!

Thanks!! 
Quoting airafreak (Reply 19):
How nice of you to assist your fellow passenger with connecting gate information - and a missionary at that! I am sure she blessed you with safe travels for your good will! Which brings me to another reason why I love to travel is for the diversity in people all around the world: An Italian-Speaking Korean residing in Rome is not something you hear of every day - and I am part-Korean, myself!

I always feel good helping people whenever I can, especially when it relates to airlines and airports  So I do it with pleasure! She was very nice too, so it was the least I could do for her 
 
jumpseat
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Thu Oct 02, 2014 9:33 am

Brilliant report NachoJFX, really enjoyed reading this. Your photography is superb as well. Nice to see some shots of Ibiza as well (Y)

What's with the folding garden style chair in the last set of photos?!
 
NachoJFX
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Posts: 43
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Thu Oct 02, 2014 6:50 pm

Quoting jumpseat (Reply 22):
Brilliant report NachoJFX, really enjoyed reading this. Your photography is superb as well. Nice to see some shots of Ibiza as well (Y)

Thank you, Jumpseat! 
Quoting jumpseat (Reply 22):
What's with the folding garden style chair in the last set of photos?!

Those are used by the cabin crew in the central galley.   Since there are no jumpseats in that galley except for the ones next to the emergency exits, the crew seats on those at cruising altitude and then put them away before landing.
 
jumpseat
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Thu Oct 02, 2014 7:47 pm

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 23):
the crew seats on those at cruising altitude and then put them away before landing

Looks...comfy. I don't think i'll complain about my crew seat ever again!
 
luisde8cd
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RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Oct 20, 2014 1:57 am

Pana,

Excellent sunrise pics departing CCS. La Guaira's coastline with the Avila looks gorgeous.

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 1):
Exactly at 2:00am I got a text from the driver telling me he was in front of the building. I said goodbye to my mom, who woke up to say goodbye and my sister, who was still awake and headed down for the lobby. Since it was so early, traffic was virtually nonexistent and thus the ride to the airport didn't take longer than 35 minutes

Woah, you're very brave to drive down La Caracas - La Guaira highway at 2:00AM! My previous company's policy would mandate the use of an armored (bullet proof) car for rides to/from CCS between 10PM and 6AM.

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 1):
By 2:40am I was already standing at the Copa Airlines check-in counters, which were already quite busy.

It looks like they have moved CM's check in counters since the last time I was there in Summer 2013.. They used to be in the front row facing the exterior doors, right next to UA's. Do you know what airline is occupying those counters now?

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 1):
ne does not need to be a rocket scientist to know that the four places mentioned (Miami, Venezuela, Mexico and Spain) are in the alert map for drug smuggling, and the fact that I'm a 20 year old male just made me fit right in the profile, so I understand their questioning and I'm actually glad they're doing something to prevent it.

I get your point, but it shouldn't be a Copa employee's job to detect drug smugglers. For that job, you have the National Guard and customs officials in the other countries.

I think all the questioning was due to the fact that your R/T ticket ended in Mexico and you're not a Mexican citizen, therefore, airlines get fined if they don't check that pax have the proper legal documents to enter a country. In theory, if you visit Mexico (or any other country) as a tourist, you need to show proof of transportation out of the country, hence the reason why she insisted that you show her a ticket out of Mexico. The MAD ticket should had been sufficient though, I don't know why she wanted to see a ticket to the US.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
As soon as we reached cruising altitude, the cabin crew began the service, which consisted of a coconut muffin, a granola bar, and a couple grapes

That's outrageous. That kind of catering from Copa is a shame, especially considering the yields they have in all of their markets.
 
yapple
Posts: 123
Joined: Sat Apr 09, 2011 6:33 pm

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Oct 20, 2014 3:23 am

Hi,

Great photos, lovely read. Interesting facts you shared, and the breathing tax in CCS is ridiculous!

Thanks for sharing,
yapple
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:49 am

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Mon Oct 20, 2014 11:36 pm

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 25):
Excellent sunrise pics departing CCS. La Guaira's coastline with the Avila looks gorgeous.

Gracias mi pana!  
Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 25):
Woah, you're very brave to drive down La Caracas - La Guaira highway at 2:00AM! My previous company's policy would mandate the use of an armored (bullet proof) car for rides to/from CCS between 10PM and 6AM.

Actually, as scared as I was to make the trip down to SVMI at those hours, I found the highway highly patrolled, with 2 police cars every mile or so (one on every side of the highway). Felt a little safer than the last time I did the trip down there during those hours in 2010, where I saw no police cars at all. Fortunately I was going on a bullet proof car as well, just in case 
Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 25):

It looks like they have moved CM's check in counters since the last time I was there in Summer 2013.. They used to be in the front row facing the exterior doors, right next to UA's. Do you know what airline is occupying those counters now?

I was also expecting them to be in that place, took me by surprise to see them where the old LH/AC counters were! As far as I recall, where CM was is now empty.

Quoting luisde8cd (Reply 25):
That's outrageous. That kind of catering from Copa is a shame, especially considering the yields they have in all of their markets.

Quite frankly! Very disappointing. I wonder if they offer the same catering on CCS-PTY.

Quoting yapple (Reply 26):
Great photos, lovely read. Interesting facts you shared

Thank you, yapple!  
 
767747
Posts: 2216
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Tue Oct 21, 2014 12:21 am

Awesome! Love the fish-eye lens photos.

Quoting NachoJFX (Reply 21):
I wasn't planning on making a report on the return since it would be more of the same, but since you mentioned it, I'll share a few pictures from the return on here! 
I love to fly!
 
pipeafcr
Posts: 413
Joined: Sat Jun 13, 2009 1:47 am

RE: To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia

Fri Oct 24, 2014 6:44 pm

Excellent trip report! Loved the pictures and the descriptions. I found really interesting how the AV 330 bird made it faster to MEX than your flight even thought it left earlier. Keep it up, one of the best reports out there   

[Edited 2014-10-24 11:56:10]
Felipe Carrillo

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