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

Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:45 am

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Hello, dear readers! And welcome to my fourth Trip Report here on Airliners.net, which will be the first part on a series of three Trip Reports covering my holiday flights to, from, and within Colombia. This part will cover the outbound, Miami-Bogota, on Avianca's business class on the A330.






Lets rewind the clock 15 years ago   It is 1999 and I am 5 years old. I watch curiously how our family's nanny, Estela, is cooking us a typical dish from her country while telling me about the wonders of that mystical land where she was born and where she goes back every Christmas: Colombia. She would tell me endlessly about its exuberant landscapes and the exceptional kindness of its people. At the time all I knew about that country were Estela's stories, but I knew I wanted to go someday.


As I grew up and went to school in Venezuela, I learned more and more about Colombia. It went from being that mystical land Estela would always tell me about, to our geographical neighbor which was always mentioned in history class. Of course as my interest in aviation arose, I also came to know about that airline from Colombia called Avianca which I always saw at my home airport, CCS.


It was not until 2013, after so many years and despite having family living there, that I got to step foot in Colombia for the first time, albeit on a short layover in Bogota on my way from Caracas to Ibiza, as previously covered on my last report which will be linked at the end of this post. However, to my fortune, one of my aunts living in Bogota was getting married in December, which meant I was going to be back in Colombia, this time more than just the airport!


The wedding was to take place in the Island of San Andres, a Colombian territory off the coast of Nicaragua, so our plan was to spend a few days there, then fly down to Bogota for another few days before heading up to New York City for New Years. Getting to Colombia was no difficult task for me as I had an unused Avianca ticket from a previous cancelled trip from FLL to CCS, so after a couple calls and paying the fee, I had a MIA-BOG-JFK ticket on DEC17-DEC28, both flights on A330. Next was to find a good round trip fare from Bogota to San Andres from DEC19 to DEC25. There are four airlines flying from BOG to ADZ: Avianca, Copa, LAN, and VivaColombia. Our original plan was to fly VivaColombia as they are the only Low Cost Carrier on the route and had a good base fare for our dates, but after adding all the extras they became more expensive than the competition! So we settled for the second cheapest option: LAN Colombia.





As I previously mentioned, this part of the report will cover the MIA-BOG leg on Avianca, which was originally booked in Economy but seeing it's the holidays I decided to give myself a little present and upgrade to Business Class a few days before the flight    Part II of the report will cover the domestic BOG-ADZ-BOG legs on LAN Colombia, and Part III will cover the return flight to the United States BOG-JFK on Avianca (Or so I thought when I booked... stay tuned for part III   )


This series is dedicated to the amazing people of Colombia, the friendliest and kindest I've ever met.






After running a couple errands and finishing up packing, a friend and fellow A.net member picked me up at my place at around 1:30pm, and after a short 10-13 minute ride (with traffic) he dropped me off at the Avianca check-in counters at approximately 1:45pm, although my flight would not depart until 5:35pm. As I usually mention on my reports, I like arriving at the airport early as to avoid any hurries.


Given that there are 6-7 Avianca flights departing from MIA every afternoon, I was expecting huge crowds at the check-in desks, especially after my aunt took my same flight two weeks earlier and told me the Priority check-in queue was so large she moved to one of the Economy Class lines and got attended before her fiancé, who was still waiting at the Priority line could even move.


Fortunately, despite my expectances, the Priority line was empty by the time I got there. A very kind Colombian agent -who I recognized from around 5 years ago one time I was asking check-in staff around MIA for tags for my luggage tag collection, he gave me around 10 different tags and was extremely friendly- asked me where I was headed to today, I answered Bogota and he directed me to one of the desks, where an also very friendly Daniela introduced herself as my check-in agent. She checked my passport and quickly proceeded to weight and tag my luggage, which was rather heavy containing beach, wedding, and winter clothes for the next two weeks. I was printed my boarding pass along with lounge pass. I was given seat 5K, the last window available, located in the Business class mini-cabin behind doors 2L and 2R, which I had previously assigned when doing the online check-in the night before.


Avianca Check-in desks. After the merger with TACA, now they have the largest number of desks at MIA after AA.
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My boarding pass. Bogota, here we go!
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With boarding pass in hand I bid Daniela goodbye and proceeded to go through security, where the lines were not too crowded with only about 8-10 people in front. An unexpectedly charming TSA agent checked my passport, then looked at me, checked my passport, then looked at me again. I asked if there was something wrong, she smiled and said I had lost weight.   We both laughed and I thanked her for the compliment. The rest of the screening process was done fast and soon enough I was airside.


FIDS. AV007 to Bogota on-time from J16  


Concourse J
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Copa to Panama City at J2, with LAN 787 parked in remote in the background.
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Air Canada to Montreal at J5
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Caribbean Airlines (Air Jamaica) to Port of Spain at J11
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Once airside, I went to check out the lounge. There are two lounges in MIA's south terminal: The Delta Sky Club in Concourse H, and the newly renovated LAN/TAM lounge in Concourse J. Avianca uses the latter, along with Star Alliance partners Lufthansa and Swiss.


While the lounge itself was still almost brand new and with many amenities, it was nothing overly fancy and the food selection was rather below average.


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Some nice views from the lounge. AV003 to Barranquilla pushing back.
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While browsing the net and eating a few snacks, one of my friends at MIA came by and we had a brief chat about aviation and MIA's future. Shortly after he had to leave, and with still about 1h 45mins before my flight, I decided to do some terminal spotting and visit South Terminal's bookstore, where I bought a couple books for my trip.


Avianca, still wearing TACA's livery, to San Salvador at J9
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GOL to Rio de Janeiro via Santo Domingo at H4
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AeroMexico doing my usual route to Mexico City at H6, which I covered on here a few months ago. Link will be posted at the end of the post for those interested.
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Delta to Atlanta at H7
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I found a quiet corner by the end of Concourse H where I plugged in my phone and sat to do some plane spotting by the window.


Sisters!
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Stuffing the whale  https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7480/16181695676_507dfeb7ec_b.jpg


GOL leaving for Rio de Janeiro via Santo Domingo. Quite a flight for a 737!
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TAM freshly arrived from Sao Paulo
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Then from the corner of my eye I saw something big and red coming down the taxiway...


...and sure enough it was my ride! N969AV, MSN 1016 delivered to Avianca in 06/2009, would have the honors to operate my flight to Bogota later in the day and here she is arriving from Lima as AV962. Avianca's A330s crossfleet in Miami, with one operating BOG-MIA-LIM everyday and another one operating LIM-MIA-BOG.
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I stayed in my little quiet corner for about 20 more minutes after the arrival of N969AV before heading closer to my gate, J16, where I still had about an hour before departure.


With my Avianca A330, the Lufthansa A380, the SWISS A330, and a Copa 738 all sharing virtually the same gate space with similar departure times and with all flights at capacity for the holidays, it was getting very crowded at the end of Concourse J.

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The SWISS gate, J18.
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Peeking through
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My gate
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At around 4:30pm, a group of attractive stewardesses wearing flashy red uniforms with hats followed by a few very professional looking stewards and pilots showed up at our gate.. our crew was here! I really think Avianca has one of the best looking uniforms out there, it really stands out at any airport.


A few minutes after our crew boarded, at around 4:45pm, the gate staff announced that boarding was about to begin and asked for passengers with reduced mobility, with small children, and others such as unaccompanied minors to board first. Following the first announcement, boarding was called for Business Class passengers, those in Group A. I lined up and was surprised to see that behind me was a distant relative of mine who lives in Bogota and was on a visit to Miami before also heading for my aunt's wedding in San Andres the day after! He was going to be seating in the last row of the main J cabin, before doors 2L and 2R, while my seat was behind doors 2L and 2R in the 2-row mini Business class cabin. Then, at around 4:55pm, we were allowed down the jetbridge and wished a pleasant flight  .



.


Flight #: AV 007

Route: Miami, International MIA|KMIA - Bogota, El Dorado BOG|SKBO

Airline: Avianca

Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A330-243 - N969AV (MSN 1016) Del: 30/06/2009

Seat: 5K

Load Factor: No less than 95%, didn't see any empty seats although I didn't look too closely.

ETD: 5:35pm / ATD:5:30pm

ETA: 9:05pm / ATA: 8:42pm



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Jose Salgueiro - Professional Photography
View Large View Medium
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Photo © Sergio Diaz



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We were greeted at the door by a kind and very young crew member who looked no older than me (I'm 20), and welcomed us aboard and directed us to our seats. Relaxing music filled the cabin.
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No mood lighting on N969AV! The newer Avianca A330s come with Mood lighting.
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The view from 5K
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Legroom. My seat mate turned out to be a Brazilian businessman also going to Bogota.
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At this point, Diana came to our seats to introduce herself to us with genuine Colombian warmth.

"Good afternoon! my name is Diana and I will be at your service on tonight's flight. Would you like a drink before we takeoff?"


I asked for water, as did my seatmate, which was promptly brought to our seats, along with Colombian custom forms for our arrival, which I filled right away. The cabin was slowly filling and it promised to be a full flight. In the front row was a family with a 10-week old baby and a 5-6 year old child. I had bad feelings about this but it fortunately turned out to not be a nuisance at all throughout the whole flight.


Door 2L was closed at 5:28pm and we were pushed back at 5:30pm, 5 minutes ahead of schedule. The captain came on the speakers welcoming us onboard and announcing details about tonight's flight, which would be 3 hours and 5 minutes and would take us over Cuba, Jamaica, the Caribbean sea, before entering Colombian soil over Cartagena and heading to Bogota, where we would land ahead of schedule. We would be flying at 37,000ft and good weather conditions would prevail throughout the whole flight until landing in Bogota which we were told would be foggy.
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The Avianca magazine. 330 pages of content, amazing! Best inflight magazine I've read.
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The fleet info page already featuring the 787, which would coincidentally be delivered from Paine Field to Bogota the day after, and with which I would later come across during my trip.
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Taxiing to Runway 8R with the very last light of the day.
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D-AIMA "Frankfurt am Main" was Lufthansa's first A380, seen here right before pushing back for its flight back to FRA.
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The South Terminal rotunda.
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"Lady Penelope" just arrived from LHR
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Once we got to the runway we had to wait for several AA 738s and 757s, as well as an IB A330 before being allowed to takeoff.


Iberia off to wonderful Spain!
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Climbing away to Bogota  https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7534/16021495089_192e7638c7_b.jpg

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As we reached our cruising altitude of 37,000ft, the lights were dimmed a little and I began browsing the AVOD which had a decent amount of films, TV shows, music, and games. Of course it is nothing like Emirates or Singapore, but it was still rather decent in my opinion. I saw that they had "Maze Runner", which I heard comments about... I reclined my seat, got comfortable and began watching it for some 10-15 minutes before I got bored. Just not my type of movie I suppose. I tuned to the airshow instead.


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A few minutes later, Diana passed by our seats giving us hot towels and letting us know that the meal service was about to begin. She told us the main courses on today's flight were Gnocchis or steak with vegetables and mashed potatoes. I went for the latter.


Soon after, Diana returned with the meal trolley and we had our dinner delivered. The vegetables and potatoes were not bad but the steak was outstanding, very juicy and tasty!    I asked for maracuyá (passion fruit) juice to drink, which is my all-time favorite juice.


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Cheesecake for dessert  https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7540/16021568099_c13e0ced4c_b.jpg



Once the meal service was over, I decided to take a tour of the A330.

Our 2-row mini cabin.
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Main Business Class cabin
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Door 2R
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Economy Class, not bad either  https://farm8.staticflickr.com/7563/16021566439_35fe0bd259_b.jpg

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With the cabin lights further dimmed, I decided to take a quick nap. Although not 100% flat, the recline angle makes for a very comfortable sleep.
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After around 30 minutes of napping, I spent the remaining of the flight between the watching the airshow and playing the rather addictive "Who wants to be a millionaire" in the screen  After my 5th or 6th try, I finally won the game! haha. Meanwhile, Diana kept an eye on us throughout the whole flight asking us if we wanted anything, which was a nice touch.
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By this time we were already over Colombian soil, but it remained pitch dark outside. The exterior lights remained on ever since takeoff.
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My 2 hours and 30 minutes flew by faster than the Concorde... and at around 8:00pm local time (which is the same as Miami), the captain announced we will soon begin our descent and we will be on the ground in some 40 minutes, ahead of schedule as previously announced.


After a few minutes the cabin crew began preparing the cabin for landing, and most passengers took the time to go use the lavatories.
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My seat
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I thought this shot of the seat and the engine looked cool.
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Usually on most flights the lights are turned off, or at least dimmed, for landing. In our case, however, it was the opposite, with the cabin lights being fully brightened about 20 minutes before landing, and they remained that way until we parked at the gate.
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Finally, some lights down there! (And yours truly, in the reflection)
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Moments before landing
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We touched down on El Dorado's Runway 13R at 8:42pm, 23 minutes ahead of our scheduled time of 9:05pm. There was a little fog, but definitely not as much as I expected there would be. Fog that day was so heavy that my grandparents' flight to San Andres earlier that day had been delayed from 3:00pm to 9:30pm, meaning by the time I landed they were still at the airport.
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Avianca's domestic pier at El Dorado.
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We parked at Gate 44 where we waited for 2 or 3 minutes before door 2L was opened. I thanked Diana and the rest of the crew for the great flight and made my way out to immigration.

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Thanks for the ride, N969AV!
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Once in immigration, and after a very short queue, a friendly officer stamped my passport with very little questions and wished me a pleasant stay in Colombia!
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Next I headed to baggage claim where I expected my bag to be out rather quickly, but there were so many priority tagged bags on the flight it didn't come out until after 30 bags or more.
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With my bag with me, I joined my cousin who had arrived an hour-or-so earlier from Bremen via Frankfurt on Lufthansa and headed landside where we waited for our new uncle who was stuck in Bogota's dreadful traffic and was coming to pick us up and head to their house, where our parents and the rest of our family were waiting for us after arriving earlier in the day.

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--------

This was Part I of this series, stay tuned for Parts II and III! Hope you enjoyed! 


My previous reports:

Cheap Gas And Nice Girls: Caracas On SBA Airlines! (by NachoJFX Dec 11 2012 in Trip Reports)
Flyin' The Eagle Knight! MIA-MEX On Aeroméxico (by NachoJFX May 21 2014 in Trip Reports)
To IBiza By Air Land & Sea! CCS-IBZ On Copa/Iberia (by NachoJFX Sep 28 2014 in Trip Reports)

- Nacho   
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1864
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:48 am

There are flights from Canada to San Andres. I think years ago there was a flight from Miami. It's a place I would like to go to. And Providencia, the island next to it.
 
theaviator380
Posts: 682
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2013 8:44 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 12:41 pm

Lovely TR, brilliant product. Refreshing to see TR from Avianca a bit rare if I am no wrong. Always want to visit that part of the world..
 
User avatar
Miami
Posts: 6195
Joined: Sat Sep 15, 2012 8:37 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:02 pm

Great trip report! I really enjoyed it!

Keep the trip reports coming!!

Great work.  
Aviation is proof that given, the will, we have the capacity to achieve the impossible. - Eddie Rickenbacker
 
User avatar
sultanils
Posts: 1931
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 4:28 pm

Hello NachoJFX,

Very nice report my friend, excellent pics and narrative. Good to see you treated yourself to a C class upgrade, it does seem to me that AV has a decent onboard product.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
AeroMexico doing my usual route to Mexico City

Oh, how I like that former metal scheme of theirs.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
vianca's A330s crossfleet in Miami, with one operating BOG-MIA-LIM everyday and another one operating LIM-MIA-BOG.

Interesting. So does AV have full traffic rights between MIA and LIM? Would be a cool and typical 5th freedom a.netters flight, just saying  

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
I reclined my seat, got comfortable and began watching

The fisheye lens makes the screen far off but I’m sure you were much closer and had no trouble watching it?

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
I thought this shot of the seat and the engine looked cool.

Nice indeed - as are all of your shots in this story   

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
globalflyer
Posts: 852
Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2005 4:15 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 5:44 pm

Awesome report and pictures. Thanks so much for sharing! Cheers, Will
Landing on every Continent almost on an annual basis!
 
MAH4546
Posts: 26423
Joined: Wed Jan 24, 2001 1:44 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 6:34 pm

Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
Interesting. So does AV have full traffic rights between MIA and LIM? Would be a cool and typical 5th freedom a.netters flight, just saying

The A330 crossfleets between Avianca and Avianca Peru. MIA-LIM-MIA is operated by Avianca Peru crew.
a.
 
MIAspotter
Posts: 2937
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 8:00 pm

Fantastic report and pictures, nice to see the Biz class on AV, how I wished they kept that livery  

It is also nice to see how far Avianca has come, 20 years ago just mentioning the name Avianca would have send shivers down the spine of many people. Today it turned around to become a fantastic carrier.

Looking forward to reading the rest 

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:49 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 06, 2015 11:05 pm

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 1):
There are flights from Canada to San Andres. I think years ago there was a flight from Miami. It's a place I would like to go to. And Providencia, the island next to it.

I got to see an Air Transat 738 w/ Split Scimitar Winglets while I was there, IIRC they are the only airline flying from Canada to ADZ and only operate one or two times a week. Most international traffic going to ADZ flows through BOG and PTY.

I'm not sure but I think Providencia only sees Searca Let 410s from ADZ as far as commercial flights goes. I heard it's a very nice Island.

Quoting theaviator380 (Reply 2):
Lovely TR, brilliant product. Refreshing to see TR from Avianca a bit rare if I am no wrong. Always want to visit that part of the world..

Thank you, theaviator380! 
Quoting Miami (Reply 3):
Great trip report! I really enjoyed it!

Keep the trip reports coming!!

Great work.

Thanks, Miami!  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
Very nice report my friend, excellent pics and narrative. Good to see you treated yourself to a C class upgrade, it does seem to me that AV has a decent onboard product.

Thank you very much, sultanils!  I used to hear nothing but great comments on Avianca, and now I could confirm by myself they're indeed a wonderful airline! I recommend to fly with them if you ever get the chance!  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):

Interesting. So does AV have full traffic rights between MIA and LIM? Would be a cool and typical 5th freedom a.netters flight, just saying

AV962/963 LIM-MIA-LIM is a former TACA route that got upgraded to A330 in 2013 after the merger with Avianca.

One A330, N279AV in Star Alliance livery, flew for TACA with TACA titles by their own crews since 2012 and nowadays flies almost exclusively BOG-MIA-LIM-MIA-BOG. I had a 50% chance of getting N279AV on my flight, but it operated BOG-LIM-MIA earlier in the day instead.

As Mah4546 said, the BOG-MIA-BOG legs are operated by Avianca Colombia crews, while the MIA-LIM-MIA legs are operated by Avianca Peru (former TACA Peru) crews  
Quoting sultanils (Reply 4):
The fisheye lens makes the screen far off but I’m sure you were much closer and had no trouble watching it?

It's just the fisheye effect like you said, no trouble watching at all! 
Quoting globalflyer (Reply 5):
Awesome report and pictures. Thanks so much for sharing! Cheers, Will

Thank you veyr much, Will!  
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 7):
Fantastic report and pictures, nice to see the Biz class on AV, how I wished they kept that livery

Thanks MIAspotter! 
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 7):
It is also nice to see how far Avianca has come, 20 years ago just mentioning the name Avianca would have send shivers down the spine of many people. Today it turned around to become a fantastic carrier.

Agreed! I'm even more surprised at how radically changed after being rescued from the failed Alianza Summa by German Efromovich and the Synergy Group! In just a couple of years they converted what was a failed airline in the edge of bankruptcy with a very damaged reputation into a titan of South American aviation known for their splendid service! Truly amazing.
 
emek96
Posts: 224
Joined: Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:34 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Wed Jan 07, 2015 8:02 am

Hi Nacho!

Nice report first of all, nice to see the fisheye pics, which I like a lot.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
I was given seat 5K, the last window available, located in the Business class mini-cabin behind doors 2L and 2R, which I had previously assigned when doing the online check-in the night before.

Good choice! Always nice to sit in such a mini cabin, as you always have more privacy.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
With my Avianca A330, the Lufthansa A380, the SWISS A330, and a Copa 738 all sharing virtually the same gate space with similar departure times and with all flights at capacity for the holidays, it was getting very crowded at the end of Concourse J.

Oh yeah, I remember that of my flight on SWISS out of MIA some years ago. Interestingly, they still use the same departure gate.

The seats are looking very good, but I am wondered that they didn't install lie flat seats.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
With the cabin lights further dimmed, I decided to take a quick nap. Although not 100% flat, the recline angle makes for a very comfortable sleep

I share that opinion, lie flat seat are not a must for me, some years ago, I flew on LHs (old) business class which hasn't a lie flat mode, and I had quite a good sleep on it.

thanks for report
greetings

Elias
Lufthansa is the best airline in the world!
 
NachoJFX
Topic Author
Posts: 43
Joined: Thu Jun 10, 2010 2:49 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:10 pm

Quoting emek96 (Reply 9):
Nice report first of all, nice to see the fisheye pics, which I like a lot.

Thank you very much, Elias!  
Quoting emek96 (Reply 9):
Good choice! Always nice to sit in such a mini cabin, as you always have more privacy.

Agreed! 
Quoting emek96 (Reply 9):
I share that opinion, lie flat seat are not a must for me, some years ago, I flew on LHs (old) business class which hasn't a lie flat mode, and I had quite a good sleep on it.

Exactly, I don't think I'd consider flying an airline or booking a ticket solely based on lie-flat seats... sure, they're a plus, but some not-100%-lie flat seats are equally as good and comfortable!
 
Southamerica
Posts: 2333
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 2:56 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Wed Jan 07, 2015 4:39 pm

Thanks for sharing your report, nice job. If I remember correctly, it's been quite a while since the last AV trip report was posted.

Avianca's current business class product in the A330 is fine for routes to North and South America which are in the 5-7 hours range. I do believe the product could be upgraded to serve the European routes, especially the seats. Looking forward to see what type of product they offer on the new 787-8s.

Suprised they didn't give out menus, or am I wrong?

Also I believe there haven't been too many reports since the new terminals in BOG were completed, great to see some more coverage of this.

Looking forward to your next reports!
 
jwhite9185
Posts: 1584
Joined: Wed May 16, 2007 10:34 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Sat Jan 10, 2015 7:48 pm

Hi there - nice report with some excellent pictures. Interesting for me personally as I have a few flights with AV coming up in April, including MDE-MAD in J in the A330. Although I'm secretly hoping one of their new 787's gets put on that route with their latest cabin! At least the A330 looks decent enough though.
 
MonsieurX
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Feb 08, 2014 12:28 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:25 pm

Fantastic trip report, with some absolutely outstanding photography to go alongside! My particular favourite is the SWISS close-up; aircraft always look so brooding and powerful in those sort of shots! Avianca looks like it has a pretty decent business product (although sans full-flat...), and it must be nice to get it on what is essentially a 'reasonably' short flight. You mentioned that there were 7 departures that afternoon alone. Do all/most go wide body, or did you have to select this flight carefully for the type and hard-product?

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

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Sun Jan 11, 2015 3:03 am

Quoting Southamerica (Reply 11):
Thanks for sharing your report, nice job. If I remember correctly, it's been quite a while since the last AV trip report was posted.

Thank you, Southamerica!

Quoting Southamerica (Reply 11):
Avianca's current business class product in the A330 is fine for routes to North and South America which are in the 5-7 hours range. I do believe the product could be upgraded to serve the European routes, especially the seats. Looking forward to see what type of product they offer on the new 787-8s.

It's a very good J product, even if not lie-flat. On the BOG - Europe flights it's on par or above most of the competition, with AF and LH offering non-lie flat seats as well (Actually not so sure about LH, but IIRC the old J seats, the ones used on most A346s out of FRA, do not offer a lie-flat seat. I know the new ones do) I'm not sure about KL (soon starting BOG and CLO) either, but I think only IB does offer lie-flat to Europe from BOG.

Quoting Southamerica (Reply 11):
Suprised they didn't give out menus, or am I wrong?

They did not, I assume since it's a relatively short flight (3h). I imagine they do offer menus on long-haul flights!

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 12):
Hi there - nice report with some excellent pictures.

Thank you, jwhite9185!  
Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 12):
Interesting for me personally as I have a few flights with AV coming up in April, including MDE-MAD in J in the A330. Although I'm secretly hoping one of their new 787's gets put on that route with their latest cabin!

You might get lucky and get one of the two Avianca A330s with the latest cabin, N508AV and N941AV, both wearing the new livery as well!

Quoting MonsieurX (Reply 13):
Fantastic trip report, with some absolutely outstanding photography to go alongside!

Thank you very much, MonsieurX!  
Quoting MonsieurX (Reply 13):
My particular favourite is the SWISS close-up; aircraft always look so brooding and powerful in those sort of shots!

I was hoping my flight would use that gate so I could get a picture like that of N969AV 
Quoting MonsieurX (Reply 13):
You mentioned that there were 7 departures that afternoon alone. Do all/most go wide body, or did you have to select this flight carefully for the type and hard-product?

All Narrow-bodies except for my flight AV007 and LIM-bound AV963 which are A330s. I chose the A330 on purpose as the other two MIA-BOG flights on Avianca are operated by A319/A320!
 
Summa767
Posts: 1847
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 1:30 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Mon Jan 12, 2015 9:22 pm

Thank you for a nicely laid our report and the great pictures.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
Usually on most flights the lights are turned off, or at least dimmed, for landing. In our case, however, it was the opposite, with the cabin lights being fully brightened about 20 minutes before landing, and they remained that way until we parked at the gate.

I doubt very much that this is airline policy, and rather than is a big safety oversight. The cabin is meant to be dim in light for night landings for a reason: So that should an emergency occur, outside hazards (such a fire) can be seen from inside the plates through the windows, and that the way to the exits- which as we know, should be lit, can be seen! If there is a sudden darkening of a bright cabin, eyes will take valuable time in adjusting...

In a recent flight I found that lights were indeed dimmed for a night landing, but without even an announcement to this respect. It should be common courtesy -as it is in all European airlines that I have flown- to state that lights will be dimmed and that individual lights are available (or even better, for crew to turn these on for customers who are engrossed in reading, in anticipation). Sadly, as far as the AV crew I have encountered, they may just as well have been carrying cattle)

Sadly, and contrary to some enthusiastc reports, I have found such lackings (even worse is the safety issue that you describe), but certainly of service to be quite common in Avianca. It could well be that latin customers are less demanding. Sadly, I don't think that it rates all that well for seasoned international travellers other than for a good hard product (incidentally the 787s do have better C seats, with totally flat seats). I doubt that menus will materialise for the MIA route though).

[Edited 2015-01-12 13:52:51]
 
User avatar
totesen
Posts: 82
Joined: Sun Dec 07, 2008 3:50 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Mon Jan 12, 2015 10:35 pm

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
Usually on most flights the lights are turned off, or at least dimmed, for landing. In our case, however, it was the opposite, with the cabin lights being fully brightened about 20 minutes before landing, and they remained that way until we parked at the gate.

Same happened to me on 4 Avianca flights (MEX-BOG-MAD-BOG-MEX) I was very frustrated, it reduces visibility on night landings and its imposible to take good pictures, its one of the very few aspects i HATED about avianca. But was greatly surprised about their service.

Great TR! Really enjoyed it.
Follow me on Twitter: www.twitter.com/totesen
 
767747
Posts: 2222
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 13, 2015 2:37 am

Another great report, NachoJFX! As usual, the photos are excellent.

Avianca looks like a great airline, and for a 2 hour 30 minute flight or so, the J product looks more than adequate. Food looks tasty, service sounds great, and you're on a wide-body. Can't ask for much else!

Thanks for sharing. Looking forward to your next parts!

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
hotelkilo
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Feb 14, 2014 12:54 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Jan 13, 2015 3:41 am

Enjoyed your report and looking forward the upcoming ones, a bit of info here, the new WB cabins on AV have the full 180 flat . the 787 and some A330's already have it
 
User avatar
TR763
Posts: 782
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:07 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Tue Feb 10, 2015 7:01 pm

Very complete trip report and great pictures!!
Thank you for sharing!!
Image
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8314
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Wed Feb 11, 2015 7:02 pm

Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing.

I flew two AV segments a few years back, MEX-BOG-SCL, 319 on both sectors, tight legroom for business class but excellent service.

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
Usually on most flights the lights are turned off, or at least dimmed, for landing. In our case, however, it was the opposite, with the cabin lights being fully brightened about 20 minutes before landing, and they remained that way until we parked at the gate.

- I've seen this when flying ANA.

Cheers

Mark
111 732 733 734 735 736 73G 738 739,7M8 BBJ 741 742 743 744 752 753 762 763 764 772 77L 773 77W L15 D10 D30 D40 AB3 AB6 312 313 318 319 320 20N 321 21N 332 333 342 343 345 346 359 351 388 CS1 CS3 I86 154 SSJ CRJ CR7 CR9 CRK 145 170 175 220
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1777
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Thu Feb 12, 2015 1:44 am

Quoting NachoJFX (Thread starter):
At this point, Diana came to our seats to introduce herself to us with genuine Colombian warmth.

"Good afternoon! my name is Diana and I will be at your service on tonight's flight. Would you like a drink before we takeoff?"

Diana looks top notch, the kind of FA you truly love to have on your flight. Avianca looks amazing.
LAX772LR - "Answer to goofy question:" in response to my question about the B737-MAX8 being grounded. 48 hours later all B737-MAX8 grounded worldwide. Go figure!!
 
RICARIZA
Posts: 2029
Joined: Sat Apr 02, 2005 7:56 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Sat Feb 14, 2015 1:25 am

Thank you. It has been a long time since we saw a TR about Avianca.

I am glad you had a pleasant experience with our beloved AV  
I miss ACES, I am proud of AVIANCA & I am loyal to AMERICAN
 
ccs757
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:32 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:05 pm

Quoting summa767 (Reply 15):
Thank you for a nicely laid our report and the great pictures.

Thank you, Summa767!

Quoting summa767 (Reply 15):
I doubt very much that this is airline policy, and rather than is a big safety oversight. The cabin is meant to be dim in light for night landings for a reason: So that should an emergency occur, outside hazards (such a fire) can be seen from inside the plates through the windows, and that the way to the exits- which as we know, should be lit, can be seen! If there is a sudden darkening of a bright cabin, eyes will take valuable time in adjusting...

My thoughts too, most people fail to realize what a safety hazard it actually is.

Quoting totesen (Reply 16):
Great TR! Really enjoyed it.

Gracias, Totesen!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 17):
Another great report, NachoJFX! As usual, the photos are excellent.

Thank you, Matthew!  
Quoting hotelkilo (Reply 18):

Enjoyed your report and looking forward the upcoming ones

Thank you, HK!

Quoting hotelkilo (Reply 18):
a bit of info here, the new WB cabins on AV have the full 180 flat . the 787 and some A330's already have it

As far as I know only N508AV and N941AV have the new business class seats, as far as A330s is concerned. All 787s obviously have them.

Quoting TR763 (Reply 19):

Very complete trip report and great pictures!!
Thank you for sharing!!

Thank you, TR763!  
Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 20):
Nice read and pictures, thanks for sharing.

Thank you mate!

Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 21):
Diana looks top notch, the kind of FA you truly love to have on your flight. Avianca looks amazing.

She was top notch and genuinely warm indeed, like most Colombians! 
Quoting RICARIZA (Reply 22):

Thank you. It has been a long time since we saw a TR about Avianca.

I am glad you had a pleasant experience with our beloved AV  

Thank you, RICARIZA!
 
ccs757
Posts: 36
Joined: Sun Oct 28, 2007 6:32 am

RE: Colombian Flavor! Part 1: MIA-BOG On Avianca J

Fri Dec 04, 2015 7:08 pm

I know it's been a while since Part 1 was posted, but I have finally written Part 2 of the series! 


Check it out!
Colombian Flavor! Part 2: Under-represented LAN! (by ccs757 Dec 4 2015 in Trip Reports)


- Nacho  

(P.S.: I had trouble accessing my previous account with which this TR was posted, so I've been using this older one for a while now)

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