Review: Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class – Panama to Bogota

Introduction: Short Trip to Central America
Review: Hilton Anatole – Dallas
Review: Air France Lounge – Houston Intercontinental Airport
Review: Executive Club – Houston Intercontinental Airport
Review: Air China (777-300) Business Class – Houston to Panama
Review: The Westin – Panama
Review: Nacion Sushi
Review: Le Meridien – Panama
Review: Avianca (A320) Business Class – Panama to Bogota
Review: Avianca VIP Lounge – Bogota
Review: LATAM VIP Lounge – Bogota
Review: Copa Club – Bogota
Review: El Dorado Lounge – Bogota
Review: Avianca (A319) Business Class – Bogota to San Salvador
Review: Intercontinental Hotel – San Salvador/Metrocenter Mall
Review: Avianca (A320) Business Class – San Salvador to Dallas

AV59
PTY-BOG
Departure: 0945
Arrival: 1118
Flight Time: 1hr 33min
A320
Seat: 1K
May 30, 2019 

One thing I really hate is waking up before my alarm goes off. On this particular day, I  was awaken by thunderstorm at 0500. This was more than 30 minutes before my alarm and wake up call.  Sigh.

I quickly ordered an Uber to get me to Tocumen International Airport. The Uber arrived in less than five minutes.  I did not think I had time to stop by the front desk so I checked out through the Marriott Bonvoy app. Even though I checked out through the app, I had to sign my hotel bill before leaving. 

I showed up to the Avianca counters three hours prior to my flight. This was to ensure I did not miss my flight again.

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca check in at Panama City

After about 15 minutes in line, an announcement was made in Spanish and people cut me in line. I asked the agent to repeat herself in English because I did not understand. Apparently, people were in the wrong lines because they did not read signs. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca check in at Panama

It was me, I was people. I should not have been in the line because I completed the web check-in.  My line was to the left of the priority line. I had a five hour layover in Bogota and did not want to drag my luggage around the airport so I stayed in the priority line to check my bag.

I made a quick visit to the Tocumen Royal Saloon to see if anything changed since my last visit. The only thing I noticed was the doorbell on the sliding glass doors. Guests had to ring this for access.  Has anyone ever seen this at a lounge?

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Tocumen Royal Saloon Lounge

The food was the same, subpar.

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business ClassAvianca Airlines (A320) Business ClassDSC03908

The gate was at the far end of the terminal. There were quite a few gates in this small area, which meant it crowded quickly. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Crowded gate at Panama

The gate are did offer nice views of the parking apron.

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca Airlines A320
Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320
Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Terminal views at Panama

Boarding started at 0900 with the back of the aircraft first, at least that is what was announced. I boarded after hearing Group D, it followed the announcement for women and children. The plane was practically empty. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca Airlines Regional Business Class Seat
Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca Airlines Economy Seat

I was welcomed by the flight attendant working business class and quickly found my seat, which was 1K. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca Regional Business Class Seat

The inflight entertainment monitors were already out. The remote and aux port was just beneath it. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 IFE
Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 IFE Control

On the right side of the seat were some old, but responsive seat controls. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 Seat Controls

The tray table was on the right as well. It was stored in the armrest. It could be halved or whole. I liked the fact it could be swiveled. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 Tray Table
Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 Tray Table

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class

The overhead panel included individual air nozzles, which kept me cool.

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 Overhead Panel

A few minutes after boarding we were offered sparkling wine or water. I went with the sparkling wine. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class

The door was closed 20 minutes ahead of schedule. The boarding process was efficient. The purser then began the welcome announcement in English and Spanish. 

The safety demo was then played. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca Safety Video

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business ClassAvianca Airlines (A320) Business Class

We began our pushback 10 minutes early. The flight attendant came around and stored every passenger’s inflight entertainment screen. I am glad he did because the IFE was more difficult than it should have been. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business ClassDSC03934

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 Center Console

We taxied for about 15 minutes then the pilot, Pablo, came on to give a run down of the flight to Bogota. He informed us that due to congestion, we would not take off for another 15 minutes (so much for an early departure). He also gave us a flight time of 76 minutes. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Views Leaving Panama
Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Views Leaving Panama

After a bumpy rollout, we finally lifted off 45 minutes behind schedule. The weather was not the best so there not much in the way of views. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business ClassDSC03939

We leveled off 15 minutes after takeoff. At this point, I made my way to the business class lavatory. It was located at the front left of the cabin. The lavatory was similar to other regional jets I have flown, except the door under the sink would not latch so I had to hold it with my leg. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 Lavatory
Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 Broken Sink Door

Service began 20 minutes after takeoff with fragrant towels. The towel was dry but smelled amazing. I do not recall having a similar towel in all of my travels. 

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The snack was served immediately after the towel. Everyone had the same option, a chilled chicken sandwich and fruit.

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca A320 sandwich and Fruit

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I also ordered a glass of white wine, which was served off of a small cart. 

Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class
Avianca Beverage Cart

The fruit was fresh, but the sandwich was mostly bread. I picked off the chicken and left the bread.  Service was over as quickly as it started.  It was similar in time to the service I experienced on SilkAir from Singapore to Malaysia last year. 

The landing announcement was made a few minutes after the service ended. We had a smooth descent but the landing was rough, I thought we would tip over. We had a five minute taxi to the gate. 

DSC03949Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class

Final Word

The flight to Bogota was not bad. Service was abrupt but the seat was comfortable, as I was able to get two naps. I was able to earn 468 United MileagePlus miles from this short flight.  Sadly, I could not earn any Premier Qualifying Dollars since it was a partner flight.  Anyway, it was time to go lounge hopping in Bogota!

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