Review: Avianca Airlines (A320) Business Class – San Salvador to Dallas

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

AV440
SAL-DFW
A320
Departure: 0815
Arrival: 1250
Flight Time: 3hrs 45min
Seat: 3A/1A
June 1, 2019

I woke up at approximately 0600 for a 0815 departure from El Salvador. This is not usually a thing, but it quickly turns into one when the airport was 45 minutes away. I got freshened up, ordered an Uber, and checked out of the porperty within 15 minutes. 

The Uber got me to the airport at 0710, only five minutes before I was supposed to be at the gate. Since I checked in online the night prior (getting hip to Avianca Airlines travel hacks), I walked directly to the bag drop, even though it might been through the staff line. From there, I took a right to the elevator, which I rode to the second level, to pass through immigration and security. I presented my boarding pass, passport, and impuesto receipt from the earlier flight (glad I did not have to pay the foreign tax twice). I was through in minutes. 

At this point, I felt good about making the flight. Until I got near my gate, which was in the mid-teens, and I see a secondary security check. Great. The lines were long but moved relatively quickly. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to DallasAvianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

I approached the gate at 0727 out of breath (mostly, because I am fluffy.  (LOL) and did not see any other passengers. The agent told me boarding would begin in 15 minutes so I had a seat at the Cafe. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
El Salvador Gate Area
Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 in Star Alliance Livery

The gate area was packed in a short amount of time.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

Approximately 18 minutes after I spoke with the agent, there was a mad rush on the gate. I quickly jumped out of my seat, a few other people going to Dallas did the same. Too bad it was gate 14, the gate next to ours, which was going to Houston. We were redirected around some people to the other side of the counter for gate 16. 

The boarding of the Avianca A320 was fine was since I was one of the first passengers aboard. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 Economy

I was welcomed with a Buenos Dias and found my way to the seat. For this flight, I selected seat 3A, the last row of business class on the left side of the aircraft. I chose this seat to have a different perspective of the product.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines Regional Business Class Seat

This seat was the same as the previous two flights. The inflight entertainment screen was in the seatback, as opposed to the armrest at the bulkhead. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 IFE

Headsets (with the footrest in view), blanket, and a pillow were waiting at the seat. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines Regional Business Class Headset and Footrest

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

There was a hook to hang a jacket or light shirt. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 Hanger

There was also a jack that reminded me of the back of an old video game.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

The tray table was in the left armrest. It could be used halved or whole. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 Tray Table
Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 Tray Table

There was also a center console which had an island and a little extension for drinks. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 Center Console
Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 Center Console Drink Holder

The seat controls were on the left side of the seat.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

The IFE controls and headphone jack were on the right.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 IFE Contols

The overhead panel was the same.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 Overhead Panel

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

The flight attendant, Guillermo, greeted everyone who boarded then came by with apple juice and water, this was 16 minutes after I boarded. Boarding was complete at this point.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

While waiting at the gate, with the boarding door open, there was not an announcement made. We waited until 12 minutes after the scheduled departure, that is when a huge group of kids and chaperones boarded. I do not know if they connected from somewhere, but the delay created angst among passengers. I ordered a sparkling wine while this occurred…because why not? 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

The door was closed 10 minutes later. Guillermo made the welcome announcement and told us of the flight time of three hours and six minutes to Dallas. The security video was then played. 

We pushed back 30 minutes late. I had the shades closed because the sun was so bright but a flight attendant made me open them prior to taxi.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

We had a ten minute priority taxi, and we finally got the heck out of El Salvador. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Lining up for departure in El Salvador

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Views leaving El Salvador

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to DallasAvianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to DallasAvianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to DallasAvianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to DallasAvianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

During takeoff, the guy behind me kept kicking the seat. It was too early in the morning this. There was a shorter female in the seat but he swapped with her to have the window. I finally had enough of it, so I asked the flight attendant to swap to seat 1A, one of the four open bulkhead seats. It was tough to get out of my seat because this person would not move.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

Guillermo poured me another sparkling wine. I did not know the center console folded over like this. It took three flights for me to figure it out.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

Service began soon thereafter, approximately 26 minutes after takeoff, with a hot, scented towel. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas

The food followed a few minutes after. The options were a cheese omelet or a pizza pie with ham. Um, I went with the cheese omelet. It was served with plantains, fruit, rice, and beans. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines Breakfast

The fruit, rice, and beans were the best part of the meal. The rice and beans were a bit salty, which I appreciated. The fruit was fresh and very sweet. The omelet was ok and the plantains were inedible. 

Maybe I should have gone with the pizza.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines Regional Business Class Pizza Breakfast

A thing I found weird was that the pilots were out of the flight deck three times within the first hour of the flight. In addition to that, no flight attendant replaced the one left. It really made me feel uneasy. 

I checked out the flight map during this time.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines A320 Flight Map Enroute to Dallas

The drink cart came down the aisle so I requested a Bailey’s and coffee. Guillermo asked if I wanted it half and half, um, not yet sir. He laughed then stated he would ask again after a few.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Avianca Airlines Regional Business Class Beverage Cart
Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Baileys and Coffee

After the drink, I napped for the rest of the flight. I slept for a solid 90 minutes. The  landing was the only thing to wake me. The rough landing in Dallas was 15 minutes after scheduled arrival. After a few minute taxi, we arrived at the gate. We had to wait because no one was at the gate.  After 10 minutes, the gate, D6, appeared ready for us. 

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Arrival in Dallas

After another 10 minutes of waiting, we taxied into gate D7. We did not got an update on the reason for 20 minutes hold. The bridge at D7 would not function, so were towed to another gate, D6. Damn. This reminded of my trip to Boston.

Avianca Airlines A320 El Salvador to Dallas
Finally Parking in Dallas

Final Word

This flight was horrible.  It started with me rushing to the airport, only to be delayed nearly an hour.  The guy kicking my seat was the worst part of it, I just do not understand why people feel the need to do it.  The breakfast I selected was bad as well.

I was happy that I finally got the chance to experience several Avianca Airlines’ flights on this trip. Overall, the trip was not bad, I just do not know if i will go out of my way to travel with Avianca again.

 

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