Update: Read my full Avianca 787 Business Class Bogota To Madrid review.
Over the past couple of days I’ve flown Avianca business class from Los Angeles to Madrid (via Bogota), as one does. Yesterday I shared 10 pictures of my Avianca business class experience between Los Angeles and Bogota. From there I connected onto a Bogota to Madrid flight.
I’ll start publishing the full trip report in a couple of days (when I get back to the US), but in the meantime I figured I’d share eight details of the Avianca business class experience which I found interesting:
Where’s the gin?
I was a bit surprised when I boarded my Los Angeles to Bogota flight, only to find that they didn’t offer gin. Instead they only serve gin on transatlantic flights. That seems a bit random, since gin isn’t necessarily more expensive than the other liquor which they did offer.
No blankets for takeoff
There are lots of airlines out there with specific safety rules. For example, Singapore Airlines requires window shades to be up for takeoff. Cathay Pacific won’t serve hot beverages when the seatbelt sign is on.
Well, Avianca won’t let you use the blanket while taxiing, taking off, or landing. You literally have to take it off you and put it on the floor. That was a first for me.
Clapping on landing
When landing in Madrid, just about everyone in economy clapped. It has been years since I’ve been on a flight where people clapped.
While Avianca may not have had gin on the Los Angeles to Bogota flight, they did have one of the best cappuccinos I’ve had on a plane, which would easily earn a spot on my list of top hot beverages available in the sky.
Is that really the order in which service is supposed to happen?
The Los Angeles to Bogota flight departed Los Angeles at 10:15AM, landing in Bogota at 7:30PM. The menu indicated that there was a lunch service and then a snack service.
So I was quite surprised when we took off and I was offered a small sandwich, and then my tray was cleared. The “lunch” was served 90 minutes before landing, at around 6PM in Bogota.
That’s the first daytime flight I’ve taken where the main meal wasn’t served after takeoff. I wish I had planned accordingly, since I was busy in the morning and boarded rather hungry.
A Colombian parting gift
There are a few airlines which give a small gift on landing in premium cabins, so I was pleasantly surprised when I was offered some packs of Colombian coffee on landing in Madrid. I thought that was a nice touch.
On my first flight the service was terrible, probably the worst I’ve had in a long time (along with my Oman Air flight from Muscat to Frankfurt a couple of months ago). The flight attendants were extremely uninterested and inattentive. When I asked for a refill on my glass of wine during the first service, the flight attendant audibly let out a sigh and rolled her eyes. That was a first for me.
Meanwhile on my second flight the crew was top notch. Not only were they more attentive, but they were actually friendly and hospitable.
Avianca needs a new chef
There’s no polite way to say it — Avianca’s food sucks. Their catering reminds me of domestic food within the US. The chicken breast on my first flight was one of those super white square patties, while the salmon on my second flight was dry as could be. The meals were well intentioned, but just fell short.
Those are my first thoughts on Avianca business class — stay tuned for the full trip report!