During my time in Panama, I had the chance to check out the brand new Copa Club in Terminal 2, which the airline has been heavily promoting. While I’ll have a full review soon, I wanted to talk about the aspect of the lounge that really could use a bit more effort.
The new Copa Club Panama is beautiful
Let me start on a positive note — the new Copa Club Panama Terminal 2 is beautifully designed, and a massive improvement over the old Copa Club in Terminal 1. It’s a good size, spacious, has some cool features, and is nicely decorated. Admittedly it gets very busy over peak hours, since Copa has a heavily banked network, but physically the lounge should impress.
The Copa Club Panama has awful food
Looking at comments online about the new Copa Club, the single most consistent point of feedback is that the food selection leaves a lot to be desired. Before I visited, I figured “well maybe these people should visit a lounge in the United States, and see what bad lounge food really looks like.”
Well, I was wrong. The Copa Club Panama will make you yearn for an American Admirals Club. There are two issues.
The first issue is that the lounge has the capacity for 420 guests, and gets very busy, yet there’s a single buffet that’s not very big. The only food that you can eat is located on that small island you see below, and people crowd that area like vultures.
The bigger issue is what’s available with the buffet. The selection is… not great.
For breakfast, there were stale bagels and cream cheese, pan bon, yogurt, fruit, cereal, granola, and oatmeal. That was it.
Okay, I’d say breakfast was only moderately underwhelming, as it’s lunch where it gets really sad. Lunch consisted of a few kinds of (not very appealing) finger sandwiches, three types of veggies, ranch dressing, hummus, bread, chips, and cookies.
Again, up to 420 people are supposed to eat from the things you see in the three below pictures below. Of course everyone wanted hummus — they might as well just have a hummus fountain, based on how quickly that bowl emptied out.
Soup or something that doesn’t look like it’s from Fyre Festival? What do you think this is, an Olive Garden? Also, I’m pretty sure Copa Airlines and American Airlines share their pimento sandwich recipe, because it looked might familiar (there was no sign of a “turkey” sandwich, though).
I’m not sure what was worse — the quality and selection of food, or the hygiene of this whole thing, as you have endless people all congregating in the same place, coughing, sneezing, and picking their nose, and then touching serving utensils. Copa has worse lounge catering than any US airline, and that’s saying something.
While the new Copa Club Panama has a great hard product, the soft product leaves a lot to be desired. I saw complaints about this online before I visited, and figured it wouldn’t be that bad. Nope, it is that bad — Copa’s lounge catering is among the worst I’ve seen for a carrier’s “flagship” lounge. Here’s to hoping that Copa can do something with this feedback.
Has anyone else experienced the delights of Copa Club catering?