Avianca Restores Business Class Within The Americas

Avianca Restores Business Class Within The Americas

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Avianca is restoring business class on select routes within the Americas, backtracking on a decision the carrier made in 2022.

Avianca brings back business class on key Americas routes

Since the start of the pandemic, Avianca has been trying to transform its business, by becoming a more efficient airline. As part of this, the airline eliminated business class on flights within the Americas as of October 2022.

Not only did Avianca reconfigure its Airbus A320s to remove business class and add 20% more seats, but the airline also stopped selling business class on flights within the Americas that were operated by Airbus A330s and Boeing 787s. Instead these premium cabins were just sold as seats with more space, but without additional service.

With this policy change, Avianca only maintained business class on flights to Europe. I thought from the beginning that this was the wrong move, and I guess the airline now agrees, because it’s backtracking.

For flights as of August 15, 2023, Avianca is restoring business class on the following routes within the Americas:

  • Bogota (BOG) to Buenos Aires (EZE)
  • Bogota (BOG) to Miami (MIZ)
  • Bogota (BOG) to Sao Paulo (GRU)
  • San Salvador (SAL) to Miami (MIA)

On top of that, Avianca has already restored business class on the Bogota (BOG) to Los Angeles (LAX) route as of July 1, 2023. Note that in each of the above markets, business class will only be sold if the flight is operated by an Airbus A330 or Boeing 787, which are the aircraft with business class cabins.

Avianca is restoring business class on some flights within the Americas

This is a sensible policy change

I can see where Avianca’s policy change came from last year, when the airline decided to just eliminate business class altogether within the Americas. The airline wanted to become more efficient and streamline its offerings. Since business class was being eliminated on narrow body planes, the airline decided it was most efficient to just not sell the product on wide body frequencies either.

However, that just seemed inefficient:

  • If you’re going to be flying wide body aircraft with flat bed business class seats within the Americas, you might as well do what you can to monetize those seats and maximize revenue, because there are people willing to pay
  • Avianca was probably losing customers by not selling business class; for example, if someone has a transatlantic itinerary between Europe and South America, they might book away from Avianca when they realize their connection won’t be in business class

So kudos to Avianca on this logical change…

Avianca’s Boeing 787 business class

Bottom line

In October 2022, Avianca stopped selling business class on flights within the Americas, as the airline tried to streamline its business model. This was despite the fact that the airline kept flying wide body aircraft within the Americas with flat bed seats.

The airline is now backtracking, and as of August 2023 will once again sell business class on five routes within the Americas, when a flight is operated by a wide body.

What do you make of Avianca backtracking on eliminating business class?

Conversations (28)
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  1. Keith b Guest

    No business class from San Jose Costa Rica to San Francisco CA, plus 125$ baggage fee on top of the price of a premium ticket. Carry-on charge too!

  2. Luis H Guest

    AVIANCA is a now a low cost carrier with high prices.

  3. Øyvind Guest

    I flew OSL-LHR-BOG-GYE-GPS (Galapagos) in June. First leg was SAS, normal service for their Plus product. LHR-BOG was business in a 787, nice hard product but not very impressive in terms of food, drinks and service. By all means it was good, just not very impressive compared to Thai, Singapore, Lufthansa, SAS, Air New Zealand etc. business class. Economy class BOG-GYE-GPS was more or less as expected, but I would have preferred that they had...

    I flew OSL-LHR-BOG-GYE-GPS (Galapagos) in June. First leg was SAS, normal service for their Plus product. LHR-BOG was business in a 787, nice hard product but not very impressive in terms of food, drinks and service. By all means it was good, just not very impressive compared to Thai, Singapore, Lufthansa, SAS, Air New Zealand etc. business class. Economy class BOG-GYE-GPS was more or less as expected, but I would have preferred that they had kept the old business class (USA Domestic First). The only perk we had was priority boarding since all of us are Star Alliance Gold card holders. At least we had enough space for our carry-on.
    They did manage to misplace our luggage and left it at GYE, but showed absolutely no interest in forwarding the luggage to Galapagos. We did eventually meet up with it after 7 (seven!!!) days at Galapagos, they did us the courtesy of shipping it to Galapagos the last evening so we could check it in for our next flight to Quito. Customer service was horrible, their mantra was that we could pick it up at the airport. The only problem was that the airport was 727 miles away on the mainland.
    Homeward we flew business class with Copa UIO-PTY-BOG, Avianca BOG-LHR (business) and SAS on LHR-OSL (business). I was impressed with Copa and their product, they will be our go-to airline in South America unless we can fly direct to other destinations.

  4. Peggy Guest

    Has anyone experienced the “new business class” on Avianca? I’m due to fly in November and wondering if there is any sign of the change over to “real” business class yet???

  5. Imer Guest

    Bought tickets during Covid. Airline cancelled because airport closed. This happened in 2020 and we still haven’t received our reimbursement

  6. Gregory V. Guest

    I’ve been flying Avianca from JFK to C. & S. America, mostly Colombia, for about 15 years. It’s gone from, in my opinion, a really good carrier to a low end one. The staff on the ground & in the air always excellent. The mgt. sucks. They charge full service prices for low cost carrier service. I try to use Copa now whenever possible.

  7. Peter Brown Guest

    Just another hopeless Latin American carrier. Bad service, bad food and a lot of attitude.

    1. XPL Diamond

      Welp, that's an awfully broad brush you are painting with. Copa and Latam are both pretty good.

  8. iamhere Guest

    No surprise. They are probably losing business as a result. Selling business seats with "more room" but lack of service does not make sense to me. It is clearly a better hard product even if nothing soft provided. Flights between North and South America are longer than many think.

  9. Speedbird Guest

    I had been flying them for the past 15 years mostly in business class. They lost my business permanently after my last flight with them last year. My last "business" class experience with them was still with the pre low cost airline cabin retrofit. The seats were poorly maintained, there was absolutely no amenenity kit, no blankets or pillows. No drinks or snacks at all like they used to give. The meal they served was...

    I had been flying them for the past 15 years mostly in business class. They lost my business permanently after my last flight with them last year. My last "business" class experience with them was still with the pre low cost airline cabin retrofit. The seats were poorly maintained, there was absolutely no amenenity kit, no blankets or pillows. No drinks or snacks at all like they used to give. The meal they served was a lunchbox with a water bottle, a bag of lays, a cracker dessert and a cold sandwich. They then rolled the catering cart from business class straight into economy. The same exact meal was being served to economy as well. Their customer service post covid has gone down the drain and seems like they have all been retrained on how to gaslight you and mislead you to someone else just so they don't have to do anything. I am still waiting on 5K lifemiles as "a courtesy" of them bumping me from the new "premium" seats that I paid extra for which replaced business class without refunding me the difference, they ghost you after their initial email.

  10. RF Diamond

    Avianca was already a poor quality airline before the cost-cutting. It became terrible after. I don't expect much to change and avoid it.

  11. C Guio Guest

    Avianca has nice connections between canada abd south america through central america but the space between seats is so inhuman that I will have to forgo that rout which was efficient and confortable. On the business class change, indeed is good as the elimination of bc was dumm. Management appears to be trying to chase loyal customers away. Copa is better,

    1. BBK Diamond

      I'd take an aisle access J seat on a 787 a hundred times over Copa Business classs.

  12. Mike P Guest

    They had a pretty outdated product on the a330, no flatbed. Service is not terrible but not good. Boarding and check-in chaotic everywhere. However they had a good price. I used to call their business class a decent (old fashioned) economy class.
    Curiously the defunct Avianca Brasil was just excellent, probably the best business experience in the Americas (not counting Emirates, ethihad etc...)

  13. Mike Guest

    I stopped flinging Avianca for this very reasons to Ecuador. I moved to COPA or United. I’m disappointed not to see business reinstated via Washington, DC. I’ll keep flying COPA or United. Avianca is still in disarray. Ditto to XPL.

    1. Mike Guest

      Clearly I can’t spell. Lol I meant *flying*
      Long day traveling.

  14. XPL Diamond

    Given that post bankruptcy Avianca's business class is poor, I actually prefer the status quo. I buy a base fare ticket that does not include seat assignment, and pay extra to assign myself one of the former business class seats. I get a nice seat without having to pay an inflated price for bad service. We'll see if that remains an option but I fear it won't.

  15. Matt Guest

    I flew BOG-LAX back in January on the Dreamliner. The whole experience was so strange: it wasn't initially clear how to book the ex-business seats in the front cabin, so I had to call, and was guided to an option at check-out to select a lie-flat seat for an extra $300 or so; in total the fair was about $950 OW. There's never been fast-track security at BOG anyway, the Avianca lounge is lousy, but...

    I flew BOG-LAX back in January on the Dreamliner. The whole experience was so strange: it wasn't initially clear how to book the ex-business seats in the front cabin, so I had to call, and was guided to an option at check-out to select a lie-flat seat for an extra $300 or so; in total the fair was about $950 OW. There's never been fast-track security at BOG anyway, the Avianca lounge is lousy, but I was able to use the LATAM lounge with a card and stocked up on snacks and bottled water (I've flown Avianca a lot and never expect much) although bizarrely the bottles of water were confiscated by security inspectors on the jet bridge, I still don't understand what happened there.
    The service on-board was hostile and miserable; Michael's comment about dog food is hardly an exaggeration: the carts rushed through throwing a tiny portion of slimy meat over dry rice, it was just gross, and that was it for a 7-hour flight. The cabin crew was just mean, there's no other way to describe it. Anything you dared ask was taken as an affront to their free time of chatting. The TVs just showed the flight map. It was like everything was done to try to make it as unpleasant as possible, except for the crucial fact that I was sitting in a state-of-the-art, direct-aisle access international premium seat. Such a shame for one of the world's oldest airlines, but they're struggling in a region with abundant LCCs in every direction.

  16. Andres Guest

    Well, the above comments are problems that shouldn’t happen from now on. Because business class pax will board first with group A. Blankets and pillows will be in the place and business class will include a hot meal or meals and drinks on all flights. Also the routes offering business class are not only the ones on this article, but also BOG-SCL, SAL-LAX, BOG-MEX

  17. michael Guest

    Worst business class ever. A little box with dogs food inside from LAX to BOG. Must be avoid at any cost. Another weird thing, business class pax are boardind after economy class.

  18. Manny Guest

    I read the Spanish release and it also mention SAL-LAX getting Business Class restored and they're using an A330 in the meantime they wait for 787.

    1. XPL Diamond

      My daughter is booked on SAL-LAX on August 18. The A330 (wet lease from Wamos) is an upgrade from the narrowbodies I've seen them fly on that route, but according to today's seat map it has no business class. At the very front of the plane are Economy Comfort seats.

    2. Speedbird Guest

      I still don't understand why they are wet leasing A330s. They had a fleet of them before they turned into a low cost airline. I looked them up just now and looks like some of them are still in storage while the others have been returned and sadly 1 of them was scrapped, was only 14 years old.

  19. Chris Guest

    I flew BOG-MIA in February in J on their 787 this year. There was no blanket or pillow, which was fine, but they charged me $3 for a bottle of coke or any drink that's not water! The hard product was great, but there was literally no service at all.

  20. Paul Tomasch Guest

    Avianca is the worst airline. I flew them a lot and on my last flights from Lax they had on
    Lax to bog in business no pillows and no blankets luckily I was prepared.
    On the way back they changed to airbus 320 and flew bogota to San Salvador to Ontario in California. What a night mare. Horrible airlines throughout

  21. VITOR SILVA Guest

    If only they presented the booking classes during the search, I mean, BEFORE the purchase, so one knows whether they are good for partner programmes.

  22. ArnoldB Guest

    Given how bad Avianca Business Class is, it's not like theres much of a difference

    1. hbilbao Guest

      Yeah, I've read some reviews of the MAD route and they are as bad as ever. So I'm not excited about this news in the slightest (and I was extremely loyal to AV in the pre-pandemic era)

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Mike Guest

I stopped flinging Avianca for this very reasons to Ecuador. I moved to COPA or United. I’m disappointed not to see business reinstated via Washington, DC. I’ll keep flying COPA or United. Avianca is still in disarray. Ditto to XPL.

2
VITOR SILVA Guest

If only they presented the booking classes during the search, I mean, BEFORE the purchase, so one knows whether they are good for partner programmes.

2
ArnoldB Guest

Given how bad Avianca Business Class is, it's not like theres much of a difference

2
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