Hello again! I would like to welcome you to this trip report covering the PTY-HAV route. This is the screenshot including the flight details from Copa´s website.
After a long layover in Panamá City it was time to get back to the airport and in this picture you can see the Copa check-in counters. Since I needed a tarjeta de turista in order to enter Cuba I asked where I could obtain it and was told that a Copa rep in red jacket was the one in charge for that matter. So I got the tarjeta and my travel documents were finally completed.
The BP for this segment again stamped with the “docs ok” legend.
PTY is an airport I felt comfortable with, and also I saw things we do not have here in MEX, like this recycling container and to my surprise it seemed to be useful.
FIDS and my flight is listed at the bottom of the screen.
At gate, Copa reps were enforcing the baggage cabin allowance which at first I thought it would not be necessary, but after seeing the Cuban passengers with heavy baggage I knew I should go and check if my travel backpack was allowed in cabin. Even LCD plasma screens were prepared to board! The boarding announcement was made followed by a warning regarding travel documents required by Cuban authorities and were checked while boarding. Priorities were respected and I was among the first economy group ready to board the aircraft. Again, I expected IFE screens but no luck this time.
This 737-800 felt newer and spacious but had the same seats like the 737-700. Fine for a 2:30 flight.
Overhead bins getting packed, and packed. In this flight, you could find passengers mainly from Europe and the Caribbean Islands then I knew it was a unique flight.
The seat pocket contents: the inflight magazine featuring the most important museum in Mexico and the safety card.
The dirty tray table but nothing that a wet towelette could not deal with.
The IFE is located in every armrest.
Regular seat pitch and regular economy seat. As I stated before I do not complain about this because I never have any problem. So this aspect is won by any airline.
The aircraft is ready for a short taxi and as we start to move, the Boeing Sky Interior is activated.
Powerful take-off and I´m able to see this beautiful city by night.
Panamá City by night.
No turbulence present while taking-off but the atmosphere inside the aircraft is a little tense.
Lights on and the crew is getting ready to offer the service. The impression I got from the cabin crew was not the best but as the flight progressed they showed us how friendly and attentive they were. That is what I learnt and I´m not going to judge a book by its cover. Now the cabin lights dimmed and you can enjoy and relax this flight/service.
Empanada de carne y papas were offered. Even though I´m avoiding meat, since I had no choice and I was hungry, had to give it a try and of course it tasted delicious. The other choice was empanada de pollo.
The cart providing beverages, and this time I chose rum and beer, even the male FA suggested me how to drink the rum, he was pleased and I was more than pleased.
Time to refresh my face and plenty of activity in progress at the rear galley, some passengers were there just stretching the legs and the FA´s chatting, and even drinking. It felt very friendly back there. Light turbulences appeared and passengers were asked to go back to their seats, also because immigration forms would be handed.
So I was on my documents when I noticed that a passenger was staring at me, this did not bother me at all but then I realized he wanted something. I do not know why or when I got three earphones packages, he even asked to the FA but was told that only one can be provided. Back on my things, and then, a FA walking from the front cabin was walking to that passenger seat and she gave him a set of earphones from Clase Ejecutiva and I felt like an idiot because I almost messed up everything. He was happy and I also understood many things about Cuba while still flying. I even wanted to give him the damn earphones but was too late.
The Panamanian aircraft overflying Cuba and is interesting because you do not see lots of city lights, so you basically feel overwhelmed.
Almost there and I like how the scimitar looked like, right there on that flight. It is a very scenic landing even at midnight.
So we landed in HAV and all the passengers started clapping because they were happy and I was shy because I knew I was going to their land, to their homes and you can´t beat that feeling in one second. Oh Cuba!
While disembarking I noticed few female passengers that could not take their bags from the overhead bin so I offered my help and with my super basic French I knew they were from Guadeloupe. I thanked the professional cabin crew their attention and I was off to a fantastic adventure.
Tocumen - PTY
Havana - HAV
I was nervous about the travel insurance that is required by the Cuban Immigration authorities but it was not mentioned at all and my relief was visible. A picture was taken, cleared Customs in five seconds and I was landside but not wanted to take any risk hence I did not took pictures of HAV. I was excited to be on this flight since the moment I booked and the experience was satisfactory due to the cabin crew, the cockpit crew and the passengers. This was my second flight with Copa and I think is a very efficient airline. I would definitely fly Copa again in one of their newer/ updated cabin aircraft.
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