Review of Avianca flight Santa Marta Bogota in Economy

Airline Avianca
Flight AV 9791
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A319
Flight time 01:25
Take-off 01 Dec 14, 06:05
Arrival at 01 Dec 14, 07:30
AV   #59 out of 131 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 67 reviews
Chibcha
By 1713
Published on 25th April 2015
Hello everyone, this time I'd like to share another domestic flight I took with Avianca last year. I had spent the weekend with some friends in Santa Marta, a beach city in Colombia's caribbean. In order to make the most of our weekend, we took the first flight back to Bogotá on Monday morning.

Santa Marta's Simon Bolivar International Airport is quite dated, it is to be demolished and built again soon. It has a nice feature, it is just by the sea and the breeze reaches the open air spaces. I reckon it must be hell when there's no breeze.



Check in was quick, and soon we were off to our gate (it's basically like all small airports in Colombia: a Gate for AV and another one for LAN) There were some overpriced mediocre stores…we didn't want to buy anything there, and just waited for boarding to be called.
photo IMG_6852

Boarding order wasn't enforced, thus a big mess formed up. Classic AV.

Once inside, the morning light was upon us…showing us the majestic Sierra Nevada of Santa Marta (Colombia's highest mountains)
photo IMG_6855

The Airbus A319 that was going to take us to Bogotá is a former Mexicana plane…I recently read it left AV's fleet. I don't mind flying this plane on short domestic hops…but I would have felt ripped off if flown to IAD or SCL in one of these.


On the good side, these planes have awesome legroom. I find AV's narrowbodies to be more confortable than the widebodies (more on this soon)
photo IMG_6872

SMR's terminal and ATC tower.
photo IMG_6859

Taxi took us through SMRs single runway, we backtracked and soon took off northbound, allowing for nice views of the city. Then a sharp turn southward and then it was a regular domestic flight to Bogotá. Service consisted in the usual juicebox. And that was it.


After arriving, we headed to the apartment and I soon felt sick, it turned out I had contracted chikungunya while in Santa Marta…just when I was to begin my new job, figure my bad luck!
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Verdict

Avianca

4.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Meal/catering3.5

Santa Marta - SMR

5.6/10
Efficiency9.5
Access5.0
Services3.0
Cleanliness5.0

Bogota - BOG

6.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access7.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Overall, another regular AV flight. The views while taking off from Santa Marta and arriving to Bogotá were great. The plane was very comfortable for a domestic flight, but the old style IFE wouldn't please me on a flight longer than 2hours.

SMR is a dump, but then again that's true of most airports in Colombia...

BOG's Puente Aéreo Terminal is practical, nothing fancy.

Thanks for reading,

Saludos!

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12 Comments

  • Comment 137411 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 10466 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    Average flight

    I'm sorry for your illness and wish you a speedy recovery

  • Comment 137413 by
    flywunala 158 Comments

    Thank you for sharinng this report. Avianca and Copa are on my list of airline to fly with...so please keep on flying around South America and writing FR....Great pictures, what a scenic flight...

    • Comment 316922 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 425 Comments

      Thanks! The route I fly the most is BOG-AXM (already covered) and back... but I'm trying to score more exotic routes, stay tuned!

    • Comment 316931 by
      SMilano 1269 Comments

      Yeah sure ! With pleasure :)

    • Comment 316923 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 425 Comments

      Yeap nothing extraordinary

      Avianca is said to be one of the best airlines in Latin America. I can agree that service-wise is better than Copa, but Copa has an awesome and super efficient network, something that Avianca is still coping with. LAN is also on par with Avianca, and has made serious advances to its service.

      Can't tell you about other big players: Aerolineas Argentinas, TAM and GOL. I will fly AeroMexico next month, so I can tell you about them.

      Saludos!

  • Comment 137476 by
    SMilano 1269 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report!

    Great scenic flight !
    But the rest looks like an average flight.

    Avianca is one of the best airline in South America, isn't it ?

  • Comment 137527 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Gracias por el informe!

    just waited for boarding to be called.
    - Were those metal seats in the waiting area? Talk about uncomfortable.

    The cabin looks to be in pretty poor shape, but at least the seat pitch looked very comfortable for you. Was there a drink/snack service during this flight? I forget which carriers offer those small sandwiches.

    Beautiful aerial shots :)

    I had to look up what chikungunya was, sounds very painful, hopefully your case doesn't last too long. Get well soon!

    • Comment 316886 by
      NGO85 1622 Comments

      Actually, now that I think about it, I think I remember reading about these outbreaks in Mexico/Guatemala when I was back in Texas over the holidays.

    • Comment 316925 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 425 Comments

      De nada!

      Yeap those seats are horrible, but fortunately one doesn't have to wait too long on them.

      The cabin was really battered, very different from the newer planes. I has a very negative impact on AVs image IMO. I'm not very tall (170cm) so pitch is seldom a problem for me, these planes felt so spacious for me! Service consisted of juice boxes, water or coffee, along with some oat cookies. (see my BOG-AXM on an ATR report for pictures)

      The views were awesome, but I was so sleepy that I couldn't take better pictures.

      Chikungunya is an awful thing, it hurts a lot but fortunately I'm now immune to it. The disease spread swiftly through the caribbean and then Venezuela, then we got hit and it has impacted Colombia a lot (circa 500,000+ cases) but then again its not a mortal disease (in most cases), it just hurts a lot.

  • Comment 137621 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4839 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this new report! So the flight was so crappy you contracted a serious illness? :-P
    No, but seriously, sorry to hear you got sick and glad you are better now! I'd never heard of Chikungunya before--even the name sounds gross. I wouldn't be surprised if you caught it at the Santa Marta airport...it does look like a dump.
    The nice views always keep even the most boring Colombian domestic flights interesting.

  • Comment 137624 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Gracias por compartir otro ameno reporte.

    Beautiful aerial views.

    Glad to know you are feeling better. So you must have felt like they gave you a thousand palazos bien dados. Sorry to hear that.

    I did some AV spotting when I was in MEX. Stay tuned.

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