Review of Avianca flight Santiago Bogota in Business

Airline Avianca
Flight AV98
Class Business
Seat 4K
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 05:05
Take-off 16 Mar 16, 08:00
Arrival at 16 Mar 16, 11:05
AV   #95 out of 116 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 95 reviews
hometoyyz
By SILVER 2072
Published on 16th June 2016
Welcome to another Aeroplan adventure! This time, it’s off for a quick jaunt to Chile with Air Canada and Avianca.

Here’s the rundown

AC962 YYZ-BOG 3/14/2016 - Here
AV97 BOG-SCL 3/14/2016 - Here
AV98 SCL-BOG 3/16/2016 - You are here
AC963 BOG-YYZ 3/16/2016 - Coming soon

After an all-too-early wakeup call at my hotel in Santiago, I grab a cab out to the airport, making it there in about 20 minutes, getting me to the airport about 70 minutes before scheduled departure time for my flight.

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SCL is pretty quiet at this hour of the morning, and it’s easy enough to find the Avianca check-in counter. Check-in takes just a few minutes, although to my disappointment, my boarding passes to Bogota and onwards to Toronto are printed on paper, rather than any kind of Avianca card stock. Pity.

Customs and security are equally quick and painless, and within about 20 minutes of my arrival, I’m finding my way towards Avianca’s lounge in Santiago, which is hidden away down a floor from the main concourse. Not exactly a grand entrance at this outstation.

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My boarding pass is quickly scanned, and I’m inside. This is a very small lounge, and it’s quite packed, what with a widebody leaving for BOG in a little less than an hour. It’s a small room with seats and tables, and central buffet area. I fail to find a plug. But at least the WiFi is doing well.

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The breakfast-time buffet is less than inspiring, and some items are still wrapped in plastic. But there are a few sweets, some breads, cereal, fruit, and sandwiches.

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I grab a few choices — a croissant with ham and cheese, and a bun with some other sort of processed meat and cheese, and a very nice lemon meringue tart, accompanied by some pineapple juice. Nothing special, but it’s good enough to keep ,me tided over until breakfast on the plane.

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As I’m finishing it, an agent comes through the lounge, announcing the flight is ready for boarding, so I pack up my kit, and end my ever-to-brief stay at this lounge, and make the short walk to the gate, where our ride up to Bogota awaits us.

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A few minutes later, boarding is called, and I’m on my way home.

Flight: AV98
From: Santiago (SCL)
To: Bogota (BOG)
Date: 3/16/2016
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Registration: N782AV
Seat: 4K
ATD (STD): 08:00 (07:53)
ATA (STA): 11:03 (11:30)

For this flight, I’m in seat 4K, in the second-to-last row on the starboard side.

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Controls and ports are along the outside wall of the pod, with a storage space for the included headphones in front.

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Here’s a detail I neglected to mention on the flight down — when I first spotted this aise-side feature, I assumed it was, like many other such configurations, a pull-up armrest that needs to be stowed for takeoff and landing.

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Nope. Not so much. It’s a nice little bit of storage — too small for a laptop, probably, but good for hiding a way a decent bit of gear for your flight.

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As one would expect with a flat-bed seat, legroom is not an issue.

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Once again, blanket and pillow are bundled together, with a sewn-in red ribbon tied in a bow around the blanket. The blanket is very good, light but fairly warm, and very soft. The pillow is not great, but does the job.

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Service begins with water or orange juice — no sparkling wine on this early-morning flight.

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And then flight attendants come by in short order with the menu, a little storage bag, and an amenity kit — quite a haul for a six-hour flight.

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The menu, once again, is the full menu for every Avianca business class flight. Here’s this morning’s choice.

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Huh. So if you don’t feel like cereal, you have a choice of egg product with cheese, ham, potatoes and tomatoes, or egg product with cheese, ham, potatoes and tomatoes. Alright then.

The mysterious fabric bag. Not sure what it’s for, but based on size, I suspect a shoe bag.

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The amenity kit disassembled. Again, I appreciate the presence of a pen in this setup, even if I don’t really need it on this flight since I’m just connecting in Colombia.

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The sun is starting to rise beyond the two hometown birds next to us.

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Boarding is done quickly enough, the safety video rolls, and we push back as the sun continues its ascent.

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The view to the left of our gate, where our twin in LAN colours is being prepared.

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It’s a short taxi, and pretty soon we’re lining for takeoff, and into a beautiful early morning sky over Santiago.



I pull out my screen and explore the IFE offerings. To my disappointment, it’s a different set of movies on this flight than on my way down, so I won’t be able to “finish” Carol, which I was watching on the way down but fell asleep through the last half-hour of. Curses! Why must I always fall asleep during movies on planes? I select a movie called Legend, the story of the 60s London gangster twin brothers, the Cray Boys. It’s decent.

Once we begin to level off, a hot towel is offered. Again, it’s a small, thin, cheap hot towel, but it does the job.

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They don’t mess around with getting you fed on Avianca. Pretty much as soon as the hand towels are collected, the trolley comes through with breakfast, all offered together on one tray. The fruit is okay, particularly the pineapple. The omelette dish is tasty, and not quite as generic as many airline omelettes, but again, I find the meal size on Avianca a little on the small side, especially given there’s nothing else to this breakfast than what you see.

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Okay, so there’s one more thing. I can’t resist requesting an espresso. It’s very good.

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After breakfast dishes are cleared, which is very quickly. water bottles are distributed. Here, mine basks in the blue-tinged sunlight streaming in through the partially-dimmed windows.

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It’s worth mentioning that the crew clearly has control of those shade, and wasn’t shy to use it, turning the shading up and down at various points throughout the flight.

With my movie over, I check in on the moving map, and see that we’re on our way.

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Aside from maybe dozing a few short minutes, I stay awake through the whole thing, and I’m very proud of myself for it. But now it’s time for a nap, because I’m pretty tired, and I really don’t want to sleep on my Bogota-Toronto flight to try to make sure I’m able to sleep when I get home late at night.

I succeed in getting a good nap in, and as I wake up, the lights are coming up, and there are sounds that sound like a trolley coming down the aisle. Sure enough, the flight attendants are handing out some sort of snack item, it seems. What a pleasant surprise!

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The snack isn’t huge, but the mozzarella cheese wrap is tasty, melty, and quite satisfying. It’s appreciated, since I know from experience now that there’s not exactly a smorgasbord awaiting me in the lounge at El Dorado. The dessert is also tasty, and the little snack morsels — not sure how also describe the Achiras — are fine too.

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I put on the first episode of the HBO series Silicon Valley to watch for the rest of the flight. By the time the dishes from the snack are cleared, we’re into our descent, although still well above the clouds.

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Soon, though, we break through over the rugged territory outside Bogota.

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Here’s a look across the cabin as our descent continues.

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Getting closer to El Dorado.

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And finally, we arrive, touching down and we rapidly desecrate, bringing this pleasant ride to an end.

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An Avianca A320 we pass on our taxi.

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A look down the terminal, with a couple of LAN Airbii upfront.

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Finally, we come to a stop next to another AV A320, the seatbelt signs are turned off, and we’re free to go about our journey.

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I’m wished a fond goodbye, and quickly released into the terminal. One last look out the window at my beautiful ride this morning.

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From here, it’s a short walk to transit security, which is very quick, and I’m up an escalator and off to find the Avianca lounge to get online and hang out for a bit while my plane home arrives from Toronto.

We’ll pick the story up there.

Thanks for reading!
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Verdict

Avianca

7.5/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering6.0

Avianca VIP Lounge

5.8/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering4.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Services5.5

Santiago - SCL

7.4/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.5

Bogota - BOG

7.9/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

Another very good flight with Avianca. The hard product on the 787 is really good, and service was fine, especially good considering the language barrier that exists.

While I was less than thrilled with the quantity of the catering after breakfast, the quality was good, and after the late-in-flight snack, I was quite satisfied with the food offerings on this flight.

All in all, I’d recommend AV’s 787 experience pretty heartily. It’s a very solid business class product.

Information on the route Santiago (SCL) Bogota (BOG)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Santiago (SCL) → Bogota (BOG).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is LAN Airlines with 7.7/10.

The average flight time is 5 hours and 45 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 354317 by
    767 traveller 46 Comments

    Great report thanks to sharing!
    AV's hard product looks great however the short product looks meh and doesn't seem to be getting any better. At least they fed you with a snack before landing.
    I think you could have used the Diamond lounge on your way down to SCL. It can be accessed by AV business class passengers too.
    have a good one!

    • Comment 356435 by
      hometoyyz SILVER AUTHOR 538 Comments

      Thanks for the feedback.

      Disappointed to learn that about the Diamond Lounge. I should have consulted LoungeBuddy more closely, apparently. Maybe they turned me away because they saw the boarding pass on AC stock and assumed I was on the AC BOG-YYZ flight later that day? Oh well.

      Hard product is very good, and some aspects of the soft product (amenity kit, service from FAs) were very good. Unfortunately, catering is such a big part of soft product, and I thought AV's catering really let down the experience.

  • Comment 354533 by
    socalnow GOLD 980 Comments

    Thanks for the continuation of this series Hometoyyz.

    "The breakfast-time buffet is less than inspiring, and some items are still wrapped in plastic."
    -Well that's not very welcoming to the guests. It does look like a fairly nice space however.

    "So if you don’t feel like cereal, you have a choice of egg product with cheese, ham, potatoes and tomatoes, or egg product with cheese, ham, potatoes and tomatoes."
    -That's really funny...virtually identical ingredients. They must have bought in bulk and now they have to use them up before spoilage.

    Great seat choice. Awesome views of the that impressive wing and power plant. The cabin in general, while not striking, looks very good indeed.

    Thank again and happy flying.

    • Comment 356447 by
      hometoyyz SILVER AUTHOR 538 Comments

      Thanks for the feedback!

      And glad my pics of the lounge created a good impression. I can't say it made a great impression on my. But then the "downstairs, hidden away in a corner little lounge with no windows" experience never scores highly for me.

      I really liked the cabin. That kind of seat is always good, of course, and I like the aesthetics Avianca chose. It's just too bad they were so very "meh" (to be kind) on the catering.

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