Hi everyone, work's been a bit tough lately so I've amassed quite a backlog on FRs.
This is the return flight to Bogotá after half a week in Pasto, Colombia's gateway to Ecuador. You can check the inbound here
The day before heading back to Bogotá, weather in Pasto was awful. While this doesn't mean necessarily that PSO is going to be closed, AV's webpage showed a lot of cancelled flights (almost 4 out of 5 flights to PSO). I was fearing the worst for me. I decided to head right away to PSO and try to score an earlier flight so I wouldn't get stuck in Pasto.
At Pasto's Antonio Nariño Airport
After an hours ride on a cab to PSO, I met chaos. Flights seemed to be cancelled and there was a lot of people waiting to be rebooked in other flights. I asked if I could be moved to an earlier flight and was told I wouldn't be able to. I was heartbroken.
PSO's terminal is small and a bit run down. But they're currently building a new terminal building. Here's a glimpse of how it looks:
Reluctantly I accepted my fate and begin to ponder the idea of being stuck in Pasto. Two A319s arrived one after another, it seemed like a rescue operation. At the last moment I was called to the check in desk and told to board right away. Sure, the line was so long it passed from the security check, so I was de facto "boarding". With a smirk in my face I passed right away to board as I was flying business, while the rest didn't know if they'd get to board or not.
N266CT was waiting at the tarmac…it is the very same plane that brought me here.
But I was headed for an original AV A319, with PTVs and all.
Cabin and seat viewsf
One of the thrills of this trip was that I was going to try AV's domestic business class for the first time. Actually the only other time I flew on AV's business was between BOG and PTY in 2008.
Legroom was OK, more than enough for this one hour flight.
Terminal view from my seat. People are basically rushing to the planes in order to escape PSO before it gets closed.
AV's narrowbody Business seats are alike to the Business seats in the US, and include a fair sized PTV.
I expected these seats to have electric seat controls, but they were pneumatic. There's a footrest button but it is loose…checking the seat I noticed there's no footrest, now that explains why the button is loose.
The seat's got a different remote from the one back in Y, with a little screen I've seen to show the remaining time and other info during the flight…but in this flight it stayed with the "Avianca" screen all the time.
Taxi and Take Off
As soon as everybody is settled, the guys at the front office say their spiel (thanks for flying, todays flight to Bogotá will take 1hour, we will be flying over …etc.) Rain starts to pour…at this point I was relaxed as takeoff shouldn't be a problem.
N266CT isn't ready yet…
Takeoff was powerful and in no time we left Nariño Department behind, crossed the omnious clouds and we were merrily on our way to BOG.
En-Route to BOG
Cloudy skies, but no rain…how ironic.
I didn't feel like watching anything so I stuck to my book. Service begun. I was expecting a little entrée or something like that, but we were only offered beer, spirits and sodas. That's the difference from Y in terms of catering. A bit disappointing to be honest, nothing premium about it. A nice detail though: a FA noticed I had finished my coke, so he said "more whiskey sir"…I laughed a bit and just asked him for another coke.
Overflying Tolima Department, this meant we were on our approach circuit into BOG
Landing at Bogotá-Eldorado International Airport RWY 31R
The flight's 1hour passed quicky. I was expecting a regular and boring approach into one of the 13 runways, but we were treated with a landing in RWY 31R, allowing for great views of Bogotá as we glided over the city.
Bogotá Savannah's lands, quite dry due to the lack of rain.
This is Suba, one of the most populated Boroughs of Bogotá, with more than a million inhabitants.
Now we're over Suba Hills
10 years ago these lands used to be pastures, now they're filled with orange brick commieblock neighbourhoods the Carmel Country Club can be seen in the middle of it
Across from the commieblocks is Cedritos
Zoom into Bogotá's Country Club
Bogotá's zoning rules didn't allow for high rise construction for a long time, that's why this zone looks so monotonous
Zoom into Santa Barbara Mall and the little CBD in front of it. Santa Ana neighbourhood, one of Bogotá's wealthiest can see at the back
The World Trace Center zone in the intersection of Carrera 7 and 100 Street
The intersection between Autopista Norte and NQS pseudo-highway, you can also see Bogotá's trendy zones: Chicó, Retiro, Rosales…
Now a view towards Chapinero and the Centro Internacional at the background, with more highrise buildings
Zoom to the Centro Internacional's skyscrapers
Now we've made a full U and are lined up with RWY 31R. We're flying over Simon Bolivar Park, the biggest in Bogotá
Crossing Cali Avenue means your landing is imminent
Puente Aéreo Terminal, our destination
Air Canada to Toronto, AC resently changed the route to AC Rouge, boo hoo
A silver intruder amidst in the Airbusland
The International councourse of the Main Terminal
Taxiways are being improved for fast speed exits from the runway, thus allowing for faster operations and more capacity for BOG's
Cargo 727s, gorgeous aircraft
A little A318 on our tail
The door was open in no time, and I rushed to the curbside to catch a taxi, thus ending this story.
Pasto - PSO
Bogota - BOG
For my first business class experience with AV, this was a disappointing one. Especially for the catering. Considering how expensive this flight can be flying in business (almost the same price of a Y ticket to Europe), I would be furious with AV for delivering such a simple service...as I payed with miles, I didn't care much. However, the crew received full marks for being so nice, well one should expect them to be like that at the front, shouldn't we?
I hope Pasto's new terminal builidng is up for the needs of the city, the current one is a dump. Puente Aéreo was perfect for a quick plane-to-taxi trip in less than 5 minutes.
Thanks for reading, ¡saludos!
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