Review of Copa Airlines flight San José Panamá City in Business

Airline Copa Airlines
Flight CM 796
Class Business
Seat 2F
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 01:20
Take-off 24 Oct 16, 12:40
Arrival at 24 Oct 16, 15:00
CM   #90 out of 137 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 60 reviews
jetsetpanda
Published on 10th November 2016
I always enjoy returning to Costa Rica and spend time with my relatives. Costa Rica is a small country with 0.01% of the world's landmass, but contains 5% of its biodiversity. It's a paradise for nature lovers all over the world. In the bonus I will show a part of this biodiversity during my visit to the Lankester Botanical Garden.

My schedule:

SFO-LAX on AA F - will not report.
LAX-PTY on CM Y - click here.
PTY-SJO on CM J - click here.
SJO-PTY on CM J - you are here.
PTY-LAS on CM J - click here.
LAS-SFO on B6 Y - click here.



My journey back home starts when I am dropped at the airport with my mom and sister. They bought tickets on UA while I will be flying with CM. We check-in at our respective ticket counters and since our dept. tax is already included in our tickets, we don't have to make the line to pay for this tax liked we used to in the past. Not all airlines participate in this scheme, especially the European ones.

The CM ticket agent was polite and asked me to fill out the Customs form. I was then given my boarding passes and went through the fast lane. Security was quick but I had to remove my shoes and belt. Once inside the secured area there is a Copa Club next to gate 4 but I preferred the AV lounge for the view and food. I take the elevator up one floor to meet my mom and sister at the AV Lounge. They were flying in J so they had access to it. I just presented my CM Platinum card which showed that I was *A Gold to the friendly receptionist and she gave me a coupon that was good for a small plate of sushi, panini or alcoholic drink.

The lounge is adequate for the size of this airport and has its own WC's. The interior is decorated in a contemporary way with different seating areas.

Interior.




WC's.

photo av lounge  sjo 16 - copyphoto av lounge  sjo 17 - copyphoto av lounge  sjo 18 - copy


Buffet.




View.

photo av lounge  sjo 9 - copyphoto av lounge  sjo 24 - copy


My servings.

photo av lounge  sjo 20 - copyphoto av lounge  sjo 21 - copy

[photo av lounge  sjo 23 - copy


I accompanied my family to their gate and then went to mine located in the opposite side of the terminal. At the gate i did not see many people and when it was time to board wheelchair passengers were escorted first. Then J passengers and elite members followed. A FA greeted me and I quickly stored my bags and took my seat. A quick PDB service was offered and I had a glass of water.

Gate.

photo cm 796 sjo-pty 1photo cm 796 sjo-pty 2


Cabin and seat.

photo cm 796 sjo-pty 5 - copyphoto cm 796 sjo-pty 8photo cm 796 sjo-pty 3 - copy


Seat pocket contents.

photo cm 796 sjo-pty 7


Taxiing out and spotting shots.




Sansa & Nature Air - domestic carriers.




I wonder when Air Costa Rica will take off. According to Wikipedia it is owned by Air Panama and it was supposed to start service late 2015.

photo cm 796 sjo-pty 19 - copy


More spotting.




The runway is surrounded by pasture and I even saw some cows grazing in the distance and a church. Not too many runways will afford that type of view.

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Take off - Bye SJO.




Service started quickly once we leveled off.

Hot towels which were not scented.

photo cm 796 sjo-pty 40


Once again there was a choice of snacks. I chose the roast beef sandwich with a glass of guva and pineapple juice. Dessert was a tiny piece of cheesecake with sliced almonds.




Arrival in PTY.




I tried to get another shot of my plane at the gate but was not quite successful. Next was a visit to the Copa Club which I will cover in the following report.

photo cm 796 sjo-pty 55 - copy


***BONUS***

Lankester Garden.

Named after British naturalist Charles H. Lankester and located in the outskirts of Cartago (about 16 miles or 25 km. east of San Jose), this garden is owned by the University of Costa Rica. It is dedicated to the exhibition, conservation and research of tropical plants, especially orchids and contains over 3,000 species of plants. Mr. Lankester began to take an interest in the study of Costa Rica's epiphytic plants back in the 1940's and created this private garden in his farm.



I think these are also part of the attraction.

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An old video from the late 1940's that shows why Costa Rica is so "pura vida".



See more

Verdict

Copa Airlines

7.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering9.0

AviancaTaca-American Express

8.6/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services9.0

San José - SJO

8.5/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Panamá City - PTY

7.8/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

The AV lounge in SJO is a decent and adequate one with views of the tarmac. The self serve buffet was limited but you could also order items like panini and sushi, although the quantity was in the small side. This lounge proved to be much better than the Copa one at its PTY hub in terms of layout, aesthetics and catering.

Another short and efficient flight on CM with a choice of snacks. The roast beef sandwich was soft and tasted fine. The small cheesecake was delicious. I don't think that it gets better than this on a 1 hr. flight. This time the flight was during the day so I had the chance to get good aerials and spotting.

Information on the route San José (SJO) Panamá City (PTY)

6 Comments

  • Comment 373526 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing Adan!

    That was a quick trip, only 1 day in SJO? I hope your mom stayed there longer. The departure tax sounds like what MNL did to where almost all carriers have now lumped it into the actual airfare to avoid those long lines at the airport trying to scrounge up local currency to pay for your freedom^^

    That is a quirky lounge with artwork on the walls. Definitely large, but not so many private seating areas. Why do you only get a voucher for one item? It's definitely more aesthetically appealing than US lounges, but the food/drink selection is not great.

    SJO has some super exotic spotting of local carriers and ancient aircraft. UM Air looks a little out of place, was this plane just bought and waiting repainting?

    You got the Panamanian National Team livery plane^^ I feel like I see this one every time I'm at PTY.

    The old J cabins look just like an older US domestic F cabin. No PDB offered? I feel like this is hit or miss on CM. The catering again is a good showing by CM even on short flights. Quality isn't the best, but offering two choices and laying down now nice trays with a dessert is a good effort.

    Your bonus was so good that it showed up twice^^

    • Comment 373528 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      Hi Michael.

      "That was a quick trip, only 1 day in SJO? I hope your mom stayed there longer."
      - I sometimes like them quick. ;) My mom stayed for 3 weeks so she had time to really enjoy her visit with family.

      "The departure tax sounds like what MNL did to where almost all carriers have now lumped it into the actual airfare to avoid those long lines at the airport..."
      - It's not an efficient process and as a consequence it can create a huge bottleneck. I guess airports are finally realizing that.

      "Why do you only get a voucher for one item? It's definitely more aesthetically appealing than US lounges, but the food/drink selection is not great."
      - I think it is cheap to restrict the choices to just one item in a premium lounge. Kind of like what AA does when it gives you two drink vouchers when you enter its Admiral clubs when you travel internationally. Maybe the panini/sushi/liquor are considered really high cost items and they want to limit the offer.

      "UM Air looks a little out of place, was this plane just bought and waiting repainting?"
      - No idea but it looked neglected to me.

      "No PDB offered? I feel like this is hit or miss on CM."
      - My bad. It was quickly offered but I forgot to take a pic. of it.

      "Quality isn't the best, but offering two choices and laying down now nice trays with a dessert is a good effort."
      - It's very good indeed. However I have found that most of the meals that I have tried with CM in the front are bad. They tend to be too salty for my taste.

      "Your bonus was so good that it showed up twice^^"
      - I was surprised when they mentioned the garden in the video. I think it is pretty accurate in its description of Costa Rica, although a few things have changed. For example there is more immigration of Nicaraguans and Salvadorians and that has created some challenges. Very few "ticos" emigrate and leave Costa Rica which attests to the quality of life there. There is petty crime like robbery, but you seldom hear about violent ones. As a matter of fact there is a huge American expat. community there in Santa Ana and Escazu. If you go to SJO, don't expect a huge metropolis with a great city lifestyle - it's not like MEX, EZE or GRU. But if you go looking for something relaxing, friendly and unpretentious, then you will find it. As a matter of fact some areas of SJO feel like small towns.

      Thanks Michael for passing by.

  • Comment 373551 by
    indianocean GOLD 6669 Comments

    Well, Costa Rica is very popular lately. Pititom, Air France and now You.

    UM Air only for kids travelling without their parents?

    Thank You Adan for sharing

    • Comment 373671 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      Hi Bernad.

      "Well, Costa Rica is very popular lately. Pititom, Air France and now You."
      - Very true, but guess which one comes with a "local" perspective? ;)

      "UM Air only for kids travelling without their parents?"
      - Ha ha. Hey, we need a carrier dedicated to kids only Perhaps that will decrease the number of kids flying with their parents up front. :P

      Thanks Bernard.
      Thank you Bernard.

  • Comment 373586 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Nice pictures from the lounge as always.

    Fantastic spotting pictures at SJO with a lot of interesting aircraft, nice catch of that Emirates International Air Cargo 737-400SF.

    Wonderful aerial shots, the scenery is spectacular.

    Catering looks good on a quickie like this one.

    Stunning aerial shots before arrival at PTY. It's nice you got to fly with a bird painted in a special livery.

    Thank you for the absolutely wonderful bonus at the end, a lot of fascinating information.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 373672 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      Hi RI 777.

      I think I was lucky to fly that day out of SJO and find all these unique airplanes. The scenery around the airport is still rural which adds to its charm.

      "nice catch of that Emirates International Air Cargo 737-400SF."
      - Wow, you are truly an aviation expert. ;)

      "Stunning aerial shots before arrival at PTY. It's nice you got to fly with a bird painted in a special livery."
      - I found out that if you are flying to PTY, the best view is from the left side when you pass by the downtown high rises. So far I have not been lucky getting a left side window into PTY.

      Glad you enjoyed the bonus. You should visit C.R. in the future.

      Thank you very much for your comments and support.

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