Review of Copa Airlines flight Panamá City Las Vegas in Business

Airline Copa Airlines
Flight CM 456
Class Business
Seat 4F
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 06:50
Take-off 24 Oct 16, 18:05
Arrival at 24 Oct 16, 22:55
CM   #92 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 62 reviews
jetsetpanda
By 1097
Published on 13th November 2016
Hi and welcome to this PTY-LAS segment. Below is my schedule so far:

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 - click here.
PTY-LAS on CM J - you are here.
LAS-SFO on B6 Y - click here.


After my arrival from SJO, I went straight to the Copa Club to relax and get acquainted with this lounge.

COPA Club.

If you are seated on the left side window of the plane you will come across a magnificent view of PTY downtown skyscrapers as you land. This first glimpse of PTY is a stark contrast to the dated airport terminal and the CM Club, which do not live up to the modern and affluent facade of the city that they serve.

This seems to be the only premium lounge at PTY airport and is also used by KL/AF for its premium passengers. It is located by gate 21 between a coffee shop and a store with an entrance that is not very noticeable at first. Once you enter you need to take an elevator one floor up to reach the reception area which is a long desk. To the right of reception there are 2 showers and the WC's. Immediately to the left there is a hallway that leads to the bar and the business center but if you skip this hallway you find the "buffet" area with some chairs. At peak times, there could be quite a congestion since the reception and buffet are located almost next to each other.

Entrance.

photo cm club  pty 1 - copy


Buffet.

Quite limited and lacking. As a matter of fact, the CM Club is like a replica of a former CO's President Club from the 1990's. Even though U.S. carriers have stepped up their club offerings, CM's one still remains trapped in another time. Then again, as the only airline lounge in PTY, you don't worry about competition.

What you see here is the offer for the afternoon. Just a few fruits that are individually wrapped and packaged snacks.

photo cm club  pty 5 - copyphoto cm club  pty 6 - copy


Interior.

A relaxation room playing woman's wrestling. I have never seen a lounge play a program like this anywhere in the world, so this was a "first" for me.

photo cm club  pty 3

Bar.

photo cm club  pty 4 - copy


Sitting area.

photo cm club  pty 2 - copyphoto cm club  pty 7 - copy


I found a corner with some empty chairs and settled there.

Wall with markings.

photo cm club  pty 9


My snacks. Yum! or miam-miam as they say in France.


photo cm club  pty 8 - copyphoto cm club  pty 10 - copy


Good spotting from the lounge.




View of the terminal from the lounge.

photo cm club  pty 14

I left for the lounge more than 1 hr. before dept. For U.S. flights there is an extra layer of security at the gate and you must x-ray your bags and go through security again. The load for this flight wa light and I only saw one agent working at the gate. I asked if there was a chance to get an empty seat next to me and the agent changed me from 2B to 4F. I must add that he was friendly, professional and did this with a smile.

Gate.

photo cm 456 pty-las 4 - copy


Spotting next door.

photo cm 456 pty-las 2 - copy


Boarding started with priorities respected. I was greeted by the FA as I entered the plane.

photo cm 456 pty-las 5 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 8 - copy


Cabin.

photo cm 456 pty-las 7 - copy


View from my seat.

photo cm 456 pty-las 6 - copy


FA's offered pre-dept. drinks. I had water.

photo cm 456 pty-las 9 - copy


Followed by menu, amenity kit and headphone (the ones used by UA for Y on intl flights).

photo cm 456 pty-las 10 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 11 - copy


MENU

-Roasted nuts

-Broccoli soup

-Green salad offered with your choice of dressing (I was not given any choice and it was accompanied by a vinaigrette).


Main Courses.

-Grilled salmon accompanied by basmati rice and creamed spinach.

OR

-Chicken supreme accompanied by curry rice with raisins and dried tomatoes.


Dessert.

-Chocolate cake and orange cheesecake.

OR

Vanilla ice cream offered with your choice of topping.


Snack.

Cold cuts platter.


Wine list

Red wines - Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Cabernet Sauvignon & Viña Lanciano D.O. CA.

White wines - Concha y Toro Gran Reserva Sauvignon Blanc & Duquesa de Valladolid.

Sparkling wine - Cordniu Clasico Brut.


The FA then took the meal orders and collected the menus. The menu featured the return portion and is being used for both the outbound and return. I asked if I could keep mine and the FA did not object. I also noticed that AV does the same thing and list all the meal segments on their menus. It might be cost effective but I find it a bit cheap at the same time. here.[link/url]


Taxiing out & take off.




Upon leveling off the service started with unscented hot towels.

Cabin.

photo cm 456 pty-las 21 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 22


I had warm nuts with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc.

photo cm 456 pty-las 23 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 25 - copy


Soup and salad.

photo cm 456 pty-las 26 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 27 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 28 - copy


Chicken supreme - Anything but supreme. It was salty and the curry rice was not spicy enough. I thought that the pairing of two strong flavors like the dried tomatoes on top of the chicken and the curry rice would be competing instead of being complementary.

photo cm 456 pty-las 29 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 30 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 31 - copy


Ice cream sundae with a mix of chocolate and strawberry sauce with chopped nuts.

photo cm 456 pty-las 32 - copy


After the dinner service a bottle of water was distributed.

photo cm 456 pty-las 34 - copy


I did not use the IFE much, but I thought that the programs were limited based on a previous flight.


Snack before arrival.

photo cm 456 pty-las 35 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 36 - copy


Soon we were descending into LAS and the FA collected the headphones.


Arrving in LAS.

photo cm 456 pty-las 38 - copyphoto cm 456 pty-las 39 - copy

See more

Verdict

Copa Airlines

7.4/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering6.5

Copa Club

6.5/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering6.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services8.0

Panamá City - PTY

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.5

Las Vegas - LAS

8.3/10
Efficiency8.5
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

The Copa Club was disappointing and it felt like an exact copy of CO's former lounge right down to the lacking buffet. This shouldn't come as a surprise since CM had a very close relation with CO and was partly owned by it. If CM wants to make PTY the "hub" of the Americas it should upgrade this lounge and make it more competitive. It should come as a huge let down for AF/KL passengers when they use this lounge. For starters, the availability of two showers and a small WC are not enough to meet the needs for the number of guests that frequent this lounge, especially during peak times. On a separate trip recently, I waited 1:15 hr for the use of a shower and was #6 on the waiting list when I checked in at 06:45A. The catering is truly disgraceful but considering that this is the only airline lounge at PTY airport, it might not be a high priority. I'm not asking CM to offer a full buffet of hot dishes, but please bring something more substantial than packaged snacks that one can get at a vending machine. PTY has been compared to DXB or SIN, but its airport seems decades behind and is not a fitting representative of the city it serves.

The ground staff is polite and professional so no complaints in this area. At times I feel that they do their best with what they have with the limited infrastructure. Hopefully the expansion of the terminal and new project by Foster+Partner will bring much needed improvements and a new club. PTY airport is dire compared to its modern and wealthy downtown that passengers get to see when they land here.

The crew was OK and did the job efficiently maintaining a certain distance. I would say that for the most part CM crew are professional but not too talkative or warmly engaging. I don't have a problem with that and I'd rather take this any day than a crew that is vocally rude.

As far as catering, I appreciate the offer of a soup in addition to a salad on dinner flights. The main dish was salty and a miss. I think that there should be a wider selection of breads to accompany the appetizer and main courses. The snack before arrival is a nice touch.

Related

20 Comments

  • Comment 373725 by
    indianocean GOLD 6738 Comments

    "My snacks. Yum! or miam-miam as they say in France."=> only when on a diet.

    No wonder Copa is an US subsidiary airline. Catering is so US-ish.

    Thank You Adan

  • Comment 374054 by
    Chibcha 432 Comments

    Hi there, it was a very fun series to read, I guess you had a much better experience with CM than NGO and I had.

    The Lounge seems like a total fail indeed. I reckon there was an admirals club at a time in PTY, I'm not sure if it still remains.

    • Comment 374118 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      Hi Chibcha.

      I think that there is a lot of room for improvement with CM, especially when it comes to its club @ PTY and the catering - both the lounge and aboard. The crew that I have encountered in all my flights has ranged from OK to excellent, but always courteous.

      I read from another blogger that the Admirals Club no longer exists in PTY, but the airport has failed to update the signs.

      • Comment 374263 by
        NGO85 1622 Comments

        "I read from another blogger that the Admirals Club no longer exists in PTY"
        - Then where does IB send an A340's worth of J passengers?

        • Comment 374277 by
          jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

          According to the Oneworld website IB uses the Tocumen Royal Salon before security. It's operated by a third party and I have no idea what it looks like, but I have not read too many positive things.

          • Comment 374278 by
            NGO85 1622 Comments

            Oh... I remember walking by that place when I was wandering around the check-in areas. Didn't look very impressive, but I guess it's only competition is the Copa club so standards are low, lol. Is this what AA also uses? Kevin started a series to PTY but never finished it.

            • Comment 374352 by
              jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

              I don't think AA premium passengers can access anything at PTY. Pretty incredible considering that AA has such a strong Latin American presence. When I flew out of SJO in J with AA, I couldn't find any lounges.

              Maybe you should remind Kevin. ;)

              • Comment 374395 by
                NGO85 1622 Comments

                "Maybe you should remind Kevin. ;)"
                - Ask and you shall receive ;) He said in an email that AA did not send him to a 3rd party lounge in PTY. AA doesn't plan on doing anything until the new removal opens.

  • Comment 374262 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    "This seems to be the only premium lounge at PTY airport"
    - Is this true? Where does AA send passengers? I feel like there has to be a lounge for OW since LA would have a decent presence too. Also, did they finish the construction on the lounge? Part of it was closed when I was there last time.

    I told you the new cabin wasn't guaranteed ;) These old CM cabins must be brutal on a long flight like this. Do they have IFE? Or is it only overhead monitors?

    The snack plate is almost the same on every flight, I find it to be really poor. The best one I had was ex-LAX when they served smoked salmon. The soup is a really nice part of the meal service, but the mains are usually pretty bad, can't recall ever getting a main I would want to eat again.

    Since you were seated in the last row, did you see an erosion in FA engagement with passengers as they moved through the cabin to take orders? I always found them to be apathetic by the time they got to Row 4.

    Thanks for sharing Adan, CM is what CM is. Functional and that's about it.

    • Comment 374279 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2295 Comments

      Hi Michael.

      "Where does AA send passengers?"
      - There is no lounge listed on AA's website for PTY, not even a partner one. Same for SJO.

      "Also, did they finish the construction on the lounge? Part of it was closed when I was there last time."
      - I did not see any construction going on and everything was open.

      "Do they have IFE? Or is it only overhead monitors?"
      - They have IFE. You can see the controls on some seats.

      "The best one I had was ex-LAX when they served smoked salmon. The soup is a really nice part of the meal service, but the mains are usually pretty bad, can't recall ever getting a main I would want to eat again."
      - Smoked salmon! that's a luxury item. ;) I agree. The mains are lackluster.

      " did you see an erosion in FA engagement with passengers as they moved through the cabin to take orders?"
      - Not at all. They still addressed me by name but I did not get a choice.

      It would be interesting to check the new terminal in PTY when it opens, especially if there is a new club.

      Thanks Michael.

      • Comment 374343 by
        NGO85 1622 Comments

        "I did not see any construction going on and everything was open."
        - It was in the corner by the windows that over look the terminal (near the business center). My guess is that there were no improvement with all that construction.

        "They have IFE. You can see the controls on some seats."
        - Oh, the ones that fold out from the front? For some reason I was under the impression that they didn't have IFE since Y doesn't have IFE on those planes (you were lucky to get upgraded the one time you came across these old cabins).

        "that's a luxury item. ;) "
        - Compared to the "Lunchables" they normally serve, it is ;)

  • Comment 374375 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Definitely not the most premium catering offering at the lounge, some modifications and upgrades could help increase their lounge standard.

    Absolutely wonderful spotting shots at PTY!

    The cabin looks clean.

    Amazing aerial shots at dusk and at night!

    Thank you for sharing.

    Have a good one, see you!

  • Comment 375175 by
    Rl 777 810 Comments

    Did you arrive at ARN at 20:20 local time?

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