Review of Copa Airlines flight San Francisco Tocumen in Business

Airline Copa Airlines
Flight CM 209
Class Business
Seat 2E
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 07:15
Take-off 10 Nov 16, 20:15
Arrival at 11 Nov 16, 06:30
CM   #102 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 47 reviews
jetsetpanda
By SILVER 1656
Published on 13th November 2016
Hi and welcome to this mileage run from SFO-PTY. It all started when I found a USD 240 (EUR 221.07) fare that was too good to pass so I went ahead and booked it. It was the perfect excuse to fatten my Connectmiles account and earn enough miles for a one way award in J class in the future. As a PLT member with Connectmiles my upgrades cleared at the 72 hrs. mark.

The schedule will be a quick one with just under three hours layover in PTY.

SFO-PTY in J - you are here.
PTY-SFO in J - click here.


I was dropped off at the airport by 19:15 with enough time to make it so I did not visit any lounges. I was planning to stop by the BR or SQ ones but unfortunately those lounges were not open for this CM dept. so I did not even bother getting to the airport earlier. I checked in online 24 hrs. before at home and printed my boarding pass which saved me time from check-in at the counter.

Thankfully security was light this Thursday evening and I went through in 10 min. My boarding pass was marked with Prefer Access so I was directed to a line that had few people. I have Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check, but the latter was not printed on my boarding pass because CM is not a participant of this program. Furthermore, showing my Global Entry issued card does not allow me access through the TSA Pre-Check line - it needs to be printed on your boarding pass and that information is transmitted when you enter your KTN (Known Traveler Number) in your reservation. It was mildly irritating having to take my laptop, shoes and belt off. Once inside I headed straight to gate G97.

Gate.

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My plane at the gate taken from upstairs. There was a lot of reflection so I couldn't get a good shot.

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Downstairs gate counter.


I asked for a reprinted boarding pass and the agent printed the return portion too. I found the agents in SFO to be friendly, smiling and professional.

photo dsc05151 - copyphoto dsc05153


Within a few minutes boarding started. I was the first one to board and the agent wished me a good trip after she scanned my boarding pass. At the door a FA greeted me with a smile and I settled into my seat. This 737-800 had the new configuration with the expanded legroom. I have read that if row 11 is missing on the seat map, that is an indication of the new cabin layout. On both my outbound and return this row was not shown so I knew that I was going to be in a more comfortable J cabin.

Cabin.

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Seat.

Each seat had a pillow, blanket and amenity kit.





There was plenty of legroom but it was prohibited to store anything under the seat in front.

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Pre-dept drinks were offered. I just had water.

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Menus were then distributed.

I was expecting dinner for a flight that leaves at 20:15 and lasting more than 6 hrs. This was confirmed by the information that I found on CM's website under their food and beverage service. In addition if you look at the menu, there is a section applicable to CM 209 that describes a lunch. Imagine my surprise when the FA came to take the meal orders and asked if I wanted the snack. I skipped dinner on purpose expecting to have dinner right after take off. This was utterly disappointing and in the end I had to be satisfied with the snack plate with cold cuts. CM should definitely change the information on its website and the printed menu. It's deceiving to say the least. By the way, the menu listed Nov. as the month.

Meal services information on CM's website.

photo cm meal guideline


Menu.

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I thought this was the menu that corresponded to my flight.

photo cm 209 sfo-pty 1photo cm 209 sfo-pty 2


But it was this service instead. ;(




We taxied out and took off soon after. Once we leveled off the snack service started and the FA also distributed headphones.

Snack.

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The FA we had was very courteous and addressed passengers by name. After the snack service bottles of water were distributed and the lights were dimmed until breakfast. I read a book and tried to watch some movies but nothing caught my attention. The IFE program selection is limited in my opinion.

At about 1.5 hrs before arrival the breakfast service started with hot towels. Interesting to see that these were not distributed during the snack service. Since they were not scented I thought they smelled like old rags. I noticed that some trays with the fruit appetizer had the croissant while mine and the person in front had the regular warm roll. Kind of arbitrary but it would be nice to offer both from a basket.

Fruit appetizer.




I chose the egg dish.

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Soon we were getting ready to land. I did not have a window on the left side so I missed the panoramic view of downtown skyscrapers as you descend into PTY.

See more

Verdict

Copa Airlines

6.9/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.5
Entertainment7.0
Meal/catering3.0

San Francisco - SFO

9.3/10
Efficiency9.0
Access10.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Tocumen - PTY

7.6/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

The flight was fine but the catering information about this particular flight was deceiving and turned into a huge disappointment. The snack and breakfast were OK but I penalized this category for the inaccurate information on both the website and the menu. I don't think it is unreasonable to expect dinner on an intl flight that is almost 7 hrs departing at 20:15. That's about right for dinner time in Latin America.

The crew was professional and our FA addressed people by name. During the meal service she served the whole J cabin by herself so kudos to her for doing an efficient job.

Related

13 Comments

  • Comment 373806 by
    nechus SILVER 530 Comments

    Hi there!

    What a nice cover picture!!! I found out that it’s a fresco called Sanctuary/Santuario, by two artists called Juana Alicia and Emmanuel Catarino Montoya. Very beautiful.

    Awwww... so sad you didn’t get the fish with chimichurri. BTW, what on earth is chimichurri exactly?! That word seems to be common to all Latin American countries. In Chile it usually refers to... how could I describe it... say, an unspecific, indetermined, indefinite mixture of finely chopped vegetables and spices, as in “Qué comiste?” “No tengo idea. Era un chimichurri de cosas raras, pero estaba rico.” LOL That must be why it’s also an untranslatable word!!

    Your deception with the wrong menu reminded me of a Chilean TV show from the early 80s called Jappening con Ja, which was a sketch comedy show. They had this sketch about two FAs dealing with passengers in first and economy class during a flight. The differences are hilarious! If you have some free time, you can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bx8AfsJfkIY

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 373833 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Nelson.

      "What a nice cover picture!!!"
      - It's a very impressive fresco indeed. SFO has a lot of interesting and compelling artwork and at the intl. terminal each gate is decorated by works of a different artist.

      "BTW, what on earth is chimichurri exactly?!"
      - I am from Nicaragua & Costa Rica, so my connotation of "chimichurri" is a sauce made of chopped parsley, garlic, olive oil and vinegar. It is used as a marinade and accompaniment for grilled meats.

      "That must be why it’s also an untranslatable word!!"
      - A lot of words are untranslatable. ;)

      "Your deception with the wrong menu reminded me of a Chilean TV show from the early 80s called Jappening con Ja,"
      - Gracias por el link. Es para morirse de la risa. :P

      Thank you for your comments and visit.

  • Comment 373818 by
    nechus SILVER 530 Comments

    Sorry. I meant "Your disappointment with the menu", not "your deception". False cognate. Silly me!!

  • Comment 373874 by
    Caribel 114 Comments

    Mirando la porcion dietetica para bajar de peso que sirvieron en un vuelo de mas de 6 horas de duracion no se necesita mas comedia para la risa. Escribi unas lineas para Copa economizar dinero: cortar pepinillos para cubrir los ojos en vez de mascarillas, reusar bolsos de te para varias tazas, sopas disecadas ramen en vez de platillos de entremes, papel periodico cortado en cuadritos en vez de higienico, un vaso plastico con el nombre del pasajero reusado para todo el vuelo y agua en galones con seleccion de bebidas en polvo en vez de soda.;)

  • Comment 374265 by
    NGO85 1624 Comments

    "I was planning to stop by the BR or SQ ones but unfortunately those lounges were not open for this CM dept."
    - I scoped these out, but are annoying since they are not accessible by all status holders (UA, A3, and TK are not allowed) and it has to be international departure if you are lucky enough to be around when the SQ or BR flights are leaving.

    "I skipped dinner on purpose expecting to have dinner right after take off."
    - Not sure who was at fault here ;) CM for having a crappy website, or you for expecting edible food on CM :P Not sure about this, both of the LAX departures are 23:00 and 24:00 so area always the snack on take-off. Just be glad there wasn't a snack on arrival, otherwise you'd be starved in the CM lounge^^

    If you think about it, the breakfast really isn't that much more than what you'd see on an international flight (TATL or TPAC) that had a full breakfast meal.

    "The IFE program selection is limited in my opinion."
    - It's really bad, to the point that on the return leg you are struggling for anything to watch. At least these cabins offer better pitch and recline. It's really surprising when you see how far these seats can really recline (Rows 1-3, since Row 4 has a lesser recline).

    Another 'meh' experience on CM. I used them for mileage runs, but they are certainly not a carrier I ever want to fly. There really is little to like about CM, at least it sounds like you had better crews than I got.

    Thanks for sharing Adan!

    • Comment 374273 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Michael.

      "they are not accessible by all status holders (UA, A3, and TK are not allowed) "
      - No consistency in policy. That sucks.

      "...both of the LAX departures are 23:00 and 24:00 so area always the snack on take-off. "
      - There is a big difference between a 20:15 dept. vs a 23:00/24:00.

      "If you think about it, the breakfast really isn't that much more than what you'd see on an international flight (TATL or TPAC) that had a full breakfast meal."
      - Perfectly fine for a flight of this length.

      "There really is little to like about CM, at least it sounds like you had better crews than I got."
      - I think addressing the crew in Spanish helps a lot.

      Thank you Michael for your comments as always.

  • Comment 374682 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4474 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR Adan! So you won the crew lottery on this flight and got a good one--it seems crew experience can vary greatly on CM. Too bad you weren't able to go to the SQ or BR lounges--what lounge does CM normally use in SFO? It must not be good if you didn't bother to go. Wow, that catering is pretty sad for a flight that is about the same length as a Transatlantic from the East Coast where you get a full dinner and breakfast on all airlines.

  • Comment 374866 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Nice shot of your bird, the artwork in the airport looks really interesting.

    I'm glad you got the new cabin on this flight, a nice crew is a plus as well.

    That's a whole lot of confusion with the catering.

    Did they serve the yogurt cup in that bowl?

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a good one, see you later!

  • Comment 375063 by
    757Fan 461 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report, Adan. Sorry to hear about the lack of a full meal. That is definitely an annoying thing as a passenger when you go hungry on a plane. I've been there! Copa should fix their webpage around this.

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