Review of Copa Airlines flight Panamá City San Francisco in Business

Airline Copa Airlines
Flight CM 208
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 07:40
Take-off 11 Nov 16, 09:15
Arrival at 11 Nov 16, 13:55
CM 69 reviews
By 1206
Published on 14th November 2016
Hi and welcome to this return portion of my short SFO-PTY mileage run.

Here is my schedule:

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

Upon landing in PTY I headed straight to the COPA Club in order to have a shower. At the reception I was informed that I was #6 in the waiting list and that they will let me know when my turn arrives. The lounge was very crowded this early in the morning and it was difficult to find a secluded area to sit, so I went to the business center and occupied an individual station. It was around 06:45 and I couldn't take any pictures due to the large number of people. The buffet was set up with coffee, cereals, yogurt, bagels, cream cheese and cup cakes. Cups and bowls were running out quickly so people were using the disposable ones instead.

The only shot of the buffet that I was able to take.

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Shower suite.

At around 08:00 I was paged and escorted to one of the two showers. It was roomy and recently cleaned with an unwrapped towel already placed on the sink. There was also a handy bench to put your belongings.

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You have to slightly turn the handle to the left in order to get the hot water. If you turn all the way up you will get cold water only.

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I left by 08:20 and went to gate 32 for the SFO flight which was changed at the last minute from 25 to 32. Once there we had to go through security one more time.


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Boarding started soon and there were no wheelchairs on our flight, so J passengers were invited to board. We had a famous person flying with us today - Steve Wozniak. A group of Brazilian guys recognized him at the gate and asked him to pose for a picture which he graciously agreed to.

Mr. Wozniak was the first person to board but sat in one of the last rows of J.

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My seat was occupied by a huge bag of blankets. The FA took it out of the way quickly the moment that he saw me putting my things in the overhead compartment. It had a decent amount of legroom but nowhere as coveted as made it out to be on the seat map. A blanket and pillow were on each seat. A headphone was in the pocket in front.

FA distributed amenity kits and offered pre-dept. drinks.

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Inside view from my seat.

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Outside view from my seat.

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Oh the irony! Samsung Galaxy 7 & air travel.

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The door closed and we taxied to the runway.

Take off. Bye PTY.

Downtown PTY from a distance.

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Menus were not distributed for today's flight so the FA went around describing the choices for lunch and taking meal orders. The choices today were beef medallions with a corn souffle OR cheese cannelloni with pesto sauce. Dressings for the salad were Caesar OR vinaigrette. When he finished, he delivered our trays and mentioned that this was the snack service. I find it very odd that on a long flight dept. at 09:16 there is a snack service first and a lunch before arrival. O.o ???? Wouldn't breakfast followed by snack make more sense? Even lunch this early followed by snack wouldn't be too far off.

The menu from my previous SFO-PTY flight which listed the return menu for this flight.

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Wine list.

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I ate my snack which was a bit lacking with a glass of guava & pineapple juice. It would have been nice if it had more slices of cold cuts and cheese. After clearing the trays individual bottles of water were distributed.

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View from the outside. i wonder if this was Nicaragua.

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I then tried to take a nap and might have gotten 2 hrs of dozing on and off. At around 2 hrs. before arrival the lunch service started.

Time to visit the WC. Very average without any special toiletries, just soap.

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The cabin was in darkness since everyone lowered the window shades. The FA's turned on the mood lighting in order to "wake" people up for the lunch service.

Hot towels.

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Warm nuts with another glass of guava & pineapple juice.

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Appetizer which was loin roast with salad.

Main dish - beef fillet medallions with red wine sauce and corn souffle. Beef was tender but cooked to death.

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Refills were offered which was a nice touch.


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Just before landing the FA went to each passenger thanking him/her for flying with CM today.

Arriving in SFO. Northern California is a stunning place.

Stanford University.

Taxiing to the gate.

See more


Copa Airlines

Cabin crew9.0

Copa Club


Panamá City - PTY


San Francisco - SFO



The Copa Club is the only airline lounge in PTY and it can get very crowded during peak times and used by AF/KL. I feel that the facilities, especially showers and WC's are not sufficient for the amount of traffic that the lounge receives. Catering is very poor for a hub lounge and it reminds me of an ex-CO lounge from the 1990's.

I had a good flight with attentive crew, but the catering is odd to say the least. There should be either a hearty breakfast or lunch after dept. I assume that most passengers would be hungry at 09:16 and to be served a snack plate at the beginning of the flight is disappointing. During the lunch service I noticed that there was no soup nor a second choice for dessert (ice cream sundae) which are offered during dinner. Apart from these the main dishes are exactly the same.

After taking 6 flights on CM I feel that this is good airline with plenty of room for improvement. Its on time performance and ease to connect at PTY are major advantages. As an elite frequent flyer my upgrade success has been 5 out of 6 flights which is pretty good. Crew for the most part are professional and courteous. If you are flying Y, catering is very generous and meals are fine. The food in J can range from OK to downright inedible.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 373929 by
    Pilpintu SILVER 780 Comments

    i wonder if this was Nicaragua.

    Indeed! According to, Google Maps, and your location in seat 1A on the right side of the aircraft, I'm pretty sure that's a nice photograph of Lake Xolotlán, Momotombo volcano, Momotombito island and at least two natural reserves in Nicaragua. What a beautiful sight!

  • Comment 374266 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    "I went to the business center and occupied an individual station"
    - This is where I have always sat too, it's ridiculous how crowded that lounge it. I've been there at various times from morning to noon to afternoon and it has always been the same. I also hate how you have to get drinks at the bar (other than coffee and water). The obligatory tip jar disgusts me.

    The main looks really bad. I've had the cannelloni before and it was inedible so I think you picked correctly ;) Sitting in the front of the cabin is almost a requirement on CM since they always run out of one of the mains by the time they get to Row 4.

    About the dessert discrepancy, I've always seen both ice cream and a plate of real desserts. I find the real desserts to be really small in quantity. They are bite size^^

    I do agree with your assessment, CM has really good on-time performance. The J cabin is a pretty good hard product for a narrow body (at least the new J cabin like this one), but the catering has always been disappointing.

    Thanks for sharing this quickie Adan!

  • Comment 375067 by
    757Fan 608 Comments

    Good report of your flight home to SFO. It looks like you had a better flight with Copa on the way home, but the main dish looks pretty messy. Copa J looks okay, but I'm not overly impressed by the looks of the photos. My wife and I flew to Panama last September with Delta in J, and I found the food and service to be great on both flights to and from Atlanta.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Comment 375156 by
    Rl 777 806 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    “Steve Wozniak”
    - Wow!

    “Oh the irony! Samsung Galaxy 7 & air travel.”
    - The normal S7 and S7 edge are good :), the Galaxy Note 7 is a completely different story though haha.

    Absolutely fantastic spotting shots at PTY, and spectacular aerial shots!

    “I ate my snack which was a bit lacking”
    - There was even some room left on that plate, they could have definitely added some more. A proper breakfast would have fit well here, that morning energy intake is important.

    Wonderful aerials before arriving at SFO, great spotting shots as well.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 375244 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2294 Comments

      Hi RI 777.

      I think this was one of those rare flights that I have spotted a "celebrity".

      I can tell you are a breakfast kind of guy. ;)

      I am on my "around the world" trip right now and typing this from an apartment in PRG. I got some decent aerials dept. from ARN. ;)

      Thanks a lot for stopping by.

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