Hello! I would like to welcome you to this trip report covering the HAV-PTY route. This is the screen including the flight details from Copa´s website.
Time to go back to Mexico and since I was not able to check-in online due to internet limitations, had to go to the airport in advance to obtain my BP, and the curious thing of this process is that when you exit Cuba, the other part of the BP is the one that gets stamped, and kept by the gate agents, but I think that if you want your passport stamped it won´t be a problem.
This is the arrivals hall, and as you can see it is crowded. At this time (20h00 approx.) is when European flights arrive so you can have an idea of the passenger’s volume the airport must handle. I heard somebody complaining about everything being delayed. I shared the taxi with a girl from Spain (paid 8CUC) and she asked me if we could stay together waiting for her friends from CDG by AF.
She wanted to drink beer but I was reluctant until she told me that drinking in HAV was allowed and of course we were not alone doing this. Long lines at the bar and store to get some of any drink/snack/souvenirs, it was chaotic and warm. After drinking and smoking strong Cuban cigarettes we got ready to welcome her friends. We removed the bottles.
The time was passing by and after chatting nicely with her and friends it was time to continue solo, sitting outside just watching the interesting vibe produced by both Cubans and foreigners. Caught my attention the fact that this is a very active airport anytime and since I felt relaxed it was a good way to kill time.
And I had to kill time because my flight was scheduled to depart at 7h15 and check-in would open at 4h15 so I thought the best I could do was overnight at the airport, and as I did at arrival, I went upstairs to the first floor and found a chair, organized my travel backpack, and off I went to a freezing night, the people staying there was wearing foulards so you can have an idea. After a few hours of sleep in the super cold floor I went to Copa check-in counters just to find a long queue so I joined it and suddenly the agent providing bag tags stated that passengers for the 7h15 flight should come to the front of the line immediately to proceed with documentation which by the way was a breeze and the agent offered a class upgrade but since I was not interested… Time to cross security checkpoint and was kind of funny because the stress took over me and I did not know if I was going to be asked anything so I started speaking to the officer and she got surprised but nicely suggested me to proceed. I stopped by the duty free shop to buy bottles of Cuban rum and you have to add 1 CUC for the plastic bag. The gate area included a bar/restaurant and a smoke lounge. This is the general view of the gate area in HAV. That wheel case is not mine. It belong to the man sitted in front of me that was flying in the same flight in Clase Ejecutiva, so you can have idea how rude he was and at the same time doing some drama-scene over the cell phone with his son, I was more than glad by flying Economy!
I boarded this aircraft and wasn´t welcome because as usual F/A´s were busy in whatever thing. So I had to wait in Clase Ejecutiva cabin and saw the rude passenger sitted already. At the middle of the aircraft was standing a male FA and he said hola. Finally at my seat and again no pillow and no blanket! I immediately requested him those amenities with no luck because I really needed them after my night in the cold floor. Anyways you can see my rum bottles and the seat pitch and I have to say that it is reduced compared to the Boeing 737 fleet.
The seat pocket contents: just the Panorama magazine. Probably the previous passenger took the safety card and the airsickness bag as a souvenir. lol
While taxiing, I saw the magnificent Boeing 777 wearing the TAAG livery parked on a remote stand. So take-off was imminent and then, we started climbing through the Cuban sky.
It was a truly beautiful view and the Embraer rocketing to get high with turbulence at the moment.
Flying over the Caribbean Sea.
I saw islands with beautiful views but since no personal screen on this aircraft I had no idea the flown route until I tracked later at home.
The F/A serving breakfast.
This cheese was delicious.
Umm American, nothing to say about this.
Well, I wanted other kind of breakfast…
This is a joke, right?
The drinks cart got to my row and I chose orange juice and café which after many years of flying became my favorite soft drink selection.
The lavatory seemed very cramped to me.
The lavatories were not cleaned in flight, so the passenger decided if wanted to leave it like this:
I went to the galley to take pictures, ask a glass of still water and stretch my legs and arms a bit.
The cabin view when we were flying over Panamá.
Captain announced the descent to PTY, and he also explained that due to regular meteorological conditions in the area of Panamá City light turbulences would be found. So it does not matter if you were flying through a sunny sky. This was interesting to know. But I was surprised to see many passengers getting up to the lavatory or just to open their bags and the F/A´s said something over the PA but were ignored.
And then I was able to see the Canal traffic which was more than interesting and I felt satisfied because it was not possible to visit it this time.
The aircraft landed safely.
Time to get up and clean the seat but I decided to wait seated, you know long line to leave the aircraft.
We disembarked by stairs with a walk to the jetbridge and I was not going to miss the opportunity to take this picture of the aircraft that brought me from Cuba.
Bonus : Click here displayhide
I´m posting a few pictures from Cuba, and I really want you to enjoy!
Looking for a restaurant to have breakfast and I had this view.
This view is from the top of the edificio Bacardí.
A must see in Cuba.
El centro in the Capitolio square.
Quite interesting no?
Havana - HAV
Panamá City - PTY
This flight was delayed by few minutes and the agents did not inform us the reason or the new estimated departure time. I think the staff is in need of clear organization in HAV. Regarding the catering I´m not sure but I think it was loaded in PTY hence it included industrial American products. This was the biggest letdown. If you are stranded or just need to overnight at the airport let me tell you that you are more than welcome to do so. The police will go and make sure that everything is hassle-free but the real problem is the A/C system, you will need a jacket though. Overall HAV is a nice airport, taking into account its limitations. I´m used to fast and cheap transportation between airports and the cities so I found outrageous the taxi fare for this segment.
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