Review of Avianca flight San Salvador San Jose in Business

Airline Avianca
Flight AV 671
Class Business
Seat 3K
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 01:15
Take-off 01 Sep 17, 08:40
Arrival at 01 Sep 17, 09:55
AV   #45 out of 112 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 54 reviews
jetsetpanda
Published on 7th September 2017
Summary of schedule:

SFO-SAL on AV in Y - click here
SAL-SJO on AV in J - you are here.
SJO-PTY on CM in J - click here.
PTY-SFO on CM in J - click here.


After arriving in SAL which is officially known as Monseñor Óscar Arnulfo Romero International Airport since March 2014, I made my way to the new AV Lounge by gate 8. Back when the lounge was TA, it was a dreadful space with little amenities and non-existent catering. This time I was pleasantly surprised by the contemporary design and smart allocation of space.

Entrance

photo av club  sal 1 - copy


Upon entering there is a desk staffed with several agents and right after that there is a big seating area.

photo av club  sal 19 - copyphoto av club  sal 18 - copy

When you turn left you will access the WC's and showers followed by a children's playroom.

photo av club  sal 17 - copy

There is a corner with a buffet and a set up with disposable and metal utensils on the opposite side. .

photo av club  sal 4 - copyphoto av club  sal 5 - copy

Buffet



Beverages



Computer room in the back.

photo av club  sal 2 - copy

View of the lounge from the back.

photo av club  sal 3 - copy

I had a very short 45 min. connection so I quickly inhaled my food and walked to the gate.

photo av club  sal 16 - copy

The gate was full and boarding has not commenced, so I did some airplane spotting.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 63 - copyphoto av 671 sal-sjo 62 - copy

Meanwhile back at gate 6 some crew members were already boarding the plane. The customary greeting of kissing on the cheek was in full force.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 10 - copy

Passengers requiring special assistance were boarded first followed by J pax. For this segment I bid for an upgrade online and was confirmed at 72 hrs. before dept. However, when I called for a seat assignment, I was informed by the agent that they were unable to assign anything at the time and to try during web check-in within 24 hrs or at the airport. It seems strange that AV would block the seats at more than 24 hrs. before dept, but to each his own. Anyways when I checked online I had no problem getting a window seat in the last row and there were still a couple of open seats in the J cabin.

Boarding.



Cabin.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 14 - copyphoto av 671 sal-sjo 19 - copy

Headphones.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 15 - copy

A pillow and blanket were on each seat. Once I sat down I noticed a footrest. Pitch was decent.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 18 - copy

Screen.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 17 - copy


Pre-dept. drinks were offered consisting of water or orange juice. I had the orange juice and it tasted very artificial. This was followed by another FA distributing arrival forms.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 16 - copy


Finally when everyone boarded the door closed and we taxied to the runway. I took advantage of my window seat to do more plane spotting.



Some vestiges from the past.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 31 - copyphoto av 671 sal-sjo 33 - copy

Turning around.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 36

Good bye SAL.



Once we leveled off the service started with hot towels.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 43 - copyphoto av 671 sal-sjo 44

The FA addressed everyone by name and by the time she reached my row she asked if I would like the omelette. Either there was no choice for this short flight or the other option ran out. However there was a choice of breakfast breads from the basket.



The fruit plate was sweet.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 2 - copy

Decent omelette served with potatoes and sausages.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 6 - copy

The bread pretended to be a "croissant" but it was not. At least it was served warm.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 5 - copy

Branded utensils.

photo av 671 sal-sjo 7 - copyphoto av 671 sal-sjo 9 - copy

I asked for tea to accompany my breakfast. AV only offers black or chamomile tea. After the meal service the FA went back to the galley and soon we were getting ready for descent in SJO.

Nature is everywhere in Costa Rica.



Approaching SJO.



Taxiing to the gate.



Immigration and Customs were practically empty and I got out of there in no time.
See more

Verdict

Avianca

7.9/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering7.5

Avianca VIP Lounge

7.9/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering7.5
Entertainment8.0
Services7.5

San Salvador - SAL

8.4/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

San Jose - SJO

9.3/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

A 45 min. connection sounds tight and even risky, but thankfully SAL is a small and compact airport so this worked very well.

The AV Lounge is a huge improvement over the former TA lounge. It's well designed with smart use of space and the catering is decent, although dishes should be replenished more frequently from my experience. I did not see any hard liquor except for beer in the refrigerator. My visit was in the the morning and for a very short time so perhaps liquor is brought later during the day.

FA's were friendly and smiling. I appreciate that I was addressed by name. Catering was solid for a flight of this length.

Related

12 Comments

  • Comment 412226 by
    767 traveller 45 Comments

    Nice report Jetsetpanda!
    Seems like you had a nice flight with AV. That omelette sure looks appealing. I think AV's business product on the A320 series is perfectly acceptable for short hauls, however I think they could do something else for mid haul flights where those recliner style seats fall short. I agree that the SAL lounge looks nice (except for those ugly plastic cafeteria style chairs :))
    cheers!
    767traveller

    • Comment 412253 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2175 Comments

      Hola 767 traveller.

      "That omelette sure looks appealing."
      - Well presented and tasty. Can't ask for more.

      "...however I think they could do something else for mid haul flights where those recliner style seats fall short. "
      - One can only hope to see more 787's on mid haul flights. It would certainly be nice to have more comfortable seats in J for these routes.

      " I agree that the SAL lounge looks nice (except for those ugly plastic cafeteria style chairs :))"
      - Perfection is elusive, but at least this was a big improvement. ;)

      Thanks for your comments.

  • Comment 412250 by
    nechus 367 Comments

    Hey Adan! Thanks for this nice report!

    This looks like my kind of route. Central America has always intrigued me. Too bad high temperatures don't suit me very well, but after seeing those lush green fields in your aerials I know I will have to "hacer de tripas corazón" one day. ;D

    I see an Aeroman hangar in one of your pics. It seems to be a quite important maintenance company, isn't it. Sky Airline aircraft are flown all the way from SCL to SAL to get they liveries painted there!

    Best ^^

    • Comment 412254 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2175 Comments

      Hola estimado Nelson. Siempre es un gusto contar con su grata presencia.

      "Central America has always intrigued me. Too bad high temperatures don't suit me very well, but after seeing those lush green fields in your aerials I know I will have to "hacer de tripas corazón" one day. ;D"
      - If the heat is too much to bear there are "clothing optional" places. ;) You should visit Costa Rica. It's a paradise when it comes to flora and fauna.

      "I see an Aeroman hangar in one of your pics. It seems to be a quite important maintenance company, isn't it"
      - Indeed. I believe some U.S. carriers like B6 uses it too.

      Thanks for your visit.

      • Comment 412298 by
        nechus 367 Comments

        > there are "clothing optional" places
        ROFLMAO !!!! Don't you think there is enough evil in this world already?? I would be arrested for "visual terrorism"!!! XDDD

        I forgot to say "Congrats on the new family member" in my previous comment. ^^

        • Comment 412354 by
          jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2175 Comments

          " Don't you think there is enough evil in this world already??"
          - For the wicked there is never enough. ;)

          "I would be arrested for "visual terrorism"!!! XDDD"
          - It depends on who you "terrorized" :P

          "I forgot to say "Congrats on the new family member" in my previous comment. ^^"
          - Thank you Nelson. My little nephew is a rascal and is another Scorpio just like yours truly. ;)

  • Comment 412251 by
    757Fan 368 Comments

    Thanks for the report, Adan! It looks like you had a good flight with Avianca and that's a pretty good looking breakfast for such a short 1:15 minute flight.

    Looking forward to your next report!

  • Comment 412328 by
    indianocean 4922 Comments

    I'm not sure it is safe to leave the milk jugs out there and not in the freeze.

    Wouldn't have been wiser to get un upgrade to Business Class on the previous leg instead of this short hop?

    Only 8/10 for the crew? Let me guess, no kiss on the cheek.

    Thank you for sharing Adan

    • Comment 412355 by
      jetsetpanda AUTHOR 2175 Comments

      Hi Bernard.

      "I'm not sure it is safe to leave the milk jugs out there and not in the freeze."
      - Good observation my friend. Then again, nothing wrong with having some "leche agria" or sour milk. :P When I was a kid I used to dunk bread with sour milk and eat it with "gusto".

      "Wouldn't have been wiser to get un upgrade to Business Class on the previous leg instead of this short hop?"
      - Indeed, but the problem was that the minimum bidding for that segment was ridiculously high in my opinion. I think it was upwards of USD250+ if I remember. Not worth it in my opinion.

      "Only 8/10 for the crew? Let me guess, no kiss on the cheek."
      - Maybe I'm not as charming as other members who seem to have no problem posing with crew and even embracing them. ;)

      See you later alligator and thank you as always for your comments.

  • Comment 418333 by
    Rl 777 750 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Congratulations to your new family member :).

    Great spotting clicks at SAL.

    Nice to see the upgrade to J, the newer Panasonic eX3 IFE screens look nice.

    Breathtaking aerial pictures throughout the ride.

    Sorry to hear there were no meal options for you, thankfully the meal was not terrible but at least decent.

    “Taxiing to the gate.“
    - Great catch of the Wingo 737!

    Have a good one, see you.

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