Hi and welcome to the return portion of my short weekend trip to Costa Rica. This time I redeemed miles from my ConnectMiles account and had no problem finding J inventory, Here's a summary of my schedule:
SFO-SAL on AV in Y - click here SAL-SJO on AV in J - click here. SJO-PTY on CM in J - you are here. PTY-SFO on CM in J - coming up.
After having lunch in downtown, my family dropped me off at the airport on a quiet Sunday afternoon. The highway was empty except for a few cars and we anticipated a smooth ride.
Then calamity stroke. There was congestion a few meters ahead and two ambulances passed us with their sirens blasting. Upon reaching the scene we saw the reason for the commotion. A car rammed against the back of a bus and in the driver seat a lifeless body was covered in a white blanket. On the side of the road a group of people were staring at the morbid display. Right after this traffic flowed smoothly once again. For a moment I thought about how fleeting life can be and the importance of enjoying one's life to the fullest - spending more time with loved ones, cherishing old friends and making new ones, indulging in one's passions, whatever it is that gives meaning to your life do it more often.
I was finally dropped off at SJO airport and bid farewell to my relatives. Walking inside the terminal I see that there is a line at the CM counter, but over at the J line, there is only one passenger in line.
The check in was efficient and I entered security through the special line. I still had to take my shoes and belt off just like everyone else.
After security I went through a hallway passing a store selling local handicrafts and products. I prefer this over the usual duty free shops in so many other airports around the world with its inventory of brand name luxury goods.
Since I had some time to kill I did some lounge hopping and visited the Copa Club located by gate 4. This lounge is associated with Mastercard and you take an elevator down to the basement. I was welcomed by the receptionist and settled in a corner.
The reception desk is behind the column after you get off the elevator. Looks like the area in the back is reserved for Mastercard members.
From the reception desk to the lounge there is a hallway with some interesting pics on the wall.
Main sitting area.
There is a bar next to the buffet in the back.
The buffet spread was very limited with mainly cold items and pastries.
There was also a paid menu for those who wanted something more "robust".
A mirror replacement is in order here.
Directly opposite the Copa Club is the elevator to take you up to the Avianca Club which is co-branded with AMEX.
The lounge has nice views of the tarmac and allows natural light inside. The buffet is slightly better than the one at Copa and there is a bar that offers panini and sush for sale. When I checked in I was given a coupon for a free item but the person in charge of preparing the food was on break so I skipped it.
Buffet and bar.
This lounge also has WC's. Below are some pics that I took from a previous visit.
I left for the gate at around 1 hr. before dept. and by the time that I arrived they started to board the plane. Walking inside the plane I was greeted by the FA and settled in my seat with my neighbor already occupying his seat.
View of cabin from my seat.
Good amount of leg room.
It was pouring outside.
Water or orange juice were offered as pre-dept. drink and I just had a glass of water. After the door closed we taxied out to the runway and took off.
A few minutes later the FA sprung into action offering a choice of snacks - I vaguely heard a cold artichoke dip of some sort or Montecristo sandwich. I went for the sandwich and it was a decent and satisfying choice. I asked for guava and pineapple juice but it seems that they no longer carry that and the FA offered me a fruit punch instead.
After the trays were cleared we got ready for descent into PTY.
The left side gets a view of downtown PTY during arrival.
Touch down and new terminal under construction. I hope CM plans to open a new Copa Club there and improves on what they offer now. The present one is just disappointing and is a copy of what ex-CO used to offer.
Looks like IB, KL and LH have arrived.
San Jose - SJO
Panamá City - PTY
With the exception of the tragic accident that I witnessed on my way to the airport, everything went as expected on this flight.
It's good that airlines are including the exit tax on the tickets out of Costa Rica making things a bit smoother for some passengers. The CM counter staff was efficient and as a small station they sometimes work at the gate. The agent who checked me in was the one that boarded pax at the gate.
CM did a solid performance on this short flight. The snack was appetizing and tasty.
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