Welcome to what I believe is the first trip report from Barbados covering Copa's relatively new service to PTY.
Typically I use AA for travel to and from the United States however, I got a pretty good deal through Expedia utilising Copa. This would also be my first time flying on an Embraer aircraft and first time to touching down in Central America. Check-in was a bit delayed as it seemed there were some operational issues with the baggage tag machines along with the PC's. Having completed check in it was time to go through security which was seamless as the airport is quiet on Tuesday's.
The aircraft HP-1540CMP was already at the gate when we reached the departure hall.
The interior was clean although it was starting to show some age.
This trip was a couple days before the winter start so the airport was relatively quiet. We were parked next to AA 1089 a 737 Max 8 destined to Miami. This is the flight which I usually take. The MAX 8 has been getting pretty bad reviews about its space an entire article was taken out in the local paper about how uncomfortable the Max8 is. Previously AA used the 757's, 737NG's and the A321's (which were great with seatback IFE) into BGI however, they switched over to the MAX 8's.
Having never been on the Embraer before the startup seemed a bit long compared to other aircraft eventually we began our taxi an ATR42-600 from LIAT arrived during our taxi.
Departing BGI RV's 763 taxiing for YYZ during our take off roll.
After departure we made a right turn heading in a Westerly direction it was pretty overcast passing over Venezuela. In flight service seemed a bit delayed for a 3 hour flight service was offered about 2 hours into flight it consisted of a chicken sandwich, plantain chips and a selection of a beverage in my case water.
Although there was no IFE the flight time did not drag our descent into Panama was pretty bumpy with lots of rain showers in the area. Eventually downtown Panama city came into view. Pretty impressive skyline it reminded me of Miami for some reason.
Approach and landing video below.
You might have noticed I have not spoken much about the crew but there was not much to report they welcomed us on-board, did the safety demo,disappeared for 2 hours did the meal service and the welcome to Panama announcements. Overall they were a tad friendlier than they typical AA crew. On landing we parked at a remote gate next to a company E190 with about 50 minutes until the connection to Miami. A bus picked up up and we entered a very busy terminal area finding the gate was a bit confusing at first but we made it with time to spare.
Overall Copa was a good experience should the price be right I would try them again.