As it is popular within families around the world, this summer I decided to take some days off in Orlando's theme parks, and Miami's golf courses and beaches. On the outbound, I flew one of the most popular routes of Avianca in the high season. It is such the surge of travelers between these cities that normally the flight is operated by A319's and A318's, and in summer two daily A320/A321's are packed and sent to Orlando. It is fair to note that Jet-Blue and Spirit also fly this 4 hour flight.
El Dorado Int'l Airport terminal 1, where all international flights operate, has some massive windows, which result in lovely views of the operations down in the ramp. Here we can see an Avianca Peru A320 in the Star Alliance livery preparing for flight 145 down to Cuzco, Peru, and Delta's "Pencil Jet" preparing for flight 980 bound to Atlanta, GA. We will soon stop seeing Delta's 757 at El Dorado as from October the flight to Atlanta will be operated on a 767-400. Yes, you can say that flight 253 from JFK is still operated by a 757, but the flight lands in the middle of the night, and departs at 1 am.
Moving a couple of gates east, we found our plane. N742AV, a 4 year old A320-214, fitted with sharklets, and CFM-56 engines. It was delivered new to Avianca in May 2015 and has been active in Avianca's fleet since. It is retrofitted with 12 business class seats, 12 premium economy and 126 in economy, having a total of 150 seats onboard, which I found pretty low compared to other airlines that pack up to 188 seats in the same aircraft.
Of course, the fewer seats resulted in massive personal space. I was seated right behind Business class, as you can see there was no bulkhead between the two, legroom was massive. Also, tray tables and screens had to be pulled out from the armrest, resulting in a smaller seat width that to be honest, was hard to notice.
We then pushed back, and under the command of Captain Esteban Navarrete, taxied, and made a standard departure out of runway 13L at El Dorado. You can see an A319 headed to Cancun, departing runway 13R in photo number 4.
Just moments after arriving at 38,000 feet, our cruising altitude today, breakfast was served in all three clases. In premium economy, it consisted of two options, cereal with yogurt (which was the "light" option) or a full breakfast, which consisted of eggs with cheese and ham, bread, fruit and an orange juice. As you can see, I went for the full breakfast which was indeed very tasty. Everything was in the point it should've been, it was a very nice breakfast, complimented by the lovely views outside.
Other than that, the flight was confortable but uneventful. I watched "Business Traveller" on the IFE's, which by the way were very well stocked, looked out the window, and before I knew it, I was descending to Orlando International Airport. We then made a scenic approach over Orlando, having a view over the city, lake Barton and Henderson Executive Airport, before touching down on time, on runway 35L and then taxiing to terminal 4. I was very pleased with Avianca, my expectations were exceeded on this flight, and they are the best airline flying between these cities without a doubt.
We deplaned, went through immigration in about 15 minutes and then took one of MCO's trains to the main terminal. Surely an icon to the airport. I hope you enjoyed my review and that it was helpful, cheers!
To conclude, I was very pleased with Avianca, my expectations were exceeded on this flight, and they are the best airline flying between these cities without a doubt.