Review of Avianca flight Bogota Madrid in Economy

Airline Avianca
Flight AV 26
Class Economy
Seat --
Aircraft Boeing 787-8
Flight time 09:40
Take-off 04 Nov 16, 14:25
Arrival at 05 Nov 16, 06:05
AV   #64 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 93 reviews
Chibcha
By 764
Published on 17th November 2019

Intro


Hello amigos!

This time I'll cover a trip to Sri Lanka I made back in 2016… for theatrical purposes I shall reveal the routing as the FRs progress.

I had sworn myself never to fly again AV on transatlantic flights, but I wasn't offered a choice on my itinerary. So, at least for documental purposes, the "downgrade" to AV was accepted.
 
 So with not much further ado…lets get it on! 


Checking IN at Bogotá's Eldorado airport


Bogotá's new terminal building was a huge improvement over the previous one, but it has begun to fall short to the high trafic it handles.

I've heard horror stories of crowded emigration queues during the morning rush hour and the late afternoon/night shift. But this once I was in for a fairly smooth check in. The lady at check in could not figure out where I was headed (Sri Lanka is seldom heard of in Colombia), I had to spell the country's name to her, and then show her my e-visa confirmation to get my BP.

Emigration was fairly crowded but it flowed…I find it silly how much Colombia control's its own citizens' migration. I know it is useful in human and drug trafficking, but it is a bother nonetheless.  


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Boarding the dreamliner to Madrid


While preparing for this trip, I notice I had lost my Priority Pass card, I probably left it behind in London since it was the last place I used it. I called my bank to have it replaced (up to this date they've failed to hand in the replacement card).

 Since I was in for almost 24h of travel, I tried to keep it as a cool as possible. 

I'm not a big fan of AV's new livery, but it does look good on the 787.
 



Onboard and inflight


AV configured its 787s  on the industry-standard 3x3x3 layout, so it's got tighter seats than IB on its A346. But seat pitch was decent enough for the 9 hour hop to Madrid. Pillows, blankets and shabby earphones were provided.


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I had read on the internet this particular flight (one of the two daily flights AV offers between BOG and MAD <Increased to 3 dailies currently>) caters mainly from connecting passengers from UIO and LIM, so if the LIM inbound is late our departure is delayed.

Now, I had a comfortable connection in MAD, around 4 hours, I shouldn't have to worry, or did I?

Eventually the LIM peeps got in and we were good to go. The flight was packed even though November is not peak season for vacations. 

 


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We taxied to RWY 13R and then we took of right towards the north (usually 13L is used for northward departures).
It was odd for me to depart to Europe with daylight as most flights to Europe depart at night. 



While taxiing I tried the IFE to figure what to entertain myself with… I used to listen to "canticuentos" when I was a little child, but these were new modern versions that I didn't find nostalgia-inspiring.

This would be quite a short longhaul, less than 9 hours!  
 



The flight remained rather uneventful.  The clouds covered the view out of Bogotá for the most part (it cleared up just in time for me to snap a couple of pictures of Bucaramanga (Colombia's 5th largest city). 
 



While cruising over the Venezuelean coast we were offered lunch. I don't remember the other option but I chose meat. Taste was good. Quantity was lacking. 


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After the food service was done, the crew turned on the mood lighting and our windows were remotely tinted. 


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I spent most of the flight watching the whole first season if Mr.Robot. I loved the series, and discovered longhauls are great for binge watching!

Sometime later lights were turned to white and the breakfast service was delivered. An option between eggs and cereal was offered. I chose eggs. They were edible.
 


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We landed into Barajas at night with enough time to do my connection without too much hassle…

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Verdict

Avianca

7.8/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering6.5

Bogota - BOG

8.0/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness10.0

Madrid - MAD

6.9/10
Efficiency7.5
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

AV's product is just okay. It does offer a good hard product, but the soft product is quite mediocre. FAs are courteous but uninterested. While the food is scarce the quality is decent. The IFE is great. However, I'd rather fly with IB between MAD and BOG.

BOG did its job as usual. MAD will be addressed on the next FR.

Thanks for reading, saludos!

Information on the route Bogota (BOG) Madrid (MAD)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Bogota (BOG) → Madrid (MAD).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Avianca with 7.3/10.

The average flight time is 9 hours and 38 minutes.

  More information

3 Comments

  • Comment 530544 by
    paulgr 75 Comments

    Thanks Chibcha for this FR!

    Effectively, AV is much better for domestic than international flights. And fortunately you've got a Dreamliner

    The routing is quite original, I'm look forward to see the following. I assume the price was better?

    Greeting from France!

    • Comment 530742 by
      Chibcha AUTHOR 432 Comments

      For domestic AV seems cool because it's got PTVs but nowadays that seems about it with its advantages vis-a-vis LATAM.
      I like the Dreamliner, but I would take the Airbus anytime, can't beat the wider seats and the 2X4X2 arrangement!
      I got the trip paid for, but I would guess the peeps who paid instructed the travel agency to find the cheapest way between BOG and CMB.
      Thanks for passing by!

  • Comment 530753 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5139 Comments

    AV's product is just okay. It does offer a good hard product, but the soft product is quite mediocre.

    That's sounds like a very good assessment of what we see in this review.

    The meals, especially are pretty sad-looking for a 10h flight. Being more used to 7-8h Transatlantic flights, 10h begins to get into the true long-haul realm for me. While I commend AV on serving 2 hot meals...the main dish is tiny on both. The portions look like they're for a child meal...in fast, I think the baby meals my 9-month-old gets are bigger, haha.

    Thanks for sharing! Interested to see what the next leg will be.

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