Review of Avianca flight Sao Paulo Bogota in Economy

Airline Avianca
Flight AV248
Class Economy
Seat 18A
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 06:40
Take-off 12 Jan 14, 01:25
Arrival at 12 Jan 14, 05:05
AV   #74 out of 121 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 92 reviews
Thomas Pilnik
Published on 27th March 2014
Hey folks. I'm reading flight-reports for quite sometime so I decide to write about my last trip to Cancun via Bogota
As it was night time, i was not able to take much pictures
Sorry for language mistakes as english is not my 1st language

Crappy photo of our web check-in. As you can see, we are flying Economy today on 18A
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We arrive at Guarulhos Airport about 22:00 local time and we had to wait over one hour and a half to dispatch our bags. Negative point for Avianca, as 3 check-in workers are not enough for the amount of passengers on that flight. Also we lost the chance of having a good dinner on the airport's best restaurant (Viena) as it closed before we left the check-in. So we eat pizza on one of the bad-quality restaurants of the airport. By mid-night we headed to police and it was pretty fast. I believe because of the low quantity of flights on that early morning time. By 20:00 you can stay over one hour there (as there are a big number of US flights leaving from 21:00). Ladies decided to spend the before boarding time on duty free.

I'm going directly to our gate. Poor photo of our aircraft. Today we are going in this A330-243 registered as N975AV, built 2011 and delivered brand new to Avianca in May 2011.
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My Vans backpack is labeled as hand-bag
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The boarding starts about 15 minutes late but it was a minor problem as the aircraft door was closed on time. It's being pretty hard to make good registres :(
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Gray seats. I personally like them when thinking about color only but a red seat like TAM's one for example feels much more alive and I do feel better on more colorful things.
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We are onboard and seated on 18A. Not a good seat in window perspective as it too far from the front window and its pretty hard to see the back window as the seat covers it. Only after reclining things may get better. Also on Avianca's A330 the lavatories are located between the front section and rear section of economy class, and not on the extreme rear of aircraft as on most airliners. Also, the seats had limited reclining compared to average and they were super uncomfortable and I don't know why. I experienced much better seats in other flights like for example American 777.
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Copyrights from SeatGuru. As I said above, lavatories are between sections. Not a good deal if you are seated somewhere like 18A.
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Here, our AVOD. Certainly not outdated, but for someone like me who already experienced new generation eX1/eX3/eXLite PTV's from Panasonic will feel this eX2 system slow and with low resolution. Another thing is the air map: the new generation's live map is WAY much better than this one. Anyway, it's an up to date product and responds well.
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For some jacket it can be useful. But I'm pretty sure you won't like having your coat on that coat hanger. It occupies too much precious space when you are seating economy.
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USB port. Essencial to charge iPod's/iPhone etc. Also there is a function that I couldn't use that syncs your iPod with the PTV but I don't know for what does it serves and I had no interest to try, sincerely.
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No smoking? Nah. Times changed. Please turn off electronic devices.
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Two pictures from the cabin where you can observe the main A330/A340 configuration in coach: 2-4-2.
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The flight is full. 100% in economy for sure. I can't tell about business class.
We pushed back on time and both RR came to life making a beautiful symphony. Flaps 2 set, we taxied via H and G to holding point 09R where we lined up and the trent 700 hundred engines spooled up with their traditional uuuuuuuuu sound which I simply love! Airborne 09R, we followed CGO1B departure with transition in SCB, where we intercepted UM782 airway and started our way to BOG.
Please watch the takeoff video below:

http://youtu.be/cqx2nzopoiY


We are flying FL380. I'm watching Facebook (Mark Zuckerberg) movie. Avianca's movies and musics selection is simply POOR. There were less then 15 movies. No recent release. I felt pretty much bored as there was nothing to watch in a flight just over 6 hours and remember these A330's operates Europe flights. I would certainly mind spending a 10 hours flight with that few options. So I decided to watch Facebook movie (called The Social Network) which is a long film with 2 hours duration. After finishing it, I decided to take a nap as I had nothing else to do…
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The crew was disappointing. No smile from them, and I couldn't see a SINGLE one who spoke english. I asked them in english as I am not spanish fluent and they answered in spanish.
Bad image of the AVOD seat control.
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I woke up and we were flying FL400 and about 1 hour and half from BOG. It was the right time when the lights were turned on and the breakfast service started with a single option which was omelet. I wasn't hungry so I decided to refuse it. I had a cup of water only.
We started descent to Bogotá and there were some heavy formation's (CB's) which made our approach very bumpy. The landing was ok but as it was an A330 I'm sure it could have been better..
I will upload the video later and post in the comment's (I don't know if this is possible anyway…)

Picture of how the cabin looked (more or less) during cruise with lights turned off. Notice this aircraft is not equipped with mood-lightning.
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Photo of final approach
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Parked next to B6's A320 (N565JB)
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We left the plane and we faced a cold morning at Bogotá. First thing I did was visiting a toilet and I can say that it was a very modern bathroom but very very dirty too with a lot of papers on the ground, etc.

Then police asked with we were heading to another city. We said yes and they immediately showed us the way for a bag inspection line. We took about two minutes to be released from police and then up stairs for free shop. I was very surprised with the free shop quality because there were a lot of stores and options but the price is not as good as you can find in US stores.

Notice how modern this new terminal looks
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Thanks for reading guys!
See more

Verdict

Avianca

5.8/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew5.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering6.0

Sao Paulo - GRU

6.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness5.0

Bogota - BOG

7.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

So, it's my second time making Cancun trips in 2 years time and the first time I did with Copa Airlines brand new 737-800 and I can say it is 10 times better then Avianca's service and I would rather choose Copa next time for sure. Avianca is an average airline but their seats are very uncomfortable and PTV has a very limited selection of entertainment. In other hand, Bogotá is a great airport with it's new terminal built in 2011 as far as I remember but think twice before buying tickets with them.

Cheers from Brazil,
Thomas.

Related

5 Comments

  • Comment 103866 by
    Avionero 77 Comments

    Hello and welcome.
    Interesting FR. Was breakfast the only meal service in the entire flight? It's a pity you didn't ask for omelette, at least for showing us the picture... ;)
    The seat must have been quite uncomfortable for you to prefer Copa's B738 rather than Avianca's A332... :P
    Cheers

  • Comment 103869 by
    Caribel 113 Comments

    Muito obrigado! Most airlines discount red-eye flights with the understanding that you are accepting reduce on-board services.

    Flight attendants avoid speaking foreign languages if they are not getting pay differential for that skill. You are certainly entitled to ask the purser to assign an English speaking FA to answer all your calls. If that entails the FA walking from business class every five minutes that is the purser's cross to bear.

    Have an Italian Margarita beachside and drown the memory of this forgettable flight;).

  • Comment 103890 by
    Chibcha 432 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report. It portray's AV's LH product as it is: mediocre. Sure they've gone a long way improving their fleet and giving us PTVs and so on. But service standards are still really poor, the language issue is unacceptable.

    Whilst I agree with you that the IFE must definitely be improved, especially on the film offerings, I do find the seats comfortable (my brother thinks like you do and insists the A332 was a big disappointment), hope you had a great time @ CUN!

    Saludos!

  • Comment 103897 by
    pititom GOLD 10703 Comments

    Thanks for this first report and welcome here :)

    Standard flight but the cabin looks fresh and welcoming.

    Welcome aboard :)

  • Comment 104076 by
    KL651 TEAM 4492 Comments

    Welcome and thanks for this first FR.
    I agree with you, the cabin is a bit dull, a touch of red or orange would be nice.
    There was no service after take off from GRU? Not even something to drink?
    It's always disapointing when you have a nice modern PTV but with a poor choice.

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