Review of Avianca flight Bogota Cusco in Premium Eco

Airline Avianca
Flight AV105
Class Premium Eco
Seat 2K
Aircraft Airbus A320neo
Flight time 03:20
Take-off 18 Mar 24, 07:50
Arrival at 18 Mar 24, 11:10
AV   #82 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 119 reviews
jettoajet
By GOLD 316
Published on 2nd April 2024

intro


Wow, where to begin? For the fourth segment of my Latam adventure, I will be heading on this Avianca A320neo from Bogota to Cusco. Originally, the plan was to head to La Paz first and then back to Cusco after, but the flight price to La Paz was over 500$ one way in economy! With that said, it was cheaper to head to the cute town of Cusco first!

Here a couple pictures of Bogota before we begin. The street art is gorgeous, simply breathtaking.



However, there is some room for improvement when it comes to Avianca, such as service. But, the hard product is phenomenal. The premium seats blew me away!

Let's get into the review!


routing


Routing


how i booked


Avianca has a monopoly in these small markets across South America. For example, the only airline that can fly the Bogota-Cusco route is Avianca, which means they can charge anything that they want. For my ticket, the cost came out to 371.50$ for the normal fare, including check-in at the airport, 1 personal baggage, and 1 carry-on. For a flight that is under 3 hours, that is steep.

I had already booked the second leg into the premium Recaro seat, since I wanted to see if Avianca would sell discounted tickets at the desk before departure, much like with Business Class. However, the cost remained the same, and I fronted an additional 60$ to sit in the premium seat! There is a sweet spot on these low-cost carriers if you are willing to pay a little extra!


Arrival at el dorado


Another brutal 3 am wake-up was in order due to a boarding time of 7:05 am. I arrived at the airport around 4 am after a 30-minute Uber (scheduled in advance). 


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The driver dropped me off at arrivals since departures were chaotic at this hour! Who knew it would be this busy at 4 am… I quickly found a Dunkin Donuts, but somehow refrained from coffee as I wanted to get some shut-eye.


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The menu is vastly different in Colombia versus the US…


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With a pastry in hand, I made my way up to check in.


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check in


Upon heading upstairs, I found the check-in counters. Bogota is a large airport and a tad confusing because I had never been here before…


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After a few minutes, I had to walk over to international departures.


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The immigration line took a minute, but eventually, I made it to the automated kiosks. Bogota, it is incredible that it isn't a manual line, but I am trying to fill out my passport!


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My flight today would depart from B gates, all the way to the end of the terminal…


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It was about an hour before departure, so my inner Avgeek kicked in. Planespotting time!



30 minutes before boarding, I headed over to the gate and made the upgrade to seat 2K. The agent was rude saying, "You have to pay" and I said, "I understand, I want to pay😉😅". She then continued on to say there was no space in the premium seats, but after I pulled up Expert Flyer, she said 2K was available😅. Surely, they would want to sell the seats, right?

The cost was 60$, representing a 20$ per hour increase. The payment was made through a Credit Card and I was issued my new boarding pass for seat 2K.


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boarding


Boarding commenced at 7:05 am local time, and you have group 1 access with the premium seats. 


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A Latam Airbus was parked next to us. It's crazy to think if I had connected with Latam, it would have been even more expensive. At the end of all the reviews, find out how I booked Santiago- Los Angeles in Business for under 1100$… cold hard cash.


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Once entering the aircraft, I saw the new Recaro seats. Look at how big they are! First impression: shocked!


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I easily found my seat 2 Kilo for this flight. I placed my bag overhead and kept my small backpack underneath as I planned to edit some photos of Colombia.


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What a splendid view of the wing🥰.


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departure


Minus 2A and 2C, the whole flight went out full to Cusco today.

By 7:35 am the boarding doors were closed but we held at our gate. My theory for this is how controlled the Cusco airport is since planes land in the same direction as the one departing head out. 


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Eventually, we pushed back at 7:58 am.



Look what I found!!!


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A couple of minutes later we were rolling on the long taxi out to depart South. Interestingly, we had a single-engine taxi until about 2 minutes before takeoff. Apparently, it's quite common, I guess maybe I don't pay enough attention😅.

I'll attach a slideshow of the taxi to the runway as we headed past the military base!



After a 15-minute single-engine taxi, we arrived at the runway.



At 8:19 am, we entered the runway for takeoff. Real-time takeoff, through the slideshow!



What views out of Bogota!


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the seat/cabin


The cabin on the Avianca A320neo is arranged with 3 rows of the "Premium Recaro Seat" in a 2-2 configuration totaling 12 seats. The rest of the plane features a 3-3 configuration with a right 28-inch pitch.


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The legroom is very generous. As a 6-foot, 160lbs man, I had more than enough space. Hey BA, Iberia, Avianca has a better hard product than you, I'm just saying😲.


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The concept of this seat features a wide portion. I was impressed at how much space there was. I loved the little storage compartment under the middle table, it was perfect for my bottle of water.

There was a plug socket underneath the center console but did not fit my Macbook charger.


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To follow suit, there was a tray table that came down from the back of the seat in front of you.


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On the descent, my seatmate headed to the other side of the plane, allowing me to snap a picture of the three seats. The middle seat is used as a center console.

Can we take a minute to appreciate how sleek these colors are? The black and red are beautiful.


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Put it this way, I was more than comfortable for 3 hours and would be more than comfortable on a flight to New York from Bogota.


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On the right-hand armrest, was a little option to recline. I didn't test it out, unfortunately.


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I managed to snap a quick shot of the cabin on the way back from the toilets. Let's just say, it was 60$ well spent.


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There were a few toilets on board, and surprisingly, they were kept clean throughout the flight.


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food and drink


Much like with my previous flight on Volaris, Avianca offers a buy-on-board service.


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Prices were a little bit more reasonable but still on the high side. An 1100$ business class flight is okay but 2.50$ Oreos is a bit out of my price range😅 (travel math). 


ife


I was utterly shocked to see that Avianca has IFE on the narrowbody jets. While there are no seatback screens, passengers are able to stream movies and TV shows from their personal devices by connecting to the Wifi.



The IFE worked well and there were plenty of options. Although I did just sleep for most of the flight, that was until we began our flight… I counted 41 movies!!!!!


approach into cusco


Wow, wow, wow, wow. Peru❤️. Our initial descent began at 10:54 am. What beautiful views!



Simply incredible!



Cusco is the second-highest city in the world after La Paz, and I will be heading next. 



The approach to Cusco was one of the most gorgeous I have ever witnessed.



It brought back memories of the approach into Bhutan, as we were weaving through the mountains of Peru! 


arrival


By 11:07 am, we were on a short final into Cusco.


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And at 11:10 am, we had a smooth touchdown. 



The pilots impressed me, and I imagine this is not the easiest airport to land in. Yes, they probably do it countless times, but it's impressive nonetheless.


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De-planing at Cusco is interesting. It requires a walk down the jetbridge, then down some stairs, back outside, and then back inside…


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To immigration! Since there were only 3 agents working at the time, I was so grateful I was in the premium seats as it probably saved me 30 minutes. Note: they do not stamp passports anymore here!


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Welcome to Country 79! Peru!


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Cusco is one of my favorite towns in the world, truly the Hoi An of LATAM. I'll be writing about it on my blog tomorrow if you are interested in reading about it! Thanks for reading this flight report

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Verdict

Avianca

7.4/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering6.5

Bogota - BOG

7.4/10
Efficiency7.5
Access7.5
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.0

Cusco - CUZ

8.1/10
Efficiency9.0
Access8.5
Services8.0
Cleanliness7.0

Conclusion

Aside from the rude service at the gate, Aviance blew me away with their premium seat offering onboard this A320neo. The seat is spacious with no issues getting comfortable, and the IFE contains over 40 movies. What is the best part? It is only 60$ more for most flights. There is a sweet spot here when it comes to low-cost carriers in Latam, as I think the hard product could compete with other narrowbody business class seats.

If Avianca wanted to add free meals and better service, they could compete in the US markets with this product and their 787 product. From this flight, I was able to determine that there is a lot of potential for Avianca if only they wanted it😅. I would be more than happy to fly this product again, especially on longer routes to LAX or JFK if the price were right.

Related

5 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 648140 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6718 Comments
    Awesome to see a review on Avianca's new-ish Premium product. AV's really gone through an identity crisis these past few years. They went from being a full service carrier, to a ULCC, and now are kind of clawing back towards more of a hybrid model. The just announced recently that they plan on selling regional Business class again on the narrowbodies, but only on longer flights. So I guess they'll be sticking a curtain behind row 3 and start offering proper meals up front once again.

    For my ticket, the cost came out to 371.50$ for the normal fare, including check-in at the airport, 1 personal baggage, and 1 carry-on. For a flight that is under 3 hours, that is steep.

    That's madness. I am so surprised that LATAM doesn't also operate this route. Out of curiosity I looked at some dates over the summer and there weren't even daily flights on Avianca, so I guess it is a very small market, which is kind of surprising considering how the Cuzco area is so popular ...too popular even.

    Surely, they would want to sell the seats, right?

    Terrible agent. Why in the world wouldn't you want to make your company more money...just lazy

    Santiago- Los Angeles in Business for under 1100$… cold hard cash.

    That's a good deal for such a long flight. I suspect buying ex-South America is cheaper than buying ex-North America

    The Premium seat looks a lot more spacious than I thought it would. there's more legroom than I expected considering how tightly packed these planes are with 186-188 seats. I kind of don't get why they just didn't install a slimline 2-2 business class seat, kind of like Spirit Big Front Seat, because these seats aren't really Eurobiz since the middle seat is never going to be usable based on how the table insert is designed. So that being the case, I guess I don't really get why they have a seat that looks like Eurobiz, but isn't as flexible as Eurobiz....just kinda weird. Nonetheless it does look sleek and I guess going for this type of seat does make it more spacious at a tighter pitch.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 648141 by
      jettoajet GOLD AUTHOR 71 Comments
      Hi Kevin, thanks for your comment and changing it to premium economy (guessing that was you 😅). Interesting about Avianca, I didn't know they were transitioning over to selling narrowbody business class again, I am glad to see it as I think there is a market there, appreciate the info. But seriously, their management needs some work😅.

      As you mentioned, Cusco is too popular... I didn't realize you had been (before I joined FR), but I have now been reading about your adventures down there. You are so lucky you got sunshine on your trip to Machu Picchu😱! A great read about that whole adventure.

      Before I got on board, I did some research on the product regarding the weird "middle seat" like Eurobiz and thought that it wasn't functional. I have to say even if it doesn't make the most sense (back to the management part), it is great from a customer perspective and feels more private than the Spirit front seat or any US domestic First weirdly to say.

      Anyway, thanks so much for reading, and thanks for your comment! Have a great day!
  • Comment 648221 by
    Chibcha SILVER 552 Comments
    Avianca has gone a long way on its 105 years...into an LCC, as Kevin mentioned. I haven't flown with them since 2020 and hope never to do again until they get their act back together. They used to be a source of pride for Colombians, but now, it's just one more airline to dislike. What you experienced at the gate is basically how the whole pax experience is with them all across the board.

    Enough with AV bashing. I hope you had a good time in Bogotá.

    Landing in any Andean city is quite an experience, and Cuzco probably is one of the most extreme, thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 648229 by
      jettoajet GOLD AUTHOR 71 Comments
      I did have an amazing time in Bogota! I loved the city! Are you from Colombia? I checked out your profile and just a bunch of routes out of what I thought was Colombia. Love the country, but I also might be a little biased since I swear I might have an addiction to Aguardiente😂. To add, the people are so much fun and very outgoing.

      I'll have to check your Avianca reviews from 2020 as I am interested in seeing if there was any difference. Wow, I am shocked to hear about the level of service. It's sad to see as they have so much potential, literally the world in their palms I feel like.

      Thanks again so much for stopping by!

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