Hello everyone, this is the first of a 4 trip series on my latest trip to the US. All done by Copa Airlines. Routes: BOG-PTY PTY-IAD JFK-PTY PTY-BOG
My GF and her family planned a trip to NY and DC for easter week. At first I wasn't going but my inlaws told me to think about it and my mum gave me an OK if I passed all my requirements to graduate. They were going on DL, but by the time I chose to go their fares were to high. The cheapest option was CM.
My previous experiences with CM were only on the short hop to PTY, but now I could taste CMs service on their long flights, I believe their longest are to EZE, SCL, MVD, LAS, YYZ and LAX.
So…after finishing all my part of the deal, I was ready to go to the US. I was excited for this experience on CM, and also because I was going to NY, one of my favorite places.
The flight was scheduled to depart at 6:30, usually one is required to be at the airport 3 hours early, but I reckoned that because of the early time I could get around later.
So this was the scene at 4:30am
There was a relatively short line, but so pathetically managed that it took me almost 1:15 hours to clear. I reached my be at the gate time by the time I checked in.
BOG's check in counters have this cheese-like look, I like it.
One year and a half after inauguration and they've still haven't managed to get it right with the place
My GFs flight was leaving at 7:50, she got to the airport at 5:30 and had her deal done with at the same place as I. We cleared Emigration and Security Check quickly and then on to the Duty Free…
They stayed trapped there shopping, I bid goodbye and went on to check out the new parts of the airport…
Mostly plain…the walls are to segregate the swing gates which can be either domestic or international depending to demand.
There are some shops too..
One of UAs 73G, either to EWR or IAH…with the sunrise
AVs A332, don't know where to
The ATC tower from the terminal…soon to be gone too.
Then to my gate, which was at the other end of the terminal. Something I find really silly about BOG is that they only placed moving walkways in one way. Nice if you're on their way, frustrating if not.
The 73G that would get my GF to JFK
LAN's 763 either to MIA or GRU
At my gate, chaos had formed. But order was dully enforced by the gate agents thankfully.
Another LA 763
I was one of the last to board as I was at the front of Y cabin, the plane would be served by a Panamanian crew. Upon boarding I was excited to see that it was an SkyInterior plane, which led me to believe I would be able to see the new IFE. Unfortunately it was not configured with PTVs. CM has currently 3 different cabins. The classic old style cabin, practically the same as pmCO, and the SkyInterior either with or without PTVs.
Seats looked modern and nice…wouldn't mind them on a 6h flight
Pitch was OK, I expected worse.
View from the seat, front:
CM allows you to use your music player all the time, so I basically ignored the safety instructions.. I only noticed the crew was a bit rude when speaking to passengers, barking orders to people…
Soon we began our taxi into RWY 13R
Trafic at the AM bank, mainly flights to the US, Central America, Ecuador and Peru. (In old times a flight to CCS was also at this time, now AV operates a single flight)
Zoom to some planes (the little E190 was flying to PTY 30m after us)
AAs morning flight to MIA
B6 A320 being towed to its gate
The new and old terminal buildings
Taxi to the RWY was fast…but then there was a bit of a wait. Traffic consisted mainly of ATRs and Airbuses
We waited so long, that the other flight to PTY catched up with us
Take off and southward departure, eventually north-west route
Leaving Bogotá behind, we flew over Western Cundinamarca on to Tolima Department…
The city of Fusagasugá
This town is called La Mesa (the Table) because of its relatively plain grounds
Tolima's capitol city, Ibagué
Can you see Nevado del Tolima?
Now a zoom into it
Now with its brother, Nevado del Ruiz
I find this villages at the top of the ridges impressive
Nevado del Ruiz is a volcano, always puffing out some fumes, let's hope it stays this way…last time it erupted it obliterated a town called Armero in 1985.
This town is called Líbano (Spanish for Lebanon) in Tolima Department.
Líbano and Nevado del Ruiz
Zoom to Nevado del Ruiz' crater
This compound of Volcanoes and snow capped mountains is a national park called Los Nevados, passing the ridge, we're into Caldas Department
At the foothill of the Nevado del Ruiz is Caldas' capitol city, Manizales
Oh no! IFE is comming to an end…
When Caldas Department ends, one enters Risaralda Department and then to Chocó Department, home to the place where it rains the most on Earth. By then, service begun, we where handed some grapes, a croissant filled with cheeses and chicken ham and a drink of our choice. I found it really good.
Sky cleared and we managed to see parts of the last of the Western Andes and the begining of the jungles of Chocó. At a point I thought the jungle was the sea, but soon I got corrected, as the shores of the Pacific Ocean were visible.
I dozed for a while and then we were asked to prepare for landing…rather quickly.
I caught this warship…don't know who's is it from.
Nice reflection of us on the CFM engine
Soon the ships told us we were imminently on PTY's runways
Howard Airport on the western side of the Canal. Panamá's government plans to create an alternate airport to PTY there.
Panamá City: let the photo tour begin
Amador Causeway, with a yacht marina, fancy restaurants and an Smithsonian Museum research centre
The old city, with the hideous new highway circling it…I've always thought that was a wrong call by the Panamanian Governement. A tunnel would have been better.
Paitilla and Punta Pacifica, the Burj al Arab like building is Trump Tower, currently Panamá's tallest and LatAms second tallest.
Another view a the city's skyline
Costa del Este
No doubt Panamá is Latin America's skyscraper capital.
Zoom into Costa del Este…when I went to Panamá to the first time back in 02, the short building at the middle of the picture was the only building in the zone…and it looked so tall.
And then landing on Tocumen, a.k.a. 737 ville, RWY 03R
South Terminal building site
Delta's 737 to ATL
AA also sends 737s here, probably going to MIA
As you can see, UA and CM have a very close relationship
UA sends 739s from IAH and EWR
The 6:50 flight from Bogotá landing right behind us
Terminal South on the works…
Parked at gate 30 besides the AA 737
De boarding was quick, and then on to cross PTY to my IAD bound flight…stay tuned!
Bogota - BOG
Panamá City - PTY
A nice flight with CM, everything was OK and the flight path provides gorgeous views of Colombia's mountains, jungles and cities. The new 737 felt good, bummer not to have the IFE.
CM provided a good product, with appropriate catering for the 1h long flight. The crew was a bit rude in my opinion, I think it has something to do with Panamanian's attitude towards service. IFE was not provided by the airline, and their magazine is rather crappy, hence the low score. The seats where very nice compared with the ones to follow on the other flights.
BOG was OK, CM's people at the Check-in counters where completely inept. Other than that, since I didn't have much time I didn't get to have breakfast nor to check the stores and traffic the way I would have wanted.
PTY will be covered on the next report.
Thanks for reading,
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