Copa Airlines Clase Ejecutiva (Business Class) Flight 430 Panama City, Panama – Miami – Review
Scheduled to join the Star Alliance this month, rapidly growing Copa Airlines will add four new destinations to its current total of 59 when it launches new flights to Recife, Brazil; Liberia (Guanacaste) in Costa Rica; Las Vegas, Nevada; and Curacao later this year.
Check-in for my flight to Miami, Florida at Copa Airlines’ hub, Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport, was fairly quick for my 11:58 a.m. flight. With no luggage to check, I soon had my boarding pass, and made my way to the lounge.
After a seamless transit through security and passport control, I found a short line to get into the Copa Club lounge. Once inside, I found bagels, cereal, snacks, and coffee, and grabbed a quick, light breakfast while using the fast, free Wi-Fi. The lounge also features workstations, copier and fax, and a bar with free mixed drinks, wine, and beer.
I left the Copa Club lounge about a half an hour prior to boarding to explore the airport before making my way to my departure gate. As we began boarding, with separate lines for Clase Ejecutiva and Economy Class, I encountered a secondary security check, albeit a quick one, as bags were examined manually by efficient, courteous personnel.
Clase Ejecutiva seating was in a 2-2 configuration aboard a Boeing 737-800. Clase Ejecutiva seats have a 38” pitch and a 20.5” width and provided ample comfort for the approximately three-hour flight. Seatback pockets held headphones for the ceiling-mounted video screens, and blankets and pillows topped the seat cushions.
Flight attendants took drink and lunch orders shortly after takeoff. After starting with a tasty seared tuna appetizer, I enjoyed a tender, flavorful beef with Chimichurri sauce, which was easily one of the best entrees I’ve ever had aboard an aircraft. A light cheesecake with excellent coffee provided a satisfying coda to the meal. Flight attendants were thoughtful and efficient throughout.
We arrived at Miami Airport slightly delayed by weather, but with plenty of time for my connecting flight to Washington, D.C. Short lines at immigration made an already pleasant experience even better.
Copa Airlines’ impressive growth and its upcoming entry into the Star Alliance make it a formidable competitor among airlines flying between the Americas. My flight was enjoyable and comfortable, and I found Copa staff and service to be both warm and professional.
(Photo of aircraft: Dani Sanchez)