Flight Review: Avianca Clase Ejecutiva Business Class New York – Bogotá

By Jonathan Spira on 23 September 2019
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The roads were empty as my driver headed down the parkway towards John F. Kennedy International Airport-Terminal 4 at 4:30 in the morning but the terminal was surprisingly busy for the hour. There were dedicated queues and agents for Clase Ejecutiva and only one person was ahead of me so the wait was minimal.

The agent asked the standard security questions and issued a boarding card, advising that I could use the PreCheck trusted travel lanes at the airport’s security checkpoint, but she did not mention lounge access.  When I enquired, she explained that the lounge the airline uses, which is operated by Swiss, was closed for renovation at this time and no other arrangements had been made. It was a disappointing start for my Clase Ejecutiva experience but what awaited me on board soon made up for it.

BOARDING

The agent at the gate asked where I was going – most passengers seemed to be making connections – and was pleased to learn this would be my first Avianca flight and my first visit to Bogotá and Colombia.  It was at that moment, when she was telling me to stand by for boarding, that she was apprised of a mechanical issue and boarding was delayed for close to an hour.

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Once boarding began, Avianca invited those flying Clase Ejecutiva to board first, and I was the first onto the aircraft, an Airbus A330-300, aside from wheelchair passengers who were preboarded. The business-class cabin was lit up as pink as theatergoers on Wednesdays at “Mean Girls” with the in-flight entertainment screens all set to a blank pink screen.  The purser, Norma, welcomed me and offered to hang my coat (while it was summer weather in New York City, Bogotá was cool and I packed for spring).

FLIGHT PLAN

We pushed back 55 minutes later than expected and were wheels up at 7:40 a.m. EDT, 65 minutes behind schedule. We took off to the east and veered south over the Atlantic, following a more-or-less south-southeasterly heading over the U.S. coastline.   As we reached North Carolina, we continued due south over the Bahamas, Cuba, and the Caribbean Sea, passing east of Jamaica.  We entered Colombian airspace over Riohacha and continued in a south-southwesterly direction until reaching El Dorado Luis Carlos Galan Sarmiento International Airport.

The flight took five hours and 20 minutes and we landed at 11:37 a.m. local time, 61 minutes late.Thanks to a quick taxi time, we were at the gate at 11:41 a.m., 34 minutes past the scheduled arrival time.

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