With not much else to do inside the lounge, we left the lounge earlier to explore the rest of Terminal 4 and to browse some of the shops along the way to our gates.
AV21 New York JFK – Bogotá El Dorado BOG
Airbus A330-300 N803AV
Gate A7 Seat 4A
We were still early arriving at out gates as boarding has yet to commence. With a clear view of our aircraft from the gates, I was able to snap a few photos before boarding.
When boarding was called, we were amongst one of the first to board. Avianca installs angled flat seats in the Business Class cabin in a 2-2-2 configuration for their A330. This is similar in style to the A330 operated by Singapore Airlines, China Airlines and Fiji Airlines. The seats are even similar with the same features on the above-mentioned airlines.
Placed on every maroon leather seat was a pillow and blanket wrapped in plastic. The large package did take up nearly the whole seat so it was nice to have the window seat where I could store them at.
On the seat back, there is a nice HD monitor with the magazine compartment placed in the middle. A bottle holder is placed beneath the magazine compartment while there are jacket hangers on the sides of each monitor. A small switch on the sides allows the opening of the 2 small storage compartments underneath the monitor and they are useful for placing your phones, passport and boarding passes.
Below the armrest there was a ledge where the headphones were placed at. These headphones were not wrapped in any plastic and seems like a normal over-the-ear models distributed commonly in Business class cabins. There was no brand or any noise cancelling feature but it works alright.
Other notable features of the seat are the reading lights on the right side above the audio outlets for the headset. There are also power outlets below the armrest where I could charge my phone using my own charger.
On the left armrest, there was the buttons to control the seat recline with one-touch function to move the seat to a full recline mode and to the default position for take-off and landing.
After we got seated, welcome drinks of orange juice and water was offered. Just focused on keeping myself hydrated, I asked for water this morning.
Amenity kits were handed shortly after and Avianca gives out a nice kit by Tumi that are nice to keep since they are of a good size for holding your gadgets and cables.
Inside the amenity kit, there was an eye mask, a pair of socks, a small pen, a dental kit, a Chap stick lip balm, a packet of tissue, ear plugs, a pair of headphone earpiece cover, and a small tube of L’Occitane hand cream. It was a very useful content as well which was generous for a relatively short day flight.
Flight menu was distributed by the stewardess shortly after. Both the food and wine list was in one piece of menu and the details are shown below.
Doors closed at around 7:26am and pullback began straight after. Safety videos were shown in Spanish and English separately. Business class cabin turned out to be full with all 6 rows occupied in the front section.
Long queue for the runway in the early morning traffic meant it was a while before it was our turn for take off. Captain gave announcements in Spanish with far more information before prepping the crew for take off.
After take-off, it was a direct route past Long Island and into the Atlantic where the clearer skies meant I got to enjoy some nice sunrise from the skies. Watching sunrise from an early morning flight is perhaps the best reward for waking up early to catch the flight.
About 30 minutes after take off, hot towels were distributed but they were the paper disposable kind.
I checked out the lavatories after that to discover that the lavatories onboard are fairly sparse without any additional amenities. The lavatory is a standard setup like in other A330s without any special features either.
Meal service commenced shortly after but they did not have any more of the scrambled egg by the time they arrived at my row. Perhaps it was due to the service starting with the right side of the cabin. My wife had the burrito with turkey and cheese and frankly it looked unappetizing.
My order of the parfait did look nicer but somewhat sparse. There was a packet of cereal with a plate of ham and cheese. On the lower left corner there is a small plate of sliced fruits. All the meal options came with fruits but only the scrambled eggs and parfait has the ham and cheese plate.
The parfait with ham and cheese was nice enough. Bread rolls were served alongside the meal but there was no croissant to be had and the rolls were a bit hard, even though there was apricot jam served in the tray.
For drinks, I had a mimosa with the meal service and after the meal service, bottled water placed by the armrest.
I fell asleep for a couple of hours after the meal service. Turbulence was felt on and off during the flight but it was nothing major. Cabin was also warm enough that I did not need the blanket. Both the slight turbulence and warm cabin meant it was a light nap rather than a deep sleep.
After waking up, I continued watching The Incredibles 2. At the same time I asked for some snacks and was handed some corn chips, plantain chips and packs of salted macadamias.
There was also a packet of Achiras snack that I particularly enjoy and visitors to Columbia should taste this simple snack.
Later on in the flight, drink orders were taken for the pre-arrival snack service. This time around I had some peach juice to accompany my snack. Snack service commenced about an hour prior to landing and there was no choice with both the turkey and cheese sandwich served on one plate.
The quick snack service meant there was still time to chill afterwards before the plane started its descent. Cloud cover meant there was little to see outside the window until we truly went underneath it.
As we started our descent, some guests started to refresh themselves at the lavatory and there was also more noise from the galley and the cabin. The view out of the window was mainly the greenery of Colombia.
Very smooth landing on a cloudy day in Bogota though the pilot made some excessive braking towards the end. It was a short taxi to the gates from the runway before we stopped beside another Avianca Airbus A320.
Avianca is a decent airline for travellers heading to South America with Bogota as a stopover point. It is also one of the airlines serving Cusco so I was able to get a seamless flight all the way to Cusco on the same itinerary. This will minimize any inconveniences arising from misconnects and allow me to check my luggage directly. For this flight, the meal service was not up to standard as they ran out of my choice and the presentation is somewhat lacking. Quality of the food is what I would rate as average at best. The features I really value onboard Avianca are really its snacks and amenity kit that they provide, but otherwise they are an average airline on par with other legacy full service airlines.