Just when I thought in-flight service in business class could not get worse, I flew Avianca. To say my flight was disappointing would be quite an understatement.
Avianca Airlines Business Class Review Summed Up In One Word: Bad
From the outset, I acknowledge Avianca is a financially-troubled airline. It is currently operating in bankruptcy protection (with plans to emerge soon) and there is genuine concern whether the carrier can survive.
Even so, I was expecting a little something more on a 5.5 hours flight departing at dinner time in business class, and I don’t just mean the meal.
Upon boarding my Airbus A319 from San Salvador (SAL) to Los Angeles (LAX), I noticed the cabin looked rather tattered and there were no individual screens.
Fine, I thought. At least there would be overhead video or streaming video, right? Wrong. There was no wi-fi, no streaming video, and no overhead video except for the pre-flight safety briefing. Power ports were broken.
The business class cabin boarded full, with an off-duty flight attendant seated next to me. We took off on time and the captain informed us our flight time would be 5 hours, 17 minutes and we’d be landing in Los Angeles on-time.
Shortly after takeoff, a flight attendant sprang into action. I had enjoyed some tortilla soup in the lounge prior to the flight, but was somewhat hungry.
That turned out to be a mistake on my part.
She appeared with a beverage cart and I noticed just about everyone was ordering Baileys Irish Cream. That’s odd, I thought. Is this a favorite drink in El Salvador?
Finally she reached me in the last row and offered me a choice of water, Coca-Cola, or Baileys. Yes, three drink choices in business class, including Baileys.
I had water.
I was also offered a box containing a chicken pita sandwich and plantain chips. This would be dinner on the 5+ hour international flight.
Well, better than nothing I suppose. But as I tried to open the sandwich, I found the bread had stuck to the wrapper and pulled apart as I tried to pull it out, emptying the lukewarm chicken all over the cardboard box it was served in.
Settling back in my seat, I tried to relax.
And the flight attendant must have as well, for I didn’t see her until just prior to landing. That’s right, not even more water, Coke, or Baileys during the rest of the flight.
Folks, don’t even bother with the smallest violin jokes. This blog is all about first world problems like meal service in business class. Sure I’m complaining, but I also hope you will take my experience into mind when choosing which airline to travel on to Central and South America.
I could have taken United back from San Salvador – Los Angeles and been home three hours early and enjoyed a full meal aboard with wi-fi, individual screens, and streaming entertainment. Let that sink in…
But while I do think Avianca’s cost-cutting is absurd, I was happy to try it…now you don’t have to. What a disappointment for a carrier that traditionally offered very tasty meals onboard.