I’ve been traveling quite a bit lately and last week had the chance to fly from Panama City, Panama to Los Angeles on Copa Airlines abroad a 737 MAX in business class. Not only was this flight my first experience on Copa’s latest lie-flat product, but it was my first flight ever on Copa.
Copa 737 MAX Business Class – My First Impressions
I’ve flown most alliance airlines, but Copa was a gap in Star Alliance that has now been filled. The airline, once partially owned by Continental Airlines, is now on its own, however still offers upgrade opportunities for United MileagePlus members. I used 40 PlusPoints to upgrade the six-hour flight from PTY to LAX. In normal times, that would be a supreme waste of PlusPoints, but we don’t live in normal times and I was happy to fly a new airline and new product.
Not that the the product was new…the B/E Diamond seat is very common and one you’ll find on American, Delta and United (on select aircraft). This one had a shoulder strap…I’m not sure why.
Copa class its premium cabin “Dreams” business class aboard the 737 MAX and in addition to the lie-flat seat offers very nice bedding including a large blanket and pillow.
After over a year of cuts to catering blamed on the pandemic, plated meals were restored in business class a few weeks ago. I wasn’t even expecting this, so it was a nice additional treat on the flight. Through July, the carrier was offering only pre-packaged meals served in disposable containers, the sort of meals you could expect in economy class.
While meals are still serve covered, it was nice to have real glasses, real cups, and a choice between two entrees served on ceramic dishware.
That said, the main course was tiny (not sure if that is obvious based upon the picture). The beef entree had literally just a few bites of beef and a thin layer of saffron. It was tasty though, and I loved the cheese crackers and dip (though I have no idea what the dip actually was…).
Service was lovely leading up the meal service and during the meal service. Then, the flight attendants disappeared for several hours…or maybe I just slept through it. But those few times I did wake up, the cabin was dark and the front galley empty.
We landed ahead of schedule in Los Angeles in the Tom Bradly Terminal.
I enjoyed the COPA experience, which is the only way to travel nonstop between Central America and Los Angeles in a lie-flat seat. That said, for a flight blocked at nearly seven hours, I would have expected a bit more in terms of catering onboard. Stay tuned for a full review in which I’ll discuss the IFE, amenity kits, and other onboard offerings, plus my ground experience in PTY.
Have you flown Copa’s new(ish) 737 MAX? How was your experience?