Copa Airlines Economy Class Review Santo Domingo to Panama City and Cartagena

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I had flown Copa Airlines in December on my way from Rio de Janeiro to Panama City in business class and also reviewed my flight on to New York City. Availability was very generous in first class and frankly it was the only option for my dates.

I wasn't impressed by the product – on these long routes flown as a red-eye, you just want to sleep and the recline is what matters. The seats are okay but just domestic first class level.

Now I wanted to try the economy class product and I was duly impressed!

The Copa Club in Santo Domingo isn't great, but considering how bad things are in the Dominican Republic, it's rather newish and overall it works. There aren't many other lounges anyways.

Boarding was perfectly on time and very efficient with a separate priority lane. The plane was a brand new Boeing 737 with a considerable seat pitch (33"?) and private TV for every seat. The entertainment system has a good number of movies and TV shows loaded.

Flight attendants were very friendly and came through with drinks twice and food once. Not that the food was edible but at least they tried. Potato chips and waffles were served as well.

The whole flight felt very enjoyable with lots of personal space as well as plenty of entertainment and drinks (alcohol included).

I arrived 20 minutes early in Panama City. The airport is new and, given Central America's standards, it's extraordinary. Unfortunately the Copa Club is just ok.

The flight to Cartagena was operated by an Embraer E-190 and was completely full with people looking forward to the city's beaches. It was just 45 minutes long and over before the drink service could really finish.

Cartagena Airport has 'walking gates' so you walk from your aircraft to the airport building through the famous ultra-high humidity.

Immigration was super-quick and bags came out fast too. No dawdling here.

Copa Airlines in economy is as good as it gets on small planes and I for one would not hesitate to fly them again.

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4.5 / 5 stars