Flight Review – COPA Airlines Bogota, Colombia to Mexico City in Economy

Written and Published August 18, 2014

Book your flight on COPA here.

After my rather glowing review of my last flight via Panama City with Copa, I expected a great flight from Bogota to Mexico City as well.

But as other reviewers have noted, Copa has a dark side as well. And this came out today.

The Bogota El Dorado Airport is brand new and easily ahead of most US airports in cleanliness and efficiency. I used my Star Alliance Gold status to get access to the Premier check-in. There wasn't much of a line but the staff kept sending people to the Premier check-in booth from other areas of the lines. Strange.

Check-in was like you'd expect for an Air China domestic flight. No English spoken, no smile, complete confusion over my (two-leg) itinerary. It took 15 minutes to get the bag tagged and my boarding pass issued. In the end it all worked out but it was as bad as it can be.

No mention of the lounge of course. Even the United SFO staff would have done (a little) better than this heartless check-in.

Immigration and Security were both quick, though.

Copa/United have a rather large presence but do not have their own club - instead they use the well-designed Avianca VIP Salon. Avianca operates two lounges - one for their own business class flyers and one for partners and Star Alliance Gold holders.

After spending some time at the lounge I went to board the flight. The plane was an old 737-700 with old seats and no private TVs.

Food was served but it's not something you'd look forward to eating again. Flight attendants came through twice with drinks.

Copa, which is based in Panama, acquired AeroRepublica several years ago and has only started re-branding it to Copa. However, the fleet is old and tired. The ground staff are indifferent at best and the flight attendants not really motivated either. Copa needs to invest if it wants to avoid tarnishing its brand.

This Copa is on a level of the old United planes. It gets you from A to B rather safely but it has barely anything to make the ride enjoyable.

Book your flight on COPA here.

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