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Flight Review: Avianca Long-Haul Boeing 787-8 from Bogota El Dorado to London Heathrow

Having previously flown Avianca in Short-Haul on their Airbus A320 on a domestic flight to Bogota, whilst it was slightly overpriced for the product, My expectations for their long-haul product were not too low. A lack of in-flight entertainment on the previous flight, despite the fact that the aircraft had been used for flights of up to 5 and a half hours, had made me wonder whether the same would apply to the Dreamliner. In this review, I take you through the on-ground experience, seat, entertainment, and food options for Avianca’s Intercontinental Long-Haul product.

(Image credit: Simple Flying)

On the Ground

Like my previous flight, check-in was easy, with the main difference being that passport details had to be entered because it was an international flight. Seat selection was not free, and I was unfortunate enough not to be assigned the emergency exit row again. It seemed the luck from the previous two flights had worn off. The major difficulty I had with Avianca on the ground was their poor planning regarding aircraft Boarding. A lack of coordination between the ground crew and aircraft-crew had led to passengers stuck standing for nearly half an hour on the jet bridge, something which could have been made better by letting us stay at the gate where seats and charging points were available.

The seat

Once we had finally boarded the aircraft, it was time to take a look at the seat. Perhaps the major annoyance was the fact that the sides of the headrest didn’t fold inwards but instead folded down. I felt this was a cheeky tactic to make you want to pay more for business class or premium economy. Legroom was fairly limited, however, the seat did come with a footrest, although it seemed primarily designed for shorter people. The seats did recline, although there seemed to be no adjustment to the IFE panel or tray table for when the passenger in front of you reclined, something which was difficult for an overnight flight when most passengers wanted to recline for sleeping purposes.

(Image credit: LoyaltyLoby)

Food and Entertainment

The gift of a screaming baby a few rows ahead of me had led to a lack of sleep, and so the IFE system was the best option for reducing irritation. The selection was rather limited, with no categories of films, and so movies were all in a long list. TV shows were also available. However no selection of music, something which often appears on other airlines like Virgin Atlantic or Qatar Airways. Food was rather mediocre, with a midnight meal consisting of pasta with Ham and Cheese and breakfast an omelet.

(Image credit: Finance Colombia)

Overall, with Avianca, it’s probably worth it if you fly on their Business Class product, which seemed cheaper than most when I looked at prices. However, if Economy is your game, then I suggest paying less to go through Lufthansa’s Frankfurt hub, as they run a flight to Bogota using their recently reintroduced Airbus A340s.


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