I booked a one way trip from San Diego to Belize City with stops in LAX and San Salvador. I was able to book this for 30,000 Amex MR points through Aeroplan. After taxes and fees, the total came to 30,000 points and $18 CAD (about $13 USD). Although my first option was to transfer Marriott points to the Lifemiles program, the transfer of points didn’t go through in time (actually the transfer took so long that the points didn’t transfer until a few days after I left) so I went with this rather convoluted routing.
For a flight that departed at 23:45, I was a little stunned to see that they would begin boarding at 22:45, a full hour before departure. I figured they would let those who need extra time board first so I decided to stroll over to the gate past 23:00 and was surprised to see that business class had already boarded and that general boarding was about to start.
Since boarding started so early, the plane was ready to go around 23:30 and we pretty much sat there for a good 15 mins waiting for our departure time. To be honest, I really didn’t mind since it meant an on time departure.
Business class was spread out over 3 rows in a 2-2 configuration and although I had assigned myself 1C, row 2 was completely open so after the door closed, I asked to move to spread out and not disturb my seatmate as he was fast asleep.
Once we were airborne, the cabin crew distributed amenity kits (Ferragamo branded no less!) and dinner was served about 30 mins into the flight which was a really nice bonus especially for a late flight when so many would prefer to sleep.
Overall, I have to say I’ve always been pleasantly surprised by Avianca. This was my 2nd time flying them and I have to say the service is pretty good overall. The seats leave a little to be desired but this was also a short 4 hour flight on an A321 so I really wasn’t expecting lie flat seats. For a guy who doesn’t really sleep on planes, Avianca more than does the job.