Trip Report: Avianca (B787-8) Ejecutiva (Business) LAX-BOG

The Details

  • Flight: AV89
  • Aircraft: B787-8
  • Class: Ejecutiva (Business)
  • Seat: 6K
  • Route: Los Angeles International (LAX)-Bogota El Dorado International (BOG)
  • Distance: 3,533 miles
  • Duration: 6hrs 34min
  • Departure: 8:11PM
  • Arrival: 5:23AM

The Preflight

This Christmas Eve flight was the beginning of a family trip with my dad, sister, and I in Columbia. We had booked an economy ticket and luckily our bids for business class upgrades cleared 24 hours prior to departure. We arrived at around 3:30PM, four hour before the scheduled departure time of 7:10PM.

Avianca flight operate from the Tom Bradley International Terminal at LAX, however the check-in counters are actually in Terminal 3. Once we got our boarding passes printed and luggage checked, we walked over from T3 to TBIT. Thanks to PreCheck, all three of us were through security in about 15 minutes.

As a member of Star Alliance, Avianca allows all business class passengers to use the Star Alliance Lounge at LAX which is one of my favorites in the United States. There is an outdoor patio with comfortable seating and views of the apron.

There was also ample indoor seating. Given that it was Christmas Eve, the lounge was fairly empty.

The buffet featured a variety of hot Christmas themed foods including ham.

The dessert selection was excellent.

At the entrance, there was a Christmas tree.

With 20 minutes until boarding was scheduled to begin, my family and I made our way to the gate area. The gate area was a complete mess with a ton of people already in line at the door despite multiple announcements that boarding had not yet begun. As Group A was invited to board, we pushed through the masses to get onto the jet bridge.

Our B787-8, registration N785AV, was delivered brand new to Avianca in October 2015. She had a pair of Rolls Royce Trent 1000 engines.

The Flight

Avianca offers a total of 28 business and 222 economy seats on board their B787-8s. The business class seats are the excellent Zodiac Cirrus reverse herringbone seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each seat was 21″ wide and had a pitch of 72″.

There are two business class cabins onboard, with five rows between the first and second pair of doors then a second mini-cabin of two rows after the second pair of doors. I was seated in 6K which is the bulkhead seat in the mini-cabin behind door 2R.

One of the perks of being seated in the bulkhead row was that the IFE screen did not have to be stowed for take-off or landing. In addition, the foot cubby felt larger than other non-bulkhead foot cubbies.

The IFE screen was fairly responsive to touch and had good video quality.

Below the footwell was a small ledge perfect for shoes. The literature pocket was next to the foot cubby. Below the tabletop area on the right was a water bottle holder.

The right armrest was adjustable and could be folded up to create more surface area for sleeping. There was a small storage compartment underneath the armrest.

To the left of the seat was the IFE remote, reading light, seat controls, headphone jack, and power ports. There was a 110V outlet in addition to a USB port. There was also a small compartment in which the headphones were stored. I really liked how the IFE remote could double as a second screen when watching something else on the main IFE screen.

The tray table was stored in the tabletop area to the right of the seat. It was very sturdy but the surface area was a bit small.

Awaiting each passenger at their seat was a fairly standard pillow.

There was also a comfortable blanket provided wrapped in a red ribbon.

I found the Avianca branded headphones very low quality and uncomfortable.

Once we were situated in our seats, flight attendants came through the cabin with a tray of predeparture beverages. Option included sparkling wine, water, or orange juice.

Tumi branded amenity kit and a shoe bag were also distributed. Contents of the kit included an eye mask, socks, earplugs, tissues, headphone ear covers, tissues, a pen, dental kit, microfiber cloth, L’Occitane hand cream, and lip balm.

Flight attendants then came through the cabin passing out the menu.

Boarding was complete by 7:55PM and we pushed back at 8:11PM. We had a fairly quick taxi to the runway. I didn’t realize until now just how dirty the windows were.

Our take-off roll was quick and we had a smooth ascent from LAX.

Dinner was immediately served once we reached cruising altitude. A very surly flight attendants came by and asked in broken English what I would like to have. I asked for the steak with red wine sauce and got a blank stare back. After I repeated myself again, the flight attendant went back to the galley and brought me the chicken dish…

Everything was served from a single tray and the meal included two slices of cheese, some packaged crackers, and a Caesar salad. I found the grilled chicken to be pretty flavorless. A cold bread basket was also presented and I went with an olive roll. My Chilean sparkling wine was topped up as well.

There was a single dessert selection which was a raspberry cheesecake. I decided to have a glass of Cognac Courvoisier neat.

Once the table cloths were collected, the flight attendants came through to hand out water bottles.

With about four hours to go, I decided to make my bed a get some sleep. I found the bed, pillow, and blanket to be very comfortable

The footwell was big enough for me to lay on my back and not have my feet feel restricted.

As Christmas Eve turned to Christmas Day, the captain came over the intercom and wishes everyone a Merry Christmas. A few passengers cheered and clapped.

I managed to get almost two hours of sleep into before waking up. Breakfast was served 90 minutes prior to arrival and the only option was a chicken sandwich. I had a cup of black coffee as well.

We landed at 5:23AM local time and taxied directly to a gate. Thanks for the ride!

This was a very comfortable ride down to Columbia from LAX with Avianca. While the food and service were subpar, I appreciated that our upgrade cleared and my family had the chance to snag a reverse herringbone lie-flat seat for a fraction of the actual cost.

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