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Bogota (BOG) to Los Angeles (LAX)
DEP 12:50PM ARR 6:35PM (Same Day)
Duration: 7hr 45m
Seat number: 5J & 5K
Aircraft: Airbus 330
Miles Redeemed: 35,000 United Miles + $52.76 USD
PROS: Friendly crew, decent comfortable angled flat business class seats. Nice amenity kit bag. Good award availability and requires decent amount of miles for business class’s redemption between North America and northern South America such as Colombia.
CONS: Mediocre food without menu. Dish choice ran out for last business class seat passengers. Aircraft swap from Dreamliner 787 to A330 so the hard products are very dated and old.
I transferred 35,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards (UR) points to United MileagePlus for 35,000 United miles to redeem one-way business class seat from BOG to LAX with Avianca airline. If you are flying from these northern South American countries such as Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname and Venezuela, you will only need 35,000 United miles for a one-way business class seat. Other parts of South America require much more United miles. The tax came out to $52.76 USD per award ticket; however, please note that this also includes the tax from Lima to Bogota and U.S. domestic flight all in business class as well. So if you are looking to fly just the BOG to LAX route, the tax can be cheaper.
Check-In and Lounge
As mentioned above, we originated our flight from Lima, Peru. So we performed our check-in and retrieved our boarding passes at the Lima airport. Upon arriving in Bogota airport, we had to clear security again which wasn’t too bad. We were worried at first that we may not be able to make our 1 hour and 30 minutes connection. Thankfully, the flight from Lima to Bogota was on time and even arrived earlier than the original arrival schedule. After the security, we still had more than 1 hour to spare so we went to check out the Avianca lounge for business class passengers. I’ll do a full review on the lounge later on; but the lounge’s location is not very far from the boarding gate so we were able to relax and eat at the lounge before our boarding time.
Airbus 330 Seats & Angled Flat
It’s worth mentioning that, Avianca typically uses the Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner for the route between LAX and BOG. We were fortunate enough that our flight from LAX to BOG was with the Dreamliner which has the reverse herringbone seats and 1-2-1 configurations. The seats on the Dreamliner are much newer and nicer compared to this old A330. You can check out our full review on Review: Avianca AV89 Business Class Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner Los Angeles (LAX) to Bogota (BOG).
Unfortunately, Avianca swapped the aircraft for our return leg from the Boeing 787 to Airbus A330. There are a total of 30 business class seats with row 1-3 upfront and row 4-5 at the back before the economy class cabin. I want to stress that if you sit in the business class cabin row 4 and 5, you will encounter a lot of foot steps from economy and premium economy passengers during boarding. I was traveling with my travel companion and all the upfront seats were taken at the time, so I selected seat 5J and 5K all the way at the back in business class cabin. The business class lavatory is also all the way to the front. Moreover, when you sit all the way at the back of the business class cabin, it is possible that one of the popular food items can run out by the time the flight attendant get to your seat to take your order. I’ll talk more on this under Food and Drinks section below.
When in lying position, the A330 business class seats are not completely flat. They are angled flat, but truthfully it is not easy to tell whether the seats are angled or lie-flat for an average Joe passenger. Regardless, I was still able to sleep comfortably during the 7+ hours flight.
All in all, the A330 business class seats still beat the economy class seats. They provide ample space and a recline bed to sleep on or just lounge. My only complain is that they are pretty dated and look old. The entertainment screens are also much smaller. All the hard products are very much dated. Comparing to the new 787 business seats, I’d pick the 787 seats any day. Aircraft swap is inevitable, it is what it is!