I had the pleasure of flying with Avianca while en-route to Ecuador last month and I was pleasantly surprised by our flights, ultimately flying with the airline on five out of six occasions in 10 days. Each flight was a breeze and both my mom and I would be happy to fly with them again.
I have flown with a few of the big airlines, but I can’t say enough about Avianca’s smaller airline. Right from the start, I was greatly impressed with the airline and their customer service. Following my ExploreTrip fiasco, I had contacted Avianca by phone to request confirmation directly from them due to my lack of confidence in the third party I had booked through. I spoke with a delightful agent who was friendly, pleasant and who was fluent in English. I registered with the airline and she immediately sent me confirmation of my flight details and assured me that I would later be able to receive flight and ticket notifications for each of my flights (which did prove true). 5/5 on customer service and follow through during my first interaction.
About a week prior to departure, I reached out again to request priority seating for my mom who needed additional leg room, especially for the longer flights. Once again, the agent was friendly, professional and well-spoken. She explained the seating situation for our two flights (Toronto to El Salvador and El Salvador to Quito), offering a couple of options as my mom and I were unable to sit together on the first leg if she wanted priority seating. She also advised that for our return flights, it wasn’t possible to pre-select seats as this flight only offered the option within 24 hours of boarding. However, she assured me that we would receive an email reminder to check-in and could then select seats based on availability. The rep was also able to answer my questions regarding baggage. Again, I was left a happy customer following this interaction. We were unable to get additional leg room on one of the four flights, but in all honestly, the leg room in the usual seats already seemed quite spacious compared to other airlines.
Online check-in with their app was easy and checking in to each flight was also very seamless, even though the kiosks didn’t always work. Avianca agents were always present and friendly, and we did receive some assistance printing our boarding passes when the kiosk was not cooperating. Out interaction with Avianca staff at the boarding terminals was minimal, though everything seemed to run smoothly each time we boarded.
While in-flight, we were delighted that the friendly and professional staff approach continued. We were also very surprised by the food and drink served while in-flight. Four of our flighted ranged in duration from 3-5 hours, and each offered a full meal and a beverage, with the longer flights offering an additional snack. We were both delighted with both the size of the meals and the quality of the food – best airline food we’ve ever had! Avianca even offers alcohol as a standard beverage option (usually you have to pay additionally for alcohol). Even during our short one-hour flight from Guayaquil to Quito, we were offered a beverage and a snack.
My only complaint would be that on both of our shorter flights, the Airbus 320 planes featured a personal screen with TV and movie options, while our two longer flights on the same aircraft type did not offer a personal entertainment option (common movie playing overhead every few rows). A little backwards in my opinion, but I slept through most of the last lag, so a fairly minor point. It just would be nice to have the option to watch a movie for the longer legs. However, no delays, no baggage issues and a fairly soft landing on all 4 flights leaves me a happy camper and a satisfied customer – well done Avianca!
I’m working my way through life in Canada and traveling when I can afford to explore beyond the border. Sharing my tips, trips, opinions and rants on life and travel in the meantime.