Avianca, headquartered in Bogota, is the national airline and flag carrier of Colombia. It is the first commercial airline founded in America and the second oldest in the world after KLM. The company was founded on the 5th of December 1919 in Barranquilla (Colombia) and initially there were 9 aircraft in the fleet. Given the topography of Colombia and the fact that there were few airports at the time, floats were adapted for two of the aircraft so that they could make water landings. In the mid-1920s, the company opened international routes to Venezuela and the USA then in 1940 the airline changed its name to Avianca. Avianca currently features a fleet of over 160 aircraft and an average 290 flights are operated daily with more than 6,000 connections, including direct and codeshare flights with top airlines such as Air Canada, Iberia and Delta Air Lines, amongst others.
Passengers on Avianca flights can check-in online from 24 hours before scheduled flight departure during which time they can print out their boarding pass to be presented at the airport. Alternatively, they can check-in on a mobile device with the Avianca mobile check-in service using their app or by heading to the Avianca website. The passengers' electronic boarding pass will be sent to their mobile device. This service is only available for certain destinations. Finally, passengers can use the airport self-service kiosks or check-in at the Avianca airport counters.
Avianca cabin baggage allowance varies in accordance with the departure destination and class of travel. Economy Class passengers are entitled to one piece of hand luggage weighing a maximum 10kg and measuring no more than 115 cm (height, length and width).
Similarly, Star Alliance Gold status passengers or LifeMiles Elite members (Gold and Diamond) travelling in Business Class may carry on board their flight up to two pieces of cabin baggage weighing a maximum 10kg each. The dimensions restrictions are 115cm (height, length, width). This excludes all flights departing from and arriving in the USA. Any items of cabin baggage not meeting the aforementioned weight and dimensions restrictions will be stored in the hold. Finally, in addition to their hand luggage allowance, passengers may also carry on a small personal item including a coat, hand bag, camera, blanket or briefcase, etc.
Checked baggage allowance on Avianca flights varies in accordance with the passenger class of travel and the departure destination. For flights within Ecuador, Colombia and Peru, Economy Class passengers are entitled to 1 or 2 items of checked baggage measuring a maximum 158cm (height, length, width). The combined weight cannot exceed 23kg.
For flights from/to South America, Central America and the Caribbean (except Mexico), Economy Class passengers are entitled to 1 or 2 items of checked baggage measuring a maximum 158cm (height, length, width) and weighing no more than a combined 32kg in total.
Finally, for flights from/to North America (United States, Mexico and Canada) and flights between America and Europe, Economy Class passengers are allowed 2 items of checked baggage measuring up to 158cm (height, length, width) and weighing a maximum 23kg each.
Different checked baggage restrictions apply for Business Class passengers on Avianca flights.
Avianca has long connection times on this route (4+8 hours), but is preferable to the LATAM + Iberia/BA options because Avianca can check the luggage through to London. With LATAM the connection time in Lima is too short considering that you have to pick up your luggage and then check it in again. Twice now LATAM have had an hour delay on the flight from Arequipa and left me barely making the connection, so Avianca works out better.
Flight could not land and first destination which was not the air lines fault but passengers were stuck in a small airport with out knowing what was happening poor communication only announcements were made in Spanish translation into English would have been helpful and less stress full! Food was offered at first part of delay but as I missed my connecting flight I was further delayed where no food voucher was offered in total I was delayed 17 hours. My bags where also put on a later flight although having being reassured they would be on my flight leaving me without any personal belonging for another 24hours.
Seats on LHR to Bogota are quite hard and become uncomfortable. Bogota to Armenia are OK
Plenty of space, new ish planes, no hiccups at all. Vegetarian food though quite poor but other than this, impressed overall.