We flew Avianca business class on an A330 from Washington Dulles to Bogota.
This route is only served by an widebody Airbus A330 during certain times of the year. Most of the time it is served by a narrow-body A319, and occasionally Avianca puts a Boeing 787 on this route.
So when we found a cheap one-way business class fare from IAD-BOG and then on to Medellin on the Avianca A330 we jumped at the opportunity!
Wondering how we find cheap business class flights? Check out our Cheap Business Class Fare Guides:
Avianca is the flag carrier of Colombia and is a member of Star Alliance.
It has been the flag carrier of Colombia 1919, when it was born as SCADTA. Through SCADTA, Avianca is the world’s second oldest extant airline after KLM, and celebrated its 100th anniversary in December 5, 2019.
Moreover, Avianca is the flagship airline of a group of eight Latin American airlines under the brand Avianca Holdings S.A. including:
- AerovÃas del Continente Americano SA (Avianca)
- Islena de Inversiones SA de CV (Avianca Honduras)
- Tampa Cargo SAS (Avianca Cargo)
- Trans American Airlines SA (Avianca Peru)
- AeroGal (Avianca Ecuador)
- TACA International Airlines SA (Avianca El Salvador)
- LACSA (Avianca Costa Rica)
- Aviateca SA/TACA Regional Guatemala (Avianca Guatemala)
Avianca’s extensive Latin American network makes it one of the best ways to get around Central and South America.
Avianca Business Class Check In at IAD
We travel the world full time with only carry on bags. But we were unable to check in online for our Avianca business class flight because the airline wanted to look at our passports.
So we had to check in at the Avianca counter at Dulles Airport.
Fortunately, the queue for business class check-in was non-existent.
Unfortunately, the business class check in agents had been calling coach customers over to check in. And the two large groups with many checked bags that were checking in when we arrived to check in took 10 minutes to complete the process.
Avianca Business Class Lounge IAD
After clearing security we took the train to the B Terminal.
Avianca business class passengers can use the Lufthansa Business Lounge at IAD.
And the Senator Lounge has excellent views of the tarmac. So we were able to watch our Avianca A330 arrive.
As the plane was unloaded we had time for a champagne toast!
Avianca A330 Business Class IAD-BOG
We lingered in the Senator Club and only made our way to the gate when boarding was announced in the lounge. We walked to the gate to find boarding well underway.
Even though we were able to use the business class boarding lane, there was only one jetbridge. So we got stuck in the boarding queue for a few minutes.
But once on the plane we were able to turn left and things got considerably more comfortable!
Once settled in we were served pre-departure champagne in glass rather than plastic stemware.
Avianca A330 Business Class Seats
Avianca’s Business Class on their A330s on this route is a 2-2-2 configuration.
There are 3 rows ahead of the boarding door and two rows behind it.
Best Avianca A330 Business Class Seats
In terms of the ‘best Avianca A330 business class seats,’ the larger forward cabin seems like a far better cabin. The two row cabin is smaller and has lavs just in front of them. In addition, all the boarding coach passengers pass your seat during boarding.
Boarding a plane and then turning left is always preferable!
In the front cabin the second and third rows are basically the same.
We chose 2 D and G so we would both have aisle access.
However my video screen controller was broken so after some rearranging of passengers we were moved to 3 J and K. Although closer to the lav, it also meant that our meals were served at the same time (the D and G seats are served by different crew members at a different pace).
AVIANCA A330 Business Class Cabin and Seats
The seats and cabin are not the best business class product we have experienced. And the plane and cabin are in need of updating.
However, unlike the angled herringbone seats that many airlines are going to in business class, Avianca’s business class seats are perfect for a couple traveling together.
The cabin does feels a bit cramped, though, despite the fact that the seats aren’t even lay flat.
The seat controls are simple and intuitive.
But the angled-flat seats are quite tight for legroom in the slightly reclined position.
And they are not terrific for sleeping.
Avianca’s A330 business class features ‘angled flat’ seats. This means they go fully flat but at a slight angle toward your feet.
There are a lot of opinions about whether having a business class seat that goes to 180 degree flat is better or worse than an angled flat seat that goes to flat sloping slightly toward the foot.
Some say flat should be flat. Others point out that airplanes actually fly with the nose slightly angled up so angled flat seats actually provide a flatter experience than 180 degree flat seats where your head may be slightly below your feet due to the angle of the aircraft in flight.
Bu in Avianca’s A330 business class the problem for sleeping isn’t the angle, it’s that your legs have to fit in the small compartment under the video screen. It’s not terribly comfortable compared to other airlines business class like Lufthansa or Qantas. But it beats the heck out of sitting in coach!
Where this plane’s business class cabin really showed its age was in the business class lavatories.
The counters were chipped and worn. And the cabinets were broken and so left hanging open.
Avianca Business Class Service and Meal
Avianca A330 business class ‘soft product’ – meaning the service, meals and drinks – is good but not great.
The service is warm and friendly and both English and Spanish were spoken fluently by the flight attendants.
As noted, pre-departure champagne was served upon boarding.
Avianca Business Class Meal
There was no menu for this dinner service flight. Just a choice of beef or pasta.
And meal itself was served all at once on a tray. And while we were able to make a decent travel keto diet meal out of it, the food was only so-so.
After dinner we settled in and took advantage of the Avianca in flight entertainment system.
There were fewer choices than on many airlines, but enough choices that we were both able to find movies to watch.
Then we put our angle flat seats flat and both closed our eyes for a nap just as we passed Jamaica where we had just spend a month nomading.
The thick bedding made for a nice comfy nap.
We woke up very close to Bogata and were offered a drink.
We spent the last few minutes of the flight chatting, drinking water and goofing around.
Bottom Line – Avianca Business Class A330 Washington Dulles to Bogota Colombia
Avianca has a decent widebody business class product.
It’s not quite up to par with business class on United, American, Delta, British Airways, Brussels Air or Lufthansa and Swiss. Then again this route is often served by narrowbody aircraft that have domestic first class recliner seats in business class.
So Avianca’s A330 business class is a welcome improvement over that option!
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