My first Avianca regional flight. A bit crappy
I have flown Avianca nationally before now, and many moons ago I flew TATL with them. I hadn't flown them regionally nor had I flown their new A330 until last night.
I had a reward flight LIM-BOG, a route that I have flown dozens of times with LAN. I know it's possible to compare on paper what each airline brings to the route, but the reality for me with AV also brought a sting of gripes.
1) I was looking forward to flying a widebody on this route as I am not a fan of the Andean skybumps and I thought it would be a smoother ride. I was wrong, the A330 slipped and skidded around the sky far worse than an A319. No idea if it was the way the pilot was flying it but he was certainly throwing the plane around the taxiways at LIM
2) AV has personal seatback IFE, LAN doesn't. Now in restrospect, I would probably take nothing over AV's IFE. It is properly lame and only one channel of audio was working.
3) AV serves a hot meal, LAN serves a horrible croissant thing. AV's Y food was certainly the worst hot meal I have had on a plane. Colombian food doesn't brim with flavour at the best of times, and I understand taste is diminished at altitude so this hot meal wandered into negative flavour territory.
4) The plane was filthy, I don't know if they have a policy of not cleaning them at outposts but the toilet was splattered with shiny pi$$ stains and stank, the panel to which it was attached and the toilet itself had come loose and were just flapping around in the turbulence. The bin in the toilet was rammed with used paper towels.
5) I don't know why but AV has a policy that tablets and smartphones must be turned off for the duration of the flight even if they have airplane mode. So no watching films on a tablet, or listing to music on a smartphone.
6) Most disconcerting, the FAs only cleared half of the dinner service, so our bumpy landing threw half consumed dinners around and one FA had the front to chastise a young Peruvian girl for not folding away her table tray when she was left no option because the crew hadn't taken away the remnants of her meal. Walking through the plane at the end of the flight there were glasses and bits of dinner items all over the place. Moreover, it is downright unsafe, how are you supposed to adopt the brace position if it comes to that by burying your face in your half eaten meat with white sauce?