Many say Colombians are fun to be with or happy people no matter what. The country that produces the richest coffee in the world and with the geographical location near the equator make them one of the most visited countries worldwide. Let me tell you more about the national carrier of Colombia, Avianca. Be the judge if it’s really euphoric to fly with them.
Origins and Ownership
Avianca was founded on December 5, 1919 as Sociedad Colombo-Alemana de Transporte Aéreo (SCADTA) by 5 Colombians and 5 Germans making the airline as a Colombo-German Company with an inaugural flight using a Junkers F.13 transporting 57 pieces of mail from Barranquilla to Puerto Colombia. During that time, floats were built in to aircrafts to make water landings due to lack of airports.
After selling their share to Pan American World Airways, on June 14, 1940 the airline merged with Servicio Aéreo Colombiano (SACO) and started operating in 1946 as Avianca or Aerovías Nacionales de Colombia S.A. The current president and CEO, Fabio Villegas Ramírez, is a Colombian economist graduate and was appointed by the Chairman of Avianca Holdings S.A in October 2009, after the airline’s file for bankruptcy relief in 2003.
The flag carrier of Colombia is headquartered at El Dorado International Airport with a fleet size of 99 serving over 120 destinations internationally. It has been an official member of Star Alliance since the 21st of June 2012. The airline’s company slogans “It’s For You”, “With Pleasure” and “The First Airline of the Americas” represent as well as the Avianca’s symbol; Andean condor, national bird of Colombia.
Recently, Avianca received an award from World Travel Awards 2015 as “South America’s Leading Airline” and prior to that, the airlines was consistently nominated by the same department as “World’s Leading Airline” and “World’s Leading Excellent InFlight Service”.
Avianca has two cabin classes categorized to Economy and Business Class. Each class enjoys a seatback entertainment system designed for customers to listen to variety of movies, TV shows, music and audiobooks. Both classes are served with palatable Colombian dishes or international dishes. Special meals are also offered inflight, however the reservation should be done 24 hours prior the scheduled flight. Business Class passengers gets the priority of baggage handling and allowance, priority boarding and VIP lounge access.
Website and Mobile App
The layout of Avianca is simple yet organized. The flashing images add a vibrant expression to the red and white colored page. Travelers can search and book flights either one-way, roundtrip or multi-city and hotel reservations. Deals and electronic services are also another feature of the official website wherein customers can check-in online, refunds, check flight status and locate delayed and lost baggage.
Avianca also has a travel app version of their services, wherein customers can access similar services as to the PC version. Travelers using the app can buy online, check-in, check flight status, manage booking and access to their frequent flyer LifeMiles account.
What people are saying
Unfortunately, I was surprised to find too many complaints about Avianca. Majority of the Avianca reviews are customers commenting about the airline’s inefficiency services like stolen valuables and changes in airfares, unreasonable policies, delayed flights and it was recently considered as a worst airline. Let me share one of the most recent reviews on the 23rd of October 2015.
He shipped 2 suitcases and 1 box; at some point during the shipping process the locks of both suitcases were broken and several items were stolen. He assumed employees of Avianca stole his bunch of used electronics. He wrote back a complaint and was only entitled to a fixed price per kg according to a treaty. The amount was about 10% of the total amount he’ll be spending to replace his stolen goods. To see other complaints, click here.
- Website URL: www.avianca.com
- Contact number: +57 1 413 9202
- Contact Email: email@example.com
- Fax Number: +57 1 413 8716
- Head Office Address: Avenida Eldorado No 92 -30, Centro Administrativo Avianca, 4879773
Operaciones Cap Jacome, Bogotá, 1, Colombia
Based on some Avianca reviews, the airlines is one of the most recommended airlines of travelers. However I am sad to see all of those complaints about them. Maybe because they were too happy with their achievements that they forgot their passengers’ satisfaction too? I hope Avianca will look into these matters. Might it be minor or major, big problems route from unattended customers’ concerns.
Feel free to leave a comment below.