Flight to Bogota, Columbia with Avianca Airlines

posted Mar 23, 2011, 5:44 AM by Darren Cannell   [ updated Mar 24, 2011, 4:59 AM ]

We caught our pre-ordered minivan cab to the airport and the cost was 15,000 pesos so about 30 dollars for a 20 minute ride.  We got into the Avianca line-up and did not know what to expect because we have never flew them before.  The agent kept asking me for my Esta number and I had no idea what she was going on about.  I showed her my ticket numbers, my booking confirmation number and any other number I had but I did not have an Este number.  She then dragged me over to her supervisor who spoke English to me and said that he needed our VISA numbers to get into the United States because we were actually flying to Miami with a stopover in Bogota.  I told them that we are Canadian citizens and do not need a VISA to get into the USA.  He was not sure so he and another agent went on their computers to prove me wrong, but I was right.  This whole fiasco took an extra 20 minutes in the line-up so obviously no Canadians travel with Avianca to Miami except the Cannells.  But there was a seat sale due to the new route to Bogota along with a new plane so I jumped on it.  We flew from Santiago, Chile to Miami for 530 dollars per adult and less for Dax.  Other than this experience we were quite impressed with Avianca.  The plane seats had all of the gadgets like our own screen to watch brand new movies for free etc.  There was even a place to store your spectacles and a cup holder on the seat in front of you; I have never seen these before.  I watched ‘The King’s Speech and Black Swan’ and they were both great movies.  I enjoyed my Avianca flight very much with free wine and food and comfortable seats on our 5 ½ hour flight to Bogota, Columbia.

We had a 6 hour layover in Bogota and that was a bit much but the Bogota International Airport had free wifi and electrical plug ins to re-charge so this was a bonus and kept us busy for quite some time and it afforded me the uninterrupted time to catch up with my blog which is a ton of work.  We went for lunch and had a nice meal which also killed an hour.  We had just settled back into our lounge area for the flight to Miami when we noticed that there were about 12 extra security people dressed like soldiers and then they kicked everyone out of the lounge and brought in the drug/bomb sniffing dogs.  We had to line up and get thoroughly looked at by the agent comparing us to our passport photos.  Then we had every little bag and nook and cranny of our carryon’s searched.  The soldier sniffed every one of Dax’s school books and toys you name it, they were obviously checking for drugs.  He took one of Dax’s vitamins and squeezed it open and threw it out.  The USA is serious about keeping drugs out of their country which is good.  I am assuming that these soldiers and agents were trained by the Americans.  I am not sure why they just did not have the dogs do it but whatever.  This took a whole 15 minutes just for our belongings.  We sat down for a bit just enough time to get this typed up; on to Miami.