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Thread: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

  1. #1
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    This was the first time I had flown to Managua using a flight that did not connect in the US... Chilo had done so about 11 yrs ago.

    Result Almost all good with a smidgen of bad...

    So - Aeroplan miles (80,000) , plus $240 Canadian = 2 tickets through Panama down and through San Salvador back. 2 Bags each @ 50lbs included.

    Flight down

    Avianca flight 9:55 AM - Drive to YYZ and park (With online coupon parking for 17 days was $110)

    Avianca line for check in was short, but a little slow - Still passed check in with 1 hr to spare. Luggage had small issue with last minute family drop off making one bag @ 52# - Quickly fixed (eyes rolled)

    Interestingly they had trays of .. of... Food.. and the food was... good... and there was no charge beer.... and the staff was polite and courteous... I was so confused but yet pleased :-) .. The fed us twice to boot - Simple burrito of chicken or beans an hour before landing.

    Panama airport was painful.... I mean really painful. The connection was 7 hours - There is one restaurant pub in the airport which advertised draft - but had none, bottles of beer was $6.50US ea - Every food platter was priced at $10US and up. Food court was no better - A chicken similar to Popeye's with a 3 piece combo was our dinner @ $9.95 and they had beer at $5.95 for one. These prices put YYZ to shame . There are loads of duty free shops but all appear to be the same brand (e.g. there were 15 electronic goods duty free shops, but all from the same company) No bargains were seen.

    The 45 min flight from Panama to MGA was smooth and uneventful.

    Customs in MGA was fairly smooth - Now you move in a single file line and are distributed across the 3 X-ray machines. My camera bag was called aside as I had 2 cameras and 5 lenses - Some simple questions (like asking if I was a journalist, no) were answered and we were off.

    Flight back Tacca 6:15AM to San Salvador and YYZ with a 45min lay over.

    We had access to a special rate, so for the first time in 12 years, we stayed at Las Mercedes across from the airport. This gave us a couple benefits - First we did not have to wake up at 3AM and drive the and we could check in with boarding passes the day before. Las Mercedes is a really nice place, nice pool beautiful grounds - Well worth what we paid - It's market rate is $130US with all fees - Not sure we would see value in that rate. The neighbourhood was much safer that told to me by others - We walked to the Uno gas station about a block down and were passed by families walking along the route. But Bar Hugo Chavez is just another 1.5 KM away - The 3rd most dangerous (by stats) in Managua - So personal security should net viewed too laxly.

    We walked over at 4:15AM (Shuttle does not start until 6AM) - Street was calm and not a person in site - Chamu trees were turned off as well. In the airport there was no line - dumped our bags and walked through an empty passport hall to the gate.

    Flight to San Salvador was on the order of 45 min. Deplaning was by stairs and then a bus - Up a stairs and connection . We had about 10 min in the lounge.

    Flight back had a breakfast and a sandwich again with a complimentary beer or spirit.

    Myself I am kind of disappointed now as I have over 350,000 delta miles left and only 10,000 Aeroplan miles. All of the delta miles need a US connection and that is getting to be such a pain in the ass now - Especially since I have now had such a nice experience with Avianca.

    If you are flying from Toronto there is little reason to fly a US carrier as they are typically $50 to $75 a ticket more now as well.
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  2. #2

    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    Good writeup, I did Avianca from Miami once and it was a classier affair than what I am used to with United.
    Question, did you have to go thru customs, security at panama?

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  3. #3
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    No customs either way - Off one plane on another..
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  4. #4
    Land Mammal thom's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    I have flown that route (now aviaca was Taca) but used El Salvador both ways. Less than 1 hour between planes. Also Avianca has had business promo fares for $100 or so more than sardine class.

    The food and service in busyness class was well worth the promo. Ahhh room for legs and hips.
    Foreign aid might be defined as a transfer of money from poor people in rich countries
    to rich people in poor countries.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    Speaking of comfort, I now watch which plane is offered on a given flight. Boing 737s have reasonable comfort, but watch out for airbus 320s unless you are a child or a midget.

    I always wondered why the airlines were always talking about thrombosis-- the seats on airbus 320s made it all obvious. They are not suitable for any flight more than 45 minutes.

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  6. #6
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    I'll toss this one here.

    So I was asked to buy a ticket for Jenny.

    Jenny is Luis's wife. Luis (my BIL) just returned from 6 weeks after 35yrs since he returned to Niclandia. Jenny returns every year for a month or two the entire 27 years I have known her.

    Avianca flight out next week - Return 2nd Week Nov - $639CDN ($498CDN for the flight and the rest on taxes and fees)

    About $510 US.

    Odd thing is that a US flight from Buffalo or Detroit could not touch that by almost $100.

    2 - 50lb bags and Und zer iz no prezentation ov ze papers und de US customs <heel snap>

    Of course it was cash up front and I get more CC points... I could get used to this.
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  7. #7

    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    Good flight, I always enjoy when I can go on a Non-US carrier, including Copa.
    Latest I heard on the race to the bottom is that American has a new supersaver rate--the same rate as before but with no free carryon. Pretty soon they will be charging for toilet paper like at a Nica bus station.

    Probably a bad time to fly United thru Houston.

    Verify--If we fly thru PA or Salvador, we don't have to go thru customs, just from one plane to another?

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  8. #8
    TRN Science officer bill_bly_ca's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    Quote Originally Posted by el duende grande View Post

    Verify--If we fly thru PA or Salvador, we don't have to go thru customs, just from one plane to another?
    Yepper - Off one, on to another.


    Sister and her husband flew WOW airline to Iceland last month - WOW is a new discount carrier from Canada to Europe with Rajavik as their hub.

    They had to pay for a bottle of water....
    ==================================================
    Dude !!!.... Its a Canal !!! Can you Dig it ??

  9. #9
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    We flew Copa through Panama City and could just wander all around the concourse till the next flight left, not even a sterile waiting area. Food and everything is expensive!

  10. #10

    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    2 - 50lb bags and Und zer iz no prezentation ov ze papers und de US customs <heel snap>

    2 fifty pound bags is nice!!

    I think the US customs people mix up Canadian and Communist.
    They do kind of sound alike.
    The more educated among us know that Canadians are socialists, not communists.

    Maybe a lot of the customs people watch South Park.


    I've been reading Gicoconda Belli's autobiography, El Pais Bajo Mi Piel
    Even after she was married to a US citizen she had to get a special waiver from the State Department AFTER she got her visa approved.
    No problem for her kids,, just her . . .This was 1990ish

  11. #11
    Para aquí para acá Jonh's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    Meh, S and C are simply two shades of pink. Both will run out of other people's money.

  12. #12
    Viejo del Foro Daddy-YO's Avatar
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    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    Pink . . . pinko?
    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    . . . reading Gicoconda Belli's autobiography, El Pais Bajo Mi Piel
    Even ... married to a US citizen she had to get a special waiver from the State Department AFTER she got her visa approved. . . . 1990ish
    Wasn't Belli's courier work in Mexico for the Sandis directed by the Soviets? Does State ever purge its files?

    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    Canadians are socialists, not communists.
    Maybe so, but it would seem their Ministry of Truth is as active as ours in aiming to PC statues of Macdonald, their first PM and a racist.
    I never met a Semite I didn't like.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    Don't forget, Nicaragua is right next to Nigeria, a very unsavory place.
    Actually, we are closer to Niger, but nobody has ever heard of Niger and are afraid to pronounce it lest they err in pronunciation and fall from PC grace for saying a naughty word.
    Quote Originally Posted by KeyWestPirate View Post
    2 - 50lb bags and Und zer iz no prezentation ov ze papers und de US customs <heel snap>

    2 fifty pound bags is nice!!

    I think the US customs people mix up Canadian and Communist.
    They do kind of sound alike.
    The more educated among us know that Canadians are socialists, not communists.

    Maybe a lot of the customs people watch South Park.


    I've been reading Gicoconda Belli's autobiography, El Pais Bajo Mi Piel
    Even after she was married to a US citizen she had to get a special waiver from the State Department AFTER she got her visa approved.
    No problem for her kids,, just her . . .This was 1990ish

    "Support mental health or I'll break your head"


  14. #14

    Default Re: Flight - Avianca / Tacca YYZ to MGA Nov 2015

    " . . .Maybe so, but it would seem their Ministry of Truth is as active as ours in aiming to PC statues of Macdonald, their first PM and a racist .."

    And what about Ronald McDonald and Jack in the Box? I've been suspicious of those two for quite some time. A Special Prosecutor might just be in order. Or maybe the same one who is investigating Donald Trump ----- or whatever the hell he is investigating I don't think anyone knows anymore.

    Neat retirement job

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