A business class passenger on an Avianca flight has been left with a sour taste in his mouth. He recently took to the Internet to share his experience of an unclean toilet, packaged dessert and breakfast “served in an economy class container.”


Leviticus may not have said “no one has wrath like a business class passenger scorned” but he really should have. Why? A pointy end passenger recently took to the Internet with yet another bashing of a London-Bogota Avianca 787 flight, where the experience failed to live up to its billing as a premium service.

The “comically bad” experience was skewered by avid traveller Matthew Klint, who writes for the aviation website Live & Let’s Fly. Klint recently flew on Avianca, a Colombian airline which has been the flag carrier of Colombia since December 5, 1919, when it was initially registered under the name SCADTA.

Though Avianca isn’t renowned as one of the world’s leading luxury airlines (for the airlines which have the best business class offerings in the world right now, head on over here), when booking an international business class ticket, you still expect the basics – certain industry standards – to be upheld.

Left: the offending in-flight meal. Right: the bathroom. Image Credit: Matthew Klint/Live & Let’s Fly

Unfortunately for Klint, this, particularly when it comes to food, did not prove to be the case. He went as far as to call it “deplorable.” Speaking about his in-flight meal, Klint complained that they gave him a lukewarm crew meal “with a packaged sandwich and packaged dessert.”

“Hot on the sides, cold in the middle.”

Matthew Klint

He added: “Breakfast was served before landing – again, in an economy class container. At least this time the omelet was warm. Sadly, the coffee was just brown water without much flavor and the bread was cold and hard.” He then pointed out it was a relief to get onto his connection at Houston and “actually receive a properly plated meal.”

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On top of that, Klint was not impressed by the state of the bathroom (which he says is not the fault of the crew, but nevertheless an indictment on them), which did not appear to have been kept clean all throughout the flight.

The Avianca business class seat. Image Credit: The Blonde Abroad

Klint then said the reason the airline provided for the altered service (Avianca left a note on his seat that said, basically, sorry for the altered service, we’ve had 12 months off and are now still getting our sh*t together) was not good enough, writing: “blaming your poor catering on the long hiatus in London service is simply absurd.”

“Avianca had weeks to prepare for its return and could have easily worked with its caterer to provision proper business class meals, including salads and appetizers. Instead, we received a lukewarm crew meal.”

Matthew Klint

This isn’t the first time there has been a mismatch between airlines’ adaptions to the pandemic (and other disruptive factors) and passengers’ expectations – particularly when it comes to business class. One Singapore Airlines passenger got into a right stoush on Facebook after champagne was removed from Singapore Airlines’ menu in 2020, for instance. And who could forget Virgin Australia’s Noodlegate incident and Qantas’ paper plate gate scandal…

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Just another day in this post-pandemic world. And yet another thing to think about (beyond baggage handlers destroying your luggage, airlines losing your luggage and massive flight delays) before your next flight.

It’s also worth noting that in previous reviews of Avianca business class (back when they were using plates), the food has got a mixed reception. In 2018 a Forbes writer called the meal presentation lacklustre (“rather than coursing it out, the flight attendants put both the starters and the cheese plate on the same tray, then came through later with the main course”) while The Blonde Abroad once wrote “Avianca’s food and drink menus for their business class passengers are exceptional.”

Maybe the next time you get the chance you ought to book a ticket and try it for yourself.

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