Flight Report : Avianca 9510 Medellin - Cartagena

To the beach!

With Bogota and Medellin being more intensely urban, my Colombian itinerary would go for a relaxing turn by heading towards the Caribbean coast to the historic city of Cartagena. Similar to my short domestic flight between the country's 2 largest cities, fares to Cartagena were affordable, although there was no more Business Class fare anomaly. The 1 hour flight on AV9510 only costed about CAD $115.

Less than a month later, I got notification that my itinerary had changed. Now, I had to backtrack to Bogota on AV9319, connecting on AV9550 on a 2-flight trip. This would delay my arrival by almost 2.5 hours. Not wanting to go for a low-cost airline, I stuck to the national carrier with the revised itinerary. At least I would receive 2 drinks and more time experiencing Avianca for the same price.

Medellin's airport is quite far from the city. It wasn't busy at all and the check-in formalities didn't take long.

Security was quick and I soon emerged air-side, still quiet.

There were souvenir stores to pass the time. Otherwise, it would be a boring wait for my flight.

The tarmac wasn't busy like in Bogota.

Looking at the departure boards, there isn't too much activity out of here. What startled me was the original direct flight to Cartagena was still there. AV9510 was scheduled to leave on time at 1:03pm. So why was I bumped off that flight?

So today would be a long journey south, then back north.

AV9319 Medellin - Bogota

I sat comfortably in my window seat in Economy Class with a decent PTV for the short trip back to Bogota. I did miss the bigger and more soft cushion Business Class seat on the way in a few days earlier.

The grey skies started to clear out to wish me a pleasant journey.

They had time on this short flight to serve us a juice box. Soon, we were descending into a far cloudier Bogota.

The major reason why I wasn't that upset when my itinerary got changed by the airline was because Bogota is quite a decent spotting airport and I had no objections returning to do some more.

Viva Colombia is a low-cost carrier that charges for the basic amenities. I didn't want to risk a nasty delay or a refund of the meagre ticket fare if they cancel at the last minute.

As the passengers cleared out ahead of me, I was mindful of a full hour on the ground before I head back north to Cartagena. The hardware on these narrowbodies is solid, more than adequate for these short domestic flights.

Up ahead is the Business Class that I miss!

The domestic terminal has enough food options to fill up well during the lunch hour. The food court was more or less affordable and had a good range of foods.

The plane spotting drew me from food back to the windows.

The next flight would be on a more colourful Avianca narrowbody.

AV9550 Bogota - Cartagena

Off we go on another Avianca flight! This northbound flight would be slightly longer at 1.5 hours.

The weather cleared out once again as we hit cruise and neared the Caribbean coast. The coming days would be sunny and hot!

The excitement would come on final approach as Cartagena's skyline passed on the left side. I had a lucky window again today.

We taxied to the terminal and veered off to the side. We would end the journey at a remote stand, offering more opportunities to take airplane photos from the tarmac level.

The remote stands seem to be frequently used. The routine is quite organized, with a separate part of the tarmac cordoned off for passengers to walk to the terminal.

The arrival area is functionally basic. The baggage handlers are just behind the wall unloading the cargo.

Another solid flight on Avianca! Seems flying domestic in Colombia is far more pleasant than in the US or Canada! For more of Cartagena's beautiful cityscapes, click here for the photo gallery.

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