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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: Copa Airlines Business Class 737-700 Panama City-Belize City

Intro


Following a flight onboard the Copa Airlines 737 Max 9, about 5 hours in Panama, and some time visiting both the Terminal 1 Copa Club and Terminal 2 Copa Club, it was time to take the second leg of this itinerary.


The routing for this trip is as follows:


CM473- Los Angeles- Panama City- Business Class- 737 Max 9

CM280- Panama City- Belize City- Business Class- 737-700

2M2064- Belize City- Caye Caulker- FO Chair- Cessna Caravan

AA700- Belize City- Miami- Business Class- 737-800

AA23- Miami- Los Angeles- First Class- 777-300ER

AA2201- Los Angeles- New York- Business Class- A321T

AA976- New York- Santa Ana- First Class- A321T


Today, we will be onboard a 737-700 from Panama City to Belize City (country number 85). A couple of interesting aspects regarding this flight: Firstly, this flight was supposed to be operated by a 737-800, but it was switched at the last minute to a -700. Secondly, this route seems to only operate twice a week on Fridays and Saturdays. Guess I got a little lucky😉.


This flight showed me how incredible the people from Panama are. The flight deck and flight attendants were unbelievably friendly; we'll get into this later. However, the soft product needs some work again!


Let's get into it!


Route-Panama City- Belize City

Plane- Boeing 737-700

Seat- 3F

Flight Number- CM280

Date- April 26th 2024

Flight Time: 2 Hours 18 Minutes

Price Paid- 38.5K United Miles+ 8$ (2 legs)


How I Booked


Fares are typically quite high on Copa Airlines in their "business class". However, I found an award that made me decide to go to Belize. Yes, it was that good. For 38.5K United Miles and 8$ in taxes, I managed to book Los Angeles-Panama City- Belize City, all in Business Class!


Fabulous Deal

Mileage awards on Copa Airlines are dynamic (I think the only partner award on UA, that is), meaning you will often see this fare going for around 200K miles+. If you are looking to book with cash, the fare would have come out to 1100$ one way.


Boarding


Due to a phone call, I had to take, I wasn't able to board as early as I would have liked to snap some pictures.


Passing by a Max on the way to the gate

However, I still managed to get there as group 2 was boarding by about 2:20 for our 3:06 departure time.


The jetbridge is see through here!

Panama City Tocumen

The cabin crew warmly greeted me at the door, and I made my way to seat 3A for today's flight (or so I thought).


Copa 737-700 Business Class

As time rolled on, I gazed out of the windows at Panama. I cannot wait to come back!


Panama City Tocumen Airport

The FA came around, and I asked her if there was a chance to visit the cockpit. She asked the captain and we ended up speaking about our flight for about 10 minutes. We got some cool pictures and videos up there as well! I love it when the flight deck is friendly (99% are).


Cockpit 737-700

Departure


Boarding doors were closed by about 2:45, and I saw seats 3E & 3F open on the other side. I asked the FA and moved over.


If there is no seat mate... even better

A pre-departure beverage was offered with options consisting of orange juice or water. I went with the water. Okay, I like that they offered a pre-departure beverage, but paper cups... really?


Copa Airlines Pre Departure Beverage

By 3:06, we pushed back bound for the runway.



It was a short taxi, and we were airborne 15 minutes later.



Talk about some views, eh?



The Seat/Cabin


The Copa Airlines 737-700 features 12 seats in Business Class across 4 rows in a 2-2 configuration. In general, it's a pretty barebones seat, but it was more than adequate for a flight of this length and with no-one next to me.


Copa Airlines 737-700 cabin

It was relatively empty on today's flight, with about 80 people in the economy and 7 in Business Class. I would recommend either row 2 or row 3.


Copa Airlines 737-700

There is a center console separating you and your seatmate. It was very comfortable to rest my arm during the flight.


Copa Airlines Business Class

The one thing I will give a lot of credit to is the design of these seats that Copa Airlines gave. It puts any US carrier to shame, at least. Very sleek with the patterns, and they also seem to be in good shape.


Full walls in Business Class

The only issue with row 3, though, is that there is an IFE box under the seat in front of you. It doesn't take up the whole space, but I would estimate about half.


I still would pick row 3 for the privacy though

Meal Service


15 minutes after takeoff, the wonderful FA came over to take my meal order. The choices consisted of either smoked salmon with cream cheese or chicken Tamales. I decided on the chicken tamales and a glass of champagne.


Copa Airlines Champagne

The champagne came out quickly and in very cute glasses. I forget what kind of champagne they serve, but I do know that it isn't the best in the sky.


Set up shop on the other seat

The meal service came out about 40 minutes after takeoff. I tend to be quite generous when reviewing products, but this meal was not great. It basically was just a pile of goop with limited chicken in it...


However, the plate is cute!


Copa Airlines Business Class Lunch

My champagne was topped off constantly without asking most of the time. Fantastic service by the crew again!


This crew was fabulous

Simply fabulous

IFE/Amenities


Sadly, there are no IFE/amenities on this flight. For some people, this could be a make-or-break aspect of flying Copa Airlines, and if I were to fly this plane for 5-6 hours, I might avoid it. Honestly, I just enjoyed the views out over the Atlantic Ocean for a couple of hours.


My IFE for today

A quick look at the bathroom for those wondering. A typical tight 737 bathroom with limited amenities.


Copa Airlines Bathroom

Service


Lately, I have been coming across some fabulous cabin crew on my flights, but this crew might take it all. Throughout the flight, I got to talking with them about life and understanding how hard they work at Copa Airlines (I am not going to say more). Even with the lackluster soft products that Copa provides (food, drinks, etc), the crew tries their best to make the most out of what they have.


We got into a conversation about Panama, and the cabin crew came back with a list of recommendations for when I came back... wow!


A really nice touch

Another small aspect that impressed me was when I pressed the call bell once to top up my champagne; it took 6 seconds. wow!


Arrival


By 3:50 pm local time (1 hour change), we had begun our initial descent into Belize City airport.



How beautiful is Belize??? I cannot wait to share more about this country shortly!


We touched down at 4:18 pm onto the solo runway.



It was a cool little backtaxi we had in order to reach our gate.


Bonjour Belize

I love flying

The captain buttered the landing, and just like that, we arrived at our remote stand 4 minutes ahead of schedule.


Alaska 737 Belize

A rare fuselage shot since I don't get to deplane like this often. The cabin crew wished me a wonderful time in Belize and secretly, I wanted to jumpseat back to Panama😜.


Copa Airlines at Belize City

Copa Airlines Belize

Bye bye Alaska Airlines!


I do love Alaska

Bye Bye Copa Airlines, it's been a pleasure!


Copa 737-700

Copa 737-700

Thankfully, I had filled out my immigration document before I had landed, so immigration was a breeze!


Belize City Airport

The wait was short and I was through into country number 85!!


Belize City Immigration

Of course, I was then ripped off by a taxi driver, but that's a story for another time😂.


Final Thoughts


The crew, including the flight deck, is what makes this flight spectacular. If it weren't for them, Copa Airlines wouldn't be getting the best review on this flight. Not great food, plastic cups on pre-departure beverages, no IFE and no wifi, that is pretty unacceptable.


However, I still enjoyed my short hop from Panama to Belize with Copa Airlines due to a nice flight deck visit, simply superb crew members, great conversation, and an empty seat next to me. There isn't enough to throw me off from flying with them again, but I would like to see Copa Airlines invest a bit more in their business class.


JETTOAJET SCALE


Meal Service

5/10

Seat (3F)

8/10

IFE

4/10

Lounge

6/10

Overall Service

10/10

Total

33/50






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