I’m always excited to try out a new airline, so it was only logical that my mom and I would try out Copa Airlines on the way back from Aruba. The tickets set us back only 30,000 MileagePlus miles and $65.11 each, and the miles were accumulated by using a few credit cards over the previous few months.
We would be traveling from Aruba to Panama City to JFK, where after a night in NYC, I would continue on to Italy and my mom would be heading back to Norfolk by way of Newark.
Aruba to Panama City
Copa Airlines flight 505
AUA [Aruba] to PTY [Panama City]
May 1, 2019
Depart: 1:18 PM
Arrive: 2:23 PM
The check-in process at AUA was very quick and we made our way to the International VIP Lounge by gate 2, which we accessed with my Priority Pass membership that was included with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
The lounge was absolutely deserted, which sometimes is the case when it comes to international Priority Pass lounges, Nonetheless, the snacks were plentiful and the bartender was happy to fix us whatever we’d like.
After just under an hour at the lounge, we made our way to the gate to prepare for boarding.
Seating was very typical of what you’d find on a domestic US flight and pre-departure beverages were served once we had boarded.
What did differ from the US airlines was the fact that you got a hot meal on a flight that was under two hours flight time and it tasted pretty good.
After a quick flight to Panama City, we made our way to the Copa Club to wait out our layover.
Copa Club, Panama City Airport
Next to gate 130 was the Copa Club, the only Star Alliance lounge at the airport. The layout was similar to the United Clubs back in the states, but it had a much wider variety of food along with multiple drink options including Panama Lager.
Along with accessing the lounge by flying business class or by having Star Alliance Gold status, you could also use your Priority Pass membership for you and up to four guests to get in.
Panama City to JFK
Copa Airlines flight 804
PTY [Panama City] to JFK [New York City]
May 1, 2019
Depart: 6:18 PM
Arrive: 12:02 AM
After the afternoon storm subsided, we made our way towards the gate. Just like other flights to the USA, there was an additional security checkpoint before we boarded, which we made it through right as boarding began.
Once onboard, we were greeted by a cabin full of comfortable looking loungers with footrests and a considerable recline.
I don’t recall getting a pre-departure drink on this flight, but once we were in the air, the crew served us our rum and cokes.
Since this was a longer flight, we had a proper menu with multiple dinner options along with a full drink menu.
I, of course had to try the Rum of the Month, which was a Flor de Caña 18 year aged rum and had a score of 7.4 on the Rum Ratings website.
For the main course, I decided to try the chicken breast supreme with vodka sauce and mashed potatoes.
After dinner, we were treated to ice cream sundaes with our choice of toppings.
Dinner was fantastic and was just the right amount of food for a four hour flight. I especially enjoyed the ice cream sundae, which really feels more upscale than a prepackaged or pre-plated dessert.
As for the seats, even though they didn’t make a bed, they proved great for napping and before I knew it, it was time to land at JFK.
We spent the night in the city at the Fairfield Inn by Penn Station, where I redeemed one of my free nights that I got with my Marriott credit card.
The next morning, we headed out to grab a couple cannoli at the Carlo’s Bakery by Time’s Square before heading to the airport. A perfect way to begin my trip back to Italy.
Thanks for reading!