American Is Adding Flights To Cartagena, Colombia

Early last year I visited Colombia for the first time, and had an incredible time. I only visited Cartagena and Bogota — I loved Cartagena, while I wouldn’t return to Bogota. However, I’ve heard that there are lots of other beautiful parts of the country as well.

Cartagena-2
Cartagena, Colombia

As an American Airlines loyalist (well, at least historically), the issue is that American only flies to Bogota, so we flew to Bogota, and then connected to Cartagena on Avianca. It was an easy enough process, though it was also sort of annoying to connect, given that Cartagena isn’t that from the US.

In fairness, Cartagena is already served by other US airlines — Delta flies from Atlanta, JetBlue flies from New York and Fort Lauderdale, and Spirit flies from Fort Lauderdale. I’m surprised American doesn’t fly there, given that they’re traditionally the strongest US carrier in Latin America.

Well, if you’re interested in visiting Cartagena and are an American flyer, there’s some good news — American is launching daily flights between Miami and Cartagena as of December 15, 2017. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

AA1145 Miami to Cartagena departing 10:55AM arriving 1:47PM
AA1144 Cartagena to Miami departing 2:37PM arriving 5:39PM

MIA-CTG

The flight will be operated by an Airbus A319, covers a distance of roughly 1,100 miles, and is blocked at about three hours in each direction.

Award availability on the flight isn’t great (come and think of it, that’s true of American on the whole). There’s no saver level business class award space, and a limited number of dates with economy award seats (availability gets significantly better towards the end of the schedule, in late February and March).

American-Awards

If you’re someone who likes hotel loyalty programs, the other good news is that a Hyatt Regency recently opened in Cartagena, which looks quite nice. I imagine this is a good points option, though the location of the property isn’t ideal.

Hyatt-Cartagena-1
The new Hyatt Regency Cartagena

I stayed at the Hilton Cartagena when I visited, which wasn’t especially nice.

However, I also stayed at the Sofitel, located in the heart of the old town, and loved it.

Sofitel-Cartagena-Hotel - 21
The beautiful Sofitel Cartagena

Cartagena is a great place, so I’m happy to see that American will soon fly there as well.

Anyone else like Cartagena, and excited about this new flight?

Comments

  1. My personal opinion, staying “inside” old town in Cartagena is no bid deal.

    I like Cartagena and prefer to stay outside of old town on the beach (dirty black sand)…..and take a taxi into old town to dine.

    I’m looking forward to trying the New Hyatt Regency!

    JetBlue out of FLL is just fine….getting into MIA for the new American flight holds not appeal to me. Wish AMEX had a Centurion Lounge at FLL!

  2. “As an American Airlines loyalist (well, at least historically)…….”

    Lucky – when are you going to stop kidding yourself and be more honest with yourself AND your readers – of which I am one and really enjoy reading your blog. Let me remind you that you posted a story on April 7th, “I Just Upgraded To The AAdvantage Aviator Silver Mastercard” of which will help to you achieve a certain level of status with AA. You also mentioned that you have several AA trips lined-up for the remainder of the calendar year.

    How does this not keep you from still being an AA loyalist?? All your efforts to maintain status, book flights on AA, etc. sounds like an AA loyalist to me – even with all your recent negative comments about AA (food service, re-booking, etc.). Your comment from this piece makes it sound like that you are no longer an AA loyalist. Your actions and future plans contradict this statement. Just be honest and forthcoming!

  3. American also flies to Medellin in Colombia. Which is an amazing city. I liked CRtagena enough but not dying to go back. Nothing special about the beaches- better beaches are in Tayrona Park near Santa Marta.

  4. “Award availability on the flight isn’t great” LOL 🙂 Really?

    A319? What are they trying to be Air France?

    Sorry for my smarty pants attitude. Good post actually. It will be interesting to see how the fares go on this route since there are many other carriers and LCC Spirit. Actually I think Spirit does an A319 on this route as well.

  5. We went last fall, on Delta out of Atlanta. Booked with Air France miles (transferred TY points) – Air France’s award chart gets you an economy round trip to Cartagena or Bogota (or an open jaw to both) for just 35,000 FlyingBlue miles.

    Cartagena was gorgeous, easy to walk around, with great food and beautiful architecture and atmospheric streetscapes in every direction. If there was ever a city where a non-chain hotel is a good idea, Cartagena is it. The peninsula where the towering chain hotels are feels and looks like a run-down back alley version of Miami, whereas the little dozen-room hotels within the old city all seem extremely well-kept and convenient.

    Bogota was really enjoyable too, but I think that’s a city where you either need to take a guided tour (we did a bike tour, which was awesome) or know locals (which we also met while there) – otherwise, it just seems like a big urban city with no obvious attraction – but still a much nicer, safer city than you might assume.

  6. Great News! Yea, I am booked on the MIA-Medellin flight this summer and am looking forward to it after watching Narcos. By the way I love Bogota as well, and am planning on staying the weekend there, because Sunday is Ciclovía and is a great way to get out and meet people. But I will soon be planning this CTG flight and will def stay at the new Regency.

  7. Why wouldn’t there be a single seat of award space in business? Is it already all booked up???

  8. I was just in Cartagena in January and stayed at the Hyatt which was awesome,except for the location. We stayed on a club floor and had great breakfasts and sunset happy hours in the lounge. There was never more than 6 other people in there, maybe because the hotel was newly opened. The location isn’t very good though. The beach is unusable and the street in front flooded each day. There are two rooftop pools though, maybe three. Cartagena Old Town was a little too hot and cruise shippy for me, but it has much more charm than where the Hyatt is located. I prefer Bogota where we enjoyed the Marriott Autograph Collection Artisan (5th night free!).

    @Nathan They have Ciclovía Sundays in Medellin as well.

  9. lol I visited Colombia for the first time last year too (Bogota and Letizia) and I’m going back to Bogota this year. But I kinda have family down there so that’s why I’m going back. Plus I’m also going to the beach this year (Santa Marta) last year I went to the amazon region down south.

  10. Forget Bogota. Medellin and then Cartagena have the hottest Colombian women. Those butts just make you wanna grab ’em by the p$*&y. ‘Merica !

  11. You are an American airlines loyalist? Every chance you get you bash AA. I had to make sure that this was written by Lucky because that statement had me laughing, “an American airlines loyalist” hahahaha that’s funny.

  12. I agree with the comment about non-chain hotels in Cartagena. Was there last year and love the cocktails, architecture, food and vibe (not so much the truly oppressive August heat). Hotel Casa San Agustin was fabulous…better than a random Hyatt Regency 5 miles from where you want to be. That said, the Santa Clara (Sofitel affiliated) is wonderful too if you need the chain affiliation.

  13. I stayed at the Hyatt Cartagena in March and thought it was one of the best hotels I’ve ever stayed, and I’ve stayed at many of the finest around the world.

    I don’t understand the comment about location not being ideal. It’s in Bocagrande which is the most desirable location in all of Cartagena. You’re right next to the Plaza Commercial Shopping Mall which also has a small grocery store if you want drinks/snacks. The beach is right across the street and to the poster who said the beaches are unusable, you’re an idiot. I was in them daily and thought they were great. As you exit the hotel, cross the street, turn left, and just walk for 3-4 minutes and you’ll be in a prime beach spot.

    You’re also a very short Uber ride away from the Historical Center. You can also walk there, it’s not more than 20-25 minutes.

  14. The internet seems to disagree with my memory, but I would have put good money on my recollection that AA operated a 738 MIA-CTG in December 2014. I could have sworn I rejected that route in favor of AA on a 767 out of Bogotá with a LAN Colombia domestic connection. Are there AA timetables from then publicly available?

  15. @Beachfan….. I agree. What a downer to see that small A319 – 8 seat Biz Class cabin. And $1100 r/t MIA – CTG for three hours…. yikes.

  16. Yes, they also fly to Medellin and Cali, both great cities. Worst part of Medellin is the taxi ride over a mountain from the airport- take motion sickness pills. Bogota is a beautiful modern European-type city with amazing museums (the Gold Museum !) but it is Andean. Medellin is very latino/Mexican like. Famous for beautiful people.The coasts are Caribbean.

    That chart shows the most saver award space I’ve seen on AA in a very long time. Was wondering if it still existed.

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