Copa

Review: Copa Airlines Business Class Los Angeles To Panama City To Buenos Aires

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Copa Airlines has a fascinating business model.

World-class, it ain’t, but it is a uniquely efficient carrier focusing on what might be one of the most convenient hubs in the world. With the Panama Canal in its backyard, Panama City has always been a city geared toward global transportation, and in aviation it serves as the key midpoint between North America and South America.

You won’t get lie flat seats on Copa in Business Class – you’ll get recliners only a little bit more comfortable than a domestic First seat – but none of Copa’s flights are truly long-distance. The brilliance of Copa is that none of its flights are longer than seven hours, and most much shorter than that. Copa connects a number of cities in the U.S. and Canada (Los Angeles, New York, Las Vegas, Boston, Chicago, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Washington Dulles, Montreal, and Toronto, with nonstops to Denver, Houston and Newark on partner United) to just about every destination imaginable in Latin America, and on top of that, has ridiculously abundant award space.

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United.com Not Displaying Copa Award Space

Copa-Business-Class

South America has never been the Star Alliance’s strong point, but it’s even weaker now than before. Previously TAM was in Star Alliance (not that they released much award space), but due to their merger with LAN, they transitioned over to oneworld.

Now they have Avianca and Copa. Copa doesn’t exactly have a great product, but does have a useful route network. They have a hub in Panama City, which means you’re basically two 5-6 hour flights away from anywhere in the US to anywhere in South America. I’ve also always wanted to visit Panama City, so it’s a good opportunity for a stopover there.

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