Matthew live and let's fly

Washington Dulles to San Salvador on TACA

This is the first of a six-part recount of my recent trip to Central America.

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Last April I took a weekend jaunt down to Panama City on a $170 r/t fare from IAD on TACA. I had heard some bad stories about TACA from my friend Dave, but it seems TACA has really improved the last few years. Although I only flew in economy class on this trip, I was impressed with the onboard service.

 

TACA 581

IAD-SAL

A321

4 hrs, 35 min

Check-in was a breeze. I had checked in online the previous night and quickly had my boarding pass reprinted by a well-staffed check-in desk toward the center of the Main Terminal at Dulles.

TACA flights depart from Terminal B. At the gate, I inquired about an upgrade and was told that there were seats available for $199. Not knowing what TACA business class seats were like or the service levels I would recieve onboard, I passed.

Boarding was done from front to back, though it was more of a free for all. Onboard, the A321 was clean and modern with leather seats throughout the cabin. Legroom was tight, but not unbearable. There were no individual IFE units; only overhead monitors. By the time boarding concluded, every seat was full. We departed about 20 minutes late.

Once we leveled off, meal service began. A hot lunch was served with two choices offered, chicken or pasta. The chicken dish featured chunks of chicken thighs with yellow rice—quite tasty. Both lunches included a cold bread roll with butter, a small Milky Way bar, and a frozen Dole fruit/ice cream cup.

I was working on a legal brief during the flight so I did not tune into the IFE, but there were a few music channels and a Hollywood movie shown.
A couple more beverage runs were made after meal service and the flight crew was very affable, though their English skills were limited. We landed on-time in SAL.
TACA met my expectations. I wouldn’t say they are better than Mexicana, LAN, or Avianca, but they are on-par and offer a very respectable product. As an added bonus, they are a United Airlines partner so I also received miles for the flight.

A321 in SAL

Comments

#1
jose Cartagena December 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm

Hello,

I read your article and saw that you mentioned that All Taca flights are on the B terminal. Can you confirm this, as i have purchased this flight for my mother and want to make this flight as easy as i can for her. Thank you.

Regards,

Jose

Hi Jose,

I can confirm this is still true.

-Matthew

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