During my stay in Panama, I had the chance to discover the brand new Copa Club in Terminal 2, which the airline promotes. Although I will have a full review soon, I wanted to talk about the aspect of the show that could really use a little more effort.
The new Copa Club Panama is beautiful
Let me start on a positive note – the new Copa Club Panama Terminal 2 is beautifully designed and a huge improvement over the old Copa Club in Terminal 1. It is a good size, spacious, has some great features and is nicely decorated. Admittedly, it does get busy at peak times, as Copa has a heavily banked network, but physically the show should impress.
The Copa Club Panama has horrible food
Looking at online reviews of the new Copa Club, the most consistent point of feedback is that the food selection leaves a lot to be desired. Before my visit, I thought to myself “well, maybe these people should visit a salon in the United States and see what the bad salon food really looks like”.
Well, I was wrong. The Copa Club Panama will make you dream of an American Admirals Club. There are two problems.
The first problem is that the lounge has a capacity of 420 guests and is very busy, but there is only one buffet which is not very large. The only food you can eat is located on this little island you see below, and people are flocking there like vultures.
The biggest issue is what is available with the buffet. The selection is… not great.
For breakfast there were stale bagels and cream cheese, pan bon, yogurt, fruit, cereal, granola and oatmeal. That was it.
Ok, I would say the breakfast was only moderately disappointing, because it’s lunch where it gets really sad. Lunch consisted of a few kinds of sandwiches (not very appealing), three types of vegetables, ranch dressing, hummus, bread, fries, and cookies.
Again, up to 420 people are supposed to eat things you see in the three images below. Of course, everyone wanted hummus — they might as well have a hummus fountain, depending on how quickly that bowl emptied.
Soup or something not like the Fyre Festival? What do you think it is, a garden of olive trees? Also, I’m pretty sure Copa Airlines and American Airlines are sharing their chilli sandwich recipe, as it might have sounded familiar (there was no sign of a ‘turkey’ sandwich, though) .
I don’t know which was worse – the quality and selection of the food, or the hygiene of it all, as you have countless people all congregating in one place, coughing, sneezing and picking their noses, then touching serving utensils. Copa has worse lounge catering service than any US airline, and that’s saying something.
At the end of the line
While the new Copa Club Panama has an excellent hard product, the soft product leaves a lot to be desired. I saw complaints about this online before my visit and figured it wouldn’t be that bad. No, it’s that bad – the restoration of the Copa lounge is among the worst I’ve seen for a carrier’s ‘flagship’ lounge. Hoping Copa can do something with these comments.
Has anyone else tasted the delights of Copa Club catering?