With some advanced planning, my fiancée and I were able to return home from Costa Rica with two first-class tickets via Honduras. While our time in Honduras was enjoyable it was not enormously remarkable due to the fact that we flew on January 1st when most (if not all) businesses were closed. Our taxi driver was quite nice and brought us to a food court-like outdoor area with a few family-owned lunch places open. We had an amazing plate of fried fish, plantains, rice, and beans for only $5!
Our flights back were award tickets booked through the United website. Since there were no saver (read: cheaper) tickets available from United, we opted to get flights on Copa Airlines and Avianca Airlines, connecting in San Pedro Sula, Honduras (yes, it is the murder capital of the world, though not as dangerous as you would think in the center of the city). Since both airlines are within the Star Alliance, it was actually cheaper to book with them due to United’s partner award rule chart.
The first class product on Copa Airlines was quite an experience. We had access to the VIP lounge in the San Jose airport; we were treated to a simple snack/meal on the plane; and we were given blankets to keep ourselves warm. It was a short flight but very smooth with good service. There was, unfortunately, no non-meat option for the snack so my fiancée was a bit upset.
The flight from San Pedro Sula, Honduras to JFK airport was of a higher quality for a longer flight. The seats were comfier, there was an in-flight entertainment system with many new release movies (as well as some older ones), and the food was plentiful. For this flight my fiancée made sure there was a non-meat option for her to eat (in this case fish). The service from the flight attendants was wonderful and we also received an amenities package in a TUMI case – quite fancy. From start to finish the experience was high quality.