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Topic: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 07:40:38 and read 18950 times.




Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz


Background about the Round-the-World Trip
A round-the-world trip had been on my wish list for many years and last summer I finally decided to go. Originally, my plan for October 2010 was to visit a good friend in Brisbane again after a break of four years. While searching for flight options, I realized that a visit to Brisbane would be a great opportunity to create a round-the-world trip. RTW packages by the large alliances didn't attract me due to numerous restrictions and the limited choice of airlines. I found it much more interesting to combine all kinds of airlines without someone restricting anything.

As usual, my focus was on new carriers and new types - and my intensive searches turned out to be successful. First of all, I booked the long-haul flights, followed by a few connecting flights. Finally, I added some more side trip flights. Final routing: Munich-Bangkok-Brisbane-Melbourne-Albury-Sydney-Auckland-Christchurch-Dunedin-Wellington-Auckland-San Francisco-Munich. The itinerary included 12 flights, 7 new airlines, 5 new airports and 3 new types. I would leave on 2 October and return 11 days later, after flying 26345 miles (42398 kilometers).

Parts I and II can be found here:
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink


Planning Details - Part III
The Airbus A340-200 is a very rare bird. Only 28 frames have been built, only 18 are currently (more or less) active with 5 commercial airlines (Aerolineas Argentinas, ConViasa, EgyptAir, Royal Jordanian and South African Airways). The planes mostly fly on long-haul routes which doesn't make the hunt easy for the enthusiast. However, you also find the A342 between Sydney and Auckland, as part of Aerolineas Argentinas' operations to/from Buenos Aires. I had kept an eye on these exciting Trans-Tasman services for a long time - and my plan had been to book such a flight during the next visit to Australia.

Last summer, the long-awaited day had come: After booking the long-haul flights to Australia and from New Zealand, I went to Aerolineas Argentinas' website to purchase a ticket for the Sydney-Auckland sector. Flying Auckland-Sydney would have been about a third cheaper, but I had to accept the relatively high fare due to the more favorable long-haul routing. Anyway, what I didn't like at all about AR's website was the fact that I couldn't conveniently pay the ticket online. AR wanted me to call them or to go to one of their offices. So I stopped the booking process and searched for alternative websites. Finally, I booked the flight on Travelocity (American version). Then I tried to choose a seat in advance on AR’s website, but that wasn't possible either. Anyway, I was glad about having a reservation at all.

Well, then I started hoping that the A340-200 would indeed operate on that day. My itinerary just showed "A340" and I knew that it could be switched to an A340-300 under certain circumstances - pictures from AKL and SYD confirmed that it had indeed happened sometimes.




Sydney Airport Spotting
Early in the morning I left the Formule 1 hotel and took a (pre-ordered and pre-paid) shuttle to the International Terminal. First of all, I checked the arrivals and departures screens and was relieved to find out that my plane's delay hadn't become worse. My friend in Brisbane had already informed me on the evening before that the plane had left Buenos Aires more than two hours behind schedule. My other friend Nicholas alias NZ107 would later also inform me about the plane's status at Auckland. Anyway, the check-in counters weren't open yet, so I went to the observation deck:



The famous Wunala Dreaming, two other Qantas 747-400s and an Emirates 777-300ER:


It's a nice facility, but not well-protected from the weather. Due to the cold wind I left again soon and killed the time by reading near the AR check-in counters.




Sunday, 10 October 2010
Sydney (SYD) - Auckland (AKL)
Aerolineas Argentinas AR1183
Scheduled times: 12:45-18:00
Actual times: 14:19-19:20
Flight duration: 02:41 (hrs)
Distance: 1345 miles
Economy Class, seat 20H

Airbus A340-211
LV-ZPO (MSN 063)
First delivered to Cathay Pacific as VR-HMR in 10/1994


1st flight on LV-ZPO
1st A340-200 flight
8th A340 flight
105th airline



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Photo © Anne Deus
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Photo © Colin Hunter



Former appearance:


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Photo © Sam Chui
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Photo © Jay Piboontum



Former appearances as VR-HMR and F-OHPF:


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Photo © Javier Rodriguez - Iberian Spotters
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Photo © Bernhard Bauske



Several dozens of people were already waiting in queue when the check-in agents started working. I had lined up quite early, so the remaining waiting time was low. The mid-aged female agent was friendly, but appeared awkward. It took her quite long to enter my data and check my reservation. She even had to ask her colleagues for advice. I guess she was new in her job. Anyway, I asked for a window seat in the rear section, but the one and only window seat the agent could offer was 20H. I wasn't amused, but what can you do? Finally, she handed out the boarding pass and told me that the new departure time would be 14:00 instead of 12:45.

After passing security, I went to a nice deserted gate area at the front end of the concourse where I had great views of runways 07 and 16R. I was able to log a total of 23 new registrations at SYD on that day. Btw - the new departure time didn't show up on the screens at the gate for a long time and delay announcements weren't made until shortly before the plane's arrival. An agent apologized twice for the delay and referred to the "late arrival of the aircraft". Surprise, surprise…  Yeah sure

Finally, the desired Aerolineas Argentinas A340 came into view on the horizon. Final approach to runway 07:


My excitement was growing during the plane's final descent due to concerns of a possible delay-related switch to an A340-300...but soon I realized that it was a short fuselage and almost simultaneously recognized the registration LV-ZPO.  thumbsup 


The 1994-built plane had been intended for Philippine Airlines, but the deal got cancelled. Cathay Pacific became its first operator, but only two years later the plane ended up with PAL after all. Finally, Aerolineas Argentinas added the plane to its fleet in June 1999:


LV-ZPO is one of four A340-200s operated by the Argentinian flag carrier.



I really like this perspective:



Nose close-up:



I continued spotting for a while and finally joined the long queue at the gate. After standing in line for more than 20 minutes, I could finally step on board. Warm welcome? Forget it! One flight attendant quickly checked my boarding pass, two others were chatting with each other and didn't even look at the passing passengers. Then I arrived at my row and found a young Latin American lady sitting in my window seat. I politely told her that she was occupying my seat and she immediately switched to 20G which was hers.

The (creaking) old-style seat was quite comfortable...





...and legroom was generous, too:


However, the footrest was broken and didn't move upwards any more - and the seat cover above wasn't in right position either. The cabin looked quite worn in general and was dirty in certain areas - just have a look at the parts beneath the armrests on the picture above. Additionally, the safety card was in torn condition and I missed an inflight magazine in my seat pocket.

I don't like these over-wing seats with limited views, but at least I could partly see the A340's "hairdryer engines":  Wink



We finally left the gate 19 minutes behind the new official departure time. Any pieces of information from the flight deck about the delay or the flight in general? Nothing of this sort, at any time!  thumbsdown 

Qantas A380 to the right of the winglet:



We rolled onto runway 16R and the "hairdryers" soon started howling...



Acceleration was unspectacular as usual on the "classic" A340, but we lifted off earlier than expected:







An old-style airshow appeared for a while after takeoff (followed by various TV features), but that's all I could see from my seat:



About 45 minutes after takeoff, drinks and a cold meal were served. The flight attendants didn't smile at all, but at least the tray looked quite nice:


The sandwich bread was dry, but the (New Zealand made) apricot frangipani cake and the baked oaty slice (raspberry and white chocolate) weren't bad. Well, many people may have argued that the cake was too sweet. The orange juice seemed to be diluted and tasted artificial, but the black tea was okay.

After relaxing for a while, I went for a walk. The cabin picture shows that Economy Class was packed:



Thick clouds over the Tasman Sea:



LV-ZPO started descending about 20 minutes before landing:





The first sight of New Zealand:





There's a small parking area for spotters just to the left of the outer engine:



We touched down after 2 hours and 41 minutes...


...and arrived at the gate 1 hour and 20 minutes behind schedule. Parked nearby was Air New Zealand 777-200ER ZK-OKB - one of the candidates for my Pacific crossing two days later:


All passengers had to leave the aircraft which would continue to Buenos Aires later in the evening. I was very impressed by the modern international terminal and its nice facilities.

After quickly passing immigration, I grabbed my luggage, bought something to eat and took the shuttle bus to the Jet Park Airport Hotel in Mangere. On TripAdvisor, it ranks on first place among 20 hotels in Mangere - absolutely justifiably so, as I would soon find out: great staff, tasteful interiors, comfortable and well-equipped rooms, decent minibar prices. Yes, there are cheaper hotels in the area, but I can only recommend to invest a bit more and stay at the Jet Park. Some impressions:






After a restful night, it was time for my domestic side trip. The plan was to fly four segments on three different airlines. Story to be continued...



Conclusion
After week-long concerns about a possible heavy delay or cancellation, I was really glad about finally getting on the rare A340-200, the prime target of my RTW trip. Well, my flight was indeed delayed in the end, but it wasn't a big deal. Aerolineas Argentinas' Economy Class product didn't impress me at all, but my expectations hadn't been high anyway after reading numerous reports. Seating comfort and catering were mostly acceptable on that 2.5 hour flight. However, the cabin was quite worn, certain items were broken, the IFE on that long-haul bird was totally outdated and the flight attendants were neither friendly nor customer-orientated. I definitely wouldn't want to fly AR on a long-haul route.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Painful Delay & My 100th Airline: AF A380, VO F100
Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600
Ship Vs. Plane: Porto Santo Line & Sata Air Açores
Awesome Approach, Splendid Scenery: LIS, FNC & TAP
Guernsey, Ash Cloud Alarm & Mostly Empty SQ 77Ws
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380
Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345
9/11 Review: Failed Trip To LAX - Fuel Dump Pics
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US


[Edited 2011-03-05 08:00:04]

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: AI151
Posted 2011-03-05 08:34:56 and read 18749 times.

Hi PH,

First and foremost my apologies for not responding to the other TR's in this series. I have been reading them however not had a chance to reply. Glad you're having a great time on the RTW so far.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After standing in line for more than 20 minutes, I could finally step on board. Warm welcome? Forget it! One flight attendant quickly checked my boarding pass, two others were chatting with each other and didn't even look at the passing passengers.

This seems to be happening quite a lot these days. I say replace them with people who actually like their interacting with passengers rather colleagues which can be done at a later time.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The sandwich bread was dry,

That does not look tasty at all.

Looking forward to the rest of the series. I'm flying off to Asia tomorrow with WY so sooner or later my TR's will be out and about.

Sandeep (AI151)

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 08:43:27 and read 18708 times.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
First and foremost my apologies for not responding to the other TR's in this series. I have been reading them however not had a chance to reply.

Hi Sandeep, many thanks for your comments! No worries, maybe you find some time one day.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
Glad you're having a great time on the RTW so far.

Almost everything worked out as planned...however, the weather in New Zealand caused some trouble during my domestic side trip. More to follow in part IV.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
This seems to be happening quite a lot these days. I say replace them with people who actually like their interacting with passengers rather colleagues which can be done at a later time.

I can only agree. It's the passengers who they work for.

Quoting AI151 (Reply 1):
I'm flying off to Asia tomorrow with WY so sooner or later my TR's will be out and about.

Wow, enjoy your trip! I'm sure WY will treat you well!


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: airpearl
Posted 2011-03-05 09:12:24 and read 18630 times.

Hi PH

Thank you for this very nice continuation of your RTW journey, and congratulations on hunting down the rare A342! It seems almost everyone   is using the trans-Tasman to tick new types and/or airlines off their check lists - what a gold mine of a route down under!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The 1994-built plane had been intended for Philippine Airlines, but the deal got cancelled. Cathay Pacific became its first operator, but only two years later the plane ended up with PAL after all. Finally, Aerolineas Argentinas added the plane to its fleet in June 1999

Very interesting history of this bird. The A342 has definitely become the niche plane - like the SP and 345 - but without a proper niche. It seems quite a few airlines (LH, AF and PR come to mind) that had originally ordered the 342 got rid of theirs well ahead of time in favor of the 343 and sad that probably none of the current operators are particularly committed to it either. Which, I guess, makes this a 'must fly' plane!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I really like this perspective

  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Seating comfort and catering were mostly acceptable on that 2.5 hour flight. However, the cabin was quite worn, certain items were broken, the IFE on that long-haul bird was totally outdated and the flight attendants were neither friendly nor customer-orientated. I definitely wouldn't want to fly AR on a long-haul route.

Yeah, flying the long haul to EZE wouldn't be a barrel of fun I would guess. It does look like AR needs a major overhaul before joining SkyTeam as a member in 2012 - it'll be interesting to see what happens over the course of this year.

Thanks again for installment and looking forward to your next.

Cheers
airpearl

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 09:23:02 and read 18583 times.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 3):
Thank you for this very nice continuation of your RTW journey, and congratulations on hunting down the rare A342!

Hi Airpearl, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 3):
It seems almost everyone is using the trans-Tasman to tick new types and/or airlines off their check lists - what a gold mine of a route down under!

Yes, gold mine is an appropriate term.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 3):
It seems quite a few airlines (LH, AF and PR come to mind) that had originally ordered the 342 got rid of theirs well ahead of time in favor of the 343 and sad that probably none of the current operators are particularly committed to it either. Which, I guess, makes this a 'must fly' plane!

Absolutely true. South African will soon replace them by A332s, Royal Jordanian will replace them by 787s (or more used A332s) and EgyptAir may get rid of them in the near future, too. Aerolineas Argentinas may try to get more used A343s as replacement aircraft. And it's unlikely that most of these aging A342s will find a new home.

Quoting airpearl (Reply 3):

Yeah, flying the long haul to EZE wouldn't be a barrel of fun I would guess. It does look like AR needs a major overhaul before joining SkyTeam as a member in 2012 - it'll be interesting to see what happens over the course of this year.

Yes, lots of work ahead for AR.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: luxair747SP
Posted 2011-03-05 09:48:30 and read 18464 times.

Hi PH,
Thanks a lot for this cool report about an airline, which isnt covered well in this section.
I was really waiting for this part and the following about New Zealand.
Nice to catch an A342, which can be hardly seen around here.
The service on AR didnt look good at all but for such a rare bird, its okay I think.
The food looked acceptable for this flight sector.
And the destination surely is amazing, AKL is one of my favorite airport, especially the international terminal with the new pier.

Thank you a lot for sharing
Johannes

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 09:54:30 and read 18445 times.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 5):
Thanks a lot for this cool report about an airline, which isnt covered well in this section.
I was really waiting for this part and the following about New Zealand.

Hi Johannes, thanks a lot! I'm glad you liked it.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 5):
The service on AR didnt look good at all but for such a rare bird, its okay I think.

  

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 5):
The food looked acceptable for this flight sector.

I would have preferred a hot meal, of course...  

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 5):
And the destination surely is amazing, AKL is one of my favorite airport, especially the international terminal with the new pier.

Yes, it's a great airport. More pictures from AKL to follow in the next two parts.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: AlwaysOnAPlane
Posted 2011-03-05 10:26:10 and read 18322 times.

Hi there PH.

Nice to get that one in the bag after all and thank goodness there was no aircraft switch for you in the end. I guess the priority was the aircraft regardless of the service offered.

Agree, the meal looks quite good. The baked slice looks like something i would appreciate. Not a bad feed for a flight of this duration.

A shame the crew could not be a touch more warm towards the customer.

Im looking forward to your continued story. Thanks for the report so far.

Cheers, Lee.

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 10:41:18 and read 18289 times.

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
Nice to get that one in the bag after all and thank goodness there was no aircraft switch for you in the end. I guess the priority was the aircraft regardless of the service offered.
Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
Im looking forward to your continued story. Thanks for the report so far.

Hi Lee, thanks for your comments! An aircraft change would have been a nightmare...

Quoting AlwaysOnAPlane (Reply 7):
A shame the crew could not be a touch more warm towards the customer.

I noticed the same attitude when I flew Iberia long-haul back in 2002.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: globalflyer
Posted 2011-03-05 11:17:00 and read 18156 times.

Great TR and pics. I have flown this route but choose the EK A380. AR did in fact have the least expensive tickets followed by LA and then EK as QF and NZ were more than double. I have flown AR only once from AEP to GIG. Service was ok nothing special and we too had a delay only about a half an hour but no reason for the delay? I do have to say that AR has a long way to go in terms of service quality to enter SkyTeam. I wish them luck!!!

Cheers
William

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 11:32:17 and read 18106 times.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 9):
Great TR and pics.

Thanks a lot, William!

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 9):
I have flown this route but choose the EK A380.

Good choice, I guess you enjoyed that flight? EK's A380 is the best you can get in terms of comfort and IFE on that route.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 9):
AR did in fact have the least expensive tickets followed by LA and then EK as QF and NZ were more than double.

That's interesting. Only NZ and QF were more expensive than AR around my departure date.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 9):
I do have to say that AR has a long way to go in terms of service quality to enter SkyTeam. I wish them luck!!!

Yes, let's hope they will quickly improve in terms of service quality.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: aflyingkiwi
Posted 2011-03-05 12:07:44 and read 18018 times.

Hi PH,

Another fantastic report as usual. Nice to see you were able to log the rare A342.

My brother actually flew AR longhaul to South America in JAN (LA were about $1,500 more) and well he didn't really give them any glowing reviews. He was quite lucky because I believe that none of the flights were severely delayed which is quite lucky after hearing some of the other horror stories about AR,

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, the footrest was broken and didn't move upwards any more

My brother also mentioned that the footrest didn't work on his flights.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but at least the tray looked quite nice:

The food doesn't look too bad, at least you get something on the relatively short sector

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Aerolineas Argentinas' Economy Class product didn't impress me at all, but my expectations hadn't been high anyway after reading numerous reports. Seating comfort and catering were mostly acceptable on that 2.5 hour flight. However, the cabin was quite worn, certain items were broken, the IFE on that long-haul bird was totally outdated and the flight attendants were neither friendly nor customer-orientated

Summed it up nicely here. About the IFE, one thing I find ironic is that according to their in-flight magazine (Once again a big thank you to my brother for collecting it for me), they have touchscreen AVOD on their Embraer 190 fleet yet haven't even bothered about even slightly improving their long-haul fleet.

Looking forward to the next installment.

Regards,
aflyingkiwi

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 12:17:34 and read 17997 times.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 11):

Another fantastic report as usual. Nice to see you were able to log the rare A342.

Hi aflyingkiwi, thank you very much your comments!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 11):
My brother actually flew AR longhaul to South America in JAN (LA were about $1,500 more) and well he didn't really give them any glowing reviews. He was quite lucky because I believe that none of the flights were severely delayed which is quite lucky after hearing some of the other horror stories about AR,

Good to hear. You can indeed find numerous negative stories about AR. And I can tell you it's not good at all to read those stories shortly before a flight on that airline...

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 11):
My brother also mentioned that the footrest didn't work on his flights.

That's interesting! AR should really fix those.  

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 11):
About the IFE, one thing I find ironic is that according to their in-flight magazine (Once again a big thank you to my brother for collecting it for me), they have touchscreen AVOD on their Embraer 190 fleet yet haven't even bothered about even slightly improving their long-haul fleet.

Wow, hadn't heard that yet. Very odd indeed, they should invest that money into their long-haul fleet.


PH

[Edited 2011-03-05 12:18:13]

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: globalflyer
Posted 2011-03-05 12:20:12 and read 17980 times.

Indeed I loved the EK 380. It was my first ride on one and luckily got two more on SQ a few days later including C class from MEL to SIN and it was... Well words cannot say enough about the SQ C service! Best in the world! Look forward to your other TR's

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 13:11:16 and read 17893 times.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 13):
Indeed I loved the EK 380. It was my first ride on one and luckily got two more on SQ a few days later including C class from MEL to SIN and it was... Well words cannot say enough about the SQ C service! Best in the world!

That sounds great. SQ's J Class is a class of its own.

Quoting globalflyer (Reply 13):
Look forward to your other TR's

Many more to follow in the next weeks and months.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: OA260
Posted 2011-03-05 13:24:55 and read 17862 times.

Hey another nice report. I always wanted to fly on AR but not so much reading recent reports. Back to the bottom of my list. Nice to get the A340 though. Its a shame as with some refurbishment and different crew it could have been so much different.

Thanks for the insight

Philip  

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: comeflywithme
Posted 2011-03-05 13:56:10 and read 17782 times.

Nice AR report.

The rules when flying AR are..

Hope the flight actually leaves within five hours of departure time.....if it does you're off to an excellent start..
Don't expect anything on board to work including the cabin crew.
Resign yourself to paying top whack for your ticket.


I'm not joking either.  

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-05 14:05:55 and read 17756 times.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 15):
Hey another nice report.
Quoting comeflywithme (Reply 16):
Nice AR report.

Thanks, Phil & comeflywithme!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 15):
Its a shame as with some refurbishment and different crew it could have been so much different.

Yes, even a nice crew alone would have made a big difference.

Quoting comeflywithme (Reply 16):
The rules when flying AR are..

Hope the flight actually leaves within five hours of departure time.....if it does you're off to an excellent start..
Don't expect anything on board to work including the cabin crew.
Resign yourself to paying top whack for your ticket.

Great!   

Quoting comeflywithme (Reply 16):
I'm not joking either.

  


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: akhmad
Posted 2011-03-05 14:14:12 and read 17749 times.

Hi PH,

Fantastic continuation of your adventure Down Under!

Good to read your perspective about AR. I did not realize that A342 has become that rare. Thanks a lot about your in-depth information.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Anyway, what I didn't like at all about AR's website was the fact that I couldn't conveniently pay the ticket online. AR wanted me to call them or to go to one of their offices. So I stopped the booking process and searched for alternative websites. Finally, I booked the flight on Travelocity (American version). Then I tried to choose a seat in advance on AR’s website, but that wasn't possible either. Anyway, I was glad about having a reservation at all.

That is odd. It reminds me of the reservation mechanism of GA last year. AR should be grateful with Travelocity which made their fifth freedom routes accessible from all over the world.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Warm welcome? Forget it! One flight attendant quickly checked my boarding pass, two others were chatting with each other and didn't even look at the passing passengers

Why this attitude?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but the (New Zealand made) apricot frangipani cake

Exotic! It must have been the most fragrant cake you would ever taste.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but I can only recommend to invest a bit more and stay at the Jet Park. Some impressions:

Clean and tidy room with proper sanitary fittings and in room safe. What you really need! Great indeed!

Thanks again for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2011-03-05 15:29:42 and read 17584 times.

Hi PH,

great report with some good pics also. For a flight of about 2 hours, the meal look very sufficient, and much more then we get on board of our European flights with this duration. Legroom good, but the used cabin... maybe it belongs to the A342 experience already.
Looking forward to the remaining parts of your journey!

Eric

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-06 00:36:28 and read 16975 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Fantastic continuation of your adventure Down Under!

Good to read your perspective about AR. I did not realize that A342 has become that rare. Thanks a lot about your in-depth information.

Hi Suryo, many thanks for your kind words!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
That is odd. It reminds me of the reservation mechanism of GA last year.

Interesting, another airline which makes life more complicated than necessary.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 18):
Why this attitude?

Very good question!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 19):
great report with some good pics also.

Many thanks, Eric!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 19):
For a flight of about 2 hours, the meal look very sufficient, and much more then we get on board of our European flights with this duration.

Well, there still some carriers which serve hot meals on 2.5 hour flights on European routes.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 19):
Legroom good, but the used cabin... maybe it belongs to the A342 experience already.

Yes, I guess A342s in immaculate condition are hard to find.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: srqmuc
Posted 2011-03-06 03:58:33 and read 16706 times.

Servus PH,

once again a marvelous report!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, then I started hoping that the A340-200 would indeed operate on that day. My itinerary just showed "A340" and I knew that it could be switched to an A340-300 under certain circumstances - pictures from AKL and SYD confirmed that it had indeed happened sometimes.

Kudos for taking the risk of an equipment change! I'm glad that you got at least the A340-200 as planned! Is this how you get your thrills?  



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, my flight was indeed delayed in the end, but it wasn't a big deal. Aerolineas Argentinas' Economy Class product didn't impress me at all, but my expectations hadn't been high anyway after reading numerous reports. Seating comfort and catering were mostly acceptable on that 2.5 hour flight. However, the cabin was quite worn, certain items were broken, the IFE on that long-haul bird was totally outdated and the flight attendants were neither friendly nor customer-orientated. I definitely wouldn't want to fly AR on a long-haul route.

Hopefully they start soon improving their overall product because having so many major flaws is unacceptable in times of rising South American mega carriers, e.g. LATAM or Avianca-TACA.

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-06 04:15:02 and read 16683 times.

Quoting srqmuc (Reply 21):
once again a marvelous report!

Servus srqmuc,

thanks a lot for your feedback! Good to hear you liked it.

Quoting srqmuc (Reply 21):
Kudos for taking the risk of an equipment change! I'm glad that you got at least the A340-200 as planned! Is this how you get your thrills?

Well, I knew that the A342s are usually used for these services, but you never know. Actually I get my thrills by flying on desired birds - I can do well without any kinds of uncertainties.

Quoting srqmuc (Reply 21):



Hopefully they start soon improving their overall product because having so many major flaws is unacceptable in times of rising South American mega carriers, e.g. LATAM or Avianca-TACA.

That's true, several Latin American carriers offer a high standard, AR needs to follow.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: CPDC10-30
Posted 2011-03-06 11:39:13 and read 16191 times.

Nice TR, and great to see an A342 report. I hope to be able to fly this route later this year but haven't made any arrangements yet.

Last October I flew STN-KUL-MEL (AirAsia X) and MEL--AKL (QF), also staying the first night at the Jet Park Hotel. It was great, very reasonable price, clean rooms and an excellent restaurant.

Look forward to your next TR!

Cheers,

CPDC10-30

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-06 11:51:54 and read 16176 times.

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 23):
Nice TR, and great to see an A342 report. I hope to be able to fly this route later this year but haven't made any arrangements yet.

Thanks for your feedback! I really recommend to choose AR if you still need to fly on the A342.

Quoting CPDC10-30 (Reply 23):
Last October I flew STN-KUL-MEL (AirAsia X) and MEL--AKL (QF), also staying the first night at the Jet Park Hotel. It was great, very reasonable price, clean rooms and an excellent restaurant.

Good to hear. How was AirAsia X?


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: 767747
Posted 2011-03-06 15:11:31 and read 15898 times.

Hey, PlaneHunter! Another great report!

Great to read again about Aerolineas Argentinas on this forum again! Looks like you had a decent flight with them; the seats though do look old and creeky!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Finally, the desired Aerolineas Argentinas A340 came into view on the horizon. Final approach to runway 07:

Great capture!

Best,

Matthew

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: flykev
Posted 2011-03-06 16:38:51 and read 15812 times.

Once again you have written an informative and interesting report; and covered an airline that certainly doesn't get reported on.
The pictures really help illustrate the journey and certainly make the aircraft look worn out and I cannot imagine wanting to spend too long on-board.

The food doesn't look particularly nice either - but at lest the portion looks quite generous.

Keep the reports coming!

Kev.

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-06 21:07:56 and read 15615 times.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 25):
Hey, PlaneHunter! Another great report!

Hi Matthew, thanks a lot for your comments!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 25):
Great to read again about Aerolineas Argentinas on this forum again! Looks like you had a decent flight with them; the seats though do look old and creeky!

At least the seats were still better than some of the rock-hard new-style models.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 25):
Great capture!

Thanks!

Quoting flykev (Reply 26):
Once again you have written an informative and interesting report; and covered an airline that certainly doesn't get reported on.

Many thanks, Kev!

Quoting flykev (Reply 26):
The pictures really help illustrate the journey and certainly make the aircraft look worn out and I cannot imagine wanting to spend too long on-board.

Yes, there are better ways to cross the South Pacific!


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2011-03-08 04:53:09 and read 15072 times.

Hi PH!

A nice one! Very interesting to read about the rare A340-200 (BTW congratulations on catching one!) and of this fifth freedom route. AR doesn't sound like a very good carrier to me, but then again that's the impression I've gotten from various sources before, so no real surprises there!

Looking forward to the US parts of the trip.

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-08 07:04:42 and read 14932 times.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 28):
A nice one! Very interesting to read about the rare A340-200 (BTW congratulations on catching one!) and of this fifth freedom route.

Hi FlyingFinn, thanks for your feedback, always appreciated!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 28):
AR doesn't sound like a very good carrier to me, but then again that's the impression I've gotten from various sources before, so no real surprises there!

Yes, my expectations hadn't been high either.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2011-03-10 11:45:37 and read 14253 times.

Hi, PH,

great story and pictures.
Definitely good to follow the next part of you´re travel around the world adventure.
Really good choice to fit in the AR A342, something missing here also.

Looking for the next story now.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: Luftfahrer
Posted 2011-03-10 14:03:22 and read 14163 times.

Interesting report featuring a rather exotic aircraft type, PlaneHunter! I enjoyed your continuation.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I could partly see the A340's "hairdryer engines":

They're actually APUs! 
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My excitement was growing during the plane's final descent due to concerns of a possible delay-related switch to an A340-300

I haven't been in that situation yet, only in a contrary one: Expecting the scheduled aircraft and find a replaced one instead.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was really glad about finally getting on the rare A340-200, the prime target of my RTW trip.
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The cabin picture shows that Economy Class was packed:
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
All passengers had to leave the aircraft which would continue to Buenos Aires later in the evening.

Do you happen to know how many passengers continued to EZE? The flight seems pretty popular despite high-ranking competition on this sector (see flightstats). By the way, AR, as noted, looked less than impressive, but for the sake of flying the A342, it seems agreeable. Just good the mundane A343 didn't come in as a replace!

As usual, thanks for sharing!  

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: The777Man
Posted 2011-03-10 14:12:46 and read 14158 times.

Hi PlaneHunter!

Excellent report with excellent pictures! Nice for you to get another airline AND a new type in one flight ! Meals looks okay for such a short flight.

Amazing that so many 342s are not in service already. I managed to fly on a SA 342 JNB-MRU about four years ago so I'm happy happy to have flown on it as well.

Thanks again for this past Monday!

Looking forward to the next chapter of this series!

The777Man

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: abrelosojos
Posted 2011-03-10 20:45:28 and read 14012 times.

PH,

Thanks for the report. Am glad your RTW is going well. Finally catching up on your report, and some more from the web. It has been a great way to spend the evening.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Anyway, what I didn't like at all about AR's website was the fact that I couldn't conveniently pay the ticket online. AR wanted me to call them or to go to one of their offices. So I stopped the booking process and searched for alternative websites. Finally, I booked the flight on Travelocity (American version). Then I tried to choose a seat in advance on AR%u2019s website, but that wasn't possible either. Anyway, I was glad about having a reservation at all.

= Isn't it amazing? Airlines in so many parts of the world are trying so hard to get people to book on their site and save on distribution costs ... and here are others hell bent on making it difficult.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):

We finally left the gate 19 minutes behind the new official departure time. Any pieces of information from the flight deck about the delay or the flight in general? Nothing of this sort, at any time! thumbsdown

= Haha. Welcome to AR/many Latin airlines. I actually find it amusing because Argentinians in general L O V E chatting.

Here is what I have learned about AR. Be nice to the crew, and make a connection, and they will go above and beyond their call of duty. I am probably a minority here ... but I would fly on AR anyday than the sterility of LAN ... but then again, I prefer the chaos, colour and general good people of BA more than I would ever like the seriousness Santiago affords.

Thanks so much for this report.

Saludos,
A.

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: Scandinavian
Posted 2011-03-11 03:21:26 and read 13891 times.

Very nice report with great photos! Thanks for taking your time to write it.

I flew with an A330-200 in 2001, FRA-CCS with Lufthansa. That was a great flight.

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: chepos
Posted 2011-03-12 01:50:30 and read 13664 times.

Very enjoyable read, thank you for sharing.

Regards,

Chepos

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-03-14 10:25:38 and read 13348 times.

Congratulations on the composition of your Aerolineas adventure PlaneHunter. Another top quality report on the one airline i was waiting to know your views on  

Seems that Aerolineas Argentinas is quite consistent with its sheer and icy cold vibe. This is how it felt in your TR, and this is how it also felt in my experience   .. Oh well, it's the A342 that's more important in this case anyways  

Though, i am quite curious as to how they are going to improve given they are about to join a major alliance!



Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):



Former appearance:

I quite like this livery! I have not seen it before!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and told me that the new departure time would be 14:00 instead of 12:45.

Ouch! Nicholas had advised me several times about this, and i had specifically ensured i had enough space between all my connecting times. Surprinsingly my flight was bang on time!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the new departure time didn't show up on the screens at the gate for a long time and delay announcements weren't made until shortly before the plane's arrival. An agent apologized twice for the delay and referred to the "late arrival of the aircraft". Surprise, surprise…

Maybe they wanted to make sure the plane actually arrived first?  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The 1994-built plane had been intended for Philippine Airlines, but the deal got cancelled. Cathay Pacific became its first operator, but only two years later the plane ended up with PAL after all.

Ahh PAL and it's strange ways!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The (creaking) old-style seat was quite comfortable...

Looks different to the one Nicholas was on!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I don't like these over-wing seats with limited views

I sort of like them, as i get feel of the wing's wobble during takeoff and landing  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
About 45 minutes after takeoff, drinks and a cold meal were served.

And yet, another sandwich!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Jet Park Airport Hotel in Mangere. On TripAdvisor, it ranks on first place among 20 hotels in Mangere - absolutely justifiably so, as I would soon find out: great staff, tasteful interiors, comfortable and well-equipped rooms, decent minibar prices. Yes, there are cheaper hotels in the area, but I can only recommend to invest a bit more and stay at the Jet Park. Some impressions:

Had i not opted to stay in the city, this would have been my choice of hotel! The reviews were excellent, and the pictures too! .. Great choice!


Thanks for sharing this TR! Looking forward to the next!

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-14 11:19:12 and read 13316 times.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 30):
great story and pictures.
Definitely good to follow the next part of you´re travel around the world adventure.

Hi Markus, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 30):
Really good choice to fit in the AR A342, something missing here also.

It's a rare bird, but I'm sure you will find a way to get it.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 31):
Interesting report featuring a rather exotic aircraft type, PlaneHunter! I enjoyed your continuation.

Many thanks, Marius!

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 31):
They're actually APUs!

Sure, how could I forget?  
Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 31):
Do you happen to know how many passengers continued to EZE? The flight seems pretty popular despite high-ranking competition on this sector (see flightstats).

Good question. I guess the majority continued to EZE. And yes, there is serious competition.

Quoting Luftfahrer (Reply 31):
Just good the mundane A343 didn't come in as a replace!

  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 32):
Hi PlaneHunter!

Excellent report with excellent pictures!

Hi Lars, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 32):
Nice for you to get another airline AND a new type in one flight !

Yes, that doesn't happen very often in these days.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 32):
Amazing that so many 342s are not in service already. I managed to fly on a SA 342 JNB-MRU about four years ago so I'm happy happy to have flown on it as well.

Good to hear, definitely an interesting route.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 32):

Thanks again for this past Monday!

You're welcome. Was a pleasure!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 33):
Thanks for the report. Am glad your RTW is going well. Finally catching up on your report, and some more from the web. It has been a great way to spend the evening.

Hi Alex, many thanks! Nice to hear you enjoyed reading.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 33):
Isn't it amazing? Airlines in so many parts of the world are trying so hard to get people to book on their site and save on distribution costs ... and here are others hell bent on making it difficult.

Yes, who knows how many people AR has discouraged.

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 33):
Haha. Welcome to AR/many Latin airlines. I actually find it amusing because Argentinians in general L O V E chatting.
Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 33):
Here is what I have learned about AR. Be nice to the crew, and make a connection, and they will go above and beyond their call of duty. I am probably a minority here

I guess it helps a lot if you speak Spanish, right?

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 33):
... but I would fly on AR anyday than the sterility of LAN ... but then again, I prefer the chaos, colour and general good people of BA more than I would ever like the seriousness Santiago affords.

Interesting, haven't been there yet.

Quoting Scandinavian (Reply 34):
Very nice report with great photos! Thanks for taking your time to write it.

Thanks a lot, Markus!

Quoting Scandinavian (Reply 34):
I flew with an A330-200 in 2001, FRA-CCS with Lufthansa. That was a great flight.

I guess you meant A342.

Quoting chepos (Reply 35):
Very enjoyable read, thank you for sharing.

Many thanks, Jose!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
Congratulations on the composition of your Aerolineas adventure PlaneHunter. Another top quality report on the one airline i was waiting to know your views on

Hi Roni, thanks so much for your kind words!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
Seems that Aerolineas Argentinas is quite consistent with its sheer and icy cold vibe. This is how it felt in your TR, and this is how it also felt in my experience

Yes, we cannot complain about inconsistency...  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
Though, i am quite curious as to how they are going to improve given they are about to join a major alliance!

Will be very interesting to see.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
I quite like this livery! I have not seen it before!

I liked that livery, but the new one is very nice, too.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
Ouch! Nicholas had advised me several times about this, and i had specifically ensured i had enough space between all my connecting times. Surprinsingly my flight was bang on time!

Lucky guy!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
Maybe they wanted to make sure the plane actually arrived first?

Good one!   

Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
Looks different to the one Nicholas was on!

Yes, Nicholas and I were talking about that. He had LV-ZPX. However, all four frames used to be former CX/PR planes, and they joined the AR fleet within two months. Who knows why there are different interiors now.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
I sort of like them, as i get feel of the wing's wobble during takeoff and landing

Interesting, usually you feel more movement in the back. That's why I liked being seated there.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 30):
Looking for the next story now.
Quoting The777Man (Reply 32):
Looking forward to the next chapter of this series!
Quoting ronerone (Reply 36):
Looking forward to the next!

Part IV is now online:
Bad Weather & Other Bad Luck: Touring New Zealand (by PlaneHunter Mar 14 2011 in Trip Reports)


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2011-03-14 13:19:34 and read 13254 times.

Hi PH,

Great report, you were lucky the delay was just a short one, some days it's much worse I understand.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
1st A340-200 flight

- Congrats of joining the 'flown the A340-200' gang, few and far between!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Aerolineas Argentinas' Economy Class product didn't impress me at all, but my expectations hadn't been high anyway after reading numerous reports

- The best thing when not expecting much is not to, sometimes you can be rewarded with a better experience than you expected.

Sounds like your machine was in much worse condition than my SAA one, that was pretty well kept.

Rgds

Mark

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-14 13:40:49 and read 13235 times.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 38):
Great report, you were lucky the delay was just a short one, some days it's much worse I understand.

Thanks, Mark! I also remember that an A342 was even grounded at AKL for a while due to an engine fault.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 38):
Congrats of joining the 'flown the A340-200' gang, few and far between!

Yes, rare plane, small group.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 38):
Sounds like your machine was in much worse condition than my SAA one, that was pretty well kept.

That's what I'd expect from SAA. Haven't tried that carrier yet, but it's about time.


PH

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: NZ107
Posted 2011-03-15 00:08:25 and read 13086 times.

Hi PH,

Another excellent TR, congrats again for getting the A342. Good to see you're churning these reports out quite quick! Photos were nice too, thanks for sharing!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
so I went to the observation deck:

I've spent many hours here! But after having discovered the other vantage points, I think I'll be wanting the car to get to them..

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Anyway, I asked for a window seat in the rear section, but the one and only window seat the agent could offer was 20H. I wasn't amused, but what can you do? Finally, she handed out the boarding pass and told me that the new departure time would be 14:00 instead of 12:45.

Funny, I preselected my seat online. Good thing that it actually was kept for me too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, the footrest was broken and didn't move upwards any more - and the seat cover above wasn't in right position either. The cabin looked quite worn in general and was dirty in certain areas - just have a look at the parts beneath the armrests on the picture above. Additionally, the safety card was in torn condition and I missed an inflight magazine in my seat pocket.

Heard that story on AR too.. I wonder where from?  
But it seems like your headrest was in a better condition than mine which seemed like it was half detached from the slider behind it.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
An old-style airshow appeared for a while after takeoff (followed by various TV features), but that's all I could see from my seat:

I guess I was lucky to get the airshow for the entire flight then!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
About 45 minutes after takeoff, drinks and a cold meal were served. The flight attendants didn't smile at all, but at least the tray looked quite nice:

Looks rather similar in size to what I got. There were two plates under my sandwich so I had no problems liberating the clean one 
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After quickly passing immigration, I grabbed my luggage, bought something to eat and took the shuttle bus to the Jet Park Airport Hotel in Mangere. On TripAdvisor, it ranks on first place among 20 hotels in Mangere - absolutely justifiably so, as I would soon find out: great staff, tasteful interiors, comfortable and well-equipped rooms, decent minibar prices

Good to know. I wonder how it'll stand up against the new Novotel which is being built in the carpark just outside the international terminal.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 39):
I also remember that an A342 was even grounded at AKL for a while due to an engine fault.

You mean when the engine exploded?  


Cheers,
Nicholas

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: infodesk
Posted 2011-03-15 02:49:57 and read 13045 times.

Hi PH,

Enjoyable read about a rather exotic carrier here on airliners and made all the more special by the fact you flew it on this Australasian leg and got the rare A342.

Pity the crew weren't a bit friendlier, but at least the in-flight offerings look decent.

Why the complecated procedure when booking the ticket? Airlines have to move with the times and offering online booking is an absolute must.

Happy flying
Infoodesk   

Topic: RE: Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-03-31 14:32:17 and read 12253 times.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
Another excellent TR, congrats again for getting the A342.

Many thanks, Nicholas!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
I guess I was lucky to get the airshow for the entire flight then!

  

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
Good to know. I wonder how it'll stand up against the new Novotel which is being built in the carpark just outside the international terminal.

Sounds very good. The closer the better. I hope it won't be too expensive.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 40):
You mean when the engine exploded?

Well, it was a major engine fault...  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 41):
Enjoyable read about a rather exotic carrier here on airliners and made all the more special by the fact you flew it on this Australasian leg and got the rare A342.

Thanks, Hannah!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 41):
Why the complecated procedure when booking the ticket? Airlines have to move with the times and offering online booking is an absolute must.

No doubt about that.


PH


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