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Argentina Domestic - AEP-TUC/JUJ-AEP With AU & AR  
User currently offlineMarambio From UK - Scotland, joined Oct 2004, 1160 posts, RR: 25
Posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 4974 times:

I arrived at Aeroparque at an insane hour. My watch told me it was five o’clock in the morning, 24 July 2007 and I still didn’t understand what was really going on. An insomniac from the very beginning, I hardly ever work at the wee hours of the morning.

As I walked towards Aerolíneas’ Web Check-in counter, I congratulated myself for having printed my boarding pass the night before. The whole hall (excuse the pun) was a terrible mess. Holydays were just starting in Buenos Aires, and we porteños were eloping to cozier places than our concrete jungle. In the meantime, vacations were finishing for those in the provinces, who were rushing back home to get back to real life. I think I heard all the different accents and Spanish pronunciations available in Argentina whilst queuing for the baggage drop-off.

After watching how an Asian man tried to avoid excess luggage penalties (without any success), I gave the clerk my boarding card and put my bag in the scale. He tagged it to Tucumán, wrote the departure gate and said: “Boarding time is 6 am. Have a nice flight.” No delays appeared on the screens for flight AU 2472. Apparently my holidays were getting off with the right foot.



I heard it was boarding time while finishing my light yet extremely overpriced breakfast, and the queue for security moved quite quickly. I’ll never understand our national tradition of queuing at the gate twenty minutes before boarding time. Clapping on landings is cute – this is picturesque. Perhaps my fellow countrymen believe airplanes work just like city buses. Who knows?



Finally, we were bussed to the airplane, an MD-83 baptized under the Christian name of LV-WGM. She’s an old acquaintance of mine, and I celebrated they took a whole row of seats off her, for legroom is now tolerable. “Cabin crew, all doors in flight.” After the typical welcome and security speeches, we taxied to runway 31 for an ATOVO2B departure to W5 airway, the classical thing when going up north from Aeroparque.

I had never taken off Aeroparque during the night. The city looked huge, endless. Sadly my pictures turned out horrible, but the whole plane remained silent looking through the windows as the powerful metropolis became smaller and smaller until it disappeared below the clouds.

Breakfast didn’t come with the happy meal box, which was something good. The flight attendants were as sleepy as we were, but still they did their best to smile. So-called “service” consisted of a muffin, a jam mini-cake (pastafrola, as we call it here) and a plethora of drinks. It was nothing to write home about, but still good.



The sun set somewhere in central Argentina, and I slept for a while. As soon as I decided to settle and start enjoying the flight, the purser said we had just started descent towards “la ciudad de Tucumán.”





We left through the jetway, and I was amused by the fact signs directed us towards the immigration counters. Obviously those counters were closed, because, after all, Tucumán was the place where they signed the independence declaration of Argentina, and not the one of another country.



Bags came out quickly, and to my surprise mine were among the first to appear. A friend of mine had told me there were minivans going downtown, but I found none and decided to take a cab.

My holidays definitely got off with the right foot.

-------

After visiting Tucumán and several small towns in the highlands unknown to most foreigners, I made it up to Jujuy on the 30th. On August 4th, the day I was supposed to leave, I woke up with a reputable hangover, and thought “What a moron, I should’ve changed my ticket.” I was having a great time with my relatives, I still had one more day of holidays to spare, and The Nieces had just arrived from Córdoba the day before, so I could hardly see them at all. Anyway, I gave up my thoughts and packed my stuff: there was no way I could change my ticket.

The Cousin drove me to the airport after lunch, which had been longer than expected. We were actually getting there very close to departure time, but I decided to settle in Northwestern Mode (people there take things on a very relaxed way) and I didn’t really care.

“- You’re already checked-in, aren’t you? – Said the employee at the counter
- Err – no.
- The flight was overbooked. You can do nothing by now but fly tomorrow. Aerolíneas is a real mess these days.
- Are there any seats from Salta? – Salta is a bigger city, with more daily flights to Buenos Aires, 100 km south from Jujuy.
- No, Salta’s situation is worse than ours.
- Well, it doesn’t matter. What time does it leave tomorrow?
- Half past two. I wish all passengers took things the way you do.”

I didn’t make it to change my ticket, but The Force wanted me to stay one more day. I sent an SMS to The Favorite Niece telling her she wouldn’t be able to get rid off me so quickly, and thanked The Force for making everything so easy. Before, I wanted to stay but I had no chances. Now I had to stay. I could do nothing by now but fly tomorrow – and I was extremely happy about it.

Whilst The Stranded were getting really mad at Aerolíneas, I smiled. The Cousin and The Nieces didn’t allow me to go to a hotel, so I refused the compensation (free night at a 4-star hotel with meals and transportation to and from the airport). Aerolíneas’ Chief of Base at Jujuy gave me my boarding card for my new flight, and let me fill in a page of their complaints book, so as to ask for another (cash) compensation once in Buenos Aires. “The wannabe lawyer’s got his first case”, said The Cousin laughing.

The Favorite Niece replied back, saying she’d wait for me, and with The Cousin we drove back to the city.

The following night was one of those when you drink too much, smoke too much and have lots and lots of fun (you never have too much fun), so I thanked Aerolíneas for overbooking the flight. I made it to The Nieces’ place by eight in the morning and caught some of sleep. Before noon, whilst having a late breakfast with The Bohemian Niece, the phone rang – it was The Cousin: “Alright, I’ll be there by half past and then we’ll go to the airport. We don’t want to repeat yesterday’s thing, do we?”

I bid farewell to The Nieces (The Favorite, The Bohemian and The Queen) and once at the airport I met some familiar faces from the day before. “So, it looks like we’re leaving today. Shitty airline this one”, told me one of The Stranded, who was carrying with him, like a crucial award, a card noting his status of employee at the Nation’s Economics Ministry.

The Chief of Base shook hands with me, said he couldn’t contact Buenos Aires regarding my compensation (“You’d better go to Perú 2 [AR’s main offices in downtown BA] yourself. With some firmness you’ll get something from them.”) and gave me a copy of the local newspaper, El Tribuno de Jujuy. First time I’m offered a complimentary newspaper on Aerolíneas. Afterwards I did the ID Check, a Jujuy classic due to its location, not too far from the Bolivian border.

With a half-an-hour-delay, the 737-200 made it to the tarmac. I was happy it was good old 200 – I hadn’t flown the type for ages, especially since all-MD Austral took the lead over Aerolíneas in the group’s domestic network. The registration was LV-ZSW.



Boarding began for flight AR 1499, and I entered the place through the rear door just for the sake of it (it had been a long time since I last boarded through the rear). Once settled in my seat, I realized it was an aisle seat, so no chance for pictures.

During the climb, Sierra Whisky shook like hell in the middle of a turbulence area, and kids started crying. You can bet the rest of the passengers were really pleased by this. Once we reached the cruising altitude of 33.000 feet, the flight attendants appeared with the “service” – and with the infamous happy meal box. Inside it, one pack of crackers, one granola bar and one candy. It was quite sad. The crackers were ok, but the rest…





Following my tendency on flights to and from the Northwest, I slept for a while and when I woke up we were starting descent. I hadn’t missed Buenos Aires until that precise moment when I could see the highways and the buildings and the places I know… I was coming back home, and home is the only place one really feels comfortable in.

We parked next to T-01, Argentina’s presidential aircraft, and were bussed to the terminal. Aeroparque was the exact same chaos than two weeks before, with thousands of porteños coming back home to restart their real life. Luggage took ages to appear and we shared the belt with an Austral flight coming from Puerto Iguazú, so I had to fight in order to find a place to catch up my bag.

My holidays ended just like they started – with the right foot. Now it’s time to think about the next trip. Maybe Córdoba, to visit The Nieces. But we’ll see…

Thanks for reading. As usual, excuse all the spelling and language mistakes, and comments and questions are most appreciated.  Smile

Saludos,
Marambio


Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo.
11 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDoor5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 1, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 4899 times:

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
(you never have too much fun),

You are certainly right about that Mr Marambio!

Great report but do not keep us in suspense. The compensation? Did you get it? Did you grace the office with your presence and use some legal charms? Was the force with you? How much did you get?

This is like reading a book with the last page missing!



My soul is in the sky...
User currently offlineComeflywithme From Argentina, joined Sep 2006, 265 posts, RR: 2
Reply 2, posted (7 years 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 4805 times:

Great fun report I enjoyed it immensly Marambio.

Aeroparque is one of my favourite airports - very exciting take offs and landings with great views of the city.


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6808 posts, RR: 77
Reply 3, posted (7 years 3 weeks 6 days 23 hours ago) and read 4487 times:

Interesting report, AR and AU don't appear really often on this forum.

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
– and with the infamous happy meal box.

The box looks nice with the route map - but what is "Arcor"?


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineAR326 From Argentina, joined Jul 2007, 30 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (7 years 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 4463 times:

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):
The box looks nice with the route map - but what is "Arcor"?

Arcor is a brand of food products. All the items contained in the box are Arcor. AR has an exclusive contract with them to serve their products on flights.


User currently offlineMEA-707 From Netherlands, joined Nov 1999, 4328 posts, RR: 35
Reply 5, posted (7 years 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4451 times:

Interesting report Marcos.
Did you try Andes L.A. already which fly to Salta? How would they compare to AU/AR's domestic flights and service?



nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?
User currently offlineMarambio From UK - Scotland, joined Oct 2004, 1160 posts, RR: 25
Reply 6, posted (7 years 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 4438 times:

Gentlemen,

Thank you very much for your comments.  Smile

Quoting Door5Right (Reply 1):
The compensation? Did you get it? Did you grace the office with your presence and use some legal charms? Was the force with you? How much did you get?

Nice to hear from you, Mr Door5Right. We do miss your trip reports!

The day after I got home, I submitted my complaint at Aerolíneas' website, for complaints books from the interior are only sent to AR's main office once they are full, i.e. in months. A couple of days later I went to AR's office at Perú 2 and the nice fellow told me they would look into it, and I should expect an answer in about a month. I don't have many expectations, but we will se...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 3):

The box looks nice with the route map - but what is "Arcor"?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arcor

Arcor the world's no. 1 candy producer. The name stands for "Arroyito, Córdoba", the small town where the company was founded. They also make lots of food items, from jam to crackers and ice creams. Just like Havanna (another candy brand) supplies LAN Argentina, Aerolíneas and Austral signed a contract with Arcor.

Quoting MEA-707 (Reply 5):
Did you try Andes L.A. already which fly to Salta? How would they compare to AU/AR's domestic flights and service?

I actually thought about giving Andes a try, but I was too lazy to go all the way back to Salta in order to catch a flight. Besides, their schedule is quite narrow (only one flight a way in each direction, and the same for ther other route, AEP-PMY). I've been told it's pretty much your average Argentinian domestic carrier, neither better nor worse than Aerolíneas and Austral. If you want to try them, hurry up - since 4M started flying to SLA, there is a huge over-capacity at the route (AR and 4M with lots of daily flights and Andes), and my bet is the first one to disappear is going to be Andes, no matter how much backing they've got from Salta's government. Their last figures show I may not be wrong, for their average loadfactor is somewhere around 25%.

Saludos,
Marambio



Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo.
User currently offlineLatinPlane From United States of America, joined Dec 1999, 2724 posts, RR: 14
Reply 7, posted (7 years 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 4143 times:

Marambio, que tal, tanto tiempo.

Great trip report. Tucuman is a very different region of Argentina in many ways isn't it? It must be a very interesting place to visit. If I'm not mistaken, wasn't there international services to the airport a few years ago from one of the neighboring countries and that is why you encountered those immigrations signs? Hope all is well.


 Smile LatinPlane

User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8546 posts, RR: 54
Reply 8, posted (7 years 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 4126 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Good rfeport, many thanks.

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
“- You’re already checked-in, aren’t you? – Said the employee at the counter
- Err – no.
- The flight was overbooked. You can do nothing by now but fly tomorrow. Aerolíneas is a real mess these days.
- Are there any seats from Salta? – Salta is a bigger city, with more daily flights to Buenos Aires, 100 km south from Jujuy.
- No, Salta’s situation is worse than ours.
- Well, it doesn’t matter. What time does it leave tomorrow?
- Half past two. I wish all passengers took things the way you do.”

- Wow, must have been heavily oversold if you only got that far.

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
the 737-200 made it to the tarmac. I was happy it was good old 200 – I hadn’t flown the type for ages,

- Very nice, pretty rare these days, at least in my part of the world.

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineJafa39 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (7 years 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 4089 times:

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
After watching how an Asian man tried to avoid excess luggage penalties (without any success),

So...you have "no understand syndrome" in Argentina too!!  Wink

Good TR, a different slant on things.

Jafa39


User currently offlineMarambio From UK - Scotland, joined Oct 2004, 1160 posts, RR: 25
Reply 10, posted (7 years 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 3997 times:

Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 7):
Great trip report. Tucuman is a very different region of Argentina in many ways isn't it? It must be a very interesting place to visit.

Hello Mr LatinPlane, long time no see! The Argentinian Northwest (NOA) is completely different than the rest of the country. Although I'm extremely biased (it is my favourite destination within Argentina), I think it's one of the best parts of the country.  Smile

Quoting LatinPlane (Reply 7):
If I'm not mistaken, wasn't there international services to the airport a few years ago from one of the neighboring countries and that is why you encountered those immigrations signs?

Lloyd Aéreo Boliviano used to have some scheduled flights from Tucumán to Santa Cruz de la Sierra (Bolivia) a couple of years ago. Apparently Aerosur may re-start the route, which would be a good thing. Besides, Andes occasionally operates some charters to Brazil during the summer months, and LAN sometimes sends its cargo 767s to pick up lots of lemons (Tucumán's the world no. 2 lemon producer, after California).

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 8):
- Very nice, pretty rare these days, at least in my part of the world.

The 732s used to be the king of the skies in this part of the world, but now they are (sadly) replacing them with 735s. Sad

Quoting Jafa39 (Reply 9):
So...you have "no understand syndrome" in Argentina too!!

You bet we do!  Silly

Saludos,
Marambio



Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo.
User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17066 posts, RR: 10
Reply 11, posted (6 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 10 hours ago) and read 3597 times:

Great TR.

The pics are really great.

Thank you for sharing.

B747fore



Work Hard, Fly Right
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