MD11junkie From Argentina, joined May 2005, 3091 posts, RR: 60 Posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6426 times:
Everything was VERY fast.
I got in a very short notice of the retirement of LAN's last Boeing 737-200. So I decided it was a good time to build up a trip and visit some friends while I was in Santiago de Chile doing my stuff.
I booked my ticket through a very quirky but quick process at AR's website, aerolineas.com. The fare was the second cheapest from the 4 carriers that operate the EZE-SCL route, these are GOL (G3), LAN (LA, 4M, LP, XL), Aerolíneas Argentinas (AR), and Air Canada (AC), being this last one the cheapest with almost 50 US bucks for a difference.
But what really made the cut in favor of Aerolineas, was the programming of an Airbus A340-300 for a route that's usually operated with a Boeing 737-500.
So the flights were set, from Saturday May 24th till Tuesday May 27th.
Everything started VERY early that morning. Having done my web check-in the day before, I was assigned a good seat, 24A. I made sure I was behind the wing to feel the full strength of what I jokingly call - the 4 hair dryers.
Having mentioned that I made my web check-in, I was only required to be at the counters 60 minutes before my flight. Having experienced some real close calls with AR, I made my mind of being at least 90 minutes before departure. However, everything went smooth. I lined up at the Web Check In counter to check my luggage (only 1 piece), and in 5 minutes I was out and with my boarding pass.
Here's a view of the shaggy, but I still think nice, AR "B" Terminal.
It's 1950's-dated architecture makes it look really out of date, but the terminal, at least on the ground levels is pretty functional. The boarding levels, are not. Their capacity are rather small, there are on going and unfinished construction works, that always seem to screw up ones experience at the airport.
Flight: AR1284 Departure Airport: Aeropuerto Ministro Pistarini de Ezeiza (EZE/SAEZ) Destination Airport: Aeropuerto Arturo Merino Benitez de Pudahuel (SCL/SCEL) Departure Time: 08.45am LT on-time Arrival Time: 09.30am LT on-time Gate: 13 Aircraft: Airbus A340-200 / LV-ZPO
Clearing customs and passport control was no issue - everything was quick and done in no more than 10 minutes, total. And I still had around 40 minutes for departure. So I approached my gate's waiting room.
And I confirmed that I was not flying on a A340-300 to my dislike, as I had never flown on them - the latest leases by AR, LV-BMT and LV-BIT. However, I was flying an airplane I was an "expert" on (flown many times in it) - LV-ZPO.
After the dissapointment of seeing "Zippo" standing at Gate 13 waiting for us to board, I figured out that I'd still be flying an Airbus A340 to Santiago de Chile.
The airplane was in a pretty 'shaggy' condition. Interiors were not bad, however plastics were either 'yellowish', even though the aircraft was really clean. I don't care about IFE, really. AR in its current state has suspended all In-Flight Entertainment as it costs around USD 23,000/month.
After watching the security instructions' video, the crew prepared the cabin for takeoff. Push back was done on time, as scheduled.
We taxied out to RWY 11, Flaps in position 2.
Here's a little video I filmed during takeoff. Constructional criticism accepted!
Shortly after takeoff, the plane climbed to it's cruising altitude of 40,000ft or FL400. Breakfast was served around 40 minutes into the flight. It was an only choice of a "Sacramento" (big croissant), with a latte, grapefruit juice, and a fruit "platter". I didn't take any pictures of it as I was really hungry.
The flight was quite bumpy but nothing out of the ordinary, however, reaching the Andes mountains it got a bit worse - it didn't last long, though.
Here's a pic I got while crossing the Andes into SCL, in the UMKAL8 STAR. Yeah, I'm THAT freak
The flight arrived on time, the crew was very polite and friendly, except with this one moronic passenger that unbuckled his seat belt and stood up before getting the aircraft fully stopped. He was called out LOUD. Practically the whole AFT section of the aircraft turned around to watch. Kudos to AR for an excellent flight, in a great airplane!
Here's some pictures from LAN's 737-200 retirment:
RJ_Delta From Chile, joined Oct 2000, 1943 posts, RR: 13 Reply 1, posted (4 years 11 months 2 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 6407 times:
Well well I not expected this trip report, specially two weeks later, heheheheh. Very nice
report my friend, like your flight specially with the bonus of part of the ceremony of the retirement of our lovely "chanchito" celebrated on May 26 in the hangar N°2 of LAN Maintenance Base.
Lan_Fanatic From Chile, joined Sep 2001, 1071 posts, RR: 7 Reply 2, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 5790 times:
Quoting MD11junkie (Thread starter): It's 1950's-dated architecture makes it look really out of date, but the terminal, at least on the ground levels is pretty functional. The boarding levels, are not. Their capacity are rather small
I've been at AR's terminal only twice (SCL-POA via EZE and back), and maybe it was a lazy hour but it never felt cramped. It was a functional pleasure compared to the overstuffed international terminal.
I had it written in a .txt file, so it was kinda quick to have it up and running
Quoting RJ_Delta (Reply 1): Thanks you for your visit my friend but the next time you will try with LAN (now you can choose if you want to be attended by Argentinian, Chilean, Peruvian or Ecuatorian crew).
hehe - as soon as they get their prices down, I sure will!
Quoting Lan_Fanatic (Reply 2): I've been at AR's terminal only twice (SCL-POA via EZE and back), and maybe it was a lazy hour but it never felt cramped. It was a functional pleasure compared to the overstuffed international terminal.
Yeah, that's the main advantage T-B has, only AR operates there, whereas T-A has quite a lot more airlines.
Quoting Lan_Fanatic (Reply 2):
Great wing picture of the Andes. Maybe it is a chilean thing (or maybe just for me) but that sight always means "welcome home".
Not quite - when crossing the Andes, I feel I'm saying goodbye to mine
Quoting Lan_Fanatic (Reply 2):
The video is fine. Is the A340 really that silent or your camera has some sort of noise cancelling capabilities?
Actually the video is "AS IS", no edits except for video compression for it to fit in YouTube. Nothing else. The lack of "roar" made the take-off feel BORING.
Thank you both for your comments!
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8264 posts, RR: 56 Reply 4, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 5206 times:
Great report and a perfect reason for a trip!
Quoting MD11junkie (Thread starter): what really made the cut in favor of Aerolineas, was the programming of an Airbus A340-300 for a route that's usually operated with a Boeing 737-500.
- That's s cool change
Quoting MD11junkie (Thread starter): I was not flying on a A340-300 to my dislike, as I had never flown on them - the latest leases by AR, LV-BMT and LV-BIT. However, I was flying an airplane I was an "expert" on (flown many times in it) - LV-ZPO
- Unlucky, but many of us inc me would be most happy, those -200's are quire rare.
Airbus767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 68 posts, RR: 0 Reply 6, posted (4 years 11 months 1 week 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 5108 times:
Nice report!! I really like the 737-200 and it is sad to see them go, they've been faithful servants of LAN and pretty much every airline that has used them, let's hope the new A318s last just as long as the 732 did!