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Taca TA040 MVD-LIM  
User currently offlinePlunaCRJ From Uruguay, joined Nov 2007, 574 posts, RR: 2
Posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 11884 times:



This year, when planning my annual trip to Lima, I chose to try TACA for the first time (before I have always flown to Lima on LAN)

TACA offered a more convenient schedule (a bit annoying, but it maximized my time in Peru), non-stop service (compared to multi-hour waits in SCL with LAN) and was slightly cheaper.


The ticket purchase was straightforward on taca.com. The recently revamped site (in line with the company's new image) is a pleasure to use.

TACA opens its online check-in service 24 hours before the flight´s departure (compared to 48 hours before that LAN uses). Dutifully, the morning before my flight I went to a cyber café and printed my boarding pass. The process is a bit different than what I am used to with LAN, but easy anyways.


The day of my flight (departing 6:55 am) I arranged to be picked up at the terrible hour of 4:30 am in my apartment in central Montevideo. The trip to the airport was surprisingly quick (due to the lack of traffic at that hour) and at about 4:50 am I found myself at Carrasco Internarional Airport.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3292.jpg

The airport at such an early hour was empty. I immediately proceeded to the TACA desks and dispatched my bag to Lima.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3291.jpg

The current terminal will be replaced this year by a whole new terminal, currently in the final stages of construction. Even though the replacement is necessary, the current teminal will be missed.





You almost think you are about to board a Vickers Viscount or a B707 whilst walking through some of these halls.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3309.jpg

Security and Immigration were also empty and “queue-less”, the reward of departing so early in the morning.

Air side, only the Duty Free Shop was open, the cafeteria was not. A shame really, as I was looking forward to having breakfast to it.


In the only air bridge, an old friend was parked. I am talking of PR-MAR, the TAM A320 that took me from ASU to MVD October last year. PR-MAR was departing to GRU that day.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3301.jpg

Soon, the TAM taff called their GRU bound passengers to board PR-MAR, and the waiting room emptied even more.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3306.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3308.jpg

At 6:30 am, 25 minutes before departure, TACA
Staff welcomed all the passengers on board their flight TA40 to LIM and connections. There wasn´t any kind of priority boarding whatsoever.

Boarding was done via bussing. This is usually very interesting, as it gives the opportunity to take some great pictures. Sadly, the picture I took came out blurry due to poor lighting.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3310.jpg

The aircraft operating TA040 that morning was N741TA. The interior looked worn out and dirty. Not a very good impression.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3317.jpg

(picture taken later, during cruise)

A few seconds after sitting down in my assigned seat, I felt something strange. After a quick look, I realized that the whole seat cushion was soaking wet (I don´t want to know why) What a disgusting surprise

I immediately switched seats (thank god the adjacent seat was empty) and as soon as the first FA passed by I asked her for a blanket (to cover the seat and sit in top of). She angrily refused at first with a stern “Later, after boarding”.

Again, all this didn´t add up for a good first impression.

I´ve never experienced something like this in LAN, or in any other airline I´ve flown. Terrible.

However, as soon as she saw the soaked seat cushion, she muttered an apology, ripped the cushion right out from the seat (interesting) and disappeared. One minute later she was back with a new cushion. She apologized profusely for the situation. So problem solved.

Boarding was quickly finished and we were soon on our way. The safety presentation was manual, something I hadn´t seen in a long time.

When the purser speaking in the PA named the name of the FA doing the presentation in our section, she acknowledged with a small wave. A nice touch, certainly.


Takeoff was punctual, maybe even a bit ahead of schedule.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3314.jpg

Just as sunrise was occurring outside the aircraft, inside the meal service (breakfast- hot) started. I ordered the kitshe, which was quite good. In the tray a very nice box proclaiming all the advantages of cucumber (I had no idea those things are so good) made me think cucumbers were somehow involved in the meal. I couldn´t find any. Strange.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3320.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3322.jpg

After the meal, Duty Free was conducted. During it, I became the proud owner of a desktop model of a TACA A321 sporting the new livery.  Smile

The inflight magazine, “Explore” was good interesting. I prefer LAN´s inLAN much more, but “Explore” was still good.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3324.jpg

The real in flight entertainment in this flight was however the amazing scenery we traversed. The sight of cloudless northern Chile from above is awesome. Here are some pictures:

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3329.jpg



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3337.jpg



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3345.jpg





http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3362.jpg



These structures are located in the middle of the dessert.. Mines? I have no idea. Does somebody knows what these things are? They are quite remote.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3361.jpg

Eventually, descent into Jorge Chavez Airport in Lima begun. Unsurprisingly, Lima was cloudy.

Right before touchdown, the purser announced over the PA the gates of numerous TACA connections to seemingly everywhere in Latin America. I found interesting that even the flight to EZE was announced. I don’t think anyone would fly MVD-EZE via LIM

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3367.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3368.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3370.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3371.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3373.jpg


Touchdown was ahead of schedule.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v303/efuchs/DSCF3375.jpg

Overall the flight was very good and enjoyable. The crew in PA addresses made a lot of emphasis in the fact that TACA was chosen as the best airline in Latin America by Skytrax, and were all very motivated. They were a great bunch actually.

The airplane needs an urgent refit. Or cleaning, at least. The wet seat cushion is to me just unacceptable.

According to the “Explore” magazine they are upgrading all their interiors with new seats, mood light, PTV´s, etc… So this will eventually get fixed.


Would I fly TACA again? Sure. Their non-stop MVD-LIM service makes the choice easy. They were always punctual and the crew was very good. I´ll look more attently at the seat before sitting down though…

I still prefer LAN, but TACA is quite good as well.

Thanks for reading.

15 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineLima From Argentina, joined May 1999, 1122 posts, RR: 14
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 11774 times:

Thank you CRJ

Very interesting trip report from MVD and TACA. Thanks also for the photos.

Having flown myself once with a Pluna Vickers Viscount, great memories and nice to see an old terminal almost intact.


User currently offlineJeffrey1970 From United States of America, joined Apr 2001, 1336 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 11665 times:



Quoting Lima (Reply 1):
A few seconds after sitting down in my assigned seat, I felt something strange. After a quick look, I realized that the whole seat cushion was soaking wet (I don´t want to know why) What a disgusting surprise

Are you sure that you would have wanted to know what made the seat wet? LOL. I enjoyed your trip report very much. A number of years ago I flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica. They did not have jetbridges, so to deboard and board the plane you had to use airsteps. I liked that. It was kind of old fashioned.



God bless through Jesus, Jeff
User currently offlineCamiloA380 From Sweden, joined Feb 2008, 486 posts, RR: 25
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11113 times:

Hey, lovely trip report!

CamiloA380



Flying4Ever!
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8552 posts, RR: 55
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 11 hours ago) and read 11076 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report & pictures, thanks for posting - not too many TACA TR's here.

Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
You almost think you are about to board a Vickers Viscount or a B707 whilst walking through some of these halls.

- Very true, takes you back through the years for sure.

Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
I realized that the whole seat cushion was soaking wet (I don´t want to know why) What a disgusting surprise

- Eww, nasty, don't even want to think about it!

Look forward to a return report.

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 offlinePlunaCRJ From Uruguay, joined Nov 2007, 574 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 10968 times:



Quoting Lima (Reply 1):
Very interesting trip report from MVD and TACA. Thanks also for the photos.

Having flown myself once with a Pluna Vickers Viscount, great memories and nice to see an old terminal almost intact

Thank you very much. Congratulations on your PU Viscount trip, you must have some great memories.

Quoting Jeffrey1970 (Reply 2):
They did not have jetbridges, so to deboard and board the plane you had to use airsteps. I liked that. It was kind of old fashioned.

I like it, you get a great sense of the aircraft´s actual dimensions. It provides opportunity for some great photographs (which I didn´t make)

With rain, the experience stops being enjoyable.

Quoting CamiloA380 (Reply 3):
Hey, lovely trip report!

Hi Camilo! What a surprise seeing you here. Welcome, and thanks.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 4):
Nice report & pictures, thanks for posting - not too many TACA TR's here.

Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed the TR.


About the return trip, it was night time, so I didn´t take many pictures. The special thing of that flight (apart from getting a dry seat) was that apparently I was the only independent passenger on the flight. Everyone else on board were part of one big group of Uruguayan volunteers that were returning from Managua.

As a result, the flight was loud (people in the back talking - via screams- to people in the front) messy and rioty (booing when it was announced that the IFE would not work in this flight) and quite informal (pillow fights and spontaneous "Happy Birthday" singing on arrival)

I felt sorry for the FAs. Anyway, it was easily the most bizarre flight I´ve ever been on.


User currently offlineComeflywithme From Argentina, joined Sep 2006, 265 posts, RR: 2
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 10786 times:

Super report PlunaCRJ and a very interesting one as well.Nice to see MVD hasn't changed since my last visit many years ago.

Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
The sight of cloudless northern Chile from above is awesome. Here are some pictures:

Your pictures do it justice. Must say on a day flight over land I much prefer to look out of the window at the scene below rather than the IFE.


User currently offlineAirbus767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2007, 68 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 10521 times:

Great report! You had some interesting encounters along the way, to say the least! The pictures of the Altiplano are spectacular as well; it's a must visit. As for the structures you saw, I believe those are salt refineries or some sort of salt managing facility, however I'm not 100% sure on that - I've found lots of them in Chile cruising around Google Earth.

Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
I don’t think anyone would fly MVD-EZE via LIM

HAHA That would be odd, but you do get a second view of the Andes!  Big grin



LAN ~ United Airlines ~ Aerolineas Argentinas ~ Pluna ~ Varig ~ American Airlines
User currently offlineAvion660 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2007, 212 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 3 weeks 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 10100 times:



Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
The real in flight entertainment in this flight was however the amazing scenery we traversed. The sight of cloudless northern Chile from above is awesome

Yes.. I agree, it's amazing scenery. Google Earth or Google Maps are good to try and follow your route and identify the salars and lakes that you saw. I am always surprised that the majority of my fellow passengers usually seem totally uninterested in the view.. be it the Andean volcanoes or glaciers in Greenland. Thanks for the look outside.. it makes a trip report so much more interesting for me.

Question for anyone: are those DC8's in Lima active?

Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
These structures are located in the middle of the dessert.. Mines? I have no idea. Does somebody knows what these things are? They are quite remote.

My guess is that the structures you photographed are associated with either copper or lithium mining since i have seen similar 'pools' near Chuquicamata. However in the case of the copper mining the 'pools' were round, and full of acid/ waste acid.


User currently offlineOB1783P From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 3 weeks 5 days 10 hours ago) and read 9983 times:

Nice report. I love the approach into Lima, like flying silently in milk.


I've flown thousands of miles and I can tell you it's a lot safer than crossing the street!
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6816 posts, RR: 77
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 9177 times:

Very interesting report with great inflight pictures of the scenery! Good to see a TACA report, those are quite rare here.

The food doesn't look bad.

Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
A few seconds after sitting down in my assigned seat, I felt something strange. After a quick look, I realized that the whole seat cushion was soaking wet (I don´t want to know why) What a disgusting surprise

I immediately switched seats (thank god the adjacent seat was empty) and as soon as the first FA passed by I asked her for a blanket (to cover the seat and sit in top of). She angrily refused at first with a stern “Later, after boarding”.

Unbelievable. I would have called the purser.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineYOW346 From United States of America, joined Dec 2008, 42 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 9053 times:

About the cucumbers on the box------when I think of cucumbers, I certainly think of "calidad y frescura". It's a very refreshing and cooling vegetable. It also photographs well.

As for the pools in the desert...the only other time I've seen something like this was throughout the desert in Utah. I was told these large pools were used to evaporate water which contains potash. Once the water evaporates, they are left with potash which is used in agriculture as a potassium fertilizer. This process is applicable to almost anything mined using water as a solvent. These evaporation pools are a big problem for environmentalists (yawn) in areas with wildlife, because the animals drink out of the evaporation pools which invariably contain substances not suitable for consumption.


User currently offlineSJOtoLIR From Costa Rica, joined Jul 2007, 4517 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 7983 times:



Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
TACA offered a more convenient schedule (a bit annoying, but it maximized my time in Peru), non-stop service (compared to multi-hour waits in SCL with LAN)

You were lucky because you took the TA MVD-LIM as non-stop. I did the same flight in April 2009.
TA is also flying to Asuncion, Paraguay and it combines TA LIM-ASU-MVD 3x weekly and TA MVD-ASU-LIM 3x weekly. No traffic rights between Montevideo and Asuncion.
Due to the rotation of their planes, the airline operates TA LIM-ASU-MVD and returns as TA MVD-LIM. On the other hand, when TA LIM-MVD is active, it comes back to Lima as TA MVD-ASU-LIM.

Regards.



"Goin' up to the spirit in the sky"
User currently offline787seattle From United States of America, joined Feb 2008, 641 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 7684 times:

It looks like South America has some beautiful scenery! That thing about the cucumbers was kind of interesting though.  scratchchin 


Student - KELN
User currently offlineDanVS From Brazil, joined Jul 2009, 254 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 2 days 4 hours ago) and read 7343 times:



Quoting PlunaCRJ (Thread starter):
These structures are located in the middle of the dessert.. Mines? I have no idea. Does somebody knows what these things are? They are quite remote.

These are lithium mines (Mina SQM) of the Sociedad Chilena El Litio, on the southern part of Salar de Atacama.
You were probably flying on UL550.

Seen in Google Earth
http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x255/danielvs/minas.jpg

http://i187.photobucket.com/albums/x255/danielvs/litio.jpg

Their location on a map


User currently offlinePlunaCRJ From Uruguay, joined Nov 2007, 574 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (4 years 10 months 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 7143 times:



Quoting SJOtoLIR (Reply 12):
You were lucky because you took the TA MVD-LIM as non-stop. I did the same flight in April 2009.

Yes, I was lucky indeed, as I didn´t stop in ASU in either the outbound or inbound flights. But I wouldn´t have minded an extra landing/ takeoff  Smile

Quoting 787seattle (Reply 13):
It looks like South America has some beautiful scenery!

Certainly the view flying high up over the altiplano was impressive.

Quoting DanVS (Reply 14):
These are lithium mines (Mina SQM) of the Sociedad Chilena El Litio, on the southern part of Salar de Atacama.
You were probably flying on UL550.

Thanks for that! Very interesting indeed, now I can track my flight.

Quoting Comeflywithme (Reply 6):
Super report PlunaCRJ and a very interesting one as well.Nice to see MVD hasn't changed since my last visit many years ago

Thank you very much. Unfortunatley (but fortunately as well), a brand new Carrasco terminal will open any time now. It´s a good thing of course, but the old terminal will be missed.

Quoting Airbus767 (Reply 7):
The pictures of the Altiplano are spectacular as well; it's a must visit.

I believe it is. I would love to return to the Altiplano, but actually landing there, not just flying over it. Throw in some 727 flying (and maybe even DC3 flying with Arlíneas Canedo) in Bolivia and it should be a great trip

Quoting OB1783P (Reply 9):
I love the approach into Lima, like flying silently in milk.

Unfortunately that weather is the usual at Lima at that time of the year...

Quoting Avion660 (Reply 8):
. I am always surprised that the majority of my fellow passengers usually seem totally uninterested in the view.. be it the Andean volcanoes or glaciers in Greenland.

Totally agree. The best IFE on a plane in my opinion is just to sit in a window seat watching the world pass by... Of course, the fact the flight was during the day and over interesting scenery helped a lot.


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