Marambio
Topic Author
Posts: 1145
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:41 am

Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed May 17, 2006 9:45 pm

I have always liked airports. It’s part of me as an aviation nerd – airports are the main entrance to airplanes, and I love airplanes. So, I have always liked airports. Schiphol is my favourite. Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos I find to be a disgrace.

And yet again I was at an airport. Not as an airplane spotter this time, but as a traveller. I have always been fond of Ezeiza because it means home. But it certainly isn’t one of the world’s best airports. In fact, it is just the average airport of an average country. Terminal B, used by flag-carrier Aerolíneas Argentinas, was inaugurated in the 1950s. At that time, it was one of the world’s finest terminals, with marble imported from Italy and other fancy stuff. The problem is no improvement has been made since the 1950s. Nowadays, flying from Terminal B is like travelling on time.

Everything was really empty that night. Just a couple of passengers checking-in for Aerolíneas’ flight to New Zealand and Australia and some employees walking around, chatting with friends. There were no arriving flights, so the usual crowd of friends and relatives waiting for their beloved ones was nowhere to be seen. In fact, I had never seen Ezeiza so empty as that night – and I have travelled quite a lot. Outside, it was raining. One of the last summer-like rains this year.

I sent a text message to a friend who studies at CIPE, the Air Force’s university which has its campus right at the airport. He told me he was leaving at 9pm, so we could have a drink before my flight. Beep. Text message received, said my mobile phone. “I’m on my way to Ezeiza. Wait for me before going through security!” it said. It was Gastón, better known as MD11junkie over here. Aviation has given me some of my best friends, and this was a good proof of it.

Slowly, without any hurry I decided to start walking towards the check-in counters. Just two passengers check-in and three open counters. As usual, there was a girl before the desks – “Hey there” she said “Where are you flying tonight?” “I’m going to Sydney.” Suddenly I realized I was actually going to Sydney. Kangaroos, emus, eucalyptus, koalas, gorgeous girls, awesome landscapes. Australia always seemed to be far away from here, but at that moment it was just less than a day away. I smiled and said to myself “So, Marambio goes to Australia – lucky Marambio.” I showed the girl my ticket (yes, a good old paper ticket) and passport, and proceeded to check-in.



“Good evening” said the girl at check-in. She did all the typical computer typing and the printer spat out my boarding card. “From Buenos Aires Ezeiza to Sydney” you could read. Now that sounds nice! She gave me an Argentine immigration form, which I filled while she tagged the luggage and kept on typing on the computer. I have always wondered what kind of things they put on the database while you’re checking-in.

Beep. Mobile again. “I’m on my way. Will wait for you outside the terminal” Nicolás, the friend who studies at the airport, was coming. Beep. Gastón: “I’m at the Cañuelas motorway bridge. Will be there shortly.” I lived for some 15 years without a mobile phone. How I managed to live for 15 years without a mobile phone, I don’t know. It still amazes me how those little things have made our lives easier.

After paying my airport tax at the dedicated counter (airport taxes have to be paid at the airport here, and are never included in your ticket price), I went outside the terminal in order to wait for Nicolás. He appeared a couple of minutes later, looking very elegant with his smart suit, part of Martinair’s uniform. We lighted up a cigarette each and waited for Gastón to arrive. He finally arrived, also wearing a smart suit – he had just signed a hiring contract for a new job, and was really happy about it. Looking at them, I admit I felt quite ashamed of my jeans and my leather jacket.

Where to have a drink at Ezeiza? Good question. Ezeiza’s airport cafés are, like most airport cafés, overpriced. Besides, they are not really good. Terminal B’s are plain average, and Terminal A’s do not merit writing home about them either. But Nicolás spends most of his day at the airport, so he instantly knew where to go – the Petrobras petrol station just at the entrance. It hasn’t got the most charming ambiance, but it’s clean and tidy and prices are decent. We walked for a couple of minutes under the rain and settled there. It was about 10pm and dinner onboard would not happen before one o’clock in the morning, so I had a sandwich and a soda.

Time went by without noticing, and at 11pm we decided it was time for me to go. It wouldn’t have been really convenient to miss my midnight departure, I suppose. After biding farewell to both, and thanking them for coming, I went through security. Passport control took a while, mainly because our nice bureaucrats always take twice the time they should when doing anything. Perhaps they have special courses teaching them how to waste time, you never know.

I climbed the small stair that goes to the departures gates and started walking around. Believe it or not, this was my first time airside on Terminal B, all my previous international flights having taken off from Terminal A. After reading so many awful things about it, I was pleasantly surprised. There were several shops (most of them closed because of the hour), two good restaurants and big windows. Big windows is all I ask on an airport – the rest doesn’t really matter. Since Aerolíneas is the only operator at this terminal, instead of TV screens showing the foregoing and forecoming departures (still, there were two or three of those), we had these peculiar signs all over the place. The grey little aircraft point the direction you have to walk to reach your gate.



I saw an Aerolíneas Boeing 737-500 pushing back to the infamous Guarulhos and some other small birds sleeping, already parked at the gate they would use the following morning. Beep. Gastón: “So, which A342 are you flying tonight?” I have always done many things for my friends, and this was no exception. I wasn’t really eager of walking towards gate 13 and checking out the registration, mainly because I would be able to see it later. But I did it nonetheless, just for his personal happiness. There were some people already waiting at the gate. Boy, this is not a city bus. You are going to board that plane and it will not leave without you even if you don’t stand in front of it half an hour before boarding time. Anyway. The big bird was parked, with pilots already onboard I guess submitting their flight plan to Ezeiza Clearance. I saw on the front gear the letters “PJ.” Let’s see – all Aerolíneas A342s are registered LV-Z**. They are LV-ZRA, LV-ZPO, etc, etc. But LV-ZPJ? I sent a message back to Gastón: “Mate, is there an A342 registered PJ?” He replied almost instantly: “Yup, there is one: LV-ZPJ.” Damn! I would be flying a Peronist! For those of you not familiar with Argentine politics, PJ is the acronym of the Peronist Party (Partido Justicialista), a bunch of guys I have never been really fond of. I couldn’t contain my laughter.





Some ten minutes later, a female voice said in Spanish and English: “Ladies and gentlemen, good evening. Boarding for Aerolíneas Argentinas flight Argentina 1182 to Auckland and Sydney has begun. All passengers should proceed to gate 13. Thank you.” I made my way to gate 13, once again, to find out there was more people than before. Boarding was made by rows, starting from the rear of the aircraft and ending with people who had paid Club Cóndor, Aerolíneas’ Business Class. Each passenger’s passport was also checked to see if the name matched to that of the boarding card. It looked like my names matched, because they let me in.

I went through the jetway and was greeted by two flight attendants, a female and a male with a “Buenas noches.” The female showed me the way to seat 24 Hotel, where I would spend the next hours. A young Brazilian woman was already seated on 24 India, and we exchanged greetings. We’d better get along well from the beginning – it’s a long way to Auckland. I confess I was relieved when I saw her. She was not particularly good looking, but she was not overweight. An overweight neighbour is the worst nightmare of an Economy Class long-haul passenger.

Most passengers onboard were either Brazilians or Australians or New Zealanders. There were also quite a few Argentines, but we were a minority. My neighbour told me English courses in New Zealand are very popular in Brazil, as they are not as expensive as in the USA or Europe and you still manage to be surrounded by an English-speaking environment. The Aussies and Kiwis, mostly young couples, looked like they had been touring South America for a couple of weeks.

Before starting our taxi to the runway, we were shown a movie with all the dull security instructions, in Spanish and English. It wasn’t particularly interesting, but one thing surprised me. It began saying: “International safety regulations require us to tell you the security measures onboard of this aircraft.” What is that supposed to mean? I took it as “we do this just because it’s mandatory”, but I don’t know. It certainly was attention-catching!

Take-off was on-time, and I smiled with the engines’ sound. Out of all the models in the A340 family, I had only flown the A340-600 before, and I had been told by friends the A340-200 and –300’s engines sound like hairdryers. Well, it was true. It was like listening to four powerful hairdryers. Our long climb to FL390 took about 40 minutes, reaching our cruising altitude near the resort town of Mar del Plata, on the coast.

“Hello people, my name is Claudio. I’m your captain on this flight to Auckland.” The start of the captain’s announcement shows what the crew was like on Argentina 1182. Everybody was cheerful and happy, and smiles were always present. Crews assigned to this route spend 9 nights outside Buenos Aires. They first fly to Auckland, where they wait for the next flight and do the Auckland-Sydney-Auckland legs. Then they have another stay in New Zealand while waiting for the next flight back home. So we can say the crew was in vacation mood, and since New Zealand sounds like a wonderful country, they were in very high spirits.

Claudio told us we would go South, over Buenos Aires province, then off the Argentine coast and over the island of Tierra del Fuego (we were able to see the lights of the world’s southernmost city, Ushuaia). Afterwards it would be what British military pilots called “MMFS” – Miles and Miles of Fucking Sea, down to latitude 67º South. A couple of hours before landing, we’d go up again, bordering New Zealand and approaching Auckland from the East.

It’s dinner time! Service was quite slow, but who is in a hurry on a 14-hour flight? Flying long-haul is like being retired – once you’ve had your meal you have nothing better to do than waiting for the next meal to come. My timing was accurate: I got my tray at 1am, while flying off Comodoro Rivadavia, Patagonia’s biggest city. There were two options: meat or pasta. I went for the pasta, and it turned out to be a very tasty vegetarian lasagne. Both the entrée (salad) and the dessert (flan) were also good. I had some red wine, from San Juan. Most Argentine wines come from Mendoza, so I found it interesting that Aerolíneas decided to give out wine from another province. It was not the greatest Malbec, but it wasn’t bad either.



After dinner, the crew offered tea or coffee. I asked for tea and my cup was filled with hot water and I was given a tea bag. It was Té Taragüí, Argentina’s best-selling tea brand. I saw they also had Mate Cocido (a sort of Argentine tea made out of mate, our national drink), but I decided it would be stupid to drink mate and be awake for the rest of the flight. Mate contains mateine (duh!), which is even stronger than caffeine. Very useful when falling asleep while studying at 3am, the night before an important test, if you ask me.

We were shown four movies during the flight, but I sincerely don’t remember which ones. I spent most of the flight sleeping – all the way from Ushuaia, Argentina to Christchurch, New Zealand. Legroom was acceptable (err – Lufthansa, did you hear?) and so was the seat recline. Here is a picture to prove it. Bear in mind I’m 181 cm tall (that’s about 6 feet in Imperial units)



Lights were turned on about two hours before landing, and breakfast was served. A pretty basic breakfast, actually. Just a ham-and-cheese sandwich and some crackers. I’ve had better breakfasts with Aerolíneas within Argentina, but maybe it had to do with the arrival time, 4:40am. So instead of breakfast let’s just say it was a midnight snack.



Landing at Auckland was forty minutes ahead of schedule. The lights of New Zealand’s biggest city could be perfectly seen while approaching. I wondered whether our friendly Aucklander Mr Jafa39 would be sleeping at four o’clock in the morning. Perhaps he was posting here on A.net. Who knows. I may have even seen his house, but it was too dark.

Five, four, three, two, one, touchdown! Spoilers and reverse applied for a while, and we had safely landed at Auckland International Airport. All passengers, including those on transit to Sydney, left the plane while cleaners did their job. We also said goodbye to our crew, who would stay in the land of Kiwis.

Auckland has got a nice little airport. Most shops were closed at our insane time of arrival, although there were a few flights due to leave in the next hours – many to Australia and some to New Zealand’s Pacific possessions such as the Cook Islands and to Fiji.



I thought about having a cup of coffee, but I only had Argentine pesos (not likely to have those accepted on the other side of the world!) and US dollars. There was a bureau de change open, but no way was I changing US dollars to Kiwi money in order to have some coffee during a one-hour stop-over. An Argentine couple stopped at the bureau de change and looked at the quotations. “Let’s see what money is worth in Sydney” said the man – hello mate, Auckland and Sydney are not in the same country!



I spent my time chatting with an Australian man who had been touring South America for a month. He was a nice fellow, and before boarding he even gave me his personal card “just in case you’ve got a problem in Sydney.” Boarding was quite chaotic but still it could have been worse.



Lots of new faces could be seen onboard. Not only there was a crew change, but also many new passengers entered the plane for this last leg to Sydney. My Brazilian neighbour suddenly became a middle-aged New Zealand woman.

The four hairdryers did their job and we climbed up to FL380 for this 3-hour hop to Australia. After reaching our cruising altitude, we were served breakfast, very similar to the previous one. A ham-and-cheese croissant and the same crackers.



The rest of the flight I can’t really tell – I fell asleep during most of it. Sun raised while flying over the Tasman Sea, and a couple of minutes before landing we had a wonderful view of Sydney through our windows. “Looks like a nice city” I said to myself. 25 minutes ahead of schedule, we touched down again. The elegant Peronist (usually “elegant” and “Peronist” don’t get along well) taxied to our gate, where it relaxed and caught some breath. I suppose she was exhausted after this long flight. “Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Sydney. Temperature is 15ºC and local time is 7:30 am. Note that today is Sunday.” I lost my Saturday! I have never seen it, never experienced it. My Saturday vanished over the South Pacific and, please, if you ever find it bring it back to me. It was so awkward to adjust my watch and realize it took us two days to reach Sydney. It’s a long way to Australia.

After exchanging the usual “Adiós” and “Bye Bye” with the crew, I left the plane. I decided to pay a look to the departure screen – Qantas, Jetstar, Melbourne, Cairns, Townsville, Virgin Blue, Brisbane, Perth. Everything seemed so remote, so different. During my geography classes at Primary School I’d usually spend my time not listening to the teacher but rather exploring a world map, looking for strange places. You can bet Cairns and Perth high-ranked on the “strangest place” list of an Argentine little boy. And now, years later, I was there. I was in that mysterious, continent-sized island, in the unique land of kangaroos and koalas – welcome to Australia, Marambio.

“Australia and New Zealand Passport Holders, Turn Left. Other Passport Holders, Turn Right.” So I turned right. I first thought immigration would take ages – there were many people, especially from Japan, queuing. Wait. Did I say Japan? Wow, definitely I was at the other side of the world! If there is a distant country for a person from South America, that is –no price for guessing– Japan. And this place was full of Japanese people.

“Hey mate, ya had a good flight?” said the immigration officer, a very blond guy on his late 20s. It was my first contact with the most important element of Australian culture: anytime, any place you will be called “mate” by anybody. “Yup, it was good” I replied while giving him my passport and my “passenger landing card.” “So, Marcos, ya coming all the way from Argentina?” “Indeed” I said. “Good. Well, here you are mate. Enjoy your stay!” he told me and gave my passport and my landing card back. I suddenly realized Australian forms are not immigration forms but rather customs declarations. “Remember” I said to myself “this country is a very special island and they don’t want imported illnesses.”

My bag appeared in almost no time and I then headed for customs, to the “Nothing to Declare” row. There was a big sign that caught my attention: “If you queue in the ‘nothing to declare’ row and you are in fact entering prohibited items, such as certain types of food, into the country, you are liable to a fine.” It also said the price you’d have to pay, but I don’t really remember it.

“Next please” said a woman on his 50s, who was wearing a Customs uniform. I approached her and gave her my landing card. “So, Marcos, are you bringing any food from Argentina?” “No, not at all.” “That’s good. Thank you!” My luggage went through the x-ray machine and in no time I was outside, meeting The Boss, i.e. my mother. After hugging and kissing (we’re Latinos, after all), we walked towards the entrance and caught one of the hotel shuttles to downtown Sydney.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this trip report, covering the return trip to Buenos Aires. Right now I’m coping with some tests at school, so I guess I’ll write it next week. As usual, thanks for reading, and all comments, suggestions and feedback are really appreciated.

Saludos,
Marambio
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
treeny
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:30 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed May 17, 2006 9:58 pm

Nice Trip report old son!!

I read with great interest how a flight with AR is all the way down to the southern hemisphere - I must say I admire you... how on earth did you cope on AR for 14 hours......!

Anyway great report and thanks for sharing with us as always!

Un saludo grande

Mark
 
senorcarnival
Posts: 1732
Joined: Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:05 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed May 17, 2006 10:32 pm

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos I find to be a disgrace.

You just don't like it because it's in Brazil.  Silly

Actually, I agree, despite being my hometown airport, it is a dump.

Treeny makes a good point: how DID you survive on AR for 14 hours?

Some nice pictures you got there. That croissant looks a little beat up.

That's interesting AR boards Club Condor last...
Oh no, she's getting impatient! Take a stab at it!
 
Marambio
Topic Author
Posts: 1145
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:41 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed May 17, 2006 10:48 pm

Quoting Treeny (Reply 1):
Nice Trip report old son!!

Thank you very much.  Smile

Quoting Treeny (Reply 1):
I must say I admire you... how on earth did you cope on AR for 14 hours......!



Quoting Senorcarnival (Reply 2):
Treeny makes a good point: how DID you survive on AR for 14 hours?

14 hours? It was 19 hours if you count the Auckland stop-over! I was actually expecting the worse and everything turned out to be better than expected. First of all, the crew was in a great mood. And second, there weren't many of my fellow countrymen onboard - you know they can be pretty annoying at times.  Wink Besides, it was either AR or AR. The other option (Lan Chile via SCL) was 800 USD more expensive.

Quoting Senorcarnival (Reply 2):
You just don't like it because it's in Brazil.

 rotfl  I don't like Guarulhos because it's very badly organized, hasn't got any shops and can be terrible when more than three intercontinental flights leave at the same time. This said, I have always liked GIG. Nice airport, that one.

Quoting Senorcarnival (Reply 2):
Actually, I agree, despite being my hometown airport, it is a dump.

See you agree with me?  Silly

Quoting Senorcarnival (Reply 2):
That's interesting AR boards Club Condor last...

It's a pretty good thing, in my opinion. It means Club Cóndor passengers can spend more time relaxing at the Business Lounge, and that they reach the gate once it's empty.

Again, thank you both for replying!

Saludos,
Marambio
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
tnreynolds
Posts: 7
Joined: Fri May 12, 2006 11:37 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed May 17, 2006 11:09 pm

Cheers Mate, thanks for the great report. Hope you enjoyed your stay in Sydney.

Troy
There cannot be a crisis next week. My schedule is already full.
 
LVZXV
Posts: 1729
Joined: Thu Mar 04, 2004 10:03 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed May 17, 2006 11:30 pm

Nice trip report Marcos, seems like your trip was enviably problem-free. I'm glad you liked the A340-200, glider though it is, and it's the only A340 variant I'm particularly fond of, though this could be due to AR's being so comfortable!

Looking forward to Part 2...

Un abrazo y suerte con tus estudios!

Máximo
How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
 
767747
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Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 12:31 am

Wow! What a long flight. AR sounds pretty good; the A340 is such a great aircraft. I'm surprised why the airline didn't just get a A340-300 for their long trips to AKL and SYD, rather than a -200.
I love to fly!
 
treeny
Posts: 270
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2005 12:30 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 1:35 am

Quoting Marambio (Reply 3):
Quoting Senorcarnival (Reply 2):
That's interesting AR boards Club Condor last...

It's a pretty good thing, in my opinion. It means Club Cóndor passengers can spend more time relaxing at the Business Lounge, and that they reach the gate once it's empty.

Bloody Marvellous idea this!!!!!!! I cant understand why more airlines dont do it!!! Its so much more relaxing!

I get what you mean about it being better with less argentines on board...  Smile

Un abrazo

Mark
 
taichen
Posts: 210
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2001 7:33 pm

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 1:37 am

Great report !

I wish I could sometime fly this leg as well ! Actually at some point flying via IB /AR was the cheapest way to reach Australia from Spain. I guess it might still be -- anyhow, I think I'd prefer it to BA or other carrier via LHR

I am looking forward to reading the second part.
 
mxp
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Aug 28, 2003 8:50 pm

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 2:49 am

A great report Marambio!
I actually took AR last october from Syd To Akl and the flight was great, i love the A340-330 and crew was very nice.
Salutdos da Milano
Alberto
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 3:12 am

Very good read, well done and enjoyed your photos, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the rest of your trip.
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
semsem
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 3:52 am

How were the loads on these flights?
 
MD11junkie
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Joined: Tue May 10, 2005 4:59 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 4:34 am

Hola Marcos,

Honorable mention, thank you!  blush 
Great Trip report, as usual. I'm still waiting for that other one of yours dude Big grin.

Quoting Mxp (Reply 9):
I actually took AR last october from Syd To Akl and the flight was great, i love the A340-330 and crew was very nice

You mean A340-200  Wink

As usual, top quality report. Congratz mate!

Cheers! wave 
Gastón - The MD11 Junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
Marambio
Topic Author
Posts: 1145
Joined: Wed Oct 13, 2004 9:41 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 4:50 am

Quoting LVZXV (Reply 5):



Quoting Luv2fly (Reply 10):
Very good read, well done and enjoyed your photos, thanks for sharing. Looking forward to the rest of your trip.

Thanks guys!

Quoting Tnreynolds (Reply 4):
Hope you enjoyed your stay in Sydney.

You bet I did! Now the only thing I want is to go back to Australia.

Quoting Mxp (Reply 9):
A great report Marambio!
I actually took AR last october from Syd To Akl and the flight was great, i love the A340-330 and crew was very nice.

I take it you mean the A340-200, right? Aerolíneas doesn't have any A340 but the -200.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
How were the loads on these flights?

Both legs were 100% full. Many Aussies and Kiwis boarded at AKL and I was told AR is usually 300 Australian dollars cheaper than other carries on that route.

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 12):
Honorable mention, thank you! blush

Thank you for coming!  Smile

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 12):
As usual, top quality report. Congratz mate!

Muchas gracias.

Saludos,
Marambio

[Edited 2006-05-17 21:52:15]
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
edgaren
Posts: 81
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2006 3:52 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 5:18 am

Great trip report with good details I also enjoyed the humorous approach you put into it..I had always wondered what was the service like in AR or LAN flights to Australia and New Zealand so u pretty much cleared it to me. I really hope that Venezuelan airlines grow stronger and they start flying to major destinations worldwide like Viasa used to do before...

Greetings to the argentinan fellow anetters.

EDGAR.
 
lima
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Joined: Sun May 30, 1999 11:37 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 5:43 am

Another great trip report. Thanks for writing! Looking forward to the second part.

Marcos, after some stops in Guarulhos I must admit that I like it. Just like Ezeiza it is not perfect but it is appealing for me.

You were lucky your flight did not suffer alteration (A340 in maintenance). For example today's flight to SYD is cancelled.
 
MIAspotter
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Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 4:13 pm

Excellent trip report Marambio! I enjoyed every minute of it.

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
I decided to pay a look to the departure screen – Qantas, Jetstar, Melbourne, Cairns, Townsville, Virgin Blue, Brisbane, Perth. Everything seemed so remote, so different. During my geography classes at Primary School I’d usually spend my time not listening to the teacher but rather exploring a world map, looking for strange places. You can bet Cairns and Perth high-ranked on the “strangest place” list of an Argentine little boy. And now, years later, I was there. I was in that mysterious, continent-sized island, in the unique land of kangaroos and koalas – welcome to Australia, Marambio.

I know exactly how you feel! Is the same for me, I remember when I first landed in CDG when I moved from Miami, I always wanted to come to Europe and suddenly I was there! outside the airport terminal! on the other side of the world, new sights, new people everything! maybe that's why we love aviation so much, and suddenly those "far away" places don't seem to be that "far" at all anymore.

Reading this trip report just makes me want to replicate this flight on FS 

Looking forward for the return leg!

Saludos desde Inglaterra!

MIAspotter

[Edited 2006-05-18 09:14:07]
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
antskip
Posts: 829
Joined: Mon Jan 02, 2006 8:53 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 7:46 pm

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
gorgeous girls, awesome landscapes

Just the impression I have of Argentina! Smile

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
airport taxes have to be paid at the airport here, and are never included in your ticket price

Just like AKL. A real pain.

I really liked your report, thank you. I have flown the A345 a lot (love the plane), but not the A342. Dismayed though at your pics of "meals". They are like NZ's short-haul food. Snacks are not adequate IMHO for such a long trip. EK feed you far better on a 4 hr Tasman hop! And no personal IFE either. Good thing you slept most of the way! Very much look forward to your any reflections on Australia and your return trip report.

I hope you enjoy your stay in Australia! It's the time of year to head north to Queensland. It's cold down south, but perfect in Cairns et al.
 
Door5Right
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu May 18, 2006 8:02 pm

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
I asked for tea and my cup was filled with hot water and I was given a tea bag.

Simply appalling!
My soul is in the sky...
 
gte439u
Posts: 329
Joined: Tue Nov 04, 2003 7:49 am

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri May 19, 2006 12:35 am

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
Before starting our taxi to the runway, we were shown a movie with all the dull security instructions, in Spanish and English. It wasn’t particularly interesting, but one thing surprised me. It began saying: “International safety regulations require us to tell you the security measures onboard of this aircraft.”

I flew IB from MIA to MAD in 1997, and the safety video had the same beginning. Maybe AR and IB used the same video since they had a common owner at the time?

Great report though... I always wanted to take that flight when I lived in Corrientes.
 
Marambio
Topic Author
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri May 19, 2006 7:08 am

Quoting EDGAREN (Reply 14):
I really hope that Venezuelan airlines grow stronger and they start flying to major destinations worldwide like Viasa used to do before...

So do I. The more Latin American airlines flying around the better.

Quoting Lima (Reply 15):
Marcos, after some stops in Guarulhos I must admit that I like it.

Hereje!  Wink I hope the Guarulhos expansion plan will be ready soon, it should improve the airport quite a lot.

Quoting Antskip (Reply 17):

Just the impression I have of Argentina!

In fact I found quite a few similarities between Australia and Argentina. You're most welcome here!  Smile

Quoting Antskip (Reply 17):
Dismayed though at your pics of "meals". They are like NZ's short-haul food. Snacks are not adequate IMHO for such a long trip. EK feed you far better on a 4 hr Tasman hop! And no personal IFE either.

Dinner was alright, but both breakfasts were terrible. I'm thinking about writing an e-mail to AR about that subject. Regarding the IFE, there were headsets in all seats, but since I am not a big fan of PTVs and that sort of stuff (I always carry a book and a newspaper onboard), I don't really care.

Quoting Door5Right (Reply 18):
Simply appalling!

 rotfl 

Quoting Gte439u (Reply 19):
Maybe AR and IB used the same video since they had a common owner at the time?

Maybe, but the video depicted an AR A342 in the new colours, which were introduced after Marsans took over the company.

Thank you everybody for replying!

Saludos,
Marambio
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
TBCITDG
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri May 19, 2006 9:16 am

Great report Marambino!
I do that flight quite a lot on AR.

As with you I am not too keen on the IFE. Most of the sector is during the night so I would give up the little screens in favour for the ample leg room that AR have in Y.
LA do offer IFE yet their seat pitch is less and you have to put up with the little black box under the seat.
Not only that, LA /QF fares tend to be far more expensive. And you also have to transit in SCL before heading off to AKL/SYD.

AR could improve in so many ways. Catering is an issue along with things like IFE. But still they get me from point A to point B without any hassles.

On another topic: Can't wait till they knock down the other terminal in EZE!! Hope it will look just as good as the one in COR!
 
Tifoso
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri May 19, 2006 8:20 pm

Very nice report, Marambio. I enjoyed reading it.

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):

“Next please” said a woman on his 50s,

That had me confused for a minute  Wink
 
treeny
Posts: 270
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri May 19, 2006 9:21 pm

Quoting Marambio (Reply 20):
Dinner was alright, but both breakfasts were terrible. I'm thinking about writing an e-mail to AR about that subject.

Amigo mio

I will give you some advice - Go find a brick wall, and bang your head against it and you will still have done something more productive than write a letter to AR expecting some kind of response........

AR dont seem to care about complaints... trust me I have given up making them.... (Although I stand by my comments that their business class is amongst one of the best in the world and that I mean.)

Abrazos

Mark
 
LatinPlane
Posts: 2471
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sat May 20, 2006 1:41 pm

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
"So, Marambio goes to Australia -- lucky Marambio."

I hate you! Big grin

You know I'm kidding. Excellent trip report and great pictures! Very entertaining. Love the carpet colors and the patterns that AR designed for their seats!

Quoting Marambio (Thread starter):
After dinner, the crew offered tea or coffee. I asked for tea and my cup was filled with hot water and I was given a tea bag. It was Té Taragüí, Argentina's best-selling tea brand. I saw they also had Mate Cocido (a sort of Argentine tea made out of mate, our national drink), but I decided it would be stupid to drink mate and be awake for the rest of the flight. Mate contains mateine (duh!), which is even stronger than caffeine. Very useful when falling asleep while studying at 3am, the night before an important test, if you ask me.

Yeah, but if you drink too much of it...let's not even go there!

Nonetheless, I drink it a lot! In fact, last week I ran out of my 1000g bag of Mate tea so today I drove to my local South American import store to get myself a new bag, and you'll be proud to know that I purchased the Taragui brand remembering how you almost scolded me for suggesting to buy the Canarias brand; how could I have ever made such mistake, huh! I know better now. Big grin And guess what! It sells for only $3.60 for a 1000g bag!!! How the hell o they manage to sell it so cheap since its imported from Argentina??? I don't know, but I wouldn't mind paying three times that much since since its essential for me now.

Awaiting for part 2!

 Smile LatinPlane

P.S. Miss Buenos Aires  Sad
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
Marambio
Topic Author
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sun May 21, 2006 7:32 am

Quoting Treeny (Reply 23):

I will give you some advice - Go find a brick wall, and bang your head against it and you will still have done something more productive than write a letter to AR expecting some kind of response........

True, but I'll write them anyway. One of my personal mottos in life is "If it's free, go ahead and do it."  Wink

Quoting TBCITDG (Reply 21):
Great report Marambino!

Thank you very much!

Quoting TBCITDG (Reply 21):
As with you I am not too keen on the IFE. Most of the sector is during the night so I would give up the little screens in favour for the ample leg room that AR have in Y.
LA do offer IFE yet their seat pitch is less and you have to put up with the little black box under the seat.
Not only that, LA /QF fares tend to be far more expensive. And you also have to transit in SCL before heading off to AKL/SYD.

Yes, I will be fond of IFE as soon as I will not have to cope with the box under the seat, which eliminates quite a lot of legroom. Meanwhile, I'd rather have no PTV and lots of legroom. AR is offering 34", and that's not bad at all nowadays.

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 24):

You know I'm kidding. Excellent trip report and great pictures! Very entertaining. Love the carpet colors and the patterns that AR designed for their seats!

I guess you're a blue fan. Carpet, seats, trays, FA's uniforms - everything is blue!  Wink

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 24):
Yeah, but if you drink too much of it...let's not even go there!

 rotfl  Completely agree!

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 24):
you'll be proud to know that I purchased the Taragui brand remembering how you almost scolded me for suggesting to buy the Canarias brand

That's my boy! Big grin

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 24):
And guess what! It sells for only $3.60 for a 1000g bag!!! How the hell o they manage to sell it so cheap since its imported from Argentina??? I don't know, but I wouldn't mind paying three times that much since since its essential for me now.

That's really cheap, considering they have to send it all the way up to Los Angeles! I'm really surprised, but hey, it's very good!

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 24):
P.S. Miss Buenos Aires

You're always most welcome down here. Just send an email before you arrive and we'll be waiting for you!

Thanks everybody for replying!

Saludos,
Marambio
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
ThaiboynMexico
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sun May 21, 2006 8:53 am

Marcos,

Thank you for this trip-report treat.  pray  Today happened to be the first truly cold day this season in Buenos Aires as you may have noticed. So I really enjoyed reading your trip report out loud indoor.

Yes I agree that the food on this longhaul flight, especially the breakfast, did look terrible considering how well one eats in this marvelous country.

I'm intrigued that both immigration and custom officers called you by first name. I think that's really nice to add a human touch in that process. I don't think any immigration or custom officers in any country ever called me by name--not last name not first name. May be it's because they choke as soon as they see my impossibly long Thai names. I guess I'll have to fly to Australia to find that out.

Can't wait for Part II.

ThaiboynMexico (Now in Argentina)
 
LatinPlane
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sun May 21, 2006 9:56 am

Quoting Marambio (Reply 25):
I guess you're a blue fan. Carpet, seats, trays, FA's uniforms - everything is blue!

How did you guess blue was my favorite color? Yup! Even my car is blue. I like to think its Pan Am blue. My old car was more like Aerolineas Argentinas blue. Big grin

Quoting Marambio (Reply 25):
You're always most welcome down here. Just send an email before you arrive and we'll be waiting for you!

You're so cool! Most definitely, if I get a chance I'll visit you guys again soon.

 Smile LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
Marambio
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sun May 21, 2006 5:58 pm

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Reply 26):
Thank you for this trip-report treat.

De rien, mon ami!

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Reply 26):
Today happened to be the first truly cold day this season in Buenos Aires as you may have noticed.

It was, and still is, freezing outside. I just hate winter!  Angry

Quoting ThaiboynMexico (Reply 26):

I'm intrigued that both immigration and custom officers called you by first name. I think that's really nice to add a human touch in that process.

Yes, I really liked that small touch. It was the second time I was called by my first name, the first time being at FRA a couple of years ago.

Thanks for reading. I'm about to check out your CAAnine trip report.  Wink

Saludos,
Marambio
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
Checo77
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Tue May 23, 2006 12:21 am

Excelent trip report!!! I enjoyed every single minute. Your writing style is so addictive! Excelent!

AR looks like a good airlines, lets see if I can hop on it someday.
Que te vaya bien,
Adam
Czech Boeing lover living in Lima
 
treeny
Posts: 270
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Tue May 23, 2006 10:01 pm

Quoting Checo77 (Reply 29):
AR looks like a good airlines, lets see if I can hop on it someday.

Take the advice of someone who knows - if you can fly Business Class you'll love it..... if you have to fly tourist then walk....I mean it ,AR tourist class is deplorable and thats being polite. Their service, confort and inflight enjoyment are non existant.....

Sorry to be harsh but for me AR in tourist is amongst the worse there is.

Saludos como siempre

Mark
 
Sabena332
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Tue May 30, 2006 4:09 am

Great report with great pictures! It is very interesting to read about a flight from South America to Australia instead of the usual North America to Australia or Europe via Asia to Australia flights.

Aerolineas looks like a good airline, too bad that they don't fly to Germany. It would be great when they would have an intra-Europe flight with 5th freedom rights (like LAN has one the MAD-FRA-MAD route).

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
argento
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Tue Jun 06, 2006 6:30 am

Excellent trip report!!! EZE-AKL-SYD is one of the most exotic destination of AR , thank you for sharing it.
I found AR have improved there inflight service a lot , in the last 4 years, FA are most of the time very friendly, somethings that US airlines have gone worst and worst after Sep 11.
 
carmenlu15
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed Jun 07, 2006 3:02 am

Great trip report! I really enjoyed every detail of it... as Adam says, your writing style is addictive indeed.

Saludos desde Guate  airplane 
Carmen
Don't expect to see me around that much (if at all) -- the contact link should still work, though.
 
LVZXV
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri Jun 09, 2006 8:23 am

Quoting Treeny (Reply 30):
Take the advice of someone who knows - if you can fly Business Class you'll love it..... if you have to fly tourist then walk....I mean it ,AR tourist class is deplorable and thats being polite. Their service, confort and inflight enjoyment are non existant.....

Sorry to be harsh but for me AR in tourist is amongst the worse there is.

Saludos como siempre

Mark

Bullshit, how many airlines offer you 34" in tourist? Not many, I can assure you. The only airline I know with seats as comfortable for long-haul is RG. Try IB, LH, AA, BA--and I can't tell you what you missed with A4's 747 in its day--then get back to me.

Sorry to sound defensive, but I have flown several times on AR recently between MAD and EZE (744, A342, 742), on one occasion as far back as row 55 on a 744, and I have never been able to sleep so well as I have in AR tourist. And of the 23 times I've flown between LON and EZE on BA Club World, many I remember as being sleepless nights.

Modern aircraft and PTVs are pretty meaningless--in my opinion--if the seats are uncomfortable and the service is unfriendly. Maybe I'm one of a lucky few, but the Condor has never let me down. And as far as the age of their planes and lack of PTVs go, sinceramente, me chupo un huevo. They make up for that in value for money.

Saludos,

ZXV
How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
 
treeny
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri Jun 09, 2006 12:26 pm

Quoting LVZXV (Reply 34):
Modern aircraft and PTVs are pretty meaningless--in my opinion--if the seats are uncomfortable and the service is unfriendly. Maybe I'm one of a lucky few, but the Condor has never let me down. And as far as the age of their planes and lack of PTVs go, sinceramente, me chupo un huevo. They make up for that in value for money.

Sorry if there has been confusion - I meant that the Club Condor is excellent but I am afraid to say that in my personal opinion AR tourist is deplorable - I am afraid I havent had the good fortune that you have had in AR tourist.

Also I am not so sure the pitch is 34" maybe we should check that because I think its less, maybe 32" but cant be 100%

Take it from me - at 6'4" tall AR tourist is terrible.....

Thanks for your comments!

Te mando un gran saludo...

Mark

P:S As for chupando tu huevo.... to be honest... no me da ganas!  Smile
 
MD11junkie
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri Jun 09, 2006 1:00 pm

Quoting Treeny (Reply 35):
Also I am not so sure the pitch is 34" maybe we should check that because I think its less, maybe 32" but cant be 100%

It's 34'', you feel it's 32'' because you're extremely tall. But, I agree with ZXV, I've never been able to sleep as much as in AR Economy.

For the record, I'm 6'0

Cheers! wave 
Gaston - The MD11junkie
There is no such thing as Boeing vs Airbus as the queen of the skies has three engines, winglets and the sweetest nose!
 
LatinPlane
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Fri Jun 09, 2006 4:06 pm

Marambio:


Don't you think its time to write your trip report for the flight back?  Wink

 Smile LatinPlane
Pan Am - The World's Most Experienced Airline.
 
ARGinLON
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sat Jun 10, 2006 12:14 am

Quoting LVZXV (Reply 34):
Sorry to sound defensive, but I have flown several times on AR recently between MAD and EZE (744, A342, 742), on one occasion as far back as row 55 on a 744, and I have never been able to sleep so well as I have in AR tourist. And of the 23 times I've flown between LON and EZE on BA Club World, many I remember as being sleepless nights

Give me BA over AR anytime. No even mention Club World vs. AR coach!
You cannot be serious!
 
treeny
Posts: 270
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sat Jun 10, 2006 1:20 am

Quoting ARGinLON (Reply 38):
Give me BA over AR anytime. No even mention Club World vs. AR coach!
You cannot be serious!

I also picket up on that comment - you really cant be serious comparing the two products between two totally different styles of airline.....

ARGinLON I am with you all the way on that comment!

Cheers

Mark

P:S Mandar un beso grande a londres!
 
LVZXV
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sat Jun 10, 2006 2:50 am

Quoting Treeny (Reply 35):
Sorry if there has been confusion - I meant that the Club Condor is excellent but I am afraid to say that in my personal opinion AR tourist is deplorable - I am afraid I havent had the good fortune that you have had in AR tourist.

Puede ser...

Quoting Treeny (Reply 35):
Also I am not so sure the pitch is 34" maybe we should check that because I think its less, maybe 32" but cant be 100%

34" in the A342 and 744, admittedly it's a bit less in the 742.

Quoting Treeny (Reply 35):
Take it from me - at 6'4" tall AR tourist is terrible.....

¡Con razón entonces! I'm 5'11".

Quoting ARGinLON (Reply 38):
Give me BA over AR anytime. No even mention Club World vs. AR coach!
You cannot be serious!

I can. Never mind the metres of pitch, the seats (neither the old nor the new) were well designed; too hard, in the case of the cradle seats, and both too hard and too short in the case of the current ones. Notice also how the current ones measure about 1m80 from tip to tip, now if you are 6'4", I don't see how you can be comfortable.

I found AF and KL Business a lot comfier, even if the seats to not recline as much. Comfort is in the spine of the beholder, I guess...  Silly

Saludos,

ZXV
How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
 
Marambio
Topic Author
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sat Jun 10, 2006 9:51 am

Quoting Latinplane (Reply 37):
Don't you think its time to write your trip report for the flight back? Wink

It's on its way, sir. I started it a couple of days ago and I suppose it will be ready by Monday or so.  Smile

Saludos,
Marambio
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
ZKSUJ
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sat Jun 10, 2006 10:02 am

Great report. Hope you enjoy your time in Australia
 
ZK-NBT
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sat Jun 10, 2006 11:05 am

Great report!

I see at the moment AR seem to have reduced their schedule to AKL-SYD but the flights you took were 100% full, interesting.
 
flyjetstar
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed Jun 14, 2006 10:57 am

Cool report.

I live I CHC so I'm wondering if you "hit" NZ at CHC and fly up the South and North Islands to AKL or do you see land further further up the coast?
 
kiwiandrew

RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu Jun 15, 2006 4:01 am

Quoting Flyjetstar (Reply 44):
Cool report.

I live I CHC so I'm wondering if you "hit" NZ at CHC and fly up the South and North Islands to AKL or do you see land further further up the coast?

I could be wrong , but I seem to recall reading something years ago about the flights making 'landfall' around GIS - but that was a long time ago and the flights in those days went via RGL which may have affected the path
 
GDSer
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Thu Jun 15, 2006 5:58 am

Bien hecho! Liked the report.

I remember an AR flight from OZ where the inflight entertainment was broken on all legs. BORRRRRIINNNGGGG!
 
Btriple7
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed Jun 21, 2006 11:58 am

Great trip report, Marambio.  bigthumbsup 

Definitely one of the best in this forum. Very well written and lots of detail. Despite the flight being long and uneventful, you summed it up very nicely.

Best Regards,
Btriple7  wave 
Just...fly.
 
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Zkpilot
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Wed Jun 21, 2006 1:46 pm

nice TR thanks!  Smile
Quoting Marambio (Reply 13):
Both legs were 100% full. Many Aussies and Kiwis boarded at AKL and I was told AR is usually 300 Australian dollars cheaper than other carries on that route.

The airfares are about the same as the cheap airfares of NZ,QF,LA,SJ. Cheaper than EK airfares however, or the more expensive flexible airfares of the others.

Quoting LVZXV (Reply 34):
Bullshit, how many airlines offer you 34" in tourist? Not many, I can assure you. The only airline I know with seats as comfortable for long-haul is RG. Try IB, LH, AA, BA--and I can't tell you what you missed with A4's 747 in its day--then get back to me.

NZ has 34" seat pitch in its 744's and 32" (but with better seat design for more legroom) in its 772ER's and is really comfortable. Most of those others mentioned have less than 34", some only have 31"! ouch!

[Edited 2006-06-21 06:47:09]
56 types. 38 countries. 24 airlines.
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Marambio Flies AR To Australia (Long + Pics)

Sun Dec 30, 2007 5:35 am

Marcos,

What a great TR! Just found it through a request on Trip Reports You'd Love To See (by Abrelosojos Dec 29 2007 in Trip Reports). I really really wanna fly this route ... maybe at some point this year. I am in BA tomorrow (YAY!) to ring in 2008.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.

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