HBIHLtoEZE
Topic Author
Posts: 247
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:50 pm

ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:30 pm

Hi, Hallo and Hola...

as my Star Alliance miles were to expire some time this year I toyed around on the Miles and More-homepage and set up some potential itineraries (in March 2008). Much to my surprise there were flights available to Santiago, Chile in June - during the Euro, at a time when I had some days to fill. So I spontaneously spent 77,000 miles and some 500 $ for taxes for my flights routing ZRH-FRA-GRU-SCL-GRU-FRA-ZRH. The segment between ZRH and GRU was never available, so I had to take the detour via FRA. Even though I was aware of the discomfort of LH's 747s in Y I was thrilled to be able to fly to South America on miles at all.

First I planned to stay in Chile, doing some trekking and/ or skiing. However, I recently read an article about the Galapagos, and as I always wanted to visit those islands I checked LA's and TA's airfares from SCL to GYE and UIO. Given the distance, heck, these countries are a 5-hour-flight apart, the fares were acceptable and thus I booked on to the Equator, to Ecuador. (It would have been closer to fly to Miami first for example, however, no flights on miles were available on the Miles and More-homepage, either). Anyway, I was perfectly happy as I had the opportunity to experience some exciting routes, and great airlines and airliners. Above all, I was looking forward to flying between GRU and SCL, seeing the Andes.


First segment:

Date: June,19, 2008
Route: ZRH - FRA
Aircraft: A319 HB-IPX
Flight: LX1074 16:10 - 17:15
Seat: 12A

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3142/2638379845_55443221ab_b.jpg

HB-IPX at Zürich Airport.

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View of runway 28, from where we took off two minutes later.

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View onto Zürich and its lake.

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Overview of ZRH's airfield.

The flight itself was relaxing, exactly what I needed as the travel preparations had been, as usual, rather hectic. I enjoyed seeing Switzerland glide under me, got a coffee from a nice flight attendant (a blonde with what I would describe as an attractive Slavic face who gave the impression that she smiled just for me). The loads were light, the flight very quiet and pleasant. All in all I must say a perfect start for such a long trip.
In FRA, where we landed 10 minutes before schedule, there were some fine birds around (as usual):

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3114/2638397349_8317956dbe_b.jpg

Air Bridge Cargo 747 VP-BIC, a -329 model, once flying for Sabena.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3102/2639236718_66fddd8181_b.jpg

Volga-Dnepr Ilyushin 76 RA-76950. A shame this aircraft has gotten so rare in Western Europe.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3090/2639244478_6b6ac10464_b.jpg

Stunning Asiana Cargo 744.

I had a 5-hour stopover in FRA during which I was reading and plane spotting. At quarter to 9 p.m. the first of the Euro's quarter final, Germany vs. Portugal began. Fortunately, it was shown on screens around Gate C16, from where the LH 747 to GRU was to leave.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3015/2639253742_7911af47ef_b.jpg

I was under the impression that the gate agents paid at least as much attention to the game as to some pax issues. Admittedly, the game was a thriller, Germany won 3:2.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3256/2639249688_133449b4b0_b.jpg

The fantastic retrojet D-AIRX passed by during Germany vs. Portugal.

Second segment:

Date: June,19, 2008
Route: FRA - GRU
Aircraft: B747-430 D-ABVL "München"
Flight: LH506 22:35 - 05:15 (June, 20)
Seat: 37G

The boarding was 30 minutes late, which I found alright as I could see more of the football game.
The flight was completely full. I was a bit surprised to see a lot of Asian pax connecting from other flights (the flight had a CA code share, too). During the security announements the Captain interrupted to say that Germany had won...Before take off we had to wait for around 20 minutes because a dead rabit had to be removed from the runway. While the flight attendants did a great job and joyfully gave out red wine (something that sparked the conversation between me and my Brazilian seating neighbour), the seating experience on LH's 747s must be among the most unpleasant of the whole airline industry. The lack of inflight entertainment certainly does not help to make up for the narrow seat rows... Anyway, after a couple of red wine refills I was able to find some sleep.
The food was light and quite tasty. I went for the chicken.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3109/2639261312_8bb0208dfe_b.jpg

LH's flagship, in this case D-ABVL "München", resting at GRU after the flight from FRA.

Connecting in GRU was easy. Hand luggage was screened again, and after less than an hour boarding into Swiss' HB-JMI began.

Segment 3:

Date: June,20, 2008
Route: GRU - SCL
Aircraft: A340 HB-JMI
Flight: LX096 06:45 - 09:55
Seat: 30A

After LH's cattle class I experienced Swiss' Y cabin as much better. In addition, I was seated at an emergency exit, so I had lots and lots of room. The flight attendants were not only nice, but also chatted quite a bit - I felt as if I had arrived in heaven. The heavenly feeling was nicely underlined by the divine views:


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3068/2638498565_4ec4fc4977_b.jpg

Argentina is very flat, for the most part, in the west, however, the landscape gets wrinkles...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3264/2638502119_60ca1ea0c1_b.jpg

...wrinkles that turn into mountains. Well, this is the time I guess to be quiet and let the landscape speak:

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http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3163/2638511997_dc7f93fe25_b.jpg

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3274/2638517269_4a9f88a5e5_b.jpg

If I am not mistaken this is the highest mountain of the Americas, Aconcagua, with an altitude of 6,962 metres (22,841 ft).

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3163/2639351612_ceb8b86910_b.jpg

The Swiss flag is not completely inappropriate as Aconcagua was first ascended by a Swiss montaineer in 1897.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3067/2639356782_7d1b40cbde_b.jpg

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HB-JMI veering towards south. SCL is in the fog (on the right).

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3002/2639382748_5fbd2ed135_b.jpg

Landing at a foggy SCL...

I was extremely satisfied with the flight. I was as pleased with the flight as I was with the views. This must have been the stereotype of a perfect flight in Y...
Immigration into Chile is quick and pleasant.

I had a 21-hour layover in Santiago, where I stayed in a nice hotel. As I did not have much time, I did not do a lot in Chile's capital, sleep a bit, walk a bit, climbed Cerro St. Lucia, worked out, ate a hearty meal and went to bed early - I had to get up at 3am the next morning...

Segment 4:

Date: June,21, 2008
Route: SCL - LIM
Aircraft: B767-316ER CC-CWN
Flight:LA634 06:25 - 09:10
Seat: 22L

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3160/2655629874_1b2508f1cb_b.jpg

LAN is a great airline. The seats are comfortable, the leg room is generous and a there is a modern screen on the back of each seat. I experienced the flight attendants as a bit snappy though. I did not touch the breakfast as it only consisted of sugary carbohydrates - a huge cooky and a tired-looking cheese and ham sandwich with white bread. I was glad that I ate fruit salad for breakfast...
Announcements were in Spanish and English, the flight nicely smooth. Even though I was sitting over the wing I could get some sights:

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3225/2654805829_58a8963677_b.jpg

Sunrise over the Pacific.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3234/2655632966_6eaeb6ed31_b.jpg

The north of Chile: dry and often foggy at the coast.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3072/2654812599_81b2c82ec5_b.jpg

Flying along the Peruvian coast:

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The whole coastline appeared to be covered by cotton...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3081/2655641872_219e7976af_b.jpg

Landing at a foggy Lima airport.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3009/2655643888_65881ce4a6_b.jpg

At LIM there are always some highly interesting aircraft around. Such as this nice threeholer, N279AX, a DC-10-30 freighter of Centurion Cargo.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3136/2655645478_e3f89c7073_b.jpg

Cielos Cargo DC-10 and a fuselage that obviously once flew for Iberia...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3212/2654822743_fc3f981c46_b.jpg

A late addition to Aerocondor's fleet: Boeing 727 freighter OB-1883-P.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3176/2654824349_a3ac91fff0_b.jpg

Nice surprise: Safair Hercules ZS-ORA. One of only a few non-military operators of that cute propliner.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3129/2654828761_56f0893e47_b.jpg

Peruvian Navy Antanov An-32B AT530. I was told to stop taking pictures after this shot.

Segment 5:

Date: June,21, 2008
Route: LIM - GYE
Aircraft: B767-316ER CC-CWN
Flight:LP630 10:10 – 12:10
Seat: 25A

The flight to Guayaquil was again on CC-CWN - the flight number changed from a LA (LAN Airlines) to a LP-flight (LAN Peru)...

I managed to take a couple of shots from LIM on the ground:


http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3016/2655671158_97dc75f809_b.jpg

TA A320 N496TA.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3068/2654849225_08234488e6_b.jpg

Air Comet A340 EC-KHU taking off to MAD.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3203/2655676462_cc84aa2f86_b.jpg

Peruvian Air Force DC-8-62CF '370'. A true highlight - this beauty used to fly for Swissair as HB-IDK between 1969 and 1981.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3249/2654852591_9e009274cf_b.jpg

A sad sight (matching the depressing weather though): an abandoned 737-200.

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Former Cielos Cargo DC-10-30F N831LA.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3250/2654856051_d33134320e_b.jpg

N831LA with a former Arrow Cargo DC-8 and a Bolivian-registered 737-200.

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2402/2655682830_70b843d83b_b.jpg

Aerocontinente's corrosion corner: three 737-200s, two 727s and a Fokker F28. A former TANS Fokker F28 and a 737-200 can also be recognized.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3274/2654859763_6e47e0f975_b.jpg

A white An-32 and one of the first BAe 146s for Aerocondor can be seen shortly after take off.

The flight was very pleasant again - this time I took the triangle sandwich: white bread, ham and cheese. It was not that bad...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3265/2654861691_7d684239a8_b.jpg

Landing at GYE. Yes, we are in the tropics.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3160/2654863087_f95dd131c1_b.jpg


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Former AR and BA 737-200 LV-ZIE.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3164/2654868549_0a2b25d169_b.jpg

Quite an interesting aircraft. Please look at the following picture and the aircraft's history:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Andy Martin - AirTeamImages



LAN is, just to mention it again, a very good airline. From this and earlier experiences I would not hesitate one second to fly them again.
Immigration into Ecuador was not difficult and also very quick. GYE has a new terminal which I found modern and efficient. After picking up my backpack I went to Aerogal's ticket office and bought a one-way to Quito UIO (for 65$).


Segment 6:

Date: June,21, 2008
Route: GYE - UIO
Aircraft: B737-2Y5 HC-CER
Flight:2K029 ca. 13:00 - 13:45
Seat: 12A

I love the 737-200 and I thus selected Aerogal over TAME (see next report). The 737-200 I flew on is a former Air Malta machine. First airborne in July 1987, this is one of the youngest -200 at all. The interior is well kept, very bright and clean. The CO 738s for example look much older if you ask me...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3150/2655698542_286740ac8e_b.jpg

HC-CER at gate 4 at GYE.

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Yukon HC-AZH from the air shortly after take off.

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Guayaquil and Guayas river.

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http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2259/2654888083_7e41463642_b.jpg

That's what I call an engine: it was great fun to admire the lovely JT8 during the flight to UIO.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3024/2655715172_47e4665237_b.jpg

Flights between the coast and UIO can be really bumpy as the wet tropical clouds are squeezed out over the Andes and heavily influence flying conditions. Massive and magnificent clouds were visible after only a few minutes.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3141/2655716936_1aa787b804_b.jpg

That's where the clouds stop - the valleys around Quito were quite sunny that afternoon.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3216/2654895651_8a2bb342ba_b.jpg

What an engine, what a contrast to the landscape!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3178/2655723268_0cbb73f24a_b.jpg

Landing in Quito means flying over the city...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3146/2655726136_ee8701cfd2_b.jpg

...right over the city.

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http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3047/2654905547_8aaab9c214_b.jpg

There were some exciting planes around, too. Such as these Ecuadorian Air Force BAe748s...

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3136/2654907805_e4001146f5_b.jpg

...or the ill-fated Iberia Airbus A340-600 written off after a landing accident last year (now on white colors. The process of scrapping has just begun.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3225/2654910217_785f4f164f_b.jpg

Ecuadorian Air Force Hercules with an Arrow Cargo DC-10 behind.

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3222/2654912369_640ccc82bf_b.jpg

Former TAME 727 - still quite intact.

Aerogal impressed me - their 737 appeared to be in superb shape, and as mentioned above, the interior is impeccably clean. I especially enjoyed the ride on a 737-200 - not too many of that kind are still around.

End of first part...

Feedback and criticism welcome.

cheers,

HBIHL

[Edited 2008-07-10 14:32:01]
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
 
Lucky727
Posts: 559
Joined: Mon Sep 29, 2003 10:27 pm

RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:54 pm

What an adventure! Great itinerary & great pics - esp. the AeroGal 732 wing & engine shots - what a flashback!

Looking forward to the next episode(s) - Hope you include some photos from the Galapagos...

'Frohe Reisen!' (in my bad german ...?)

Lucky727
··· [·] oooooooo [·] oooo oo ooooo [·] ooooooooooooooooooo [·]
 
CityofAthens
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Jun 08, 2008 3:27 pm

RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:01 pm

No criticisms from me ... I love the way you manage to strike a balance between the volume of words written and photos taken ... keep up the excellent work. The photos are superb, although one must admit the views help.

That LH retrojet looks smashing ... a shame BA don't seem interested in creating a similar theme. I think the problem is our managers have absolutely no interest in planes beyond their ability to make money  Sad


I wonder how LX performs on the GRU-SCL sector ... it would seem at first glance a rather curious route for such an airline ... however, as an aviation enthusiast I am not complaining. Good luck to them - it's nice to see the Swiss flag in this part of the world.  Wink


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Baires Aviation Photography

 
LH459
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RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Thu Jul 10, 2008 11:41 pm



Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
Cielos Cargo DC-10 and a fuselage that obviously once flew for Iberia...

 Wow! That Iberia fuselage was an intact DC-10 when I was in LIM last Fall! I remember it distinctly, because I noticed the Iberia livery but an N registration instead of EC registration. I'm enjoying your report tremendously because you are writing about my favorite part of the world, so I'm really looking forward to part two!  bigthumbsup 
"I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is temporary; the evil it does is permanent" - Ghandi
 
BAViscount
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RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:57 am

WOW!! Great report to a part of the world I'd love to visit one day. And the photos were fantastic!! What camera do you use?

Cheers.

Andy.
Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
 
AA300B
Posts: 80
Joined: Mon Jul 05, 2004 8:00 am

RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:48 am

Great Trip report!
It's quite nice to read good reports involving my country since we don't get a lot of those in here.. I took the same LP flight you took on the LIM-GYE segment a week before you did and I have to say I'm always impressed with the service LAN offers , the comfort on their 763s just left me speechless.. Hope to read the second part as soon as you post it and lets hope you chose TAME for the Galapagos trip.

AA300B
E145, E170, E190, A310, A300, A319, A320, A321, A330, A340, A380, 717 727, 737, 747, 757, 767, 777, 77W, 787
 
KL642
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Joined: Mon May 24, 2004 5:07 am

RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:03 am

I enjoyed reading your report and your excellent photos! Looking foward to part 2.
Alex
 
CptRegionalJet
Posts: 53
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2007 11:34 am

RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:35 am

Thank you for a great report with superb fotos.
The approach into Quito must be really breathtaking.Lima looks more like a graveyard for aircraft than an active airport-very interesting birds there.

Cheers

CptRegionalJet
 
palmjet
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RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 12:47 pm

thanks so much for your report - the pics are amazing. Really enjoyed reading about your experiences in south america - part II of the report is also just as fascinating. Thanks again.
Eastern - Number One To The Sun
 
phileet92
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RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 1:29 pm



Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
...or the ill-fated Iberia Airbus A340-600 written off after a landing accident last year (now on white colors. The process of scrapping has just begun.

so sad to see such a beautiful bird go.
 
ba319-131
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RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 2:31 pm

Great report and pictures.

A very interesting part of the world for spotters, such a rich selection of old and new types.

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
 
semsem
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RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:48 pm

If I am correct LH only offer 31" legroom on long flights like BA.
 
lscorpio
Posts: 7
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RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 11, 2008 7:03 pm

Superb fotos, I love the different airlines and types in South Am.

The colours in this picture are amazing!

http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3160/2655629874_1b2508f1cb_b.jpg
 
HBIHLtoEZE
Topic Author
Posts: 247
Joined: Tue Aug 17, 2004 10:50 pm

RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Tue Jul 15, 2008 4:11 pm

Thank you all for your encouraging replies!

Quoting CityofAthens (Reply 2):
I wonder how LX performs on the GRU-SCL sector ... it would seem at first glance a rather curious route for such an airline ... however, as an aviation enthusiast I am not complaining. Good luck to them - it's nice to see the Swiss flag in this part of the world.

LX flies on behalf of Lufthansa between GRU and SCL (LH stopped their A346 flight to Chile), offering pax from the MUC and FRA flights a connection to Santiago. From what I've heard (and observed) the flight is quite popular, especially in C (don't know about F though).

Quoting LH459 (Reply 3):
That Iberia fuselage was an intact DC-10 when I was in LIM last Fall! I remember it distinctly, because I noticed the Iberia livery but an N registration instead of EC registration.

Thanks for this info. I remember seeing IB DC-10s at Opa Locka, so Cielos might have ferried one down for parts: http://www.pbase.com/image/48310429

What camera do you use?

Nikon D80 (with which I am really satisfied, so happy that I am still waiting for the D700 prices to drop)

Quoting CptRegionalJet (Reply 7):
Lima looks more like a graveyard for aircraft than an active airport-very interesting birds there.

Yes, somewhere there should be the Aerocontinente hull (in derelict state though) of one of the last remaining 737-100, delivered to Lufthansa in 1968...I have not seen this bird though...

Quoting Semsem (Reply 11):
If I am correct LH only offer 31" legroom

BA is heavenly in comparison, For one reason, probably due to the old-fashioned design of the seats and their bizarre reclining angle it rather feels like 25'' legroom...

Quoting Lscorpio (Reply 12):
The colours in this picture are amazing!

Pretty happy about that hand held shot, too - nice taxiway lightning at SCL.

For complettion's sake I am going to post Part III, too...covering the journey from UIO to LIM to SCL to GRU to FRA and finally back to ZRH...

cheers

HBIHL
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
 
hardiwv
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Joined: Sat Oct 09, 2004 11:30 pm

RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:02 am

Thanks for the great trip report.

Quoting HBIHLtoEZE (Thread starter):
Connecting in GRU was easy. Hand luggage was screened again, and after less than an hour boarding into Swiss' HB-JMI began.

Do LH pax connecting to LX in GRU have a specific procedure or you just follow the normal connecting procedure?

Rgs,
 
HBIHLtoEZE
Topic Author
Posts: 247
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RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Thu Jul 17, 2008 8:10 pm

Thanks for your response, Hardiwv,

Quoting Hardiwv (Reply 14):
Do LH pax connecting to LX in GRU have a specific procedure or you just follow the normal connecting procedure?

It felt very normal - the line in the morning was very short for the obligatory security screening (probably not too many connecting pax on LH 506) while in the afternoon it took more than 30 minutes...connecting from Chile to LH507 was much more hectic, especially the boarding was mere chaos.

Cheers
Our battered suitcases were piled on the sidewalk again; we had longer ways to go. But no matter, the road is life.
 
wfm
Posts: 24
Joined: Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:14 pm

RE: ZRH To Ecuador Via FRA,GRU,SCL And LIM (Pics)

Fri Jul 18, 2008 1:37 pm

Great report!

Very interesting and great pictures.

I flew from FRA to GRU 3 years ago on Lufthansa with one of their A340-600 - very narrow seat and no inflight entertainment!

Cheers
EIDW-EKCH

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