CONTINENTAL AIRLINES - NEWARK TO LIMA
Purpose of the trip: Leisure/vacation.
I booked the entire airline combo through a travel agency. It was all in one ticket and I got a really good fare of $830 round trip.
Date of Departure: March 11, 2010.
I didn't clear my upgrade from EWR-LIM on the 5-day mark, but instead 2 days before.
Check-in: I used the Elite Access line to check in. The kiosk and the agent were unable to give me the boarding pass for my connecting flight to Buenos Aires on LAN. I proceeded to the President's Club by gate C91.
Two of the seats in J-class were broken. And they had overbooked J-class by 1 person. So they downgraded 3 people that were upgrades to coach. And offered each of them a $1,000 travel voucher. I wish they would've asked me, I would've taken a Y-seat for a $1,000 travel voucher!
Flight Time: 7 hours 40mins.
I have to say, I love the fact that Lima, for such a long flight, is not a BusinessFirst market/service. I enjoy the 752 seats, and the FREE upgrade.
Service: Menus were provided for the lunch service. A pack of nuts was served with the first beverage.
A few minutes later they brought a cold appetizer (no choice)
Then dinner (beef option):
An hour before landing they served a snack (no option):
I guess I would say the food is kind of light, especially the pre-arrival snack for such a long flight. Considering there are shorter flights to Europe from Newark that get catered better than this. But then again, it's not BusinessFirst service. And because of that you can get your upgrade. I'll take the upgrade over better food.
LAN - LIMA TO BUENOS AIRES
I was a bit nervous that I didn't have my boarding pass to Buenos Aires for my flight on LAN. I wasn't sure if I was supposed to clear immigration and head to the ticket counter to get my boarding pass. Luckily as you deplane you have the option to either transit/connect or go through immigration. Behind security at the transit line I noticed TACA and LAN had ticket counters so I knew then I would be able to check-in for my flight with no need to go though Peruvian immigration.
Check-in: I checked in at the LAN counter, which is right after you go through "transit/connecting passengers" security. The agent said I was supposed to have a paper ticket. I then showed him my Continental itinerary receipt (I printed off co.com) that had the ticket number and the LAN flights in it, and he was able to check me in with the CO-eticket number.
Inflight: The flight departed at 1:25am on time. It was a nice new-looking 767-300. Avod in every seat, nice 777 interiors.
Flight time: 4 hours 25 minutes.
Once in flight we were offered a late snack (no option):
I was glad to see my bag arrived. I paid the $131 Argentinean Reciprocity fee and went on my way.
LAN - BUENOS AIRES to LIMA
Return Date: March 16, 2010
Check-in was fine, again they were unable to give me the boarding pass for the other airline (Copa this time)
The flight left on time, and flying time was about the same as the flight down to Buenos Aires give or take 5 minutes.
We were offered the same exact snack they served on the red-eye flight for our morning 8:45am departure. The itinerary had breakfast listed as a meal, I guess this is what they consider breakfast for intra-South America flights.
This time I had a 763 with retrofitted interiors:
COPA - LIMA TO WASHINGTON
My upgrade didn't clear at the 5 day mark but it cleared the day before the flights.
I didn't have my boarding pass from Lima to Washington for my Copa flights. From my prior days experience I knew there was no Copa counter once you went through the "transit/connecting passenger" security. So I figured I would probably have to actually go through immigration in Peru and head to the ticket counter to get my boarding pass. I didn't want to gamble waiting on the agent to show up 45 minutes before the flight leaves, at the gate, and tell me "oh sorry, you are checking in too late."
When I landed in Lima, before officially going through immigration I asked the immigration agent if I had to go outside to check-in. She said, "if you ENTER PERU you'll have to pay taxes when you exit, even if you are just here 2 hours. Just head to the transit line, and the Copa agent will show up more than hour before the flight departs at the gate. So you'll be fine." I took her word for it and got out of line and headed to the transit security. Once through security I decided to access the lounge. The rep at the lounge said I needed a boarding pass to enter the lounge. She called the Copa ticket counter who asked me to go to gate 22 and an agent would meet me there.
As I was heading to gate 22, an announcement was made through out the terminal, asking anyone who had arrived on another airline and that did not have a Copa boarding pass to head to gate 22. So I guess I wasn't alone. There was a few of us and she checked everyone in. She also took all of our LAN bag tags and said they would claim our bags with LAN and re-check them just as Copa. She said she would give us new claim tags before boarding our flight. Before boarding she called name by name to give the baggage claim tags to everyone she had "claimed" the bags for.
I boarded my flight, it was a 737-700. All the way to Dulles. Flight 488 is a direct flight from Lima to Dulles but it does make a stop in Panama. Our stop was about 45 minutes long. Though it was scheduled for an hour.
Service was great, entertainment was OK, I read and listened to my own music. I had already seen the movies they played. The crew was very great on both segments of the flights and the food was not bad.
Beverage before the service started:
Appetizer (no option):
Lunch (chicken option):
Dinner (chicken option):
My bag was the first one out! I have never been the first person out of customs and immigration. Now the cab ride from Dulles to DC is a whole drama filled different story.
[Edited 2010-03-23 19:46:49]
[Edited 2010-03-23 19:51:24]