ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:12 pm





Aviation in every continent has its edge, and there's bound to be something unique out there. Looking at the big picture, Australasia's offering may seem rather average, if not typical to flag carriers that pretty much dominate the hubs. Looking deeper however, and you may find little quirks that are rather charming.

Sydney for one, is the Heathrow of the region; everyone wants it. Thankfully though, the selection out there is far from your typical KLM, Lufthansa, Air France type, but something far more exotic which includes carriers from those neighboring islands that would probably not fly much farther than Australia. Add Auckland to this mix, and a purpose-built 5th Freedom Route is created that that could otherwise not make this region a worthy operation for some airlines.

On a typical view of the world map, Australasia is placed far away from everything and right at the end of the world. But in reality, and with the correct economics, it has a special niche to be ideally located to connect traffic between South America and most of Asia. Auckland for one, is perfectly mapped to be an ideal transit stop for traffic between these two regions. Thanks to that, LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas both compete almost identically on this route, and I was able to try them both on a 5th Freedom flight between Sydney and Auckland.

Bienvenidos a LAN contra Aerolineas Argentinas!




LÍNEA AÉREA NACIONAL
Commonly known as LAN Airlines, and is perhaps the most progressive airline in the Latin Americas. LAN is part of a consolidated entity that also includes LAN Express, LAN Peru, LAN Ecuador, and LAN Argentina, and together, the LAN Alliance spans a network of over 75 destinations reaching the Americas, Caribbean, Europe, and the South Pacific. LAN is also a key member of the Oneworld Alliance which naturally gives the airline immense access to a much wider network.

The airline also seems to be sitting on a bed of money, as it has been on a major shopping spree of late. With the recent formation of LATAM airlines -the largest proposed airline in Latin America- as a result of LAN's intentions on merging with Brazil's TAM, and the more recent acquisition of Columbia's Aires, this new mega-carrier can easily be considered a Latina Emirates. Something every airline needs to keep an eye out for!

The South Pacific is an important market for LAN, as 2010 year-to-date figures show a 35% share on the Australia-South America route, and a 59% share on New Zealand-South America. Alternatively, the 5th Freedom Traffic right between Sydney and Auckland is only a backburner added bonus for the airline, with only a 5% share in the market during the same period.



AEROLÍNEAS ARGENTINAS
As far as the facts released to the media go, this airline is more or less of a subpar standard in the region. While far less significant than its Chilean counterpart, Aerolineas Argentinas is the Argentine flag-carrier that also offers a significant network of over 50 domestic as well as international destinations that span across Europe, the Americas, and Australasia.

Given the airline's notorious history, I still wouldn’t let its struggles fool me. A five-year restructuring plan is already in place, and we already got a more modern corporate brand out of it, let alone the intention to join the SkyTeam Alliance. A very smart move on both the alliance as well as the airline, given the drama that must be undergoing on which of the other two alliances will snag LATAM.

Similar to LAN, the South Pacific has its significance to Aerolineas Argentinas, and 2010 year-to-date figures show a smaller 18% market share on the Australia-South America route, and 34% for New Zealand-South America. Similarly, the airline also has a 5% share on the 5th Freedom route between Sydney and Auckland over the same period.

Today, these two airlines will compete identically across the Tasman, and only one shall win my positive review!



WELCOME TO MY 29th TRIP REPORT
This TR will cover the following flights across the Tasman:

A) Sydney - Auckland on LAN Airlines in Premium Business (A340-300)
B) Auckland - Sydney on Aerolineas Argentinas in Club Condor (A340-200)



B A C K G R O U N D
A Business trip on the last Singapore Airlines A380 flight before the grounding brings me to Melbourne in November 2010. Luckily, an Islamic holiday is looming right after the end of my work duty and since I am already in the region, why not come out and play for a while afterwards?

LAN -due to its Oneworld membership- was a decision already made however, it was whether the total itinerary should include a return flight on the same airline that would grant me additional tier credit with my FFP, or whether I should think outside the box and tick a second new airline off my must-fly list.

To my advantage -thanks to the cheaper fares of point-of-sale New Zealand- two one-way trips on LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas are significantly cheaper than a roundtrip on LAN with point-of-sale Australia.

The first task was the easiest and my ticket was purchased on LAN's online booking facility within a few moments. It was the Aerolineas Argentinas task however, that was a little more off-beat.

The airline had recently introduced a facility on its website that allows the 'direct' purchase of tickets, as opposed to the bureaucratic 'reserve-online-buy-at-the-office' one that preceded. With this transition ongoing within the airline, I was prompted to first select my flight and make a non-guaranteed reservation that had an expiry date typical to such bookings. Once I received the booking conformation by email, I then had the option to select 'purchase now' where I was taken to an offline credit card website in Uruguay in order to make the final purchase. A final confirmation was flicked to my email within moments, and eventually, my credit card statement had reflected this transaction. I should have been all set to go by then!

Several weeks later -on a Friday- I had randomly thought of checking on this particular booking (when I normally just take something like this for granted). Strangely -but subconsciously expected- I discovered that there had been no linkage between my 'booking' which had already expired, and my purchase confirmation. By
then I was faced with a transaction that Aerolineas Argentinas had already collected payment for, and a booking that the airline failed to guarantee for me in return.

However, in the airline's defense, a quick phone call - albeit ultra-long-distance- to Señora Alejandra at Aerolineas Argentinas' office in Auckland proved so very helpful. She had attended to my situation with such high standards that could perhaps have outdone those of more reputable airlines.

She had requested to communicate with me by email as soon as she received a response from Buenos Aires. Naturally, I was hesitant about this and had assumed that I would never hear from her again. But to my surprise, moments after our brief phone conversation, I had received an email from her saying that my money will be refunded by Monday and it was suggested that once that happens, we could proceed and re-issue my ticket.

Come Monday morning my money was in fact refunded back to me, and another phone call to the airline's office revealed that Alejandra was not on duty that day. However, her colleague had been fully briefed on my situation, immediately took action, and my ticket was FINALLY confirmed!

With my Tasman flights already in place, my domestic hop between Melbourne and Sydney had Qantas/Oneworld written all over it as many of you had seen on Facebook!



CONTINUED BELOW
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:14 pm





ORIGIN SYDNEY
Arriving Sydney Airport at 7:10am -2 hours and 45 minutes prior to STD- I am for the first time faced with what seemed like one of Sydney's prime peaks. Picture something like Heathrow's activity across all its terminals, but instead, all is consolidated into one International terminal at this premium Australian hotspot.

Japan Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, Air Austral, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and many more movements had arrived one after the other. As a result, the check-in area was bustling with travelers heading to almost anywhere across the globe on any of those airlines' departing flights. However, this bustle did not last too long, and in no time everything subsided back to normality.



Signage showing LAN's check-in area at Sydney



Proceeding towards the departures area



Activity had subsided when most of the morning flights had departed





FIDS





At 7:55am, I headed towards LAN's check-in counters -today allocated at C13-C18- where a large queue had already formed. Four counters were dedicated to Economy Class Passengers, one for Premium Business, and a sixth was primarily a service desk cum buffer counter.



LAN Check-in







Joining the queue, I arrived at my turn within just a few moments. Naturally, Qantas does the check-in for LAN and as expected, the Qantas staff are extremely polite, efficient, and very friendly.

My ETA was checked on the SITA system, and I had to also show the agent my return booking on Aerolineas Argentinas as proof of a journey outbound from New Zealand. Minutes later, my boarding pass was issued, and my suitcase was tagged to Auckland.

"Mr. Hawi, this is your boarding card. You are seated in a window seat today, and the boarding time mentioned on the boarding pass is for 8:50am but an announcement will be made for 9am inside the lounge"
"Thank you"
"You're very welcome. This is also your invitation card for the Qantas Business Class lounge. Enjoy your flight!"



Boarding Pass



Lounge Card



LAN Message



Bag Tags





Passing through immigration and security with ease, I was airside at 9am. I had lost track of time for a little while and thought I would spend some time walking around the landside departures area before moving further.



Typical to this region, the duty free offering is dumped immediately after security









Sydney is definitely one of the more interesting airports of the world mainly due to the eclectic mix of airlines that fly there. However, it leaves a lot to be desired in terms of décor and ambience. The landside portion of it is very dull and outdated however, it did seem that there has been some renovation work done on the airside area.



Airside departures at Sydney





I skipped on the lounge experience, and instead proceeded immediately to Gate 30 where boarding had commenced as soon as I had arrived at 9:05am. Like the norm, premium passengers and elite status Oneworld members were allowed to board at anytime, while Economy Class passengers were requested to board only when their row numbers were called.



Gate 30



Boarding commenced for LA800





My boarding pass was scanned under the reader, and the professional agent handed back my little stub before wishing me a pleasant flight. And to LAN I shall invade!



Through the aerbridge





From my experience living in Florida several years ago, almost every Latin American I had interacted with had initially thought I was Latino. During many instances it was an assumption to the point that initial conversations with me were always in Spanish, and it was quite difficult to convince them otherwise. I had a feeling that something similar would happen during this experience.

Arriving at Door 1L of this A340-300, I am welcomed by the flight's very own queen bee dressed in LAN's black uniform under a fiery red jacket over a pair of similarly colored heels that seemed sky high. The combination was rather attractive, and I am quite intrigued.

"#@!@$%$"
"Sorry, I do not speak Spanish"
"Ah! Sorry, welcome on board sir, your seat is right this way!"



By 9:15am I was on board.




CONTINUED BELOW
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:16 pm

F L I G H T
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

LAN Flight Information:

SCR
/LA/15NOV
W10
15NOV
SYD
KLA800 31OCT26MAR 1234567 264343 SYDSYD0955 1510AKLAKL J
GI BRGDS

Actual Departure Time: 09:55 (Pushback)
Actual Arrival Time: 14:55 (Touchdown)

Registration: CC-CQF
Condition: 8.9 years old, delivered to LAN in December 2001

Remarks: This flight has a continued service from Auckland to Santiago

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Welcome to LAN Airlines





I had boarded the aircraft later than I normally would, and as such, some passengers were already seated in the Premium Business Cabin. I normally prefer to be one of the first so that I could discreetly snap a few photos.

On my way to my seat, several cabin crew -and with extremely striking looks- were dotted throughout the cabin. Not much effort was made to smile but at least their simple nod was a means to acknowledge the presence of boarding passengers. However, while that 'warmth' factor was not part of the initial tone-setting, the crew seemed especially helpful when guiding elderly passengers and those with children to their assigned seating.

LAN's Premium Business cabin is divided into two sections which includes a more intimate sub-cabin that has only two rows of seats. Unfortunately -and due to my lack of prior research- I was seated in the smaller cabin when I normally prefer to be where most of the action would be. Nevertheless LAN's cabin is very modern, and the color scheme creates a rather sharp ambience that almost perfectly complements the cabin crew's rather striking theme. All in all, for a nine year old aircraft, LAN seems to know how to take care of it!



The Cabin





At 7L, I discover that it is a window-less seat. Again owing to my lack of research, I am faced with no choice but to improvise.



The seat







On my seat, was a pre-packaged pillow/blanket combo that was placed above the seatbelts, and a fresh pair of headsets were placed in the side compartment. All literature was stacked in the seat-pocket in front, and the IFE screen on every seat was featuring what seemed to be a silent promotional video on Chilean tourism.

The seat itself was very comfortable with ample legroom, and can easily match any premium airline's offering. The design I can mostly relate it to, is that of Royal Jordanian's Crown Class seat on the A330-200. However, keeping in mind that LAN's hardware offering is by far more comfortable.



Leg space



Headset



Blanket/pillow combo (very souvenirable!)





While most crew seemed to be on the dry side, there was one male who was quite cheerful. He smiled at each passenger as he offered them a selection from the tray of welcome drinks.

"#@@$%!"
"Sorry, I do not speak Spanish"
"Sorry, you look Puerto Rican haha"
"Would you like something to drink? I have water and orange juice"
"Orange juice please"



My glass of orange juice



Passengers continued to board







Landing cards were then distributed to passengers depending on where their final destination was.

"Excuse me, you go Auckland or Santiago?"
"Auckland"

The doors were closed at 9:50am, and the an announcement was made by the crew to welcome us on board. We were also advised that the flight time to Auckland was to be 3 hours and 15 minutes.

By then, I had noticed many empty seats, and had requested to move to one that was located one row in front. While it was a bulkhead seat -which I normally do not like as well- it not only had a window, but also an outstanding view of the aircraft's engines.



From my new seat





At exactly 9:55am, pushback occurred and the engines silently spooled into a roar. After a very short taxi to the active runway, we eventually fired away at 10:10am and began our daytime flight towards New Zealand.

Within no time, the switching off of the seatbelt sign was a signal that we had reached cruising altitude, and that I was about to discover what entailed in LAN's world of culinary delight. The crew instantly sprung into action, and the service commenced with the distribution of hot towels.



More views from my new seat assignment





Bulkhead Leg Space





Another reason why I normally prefer to be in a larger main cabin is because I would get to see first-hand how the service is conducted. While the trolleys were in action upfront, a more personalized service was featured in the 'penthouse' where we were served directly from the galley.

A new crew I had not seen before -Claudio- had appeared from the galley with a set of table linens folded across his arm. Again -as with the other male crew and unlike most of the more dominating females- he was smiling and more on the professional side.

"!@#@$$%"
"Sorry?"
"Ah … Sir, can I get you anything to drink with your snack?"
"We have wine, beer, juices"
"May I have a Bloody Mary please?"
"I will check if we have tomato juice and I let you know"



El Bloody Mary Caliente!!





The Bloody Mary was in its simplest form and consisted of your basic tomato juice and vodka. Normally that does not a Bloody Mary make, but the tomato juice used was quite tasty and added a new kick to it that made this drink quite good.

After my drink was served and the linen placed on my table, my meal tray appeared. By then it was evident that menus on this sector are nonexistent (as opposed to them being available on a similar 5th route on Royal Jordanian).

The meal offering on this flight consisted of a one-course meal tray service which was neatly presented with a mini bowl of crackers that were accompanied by what seemed to be a Latin American type of marmalade (I think), a main course that consisted of a ham & cheese croissant and a beef sandwich, and a bowl of some form of fruit crumble for dessert. A small butter plate, the usual silverware, and Cathay-themed salt & pepper shakers were also neatly placed to accompany the meal. It was a simple presentation which I quite liked, and contrary to what many have mention regarding the meal quantity, I think the offering was sufficient (though Royal Jordanian does serve a hot meal on some 5th routes).



The meal



Crackers



Main course



Dessert



LAN uses plastic knives



Tray view





Overall the meal was quite tasty. The marmalade was probably the best part of this breakfast service, and though the crackers may have seemed too little for one's usual 'bread basket' expectations, they actually went so well with the slightly sour zest of this interesting jam. The main course on the other hand, while also tasty, was far too buttery to my liking. Both the croissant as well as the beef sandwich were adequately warm but I could feel my arteries clogging with each buttery bite. Finally, dessert was great, and no complains there.



What better view can accompany this breakfast service?







"Can I get you anything else? You like another drink?"
"No thank you. I am done"

And in no time, Claudio cleared my tray and I was released from my seat to inspect LAN's El Lavatory Caliente!



Lavatory







Cabin after the meal service







After breakfast was concluded, the crew congregated in the galley for the remainder of the flight, and their rather loud chatter was easily heard across our mini-cabin. I am unsure what the topic of discussion was, but everyone involved seemed overly enthusiastic.

The best solution that would muffle away the deafening galley gossip that was happening, was to power on the IFE system and see what was on offer. Also known as 'in Premier' LAN seems to offer an excellent choice of IFE in Premium Business.

Over 45 films are offered and they include the usual variety of genres, including premieres and several Latin varieties. Furthermore, over 120 television series are featured in this system and span across a range of interests. In addition, with a 750 music CD collection and 20 or so games, I believe LAN's offering is quite powerful!



in interface



An intro is played





Choose your language



Select your preference



I mostly prefer TV series



Will & Grace used to be okay, but it's so last year now





A brief look-around my seat area revealed that the seat was adequately decked out with the usual amenities that include USB sockets, power ports, electronic controls, lumbar support, and what have you. Most importantly, LAN's Premier Business seat is a full lie-flat product that is highly competitive. When many airlines sneakily chucked in an angled-lie flat concept marketed under a 'flat bed' spin, LAN was proactive enough to introduce proper business beds from the get go.



Seat controls



IFE controller



A fully flat bed at the touch of a button



In bed with LAN



Cabin lights dimmed for the remainder of the flight





At 2:30pm New Zealand local time, an automated announcement was made to inform passengers that the IFE system will be switched off in preparation for landing. Such an automated announcement -and LAN seems to LOVE using such announcements- was a signal for the crew to begin their preparations for arrival. Moments later we had begun our initial descent towards Auckland.



Cabin before landing






An arrival video on New Zealand's entry procedures was played on the IFE, right before it was switched off completely. At 2:45pm, the seatbelt sign was switched on.



Beautiful scenery on approach!







DESTINATION AUCKLAND
After what seemed like the most beautiful approach I have ever experienced, we touched down at Auckland International Airport at 2:55pm hence, my LAN experience would soon come to an end.

I was quite excited to visit Auckland, and the beautiful scenery during the approach was just what I needed to set that initial tone.

A second tone-setter was the daily dump of Emirates aircraft that had occupied the airport. I'd heard of them on forums and seen some pictures here and there, but this is my first chance to see it for real. Amongst the humble Air New Zealand selection, three Emirates wide-bodies call Auckland home for a few hours while they turnaround back to Dubai.



A6-EDA took me to JFK, and now she greets me right here in AKL!



NZ B744 (ZK-NBU)



Other NZ's with an EK A345 lurking in the back





The taxi to the gate was quite quick however, we had to hold short for what seemed like forever until some aircraft that was occupying our gate pushed back. I was getting quite impatient and really wanted to deplane and get going by then, but that bloody aircraft wouldn’t budge an inch!



Turns out it was Cathay! Of course, I'll wait forever in that case!





Exiting the aircraft, I thanked the crew for their efforts, and was met with another dry 'goodbye' type of nod. Off to the terminal I go!

Immigration & customs were similar to that of Australia's but I found it to be a little more low-key and less in-your-face. There was a long queue -especially for customs- but the booths were adequately staffed, and within no time I was landside.

Now it was time to explore the city of Auckland!



CONTINUED BELOW
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:17 pm





A U C K L A N D
After a busy time in Melbourne, and several weeks of work stress prior to that, Auckland was just what I needed to take the edge off.

Like a breath of fresh air located right at the end of the world, Auckland is THE place where you get to see the world in its purity. Of course, a day and a half is not enough time to explore what New Zealand is all about, but this little teaser was just right for now.

Friendly and humble, Auckland is simply that. From its people, to its buildings, its food and wine, and most importantly its nature. The city itself was so clean beyond belief, and the scenery outside of the city was something everyone needs to see for at least once in their lifetime.



My hotel room at the Sky City Hotel





On my arrival, I was apparently lucky that the skies were shining blue after a front of nothing but dim clouds. While I had just a few more hours before the sun had set, my first task was to take a quick ferry ride to a nearby suburb called Davenport, where views of Auckland's skyline are a must-see. Of course, the usual city sightseeing was also done on the way to and from Davenport as well.



Sky Tower



On my way to the ferry pier





The pier







On the ferry





Arriving at Davenport













The following day -which was my main full day in Auckland- I had arranged to meet with a.net member NZ107. Luckily, the timing of my trip was just right, as he was free on that day right before he embarked in his epic American Long-Haul adventure. We had spent about 12 hours of walking and exploring of what was the best of Auckland's offering in its immediate surroundings.



Daytime views of the skyline



Muriwai Beach







Look at that! A Gannet colony!















Arataki Trail



Piha Beach



Kitekite Falls







Of course, no a.net meet-up happens without a spotting session



A prelude to my upcoming trip



This happened while I was there!


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Nicholas Young

Of course, no airport is an airport without at least one of those




Thanks Nicholas for the great tour of Auckland!



CONTINUED BELOW
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:19 pm





ORIGIN AUCKLAND
My travel day was going to be a very long one as apart from my upcoming Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Sydney, I also had to catch a Qantas flight to Melbourne, followed by Singapore Airlines from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi via Singapore.

I tried to get as much sleep as possible the night before, but my body clock had reached its limits, and I think I may have squeezed a mere 3 hours of sleep or so. By 6am, I had checked out of the hotel, and proceeded to the airport.

Arriving at 6:35am, Auckland International Airport was not busy at this time of morning and in fact, traveling through this airport was nothing but a simple breeze.



Curbside at Auckland International Airport



Entrance to t he International Departures





Overshadowed airports such as Abu Dhabi, Dallas, Kuala Lumpur, and Athens tend to have ultra-powerful marketing engines that maintain rather intimate relationships with their customer airlines and passengers alike. Auckland is no different, when it is always seen participating in almost every airport marketing event worldwide. The result of such a requirement to make this extra bit of effort tends to be quite advantageous to the passenger when the travel experience is ensured to be as seamless as possible.

Traveling through Auckland today, I could see the extra mile this airport's management had gone in order to ensure an excellent product is delivered to the traveler. As such, I am also sure that behind the scenes, the experience should be as exceptional. All staff from check-in all the way through to boarding were courteous and professional, and the terminal interior -while not necessarily the most modern- was well taken care of and adequately signed in spite of the disrupting renovation was undergoing in the airside location.



Auckland's airline partners



International Departures Hall



FIDS





Due to Aerolineas' history of notorious delays, I had been monitoring the status of the flight ever since it had departed Buenos Aires some hours prior. I could not afford a lengthy delay today as I had an array of itineraries specifically timed to accommodate any mishap on AR's part.

The remarks section on the airport's website, and also on the FIDS today stated that a 'New Time' had been allocated to the flight due to some delay. However, it was only a 20 minute delay in the flight's arrival from EZE hence, the dramatic remark on the system was obviously an error.



Check-in area at AKL







Today, Aerolineas Argentinas was allocated to check-in desks 38-40. Apart from the two staff manning the counters, no one apart from myself had any interest or affiliation with Aerolineas today. As such, I immediately approached counter 40, and presented my documents for check-in.



Aerolineas Argentinas check-in counters







The whole process barely took 5 minutes, and at 6:55am, I was in a position to proceed airside.

"We will be using the Air New Zealand premium lounge today. They will announce the gate number for today's flight in the lounge. Enjoy your flight."



Americano-style boarding pass



Luggage tag



At 7:20am, I proceeded towards immigration & security





Immigration & security are located one level above the check-in area that is mainly reached by escalators. Once upstairs, you are faced with a large hall that houses a food court, some shopping options, and to my delight a very useful observation deck.



One level above check-in



Of course! …



The observation deck at Auckland



Not much activity ongoing at this time



ZK-OJI





With permission to access Air New Zealand's premium lounge being the closest I'd get to this airline for the near-term, I was definitely in a lounge mood today. As such, I left the observation deck not too long after I had arrived, and proceeded towards immigration and security.

With nothing out of the ordinary on the agenda, I was airside at 7:50am and proceeded immediately to the airline lounge area.



New Zealand's version of Duty Free dump after security



Auckland loves Emirates!



At the Air New Zealand Premium Lounge





Upon flashing my Aerolineas boarding pass, I was welcomed inside the lounge by the friendly staff manning the reception desk. The lounge was stylishly colored, and had an ultra-modern touch to it however, it was quite dim and lacked some much needed bright lighting to it. Nevertheless, it was either the design of this crowded lounge or the nature of Air New Zealand's passengers that made this experience anything but noisy or congested.



Inside the lounge



Breakfast is served





I settled for pancakes and a fruit yoghurt





A full breakfast was on offer at the lounge, and the buffet consisted of scrambled eggs, potatoes, cereals, fruit, yoghurt, preserves, butter, pancakes, coffee, tea, and so on and so forth.

My selection of pancakes and yoghurt certainly did not disappoint. They were hot, fluffy and I always prefer to have them with jam rather than syrup!

Breakfast over, I had no intention of staying longer at the lounge and so, I left at 8:05am.



Airside facility



Service to Incheon



On my way to the gate





At 8:15am, the aircraft had already arrived from Buenos Aires, and the FIDS had displayed that the flight to Sydney would be boarding from Gate 7.



ZK-OKB to operate a non-stop service to Narita



ZK-OJF





At Gate 7 at 8:35am





At Gate 7, a crowd had already formed however, it turned out that most of these passengesr were bound for Melbourne on a flight that boarded from an adjacent gate. Apart from a new set of crew that were to operate my flight to Sydney, not many others were left behind for Aerolineas Argentinas.

The crew boarded the aircraft at 9:05am, and a pre-boarding announcement was made about ten minutes later. Official boarding was called at 9:20am which was more or less an all-call affair.

With my stub handed back to me, I was wished a pleasant flight by the ground staff, and was on my way through the aerobridge.

At Door 1L of the A340-200, a young Latina crew -looking bored out of her mind- was tasked with the welcome on board chore.

"Bienvenido"



By 9:25am I was on board.



CONTINUED BELOW
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:21 pm

F L I G H T
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Aerolineas Argentinas Flight Information:

SCR
/AR/17NOV
W10
17NOV
AKL
KAR1182 08NOV21NOV 0230507 249342 AKLAKL0940 1130SYDSYD J
GI BRGDS

Actual Departure Time: 09:45 (Pushback)
Actual Arrival Time: 10:55 (Touchdown)

Registration: LV-ZPJ
Condition: 16 years old, delivered to Aerolineas Argentinas in June 1999, and previously owned by Cathay Pacific

Remarks: This flight originated from Buenos Aires

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



Welcome to Aerolineas Argentinas





On my way to my seat, I find a very outdated cabin on this A340-200. Of course, nothing lavish was expected, but I am always amazed at how Airbus aircraft tend to 'age' faster than Boeing. The cabin was maintained to its potential, but signs of wear and tear are pretty much the theme of the décor onboard.

While the boarding process continued, I find no cabin crew onsite at the Club Condor cabin. Most had already begun the loud galley banter well before takeoff.



The cabin









Seat comfort onboard Aerolineas Argentinas' Club Condor features classic style recliner seating that tends to be more spacious, cushiony, and comfortable than today's technologically stuffed standards. In more ways than one, I sometimes can feel more comfortable in a reclining position rather than one that is 180 degrees flat, and I can definitely see myself tuck away within the comforts of this confinement for a 12+ hour flight.



The seat



Leg space





"!@#$%?"
"Sorry, I do not speak Spanish"
"Aber, you no Latino?"
"No I am not"
"You like newspaper?"
"No thanks"



Orange juice was served as a welcome drink



Leisurely boarding continues





The doors were closed at 9:35am, and a departure announcement was made by the crew in Spanish, followed by English. Our flight time to Sydney was to be approximately 3 hours and luckily, the load today was extremely light with just 4 passengers in Club Condor.

Silently pushing back at 9:45am, the hairdryers hummed a slight roar as the safety demonstration was aired on the overhead screens.

Almost a 10 minute taxi and we had arrived at the active runway, before crackling across the runway and lifting off into the morning skies and towards Sydney.



Cabin during climb





At cruise, the seatbelt sign switches off and the crew -which I have not seen much of- are assumed to have been released for service preps.

Magically out of nowhere, an older male -who presumably was the flight's purser- made an appearance in the cabin and set up office in the pair of seats that were located right behind me.



Purser's onboard office



Hot towels, cold service!





If LAN had no menu's offered on this route, then I was highly doubting such an offering on this flight either. True enough, the appearance of a male crew at my seat with my meal tray was the affirmation.

"I get you something to drink?"
"May I have a Bloody Mary please?"
"Emm .. remind me what this is? Champagne?"
"No. it's vodka with tomato juice"
"Sorry, we don't have. But we have something called morning glory. Champagne and orange juice"
"No thanks. I will just have black coffee please"



My meal





Simply presented, my meal tray was -similar to LAN's offering- a one-course service that included a bread bun, a small bag of crackers, chocolate, a small jar of honey, a starter consisting of cheese, something porky and avocado, and a meaty sandwich for the main course. Just as LAN's, dessert on offer was a fruit crumble of some sort.



Starter



Main course



Dessert



Tray view



My cup of coffee





The sandwich may seem quite unappetizing, but it was quite the opposite. in fact, it was amazing and better than LAN's main course. The bread was whole-wheat and was not smothered with too much cheese and grease. The rest of the meal was quite average however.

Once the meal service was concluded, the crew practically vanished for the remainder of the flight with the exception of the purser who only made an appearance because of the positioning of his onboard office.



And this is the Aerolineas lavatory











Some cabin shots after the meal service









With some extra time to kill while in-flight, I thought to explore what personal IFE options does Aerolineas Argentinas has to offer. Reaching to the side panel to pull the screen out, I failed at several attempts only to realize that the screens seemed like they were locked in. It then appeared to me that either personal IFE is not offered on this aircraft/airline, or just not offered on this sector. Even the overhead screens only featured the moving map display, but that is always enough for me.



Old-skool console!





Classic seat controls



A quickie recline with Aerolineas Argentinas



Footrest





Suddenly out of the blue, a loud recording was played across the speakers which seemed to be a 'video' about the entry procedures in Australia, and even that was not viewed on the overhead screens. It was quite comic actually.

The seatbelt sign was switched on at 10:20am Sydney local time, and the plane took a slight dive to lower altitudes which -with the lack of any announcements- signaled that we were on initial descent towards Sydney.

While very little work was done in the cabin, the crew continued to not appear and remained in the galley conducting some final preparations before landing.



Some final shots before landing







DESTINATION SYDNEY
Touching down at 10:55am, my Aerolineas experience was soon to end as this aircraft gradually decelerated into the speed of taxi.

At the gate, I gather my belongings before bidding farewell to the crew at the door. I had to quickly make it through immigration and customs before checking into my Qantas flight to Melbourne from the domestic terminal.



C O N C L U S I O N
Flying both LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas was quite the interesting experience. It may seem obvious that LAN was by far a more progressive product than its lagging Argentine competitor, however for an outsider like myself, both had some similarities as well.

LAN's hardware is up to speed with what we normally see today, and especially its IFE system which was one of the best I have come to know of. The airline also seems quite aligned with Oneworld's high standards, and the overall product is definitely of top quality that I would want to try on a long-haul flight.

Aerolineas Argentinas on the other hand, was quite the contrary to its Chilean counterpart. It may have been an acceptable concept once upon a time, but with today's expectations reaching record highs, a lot is left to be desired. Would I want to fly Aerolineas again? I probably might give them a try in Economy Class.

What both airlines had in common was the icy-cold service. On both my flights, the crew conducted the service as required -perhaps LAN being more professional than Aerolineas- but not much more is to be expected outside of that.

Finally, flying both A340-300 and -200 is always a pleasure, and I hope all A340's in the world will continue flying for a very long time. They are an excellent ride!


This concludes my Trip Report. I hope that you have enjoyed it; your comments are always welcome!

Regards,
Roni







E Q U I P M E N T
- Camera:
- Canon 50D
-Canon PowerShot G11

- Lenses:
- Sigma 10-20mm Wide Angle
- Sigma 10mm Fisheye
- Canon 17-85mm



PREVIOUS WORK
Dancing In The Dark: An Emirates A380 Inaugural… (by ronerone Oct 24 2010 in Trip Reports)
This Suite Has Sliding Doors: Emirates F DXB-JNB (by ronerone Sep 5 2010 in Trip Reports)
Transito!: A Connection On TAAG-Angola (B743/B772) (by ronerone Jul 31 2010 in Trip Reports)
Keeping Up With The JETs: 9W Première HKG-DEL-DXB (by ronerone Jul 18 2010 in Trip Reports)
Petra Express!: On Royal Jordanian's A330-200 (by ronerone Jun 11 2010 in Trip Reports)
Suite Redemptions: Cathay Pacific BKK-HKG In F (by ronerone May 14 2010 in Trip Reports)
Uniquely Boutique: Oman Air Business Class To BKK (by ronerone Apr 3 2010 in Trip Reports)
In A Blink Of An Eye: AirAsia X’s A340 At AUH (by ronerone Feb 20 2010 in Trip Reports)
SriLankan Airlines: The Treasure Of Serendib! (by Ronerone Jan 9 2010 in Trip Reports)
Beijing Swire!: Cathay Pacific & Dragonair DXB-PEK (by Ronerone Dec 11 2009 in Trip Reports)
OpenSkies From British Airways: A New Era's End? (by Ronerone Oct 14 2009 in Trip Reports)
Revealing An Underdog: Royal Brunei Business Class (by Ronerone Sep 3 2009 in Trip Reports)
The Singapore Airlines Cliché (by Ronerone Jul 27 2009 in Trip Reports)
A380: Qantas Proper To SIN City (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
Welcome To Terminal 3: Etihad Airways AUH-SYD (by Ronerone Jul 6 2009 in Trip Reports)
5th Freedom Of The Air: Kenya Airways HKG-BKK-HKG (by Ronerone Mar 31 2009 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Pacific: First Class On The Legacy Milk-Run (by Ronerone Jan 26 2009 in Trip Reports)
Inspirations On A Narrowbody: Etihad To Amman (by Ronerone Nov 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Malaysia Boleh!: On The Malaysian Airline System (by Ronerone Oct 28 2008 in Trip Reports)
Pearls & Diamonds: Inspired By Etihad Airways (by Ronerone Sep 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
The Future Has Arrived: EK A380 Inaugural Flights (by Ronerone Aug 4 2008 in Trip Reports)
Syrian Special Performance, Featuring Sam Chui (by Ronerone May 23 2008 in Trip Reports)
This Is Royal Jordanian! (by Ronerone Apr 12 2008 in Trip Reports)
Ultra-Competitive, Ultra-Long Haul: EY Vs EK (by Ronerone Mar 21 2008 in Trip Reports)
Suvarnabhumi, The Etihad Way! (by Ronerone Jan 18 2008 in Trip Reports)
Cathay Delight: A Trip To Asia's World City (by Ronerone Oct 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 2 PixVidz (by Ronerone Jul 5 2007 in Trip Reports)
Etihad: Pearl 2 AMM, Coral Right Back Pt 1 PixVids (by Ronerone Jul 4 2007 in Trip Reports)
CX: JFK-HKG-DXB In Y A346/772 (Lots Of Pics/Vids) (by Ronerone Aug 28 2006 in Trip Reports)



F L I C K R
http://www.flickr.com/photos/jy-rwh79/collections/72157625613790400/



F A C E B O O K
PLEASE NOTE THE FOLLOWING:
Someone hacked into my previous Facebook account while I was at the Silver Kris lounge in Singapore. This mystery person changed all the details in my account, and now it belongs to someone that goes by the name Michal Katz. I would suggest deleting this person from your friends list.

I have created a new account, and I am still in the process of recovering my friends list, though some are not searchable on Facebook. Please feel free to add me here:

Fly Roni
Please mention who you are when (and if) you want to add me as a friend



YOU TUBE
Username: ronerone
I have a range of taxi, takeoff, landing, announcement, and safety videos posted. Feel free to view them!



THE END
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
Luxair747SP
Posts: 521
Joined: Fri May 21, 2010 2:24 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:46 pm

Hi Roni
as usual excellent TR with many high quality shots.
I especially love your pictures of the region around AKL.
I spent some time in Auckland and you reminded me of that nice time thank you .
The service on LA looks far better than AR, but of course the chance to catch an A342 is always good.
The F/As could ask if you speak spanish or not rather than just talk, but well.
Thank you again for sharing
was a pleasure to read
Cheers
Johannes
My blog about travelling in Moscow & Russia:
https://russiainanutshell.wordpress.com
 
PlaneHunter
Posts: 6512
Joined: Tue Mar 14, 2006 3:17 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 6:57 pm

Hi Roni,

I had been looking forward to this report - and it's another masterpiece. The pictures are amazing and your writing style is outstanding, too. No doubts, you deliver the best reports here.   

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Several weeks later -on a Friday- I had randomly thought of checking on this particular booking (when I normally just take something like this for granted). Strangely -but subconsciously expected- I discovered that there had been no linkage between my 'booking' which had already expired, and my purchase confirmation. By
then I was faced with a transaction that Aerolineas Argentinas had already collected payment for, and a booking that the airline failed to guarantee for me in return.

However, in the airline's defense, a quick phone call - albeit ultra-long-distance- to Señora Alejandra at Aerolineas Argentinas' office in Auckland proved so very helpful. She had attended to my situation with such high standards that could perhaps have outdone those of more reputable airlines.

She had requested to communicate with me by email as soon as she received a response from Buenos Aires. Naturally, I was hesitant about this and had assumed that I would never hear from her again. But to my surprise, moments after our brief phone conversation, I had received an email from her saying that my money will be refunded by Monday and it was suggested that once that happens, we could proceed and re-issue my ticket.

Come Monday morning my money was in fact refunded back to me, and another phone call to the airline's office revealed that Alejandra was not on duty that day. However, her colleague had been fully briefed on my situation, immediately took action, and my ticket was FINALLY confirmed!

Wow, what I mess. I wanted to buy my SYD-AKL ticket on AR's website, too, but turned to Travelocity in the end.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):

Bulkhead Leg Space

Almost a waste of space...  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
The meal offering on this flight consisted of a one-course meal tray service which was neatly presented with a mini bowl of crackers that were accompanied by what seemed to be a Latin American type of marmalade (I think), a main course that consisted of a ham & cheese croissant and a beef sandwich, and a bowl of some form of fruit crumble for dessert. A small butter plate, the usual silverware, and Cathay-themed salt & pepper shakers were also neatly placed to accompany the meal. It was a simple presentation which I quite liked, and contrary to what many have mention regarding the meal quantity, I think the offering was sufficient (though Royal Jordanian does serve a hot meal on some 5th routes).

That's a decent offering, but I would still expect to get a hot meal in J Class on a 3-hour international flight.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
After breakfast was concluded, the crew congregated in the galley for the remainder of the flight, and their rather loud chatter was easily heard across our mini-cabin. I am unsure what the topic of discussion was, but everyone involved seemed overly enthusiastic.

Probably someone had told them about the famous Roneone being on board...but then they would have offered a much better service.  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Thanks Nicholas for the great tour of Auckland!

I guess you had lots of fun! Nicholas is an excellent guide.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"Sorry, I do not speak Spanish"
"Aber, you no Latino?"
"No I am not"

Funny that it happened again and again...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"I get you something to drink?"
"May I have a Bloody Mary please?"
"Emm .. remind me what this is? Champagne?"
"No. it's vodka with tomato juice"
"Sorry, we don't have. But we have something called morning glory. Champagne and orange juice"
"No thanks. I will just have black coffee please"

Priceless!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
Would I want to fly Aerolineas again? I probably might give them a try in Economy Class.

You shouldn't expect too much...


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
 
AI151
Posts: 287
Joined: Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:20 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:15 pm

Hi Roni,

Yet another great read. There's nothing more I would expect than to see a 5th freedom flight coming from you. Glad you had a good time in Oz. Will you be writing any TR's for the flights back to AUH?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Sydney for one, is the Heathrow of the region; everyone wants it.

At the moment, no-one wants to be in LHR because of the weather and the shambles that we call BAA.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
However, in the airline's defense, a quick phone call - albeit ultra-long-distance- to Señora Alejandra at Aerolineas Argentinas' office in Auckland proved so very helpful. She had attended to my situation with such high standards that could perhaps have outdone those of more reputable airlines.

Glad to see that everything got sorted out in the end. It would be quite worrying what happened though.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Unfortunately -and due to my lack of prior research- I was seated in the smaller cabin when I normally prefer to be where most of the action would be.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
At 7L, I discover that it is a window-less seat. Again owing to my lack of research, I am faced with no choice but to improvise.

Tut tut tut Roni...LOL! Such an amateur-ish mistake from you.

http://i104.photobucket.com/albums/m189/ronerone/LAN/040.jpg

I see how your trainers match the LAN decour.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
My travel day was going to be a very long one as apart from my upcoming Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Sydney, I also had to catch a Qantas flight to Melbourne, followed by Singapore Airlines from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi via Singapore.

That is one hell of a long day, but no doubt you would have got some shut eye on one of the longer flights.

Amazing pictures on New Zealand which makes me want to go there next year. We shall see how my finances match up!

Sandeep (AI151)
Modern Vision. Timeless Traditions...
 
User avatar
OA260
Posts: 20991
Joined: Thu Nov 30, 2006 8:50 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:35 pm

Hey Roni some more wonderful crisp photos as expected. Nice routes . The LAN product matches your shoes  

The AR product reminds me of the old Olympic Airways A340 product , even the IFE . BTW if its the same there is a button on the front of the seat that releases the screen ! Maybe its the same , too late now but as you say the map was fine.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Overshadowed airports such as Abu Dhabi, Dallas, Kuala Lumpur, and Athens tend to have ultra-powerful marketing engines that maintain rather intimate relationships with their customer airlines and passengers alike. Auckland is no different, when it is always seen participating in almost every airport marketing event worldwide.

Interesting to know this .

Again great report and look forward to the next one.

Philip
 
CamiloA380
Posts: 355
Joined: Wed Feb 27, 2008 3:51 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:37 pm

Hi Roni and thanks for sharing this amazing TR!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
LAN uses plastic knives

I wonder if this is a sing of lacking quality or just for safety measures.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
A fully flat bed at the touch of a button

That looks great!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
Finally, flying both A340-300 and -200 is always a pleasure, and I hope all A340's in the world will continue flying for a very long time. They are an excellent ride!

So true, love the A340s.  

AR really needs to improve their seats and IFE both in Club Condor and Economy in all its long haul aircraft.

Once again, great TR!

Camilo   
Flying4Ever!
 
akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 7:52 pm

Hi Roni,

A fellow A.netter has notified me about your report being published. You know, I have eagerly been waiting for it. Keeping in mind that it is just a small part of many more to come.

I must say, you wow me again! What a beautiful pictures you have got here. Look at the details! The scenery of Auckland! The nature with the Gannet colony! The A.net meeting with Nicholas... and the funny twist! Impressive!   

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Bienvenidos a LAN contra Aerolineas Argentinas!

I love this expression!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
However, in the airline's defense, a quick phone call - albeit ultra-long-distance- to Señora Alejandra at Aerolineas Argentinas' office in Auckland proved so very helpful. She had attended to my situation with such high standards that could perhaps have outdone those of more reputable airlines.

Somehow, it makes me think of the song of Lady Gaga but referring to a female. "Alejandra, Alejandra..."

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"#@!@$%$"
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
"#@@$%!"
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
"!@#@$$%"
Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"!@#$%?"

  
Roni, if you could have talked back in Spanish, you would have been the Don Juan of the FA's.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Bulkhead Leg Space

Isn't that deep red coloured wall beautiful? Full of temperament. Really Latin American way!

Thank you so much for inspiring me for my next trip reports. We want more!

Cheers,
Suryo

[Edited 2010-12-19 11:59:32]
Friends forever
 
MIAspotter
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:29 pm

Roni!

Once again a masterpiece!

I have flown LAN in the past between CCS and MIA and they absolutely magnific! nice to see that their product is up to a high level.

As far as AR goes, they really need to improve, hopefully the new administration will bring a total makeover and joining an alliance will definitely help to step up their game.

Reading this report has made me to consider a little LA escapade from MAD to either CDG or FRA! checking fares now  

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
aflyingkiwi
Posts: 428
Joined: Tue Nov 16, 2010 4:52 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 8:48 pm

Hi Roni

As usual you produce an excellent TR. Excellent aviation and non-aviation pictures as well. I'm glad that you enjoyed your time here down under.

LAN seem to offer a good Hard Product but their crew seems to be lacking in customer service while AR are pretty similar except that they've got an awful hard product. No PTV's in J in this day in age is unacceptable.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
To my advantage -thanks to the cheaper fares of point-of-sale New Zealand- two one-way trips on LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas are significantly cheaper than a roundtrip on LAN with point-of-sale Australia.

That really can get annoying especially if you want to buy a one-way ticket from Australia to NZ.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The seat itself was very comfortable with ample legroom, and can easily match any premium airline's offering.

LAN's seat looks very impressive

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The meal offering on this flight consisted of a one-course meal tray service which was neatly presented with a mini bowl of crackers that were accompanied by what seemed to be a Latin American type of marmalade (I think), a main course that consisted of a ham & cheese croissant and a beef sandwich, and a bowl of some form of fruit crumble for dessert.

For a Premium Class that is a pretty poor offering. You have to consider that EK offer hot meals in Y on trans-tasman flights.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Like a breath of fresh air located right at the end of the world, Auckland is THE place where you get to see the world in its purity. Of course, a day and a half is not enough time to explore what New Zealand is all about, but this little teaser was just right for now.

Friendly and humble, Auckland is simply that. From its people, to its buildings, its food and wine, and most importantly its nature. The city itself was so clean beyond belief, and the scenery outside of the city was something everyone needs to see for at least once in their lifetime.

I'm glad that you enjoyed Auckland. It's always interesting to see another person's opinion of the place you live in. You seemed to pack a lot of stuff into your one and a half days here.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Davenport

Sorry for being picky but it's spelled Devonport  


Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
While the boarding process continued, I find no cabin crew onsite at the Club Condor cabin. Most had already begun the loud galley banter well before takeoff.

That's Awful.

Once again thank you for this great TR

Regards
aflyingkiwi
 
767747
Posts: 2122
Joined: Wed Jan 26, 2005 10:08 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Sun Dec 19, 2010 9:47 pm

Hi, Ronerone!

Another great report, and full of really nicely composed pictures!

Wow, interesting to read a comparison between AR and LAN .. The cabin on LAN looks very spacious, but I'd also agree with you that the seats on AR do look really comfy.

Interesting that AR seems so lacking in their service/on board product. After all, they fly some pretty long flights! MIA-EZE, EZE-AKL, etc .. too bad!

I also really enjoyed being in Auckland, even though it was many years ago now that I was there.

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew (767747)
I love to fly!
 
chepos
Posts: 5932
Joined: Sat Dec 02, 2000 9:40 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:53 am

Excelente! An Argentina VS. Chile report, in this case Chile seems to win hands down. These two South American countries are known to be bitter rivals.
Great trip report, I find it interesting how all the cabin crews onboard both of your flights assumed you spoke Spanish. Whats funny is that when I flew on LAN between EZE and SCL all crew greeted me in English, the crew on those segments was noticeably struggling with their English so I would respond in Spanish but they insisted on taling to me in Englsih. Go figure! Anywho, cold cabin crew is a trend with most carriers in Latin America, having flown on AM, CM and LA I can tell you this is a trend with every airline aforementioned, yes very professional but cold, crews hardly cracking a smile during the flights. In Latin America for an airline to be considered good (excelent) all it needs is to be reliable, it does not have to offer top notch service.

Trully sad the current offering of AR, once a great ambasador to an amazing country- the airline today is a shadow of it's former self. In my opinion they have ways to go before getting up to par with SkyTeam service levels.

Saludos,

Chepos
Fly the Flag!!!!
 
ckblah
Posts: 58
Joined: Wed Jul 14, 2010 11:08 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:49 am

Hi! I love your photos! Great use of HDR!
 
Burj
Posts: 745
Joined: Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:46 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 6:26 am

As always excellent trip report and awesome photos!

O.K. now for random questions and comments...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Through the aerbridge

Typo or is this the Irish spelling?  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"!@#@$$%"
"Sorry?"

Whenever I read that I couldn't help but think they were swearing at you since that is usually how they represent swearing in comic strips/books! But then again as you don't know spanish...perhaps they WERE swearing at you!

The picture in the LAN cabin right over where you mention the landing cards...I did a double take as it looks like the guy across the aisle is nekkid from the waist down...I scrolled back up and it seems his shorts had just bunched up on him so that only skin was showing looking from the side... I guess shorts on adult men aren't considered too informal in OZ/NZ for day to day clothing...

(Speaking of clothes...+5 for your pants not having any holes or tears...but -10 for such fugly shoes...BUT +5 for having shoes that match the LAN interior....)

So PLEASE tell me you liberated the LAN salt and pepper shakers...they look cool!

Oh and JAM on pancakes! That is JUST WRONG unless the pancakes are REALLY thin, you roll them up, and your name is Jean-Paul or Francois...in which case they are crepes and not pancakes....
 

Last...as a Delta (SkyTeam) person...why am I NOT surprised that the South American airline joining SkyTeam is the one with the outdated business class seating.... I guess someone has to make sure the ancient 18" width BusinessElite craddle seats on Delta's 767s don't look too old...

Thanks for the TR!
 
stylo777
Posts: 1994
Joined: Mon Feb 13, 2006 7:32 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:06 am

Hey Roni,
great work, good job! and some amazing - wallpaper.like - pictures...
 
User avatar
BNE
Posts: 2921
Joined: Fri Mar 31, 2000 9:37 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:09 am

Thanks for the trip report.

I flew Lan Chile in December 2009 and last week flew Aerolineas Argentinas both in J class, flying ex Auckland due to the cheaper plane tickets available.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):

Due to Aerolineas' history of notorious delays, I had been monitoring the status of the flight ever since it had departed Buenos Aires some hours prior. I could not afford a lengthy delay today as I had an array of itineraries specifically timed to accommodate any mishap on AR's part.

You were only 20 minutes late; my flight was 1 hour late, but I planned for this in my schedule.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Today, Aerolineas Argentinas was allocated to check-in desks 38-40.

Same.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
The observation deck at Auckland

If you need to sleep at the airport overnight this is where you go, been there done that.  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
At Gate 7,

Same gate, maybe its the only gate with markings for the A340-200.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):

Silently pushing back at 9:45am, the hairdryers hummed a slight roar as the safety demonstration was aired on the overhead screens.

Same.

I did manage to get a picture of my meal with the IFE pulled out from underneath the seat.



I found the crew quiet good on both Lan and Aerolineas, maybe I didn't have high expectations, Lan has the better hard product and Lan is better for gaining and retaining status on Qantas frequent flyer.

Thanks for the trip report and great photos.
Why fly non stop when you can connect
 
User avatar
NZ107
Posts: 4946
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:51 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 12:16 pm

Roni! What a great sight to see this TR posted! And what an amazing job you have done! Now I guess I'll have to fly LA in Economy some time to round out these 2 carriers once and for all! What wonderful pictures you have taken! I'm still yet to thoroughly go through the pictures I took that day..

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Thankfully though, the selection out there is far from your typical KLM, Lufthansa, Air France type, but something far more exotic

I stress the word exotic with great expectations..  
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 13):
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):To my advantage -thanks to the cheaper fares of point-of-sale New Zealand- two one-way trips on LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas are significantly cheaper than a roundtrip on LAN with point-of-sale Australia.

That really can get annoying especially if you want to buy a one-way ticket from Australia to NZ.

Just what I would have said.. It can get very annoying when you're an enthusiast like us and want to try out 2 airlines in one trip rather than being stuck on one!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
She had attended to my situation with such high standards that could perhaps have outdone those of more reputable airlines.

Very pleasing to see - that's how it should be like.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
The landside portion of it is very dull and outdated however, it did seem that there has been some renovation work done on the airside area.

I personally don't think it's too bad.. But it does seem quite old from where you get dropped off.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
From my experience living in Florida several years ago, almost every Latin American I had interacted with had initially thought I was Latino. During many instances it was an assumption to the point that initial conversations with me were always in Spanish, and it was quite difficult to convince them otherwise. I had a feeling that something similar would happen during this experience.

Most interesting! Maybe it could be wise to pick up a few lines: "yo no hablo Espanol" or something to that effect!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
"#@!@$%$"

Hahahahahaha.. Must have been pretty funny! I guess I'll get a bit of that if I go to Asia.. But I think I'd be able to reply in their language that I can't speak!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
a more personalized service was featured in the 'penthouse' where we were served directly from the galley.

Most interesting.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
The meal offering on this flight consisted of a one-course meal tray service which was neatly presented with a mini bowl of crackers that were accompanied by what seemed to be a Latin American type of marmalade (I think), a main course that consisted of a ham & cheese croissant and a beef sandwich, and a bowl of some form of fruit crumble for dessert. A small butter plate, the usual silverware, and Cathay-themed salt & pepper shakers were also neatly placed to accompany the meal. It was a simple presentation which I quite liked, and contrary to what many have mention regarding the meal quantity, I think the offering was sufficient (though Royal Jordanian does serve a hot meal on some 5th routes).

Not too bad at all. But it goes to show why EK is quite strong over the Tasman. Y get hot meals and the size is probably just as big as what you're offered in J on these airlines. Although not quite in the same league, this meal looks quite appetising and doesn't come from a Burj Dubai shaped plastic container with a bit of tin foil over the top of it!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
After breakfast was concluded, the crew congregated in the galley for the remainder of the flight, and their rather loud chatter was easily heard across our mini-cabin

I suppose my AR FAs did the same..

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Over 45 films are offered and they include the usual variety of genres, including premieres and several Latin varieties. Furthermore, over 120 television series are featured in this system and span across a range of interests. In addition, with a 750 music CD collection and 20 or so games, I believe LAN's offering is quite powerful!

That's a great selection to go along with what looks like a great seat too.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Beautiful scenery on approach!

Oh, so it was a 23L approach, the norm. Great views of the city - one which you would have got about 10 seconds before that first approach shot of yours!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Turns out it was Cathay! Of course, I'll wait forever in that case!

Haha, indeed.. Not just CX but a CX A343!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Exiting the aircraft, I thanked the crew for their efforts, and was met with another dry 'goodbye' type of nod. Off to the terminal I go!

I wonder if you would have got a different reply if you gave a little "muchas gracias" like I did  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
Like a breath of fresh air located right at the end of the world, Auckland is THE place where you get to see the world in its purity. Of course, a day and a half is not enough time to explore what New Zealand is all about, but this little teaser was just right for now.Friendly and humble, Auckland is simply that. From its people, to its buildings, its food and wine, and most importantly its nature. The city itself was so clean beyond belief, and the scenery outside of the city was something everyone needs to see for at least once in their lifetime

Wow, I haven't come across a description of Auckland quite like it! It's great getting to see what others think of your own city. I'm glad that you enjoyed your time here! Though I must admit, I'm not 100% sure if I could agree with everything said here but then again I've experienced the rest of this country!   Yet everyone would say that about their own city, I'm sure..

One small taste of this country.. Plenty more of it to see!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Thanks Nicholas for the great tour of Auckland!

You're most welcome! It was an absolute pleasure showing you around this city of mine - I even got to see something I've never seen before!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Arriving at 6:35am, Auckland International Airport was not busy at this time of morning and in fact, traveling through this airport was nothing but a simple breeze.

The bliss of an uncrowded Auckland Airport. It's such a wonderful place when there's nobody around.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
At the Air New Zealand Premium Lounge

One of only 2 places I have never been to at the airport - the other being the EK lounge! Don't worry, that'll soon be down to one by this time next month.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
ZK-OJF

I see you took a walk (or hopped on the travelator, haha) right around to the new pier! It's a painful run if you're running late for your plane!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
the load today was extremely light with just 4 passengers in Club Condor.

Ouch, that is light..

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
hairdryers hummed a slight roar

Haha, yep those things! At least you made it across and back without any problems!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
Flying both LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas was quite the interesting experience. It may seem obvious that LAN was by far a more progressive product than its lagging Argentine competitor, however for an outsider like myself, both had some similarities as well.

Just as expected from my point of view. It was great that you managed to try both carriers in one go!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 13):
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):Davenport

Sorry for being picky but it's spelled Devonport

Haha yeah I was about to pick up on this too!


Thanks again for this stunning report.. It's always nice to get other peoples' views on your home city and home airport.. Glad AKL was nice, more so seeing that the airside departure area was closer to completion. Now it is complete, I'll be back with a little more in January and you'll be able to see the final product!


Cheers,

Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
SCL767
Posts: 2812
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:25 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 1:31 pm

What a fantastic and interesting TR! Your photographs of LAN's J cabin, (which are absolutely amazing) truly reflect the ambiance that LAN wants its premium customers to enjoy during the flight. Also, excellent pictures of Auckland and its beautiful scenery!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Bienvenidos a LAN contra Aerolineas Argentinas!

Classic!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Over 45 films are offered and they include the usual variety of genres, including premieres and several Latin varieties. Furthermore, over 120 television series are featured in this system and span across a range of interests. In addition, with a 750 music CD collection and 20 or so games, I believe LAN's offering is quite powerful!

Indeed, I'm glad you found the IFE to be of a high standard with a diverse range of options. Were you offered duty free sales on this flight?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
LAN uses plastic knives

I found this very strange since LAN provides cutlery for all meals served regardless of the cabin. For example, it's even offered in Y on short flights between the U.S. and South America.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Blanket/pillow combo (very souvenirable!)

Claudio should have given you some of the goodies that LAN has on-board, e.g. amenity kits, LAN puzzles and stickers, etc. Maybe on your next flight...

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
When many airlines sneakily chucked in an angled-lie flat concept marketed under a 'flat bed' spin, LAN was proactive enough to introduce proper business beds from the get go.

Yes, the reason being that LAN wants to position itself as an industry leader, not only in Latin America, but worldwide.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
It then appeared to me that either personal IFE is not offered on this aircraft/airline, or just not offered on this sector. Even the overhead screens only featured the moving map display, but that is always enough for me.

Hopefully SkyTeam will insist that AR improves its product since it is lagging behind compared to most other South American carriers!

Overall, I'm extremely glad that you shared your wonderful experiences on both LA and AR, and of Auckland as well with all of us. This is one of the most insightful and colourful TRs that I have ever read, and thanks for flying LAN!
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1589
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 5:42 pm

Thanks for such a great report and the pictures of Auckland. From what I hear AR's Y product is not that great.
 
sr117
Posts: 681
Joined: Fri Jun 23, 2000 2:00 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 7:09 pm

Hey Roni, many thanks for the excellent trip report and the excellent photos.

I must say, when I read the title on your trip report I was expecting something -completely- different ; ) Chalk it up to Spanish innuendo and the word "caliente".

Quite a vast difference in J product offered by Aerolineas Argentinas and LAN, however, they both seem a bit underwhelming when it comes to attentiveness and post meal service attention by the crew, I am somewhat puzzled that most airlines in Latin America rarely seem to do too well in this regard, after the meal service they are very much prone to leaving the cabin alone.

Thanks again

Ricardo
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8120
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:19 pm

Hi Roni,

Great report, I had originally planned to do this in October, however decided not to attend the wedding that would put me in the area.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
However, in the airline's defense, a quick phone call - albeit ultra-long-distance- to Señora Alejandra at Aerolineas Argentinas' office in Auckland proved so very helpful. She had attended to my situation with such high standards that could perhaps have outdone those of more reputable airlines.

She had requested to communicate with me by email as soon as she received a response from Buenos Aires. Naturally, I was hesitant about this and had assumed that I would never hear from her again. But to my surprise, moments after our brief phone conversation, I had received an email from her saying that my money will be refunded by Monday and it was suggested that once that happens, we could proceed and re-issue my ticket.

- Great service from the AR staff member, I love the way she had passed the information to a collegue.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
This is also your invitation card for the Qantas Business Class lounge

- I still don't know why they bother with these cards, they don't have a real purpose these days, especilly for alliance partners.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
"#@!@$%$
"Sorry, I do not speak Spanish"

- Funny  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
At 7L, I discover that it is a window-less seat. Again owing to my lack of research

- Most unlike you Roni!!

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Amongst the humble Air New Zealand selection, three Emirates wide-bodies call Auckland home for a few hours while they turnaround back to Dubai.

- I still think it's amazing they, EK, can manage to find this profitable.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
At Door 1L of the A340-200, a young Latina crew -looking bored out of her mind- was tasked with the welcome on board chore

- Hm, not a great start by the looks of it.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
On my way to my seat, I find a very outdated cabin on this A340-200

- A blast from the past, much like my SAA 342 flight, though looking at it their J cabin was a bit newer than the AR ones.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
Seat comfort onboard Aerolineas Argentinas' Club Condor features classic style recliner seating that tends to be more spacious, cushiony, and comfortable than today's technologically stuffed standards. In more ways than one, I sometimes can feel more comfortable in a reclining position rather than one that is 180 degrees flat, and I can definitely see myself tuck away within the comforts of this confinement for a 12+ hour flight.

- Despite the age of these seats, they look like big comfortable sofa's, very nice!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"I get you something to drink?"
"May I have a Bloody Mary please?"
"Emm .. remind me what this is? Champagne?"
"No. it's vodka with tomato juice"

- No vodka and no tomato juice!? - Really or can't be bothered?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The sandwich may seem quite unappetizing, but it was quite the opposite. in fact, it was amazing and better than LAN's main course. The bread was whole-wheat and was not smothered with too much cheese and grease

- Glad it tasted ok, looks a very poor offering, that said, the LAN breakfast was underwhelming IMO.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
What both airlines had in common was the icy-cold service. On both my flights, the crew conducted the service as required -perhaps LAN being more professional than Aerolineas- but not much more is to be expected outside of that.

- Whilst I had not really expecetd much from AR, the LAN flight was a tad disapointing, hopefully my experience with them next year will be a bit better................

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Finally, flying both A340-300 and -200 is always a pleasure, and I hope all A340's in the world will continue flying for a very long time. They are an excellent ride!

- Agreed! - these birds are the quietest and most comfortable as a passenger IMO. Give me one of these over a 777 anyday of the week.

Thanks again, have a great Christmas and New Year.

Best Wishes

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 avatar
NZ107
Posts: 4946
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:51 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:15 pm

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
I still think it's amazing they, EK, can manage to find this profitable.

There has always been word around here that it's cheaper for them to operate the flight over the Tasman than to have them parked up (mainly applies to SYD) - so why not make something while you can? The product is well supported by people - good IFE, good food etc.
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
ojas
Posts: 1107
Joined: Mon Mar 10, 2008 10:23 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:05 am

Hi Roni,

An exceptional TR once again! As expected, the pictures were superb especially the AKL pictures. Good you had an A342 flight. Me and my friend are desperately waiting for RJ to deploy them somewhere near us, preferably in SE Asia.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
A Business trip on the last Singapore Airlines A380 flight before the grounding brings me to Melbourne in November 2010.

Yes and that "business" thankfully ensured a smooth Diwali holiday for me   

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
She had attended to my situation with such high standards that could perhaps have outdone those of more reputable airlines
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
However, her colleague had been fully briefed on my situation, immediately took action, and my ticket was FINALLY confirmed!

Full marks to the airline on the reservations front.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Japan Airlines, Etihad, Emirates, Air Austral, Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways, and many more movements had arrived one after the other.

Qatar Airways is missing, hopefully soon this list will be complete.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
it was quite difficult to convince them otherwise.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"#@!@$%$"
"Sorry, I do not speak Spanish"
"Ah! Sorry, welcome on board sir, your seat is right this way!"

LOL, I can imagine.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
By then it was evident that menus on this sector are nonexistent (as opposed to them being available on a similar 5th route on Royal Jordanian).

EK, EY, QR do have them on the ISC sectors in J, so it is really unacceptable here.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
three Emirates wide-bodies call Auckland home for a few hours while they turnaround back to Dubai.

yeah, we just need an EK aircraft at a major international airport. Here at BOM, go at any time of the day and there is a strong chance you will see an EK tail.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
While the boarding process continued, I find no cabin crew onsite at the Club Condor cabin. Most had already begun the loud galley banter well before takeoff.

That's bad.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
Seat comfort onboard Aerolineas Argentinas' Club Condor features classic style recliner seating that tends to be more spacious, cushiony, and comfortable than today's technologically stuffed standards

Similar to my opinion about CX in a way, the old product is way better and comfortable than what they came up with as a "new" product.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"I get you something to drink?"
"May I have a Bloody Mary please?"
"Emm .. remind me what this is? Champagne?"
"No. it's vodka with tomato juice"
"Sorry, we don't have. But we have something called morning glory. Champagne and orange juice"

ROFL!

I'm sure it was a different experience altogether with LAN and AR, and I would not mind flying them for short sectors in the future.

Thanks for sharing.
Great leaders don't tell you what to do ... they show you how it's done!
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Tue Dec 21, 2010 2:51 pm

Dear All,

Many thanks for your comments and support.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 6):
Hi Roni
as usual excellent TR with many high quality shots.



Hi Johannes,

Thanks for stopping by  
Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 6):
I spent some time in Auckland and you reminded me of that nice time thank you .



Once again, Auckland was a breath of fresh air!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 6):
The service on LA looks far better than AR, but of course the chance to catch an A342 is always good.
The F/As could ask if you speak spanish or not rather than just talk, but well.



Agreed on the service front. LAN was definitely much better. And like Emirates, LAN's overall brand has this rather seductive element to it, which tells me that their Marketing team knows exactly what they are doing.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
I had been looking forward to this report - and it's another masterpiece. The pictures are amazing and your writing style is outstanding, too. No doubts, you deliver the best reports here.



Hi PH! ..

Many thanks for your kind words! But this forum will not be what it is without a plane-hunting TR as well  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
I wanted to buy my SYD-AKL ticket on AR's website, too, but turned to Travelocity in the end.



I should have gone through Expedia myself, but i had this urge to try out what AR had to offer.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
That's a decent offering, but I would still expect to get a hot meal in J Class on a 3-hour international flight.



I am used to that as well, but overall, yes it was a decent offering. At least they had Bloody Mary haha!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 7):
I guess you had lots of fun! Nicholas is an excellent guide.



He most definitely is!

Quoting AI151 (Reply 8):
Yet another great read. There's nothing more I would expect than to see a 5th freedom flight coming from you.



Thanks Sandeep  
Quoting AI151 (Reply 8):
Glad you had a good time in Oz. Will you be writing any TR's for the flights back to AUH?



Unfortunately no. I would have loved to do the last SQ A380 before the grounding ordeal, but i had colleagues onboard with me. And i was just too knackered on the way back.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 9):
The LAN product matches your shoes



LOL. Hi Phil  

They matched both airlines haha.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 9):
The AR product reminds me of the old Olympic Airways A340 product , even the IFE . BTW if its the same there is a button on the front of the seat that releases the screen ! Maybe its the same , too late now but as you say the map was fine.



I do not recall seeing a button, but there just might have been and i did not notice.

Quoting oa260 (Reply 9):
Interesting to know this .



Yes and by the way, Athens is one of the pioneers at this!

Quoting CamiloA380 (Reply 10):
Hi Roni and thanks for sharing this amazing TR!



Thanks Camilo!  
Quoting CamiloA380 (Reply 10):
I wonder if this is a sing of lacking quality or just for safety measures.



I would think a safety measure.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
A fellow A.netter has notified me about your report being published. You know, I have eagerly been waiting for it. Keeping in mind that it is just a small part of many more to come.
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
I must say, you wow me again! What a beautiful pictures you have got here. Look at the details! The scenery of Auckland! The nature with the Gannet colony! The A.net meeting with Nicholas... and the funny twist! Impressive!



Thank you Suryo  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Somehow, it makes me think of the song of Lady Gaga but referring to a female. "Alejandra, Alejandra..."



Haha .. maybe Boy Gaga seinging Alejandra?  
Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Roni, if you could have talked back in Spanish, you would have been the Don Juan of the FA's.



Haha i would love to learn Spanish! And had i spoken to the crew in Spanish, they wouldn't even know i was not Latino.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Isn't that deep red coloured wall beautiful? Full of temperament. Really Latin American way!



A perfect description!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 11):
Thank you so much for inspiring me for my next trip reports. We want more!



You are most welcome Suryo. Now you must fly LAN!    
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 12):
Reading this report has made me to consider a little LA escapade from MAD to either CDG or FRA! checking fares now



Hi MIAspotter!

One other thing, LAN also has some intriguing 5th Freedom routes. Do they still operate JFK-YYZ?

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 13):
As usual you produce an excellent TR. Excellent aviation and non-aviation pictures as well. I'm glad that you enjoyed your time here down under.

Thanks aflyingkiwi! .. I definitely had a great time in Auckland!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 13):
No PTV's in J in this day in age is unacceptable.



I think that is my mistake. Seems like they do exist  
Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 13):
Sorry for being picky but it's spelled Devonport



Thanks for the correction  
Quoting 767747 (Reply 14):
Another great report, and full of really nicely composed pictures!



Hi Mathew,

Many thanks for comments!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 14):
Interesting that AR seems so lacking in their service/on board product. After all, they fly some pretty long flights! MIA-EZE, EZE-AKL, etc .. too bad!



I am certain we will see flat beds, modern IFE, and more updated service out of AR now that they are due to enter SkyTeam.

Quoting chepos (Reply 15):
Excelente! An Argentina VS. Chile report, in this case Chile seems to win hands down. These two South American countries are known to be bitter rivals.



Thanks Chepos.

So this match was a perfect selection! haha.

Quoting chepos (Reply 15):
Go figure! Anywho, cold cabin crew is a trend with most carriers in Latin America, having flown on AM, CM and LA I can tell you this is a trend with every airline aforementioned, yes very professional but cold, crews hardly cracking a smile during the flights. In Latin America for an airline to be considered good (excelent) all it needs is to be reliable, it does not have to offer top notch service.



And LAN offered just that. Which is probably why they have a great reputation.

Quoting ckblah (Reply 16):
Hi! I love your photos! Great use of HDR!



Thanks ckblah  
Quoting burj (Reply 17):
O.K. now for random questions and comments...



Burj style  
Quoting burj (Reply 17):
Whenever I read that I couldn't help but think they were swearing at you since that is usually how they represent swearing in comic strips/books! But then again as you don't know spanish...perhaps they WERE swearing at you!



They probably were  
Quoting burj (Reply 17):
I did a double take as it looks like the guy across the aisle is nekkid from the waist down...I scrolled back up and it seems his shorts had just bunched up on him so that only skin was showing looking from the side... I guess shorts on adult men aren't considered too informal in OZ/NZ for day to day clothing...



A unique observation! haha

Quoting burj (Reply 17):
So PLEASE tell me you liberated the LAN salt and pepper shakers...they look cool!



Nope. But i liberated more than enough of LAN (and AR) that will remind of this trip  
Quoting burj (Reply 17):
Oh and JAM on pancakes! That is JUST WRONG unless the pancakes are REALLY thin, you roll them up, and your name is Jean-Paul or Francois...in which case they are crepes and not pancakes....



Try jam with pancakes .. it's fantastic!

Quoting stylo777 (Reply 18):
great work, good job! and some amazing - wallpaper.like - pictures...



Thanks stylo!

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 19):
You were only 20 minutes late; my flight was 1 hour late, but I planned for this in my schedule.



Hi BNE,

I did too. But since AR was on-time, i suffered majorly during my several 6+ hours transit times. By the time i got to AUH, i was exhausted.

Quoting BNE" class="quote" target="_blank">BNE (Reply 19):
I did manage to get a picture of my meal with the IFE pulled out from underneath the seat.



How did you pull the screen out?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Roni! What a great sight to see this TR posted! And what an amazing job you have done!



Thanks Nicholas!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Now I guess I'll have to fly LA in Economy some time to round out these 2 carriers once and for all



Yes please!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
I stress the word exotic with great expectations..



Exotic is .. Coming soon!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
But it goes to show why EK is quite strong over the Tasman



Well they are now the largest non-Australasian airline accross the Tasman!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Not just CX but a CX A343!



I tell you, this Tasman trip was nothing but A340!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Wow, I haven't come across a description of Auckland quite like it! It's great getting to see what others think of your own city. I'm glad that you enjoyed your time here! Though I must admit, I'm not 100% sure if I could agree with everything said here but then again I've experienced the rest of this country! Yet everyone would say that about their own city, I'm sure..



Thanks to you my friend. Was a real pleasure to meet you!  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
One small taste of this country.. Plenty more of it to see!



When it's my turn at Air Tahiti Nui ..  
Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
I even got to see something I've never seen before!



What was it? Kitekite falls?

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
I see you took a walk (or hopped on the travelator, haha) right around to the new pier! It's a painful run if you're running late for your plane!



Ah yes! It wasn't half as bad on my way there. But with the sightseeing over on the way back, it was one hell of a long walk.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 20):
Now it is complete, I'll be back with a little more in January and you'll be able to see the final product!



Definitely looking forward to that, and to finding out which of those two lounges you will be squaring off  
Quoting SCL767 (Reply 21):
Your photographs of LAN's J cabin, (which are absolutely amazing) truly reflect the ambiance that LAN wants its premium customers to enjoy during the flight



Thanks SCL767! Glad you enjoyed!

Quoting SCL767 (Reply 21):
Were you offered duty free sales on this flight?



Good question. I think duty free sales were on offer, as i do recall an automated announcement about that.

Would you know why LAN is quite obsessed with those automated announcements by any chance? They have one programmed for almost every 'event'   .. I have never experienced something like it before, and i think it's quite interesting!

Quoting SCL767 (Reply 21):
I found this very strange since LAN provides cutlery for all meals served regardless of the cabin. For example, it's even offered in Y on short flights between the U.S. and South America.



I thought they were just following suit from their North American neighbours  
Quoting SCL767 (Reply 21):
Yes, the reason being that LAN wants to position itself as an industry leader, not only in Latin America, but worldwide.



I can definitely see that!

Quoting lychemsa (Reply 22):
Thanks for such a great report and the pictures of Auckland.



Thanks lychemsa! Glad you enjoyed  
Quoting SR117 (Reply 23):
Hey Roni, many thanks for the excellent trip report and the excellent photos.



Hi Ricardo,

Thanks for stopping by!

Quoting SR117 (Reply 23):
Chalk it up to Spanish innuendo and the word "caliente".



Caliente is always mentioned in almost every house track i listen to. So i just had to fit it into this TR   haha

Quoting SR117 (Reply 23):
I am somewhat puzzled that most airlines in Latin America rarely seem to do too well in this regard, after the meal service they are very much prone to leaving the cabin alone.

Perhaps it is cultural? in which i should have understood prior to boarding the flight.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
Great report, I had originally planned to do this in October, however decided not to attend the wedding that would put me in the area.



Hi Mark  

As a Oneworld member, LAN is a must!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
I love the way she had passed the information to a collegue.



Agreed!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
I still don't know why they bother with these cards, they don't have a real purpose these days, especilly for alliance partners.



They do make for a great collection for those times when i do not use the lounge!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
A blast from the past, much like my SAA 342 flight, though looking at it their J cabin was a bit newer than the AR ones.



Your A342 was definitely nicer looking! I'd love to get on one for a ULH flight!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
No vodka and no tomato juice!? - Really or can't be bothered?



Haha .. not sure which would have been worse. Not having Tomato juice or not having vodka on board?  
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
Agreed! - these birds are the quietest and most comfortable as a passenger IMO. Give me one of these over a 777 anyday of the week.



Tho the 77L is a beauty  
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
Thanks again, have a great Christmas and New Year.



Thanks Mark, to you as well my friend!

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 25):
There has always been word around here that it's cheaper for them to operate the flight over the Tasman than to have them parked up (mainly applies to SYD



All i know is that parking charges at SYD are on a rate per every 15 minutes! Given that, it has to be VERY expensive to bask these aircraft out in the sun.

With EK projecting a triple daily operation to AKL, i am certain they were given the sweetest deal!

Quoting ojas (Reply 26):
An exceptional TR once again! As expected, the pictures were superb especially the AKL pictures



Many thanks Ojas!  
Quoting ojas (Reply 26):
Me and my friend are desperately waiting for RJ to deploy them somewhere near us, preferably in SE Asia.



Did you miss the CMB run?

Quoting ojas (Reply 26):
Yes and that "business" thankfully ensured a smooth Diwali holiday for me



That business was clearly visible from my location!  



Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 4431
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Tue Dec 21, 2010 4:25 pm

Hello Ronerone, great TR!

I am flying LAN in J next month to IPC and I am really looking forward to it. I have flown LAN in Y and I always have enjoyed their service.
It is what it is...
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8120
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Tue Dec 21, 2010 5:03 pm

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 25):
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
I still think it's amazing they, EK, can manage to find this profitable.

There has always been word around here that it's cheaper for them to operate the flight over the Tasman than to have them parked up (mainly applies to SYD) - so why not make something while you can? The product is well supported by people - good IFE, good food etc.

- Interesting point, have not considered that.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
No vodka and no tomato juice!? - Really or can't be bothered?



Haha .. not sure which would have been worse. Not having Tomato juice or not having vodka on board?

- True!!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 24):
Thanks again, have a great Christmas and New Year.

Thanks Mark, to you as well my friend!

- Thanks  
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
 
akhmad
Posts: 2492
Joined: Sat Sep 03, 2005 2:20 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:01 pm

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
maybe Boy Gaga seinging Alejandra?

Spot-on!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
Now you must fly LAN!

I would love to. First, I have got another commitments yet to make.   
Friends forever
 
mdavies06
Posts: 316
Joined: Fri Aug 07, 2009 10:28 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Tue Dec 21, 2010 8:55 pm

Hi Roni,

This routing + selection of airline is so creative. This is much better than just flying with QF or NZ. Well done on getting to experience two different airlines in such short period of time, and both South American Spanish speaking airlines too.

Very informative TR report with all the stunning pictures and illustrations. Thanks for the post.

mdavies06
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Tue Dec 21, 2010 9:43 pm

Another great installment and one that almost went unread. Glad to have seen both these Latin airlines covered in one report, and on a route that currently EK has had many reports documented here.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
A Business trip on the last Singapore Airlines A380 flight before the grounding brings me to Melbourne in November 2010.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
My travel day was going to be a very long one as apart from my upcoming Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Sydney, I also had to catch a Qantas flight to Melbourne, followed by Singapore Airlines from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi via Singapore.

So the AUH-MEL-AUH sectors were on SQ via SIN!! Are these signs of trip reports to come! Looking forward to these at your earliest convenience!! lol (Or is the SQ portion already documented and one that I missed?)

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
On my way to my seat, several cabin crew -and with extremely striking looks- were dotted throughout the cabin. Not much effort was made to smile but at least their simple nod was a means to acknowledge the presence of boarding passengers
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
A new crew I had not seen before -Claudio- had appeared from the galley with a set of table linens folded across his arm. Again -as with the other male crew and unlike most of the more dominating females- he was smiling and more on the professional side.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
At Door 1L of the A340-200, a young Latina crew -looking bored out of her mind- was tasked with the welcome on board chore.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
While the boarding process continued, I find no cabin crew onsite at the Club Condor cabin. Most had already begun the loud galley banter well before takeoff.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
Once the meal service was concluded, the crew practically vanished for the remainder of the flight with the exception of the purser who only made an appearance because of the positioning of his onboard office.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
What both airlines had in common was the icy-cold service. On both my flights, the crew conducted the service as required -perhaps LAN being more professional than Aerolineas- but not much more is to be expected outside of that.

Doesn't this make you just admire your Asian crews, and make you want to hold even more closely to your beloved CX, Roni? I had heard that LAN's service was great but these short runs seem to be something the crew is looking forward to get over with. Too bad you experienced the icy-cold service.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
We had spent about 12 hours of walking and exploring of what was the best of Auckland's offering in its immediate surroundings.

I guess you both made the best of that day in Auckland, and the result was fantastic reports thereafter!
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Wed Dec 22, 2010 12:07 pm

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 28):
I am flying LAN in J next month to IPC and I am really looking forward to it. I have flown LAN in Y and I always have enjoyed their service.

Hi LAXdude1023,

LAN has some of the smartest looking Y class cabins i have seen. And they probably do have the best 767 interiors. I would love to try their Y product!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 30):
I would love to. First, I have got another commitments yet to make.

Desperately waiting for your views on those  
Quoting mdavies06 (Reply 31):
Hi Roni,

This routing + selection of airline is so creative. This is much better than just flying with QF or NZ. Well done on getting to experience two different airlines in such short period of time, and both South American Spanish speaking airlines too.

Very informative TR report with all the stunning pictures and illustrations. Thanks for the post.

mdavies06

Thanks mdavies! Glad you enjoyed it  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 32):
Another great installment and one that almost went unread. Glad to have seen both these Latin airlines covered in one report,

Hi fsb,

Thanks for stopping by  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 32):
So the AUH-MEL-AUH sectors were on SQ via SIN!! Are these signs of trip reports to come! Looking forward to these at your earliest convenience!! lol (Or is the SQ portion already documented and one that I missed?)

Yes they were. But no TR on those  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 32):
Doesn't this make you just admire your Asian crews, and make you want to hold even more closely to your beloved CX, Roni? I had heard that LAN's service was great but these short runs seem to be something the crew is looking forward to get over with. Too bad you experienced the icy-cold service.

And when do i not miss CX?  


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
User avatar
NZ107
Posts: 4946
Joined: Sun Jul 10, 2005 6:51 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Thu Dec 23, 2010 10:11 am

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
Thanks to you my friend. Was a real pleasure to meet you!

Not a problem. It was great meeting you!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
What was it? Kitekite falls?

Yep, Never been there before so it's great getting to see a new part of my own backyard, that's for sure!

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
Definitely looking forward to that, and to finding out which of those two lounges you will be squaring off

It would be nice to get to try both! Maybe one day..


Cheers,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
MIAspotter
Posts: 2848
Joined: Fri Nov 16, 2001 1:57 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Thu Dec 23, 2010 12:34 pm

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):

JFK-YYC, I think they still do... also they do MIA-CCS-LIM-SCL (I think it changed to MIA-CCS-GYE) not sure.

Fares from MAD to FRA or CDG are not that expensive! 89 euros ret in advance!! might bite into it with my Girlfriend.

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
SCL767
Posts: 2812
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:25 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:10 am

Hey Roni, I'm really glad you enjoyed your trip to AKL.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
Good question. I think duty free sales were on offer, as i do recall an automated announcement about that.

Would you know why LAN is quite obsessed with those automated announcements by any chance? They have one programmed for almost every 'event'

It's solely on the A-343s and relatively new. The A-343s are deployed to CDG and FRA as well, so they are also in German and French.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):
One other thing, LAN also has some intriguing 5th Freedom routes. Do they still operate JFK-YYZ?

Yes, LAN still operates JFK-YYZ-JFK 5x weekly, (B763). MAD-CDG-MAD 3x weekly, (A343), MAD-FRA-MAD 6x weekly, (A343), MIA-PUJ-MIA 2x weekly, (B763), MIA-CCS-MIA 2x weekly, (B763), MIA-BOG-MIA 3x weekly, (B763), etc.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 27):

Quoting SCL767 (Reply 21):
I found this very strange since LAN provides cutlery for all meals served regardless of the cabin. For example, it's even offered in Y on short flights between the U.S. and South America.



I thought they were just following suit from their North American neighbours

LAN doesn't follow their North American neighbors. Complementary hot meals and wine or beer in Y along with cutlery and a small glass on the tray for a beverage.

Quoting LAXdude1023 (Reply 28):

Your going to have an awesome trip! Have a pisco sour on your flight! IPC is really beautiful this time of year!
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:12 am

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 34):
It would be nice to get to try both! Maybe one day..

Or perhaps soon you wouldn't need either of those ...  
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 35):
also they do MIA-CCS-LIM-SCL

That's a nice milk run!


Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
SCL767
Posts: 2812
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:25 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 8:17 am

Quoting ronerone (Reply 37):
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 35):
also they do MIA-CCS-LIM-SCL

That's a nice milk run!


It's actually routed as SCL-GYE-CCS-MIA-CCS-GYE-SCL, weekly B763 (operated by LAN Airlines). LAN Ecuador also operates GYE-MIA-GYE 4x weekly, (B763) and UIO-MIA-UIO daily, (B763).

Regards,

SCL767
 
The777Man
Posts: 5913
Joined: Sun Jul 04, 1999 4:54 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:52 am

Fantastic trip report with fantastic pictures, especially from AKL with the scenery!

LAN looks a little better than AR but I think both airlines are disappointing to me not just the poor meal service but also the lack of service with the crew hiding in the galley.

Thanks again for sharing this interesting two carrieres in fabulous report!

The777Man
Boeing 777s flown: UA, TG, KE, BA, CX, NH, JD, JL, CZ, SQ, EK, NG, CO, AF, SV, KU, DL, AA, MH, OZ, CA, MS, SU, LY, RG, PE, AZ, KL, VN, PK, EY, NZ, AM, BR, AC, DT, UU, OS, AI, 9W, KQ, QR, VA, JJ, ET, TK, PR, BG, T5, CI, MU and LX.. Further to fly.. LH 777
 
airpearl
Posts: 849
Joined: Tue May 01, 2001 7:42 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:00 am

Hey Roni!

Another most excellent report! The pictures are superb and the chance to fly these exotic airlines - at least at this end of the world - is quite priceless. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us and looking forward to more of such adventures soon... I am sure they're forthcoming  
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
To my advantage -thanks to the cheaper fares of point-of-sale New Zealand- two one-way trips on LAN and Aerolineas Argentinas are significantly cheaper than a roundtrip on LAN with point-of-sale Australia

Interesting to learn this! I'd been playing around with the EK website of late, not really looking (but probably ending up with) for tickets ex-New Zealand, and was quite surprised at how reasonable they were, even on the 380.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Come Monday morning my money was in fact refunded back to me, and another phone call to the airline's office revealed that Alejandra was not on duty that day. However, her colleague had been fully briefed on my situation, immediately took action, and my ticket was FINALLY confirmed!

Despite the initial set-back, this really is superb service. And definitely deserves praise.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I was seated in the smaller cabin when I normally prefer to be where most of the action would be. Nevertheless LAN's cabin is very modern, and the color scheme creates a rather sharp ambience that almost perfectly complements the cabin crew's rather striking theme. All in all, for a nine year old aircraft, LAN seems to know how to take care of it!

The cabin looks very handsome indeed. I too generally like the larger cabins, if not for anything else then a greater depth of vision in the cabin pics  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
It was a simple presentation which I quite liked, and contrary to what many have mention regarding the meal quantity, I think the offering was sufficient (though Royal Jordanian does serve a hot meal on some 5th routes).

Hmmm, I don't know - I may have been a tad disappointed. Would you not have expected a hot meal on a 3-hour sector in J?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
Most importantly, LAN's Premier Business seat is a full lie-flat product that is highly competitive.

  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 3):
The following day -which was my main full day in Auckland- I had arranged to meet with a.net member NZ107

That's so cool and the New Zealand pics are awesome. Of course, I've never seen any pics where NZ looks bad.  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 4):
My travel day was going to be a very long one as apart from my upcoming Aerolineas Argentinas flight to Sydney, I also had to catch a Qantas flight to Melbourne, followed by Singapore Airlines from Melbourne to Abu Dhabi via Singapore

I really don't think such "long days" are anything unusual for you hahaha

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
"May I have a Bloody Mary please?"
"Emm .. remind me what this is? Champagne?"

LOL . This is hilarious!


Thanks again for this fantastic Roni-signature report. Sorry for being a late arrival today, but who knows, we could well meet soon on one of those infamous "transit" stops of yours  

Here's wishing you a very happy Christmas!
airpearl

[Edited 2010-12-24 03:01:44]
 
SCL767
Posts: 2812
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2006 6:25 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 11:15 am

Quoting The777Man (Reply 39):
LAN looks a little better than AR but I think both airlines are disappointing to me not just the poor meal service but also the lack of service with the crew hiding in the galley.

It is important to remember that both of these airlines typically cater to South American pax. For South Americans, neither breakfast nor dinner are the main meals of the day; lunch is the main meal of the day and most South Americans eat lunch between 1PM-2PM. LA's flight is considered a light meal service since it departs before 10AM. Also, there is a cultural difference here. For example, when you are dining at a restaurant in South America, usually the waiter will serve you everything in a quick fashion and then you won't see them for a while. It's considered rude and intrusive for a waiter to constantly keep on checking on you during a meal. I know in other countries most customers expect to see the waiter every 10 minutes; it's not like that in South America. It's just a cultural difference that's all.

SCL767
 
signol
Posts: 2652
Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 5:18 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 12:26 pm

Thank you for a fascinating report! Having only ever flown Qantas trans-Tasman, it is interesting to see some more exotic carriers. One of these days I'll try the 5th Freedon LAN FRA-MAD route!

And looks like you had a good time in Auckland! I'm unlikely to visit down under anytime soon, as my sister, who used to live in AKL, has moved back to the UK.

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
Flightsimboy
Posts: 1408
Joined: Sun Sep 11, 2005 12:49 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 2:41 pm

Quoting SCL767 (Reply 41):
It is important to remember that both of these airlines typically cater to South American pax. For South Americans, neither breakfast nor dinner are the main meals of the day; lunch is the main meal of the day and most South Americans eat lunch between 1PM-2PM. LA's flight is considered a light meal service since it departs before 10AM. Also, there is a cultural difference here. For example, when you are dining at a restaurant in South America, usually the waiter will serve you everything in a quick fashion and then you won't see them for a while. It's considered rude and intrusive for a waiter to constantly keep on checking on you during a meal. I know in other countries most customers expect to see the waiter every 10 minutes; it's not like that in South America. It's just a cultural difference that's all.

Thanks for sharing!! It's always great to know the culture of other places.
 
ronerone
Topic Author
Posts: 1463
Joined: Wed Aug 18, 2004 4:56 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 9:28 pm

Quoting The777Man (Reply 39):
Fantastic trip report with fantastic pictures, especially from AKL with the scenery!

Many thanks The777Man!

Quoting airpearl (Reply 40):
Another most excellent report! The pictures are superb and the chance to fly these exotic airlines - at least at this end of the world - is quite priceless. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us

Airpearl!!! .. GREAT to see you back here my friend. It has been too long!  
Quoting airpearl (Reply 40):
and looking forward to more of such adventures soon... I am sure they're forthcoming

They are always forthcoming  
Quoting airpearl (Reply 40):
Hmmm, I don't know - I may have been a tad disappointed. Would you not have expected a hot meal on a 3-hour sector in J?

I would have expected a hot meal for sure. But i was pre-informed about this service, and while it was sufficient enough, still other airlines do offer something more substantial  
Quoting airpearl (Reply 40):
Sorry for being a late arrival today, but who knows, we could well meet soon on one of those infamous "transit" stops of yours

No worries my friend. But we hope to see an Airpearl fairytale TR soon  

And only time can tell as to when and where thos transit stops may be  
Quoting airpearl (Reply 40):
Here's wishing you a very happy Christmas!

Many thanks my friend!  
Quoting SCL767 (Reply 41):
It is important to remember that both of these airlines typically cater to South American pax. For South Americans, neither breakfast nor dinner are the main meals of the day; lunch is the main meal of the day and most South Americans eat lunch between 1PM-2PM. LA's flight is considered a light meal service since it departs before 10AM. Also, there is a cultural difference here. For example, when you are dining at a restaurant in South America, usually the waiter will serve you everything in a quick fashion and then you won't see them for a while. It's considered rude and intrusive for a waiter to constantly keep on checking on you during a meal. I know in other countries most customers expect to see the waiter every 10 minutes; it's not like that in South America. It's just a cultural difference that's all.

Many thanks for this insight SCL767. And it makes total sense.

Quoting signol (Reply 42):
Thank you for a fascinating report!

Glad you enjoyed it signol!

Cheers,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
luv2fly
Posts: 11056
Joined: Tue May 13, 2003 2:57 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Fri Dec 24, 2010 10:57 pm

I flew AR years ago and it wa either very good or very bad, I do not remember a happy medium ever. Sounds like nothing has changed. P.S. I love you trip reports and always check them out and to see what shoes you are wearing....
You can cut the irony with a knife
 
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Mon Dec 27, 2010 4:01 pm

Absolutely fantastic trip report as always Roni. I have been waiting for this one ever since you told me about flying the two airlines. I have always wanted to try the two of them but never really got the chance to so your detailed report was much appreciated.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):

From my experience living in Florida several years ago, almost every Latin American I had interacted with had initially thought I was Latino.

Ah, so its not just me, you got it too!  
Quoting ronerone (Reply 2):
I think the offering was sufficient (though Royal Jordanian does serve a hot meal on some 5th routes).

It does look rather meager when you consider that it was a 3 hour flight. I am sure Air New Zealand, Emirates, and QANTAS offer something far more substantial on the route in J.

The pictures of Auckland just look amazing. It is a city that has been on my radar for quite some time, thanks for the sneak peek.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
luckily, the load today was extremely light with just 4 passengers in Club Condor.

I like it when that happens as it normally means better/more personalized service. Well normally it would, looks like it made no difference on your AR flight.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
The sandwich may seem quite unappetizing, but it was quite the opposite. in fact, it was amazing and better than LAN's main course.

I know those sandwiches well, I used to eat a lot of them when I lived in Florida thanks to my friends from further down South.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):

Once the meal service was concluded, the crew practically vanished for the remainder of the flight with the exception of the purser who only made an appearance because of the positioning of his onboard office.

Thats really sad. Can you imagine if the cabin was full?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
The airline also seems quite aligned with Oneworld's high standards, and the overall product is definitely of top quality that I would want to try on a long-haul flight.

The hardware certainly fits the bill for oneworld.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 5):
What both airlines had in common was the icy-cold service. On both my flights, the crew conducted the service as required -perhaps LAN being more professional than Aerolineas- but not much more is to be expected outside of that.

That really is a shame...

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
let alone the intention to join the SkyTeam Alliance. A very smart move on both the alliance as well as the airline, given the drama that must be undergoing on which of the other two alliances will snag LATAM.

It sounds more like Skyteam was the only one willing to let them in. AR's product does seem to be in line with a few current Skyteam airlines though to be honest.    (As you can tell, I am still have a bone to pick with my former alliance of choice)

[Edited 2010-12-27 08:02:13]
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Wed Dec 29, 2010 6:22 am

Hola! .....

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Picture something like Heathrow's activity across all its terminals, but instead, all is consolidated into one International terminal at this premium Australian hotspot.
Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
Typical to this region, the duty free offering is dumped immediately after security

Sydney's airport is a total embarrassment and an eyesore for a destination that sees tremendous O&D traffic. But they really cannot expand any much further if you look at the surroundings. So only aesthetic enhancements can be done. Add on to that, the bloody curfew! Sometimes I do not understand these people who are complaining... Err... The airport was there waaaaaaay before any of these dwellers came. No one put a gun to their head and made them live in a suburb close to the airport. Hello?

Unfortunately, other major airports in Australia have also failed to keep up with the developments (most notably PER and MEL) although some major effort is being put in the latter to add more gates giving the plan view of the terminal a rather haphazard look. BNE and ADL tie my top my pick of fav Aussie airports.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 1):
"#@!@$%$"
Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"#@@$%!"

... PEH-RUUUUuuuuuuu! LOL..... *cue thunderous applause*

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
The meal offering on this flight consisted of a one-course meal tray service which was neatly presented with a mini bowl of crackers that were accompanied by what seemed to be a Latin American type of marmalade (I think), a main course that consisted of a ham & cheese croissant and a beef sandwich, and a bowl of some form of fruit crumble for dessert. A small butter plate, the usual silverware, and Cathay-themed salt & pepper shakers were also neatly placed to accompany the meal. It was a simple presentation which I quite liked, and contrary to what many have mention regarding the meal quantity, I think the offering was sufficient (though Royal Jordanian does serve a hot meal on some 5th routes).

Perhaps this is the trend now but a trans-Tasman flight is about 3+ hours, long enough for a multi course meal. While I wasn't expecting much from AR, LA could have scored much better in this aspect. A one-tray service for a flight of this duration seems somewhat diluted in terms of in-flight offerings.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Both the croissant as well as the beef sandwich were adequately warm but I could feel my arteries clogging with each buttery bite.

Mmmmmmmm... feed me buttery bites any day, honey! I am sure your clogging arteries were all clear by the time the "Young" one met up with you and showed you about Auckland. *Dud yew huv fush und chups wuth hum? Duh-luh-shus yis?

* Did you have fish and chips with him? Delicious yes?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
I settled for pancakes and a fruit yoghurt

Oh no buttery bites for you this time?

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
In more ways than one, I sometimes can feel more comfortable in a reclining position rather than one that is 180 degrees flat, and I can definitely see myself tuck away within the comforts of this confinement for a 12+ hour flight.

I so agree with you 200%! I have always liked these cradle seats and you know how I do not sleep in planes much, but I have snoozed on more than a few occassions on such seats.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
"Emm .. remind me what this is? Champagne?"
"No. it's vodka with tomato juice"
"Sorry, we don't have. But we have something called morning glory.

LOL... why do I have such a filthy mind? I can't stop laughing at "morning glory"...

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
Simply presented, my meal tray was -similar to LAN's offering- a one-course service that included a bread bun, a small bag of crackers, chocolate, a small jar of honey, a starter consisting of cheese, something porky and avocado,

I think that "something porky" looks like smoked salmon, no? So it was un-haram after all.

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
What both airlines had in common was the icy-cold service.

I think you have been spellbound by all the statuesque Miss Universe contestants mouthing their whole life story in 5 seconds without losing their smiles. They do not exist in real life... well at least you won't find them at the door of an a/c welcoming you "Hola... vas7iw76t23t23278o1yhqo656%^$&%^%ythlwbhlwiclichy98y7865978%&*^$%&*%78yp1hy9pyp...."
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
Ryanair!!!
Posts: 4071
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Wed Dec 29, 2010 7:44 am

I am not done...

Quoting ronerone (Thread starter):
From my experience living in Florida several years ago, almost every Latin American I had interacted with had initially thought I was Latino. During many instances it was an assumption to the point that initial conversations with me were always in Spanish, and it was quite difficult to convince them otherwise.
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 46):
Ah, so its not just me, you got it too!

When I was in Tijuana, Mexico - every shop I walked into, the shopkeepers would bow and shout out "konichiwa". It was funny at first, but after a while... I felt like smashing sombreros into their faces.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
ba724
Posts: 44
Joined: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:34 am

RE: El Tasman Caliente!: LAN Vs Aerolíneas Argentinas

Wed Dec 29, 2010 9:23 am

A great report,coincidentally it was only last night I had been looking into the same trip with those same two carriers!,you beat me to it!..Gee Auckland looks to be a lovely city,will have to get over there..Keep up the great reports and a Happy New Year.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google Feedfetcher, N809FR and 24 guests