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odysseus9001
Topic Author
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:02 pm

Q: Economy Service USA To LIM

Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:19 am

Hi,

I frequently fly from the east coast of the U.S. to Lima, Peru (~2 time/mo) to visit my family (her side). Due to a change made by my preferred carrier on that route, I would like to step back and look my options for getting there. I haven't made any decisions yet, but want to know what service the alternatives provide, as I already have a pretty good feel for ticket prices. So, my question is this:

For the following airlines: American, Continental, Delta, and LAN, I would like to know about their current economy service from their hub city (ATL, EWR, IAH, JFK, and MIA) to LIM. Does it include PTVs? Is the service friendly? Is a hot meal included? What kind of beverage do you get with the meal? Is the flight generally on time? What is customs/immigration time like at MIA and EWR (I've already done the others)?

Not that interested in business class characteristics. If I only flew there 1-2/year, yes, but 20-26 business class tickets/year is simply not affordable. However, I am interested in upgrade policies (either with or without miles) that will get me a bit better service. You can assume I have good FF status on any given airline for purpose of this.

Also, is a 35 minute international connection in Bogota on Avianca viable?

Thanks for any help you guys can give!

regards,

John
 
AlitaliaMD11
Posts: 3704
Joined: Tue Dec 02, 2003 5:19 am

RE: Q: Economy Service USA To LIM

Tue Apr 07, 2009 1:27 am

When I flew to LIM two summers ago I flew Delta from ATL on the 757-200 and 767-400. The flight down was around 7hr15mn on the 757-200 and was one of my worst flights ever. The seats were awful, the service was awful, and there was constant turbulence. There was no dinner served and the breakfast was cold. There was no form of IFE and the flight attendants were rude. The flight was on an ex-ATA bird and Delta managed to squeeze three lavatories into the tiny galley at the back of the plane. The flight back on the 767-400 was a bit more pleasant as the service was better and the seats were better and the IFE was in the form of an overhead LCD.

I have also flown LAN before from JFK to SCL and back via MIA and found the flights to be one of my best. The service on LAN is top notch, the seats are extremely comfortable, the IFE system is great, and the food was decent.

Continental flies the 757-200 from EWR which now has AVOD at every seat and the service, at least in my experience, is always good.

I'd highly recommend LAN on this route.
No Vueling No Party
 
jetblue32
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RE: Q: Economy Service USA To LIM

Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:14 am

I highly recommend LAN. I haven't flown the particular route you are talking about, but I did fly MIA-SCL last October (on a 767) and continued down to Southern Chile (on A318), and was very impressed overall. I was on a discounted standby ticket as an other airline employee, so I'm not sure about fare classes and upgrade policies. Their in-flight product was as good as, or better than some of the European carriers. The 767's have PTV's with a good selection of first run movies offered, and 2 meals were served on the MIA-SCL and return flights (might only be 1 on the LIM flights, since they are shorter, food was really good from my experience). I sat in an aisle seat toward the back on both outbound and return and was pretty comfortable. I believe they fly out of MIA, JFK, LAX and were supposed to start IAD, althought I'm not sure if that's happened yet or not. MIA has the best flight options/frequencies, and the airport is a lot more pleasant than it used to be, thanks to the finished construcion on most of it.
 
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IrishAyes
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RE: Q: Economy Service USA To LIM

Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:19 am

LAN has the best product, but unfortunately they tend to be pricier than U.S. carriers. I would believe that CO would be the next obvious choice, but avoid going through IAH because the immigration services at IAH are backed up like no other and I have found that the officials tend to harass a lot of the incoming PAX from Latin America, particularly if they are single males traveling.
 
LipeGIG
Posts: 5063
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: Q: Economy Service USA To LIM

Tue Apr 07, 2009 2:24 am



Quoting Odysseus9001 (Thread starter):
Not that interested in business class characteristics. If I only flew there 1-2/year, yes, but 20-26 business class tickets/year is simply not affordable. However, I am interested in upgrade policies (either with or without miles) that will get me a bit better service. You can assume I have good FF status on any given airline for purpose of this

If you will fly a lot, i suggest DL. Why ? Because if you can reach Plat level you will be receiving a lot of upgrades on a route like ATL-LIM even paying the deep discount Y fares. While LA have a better product, i doubt the policy of the airline for upgrades beats DL
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
2travel2know
Posts: 2236
Joined: Sun Apr 10, 2005 7:05 am

RE: Q: Economy Service USA To LIM

Tue Apr 07, 2009 6:09 am

You could even consider CM via PTY from JFK, IAD, MCO and MIA.
JFK, IAD and some MCO, MIA departure and arrival times leave a lot to be desired, but the LIM arrival/departure time (and maybe fare) might be worth it.

Quoting Odysseus9001 (Thread starter):
Also, is a 35 minute international connection in Bogota on Avianca viable?

IMHO, that's really pushing it. An slight delay on the arrival flight and the connection would be missed.
I don't work for COPA Airlines!
 
odysseus9001
Topic Author
Posts: 77
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 6:02 pm

RE: Q: Economy Service USA To LIM

Sun Apr 19, 2009 12:45 am

First, I want to give a belated thank you to everyone who has taken the time to reply to my post. I've been travelling a lot the last few weeks, and when I've not been traveling, work has been consuming my time. But, I have not forgotten the people who have taken the time to reply and I appreciate it!

Quoting AlitaliaMD11 (Reply 1):
When I flew to LIM

Actually, my experience on DL has 95% of the time has been good, and there were a few flights where I woke up during a night flight after falling asleep to find the blanket pulled up on me and the tray cleared away. FAs and pilots are generally quite good. IFE is available in both economy and business on newly reconfigured 767-400ER.

LAN has a good reputation, and my fiance was satisfied flying with them. I will keep them in mind.

Quoting IrishAyes (Reply 3):
I would believe that CO

I've tried CO via IAH to EZE (the fare was a good deal) and was ok with it. They offer a generally competitive product, though the service a bit less warm. They got the job done.

Quoting LipeGIG (Reply 4):
If you will fly a lot, i suggest DL

I am PM on DL and will be until 2011. Unfortunately, at the same time they introduced the international 767-400ER configuration on ATL-LIM, DL has replaced their domestic upgrade policy with their international upgrade policy. The period of upgrades are at an end, since I cannot (out of responsibility to my future family) afford M-class fares out of my own pocket x2 a month. I never make travel plans assuming I will get an op upgrade. The a key mitigating thing is that the international 767-400ER has backseat screens in economy. So, its net downgrade for FF (because of the new upgrade policy) but is an improvement for ordinary non-FF passengers.

Quoting 2travel2know (Reply 5):
You could even consider CM

Now that you mention it, I looked and I have to say, the prices and connections seem attractive! No video, but they have audio. May be worth an adventure at Panama.

I decided to weigh non-price among the recommended airlines based on a few things:

-Quality of pilots and FAs (skill and service)
-Flight timing/connections (no less than 1 hr, no more than 3 hrs)
-Reliability of service
-AVOD (especially music which makes sleeping easier)

Given this, I think I will generally stick with the incumbent DL, as they remaining equal or the best in all these categories in my experience for my particular needs. However, this loyalty is not mindless...I would like to try a few competitors if the price is right, as a hedge against future economy service downgrades. I really wish AA would make an effort to improve their economy AVOD, I just don't see flying them unless I connect to LAN. CO is a serious threat though as they offer a competitive product, if less reliable (they seem often delayed in LIM). An additional factor is that starting next year, I can bank their miles on United or bank my United miles on them. LAN is a very serious threat if they ever fly non-stop to IAD, depending in timing. CM and TACA also have surprisingly workable connections and prices for one-off exceptions. So, DL, CO/LAN, CM, and TACA.

regards,

John

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