- American Airlines Admirals Club New York JFK
- LAN Business Class: New York to Lima
- LAN Economy Class: Lima to Cusco
- Machu Picchu
- LAN Economy Class: Cusco to Lima
- Radisson Decapolis Miraflores
- SUMAQ Lounge Lima
- LAN Business Class Lima to Easter Island
- Easter Island
- LAN Business Class: Easter Island to Santiago
- LAN Neruda Lounge Santiago
- LAN Business Class: Santiago to Lima
- LAN Business Class: Lima to New York
- Yotel New York City
- American Airlines Transcontinental Business Class: New York to Los Angeles
Given Chile’s relatively small size, it’s cool to be able to fly a 4+ hour domestic flight with international business class product from Easter Island to Santiago.
With a departure of 2:05pm, LAN recommended that we show up to the airport at 12:05pm. Yeah … not gonna happen. We were out the hotel at 12:05pm, and waited 20 minutes to get a taxi to the airport, mostly due to a misunderstanding between the hotel owners and ourselves. We didn’t have a taxi until 12:25pm and it took, with traffic, a full 4 minutes to reach the airport! Quel horreur!
Even for a domestic flight to Santiago, there was a quick “pre-customs” check to make sure you are not taking fruits from Rapa Nui away. We had some snacks that were brought from Santiago that had to be discarded, despite their mainland origins.
I warned my friend that I was about to “geek out,” since I’m a plane-ophile, and hinted at something along the lines of, “I’m writing a sort of … ‘report’ on this.” She simply responded: “You can geek out. I’m going to conk out.” The “terminal” at IPC is simply just a semi-outdoor waiting area with some shops. I bought a shot glass for my collection, while making small talk with other tourists (it seemed that everyone I had met on the island was on this departure).
Around 1:30pm came a call for boarding. Our tour partners from the hotel, whom we had spent a lot of time with on the island, asked us where we were sitting. I stayed awkwardly silent, while my friend responded with, “toward the front.”
“Oh. We’re in the back. Where in the front are you?”
“The front front.”
Indeed, a semi-awkward moment seeing as how they were a couple decades older than us, until they realized I had mentioned using miles for this trip. I explained how a trip to Lima, Easter Island, and Santiago was the same price as a simple trip to only one of those destinations. Oh, how I miss the old British Airways award chart.
We headed toward the gate, and they followed us into the Preferente line, before realizing where we were and exclaiming, “oh bloody hell!”
Friday February 17, 2012
Easter Island/Isla Pascua (IPC) – Santiago (SCL)
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Seats: 5A/5C (Premium Business – Window/Aisle)
As expected, the business cabin was booked solid, 28/30 (the last 2 were for the off-duty pilots who flew the inbound). And as expected, my partner-in-travel conked out, putting the seat in an almost flat position during boarding, before bringing it up for takeoff, and putting it back down afterward, waking up only for the lunch service. We were offered the same pre-flight beverages, and since I’d had a few Pisco sours on the island and that the champagne was the same as the previous flights, went with the usual. We also received a daytime amenity kit, though smaller than the ones I had received on previous flights, sans Bvlgari bag and lotions.
I noticed that the flight attendant serving our side of the plane was my same flight attendant from JFK to Lima. I told her I recognized her, and upon seeing my camera out, she recognized me as well. “I read the menu in advance this time, no worries.”
With a very short taxi (the runway is literally next to the “gate”), we had to wait for the safety announcement to finish while waiting at the end of the runway. As soon as we were up, I got out my laptop (to write this plus look at/edit photos), and turned on the King’s Speech on the IFE (yes, this flight was last year, it was a new movie back then).
It took about 90 minutes for the lunch service to start. Given that I had made a diet of empanadas and overpriced fried food on the island, I was looking forward to the salad. We were seated in 5 A/C since they were the only 2 seats together at the time of booking. Because of this, we were the last to be offered lunch, since the center seats are situated a bit forward of the window seats in the same row, and the off-duty pilots in 5 J/L had already eaten. Fortunately, only the lamb was gone by then, so we both got our option of the salad. Instead of the recommended wine, I went with the Casa Lapostolle Cabernet, which I had enjoyed on a previous leg.
Here’s the full menu:
Salad greens with seasonal vegetables
Lamb leg, stewed in mint and rosemary, accompanied by potato and Camembert cheese gratin
Master Sommelier’s suggestion: Syrah 2008
Pan seared tuna with Provenzal dressing, broad bean mash and onion confit
Master Sommelier’s suggestion: Torrontés 2011
*Sesame chicken salad, Portobello mushrooms, roasted peppers, grilled zucchini and assorted lettuce
Master Sommelier’s suggestion: Malbec 2007
*Cherimoya mousse with honey tuile and passion fruit sauce
Fresh seasonal fruit
After lunch, the FAs closed window shades with about 2h40m of flight time left to SCL. I got to lie down while finishing the King’s Speech (an amazing movie; I tend to watch Oscar winning flicks on planes). I also ordered a couple more glasses of the wine — LAN FAs are not proactive in asking if you’d like anything, but with a bit of passenger initiative (read: push the call button), they’ll happily honor any request.
I’ve come to the point where I’ve decided – I LOVE THE LAN BED. I discovered that if you hold the “flat bed” option on the control panel, it doesn’t go truly flat, but only to a bit of an incline. However, you can lift the seat up even more by using that specific button on the control panel to make it truly flat. The duvet is incredibly comfortable and competes with the plush covers of many other business class offerings – my friend was joking that she still had to buy a comforter for her new apartment in Santiago and was debating just stealing a couple of duvets from the plane (don’t worry, they stayed onboard).
Once again, we started approach into Santiago much earlier than I would have hoped for, about 30 minutes early. Like previous flights, the IFE was shut off (with an automated message warning) before landing.