American Airlines Admirals Club New York JFK
LAN Business Class: New York to Lima
LAN Economy Class: Lima to Cusco
LAN Economy Class: Cusco to Lima
Radisson Decapolis Miraflores
SUMAQ Lounge Lima
LAN Business Class Lima to 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
At 11:10pm, passengers were already lined up for economy class. Usually, I’m against crowding the gate area, but this method of lining up by row section works when there are multiple lines. So I stood in the Preferente line, the first one. I imagined that most other business class passengers were in the lounge. I later found out that business class had only 10 passengers, the lowest load of all my LAN flights.
Lima (LIM) – New York (JFK)
Tuesday February 21, 2012
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Seat: 2A (Premium Business – Window)
After some pre-boards boarded, I was allowed to board. As this was a U.S.-bound plane, there was a secondary search. I explained that I was on the previous segment and that my duty-free was liquid but was also sealed. They let me through. Common sense wins.
I took seat 2A and was soon joined by another passenger in 2C who, upon seeing how empty the cabin was, took 2D and 2H instead. Perfect! Two seats to myself again!
One of the FAs came by and explained the midnight snack and breakfast. There was no menu in the magazine slot, but upon hearing the choices, I realized it was the same choices from the bottom of the SCL-LIM menu. I chose to skip the midnight snack and instead indulge in a full breakfast. I was given a long card to select my choices, and was told I’d be woken up about 90 minutes before landing.
Salad greens with seasonal vegetables
Main entrée: Ham, tomato and basil quiche, accompanied by grilled vegetables and roasted peppers
Dessert: White chocolate cheesecake with citrus fruit
You can choose between two options:
Cold Express Breakfast, to maximize your rest this option will be served 40 minutes before landing
Full Breakfast, select your option completing the preorder card that will be collected by the flight attendant.
After a delayed departure, water bottles were passed out and the lights were immediately turned off for passengers to go to sleep. I began watching “The Ides of March” on the IFE but fell asleep about 30 minutes in. With the light load, I was able to duplicate the double-duvet bed on my LIM-IPC flight.
I got more than 5 full hours of sleep – man, these LAN beds are comfy! I woke up as we were flying east of Georgia, over the Atlantic. A bit serendipitous, as right around here, I flew my 400,000th commercial airline mile, since FlightMemory says I had just about 400,700 after landing at JFK. My FA noticed I had woken up a bit before the breakfast service and asked if I’d like my breakfast early. “Sí, por favor.” It would even give me time to finish the movie.
Breakfast hit the spot, and I relaxed the last few hundred miles of the flight, figuring out when I’d be able to fly LAN again. I was only in South America for a bit over 2 weeks, 10 days with my friend from home, and wanted to go back very soon. Damn you, Avios. I have no interest in economy short-hauls.
We landed at JFK 20 minutes late, and I de-boarded quickly to go to CBP, forgetting my Duty-Free in the business class closet. I didn’t realize this until I was about to proceed through immigration; fortunately, I found a LAN representative at baggage claim, who made a call to her supervisor on the aircraft, who brought the duty-free to me. What service!
I didn’t have Global Entry at the time, but it took only 5 minutes to go through immigration, since our flight was late and missed a plethora of early arrivals. Unfortunately, the baggage handlers seemed to mix up the order of how bags should show up. A lot of bags for folks in the back of the plane, still in line for immigration, showed up first, while mine took almost 20 minutes. I found my bag had the priority tag ripped off, the second time this has happened. Is this standard operating procedure? Whatever. At least the hand-written bag tag worked. Easily through customs and to the AirTrain. Unlike T2, T8 has a covered walkway to the AirTrain. Get with it, Delta!
A scary moment with my bag, though, was the smell of wine I realized it was emitting as I was about to board the AirTrain. Oh. No. I had packed two bottles of wine in some protective wrapping – one white, one red. Guess which one broke. Fortunately, the red wine had been covered with some clothing I was going to throw out/donate after the trip anyway, so the damage was contained.
Off to Jamaica Station, where I transferred to an E Express to 42nd/Port Authority, and walked down to the Yotel NYC, my bag still reeking of wine. Oh well, there have been worse smells than a Malbec on NYC public transportation.
Verdict on LAN: I have heard such mixed things about LAN, especially the service, both on the ground and in the air. My experiences were excellent, save for a few hiccups that would and could happen on any other airline. The agents on the ground knew what they were doing and got me checked-in and on my way quickly. The sole LAN-operated lounge I visited, the Neruda at SCL, was fantastic! The flight attendants were terrific, although you do have to have initiative on asking them for things outside normal service. Even in J, they won’t often come by and ask if you’d like anything, particularly in a full cabin. However, that’s what the call button is for, and each time I rang it, I had an FA within 30 seconds.
The hard product is pretty good for business class, though with many airlines opting for direct aisle access for everyone, LAN is missing out on that. The only big negative I have is that none of the flights I would be able to fly are long enough to enjoy it. As of now, the only long-hauls they have are to MAD and AKL from LIM and SCL. My longest sector on this was the JFK-LIM parts, about 7.5 hours overnight, hardly a medium-haul in my view.