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
After a great few days in Santiago, it was time to leave. I caught a Red Line 1 train to Los Heróes metro station. There, I caught a CentroPuerto bus, which took me to SCL. The busses are 1.600CLP (about $3.30) one-way, 2.800CLP round-trip, and they depart every 10 minutes. Much better than LAX’s FlyAway from Union Station – $7 one-way, every 30-60 minutes!
The bus makes several stops along the way and takes about 30-35 minutes to reach SCL airport. I would definitely recommend boarding at Los Heróes station so that you can board an empty bus, put your luggage away, and grab a good seat before they are taken up on later stops.
Upon arrival at SCL, I was greeted with a madhouse of different airline counters. Fortunately, having read ahead, I know the drill at SCL. If you enter through Doors/Puertas 1-4, you won’t see any signage for LAN’s business class/priority check-in. You have to turn left and go toward Doors 5 and 6. There are signs there that show you to LAN’s Preferente Check-In.
This flight was on 2 separate itineraries; the first SCL-LIM leg booked through BA, the second LIM-JFK leg through AA. Just to test the agent, I simply gave her my passport and said, “I have a weird itinerary. One ticket to Lima, then another ticket to New York. Same flight number, 530. I thought I was going to be in Lima, turns out I’m in Santiago.” She seemed to handle this with ease. That is until I saw a hand-written baggage tag. Ummm … let’s hope this works.
Premium immigration and security are right next door to the Preferente Check-In. There was no line for immigration, which took less than 30 seconds. Security was a guy hanging out in front of a computer. I started to take out my laptop, but he said, “en la mochila es bien (in the backpack is fine).” All I did was take out the things in my pockets and walk through – he saw a water bottle in my bag and asked where I was flying. “Nueva York, pero no hay agua en la botella.”
Without looking at it – “Oh. Bien.” And I was on my way.
Both priority and regular security drop you off in the large duty-free area. I noticed that non-priority passengers got a tougher time from security than I had.
I had some leftover Chilean Pesos and used them to buy some things, amongst them, Pisco Sour mix. My gate was 17A, immediately outside DF, but with boarding not for a while, I headed to the right toward Gate 20 and the LAN Neruda Lounge.
(Because of the objections to photos that I encountered in LIM, I took most of the pictures in the lounge with my phone, since it would be too obvious with my actual camera. Apologies for the quality).
The Neruda lounge is much much nicer than the shared SUMAQ lounge in Lima, mostly because it is a proper LAN/OneWorld lounge.
The lounge is downstairs; when you enter, there is a check-in desk with one half of the lounge on the left, one half on the right. The lounge attendants were wonderful, spoke perfect English, and were keen to help anyone with anything LAN-related. They were pretty young and pretty good lookin’, too (sorry, no photos)
On the right, there are comfortable chairs near TVs (not too loud), as well as self-serve food/drinks bar and business center.
On the left side is a more quiet area. Bathrooms and showers are there, as well as the rest area, and more seating options. A separate bar is there for passengers on that side.
Not knowing that showers were an option, I requested one rather late. I had walked around in the hot 90ºF Santiago sun the whole day and had about 15 hours before I’d reach my hotel in NYC. All 3 showers had been occupied and there was a delay in cleaning them, so I wasn’t given a shower until 8:10pm, when boarding was called for my flight.
I decided to do a quick rinse, and exited the lounge at around 8:25pm, 10 minutes before gate closed. I did my best impression of an Olympic speedwalker to get to the gate before 8:35pm, reaching about 5 minutes beforehand.
All in all, I think that the Neruda Lounge at Santiago is a great lounge for OneWorld flights. I really wish LAN could emulate a lounge like this at Lima.