After getting to cross Machu Picchu off of my bucket list, we arrived back in Lima to catch our next flight to Buenos Aires where my friends were getting married in a few days. LAN uses a contract lounge – the Sumaq VIP Lounge – for its business class passengers. I have a priority pass membership through my American Express Platinum card which would have gained me access to the lounge anyways. The Lounge was pretty full when we got there, but there was a great open air outside patio that was pretty empty, so we took the opportunity to enjoy the weather and have a drink before our flight. Approximately 40 minutes before our flight, we headed out to our gate.
Review – Delta 767-400 DeltaOne: Atlanta to Lima
Review – Hilton Lima Miraflores
Review – LAN A320 Economy Class: Lima to Cusco
Review – LAN Boeing 767-300 Business Class: Lima to Buenos Aires
Lima (LIM) – Buenos Aires (EZE)
Depart: 1:10 PM
Arrive: 7:35 PM
Duration: 4hr 25min
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300
Seat: 2C (Business Class)
At the time I was booking flights, a one-way economy ticket from Lima to Buenos Aires was running ~$700. Not wanting to pay $700 for an economy ticket, I opted to redeem 20,000 Avios and $30 for a direct business class ticket on LAN.
Once we got to the gate, it was chaos with people everywhere. As they had with our flight to and from Cusco, boarding was conducted via lines based on your seat. As Argentina requires U.S. citizens to have a visa, we were called up to the podium before boarding so the airline could check to make sure we had our visa. As we were flying business class on this flight, we were in the Preferente line (which my OneWorld Sapphire status would have given us as well) and were among the first to board the aircraft.
We boarded through door 1L and turned right into the business class cabin which uses a 2-2-2 configuration. We were in seats 2A and 2C. The seats are fully lie flat and offer legroom for miles.
The backs of the seats featured a large screen that was controlled via a remote tethered to the seat.
Waiting at our seats were a pillow, some extremely uncomfortable headphones and a small amenity kit that included a toothbrush, some toothpaste, an eye mask, ear plugs and a comb. Shortly after taking our seats, the flight attendant came through the cabin with a tray of champagne and pisco sours and some warm mixed nuts. I love pisco sours so I opted for that while my girlfriend had the champagne.
Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of the menu on this flight, so I am not sure what type of champagne they were serving. Boarding was completed quickly, though we were a bit delayed and pushed back about 15 minutes behind schedule.
The seats were extremely comfortable and even had a massage feature which I took advantage of.
Shortly after takeoff, the flight attendant came through with a cart with some reading material. Not surprisingly they did not have anything in English (though I was in South America, so why would they?), but the flight attendant spoke pretty good English and apologized for the inconvenience.
Shortly after distributing reading material, they came through the cabin to take dinner orders. Strangely, they had loaded a low-fat meal for me (LAN, are you trying to tell me something?) and had on their manifest that I had specifically requested it – which I had not. Not wanting to cause an issue over it, I said no problem and took it over the beef filet which I had my eye on. Luckily my girlfriend ordered the beef filet so I was able to try it and it was quite tasty for an airline filet. The low-fat meal turned out to be a grilled chicken breast with some mix grilled vegetables, a side salad, and a side of fruit.
And honestly, it was fantastic. The chicken was moist and flavorful and the mixed vegetables were perfectly seasoned. I try to eat pretty healthy in general, so this meal turned out to be right up my alley.
After the dinner service, I sat back and watched a movie on the entertainment system. After about an hour, I decided I wanted to check out the view. When I opened up the window shade, all I can say is WOW…
The rest of the flight was largely uneventful and about 7:10 PM we started our descent into Buenos Aires. Upon landing, we parked at a remote stand and boarded a bus to be taken to immigration. There was no line at immigration, so we were through in less than 5 minutes and on our way to the Hilton Puerto Madero.
LAN really lived up to both its reputation and my expectations. While the service was not stellar, it was adequate and the hard product was good. Ironically, I think LAN is exactly what the South America market wants, so I cannot really fault them for their operation. Would I go out of my way to fly LAN in the future? Definitely not. Would I fly them again? Absolutely.