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Did you read that crazy-ass routing up there? Yeah, I flew that. It’s not the craziest route anyone’s ever done, but I can tell ya this: I WAS TIRED. The flight times were pretty brutal, and the connections were hella tight. The SCL-MEX segment, por empleje, left at midnight and arrived at 6am. I don’t remember LIM-EZE at all. Why? Zzzzz.
However, I can say with confidence that I am familiar with the two iterations of LAN’s Premium Business class product. There’s an old one and a new one, and I’ve flown them both several times by now, esp after my trip to Easter Island in May on LAN. When I saw a cheap fare to Santiago that connected in Easter Island, all in biz, and under $1000, I had to jump. This trip easily net me 50,000 miles, which I value at around $1000 anyway, put the over the Platinum threshold for the year, and gave me a nice amount of upgrade “stickers” on AA. Worth it? Hell yes. AND I got to experience the beautiful city of Santiago. Much Espanol was heard, but very little was spoken.
LAN only has two types of Premium Business: the old and the new, and the differences are minute. They both feature fully-flat seats and a tremendous amount of legroom. The soft product isn’t different at all. The only differences in the hard product are the shoe cubby thingy, the color of the seat, the way the drink flaps open, and the positioning of the USB/AC plugins (all very whoop-de-doo). To break it down to moronically simple terms, the new product is more red, and the old product is more blue. In both, the seat extends into a completely flat surface which is supplemented by a nice pillow and a thick, soft duvet. The meal service, IFE, amount of legroom, and all other features are the same. Both products are solid and comfortable. I like LAN and am pleased they are a part of the tiny Oneworld alliance.
Now I want to talk about the culture I perceived on the flights. You know, the way the airline wants to present itself to flyers. The FAs, all across the board, were phenomenal. Truly. LAN seems to appreciate their customers and treat their employees right, which is good as they hold Santiago and Lima hub-captive by a huge margin. The operations were all on time, and they were proactive about addressing my short connection times, and, in one case, my lack of an issued boarding pass, which was highly appreciated. All of the FAs, without exception, asked me if I preferred to speak in English or Spanish, and addressed me in English for the entire flight duration. I only speak English since I’m a dumb American and find it fascinating when people can switch gears and speak in a new language *just like that*. I really liked the male FAs. Not because I’m a raging homosexual (well, I am), but because they added a nice counterbalance to the often delicate manner of the female FAs. All of them were very focused on process and cleanliness, which, as a Virgo and a German, I found very efficient and psychologically pleasing.
The transfer from AA flights to LAN was, for the most part, pretty easy. A switch of terminals here and there (or only at MEX – what a shitshow), but seamless otherwise. I booked LGA-ORD-MEX and MEX-DFW-LGA around the LAN trip, which was nestled inside the AA to form an overarching round-trip experience. They were not linked in any way, and I was pleased to learn that it didn’t really matter.
I was on LAN for short trips of 2-3 hours (EZE-SCL), medium length (SCL-IPC) and long-haul (SCL-MEX) and found, over and over, that the service was impeccable, all across the board. The continuity of attitude and culture was very impressive.
More detailed reviews of individual segments forthcoming.
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