TAM Economy Class New York JFK – Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro
LAN Economy Class Santiago – Sao Paulo
TAM Economy Class Sao Paulo – New York JFK
United BusinessFirst Denver to
Tokyo Seattle (Emergency Landing)
United BusinessFirst on the 787 Seattle to Tokyo
Cathay Pacific Regional Business Class Tokyo Narita – Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific “The Wing” Business Class Lounge Hong Kong
Cathay Pacific Business Class Hong Kong – Dubai
Dubai, Day 1 (Traiteur Brunch, Park Hyatt Dubai, Burj Khalifa, Atlantis Palm Islands)
Dubai, Day 2 (Shark Dive at Dubai Aquarium, Burj Al Arab, 360)
Cathay Pacific Business Class Dubai – Hong Kong – Tokyo Haneda
I was not looking forward to this segment of the trip simply because it was breaking pretty much every rule I set for myself when it comes to earning miles by flying. Simply put: it earned no mileage.
Normally, I would not write about a short flight in economy class, but since this was my first time flying LAN, I decided to write about it.
I’d originally booked my ticket in November through Orbitz, and TAM changed the schedule a number of times. Ultimately, for the Santiago – Sao Paulo segment, I ended up on a TAM-marketed, but LAN-operated flight. What does that mean? Well, based on the mileage earning rules for United, the miles get awarded based on the award chart set for the Star Alliance operating carrier. In this case, LAN Chile is not even a Star Alliance partner, so that meant no United miles. My backup plan was to credit these miles to my American account, but its mileage rule is that the award chart is dictated by the OneWorld partner airline who is the marketing carrier. In this case, TAM – who is not a OneWorld carrier. So essentially, I was in no-man’s land as far as mileage earning was concerned.
Anyway, I arrived in plenty time to deal with any potential complications that this codeshare ticket may have. As it turns out, there were no problems, but I did have to check in with LAN, as the TAM personnel at SCL were non-existent. My next problem was that I was holding a ticket on LAN Chile – an airlines whose inclusion in the OneWorld alliance does absolutely nothing for my Star Alliance Gold status as far as lounge access was concerned.
Santiago is without a doubt, OneWorld country. LAN dominates the airport along with its partner airlines.
Luckily, I recently acquired a one-day American Admirals pass from a friend, and was ultimately able to enter the Admirals Club at Santiago with my LAN ticket.
This was a nice space, and was barely even populated. I almost had the lounge to myself. It was a very comfortable space to pass a couple hours and get some work done.
LAN Chile Airlines (LA) 750
Santiago (SCL) to Sao Paulo (GRU)
Aircraft: Boeing 767-300ER
Seat: 12C (Economy)
Sunday, June 16
3:25PM – 8:25PM
My first impressions upon boarding my LAN 767 were that the interior was brand new. I walked through the extremely spacious and sparkling business class to my bulked aisle seat in the first row of the economy section. From here I was able to look into the business class cabin for much of the flight.
Now, I’ve seen pictures of LAN’s business class before, but in person, it really did look like a fantastic product.
The economy product wasn’t too shabby either, as it featured the new, slimline seats and Panasonic IFE systems similar to what United has been installing in its international fleet. The interior of the plane was very fresh looking, and provided a very good initial impression of the airline.
The meal consisted of a sandwich and some bread – not the highlight of the flight, as it was pretty tasteless.
After a little less than four hours of flight time, we touched down in Sao Paulo, and I proceeded through transfer security.
Overall, I was pretty impressed with LAN. Though I was still upset I didn’t earn any miles for this portion of my trip, I was definitely glad for the opportunity to try LAN. Maybe next time I fly LAN, it will be in the front cabin to somewhere really cool – Easter Island, anyone?