I was scheduled to have about an hour and twenty minutes on the ground in Santiago between my incoming flight from New York-JFK and my connecting flight to Sao Paulo. After a quick trip to freshen up in the LAN Mistral VIP Salon, I made my way to the gate, passing Dreamliner after Dreamliner. Santiago is truly a B787 Dreamliner paradise, as LAN has taken delivery to quite a number of the new aircraft. During the mid-morning hours, the LAN B787 fleet all seems to be back in Santiago before dispersing to other locales around the globe.
I boarded my flight to Sao Paulo with the first group. My visa was then verified and I made my way to the sparkling new Dreamliner.
A 36-hour Trip to Nowhere: An Iguazu Fail
- LAN Economy Class New York-JFK to Santiago on the B787
- LAN Economy Class Santiago to Sao Paulo on the B787
- Delta Business Elite Class Sao Paulo to New York-JFK
LAN Chile (LA) 760
Santiago (SCL) to Sao Paulo (GRU)
Aircraft: Boeing 787-8
Seat: 12A (Economy)
Friday, November 7, 2014
09:55AM – 2:35PM
Once again, I boarded a nearly empty cabin since I was one of the first to board. Of course, this would be my second flight in LAN economy class in the past few hours.
This time, I was seated in the proper seat that I had booked — seat 12A — a bulkhead, economy seat in the first row of economy. And just like expected, I had TONS of leg room. I couldn’t help but think about how much more rested I would have felt had I had that seat for my JFK-SCL flight a few hours earlier like I thought I would have.
As boarding continued, I occupied time looking at the sea of B787s and watching other traffic land in Santiago from Europe and North America. At one point, I counted six LAN B787s in plain view!
Eventually, we pushed back and made a long taxi before taking off from runway 17R on this hazy summer morning.
As we ascended over Santiago and the Andes Mountains, the view was nothing short of spectacular. It was most scenic 30 minutes of flying I’ve ever experienced — truly just beautiful. I’ll let the pictures do the talking:
After taking a ton of pictures, the flight attendants provided a full lunch service. Lunch consisted of a bland and dry sandwich, fresh fruit and some cookies. I chowed it down quickly, reclined my seat and stretched out my legs.
I was out cold.
This was the complete opposite of my seat on the flight down from New York — I had tons of leg room and had a great little nap.
About two and a half hours later, I was woken up as the flight attendants prepared the cabin for arrival into Sao Paulo. I zapped a couple of pictures of the sprawling metropolis of Sao Paulo before landing at Sao Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport.
We made a short taxi to the brand new Terminal 3. I gathered my things and disembarked — still exhausted and in a daze — staring an over ten-hour layover at GRU directly in the face.
Now that’s more like it. It’s amazing how much comfort can change one’s opinion of a flight. Row 12 on the LAN B787-8 is fantastic, and it easily the best row of economy on the aircraft. I was very comfortable here for our deceptively long flight between Santiago and Sao Paulo.
Service on the flight was fine and the food was edible, though not memorable. But then again, the fact that I received a meal on a flight under four hours in economy was somewhat of a novelty in its own right.
When seated in a seat with appropriate leg room, LAN is a very reasonable and almost pleasant airline to fly. Sadly, the standard economy seat on their beautiful, new Dreamliner is just too cramped.
How I booked it…
I booked the flights from JFK to Foz do Iguazu on an ultra low-fare (perhaps a mistake fare?) for around $400, roundtrip. This was a fantastic value for a quick trip to see one of the seven natural wonders of the World — Iguazu Falls. Unfortunately, I never made it there. Luckily, I still got a nice chunk of American Advantage miles for the flights that I did take.