Monday, August 31, 2009

Happy Birthday Lan Chile

I wrote last week about my broken ankle. Immediately following the presentation in Sao Paulo I did a couple of T.V. interviews and then hopped on what I thought would be a nightmare journey back to New Zealand. A two hour drive to Sao Paulo airport, a four hour flight on Lan Chile to Santiago, a two hour layover and then a twelve hour epic to Auckland on Lan Chile.

I had never flown Lan Chile before and wasn’t looking forward to it. What a revelation! In the past I’ve ranted on about American carriers and have only given thumbs up to Emirates and Air New Zealand. Lan Chile can join that group.

They are part of the One World Alliance along with Qantas, British Airways, and Cathay Pacific (to name a few) and boy do they set the standard. The planes are new and have full flat beds in business class. What a relief. The lounges are clean, the people are friendly and, wonder of wonders, they have an amazing punctuality record. We left Sao Paulo on time and arrived fifteen minutes early. We connected in Santiago as planned and arrived at 3:30am, thirty minutes ahead of schedule. Another flat bed, nine hours sleep, and terrific service from Lan Chile’s crew who are old school. Looking very smart in blue skirts and either red or blue tops with red or blue shoes. They treat you personally and conversationally. The food is fresh, healthy and hot.

This year Lan Chile are celebrating eighty years of flying and in my opinion they are going to be around for another eighty. If you are traveling in South America, give them a go.