Lima – Santiago
Departure Time: 1:35AM (Actual Departure 2:15AM)
Boeing 787 Dreamliner
Business Class Seat 5A
After a phenomenal dinner at Astrid y Gaston, Lady Tocqueville and I bade farewell to her parents, and around 11:30PM jumped into a cab to head to Lima Airport. We got to Lima airport by 12:15AM, and already had our boarding passes printed from our flight from Lima almost 40 hours prior. We waited in the immigration exit line for about 20 minutes, and after that found our way to the VIP lounge area. There were two different lounges we had access to, the VIP and Sumaq lounge. We went to the Sumaq lounge first, and they said they were too crowded and sent us to the VIP lounge. So we went to the VIP lounge where we found some seats and had a clean bathroom in which to change for our red-eye. I used the wi-fi for a bit, and we got rehydraded on bottled water.
We arrived at the gate at 12:45AM 10 minutes after the time suggested on the boarding card. However, it appeared the incoming flight from LAX had not yet offloaded its passengers. Passengers were offloaded, and we still had to wait a bit. We didn’t end up boarding until around 1:45AM.
I was really excited about this flight. Yes, it would be rough as a 3.5 hour red-eye that is now leaving at a delayed 2AM+. On the other hand, this flight was on the Boeing 787 Dreamliner! This was my first time flying one of these birds, and in a lay-flat business class seat no less.
Once we boarded the plane lived up to its expectations. The plane was wide, and there were no window shades, just buttons to control the tint. The seats were very spacious and new. The business class cabin felt huge. I snapped a few photos as we took our seats.
A view of how much legroom you have, my legs can barely reach the foot rest when the seat is in standard mode and I am 6’4″ (1.93m). The TV is also the biggest I have had in a plane cabin in my flying career.
A very small amenity kit of foam earplugs, and an eyeshade were passed out in a medium sized nonwoven meshlike bag. I discarded the earplugs and eyeshade, since I had my own which appeared to be better than what LAN had passed out, but I kept the bag to use as a laundry bag as an improvement over the Marriott laundry bag I had been using. While still parked at the gate, a flight attendant came by to take our breakfast order. We both passed, since we wanted to sleep as much as we could on the flight. No pillow or blanket was passed out, and while taxing we asked for one which was cheerfully brought over to us. The duvet was very comfortable, the biggest and cushiest I had seen on a plane, and the pillow decent sized too.
After take-off, we reclined our seats to lay flat and went to sleep. When in fully layflat, the sat is pretty comfortable. However, I would say I was about 2″ too tall for the seat. That is with my head all the way against the top of the seat, I could not extend my legs all the way. I had to sleep either on my side with my legs bent a bit, or on my back with my legs angled off to the side or bent. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but that was definetly a set back. For anyone 6’2″ or shorter, this should not be an issue.
We both got about 2 hours 45 minutes sleep, and we woke up as we were descending into Santiago.
We arrived in Santiago, and were amongst the first off the plane. It was 6AM and we were pretty tired and groggy. We first had to go to the reciprocity fee payment counter, where we, along with Albanians, Canadians, Australians, and Mexicans get to pay Chile money for the privilege of entering the country. We charge this fee to them, so they are just reciprocating. In the private sector, this is called extortion, but because governments like to prevent us from traveling freely without their blessing, and sometimes tribute, they get away with it. We paid the $160 a person on my credit card, and the whole transaction took about 5 minutes. A card was stapled into our passport indicating we had paid this fee, and it was valid for the next 10 years.
Paying this fee set us back a good bit in the immigration entry line, and we waited for about 30 minutes. After passing immigration, and having our bags x-rayed by customs, we exited into the Santiago main terminal. We went to the LAN business class check-in to get directed on where to go to catch our Easter Island connecting flight. It was actually a domestic flight, and thus left out of the business class terminal. It was LAN’s only domestic flight flown on a widebody airplane. As a virtue of leaving out of the domestic terminal, we had no lounge access to freshen up since the only lounges, including an American Airlines Admirals club, were in the international terminal.
We went through security to the domestic terminal, and waited for boarding for our flight to Easter Island.
Santiago – Easter Island
Departure Time: 8:45AM
Business Class Seat 2J
Boarding area for Easter Island
A view of the 767 that would take us to Easter Island
The 767’s cabin was configured and felt a bit like the 787 cabin we just had. The seats were a bit more narrow, and the cabin was less wide and a bit smaller, but overall very comfortable. The flight was again about 80% full in business class.
My seat 2J.
Very spacious leg-room, with a cubby hole to put your feet which made this lie-flat seat even longer and more comfortable for me given my height. The TV appeared to be of roughly the same size.
The english side of the breakfast and booze menu. I never did order breakfast as I went right to sleep on this flight.
After take-off I was exhausted and went back to sleep in lie-flat mode before a breakfast order could be put in. The flight was 5 hours and 55 minutes as scheduled, and I hoped to sleep for at least some of that. I slept for about 4 hours as I woke up with only 45 minutes to go in the flight. At this point I was famished, as I had skipped two airline breakfast meals in exchange for sleep. I asked the flight attendants if I could have some nibbles, and they brought out some fruit, chocolate bread, and made me a hot ham and cheese sandwich that was gooey and delicious on my empty stomach.
Devoured fruit, sandwich, and bread
45 minutes to go to Easter Island. Check out the Eagle Creek packing cube turned red-eye survival kit hung from the seat coat hook.
Overall, the flight was comfortable and uneventful. The time flew by thanks to sleep and breakfast. This due west jaunt from Santiago was almost complete. Lady Tocqueville and I were quite excited to land, and explore Easter Island for the next 3 days. What a treat to be there, in this remote part of the world, in business class. This adventure was now a week old, with ~8.5 to go. Boy are we loving life right now!