Best Partner to Deep South America (SCL or EZE)

Discussion in 'Alaska Airlines | Mileage Plan' started by yaychemistry, Sep 1, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. yaychemistry

    yaychemistry Silver Member

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    I'm planning a trip to South America sometime in Feb/Mar 2014 on AS miles. Any advice on which is the best partner(s) to get there in J or F? By "best" I mean most comfortable and/or fun and enjoyable. Lets assume I'm flexible/lucky enough to find availability for the carriers I want. We would originate in BOS, but could easily reposition to JFK, or possibly even MIA.

    I see that AA is the only partner that has an F cabin to deep south America. I have heard good things about LAs J seat, but mixed reviews about the service. I know next to nothing about AM, but a stopover in MEX could be interesting.

    I'm currently considering an attempt to try to mix and match the 787s on AM and LA, but I'm not sure how those would compare with AAs F service.
  2. icurhere2
    Original Member

    icurhere2 Gold Member

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    I have only flown the LA seat - you see on the map that those are 6 across on the 763. The seats are lie-flat and 74 inches (perfect for those who are 6'2") but are narrow and best if flying with a companion; the tiny size of the shared divider means placing your drink could be a challenge. My AVOD was flaky on 4 of 6 flights. I also napped on 4 of 6, which is impressive although the transition to/from a bed once trapped a seatbelt and tore apart a pair of LA headphones - do not want to be seated during the process ... The service with LA is exceptionally inconsistent but speaking Spanish did seem to help. And the published boarding/departure times are not exactly followed; could have easily spent more time in many lounges.
    yaychemistry likes this.
  3. Bay Pisco Shark
    Original Member

    Bay Pisco Shark Gold Member

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    I've burned well-in-excess of 2 million AS miles on LA award tickets, all international segments in premium cabins. I also fly them at least a couple additional times a year in paid J. Here are several random thoughts:

    (1) Due to IRROPS, LA once put me on AA (3 cabin 777) in J, and I didn't like it at all. Between the slanted seats, amateurish service, inferior IFE, and poor wine selection, it would not be my first choice of carrier. I've never flown AA F. I've also never flown AA in a 2 cabin plane where J is the front cabin (and apparently, it is supposed to be a better service than the 3 cabin J, but I don't really know).

    (2) LA (as Lan Chile) used to have an F cabin, and it was a great flying experience. The IFE was "state of the art, almost, for its time" and that is long gone. I'm sure it blew AA's F product out of the water.

    (3) Note that LA is now several different airlines - each has its own operating certificate, crews, etc. Many flights will carry the LA flight #, even though it could be Lan Peru, etc.

    (4) Service has become really variable, and the most variable has been with the LP crews. These flights have a 4 digit # starting with 2xxx. I generally find the LA crews (3 digit flight #s to/from the USA, starting with a 5xx or 6xx) superior to the LP crews. Others disagree strongly.

    (5) The LA seats are very narrow. Too narrow. But the IFE (especially the new system) is great. Today had (I believe) 106 movies, about 1000 CDs, and many series, games, etc. The wine and bubbles selection on LA is probably the best J offering in the skies. The food is variable. I've had a few nearly-inedible main courses this year. Last night's steak ex SFO was pretty good (medium rare, fairly tender).

    (6) I saw some pics of AM's J service to/from EZE and it looks pretty sorry.

    (7) Out of "I don't know how many" flights over the past 13 years, including dozens of North/South America, intra South America, and Domestic Chile, I've only had a small handful of real delays and IRROPS. It is rare that I'm late more than 15 to 30 minutes. However, when things go wrong (you can't say "go south" down here ;) ), you won't find the level of ground support that you are familiar with when using a US-based airline.

    (8) I flew UA F about 2 years ago and found that I enjoyed LA J better, except the personal space.

    (9) I wouldn't mind trying AA F.

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