This is the third part of my series of reports from my trip to New York last months.
The date of the flight I arrived Terminal 8 in JFK on a Go Airlink shuttle service that was hired by my hotel. Actually, I first thought of getting to JFK by the subway+Air Train combination, but it was a Sunday, and weekends mean strange operation schedules for NYC’s subways.
So when the front desk manager at the hotel asked me at what time should I be at the airport, I told him I needed to be there at 17 (just half an hour earlier just in case). He asked for a shuttle to pick me up at 15. When the van came I realized I was the last passenger they were picking up, so we went straight to JFK and I ended up arriving like 5 hours before the flight!!!
As LAN and TAM share their counters and land staff, the counters were open and all the employees speak Spanish. LAN and TAM (which are in a process of merging and becoming LATAM) operate from Terminal 8 about 7 flights a day, so they have a big staff in there. It called my attention that all the announcements were made in Spanish and English, and some TAM flights were also announced in “portuñol” (a mix of Portuguese and Spanish).
When I arrived, I was greeted by an agent who sent me to another agent; she verified my documents from a tablet and walked me to the counters to dispatch my luggage. 2 minutes later she came with my boarding passes from JFK to GRU and from GRU to EZE.
From there, they sent me to the TSA security check point. There was about a 2 blocks long line!!!
Thankfully they were moving fast…When my turn came I put all my belongings through the scanner, also my shoes. Then I stepped on the “spinning thing scanner”, the one you have to raise your arms. The scanner pointed that I had “something” near my waist (my travel money belt). The TSA agent asked from my permission to search me with the back of his hands, and asked me if I preferred to be searched in private…just in case I said I preferred to be searched in there. When he found my travel money belt he asked me what was inside it. He opened the zip to verify, and asked me to pass again through the scanner. Then he passed another scanner on my hands and finally said I was free to go…
As there are no migrations at the exit of the USA I found myself on the airside of the Terminal.
I had already been to this Terminal a couple of years ago on my way back from MIA to EZE with American Airlines. But on that occasion I was late, and the Terminal was almost deserted. On this time I saw a very busy place. As there was still a loooong time for my flight I decided to walk through the terminal and spot some planes, and people.
Terminal 8 is American Airlines’s land and some Oneworld partners too
The underground walkway
A pacman at the airport!
The friendliest passenger
AirBerlin Airbus 330 (there were 2 flights boarding at the same time, to Berlin and Dusseldorf)
Far away, Terminal 1 with a big Air France Airbus 380
Finnair Airbus 330, departing to Helsinki
My passport and boarding passes
LAN Airlines Boeing 787, boarding for Santiago
Air France Airbus 380
My flight’s boarding call
Finally at 19.30 the boarding announcement was made, in the same order that every LAN and TAM flight. Business cabin was almost full. But Economy was just the same as in my previous flight, about 60% of occupancy. Again there was nobody on the seat next to me. My seat was the same as last time, 35A.
JJ8103 Date: 06/03/16 Origin: Nueva York – Kennedy JFK Destination: Sao Paulo – Guarulhos GRU Scheduled departure: 20.30 (20.55 real) Scheduled arrival: 8.45 (7.55 real)
March’s magazine and welcome candy
At 20.30 Captain Vidigal introduced himself and announced that the flight will take less than 8 hours. Then the chief FA welcomed us. The security indications video was displayed while we headed to the runway. There were like 3 o 4 planes waiting to depart before us. Also I could see far away lights from 3 different aircraft descending near another runway.
The turnpike below the airport.
Finally at 20.55 we took off and headed southeast.
Half an hour later, the FAs started to serve dinner. The choices were chicken with vegetables or pasta. Again I went for the pasta. There was also a tomato and lettuce salad, some crackers, cheese, and a small portion of a very tasteful chocolate mousse.
Again, the same as on the last flight, they offered wine, but as I was on antibiotics this time, I decided to pass. Later they offered hot beverages and chocolates, but I didn’t say no to this.
This night my film choice was “The Black Swan”. The films were shown in English, or dubbed to Portuguese or Latin Spanish (all videos were subtitled in Portuguese). So I tried to look for a movie that I wouldn’t bother to watch dubbed, or that I had already seen, because I was so tired I didn’t want to concentrate to watch it in English.
The flight map before I fell asleep.
At 5.30 Brazilian time, I woke up and the sun had risen.
Half an hour later they served breakfast which was exactly the same as on the last flight.
I plugged my Iphone on the electric outlet between the 2 seats in front. Meanwhile they were showing the video that explains how to connect flights in GRU.
At 7.20 the captain announced we were descending over Sao Paulo, and I could see the airport.
We made some turnings over the city
And at 7.55 we landed.
This time we headed straight to Terminal 3 (new one).
When I got off the plane I passes through a security check point, then I went up the escalator and I found myself on the boarding area of this beautiful Terminal 3. It’s covered by glass so you can see the planes in the platforms, and the runway movements.
TAM Boeing 767 which brought me to GRU, PT-MOC in Oneworld livery
TO BE CONTINUED
New York - JFK
Sao Paulo - GRU
This was a very pleasant flight. With a great on-time preformance. The meals were OK. FAs were nice, but not as nice as in my GRU-JFK flight. Besides this, the flights were pretty similar..
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