I love planes because they take you places, and because I feel privileged to be able to see the world from the sky, something that no one in the whole history of humankind was able to do until less than a century ago!
But planes also take you back to work from your holidays. >Sigh< Nothing is perfect. :(
However, even in this case flying can be an amazing thing, and this flight is also worth sharing!
This is the homebound leg of my trip. The whole process of getting my ticket can be seen in section 4 of my previous report.
For the outbound leg I chose a seat closer to the front of the plane in order to have the time to buy something from the BOB menu, specifically one of those warm chicken sandwiches that smelled so good in previous flights. But being out of luck as usual, the menu was changed for the winter season and those sandwiches were eliminated. :(
So I go back to my cherished row 24, on the right side this time, in order to have as many nice views as possible. Checking in with Sky is a very straightforward process. You just tick the box next to your name, enter your phone number and email address, and choose your seat. Then click on Continue. I only wish Sky had a cellphone friendly site.
No need to print the boarding card. You can show it on your cellphone.
This is an early flight, and I have to cross the whole city to get to the airport. Transfer is my only chance to make it on time. They pick me up at 5:30 a.m. (-.-)
When I call asking for the transfer service, I talk to a lady with a Colombian accent, and the transfer driver is Colombian, too. I think how nice it is that immigrants are coming to Chile, changing our boring, homogeneus society for the good. You know, my grandfather on my father's side came from Spain as an immigrant himself in the early 1900s, but these immigration waves are a relatively recent phenomenon in Chile, unlike in the US or other developed countries.
Racing down an almost empty Américo Vespucio at 5:40 a.m.
I am surprised at the amount of traffic outside SCL. There is even a little traffic jam!
I have been here by day before. Time for a nightly picture of the domestic terminal.
Wow! A lot of movement at this time of day! I notice that many passengers are travelling in large groups. Students, perhaps?
Long queue for security check. But we move fast, almost at walking speed.
All of them are queueing up for a much-needed coffee at Starbucks.
Almost all shops are open, even.. Victoria's Secret!? Who buys lingerie at that time of day!? Well, I guess it's a good time. Ladies are sleepy and they can't really see if something fits. XD
LATAM's stuff is still there from the previous flight…
…but the Sky flight is already announced on the screen.
The crew arrive: three FAs, the captain and the co-pilot. The latter is very young! A pilot friend of mine tells me that this reflects Sky Airline's policy of training their staff themselves. While LATAM hires pilots from the Air Force, who have already been trained, Sky pays for their training and pays them less. This young co-pilot is learning from the senior captain.
I still have time for some pics of CC-AIC. She's a bit lonely out there.
But some company comes soon.
Time for boarding.
It's a cold morning. That's why the FA is wearing her coat, which makes her look rather solemn. Add to that the fact that she was not precisely young, and when I boarded and said my usual Hola with a big smile, she replied with a solemn nod and a not less solemn Buenos días. But she was nice, anyway. Some people just like being more proper than others.
The cabin smells nice and clean. Well, according to flightradar24.com, this was CC-AIC's first flight of the day. And, have you noticed that faux wood covering on the aisle? I find it much cleaner and attractive than carpeting.
A visit to the lavatory. It's fine. It was just a little difficult to find the correct angle for the photographs due to the lack of space. Some won't like the gender-restrictive sign of the woman changing the baby!
Back in my seat it's time for the tray cleanliness test. Oh, my! I'm ecstatic! Sky has made it at last! The tray is completely CLEAN!
July's issue of the inflight magazine has the city of Córdoba, Argentina, as the topic for its cover article.
Inside, Sky advertises the advantages of its low-cost model. You can buy your tickets per leg, which means that you're not forced to fly back to your city of origin in a round trip. You are also allowed to change your ticket up to 3 hours before your fllight, with a 50-USD fine per leg.
The legroom is OK, as usual. This is the feature I love the most about Sky Airline, I think.
And the best thing today, the middle seat is empty!
The safety briefing.
After the safety briefing the captain informs that there are nine planes waiting to take off before us. We'll have to wait some minutes. But soon we start taxiing to the runway. Right ahead of us is CC-BEC, also headed for Temuco. We'll be following her tracks all the time.
There she goes.
It's our turn now.
On your marks, get set…
We take off towards the north this time.
After a U-turn I see the moon dancing on the winglet.
The whole land is covered with mist at this early time.
Some 50km south-west of Santiago there's a group of high mountains forming a cluster. They host a lot of picturesque valleys and lagoons. Aculeo lagoon is under that mist… but it's drying up due to the lack of rain and to the use of its water for agriculture. Measures are being taken. I hope it's not too late.
On flightradar24.com's map my position at the moment is marked by the light-blue line south of Santiago and north of Rancagua.
We continue climbing over those mountains…
…until it gets too cloudy too see anything but the blue sky.
Less than one hour later we start descending into the lower clouds.
Two pics of the wing innards for the mechanics among us.
Our first view of La Araucanía region as we descend.
Not everyone seems to be thrilled by the landscape!
In the following photograph you can see the town of Pitrufquén on the left. It's located on the south margin of the river Toltén. This river used to be the southern limit of the Mapuche territory. I deal with the Mapuche people in my previous report. On the right of the photograph (north of the river Toltén) is a smaller town, Freire. And on the far right you can see the airport.
If you're wondering about that thick fog giving Pitrufquén a ghostly appearance… it's nothing but smoke! Wood-burning stoves are the most common heating system in the south of Chile. We usually have "pollution emergency" episodes and the use of wood for heating gets restricted.
I told you we would be following your tracks, CC-BEC!.
U-turn. That's 5 Sur highway underneath.
We are heading north now. A view of snow-capped volcanoes in the morning light.
I'm relieved to see that now there's more snow covering the mountains than one month before. These are volcanoes Villarrica and Lanín.
Something is different about this landing. I can hardly hear the turbines. At some point I could swear we are gliding!
It seems to me that the landscape outside passes more slowly than usual by the window.
I'm starting to worry that we are going to stall when suddenly…
…we touch down.
It's the softest landing I have ever experienced!
CC-BEC is already parked.
Almost instantly, the belt loader is positioned and the staff begin unloading the baggage. One of them makes a gesture as if he were taking a photograph. Is he telling his colleagues that they have to be specially careful because there's a guy taking photos from the plane?
They bring the baggage trailers…
…and do their job with incredible speed.
By the time it's my turn to deplane, the baggage is being transported to the terminal.
As I deplane I say goodbye to the solemn FA, and I ask her to congratulate the captain and the co-pilot for the wonderfully smooth landing. I am surprised at the almost motherly pride that she reflects when she replies "That was the co-pilot."
A last view of CC-AIC.
The passengers to Santiago are already boarding.
No baggage to wait for. I go directly to the transfer stand where I'll pay a fortune (well, it's 11 USD, but it's twice as much as in other Chilean airports) to be taken to the city.
Thanks for reading!
Santiago - SCL
Temuco - ZCO
After flying Sky for the fourth time, I am completely sold to it. Since all its aircraft are the same, good ol' Airbus A319, I know what to expect when I board them. The quality of service has been consistently good in these four flights, with efficient, smiling staff on land and aboard. What would make me prefer LATAM? Nothing in particular. Not the new livery, at least! LOL. I can't remember how cramped and suffocated I felt onboard CC-BAY.
0 LIKESLIKE TO THANK THE AUTHORTHANKS ! FLIGHT-REPORT LIKED
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".