Watching your absolute favorite music star live in concert is not easy when you live at the end of the world, especially if most of his shows are in Europe and even his fans from the US are complaining that he never visits them!
So you can imagine my leaps of joy when a colleague told me that Jamiroquai was coming all the way down to these latitudes promoting his new album, Automaton!
Now you're kindly invited to join me in this white knuckle ride to watch Jamiroquai at the Movistar Arena, in Santiago!! Woooo hooooo!!
Cloudy days have lingered above ZAL (aka Pichoy Airport) even though the southern spring is coming to an end.
Never mind. Temperatures above 30°C will be waiting for me in Santiago today.
Gosh! Is all that rust part of the design?
How shameful! This is junk! But then again, junk rhymes with funk! It's a beautiful day! :D
By the date of this flight, only two airlines land at ZAL: LATAM and Sky. JetSmart will join them a bit later, in January 2018.
You can compare both airlines’ baggage allowance here. Both LATAM and Sky allow for a free carry-on bag of the same size. The “personal item” is a bit larger in LATAM.
However, the weight for the carry-on bag is limited to 8kg on LATAM… and 20kg on Sky!!
Sorry, LATAM. You know I love you, but only with a little L. Why does it have to be like this? I can never tell! :D
I came quite early today.
Why don’t we visit the cafeteria on the second floor?
Let’s go upstairs.
Whoa! I suddenly feel transported to some God-forsaken town in the countryside. The rustic wooden furniture, the numbers scribbled on the napkin holders…
…somehow all this looks out of context. There’s a little “lounge” (a couple of sofas) at the bottom.
Awww… look at this! They implemented a games corner for children. Two thumbs up for ZAL! Don’t worry about the electricity. Foamy is a good insulator. (I hope!)
Been here lots of times, but never checked that corner of the boarding room.
Those cables look tangled? That's nothing. You should have a look behind my desk.
There's a smaller waiting room here…
…that doubles as storage room.
It's connected to other dependencies, like this meeting room…
…and has a view on the control tower.
The passengers keep flowing in.
I have never visited the airside restrooms, either. Good thing, because they STINK!
There's this terrible belief that toilet paper will clog the toilet. But that used to be decades ago, when we used newspaper as toilet paper! I remember those times, when I was little. You had to crumple the paper carefully to make it more absorbent.
The sign reads: Mr. User, (that's the polite way here, not "dear user") please do not throw paper into the toilet bowl.
That used to have its advantages. If you disliked a certain politician and he was in the newspaper, you knew how to show it. XD But nowadays there's no need to dispose of toilet paper in a bin. That's just disgusting!
I go back to my seat trying to forget the experience (i.e. the smell) Some minutes before boarding, Sky Airline staff come round with a measuring box hunting for oversized pieces of baggage.
A trespasser does the impossible to compress his rucksack down to acceptable limits, but fails miserably.
Beside seizing oversized bags, the staff have encouraged some passengers to send their luggage to cargo hold to make room in the overhead bins.
And there it comes!!
The ave that will take me…
…up to the blue skies!!! Woo hoooo!!!
And it's showing off Sky's new colors!
17-year-old CC-ABW served in TACA until 2009, when it was storaged.
Has been in Sky since 2010.
The "new policy" (boarding)
A queue starts to grow longer and longer all over the room. Wait! Shouldn't we make two or three shorter lines as usual? You know, priority boarding, then rear rows, and then front rows. Well, not anymore!
Just like in Brazil, Chilean airlines have adopted the single line boarding scheme. :(
Utterly disappointing. Of course, there must be some commercial reason behind, bringing more misery to air travel. In fact, I ask someone from the staff about the reason for this and he simply shrugs: "New policy."
I want to scream my rage against airlines, but I tell myself "No, Nelson. Calm down. Don't give this hate a chance!"
Naturally, this "new policy" leads to a terrible congestion inside the jetbridge.
We are not moving! D''':
Gosh! This is insane! What kind of world are we living in?! Let me tell ya:
On the bright side, I have plenty of time for photos now. CC-ABW is ready for pushback. You can't blame the ground staff for the delay!
ZAL is showing signs of wear. What about a concession? The airport is still administered by the government, and this leads to rusty carts, snalltown-style cafeterias, and this!
Finally approaching the door. We might get there in half an hour. >:(
In my seat at last! The 17-year-old cabin has been refurbished. And you know what? I can feel something special today.
I need to stretch my arm more than usual to reach the inflight-mag, because…
…there's a lot of legroom! It's amazing! Great pitch even though row 6 is just a standard row!
Tray table OK.
A local TV face on the cover of the inflight magazine.
This is what I call poor design! What if I want to recline my seat and I disgracefully happen to rub or poke or - perish the thought - GRAB my seatmate's plump thighs while trying to push a stubborn button? I don't want to see my mugshot on some seedy tabloid cover!
The panel seems to have come with the plane from the factory.
Well, I'll leave my concert ticket here for a while to remind me of the terrific weekend that's coming! And for the cover picture, too! :D
Wow! Look at that! She seems to be a cosmic girl. From another galaxy!
I wonder if she's transmitting on my frequency.
She was! Look at what she brought me!! :D
Yes, I know. That sandwich at the airport just one hour ago. But I'm doing this for a good cause, OK?
BTW, "Como en el aire" is a word game. "Como" means "I eat", and also "as". So this sentence can be read "I eat in the air", or "As (if I were) in the air."
I only want to try the BOB offer of sandwiches…
…and the clásico combo looks quite good.
Two thumbs up for Sky for wrapping their sandwiches in paper instead of plastic!
The filling looks… filling. :D
Today's funky adventure…
…is quickly coming to an end…
…as we approach the south…
…of the Santiago area.
As soon as we pass the vanishing Aculeo lagoon (so sad)…
…the southern tip of the city…
…comes into sight.
An unusually clear day over Santiago today!
It must be a warm day, too.
Look there! In the middle of that rectangular park there's a dome. That's Movistar Arena, the concert venue!
After flying over Sao Paulo…
…Santiago looks so small!!
We leave downtown behind…
…and bank to the left…
…to align with the runway…
…from the north.
And here we are.
JetSmart! The new airline. Only 4 or 5 aircraft in their fleet at the moment, soon to be expanded to over 70.
We head towards…
…the domestic flights area.
But today we are parking…
…in a remote position. The captain apologizes that we will have to wait some minutes…
…and asks us to lower the shades on our side, unless we want to enjoy some…
The belt loader shows up on my side…
…and we are allowed to disembark…
…before we expected.
It might not be the best livery, but I do like the colors.
After a short…
…bonus ride around SCL…
…we're dropped directly at baggage claim…
…from where I go straight to my airbnb.
Tomorrow is the great day, and everything will be…
Thanks for reading!!
Valdivia - ZAL
Santiago - SCL
Sky Airline A great short flight with the LCC Sky Airline. Great BOB, and surprisingly good pitch between seats! Too bad they adopted the single line boarding scheme I saw in Brazil, but that seems to be the trend these days. :(
ZAL Still pretty and efficient, but showing signs of wear. Revamp the looks of that cafeteria, for God's sake! XD
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