Review of LATAM flight Punta Arenas Santiago in Economy

Airline LATAM
Flight LA2
Class Economy
Seat 24L
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 03:20
Take-off 03 Feb 18, 16:25
Arrival at 03 Feb 18, 19:45
L2   #66 out of 124 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 84 reviews
nechus
By SILVER 635
Published on 20th July 2018
Hello!

In the previous report I boarded LATAM's LA2 flight from Puerto Natales back to Santiago after my holidays in Patagonia.

But instead of heading immediately north to Santiago, we flew south to Punta Arenas - PUQ - which is necessary for refueling the plane, since PNT doesn't have the necessary equipment.

That would be one of the reasons why another airline - Sky - decided not to keep flying to Puerto Natales after pioneering this route.



I'm shaken


So, this report starts with my flight parked at PUQ's apron.

Find a detailed tour around the premises in my previous report.

Some passengers from Santiago have disembarked, and some are boarding.

photo img_20180203_155657

There's a very strong wind…

photo img_3972

…coming from the Strait of Magellan…

photo img_3973

…that makes life miserable for the ground staff…

photo img_3975
>
photo img_3976
>
photo img_3977
>
photo img_3978

…and sgakes the plane from side to side constantly. I feel I'm inside a coctel shaker.

photo img_3979

A little storm is growing in my stomach…

photo img_3981

…and I'm not sure I can hold it in…

photo img_3982

…if we don't leave soon. Blurgh…

photo img_3983

At least they can be happy…

photo img_3985

…that the wind pushes the cart with them.

photo img_3987

Those vehicles are electric! I didn't know that.

photo img_3990

Disclaimer: "If you use this platform but don't belong to this company, do it at your own risk."

photo img_3993

The wind plays nasty tricks on the ground staff…

photo img_3998

…like trying to undress them…

photo img_4000

…or giving them what looks like rubber legs, as the guy on the left seems to have.

photo img_4003




The Flight I - Over Paine Towers and Perito Moreno


Some details of the flight. Yes. I know the map is a bit long. Oh, by the way, this is flight 6 of 9 of this series. The reports for flights 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 are also available.

photo route puq scl

At long last. We're leaving.

photo img_4007

Brazillian Air Foce?

photo img_4008

I didn't know their jet fighters were so posh!

photo img_4009

One of Aerovías DAP's BAe aircraft. By the way, DAP is in hot water…

photo img_4012

…since JetSmart, an LCC, announced that it will start flying the Balmaceda > Punta Arenas route next November, which was covered exclusively by DAP so far.

photo img_4014

We wait a little until this guy lands…

photo img_4019

…before we keep taxiing along…



…one of PUQ's three runways.

photo img_4027

And we leave.



Departing from PUQ gives you…



…superb views of the Strait of Magellan.

photo img_4039

That's one of ENAP's (Chilean oil company) refineries…

photo img_4040

…and the island over there is Isabel, which is private property…

photo img_4041

…and is used for cattle farming.

photo img_4045

The mouth of Pescado river.

photo img_4046

Though large areas in western Patagonia are covered with forests of lenga trees…

photo img_4047

…these forests are in a continuous tug-of-war…

photo img_4048

…with the eastern steppes, which can be called a "cold desert"…

photo img_4049

…though they have nothing to do with the desolate landscape of Atacama, for example.

photo img_4050

Whatever, the colors and shapes you see around Patagonia…

photo img_4053

…are fascinating.

photo img_4054
>
photo img_4057

Only minutes after taking off from PUQ, Puerto Natales comes in sight.

photo img_4060
>
photo img_4061

Here on the left is PNT, the airport…

photo img_4065

…from where we took off less than an hour before! This indicates that in a while we'll be flying above Paine Towers National Park!

photo img_4069

Indeed, our first stop during our tour around the park was Toro lake, here below.

photo img_4073

Only a little further we see…

photo img_4090

…THEM

photo img_4095

The Horns of Paine, which I find more attractive than the towers after which the park was named.

photo img_4097

The complex geography of this area was carved by glaciers.

photo img_4100

The white horizontal line between those two lakes is the Salto Grande, made up of large rapids and waterfalls that connect lakes Pehoé (lower right) and Nordenskjöld (left), at the foot of the Horns.

photo img_4103

Another important feature of the park is Grey glacier, which, like many others, is receding and will soon disappear…

photo img_4115

…just like others in the area.

photo img_4125

I can't believe my eyes when I see this white tongue stretching to the east. Can it be it?

photo img_4127

Yesss!! It's Perito Moreno glacier!!

photo img_4134

The very same glacier I visited only the day before!!

photo img_4130

It's impossible not to recognize its two sides, north and south, splitting Argentine Lake in two, and the round Magellan peninsula.

photo img_4136

The north side is the one that you visit on a boat.

photo img_4128

You arrive from El Calafate on the road around the south border of the peninsula.

photo img_4132

Perito Moreno is one of the few glaciers still resisting global warming. If you want to see it… hurry! There's little time left.

photo img_4135

We leave Perito Moreno behind…

photo img_4142

…and keep flying above the ice and snow of Campos de Hielo (ice fields).





BOB service


The FA distracts me with the BOB service.

photo img_20180203_180643

I choose a wrap this time, because one of the ingredients is quinoa, a grain I love.

photo img_20180203_180652

The wrap is good, but Sky Airline's prices still beat LATAM.

photo img_20180203_180815

They're done. It was a fast service.

photo img_20180203_181938



The Flight II - Glaciers and volcanoes


Not much more to see from here on. Oh! Look at that! It's mount Chaltén, in Argentina!

photo img_4197

We slowly reach the north of the ice field…



…where many glaciers have succumbed…

photo img_4248

…leaving nothing but mud and lagoons between those hills.



We are flying over the Chonos archipelago, made up of thousands of islands.

photo img_4320

That island with a long peninsula is called Enrique…

photo img_4321

…and the peninsula is called Punta Tajada.

photo img_4323
>
photo img_4324

From left to right, the largest islands in the photo are Harry, Chita, Toto, and Gala. Rudy is right east of Harry.

photo img_4325

Salmon farm.

photo img_4327

Some more amazing views of the archipelago.



That pointy thing down there…

photo img_4353

…is Corcovado volcano…

photo img_4356

…south-east of Chiloé island.

photo img_4359

Further north…

photo img_4360

…there's this H-shaped island…

photo img_4362

…called Talcán, and north of it…

photo img_4363

…is this funny little island made up of a single large rock that looks almost like a cube, called Nihuel. More info about it in the report of my flight to Coyhaique.

photo img_4364

The sight of Reñihue fjord…

photo img_4370
>
photo img_4372

…the mountains of Corcovado National Park…



…Queullín island…

photo img_4378
>
photo img_4379

…Reloncaví fjord…

photo img_4380
>
photo img_4381

…Calbuco volcano…

photo img_4383

…and Chapo lake (no connection to drug-trafficking, thank goodness) are unequivocal proof that we are reaching…

photo img_4388

…Puerto Montt.

photo img_4392
>
photo img_4393

From that point, the views are quite the same you can see in the reports for my other flights around the area, but I can't leave out some amazing vistas like Osorno vocano…

photo img_4394

…and it's perfect cone…

photo img_4398

…flanked by lakes Llanquihue and Todos los Santos.



Or its neighbor…

photo img_4401

… Cerro Tronador (Thundering Hill)



Lakes Rupanco (left) and Puyehue (right)…

photo img_4411

…and Puyehue volcano, that some years ago covered its surrounding areas with pumice (the cone is on the right).

photo img_4418
>
photo img_4420

And last but not least, the volcano that I can see from my city every day, Chos-Wenko…

photo img_4438b

…whose upper half is missing.

photo img_4439b

And lake Riñihue at its foot.

photo img_4448b

Some more photos:



As we near Santiago the Andes become taller and taller.

photo img_4543

We descend over Cantillana hill…

photo img_4548

…and can see the smog covering the valley of Santiago.

photo img_4550

Some happy people are escaping from it next to us…

photo img_4551

…and below us.

photo img_4553

Cough, cough, cough…

photo img_4557b

Turning right.

photo img_4565

Final approach…

photo img_4566
>
photo img_4567

…and a soft landing at SCL.






SCL


I wonder if LATAM…

photo img_4577

…has some kind of priority over the use of jetways at SCL…

photo img_4581

…because I don't remember ever disembarking a LATAM flight…

photo img_4582

…by bus at this airport.

photo img_4585b

The thing is…

photo img_4586b

…I am happy I have some time to get used to Santiago's summer heat!

photo img_20180203_195023
>
photo img_20180203_195033

No money for a miserable printer, LATAM?!

photo img_20180203_195048

Farewell to my ride, five-year-old CC-BFU.

photo img_20180203_195120_1

Luckily I have no baggage to claim, but I could pay a visit to the restrooms before I take the bus to the city.

photo img_20180203_195145

The obvious option would be those restrooms on the way to baggage claim, but they are always full.

photo img_20180203_195225

The third floor?

photo img_20180203_200345

Hm! That gives me an idea.

photo img_20180203_200349

Let's take the stairs to the third floor, past these bored-to-death ladies.

photo img_20180203_200307

The restrooms on this corner of the third floor (door 23A) are always empty and clean.

photo img_20180203_200213

You see?

photo img_20180203_200118
>
photo img_20180203_200122

Back on the second floor it's time to go down through baggage claim…

photo img_20180203_200422

…out to the hot afternoon, and onto the bus, which brings my two trips to Patagonia to an end.

photo img_20180203_200850




Tourism Bonus - Punta Arenas



Not a long bonus this time. Just some views of the city from Cerro La Cruz lookout…



…and some streets downtown.


I fully enjoyed this trip, from the first penguin in the Strait of Magellan to the last bit of ice of Perito Moreno glacier. Patagonia is a place you should visit at least once in your lifetime… before everything melts down!! :(

This lonely seagull mastering the winds of the Strait of Magellan is an appropriate image to close this report, which is not the end of this series, though, because now I'm packing my bag to fly north to a city called Antofagasta, whose airport, ANT, has never been reported here. This time we'll fly JetSmart.

photo img_1254
See more

Verdict

LATAM

8.5/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment9.0
Meal/catering7.0

Punta Arenas - PUQ

8.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness10.0

Santiago - SCL

9.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Second leg of my flight from Puerto Natales to Santiago on LATAM, after a stopover at PUQ (Punta Arenas).

So far, LATAM has offered the best quality for my money in domestic flights within Chile, with comfortable seats and cabins, good BOB service, an IFE system (that I haven't used), and three different fares you can choose from.

Informations on the route Punta Arenas (PUQ) Santiago (SCL)

6 Comments

  • Comment 455356 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4545 Comments

    A feast for the eyes as always! Amazing scenery from start to finish and you were lucky with a beautiful relatively cloudless day. The wrap looks fine though it does look a bit dry. Santiago is an impressive city from the air, it's too bad, it's enveloped in a cloud of pollution.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 455463 by
      nechus SILVER AUTHOR 570 Comments

      Thank you, Kevin!

      Yes, impressive scenery indeed. And wait to see the next report! I don't really like the desert very much, but this time I saw from the plane a landscape that blew my mind! And I'm not talking about mountains or vocanoes. I'm talking about colors!

      The wrap was fine, but I still think that Sky and even JetSmart have a better BOB. And less expensive.

      Yes. Santiago is toxic. It gets critical in autumn (April, May), with hospitals collapsing with little children and elderly people who can barely breathe. Horrible. I congratulate myself for leaving all that.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Comment 455541 by
    spiritzio 1 Comments

    what an awesome trip report, the landscape in those snaps are truly amazing

  • Comment 455643 by
    loukas SILVER 248 Comments

    Hi Nechus, thanks for all these amazing views, volcanos, mountains, glaciers, bays and islands, it's always a pleasure to read your reports!

Login to post a comment.