Review of Andes Líneas Aéreas flight Buenos Aires San Carlos de Bariloche in Economy

Flight OY860
Class Economy
Seat 29F
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 18 Jul 18, 12:15
Arrival at 18 Jul 18, 14:35
OY 4 reviews
Published on 2nd February 2019

Welcome to the fourth and last leg of this trip around Argentina.

If you want to enjoy (so to say) the experience of flying this little-known airline onboard a rickety MD-80, visiting tiny (but growing) IGR, or simply seeing some great views of Buenos Aires and Iguazú falls, you're invited to check the reports to legs 1, 2, and 3.

Let's start with a brief visit to a historical corner of Buenos Aires called La Boca.

Pre-Flight Bonus - La Boca

Buenos Aires is divided into many neighborhoods, and the neghborhood called La Boca is located next to the mouth (la boca) of river Matanzas, aka Riachuelo.

La Boca was settled by Italian (most precisely, Genoese) immigrants, and it was always plagued by poverty, especially after an outbreak of yellow fever. The richest inhabitants moved to the north of the city looking for a healthier place. The poor stayed behind.

photo img_20180717_165711

Houses were made of scrap metal sheets, and painted with leftover paint from the port. A house could be painted with many different colors because they didn't have enough paint of the same color to paint the whole house…

photo img_20180717_104117

…and the tradition has been kept.

photo img_20180717_113326

Housing in La Boca consisted of conventillos (tenements)…

photo img_20180717_105006

…that have been turned into gift shops…

photo img_20180717_105232


photo img_20180717_104803

…cultural centers…

photo img_20180717_105124

…and tango clubs.

photo img_20180717_104328

I came early in the morning, when most shops were just opening.

It must be very interesting in the evening, or at night…

photo img_20180717_113711

…but I was warned that La Boca can be a dangerous place when it's dark. Even by day, you shouldn't stray away from the main shopping streets.

photo img_20180717_110459photo img_20180717_110510photo img_20180717_110514

In fact, there's no Uber service from here to the rest of the city. You must take a taxi or a bus.

photo img_20180717_110543

But if you're looking for local history, tango, or a splash of color…

photo img_20180717_113555

…you will love La Boca!

photo img_20180717_113610


As you might have seen in the report for leg 2, AEP is a long and narrow airport.

photo img_20180718_095357

Andes counters are open more than two hours before departure time.

photo img_20180718_095401

Fantastic, because I'll be free to go for a stroll…

photo img_20180718_095445

…around the premises.

photo img_20180718_095653

This was the farthest I came the last time.

photo img_20180718_095836_1

Not much to see beyond. Just the arrivals area…

photo img_20180718_095936

…and some cafeterias.

photo img_20180718_100029

There are several shops like this one. Very important if you have to buy your SUBE card, which you'll need in order to use the public transtport system, aka colectivos (buses)

photo img_20180718_100310_1

And you can also get these!! It's been ages since I had my last Kinder Sorpresa! They are banned in Chile now. You can't use toys to lure children into eating high-calorie foods. So be careful! You can be fined if you try to smuggle them into the country.

photo img_20180718_100348

Going back on my steps I arrive at the other end. So, AEP is divided into a series of smaller buildings, like the wagons of a train. This wagon in particular is the domestic flights area.

photo img_20180718_100044_1

Upstairs, it's connected to international departures. Just a little peek…

photo img_20180718_100944
photo img_20180718_100959

…because there's a lot of people and I don't want to be late. The FIDS says…

photo img_20180718_101051

…that my flight to Bariloche is en horario (according to schedule), but no gate has been assigned yet. The last time we didn't know our gate number until after departure time!

photo img_20180718_101103

An exhibition!

photo img_20180718_101209photo img_20180718_101241photo img_20180718_101430

I didn't know they had capibaras in Argentina! The largest rodents in the world.

photo img_20180718_101252photo img_20180718_101310photo img_20180718_101408

Evidently there's a lack of seats around here.

photo img_20180718_101443

Once in the queue, we are sent to different lines depending on our destination.

photo img_20180718_101611

The segregation continues as we near the check points.

photo img_20180718_101949

At SCL, those screens show instructions about the security check process. In Argentina they play a loop about missing people, or rewards in exchange for information to solve murder cases. It's a long loop!

photo img_20180718_102512
photo img_20180718_102514

The info about security check is here.

photo img_20180718_102620

A small duty free after safety check…

photo img_20180718_102839
photo img_20180718_102834

…and the access to the gates is on your left.

photo img_20180718_102856

It was fast in spite of the crowd.

photo img_20180718_103012

According to my boarding pass, boarding time will be at 11:30…

photo img_20180718_114329b

So I still have one hour to relax.

photo img_20180718_103124

But the story repeats itself and we aren't assigned a gate until after boarding time.

photo img_20180718_113818

So don't get anxious. You know what to expect at AEP.

photo img_20180718_113903_1

The newspaper announces 3.7% inflation for July, the highest level in the last two years.

photo img_20180718_114703

Gate 9 is downstairs. We'll be using a bus!

photo img_20180718_114720
photo img_20180718_114724

This gate has a door! I didn't see that at other gates.

photo img_20180718_114759

No tomar fotos. I wonder what that means. XD

photo img_20180718_114941

That was a redundant warning. It's a miracle that I can see something outside. These windows really need some cleaning!

photo img_20180718_115232

Austral Líneas Aéreas - a subsidiary of Aerolíneas Argentinas - has a full-Embraer fleet.

photo img_20180718_115246

Different AR liveries parade next to us. That large, blue nose reminds me of Gonzo, from Sesame Street!

photo img_20180718_115306_1

A bit more sober.

photo img_20180718_115313

The current livery.

photo img_20180718_115324

Yikes! Can it be true?!

photo img_20180718_115327

LV-WGN!! You'll be my ride once more?!

Aww. No, you won't. Too bad. I'll never forget your brush-painted interiors…

photo img_20180718_115350

…or your door fixed with duct-tape.

photo img_20180718_115443

Very low clouds today! AEP usually closes…

photo img_20180718_115414

…due to bad weather in winter.

photo img_20180718_115606

Lookie here! LV-HHK brought me from Bariloche…

photo img_20180718_115614

…and it will also take me back there!

photo img_20180718_115619

I'm not sure if this is my good or bad luck. I wanted to fly on MD-80s but this happened only in one of the four flights of this trip. :(

photo img_20180718_115647_1

Moreover, according to, there are only two 737s in Andes' fleet - LV-HKK and LV-GWL - and they will be returned to ther lessor three months after this flight.

photo transponder

So, since October 2018, Andes' fleet has been made up of only five aircraft: Five MD-80s!! (Time to update the background image?)

photo flota

Well, all in all, and after the "vintage" experience on LV-WGN, its a good thing that I'll fly in a modern cabin…

photo img_20180718_120200

…that has not been fixed…

photo img_20180718_120353

…I repeat, that HAS NOT BEEN FIXED WITH DUCT TAPE. Right? … Gosh.

photo img_20180718_120357

Hm. At least my armrest looks OK.

photo img_20180718_120410

Shoot me.

photo img_20180718_120438

Well, as Dwayne Johnson said in Skyscraper "If you can't fix it with duct tape, you're not using enough duct tape." XD

Meanwhile, outside in the cold…

photo img_7400

…the ground staff brings the baggage.

photo img_7402

Is that all? Really?

photo img_7403

There must have been more before I looked out of the window, but I'm not sure. The last time I saw such little volume of baggage was with Latin American Wings, and it was not a good omen.

photo img_7405

A little check of my duct-taped environment. Antimacassar showing Andes destinations.

photo img_20180718_120452

Generous legroom.

photo img_20180718_120525

Seatback pocket contents.

photo img_20180718_120557

Safety card.

photo img_20180718_120656
photo img_20180718_120810

OMG, a seatback pocket inside a seatback pocket! I never saw that before.

photo img_20180718_120906

Inflight magazine…

photo img_20180718_120946

…suggesting you reduce your salt intake.

photo img_20180718_121051

I hope nothing will fall from that luggage bin.

photo img_20180718_120447

It seems to be falling apart.

photo img_20180718_133103

The overhead panel with those funny, lumpy lamps.

photo img_20180718_134124

Fuel gets loaded…

photo img_7404

…and the safety speech is given manually.

photo img_20180718_122517

There they come for us.

photo img_7408

In a minute we should be…

photo img_7409

…on our way.

photo img_7410

Welcome to Duct Tape Airlines - The Flight

Some additional information about this flight.

photo 2018-07-27-230718_1366x768_scrot

This way? You're very kind.

photo img_7413

After a short pushback…

photo img_7414

…we taxi past…

photo img_7415

…Andes' other 737…

photo img_7416

…towards the west end…

photo img_7417

…of the runway.

photo img_7422

The rain is spoiling my plane spotting, which is not very abundant, either. An Avianca turbo prop there.

The tops of Buenos Aires high rises look amazing when they poke out of the fog. I hope I'll have the chance to see them this time.

photo img_7432

Let's see.

photo img_7433

Here we go…

photo img_7434photo img_7435photo img_7436

…into the fog…

photo img_7437

…above Arturo Umberto Illia Av. and Jerónimo Salguero Street.

photo img_7439

Nope. The fog is too high this time. :(

photo img_7443

We won't happen to see much of the plains this time, either.

photo img_7446

Yes. I can hear you saying "Phew! We'll skip the Geography lesson today!"

photo img_7449

The snack service starts.

photo img_20180718_131150

They have hot water this time! (They didn't onboard the MD-80)

photo img_20180718_132848

BTW, in my previous flight I learned that MD-80s are terribly noisy at the back, but this 737 is not very different. I have a very akward conversation with the FA:

FA A-u-a–e-e?
ME Huh?
FA A-u-ca-o-en-u-e??
ME Er… huh?
FA A–u–car–o–en–u–a–teee!!
ME Huh?
FA (Visibly pissed off) AZÚCAR O ENDULZANTE???? (Sugar or sweetener?)

The contents of the snack box has not varied.

photo img_20180718_133010

I just wonder what happens if I pull a little…?

photo img_20180718_134714

Looks like an easy way to "re-brand" the cabin.

photo img_20180718_134729

Passengers kill time reading, talking, and playing on their cellphones for lack of some other kind of IFE.

photo img_20180718_142202

Isn't this box supposed to be precisely that? I read about these metal boxes somewhere but I forgot. Filthy carpeting, BTW.

photo img_20180718_145442

But there's no better IFE that flight-reporting, don't you think? I don't even notice when we reach the edge of lake Nahuel Huapi.

photo img_7450

It's cold in Patagonia!

photo img_7454

Under the clouds…

photo img_7459

…Bariloche comes into view.

photo img_7461


photo img_7462

Even though it's on a lake…

photo img_7463

…Bariloche doesn't have large beaches…

photo img_7464

…but it's a paradise for many other activities, from water sports and trekking…

photo img_7466

…to fishing, horse riding, and climbing…

photo img_7472

…and a lot of skiing.

photo img_7475

There's great tourism infrastucture, from humble airbnb rentals to luxurious hotels where - as rumour has it - even El Chapo came to hide in. Check some interesting websites here, and here.

photo img_7477

Finally, after we cross the road that will take me home the next day…

…we make it back to BRC.

photo img_7483

End of the road - BRC


photo img_7485

Clap, clap, clap, clap…

photo img_7486

Why do people clap after landing? I don't think the captain can hear it from the cockpit, can he?

photo img_7490

Well, it makes more sense than clapping at the movies, at least! Now THAT is silly!

photo img_7492photo img_7494photo img_7495

YPF is the largest Argentine oil company.

photo img_7499

The weather is beastly today!

photo img_7501

I wouldn't like to be them.

photo img_7503

I could bet he didn't even take his pajamas off this morning!

photo img_7505

While fuel loading continues…

photo img_7506

…I say good bye to my duct-taped seat…

photo img_20180718_145501

…and disembark with a view of the control tower and the cafeteria (the pointy roof)

photo img_20180718_145812_1

The logo of the Argentine Soccer Association. Oops. If they could see the future…!

photo img_7508

The steepest jetbridge…

photo img_7509

…I've ever seen.

photo img_20180718_145828
photo img_7510

A last peek at LV-HHK before it gets stored.

photo img_7512
photo img_7513

Bottom left, the "international boarding room" of my first flight in this series. On the right, the other waiting room (with the woodpecker). We'll be coming back soon!

photo img_20180718_145902

Down to…

photo img_20180718_145909

…baggage claim, which is usually…

photo img_20180718_145918_1

…the last stop…

photo img_20180718_145928

…in a domestic flight.

photo img_20180718_145930
photo img_20180718_145954_1

Not at BRC.

photo img_20180718_150210

You must clear a phytosanitary control. No kind of red meat, sausages, salted meat, fruits, vegetables, or plant cuttings will make it through.

photo img_20180718_150243

I brought a coati with me, but it's a wooden one, so I'm free to go!

photo img_20180718_150346

I remember that taxis were outside on the left…

photo img_20180718_150352

…but the transfer vans are outside, and they're usually cheaper than a taxi. Not at BRC! I suggest you ask first. A taxi might cost the same and be faster. Don't forget your SUBE card if you want to take the bus!

photo img_20180718_150510

Thanks for reading! :)
See more


Andes Líneas Aéreas

Cabin crew10.0

Buenos Aires - AEP


San Carlos de Bariloche - BRC



My fourth experience with Andes Líneas Aéreas, which might well be the last one considering their decaying cabins, their disappointing snack service, their rising prices, the increasing competition, and the troubled Argentine economy.

Information on the route Buenos Aires (AEP) San Carlos de Bariloche (BRC)


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 486714 by
    ThomasDutch BRONZE 600 Comments
    Compared to your previous FR with Andes on their MD83, their cabin on the 738 is not much better. Unbelievable how little they care about their product. What is the reason for retiring their 737s btw?
    • Comment 486716 by
      Pilpintu TEAM BRONZE AUTHOR 960 Comments
      In this article ( ) they explain that Andes became 40% smaller by getting rid of some planes, firing some staff and cancelling some routes because of a crisis in the Argentine economy. Their CEO explains that they are going through a "period of adjustement."

      Or maybe they simply ran out of duct tape! XD
  • Comment 486882 by
    marathon 9869 Comments
    La Boca was the setting of "The Road to Buenos Aires", written by French pioneer of investigative journalism Albert Londres (1884-1932), on the trafficking of French prostitutes plying the trade in this neighborhood. I wonder how many visitors 100 years later read this book.

    I wrote slightly more than one Flight Report, but leave this souvenir to another reader ;)

    Thanks for the warning about the risks of Kinder Surprise smuggling into Chile !

    Interesting AR liveries - all airlines int he world seem to have cases of noses with the wrong color.

    I love the quote on duct tape ! :)

    Interesting Argentinian version of the infamous "Sucré salé ?" on French domestic flights.

    Thanks for sharing!
    • Comment 486894 by
      Pilpintu TEAM BRONZE AUTHOR 960 Comments
      I wonder how many visitors 100 years later read this book.

      The book is available from Amazon, but it has no reviews yet. I think that answers your question! :D

      In these latitudes people are much more familiar with "Marco", a story from Edmondo de Amicis' novel "Cuore" ("Corazón" for us), and even more with the Japanese anime series based on that story. Marco was a little Genoese child whose mother had to leave him and her husband in order to move to Argentina. Later Marco decided to look for her and traveled on his own. I just couldn't stand watching that series as a child. It broke my heart!!

      Thanks for the warning about the risks of Kinder Surprise smuggling into Chile !

      Sorry to spoil some prospective business! XD
  • Comment 487947 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6182 Comments
    Hola Nelson!

    "My fourth experience with Andes Líneas Aéreas, which might well be the last one considering their decaying cabin"
    - Yes, please stop flying seems you are putting your like in danger flying on these rust buckets!

    If anything Andes is consistent...consistently crappy ?
    • Comment 488047 by
      Pilpintu TEAM BRONZE AUTHOR 960 Comments
      Don't worry. I'm done with them. I took another domestic flight in Argentina with Flybondi (report coming soon) and it was a much better experience. With Andes there's more risk of an infection than of an accident, anyway! XD

Login to post a comment.