Some people say that biological evolution is a slow process that takes millions and millions of years.
That would be the reason why it goes unnoticed.
If this is true, the theory of evolution and my country have much in common. Changes do happen… but veeeeeery slowly.
This report is proof to that.
Let's take a look at some changes taking place at SCL and one of our LCCs, Sky Airline.
The first change is the construction of the new international terminal at SCL.
Though the new piers are taking shape…
…the airport concession's holder has announced that the works could be finished by mid-2021 and not in 2020, due to the inefficiency of the Ministry of Public Works during the former government of Mrs. Michelle Bachellet. (Source)
So it might take longer than expected for the wavy roofs inspired by the sea or the mountains - as the concession's holder describes them - to be completed.
This is proof against the theory of slow evolution: Only a couple of months ago the airport's book exchange project started with nothing but an insignificant stand in the boarding room with two or three books in it. It has evolved into a whole digital library service!
You install an app on your cellphone, register…
…and scan the QR code to the book you have selected. Wonderful!
But I'll skip it for now. I prefer paper books. My eyes need some time away from shiny pixels.
This completely white 747 taxies solemnly past the boarding room. Too bad I'm carrying my cellphone only, and I can't see any details.
CC-AID looks so tiny in comparison!
Other interesting sightings: (LA)TAM…
…and local Mineral Airways CC-ABD. My first commercial flight ever was on a 737-200. I'd love to repeat the experience!
And this one… oh, it's our ride.
Ahh… Impatient millenials.
Brrrr… scary. But they won't catch me this time. I have noticed that common rucksacks - of the kind that children use for school - are usually overlooked, even if they are oversized, like mine. It's different with those cylindrical ones used by backpackers, and wheeled bags.
How I hate the words Embarque General (General Boarding)! They usually mean…
…long minutes stuck in the jetway…
…with a crowd in a hot day…
…worst experience ever.
I like these little windows in some jetways!
SkyAirline shows off its awards. (Orgullo = pride) Best Customer Experience Award? Hm. General Boarding wasn't taken into account, I presume.
Even though I like Sky's seats because they are cushier than the ironboard-style so common in LCCs nowadays, they reduce legroom to the minumum.
It's enough for me, but anyone taller than me is going to find it uncomfortable. I'm 170cm tall.
Sky has an inflight magazine. Not as good as LATAM's, but still interesting for lack of wifi.
Valparaíso. Beautiful for those who enjoy a bohemian lifestyle.
"Let the last opportunity to change your seat not fly away," would be a somewhat literal translation. "If the seat you want is available, you can move to it right now for only 10000 CLP," or 17 USD.
This is a bit expensive if compared to JetSmart. Their prices go from 4000 CLP (6 USD) to 10000 CLP (15 USD), depending on the seat you choose. "It's never too late to travel in the seat you want," the card says.
I'm in the middle of this flight-reporting activity when I hear a FA talking to the passenger behind me. She is offering to move him to the emergency exit row for free because the law says that someone MUST sit there. To my astonishment, the passenger - a young man - says no!
I raise my index finger and go just like Donkey:
So she picks ME!! Look at this!!
Aahh… this is the life.
This is the closest to an upgrade that you can get in Chile. All domestic flights are full Y, afaik. The only drawback: these seats won't recline. Ouch!
No tray table there. And one wouldn't make much sense unless you are Reed Richards, either.
Besides, its use is restricted.
A sense of responsibility makes me go through the steps I must follow in case of an emergency. Let's see. Pull that cover, throw it away, lower a lever, and out with the door.
It shouldn't be a problem… I guess.
Pushback on time. Great. I'lll be home for lunch.
We take the street that goes behind the control tower, around some hangars and an aircraft cemetery. Lookie here! Deceased Latin American Wings never paid me back the 50 USD I paid for a cancelled flight last January. >:(
Oops. Their logo has been covered. Those planes must have been confiscated or something.
LATAM plane being painted, I guess. It's incredible how slowly LATAM's has repainted its planes with the new livery!
We turn left at this corner…
…and taxi past this heartbreaking sight…
…of derelict planes. :(
So many stories! Each plane is a world in itself! CC-CTO, for example, took its first steps - or flights, in this case - with Malaysia Airlines back in 1972. It finally joined Sky Airline's fleet in 2003, and ended up… here! Boo - hoo.
We are reaching the runway with a view of the terminal in the distance…
Eventually, we are ready for takeoff. Here we go! Woo - hoo! We run along the runway at… taxiing speed.
500 meters ahead… still taxiing!
Half runway… still taxiing!! Is anything wrong?
Yes. The captain comes over the speakers and tells us that there's a little, insignificant problem…
…and that we'll head back to the terminal "just in case"…
…and that we will soon resume our flight.
Poor former CC-ASQ. Stored after Latin American Wing's debacle.
DAP is an airline that I must fly and report about before I (or they) die. They serve mainly destinations in Patagonia (they fly between Punta Arenas, Chile, and Ushuaia, Argentina, for example) and the mining industry in the north of the country.
We taxi past the construction work opposite the terminal…
…towards the cargo area near the access to the airport, where we'll park next to the white queen I saw this morning.
People look so small!
Prepare to be boarded!
Technician on board.
I wonder what's happening behing closed doors. Hm! Look at the galley. United Airlines? CC-AMP (this plane) has not been in United Airlines' fleet.
But it was part of Tatarstan Airline's fleet, which ceased operations in 2013 after the accident of their flight 363. The accident was not caused by technical problems, however, but supposedly by an "overworked and inadequately trained crew". I hope I can trust the Russian report!
In the meantime… not much going on outside. Korean Air containers. I have seen a Korean Air cargo 747 many times parked around here.
I have time to read the safety information card. Here's a list of requirements for passengers sitting in the exist row. Wow! This must be the first time I meet the requirements for anything. I'm in tears! If only it was a paid job! :''')
My tray table.
Oops. Somebody will drown if we crash into the ocean today.
Some passengers might be bored in the cabin today, but look at that poor thing out there.
The white 747 has left.
Time… goes by… so slowly… I've hungered for… a muffin.
I have the lyrics all wrong. XDDD
We languish here for more than 30 minutes. Only then the "little, insignificant problem" seems to be solved. Hopefully!
Second pushback of the day.
This tour of the airport…
…gives us the chance to have a look at the construction work of the east piers…
…usually hidden from the view from the boarding rooms.
We taxi along a street parallel to the one we took earlier.
But now we turn right to the east runway, more frequently used for landings, not takeoffs.
That's why we have to wait for this guy to land.
Acho que as cores da GOL são muito bonitas! Vou voar com a GOL para o Brasil um dia. :D
It's our turn.
In the end, this was today's tour around SCL starting from gate 24. The surprised face marks the point where I realized that we would never reach V1.
If the Russians can be trusted, we should make it home in one piece…
…because this former Tatarstan Airline plane has been well mantained…
…and, afaik, Sky Airline's crew are not "overworked and inadequately trained", right? Gulp!
Yes. Smog is horrendous over Santiago in autumn.
Above the smog the world is still blue and clear.
Too bad I'm not carrying my camera…
…because the Andes look beautiful…
…with the first snow of this season…
…especially the volcanoes, like Antuco…
You don't get volcanoes Llaima, Lanín and Villarrica in a sigle shot every day!
Wow! Lanín and Villarrica are completely white! A lovely sight!
The captain said we would make up for the time we lost at SCL. Well, I guess he did what he could, but the truth is that the flight took longer than the average, according to flightradar24.com. We eventually arrived at ZAL more than one hour late!
The thing is, we are soon landing above the forests and fields around Valdivia.
And here we are. Welcome to ZAL once more.
We have jetbridge today.
Too bad I didnt have the chance to show off my skills today. XDDD I hope I won't ever have to!!
I see these while waiting for my turn to deboard. What are they? Oxygen tanks?
And that was yet another successful flight with…
…Sky Airline, despite some technical problems.
And to celebrate, here's another little present. What about a notepad and pen from the School of Aeronautics of the Dirección General de Aviación Civil, the Chilean civil aviation authority? I was given it some weeks ago when they came to my school to show their careers to my students.
So, now you can take notes like a real avgeek! All you have to do is ask for it in the comments, and I'll be happy to send it to any country for free! I only have one, so the first one to ask for it will keep it.
Santiago - SCL
Valdivia - ZAL
Sky Airline is a serious competitor for LATAM in my country. In fact, Sky has much to do with the plummeting air fares in Chile. Even LATAM has had to make deep changes in order to remain competitive.
Even though we had a small technical problem today, Sky has a record of punctuality and customer satisfaction. They also have a decent BOB service that rivals LATAM's and is much less expensive than JetSmart's, the other local LCC.
It also has comfortable, reclinable seats, and good legroom.
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