Flight-Report

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

Flight OY861
Class Economy
Seat 6F
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:00
Take-off 10 Jul 18, 15:25
Arrival at 10 Jul 18, 17:25
OY 4 reviews
nechus
By SILVER 486
Published on 1st January 2019
Happy new year to everyone!! :)

VAMOS ARGENTINA!


…or "Go, Argentina!" was Andes Airlines' cheerful message during the latest world soccer championship.

Did you know that there's a church - yes, A CHURCH - in Argentina, called the Maradonian Church, dedicated to Diego Maradona, the soccer player? That should give you a slight idea of what soccer means to Argentines.

So, "Go, Argentina" might be a bit of a cruel thing to say now that Argentina lost to France (yeah, I know, "Allez les bleux") but it's a perfect introduction to this four-part series of reports on my trip around Argentina during my last winter holidays.

photo img_6442

My invitation now is…

VAMOS A ARGENTINA! (Let's go to Argentina!)

It's going to be a fantastic trip! We'll start off in Bariloche, in the Argentine Patagonia. From there, we will fly to Buenos Aires and visit some famous landmarks. Then we'll continue north to the point where Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay meet, and we'll visit the most amazing and breathtaking and magnificent waterfalls on earth: Iguazú Falls.

All this on an airline that has not yet been introduced to the readers of flight-report.com: Andes Líneas Aéreas, with a fleet made up of B737-800s, and the respectable MD-80. I'm crossing my fingers that I'll have the chance to fly on one of those for the first time!

This is leg 1 of 4 of this trip. You can also read the report for leg 2.




Andes Líneas Aéreas


According to information on their website, Andes Líneas Aéreas started flying in 2006, connecting the city of Salta with Buenos Aires.

photo institucional

And according to omnisapient Wikipedia, it started flying to Puerto Iguazú (our final destination in this trip) in July, 2017.

This article says that Andes offers low prices, but avoids being labelled an LCC, that the airline is a family company, and that they have become the third largest airline in Argentina with 7% marketshare.

photo historyinfobae

Low prices they say? Indeed! At least until 2018.

When I purchased my ticket for this July 2018 round trip six months in advance in December 2017, I paid 2808 ARS (Argentine pesos) = 73 USD. What's more, they have three fares - basic, intermediate and premium - and the three of them were at the same price! (Webmaster mistake??) So I chose the premium fare, of course, and didn't have to pay for picking a seat or adding extra baggage:

photo fireshot capture 4 - andes lneas areas i extras - https___book.andesonline.com_extras_add

But wonderful as this is, this low price is really puzzling to me.

The first thing I fail to understand is how Andes was able to charge less than AR before Argentina's airfare price floors were removed in the second half of 2018. Before that, airlines were forbidden to charge less than Aerolíneas, afaik.

And the second thing that leaves me scratching my head is why, now that the airfare floors have been removed - which should have led to a dramatic fall in airfare prices - exactly the opposite has happened! Look at Andes' prices for the coming 2019 winter holiday season. The cheapest fare is 9665 ARS (253 USD), almost four times what I paid!!

photo 2018-12-16-122813_1366x768_scrot

Andes is beaten by Aerolíneas Argentinas most of the time now. These are the prices for the BRC > AEP leg next July. As low as 2714 ARS!

photo 2018-12-16-123336_1366x768_scrot

I don't know how Andes will survive with other LCC alternatives like Flybondi (report coming [relatively] soon) offering much cheaper prices. Round trip at 3598 Argentine Pesos for the coming summer holiday season, for example.

photo 2018-12-16-125945_1366x768_scrot

So, why did I pay so little for the Premium fare back in December 2017?

Special promotion? Fuel was four times cheaper? Webmaster's mistake?

My conclusion is:

¯\_(ツ)_/¯




Getting ready


The thing is, there's no way I will stay home during the school winter holidays when I can visit Buenos Aires and Iguazú Falls for a ridiculously low price and, who knows, with the (probable) bonus of flying on an MD-80 for the first time!

Do you like seat maps? Good, because here comes a long one.

photo seats

I don't have to pay for picking my seat because, with all the fares at the same price, I have chosen the premium fare, of course. So smart. XD

75 USD for the Bariloche > Buenos Aires > Bariloche trip.

photo price

Fast forward six months, and I have my boarding pass. Not sure if I can carry it on my phone, so I'll print it.

photo bp



The longest transfer evah!


Technically, Bariloche is a 5-hour car or bus ride from my hometown. It takes longer, though, because of the border controls. We can't move as freely around South America as they do in Europe. :( We don't need visas, at least. Only our ID card.

My "transfer" for the next 8 hours or so will be Andesmar. 30 USD "classic" seat, 37 USD first class. We leave from Valdivia's bus terminal early morning.

photo img_20180708_080602

The only problem: the windows are dark brown, spoiling my photographs. :( But never mind, I will include some photos from a previous trip to Bariloche, when I travelled with one of my classes in summer. Look! That's Osorno airport! I wonder if my bovine friends are doing well… or were they "invited" to a barbecue? Meet them here and here.



The whole road trip is very scenic. We head east toward the Andes (which are little more than rolling hills in this area) surounded by the beautiful farmland around Osorno, with the view of snow-covered volcanoes like Puntiagudo…

photo img_6221b

…and Osorno.

photo img_6223b

Needless to say, tourists flood into the spas and other resorts in the area, like Termas de Puyehue.

photo img_6228b

The name of this spa comes from the beautiful lake Puyehue, on our left. The word puyehue is Mapudungun for place (hue) of puyes (a kind of small fish that live in the lake)

photo dsc02906b

We make it to the Chilean border control, called Cardenal Samoré, some kilometers before the border. Her outfit gives you an idea of how cold it is outside.

photo img_6231b

For the whole six months since I bought my tickets I feared the road might be closed in winter because of the snow. Luckily, that didn't happen today. The offices are here, on the right…

photo img_6237

…and there are some houses and even a little school on the other side of the road.

photo img_6238

The road continues to Argentina through the thick Valdivian rain forest.

photo img_6239

In the stretch between both border controls there is evidence of the latest eruption of nearby Cordón Caulle…

photo dsc02927

…which covered the landscape with pumice.

photo dsc02928

The border. Chile on the left. Argentina on the right.

photo dsc02952

Those cliffs nearby are part of the Cordón Caulle, which is not a single volcano, but a series of craters and fissures from which lava erupts violently. Puyehue volcano is only the largest crater. Hence the word "cordón", meaning a string, or a series.

photo dsc08321

Here's a photo of the last eruption in 2012. Ain't it lovely??

photo volof Source

Our first steps into Argentine territory when I came with the school trip.

photo dsc02933

Some kilometers ahead is the Argentine border control.

photo dsc02963

Now our bags must be checked, and we have to wait until it's our turn. It doesn't take long.

photo img_20180708_132841

From there on, the landscape changes drastically.



Putting some airlines to shame, there's a little snack service on board…

photo img_20180708_135500

…with some cookies and coffee, before we get to…

photo img_20180708_135709

Villa La Angostura

photo img_20180708_142004b

…a picturesque town…

photo img_20180708_142014b

…where tourism is the main activity.



In the last stretch of the journey we drive along the north shore of lake Nahuel Huapi.

photo img_6282b

The towering Cerro Tres Monjes (Three Monks Hill) dominates the landscape.

photo img_6299b
>
photo img_20180708_145710b

A view from the top

photo ghrt Source

Some minutes later, Bariloche…

photo img_6314b

…on the south shore…

photo img_6317b

…of the lake.

photo img_6319b

The mountains might be lower than in the north of the country, but so is the line of snow, so it's freaking cold in here…

photo img_6321b

…which doesn't mean Argentines will lock themselves at home.

photo img_6334b

At last! The eastern tip of lake Nahuel Huapi!

photo img_6336b

Going round the tip of the lake…

photo img_6338b
>
photo img_6345b

…and here we are! This is the Centro Cívico, in downtown Bariloche. More photos when I come back from Buenos Aires.

photo img_20180709_115624

Later (days later, actually) I find the first setback in this long transfer: No Uber in Bariloche! Ouch! (⇀‸↼) You either have to take a taxi to the airport, which will charge you some 400 ARS (11 USD), or wait for bus 72 here on Moreno street…

photo img_20180710_101838

…across from this park.

photo img_20180710_101331

Be punctual because the service is not very frequent.

photo img_20180710_103348

Here's the timetable. Nine trips to the airport a day, one every 2 or 3 hours. Info taken from here. "Centro" is where I'm waiting now.

photo 72

The dirty windows don't help to enjoy the landscape, either. The bus fare is less than 30 ARS. Make sure you have the SUBE card with the necessary amount previously charged. I bought mine when I arrived at the bus terminal. Buses don't accept cash.

photo img_20180710_104553

The airport is quite close to the city. The bus ride took about half an hour. It should be ten or fifteen minutes by car.

photo img_6395

We pass by the bus terminal on our way to the airport. This reminds me that, on arriving from Chile, I heard plane engines roaring over my head. It was one of Andes' MD-80s!! I hope that's a good omen!!

photo img_6355

The road is flanked by pines. Forestry used to be an important business here, but then the area was declared a national park…

photo img_6396

…so a last harvest was allowed, and the remaining shoots grew into forests again. Pines grow faster than native species. The airport terminal is just beyond this roundabout.

photo img_6398

Then this ramp…

photo img_6400
>
photo img_6401

…leaves us outside departures.

photo img_20180710_131537



BRC


Parking allowed for three minutes only…

photo img_20180710_131558

…at the entrance.

photo img_20180710_131627

Opposite the entrance, down there, is the parking lot…

photo img_20180710_131708

…and the bus (aka colectivo) stop for the trip back.

photo img_20180710_131725
>
photo img_20180710_131739

Taxis wait downstairs. Can you see that old red Renault 4 down there? We stopped seeing those in Chile in the 1980s, but they are still commonplace in Argentina!! Argentines love them! I saw several during my trip…

photo img_6408

…like this one…

photo img_20180708_171844

…or this one.

photo img_6358

In fact, Argentines seem to be very attached to their old cars!

photo img_6359

Beyond the taxis and the roundabout… my beloved mountains. Ha! I'm starting to sound like Heidi! XD

photo img_6415

On the other end, the way out of the airport. Hm! Who's sitting over there?

photo img_6410

A private Bombardier Challenger 600.

photo img_6411

Let's get inside. You're greeted by the FIDS. Wow! BRC is quite well connected! I could even reach Sao Paulo from here! But with a stop in Buenos Aires. Too bad. SCL would be still more convenient for me in that case.

photo img_20180710_111603

BRC doesn't seem to be very large. View to the left…

photo img_20180710_111854

…and view to the right. And that would be pretty much all landside.

photo img_20180710_111918

But let's have a look at this ground plan. To the left is the hall principal (main hall), with the check-in counters first, and a salón confitería (aka cafeteria) at the bottom. There's a special corner in the cafeteria called sala de espera espacio arte, meaning "art space waiting room." Bottom right is the access to a… free shop? (I guess they mean "duty free shop") from where you get to the international boarding room. Finally, in the middle of the building, opposite the entrance, is the access to the waiting room for domestic flights (pre-embarque nacional) Both waiting rooms - domestic and international - appear separated in the plan, but they are connected today, as you'll see later.

photo img_20180710_121445_1

Afraid of missing the last morning bus, I came really early today. The check-in couters are still closed, so I have a couple of hours to pull my bag around and get acquainted with BRC. First shop on the right is Rapa Nui Chocolates. Glad to see that this Chilean island (aka Easter Island) is well known here. I just wonder if a single cocoa tree ever grew on it!!

photo img_20180710_111942

Opposite Rapa Nui Chocolates, the competition: El Turista Chocolates. What if I tell the assistant "Hey. In the other shop they say that your chocolates suck"? Then they might start a chocolate war and throw chocolate bars at each other while I'm in the middle. Mwa ha ha!

photo img_20180710_111946

Beyond all this diabetes-inducing trade, some places to sit (and eat chocolate) and the access to safety check for international departures. This is the end of the hall, so I have to…

photo img_20180710_112023

…turn around and retrace my steps.

photo img_20180710_112059

Middle of the hall. Should I wrap my bag? Someone might want to get their hands on the smoked salmon I'm carrying for my host. Nah.

photo img_20180710_112203

Access to national departures. But not yet.

photo img_20180710_124608

Counters still closed for one more hour.

photo img_20180710_121734

In the meantime…

photo img_20180710_121740

…a little snack from the cafeteria sounds like a good idea.

photo img_20180710_124255

Very well provided and fast attention.

photo img_20180710_124153

The "art space waiting room"…

photo img_20180710_124018

…is very spotter friendly.

photo img_6402

If only there were more airlines to spot around here. :/

photo img_6403

And from that window on the other side…

photo img_20180710_124024

…there's a view of the way out of the airport. I wonder if I can check in now.

photo img_6406

At last! Whoops! Almost 14kg?! The heaviest item were my boots… and I never took them out of the bag! :/

photo img_20180710_125953

Feeling lighter, I can now look around the rest of BRC. LATAM's kiosks are placed…

photo img_20180710_130142

…by the stairs that lead…

photo img_20180710_130202

…to arrivals.

photo img_20180710_130237

Quite "fome" (boring). Well, arrival areas are usually boring in small airports, aren't they?

photo img_20180710_130241

No shops. No nothing. It's like you're being told "Please, leave soon. We need the space."



But the restrooms are usually better at arrivals, don't you think? They usually have less visitors!



Bariloche is inside Nahuel Huapi National Park.

photo img_20180710_130530

Not much more to see around here. Let's go back upstairs…

photo img_20180710_131305

…to security check.

photo img_20180710_124919

No shortcut. :(

photo img_20180710_132152

Fantastic. It took no time. The access to gates 3 and 4, bottom right, was closed in the ground plan…

photo img_20180710_132444

…but both rooms seem to be permanently connected now.

photo img_20180710_132535

The international departures side, according to the ground plan. The cafeteria here is a branch of the one landside. Same products, same prices.

photo img_20180710_132616

Duty free shop behind that metal curtain.

photo img_20180710_132630

A spacious and well-lit…

photo img_20180710_132654

…boarding room…

photo img_20180710_132916

…and also…

photo img_20180710_132920

…very spotter friendly. AR is leaving at the moment.

photo img_20180710_132721
>
photo img_20180710_132749

These G20 signs are everywhere, allusive to the meeting held in Buenos Aires last December.

photo img_6451

According to this article, until September this year all airlines in Argentina were forced to hire the services of Intercargo…

photo img_6416

…and its subsidiary…

photo img_6417

…Handling Argentino.

photo img_6420

Only Aerolíneas Argentinas and American Airlines were exempt.

photo img_6421

I wonder if that was the old terminal and control tower.

photo img_6452

Whatever it is, it's needing some maintenance!

photo img_6453
>
photo img_6455

Austral is part of AR. The red line in its livery is a reminder of its independent past. I've written two reports on Austral so far, here and here.

photo img_6422

Back in the first waiting room, someone else is preparing his own flight report!

photo img_20180710_133037

Unlike domestic flights in my country, which are full economy class, AR offers Club Economy, a sort of domestic business class. There were plans to axe this class in order to make room for more seats, though.

photo img_20180710_133113

Hello? A pizza with double pepperoni, please. […] What?! That will look very ugly in my report, you know?

photo img_20180710_133136

I saw one of these in Torres del Paine! Beautiful!



Argentines either have rock-hard buttocks from so many hours in the gym, or they simply like a sore bum. I haven't found a single cushioned seat in Argentine airports so far!

photo img_20180710_133321

My plane should be arriving by now. Will it be an MD-80??

Er… nope. Bad luck.

photo img_6426

Boo - hoo. It's just a 737. :'(

photo img_6429

What do you think of OY's livery? That reddish brown color of the word Andes is quite unusual. But I don't think it's ugly. I like the typeface, too.

photo img_6430

Born in 2001, LV-HHK has had an exciting life, flying for South African Airlines, Malasia Airlines, and now for Andes.

photo img_6434

But we won't see much of the livery from here. I hear that we'll be boarding through gate 4, so…

photo img_6436

…let's run back to international departures.

photo img_6437

Much better.

photo img_6440
>
photo img_6442

The logo of the Argentine Soccer Association is plastered all over the plane.

photo img_6445

The typical flat-belly 737 engines.

photo img_6443

And a nice touch - the Argentine flag on the winglets. Learn from them, LATAM! "Ahora somos latinoamericanos." SHAME ON YOU!! Why don't you take your headquarters to Brasilia, huh? Huuh??? Dorks. >:(

photo img_6448



Boarding


As we stand in the queue…

photo img_20180710_145023

…I realize I forgot an important detail: A photo of my boarding pass! The simplest BP I have ever seen.

photo img_20180710_150226

The baggage tag on the back.

photo img_20180710_150320

Great, I'll be among the first passengers to board. […] Wait. What are they saying over the PA? We have to queue up according to our seat row? And I am in the worng line?!

photo img_20180710_150610

It's very sad when you are sent to the end of the queue. :(

photo img_20180710_150842

There are more important things for them, of course.

photo img_20180710_151340

You thought you were avgeeks? Look at this grandpa and his jacket.

photo img_20180710_151509

"Captain"!! Captain what? Captain Nursing Home? Hahahaha. The things you can buy on ebay these days! XDDD

photo img_20180710_151428

I follow "Captain" down the jetbridge.

photo img_20180710_151643

LATAM passengers have to stand the cold weather outside. Nya, nya. XD

photo img_20180710_151653

Just don't forget about the G20! As if I were invited. XD

photo img_20180710_151655

This jetbridge is very scenic!

photo img_20180710_151714

Frozen? Tired? Or listening carefully?

photo img_20180710_151838

This is it.

photo img_20180710_151913_1

First impression - A bit like what LATAM used to look like before they renewed their cabins.

photo img_20180710_152035
>
photo img_20180710_152047_1

Antimacassar used as advertising support.

photo img_20180710_152307

Legroom is still OK in spite of the thick seats.

photo img_20180710_152318
>
photo img_20180710_152326

Simple armrest.

photo img_20180710_152343

Simple… and old. LV-HHK was built in 2001. I didn't know you could smoke on planes then! Or are these seats older than the plane?

photo img_20180710_153115

Gee. Disgusting.

photo img_20180710_153124

I might need this if I look in there again. :D

Decent, clean tray table.

photo img_20180710_152410

And look here! Andes has a magazine! It's quite thin, but it's better than nothing.

photo img_20180710_152523

Safety instructions both sides.

photo img_20180710_152702
>
photo img_20180710_152710

Andes Magazine is promoting the airline's birthplace, Salta.

photo img_20180710_152747

I'm so happy to hear that. Really.

photo img_20180710_152901

Overhead panel.

photo img_20180710_153153

"Live" safety speech.

photo img_20180710_153442

Wonderful! Looks like I won't have a companion today.

photo img_20180710_153012

That means I can take my neighbor's magazine, too. :D It's a different issue! We visited Villa La Angostura on our way from Chile, remember?

photo img_20180710_155812

Inside, time to modernize Puerto Iguazú's airport. You bet! In the third report for this series (IGR > AEP) you'll see why!

photo img_20180710_160008




The flight


Pushback! Woo - hoo!

photo img_6456

According to flightradar24.com we're leaving with only some minutes delay. They don't seem to have updated its database, and the OY code is still assigned to a different airline. All I can say is "O! Y is that?" XD

photo brc aep

FYI, BRC was named after Lt. Luis Candelaria

photo img_6457

…who crossed the Andes for the first time on a Morane Saulnier plane…

photo img_6458

…on April 13, 1918.

photo img_6459

Building work started in 1952 and finished in 1954.

photo img_6461

I feel I'm being observed.

photo img_6463

One by one they abandon us.

photo img_6467
>
photo img_6469
>
photo img_6471

We are the stars of the show today, aren't we?

photo img_6472

Then we hit the road…

photo img_6473

…before her Majesty AR has our heads cut off.

photo img_6474b

The runway is…

photo img_6475

…just meters away.



Ready, set…

photo img_6481

Whoops! Where's the fire?!

photo img_6483

The captain (the real captain, not the cosplay one we saw earlier) seems to know that we are a bit late…



…because he puts the pedal to the metal…

photo img_6487

…and we leave BRC in the dust. XD

photo img_6488

Unfortunately, Bariloche and most of its attractives are on my left…

photo img_6489b

…but it doesn't mean we are not in…

photo img_6490b

…for some amazing views of the Argentine Patagonia.

photo img_6491b

We head north-west above the east suburbs of Bariloche, towards lake Nahuel Huapi…

photo img_6493b

…like this…

photo brc aep2

…and slowly turn north-east as we climb above the tip of the lake.

photo img_6494b

Look at that! Isn't it a breathtaking view?

photo img_6495b

On the left, the road to Chile and Villa La Angostura. On the right, the birthplace of river Limay, and the small village called Dina Huapi.



Look at that! We follow river Limay for a while, at the same point where…

photo img_6502b

…I went rafting with my students…

photo img_6504b

…in 2015!

photo img_6505b


FLASHBACK

The river when we went rafting there.



At first… yours truly terrified to death in the middle of the raft. Heeelp!! I'm too young (and fabulous) to die!!! .·´¯`(>▂<)´¯`·.

photo dsc08674

Twenty minutes later, yours truly in complete control of the situation. Woo - hoo! (Holding row over my head)

photo dsc08694

So relaxing! Just lean back and let the students row.

photo dsc08695

Yaaawn…. Whatever happened to the rapids? (▀ ͜͞ʖ▀)

photo dsc08688


Back in 2018, we keep climbing until…

photo img_6506b

…the fog and the clouds hide most of the landscape from our view.

photo img_6507b

The clouds only break once in a while to let us see…

photo img_6510b

…the flat pampas underneath.

photo img_6514b

But the real magic is happening onboard!

photo img_6516b

Isn't it fantastic when you are expecting a BOB, but you get free coffee and…

photo img_20180710_161529

…a nice, intriguing little bag? (Ahora todos pueden volar = Now everyone can fly)

photo img_20180710_161642

This bag is anything but silent. In fact, the cabin is filling with creaking and crackling as passengers open their snack bags. Let's open ours.

photo img_20180710_161653

The thin BOPS tray is not less noisy! What's in there?

photo img_20180710_161742

Salty and sweet snacks. I bought a bag of those madeleines at the supermarket in Bariloche. Not bad. Each one comes in its small little bag.

photo img_20180710_161847

So, how does it compare to Argentina's flag carrier? The following was the service on my INTERNATIONAL flight from SCL to AEP last year:

photo snack ar 0

A cereal bar, a piece of cake and a little sweet.

photo snack ar

I get ready to enjoy some peace and quiet for the rest of the flight, when…

photo img_20180710_162722

…the typical hyperactive child behind me, yelling, playing, kicking, and fighting with his older sister. I breathe in deeply, reminding myself that this will last only one more hour or so. But then he spilled his soda and his mother lost her temper. I'm not sure about her motherly procedures, but whatever she did worked wonders! :D The cabin behind me.

photo img_20180710_163020b

Clean…

photo img_20180710_164400

…but I don't see amenities like soap, and the previous passenger left water in the basin.



Shortly after I go back to my seat…

photo img_20180710_164543

…I see we are flying above…

photo img_6517b

…the town of Navarro, in the province of Buenos Aires.

photo img_6518b

Roggero dam, right outside the city…

photo img_6521b
>
photo img_6528b

…and the last fields…

photo img_6523b

…before the concrete jungle…

photo img_6530b

…takes over.

photo img_6531b

From here on…

photo img_6533b

…the endless city of Buenos Aires…

photo img_6539b

…seems to stretch…

photo img_6542

…forever.



The shadows are getting longer…

photo img_6557b

…as we reach the Río de la Plata above Quilmes

photo img_6559b

…and the nautical club.

photo img_6561b

Flights arrive at AEP either from the east or the west, so seeing the city center is a matter of luck. As shown here…

photo brc aep3

…I'm on the river side this time.

photo img_6564
>
photo img_6565

Final approach with a view of the zona portuaria and its dársenas (docks)…



…the electricity plant…

photo img_6573

Central Puerto (an electricity generation group)…

photo img_6576

…and El Muelle restaurant, right before we touch down.

photo img_6582

Touchdown.



And that's how my first flight with Andes Líneas Aéreas…

photo img_6594

…comes to an end.

photo img_6596

But as if destiny was making fun of me…

photo img_6597

…there she sits. She should have been waiting for me in Bariloche!!! (⇀‸↼)

photo img_6601

LV-HYY in AR's old livery.

photo img_6604

We go for a little tour of AEP.

photo img_6606

As you see, AEP's terminal is a long building…

photo img_6608

…tucked between the runway and the river.

photo img_6610

Getting lost is impossible! You either go right or left, and that's it.

photo img_6611

After a little zigzagging…

photo img_6616

…we end up in a (not so) remote position.

photo img_6617
>
photo img_6620

While we wait for the door to open… there she goes. She thinks she's out of my reach, but we will see.

photo img_6623

Oh! We had an extra passenger…

photo img_6624

…in the cargo bay.

photo img_20180710_175523

A last look at my seat.

photo img_20180710_165951

It's a glorious evening in Buenos Aires today.

photo img_20180710_180031
>
photo img_20180710_180040



The hidden reason for my trip


As I bid farewell…

photo img_20180710_180050

…to LV-HHK…

photo img_20180710_180144

…I keep in mind that I still have a job to do…

photo img_20180710_181037

…before I leave the airport. Yes, getting my bag, of course, which comes in less than five minutes later.

photo img_20180710_181115

But also, after leaving baggage claim…

photo img_20180710_182213

…I have to find Aerolíneas Argentinas' offices. I wonder if they are on the right…

photo img_20180710_182332

…or the left?? A man tells me they are on the second floor, so I take the escalator.

photo img_20180710_182338

Here they are!!

photo img_20180710_182554

Why the interest in Aerolíneas Argentinas? Well, because of… a WOMAN.

Un momento! It's not what you think!

In July 2017 I flew to AEP from Santiago. That morning something very unusual happened. It snowed over Santiago!! The whole valley looked so beautiful that I couldn't stop taking photos during takeoff, like this one:

photo img_0439

Months later, Aerolíneas Argentinas invited passengers to post photos of their flights on their Facebook account, in order to publish some of them in their inflight magazine, ALTA. I posted the photo you see above these lines, and some weeks later I got a message from AR asking for my authorization to publish it!

And that's how my photo was published in the March 2018 issue of ALTA…

photo img_20181211_180248

On page 192.

photo img_20181211_180512

I could have downloaded the PDF version of the magazine, but it was not the same as having the real thing in my hands, so I asked AR if I could get a copy from them.

An airline representative - Julia - contacted me by email. She told me that it was not possible for them to send me a copy, but I could pick one… at AEP!

Gosh. From Valdivia to Buenos Aires only for a magazine??

WHY NOT!! ( ͡ᵔ ͜ʖ ͡ᵔ )

So that's how Julia kept a copy of the magazine in her desktop drawer for about five months until I came and picked it. And, of course, I'm bringing a little present for her, as a way to say thanks.

Of course, you can see this photo and other wonderful views of Santiago covered in snow in the report I wrote for that flight, here.

And don't miss the next leg!!

Thanks for reading! :D
See more

Verdict

Andes Líneas Aéreas

7.5/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew10.0
In-flight Entertainment6.0
Meal/catering7.0

San Carlos de Bariloche - BRC

7.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access5.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness10.0

Buenos Aires - AEP

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Do I recommend Andes Líneas Aéreas?

I'd say... it depends on what you are expecting. If they were an LCC, I could call them a GREAT LCC. But since they like to be called a legacy airline, I have to evaluate them as such: Not outstanding.

When I purchased my ticket - a year ago - they had unbeatable prices, just like those of an LCC. But that has changed, and now Aerolíneas Argentinas has better prices.

Just like Aerolíneas Argentinas, Andes offer a free snackbox, though a very unhealthy version.

No IFE apart from a thin magazine.

The cabin was old, which doesn't necesarily mean uncomfortable.

Andes Líneas Aéreas: If you were an LCC, people would love you!

Related

11 Comments

  • Comment 482205 by
    marathon GOLD 9083 Comments

    "Allez les Bleux", not "Allez les Blues"; soccer means probably less to the French (especially to me), which may be a reason why I never heard of a soccer-oriented church in France ;)

    I once flew Air France Economy Premium because it was cheaper than Economy, so I'm not all that surprised at that fare distortion. Yield management is like black magic: only wizards (a.k.a experienced Flight Reporters) are winners with it.

    I like the smiley using a Japanese Katakana ! (ツ)

    I HATE dark windows in cars and buses (and FAs closing window shades too)

    Nice old Renault 4, but I like the vintage yellow Citroën 2CV on the parking lot of BRC, too :)

    "Salón confitería" sounds a lot like "Salon confiture" in French, something like a "jam (= fruit preserve) lounge". And "turista" means the severe diarrhea caused by eating the spoiled food abroad. French customers would rather choose Rapa Nui chocolates, however meaningless this origin may be.

    Smoked salmon ? Chile's attractiveness gains one point :)

    What kind of art the kid in the center of the picture is practicing in the art space waiting room ? ;)

    Such a nationalistic poster on Nahuel Huapi National Park : no hint of any point of interest beyond the border !

    Better spend maintenance money on the equipment inside the control tower, rather than the paint outside.

    There are still ashtrays in the toilets of planes built today. If a passenger would light a cigarette, illegally of course, better crush it in a safe place.

    Awesome pictures of the urban jungle of Buenos Aires !

    Congratulations for being published in AR's in flight magazine, but really, AR got this picture for free and they can't even send you a copy ?! I can't believe it !

    Thanks for sharing; best wishes - in flight and on the ground - for 2019 !

    • Comment 482326 by
      nechus SILVER AUTHOR 603 Comments

      "Allez les Bleux", not "Allez les Blues"

      Oops! I'm sorry. I must have been thinking of the Argentine team. They sure had the blues after the game! XDDD

      FAs closing window shades too

      I had a terrible experience on a long haul flight years ago, when I fell asleep and a FA rudely closed my shade with a loud SNAP! that made me wake up with a start, and I couldn't go to sleep again. I read an opinion about this "shade debate" the other day and resolved that in the future I will fight for my right to an open shade! ( https://edition.cnn.com/travel/article/airplane-window-shade-open-opinion/index.html )

      "turista" means the severe diarrhea

      ROFLMAO. This is deeply disturbing! XDDD
      You should know that we also have the verb "turistear" (tour around, go sightseeing). I don't even want to know what foreigners will understand if I say "I will turistear all around the country for a couple of weeks." That might lead to some dehydration, I guess! XDDD

      Smoked salmon ? Chile's attractiveness gains one point

      There's a market here in Valdivia called "mercado fluvial" (river market), where a guy sells salmon that he himself has smoked with fragrant native woods. François, if you don't try that salmon you will have wasted your life!!

      What kind of art the kid in the center of the picture is practicing

      Oh, it must be the ancient ritual that we call "cara pálida".

      Congratulations for being published in AR's in flight magazine

      Thank you!

      best wishes - in flight and on the ground - for 2019 !

      Igualmente!! :)

  • Comment 482318 by
    Fernando 21 Comments

    Feliz Año 2019 Nechus , excellent report as always!

    • Comment 482328 by
      nechus SILVER AUTHOR 603 Comments

      Gracias Fernando! Estaba cruzando los dedos para que mi reporte le gustara a los lectores argentinos. Me encantó escribir sobre Argentina. Tan bonito todo. En el próximo informe habrá varias fotos de Buenos Aires. Me fascinó la ciudad! Nunca había estado ahí. Tan grande, pero tan bella y tan agradable! Feliz 2019 para ti también!

  • Comment 482358 by
    viajero90 60 Comments

    Hola Nechus! Increible reporte, super completo como siempre.
    Hace bastante no tomo vuelos de cabotaje en el país ya que ultimamente (por suerte?) tomé más vuelos internacionales. Por eso me encantó que mostraste muy bien la experiencia de volar con una aerolinea poco conocida (inlcuso acá en Argentina). Me alegro que la hayas pasado bien en el pais y te felicito por la publicación de tu foto!
    Feliz 2019!

    • Comment 482381 by
      nechus SILVER AUTHOR 603 Comments

      Hola! Muchas gracias! Sí, fue muy emocionante visitar lugares nuevos en una aerolínea nueva! A fines de este mes voy a volar con Flybondi. Ojalá resulte, porque ya me cambiaron la fecha del pasaje una vez. Y sin avisarme! Me di cuenta por casualidad.

      Ojalá que Andes dure, aunque con esos precios que tienen ahora.... empiezo a tener mis dudas.

      Feliz 2019 para ti también!!

  • Comment 482380 by
    loukas SILVER 267 Comments

    Look who's back to FR! Hi Nechus! Happy New Year! I missed your detailed reports with these fantastic aerials and now I can't stop watching your Buenos Aires shots - this city both fascinates and scares me with its size! The cabin looks really old fashioned (it remined me of some Ukraine International 737s) and as it is harder and harder to encounter such cabin nowadays, it can be an asset. MD 80 could be a treat but I'm a little bit afraid of these old construction (have flown it twice, it was terribly noisy and take off was almost vertical but the funniest thing was boarding through the tail door...) but I fully understand the feeling of trying something now odd and unique! Hope you flew it on your way back. Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 482388 by
      nechus SILVER AUTHOR 603 Comments

      Look who's back to FR!

      LOL Yes, the end of the year was a frantic time! Only last week I was able to read about your beautiful trip to Portugal, and now I'll try to write a few reports during my summer holidays.

      I can't stop watching your Buenos Aires shots

      Beautiful Buenos Aires!!! This city was a complete revelation to me! I mean, you see it on TV, on the Internet, in postcards, whatever, but BEING there is such a wonderful experience!! I used to feel just like you do about it. But walking around downtown Buenos Aires was so relaxing, so inspiring.... I couldn't believe I was in the middle of a monster city. I walked a lot between points that in the map look very far from each other! You'll see in the next report. And I'm planning to go back once and again.

      Hope you flew it on your way back

      Er... I can't tell you now because it would be a spoiler! :D

      Thanks for stopping by, Loukas!!

  • Comment 482722 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 498 Comments

    Hi Nechus!

    I very much enjoy your writing style, and the history lesson on both Andes — an airline with which I was not previously acquainted — and Argentine policy regarding aviation. It is indeed puzzling that the “premium” fare was the same as basic. Maybe a short-term “giveaway” of the benefit in hopes it will lead to buy-ups later? But that doesn’t seem such a shrewd strategy to me.

    Beautiful photos along the way to the airport. It really does look like a lovely part of the world. And a very thorough documentation of BRC.

    Those are some old looking seats in that plane. And yeah… bleeeech at the ashtray in the armrest. Nice that you had the poor-man’s lay-flat treatment, at least.

    More great scenery en route — not surprising, I suppose, that this would be a picturesque area to photograph from the sky.

    I feel like some variation on “Now everyone can fly!” is every LCC’s slogan. Even if Andes isn’t an LCC, for reals.

    Thanks for this very thorough report on a unique airline, and here’s to great flights in 2019!

    • Comment 482777 by
      nechus SILVER AUTHOR 603 Comments

      Hi!

      Thanks for stopping by, Hometoyyz!

      I very much enjoy your writing style,

      That's very kind of you! I'm usually worried I might become boring.

      Andes — an airline with which I was not previously acquainted

      Viajero90, above, says that not even Argentines are very acquainted with it! And in my opinion, you'd better hurry if you want to fly with them. I don't think they will be able to stand up to the competition for long.

      It really does look like a lovely part of the world

      It is, indeed. I congratulate myself every day for moving down here.

      here’s to great flights in 2019!

      Igualmente! (Likewise!) :)

  • Comment 484414 by
    Christian Gerber 2 315 Comments

    The suspens was ... no thrilling as a MD8* with 3-3 seating wouldn't be MD!
    Fui en Santiago el dia siguiente de la nieve de 07/17 en camino hasta Rapa Nui.
    Gracias

Login to post a comment.