Greetings from Guatemala! Today I will be traveling on a rather unique airline, Transportes Aéreos Guatemaltecos (TAG). As I checked in, I couldn't help but feel a "mom and pop" vibe coming from the airline. The staff were extremely friendly and engaging. Despite that, I was in for an unfortunate surprise. They charge $20 per checked bag. This is especially frustrating because the planes in TAG fleet are all tiny and don't have the capacity for a standard full size carry on bag. After checking my bag, I headed straight to the separate security checkpoint for domestic flights. The whole process reminded me of Tocumen International Airport in Panama City, since they have a similar setup for domestic flights. Due to this setup, there was no restaurants and shops after clearing security, so if you want to buy anything, do it before you head through security. There was a long queue at the gate before boarding even started due to people wanting to get on the plane to choose their seats since TAG doesn't assign them. Soon after boarding commenced, I was walking across the tarmac towards our plane (TG-TAJ), a 19 year old Embraer ERJ-145LR that had previously flown for Continental Express.
As I walked onboard, I was greeted by probably one of the most cheerful flight attendants I have ever met. The plane was set up in a 1-2 configuration. I was lucky enough to get a single seat. It isn't every day you get direct aisle access and a window seat in economy! Unfortunately, the legroom was less than impressive. I was quite interesting that the life vests were stored in the seat pocket rather than under the seat. Also, the safety cards were essentially a laminated sheet of paper.
The boarding process was efficient and the door was closed in no time. As we pushed back, the sole flight attendant performed the safety demonstration. After a relatively short taxi, we took off into the haze that surrounds Guatemala City. Guatemala City is surrounded by rolling hills, so naturally the views were stunning.
About 10 minutes after takeoff, the flight attendant sprung into action and started the beverage and snack service. I had a 7UP. Pringles and cookies we automatically served with the drink. This is extremely impressive service for a 40 minute flight. On top of that, the flight attendant was an absolute gem. She was always smiling and eager to please.
Just after I was served my drink, we started our decent into the sunset.
We flew directly over Flores and had a smooth landing. During the taxi, the colors in the sunset intensified, making for a beautiful scene. After a short taxi, we arrived at the gate and soon I was curbside.
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Color me impressed in every aspect of this flight. From the great crew and service to the efficiency, I can't recommend TAG enough for a short flight like the one I took.