Hello dear flight reporters and readers!
Today I will start a serie of flight reported from my first trip to Argentina at Christmas - but summer over there - 2013.
A good argentinian friend of mine from Paris was getting married and she invited me to her wedding in december 2013 in … Mendoza in Argentina!
I chose Aerolineas Argentinas over LAN because it is part of Skyteam so I could claim miles, and because they do offer a cheaper rate if you buy a package of 5+ domestic routes that makes it more affordable - I staill paid around 1000euro for it.
Flying blue Miles earned with this flight: 189
(before the program changed to a revenue-based model) Today you would earn 2XP mile status too
During my first checkin on the route from Aeroparque to El Calafate, I spent some time with the agent at the checkin counter to assign all my seats for the rest of the trip.
And so every time I then just had to turn up at the counter and retreve my boarding pass.
Just for info, below the seat map of the B737-700
The airport is really convenient as it is located in the town centre, at Palermo airport.
And it is overlooking the Rio de la plata - the Silver river - that has a silvery colour when the sky is grey. The name seemed to have been given by spanish explorers..
I passed security and checkin very quickly and I went to the boarding gate where - again - a paxbus was waiting for us.
Aircraft: Boeing 737-81D
Engines: 2x CFM56
Age: now 15 Years but it was 7 years old when I was onboard
Layout: C8 Y120
Observation: with the skyteam livery
The AvGeek Bit
Aerolineas Argentinas has drastically grown (57%) since its re-nationalisation -that’s for my friends who believe privatisation is the key to everything :P With the help of Delta and Air France, the airline joined Skyteam in 2012. The airline offers 56 destinations and has carried 18millions last year from both of its hubs- Buenos Aires Aeroparque Jorge Newberry and Ministero Pistarini airport. Aerolineas Argentinas has a fleet of 39 B737s for its domestic and regional flights, and has been receiving B737Max – 5 of them are currently operated with a further 8 on order.
The crew seemed nice as they were smiling at multiple occasions. After push back we had the regular announce by the captain the safety procedures explained manually by the crew.
Beautiful view of Palermo whilst refueling.
We were taxiing for a very very short time - litterally 2 min to reach runway 13.
Look at the extend of the city
If I tell you that Buenos Aires is as big as London… Would you believe me seeing this?
The view of the Silver River - Rio de la Plata
Service happened once the seat belts were off. It was a coffee or water, served in this plastic cup and a box with orange juice, alfajor biscuits and a small pack of nuts.
Flying over the pampa region - land of gauchos and agriculture..
And unfortuantely as we were getting closer to the Andese mountains and Mendoza, it started to be very cloudy..
The magazine review time! So Aerolineas offered a very thick book, with a really comprehensive section on their destination of the month: New York..
There was an extensive editorial as the Airline just got re-nationalised again.
And became part of Skyteam Cargo.
And we started our descent towards Mendoza
Desembarking and reclaiming my luggage was actually very fast.
And if you wonder how the Mendoza region looks like…
and the wineries..
It is like I became a regular of Aerolineas Argentinas but seriously I don't have that many negative to bring to the table..
The plane and cabin were well maintained
The crew smiling and friendly, and very patient with my spanish "from spain".
Not less than 3 services offered - a very few european carriers offer the same level