This trip is a continuation of my flight to GRU. I arrived into LIM on time and followed the Connecting Flights sign inside the Terminal. There were personnel posted by the security line to direct passengers to security for a second screening and back to the terminal. The process is pretty straightforward but it can back up if you are seating in Economy and you are one of the last passengers to get off the flight. TACA runs their connections at about the same time and that can further slow things down.
The inside of LIM airport is modern and there are nice restaurants and good shops. As a matter of fact, LIM is now the best airport in Latin America according to some thanks to the Germans and Fraport administration. LAN also did a strategic move by creating a hub here when Faucett and Aeroperu failed. I stopped by the Sumaq lounge and it was full to the brim, so I decided to walk around the terminal and visit the shops. Sorry I did not take any pics of the lounge. Pretty soon it was time to board the continuing flight to Sao Paulo and priority was given to connecting passengers from San Francisco.
FA's offered pre-departure beverages along with newspapers, magazines and a simplified version of the amenity kit without toiletries. To be honest I was surprised that an amentiy kit was even offered for an intra-South American flight of about 4:30 hrs. This kit just has eye shades, a pen, earplugs, and socks. I like that all their kits have pens, so you always have a pen handy for the forms.
FA distributing newspapers, magazines and simplified amenity kit
The flight was fairly empty and the seat next to me was vacant. Service consisted of a light snack which fit well with the schedule, although I would have preferred a light breakfast before arrival instead.
Pisco sour with nuts
After the meal my neighbor sitting across the aisle started snoring and I turned on the Do Not Disturb sign which appeared on my TV screen.
Sao Paulo is massive and likes big titles - Brazil's largest, most ethnically diverse city is also its main financial center ranking as the 10th richest city in the world and expected to occupy 6th place by 2025. However, it is also a place with huge social disparities and challenging urban problems - pollution, crime and traffic congestion being the main ones. Before coming to Sao Paulo, I had my concerns about crime here. When you read that it is common to have most SUV's bulletproof and that cars slow down instead of stopping at red lights at night in certain areas of the city for fear of carjacking, that voice in the back of your head questioning your decision to visit gets harder to ignore. Luckily nothing happened to me during my visit. I stayed with friends in safe neighborhoods and was vigilant whenever I went. There are some places where you should never let your guard down and Brazil is one of them. Crime aside, my experience in this country has been very rewarding and I have found Brazilians in general to be warm, open and helpful.
Arriving into Sao Paulo
When you approach Sao Paulo from the plane, you start to grasp the enormity of this place. Building specks dotting the landscape start to appear and as you descend, you start to see buildings stretching all around underneath. This massive concrete jungle extends for miles upon miles and suddenly you are overwhelmed by its sheer size. Eventually you realize that you are landing into one of the biggest cities in the world - an Alpha World City with an area that covers 588 square miles and with a population of 11,037,593 people.
Some interesting planes @ GRU
Arrival was on time and Immigrations and Customs was a breeze. However, my first impression of GRU was not very positive. It is a dull and utilitarian airport lacking any visual aesthetics. To makes matter worse it felt very small for being the airport of a major world city. It certainly was not representative of the caliber of the city it serves.
Independent Sumaq VIP Lounge
Lima - LIM
Sao Paulo - GRU
I usually don't like red eye flights because it does not allow you to enjoy the full extent of services of the cabin that you are traveling. Most meals are a simplified affair and interactions with the crew are kept at a minimum in order to allow people to rest. In addition, it's hard for me to get any sleep on a plane, so I keep myself entertained with books and movies.
Having said that, LP performed well on this flight and the FA's were polite and efficient. The snack was adequate and I appreciate the nice apple tart/cake for dessert. I seems that LAN tends to make an effort to serve decent desserts on lunch and dinner flights.
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