Once I arrived LIM, I went through security for my connecting flight to SFO and spent some time at the lounges. Initially I went to the Sumaq lounge but since it was so crowded the attendant suggested me to visit the VIP one nearby. Upon entering I found it to be quiet and very spacious compared to Sumaq. I was surprised that there were few people using this lounge instead. The snacks were similar to what one finds in Sumaq with the only difference that it lacked shower rooms.
I settled myself in a quiet room that was decorated in a modern touch with a glass of guanabana juice and some munchies.
With plenty of time to spare, I headed back to the Sumaq lounge for a shower. I let the attendant know and she soon got the bathroom ready. When I entered there was a package with bath and hand towels, an individual sample of Pantene shampoo and a small bar of soap. No luxury brands or kits as some other lounges around the world, but it will do. The bathroom was spacious with room to place your luggage but the shower door was a bit ajar and did not quite close.
Sorry for not taking pictures of the Sumaq lounge but it was still crowded and I did not want to draw attention. I only took pictures of the bathroom.
I then ventured into the terminal to check out some of the shops.
Pretty soon it was time to board the flight and there was already a crowd by the gate. Agents showed up about 40 min. before the flight but the gate was cordoned off with security staff. Personally I think LAN could have handled this better by allowing connecting passengers enter the secured area by showing the boarding passes. A table was set up with 3 security agents ready to check the carry-ons. I heard by name being called and a security agent took my original boarding pass to the agent working at the counter. He then came to me and asked me to wait until boarding saying that everything was ok and I could board with my original GRU-LIM boarding pass. Later an announcement was made for the connecting passengers to board. I placed my bag on the table to be inspected and the agent just opened it up and did a quick check. I entered the plane and the FA's were already positioned at the door to welcome passengers. Pre-take off drinks were offered and then amenity kits were passed. A FA introduced herself and asked me if I wanted a blanket. I accepted her offer and she opened a duvet from the plastic bag and handed it to me. Right before take off the purser came to me asking if I could switch seats with a couple in row 5 because one of the seats did not work. I will occupy the good one and no one will be seating next to me. I agreed and the couple thanked me profusely to accepting to change seats.
Once airborne, hot towels were passed and FA's asked passengers to fill out the breakfast card and whether they will partake of the snack service. I decided to try the snack and filled out the card requesting juice, yogurt, bread and a hot omelette for breakfast about 1.5 hrs before arrival.
The snack service was the same that I received from Lima to Sao Paulo. Afterwards a FA came around handling bottles of water. For some reason she skipped me in the last row and I brought that to another FA's attention. Right away the FA distributing the water came to me and gave me a bottle.
Drink of choice with nuts
I surfed through the channels and then dozed off somewhere between Quito and Mexico. I woke up and read some magazines before breakfast was brought. I tried to ring the call button for some water but discovered that it was not functioning along with the overhead light with only the individual one attached to the seat working. I brought this up to the attention of the purser when he passed by and he explained that they were experiencing some mechanical issues and asked me if I needed anything at all. My pictures did not come out very good because of the light problems.
The breakfast came and it was a real disappointment. The omelette was the ugliest breakfast that I have seen. It had dark spots around it and tasted hard and watery. I assume that the orange patty was some sort of potato hash that was salty and why even bother with the meager amount of mushrooms. It was just disgusting and I should have ordered the cold cuts and cheese instead. The warm bread was shaped like a croissant but was more doughy than flaky. It was made bearable with the dulce de leche spread and fruit jam.
What the heck is this? Not fit for human consumption.
At least we had dulce de leche spread to make things bearable.
Cabin before landing
We landed on time and the bags for J passengers took forever to arrive at the carrousel, obviously not following proper priority protocol.
Independent Sumaq VIP Lounge
Lima - LIM
San Francisco - SFO
My flights on LAN were for the most part quite enjoyable (except for this last segment back to SFO) and FA's were professional and well groomed. The service style tends to be very formal and structured, unlike the more casual and chatty attitude that Americans are accustomed to. Perhaps that is why some people tend to perceive them as aloof and cold but personally I tend to prefer this type of style better. Call buttons were answered right away and FA's were very proactive in helping passengers settle down. Having said that, there were a few quirky things that I noticed when flying with them. For example, during the SFO-LIM flight, FA's tended to looked everywhere for duvets and pillows before their breaks and even asking passengers if they will use theirs. In addition, when requesting for items that they didn't have, they limited to answer no with a smile. Maybe it is a language issue but it would be more professional to apologize for the lack of things and then say no. I would not hesitate to fly them again in J and I think overall they perform better than its North American counterparts.
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