The airline with the best average rating is Sky Airline with 7.1/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 26 minutes.More information
Looking out the small window, watching the houses and trees become smaller and smaller, I have the hope that the pain will also become so tiny that I won't feel it.
But without much success.
I'm leaving home after a terrible fight with my religious and homophobic mother. We have kept la fiesta en paz for decades after she learned about my sexual orientation when I was a teenager, but she has lived in denial and me being honest about a close friend of mine last June was too much for her.
So after a horrible exchange of words - of the I'm-not-going-to-live-with-a-sinner and I-don't-want-to-see-your-face-again kind - I'm relieved that winter holidays have just begun and I have previous arrangements for a week away from home.
But I'm feeling terribly depressed, to the point that I wouldn't mind if those logs fell on me, as it happens on these roads sometimes.
No luck today.
The main hall at Pichoy has not changed a bit. There are rumors that a new terminal will be built but I haven't seen any evidence of that so far.
ZAL receives only three or four flights a day, so congestion is rare here. Summers are a different thing because of the increased number of flights.
That sanitizing point would be very useful if there was some hand sanitizer and a temperature sensor.
Ah, there's some at the entrance.
According to JetSmart's baggage policy you can carry a bolso de mano for free. Of the three main Chilean airlines (JetSmart, Sky and LATAM) JetSmart is NOT the most restrictive.
The measurements for your free baggage are much the same in the three airlines: 25cm x 35cm x 45cm in JetSmart…
Same thing with Sky…
…but a mean 20cm x 35cm x 45cm in LATAM. Why, LATAM?? WHY???
Years ago when I traveled to Punta Arenas, LATAM's staff weighed your free baggage before you entered the jetbridge to ensure it was less than 7kg, below JetSmart's 10kg and WELL below Sky's 20kg.
Safety check is a breeze today. The boarding room has been enlarged, but I just don't feel in the mood to walk around today.
I sit next to Pichoy's AC system - which is off at the moment - and let my mind wander. Whether I like it or not, the conversation with my mother keeps coming back. She: "It's not correct to live with someone like you." Me: "I never gave you reasons to be ashamed of me." She: "I raised a man." Me: "Then go and live with your pedophile brother that you love so much and never spent a single day in jail for what he did to his niece."
Fortunately CC-AWE is already here to take my mind off these thoughts.
The people of Acciona - the Spanish contractor hired by Sky, and lately LATAM - get to work.
Someone at ZAL goes the extra kilometer and tapes some useful tips around the jetbridge, from the old Smile in the face of rain message that has lost its color after so many years…
…to some tips on how to stow your baggage…
…that someone decided to "liven up" a little with some graffiti I can't understand…
…to a sample of unnecessary shortening of words. FVR = por favor (please); TKT = ticket. "Please, leave here baggage for cargo hold with this ticket."
Actually, that's a lot of reading material for a jetbridge! On the other side…
CC-AWE is waiting for us. Too bad this is a less than AWE-some occasion for me.
More reading material assuring passengers that JetSmart keeps high sanitizing standards…
…and this very commendable effort to take part in the fight against violence against women. 1455 is a counseling line for women, and there's a WhatsApp number to ask for help and receive silent replies.
The standard JetSmart cabin…
…with hard, non-reclinable seats, light years behind Sky and LATAM.
View on the apron. I just hope those buildings are not part of the new terminal.
Barely enough legroom.
Simple seats. No USB chargers.
Then, something almost miraculous happens. Deep in thought, I can't hold it anymore and start sobbing. With my mask on and my face turned to the window I hope nobody will notice. Then a FA comes down the aisle with a glass of water, asking who had asked for it. She insists a lot but nobody replies. In the end I ask "Can I have it?" and she gives it to me. Maybe someone still cares for me.
Some additional information about this flight.
Pushback at 4.55
We climb above the bare branches of nothofagus obliqua…
The fields are gorgeous. This has been a very rainy winter and I expect to see the snow-capped mountain tops. However - as usual in winter - only a couple of minutes into the flight, as we climb above Lanco…
…the landscape gets covered by clouds.
As you see here, there is a BOB service, but I just want to close my eyes and doze away. Sorry.
The weather outside is… well… wintry all the way. The only remarkable moment of the flight is when we suddenly lose altitude and get pulled downwards by our seatbelts abruptly. A young teenager behind me yells in a mix of fear and excitement.
Dark and gloomy SCL matches my mood.
I'd normally take a bus to the closest Metro station, but I don't want to deal with crowds today so I take a transfer. You can get the ticket at their office between exits 4 and 5 on the first floor of the now domestic terminal, and take the vans here between exits 5 and 6. Transvip are my favorite.
It's rush hour in the big city. You can't escape the tacos, which are not the delicious Mexican tacos you might have heard about…
…but the Chilean version, where taco means traffic jam.
Thanks for reading!
JetSmart takes you from A to B, and that's pretty much it. I have read that they beat Sky - the other Chilean low cost airline - in number of passengers during the pandemic, but Sky's services have improved a lot compared to the somewhat stagnant JetSmart, particulary in what refers to cabin comfort and BOB. Not my first option to fly within my country, let alone to destinations abroad.