I wasn't intending of writing a FR for this flight back in april, so bear with me as i wouldn't have lots of pictures. So as a bonus, i have added a few photos from my personal travel around NZ at the bottom of the Report.
LAN is a South American Based airline that is also a member of Oneworld. The airline is recently famous in the news for its acquisition and merger with Brazillian Based TAM airlines which was a member of Star Alliance, thus creating one of the world larges carriers of all time. LAN flies a daily service to Sydney from its hub in Santiago, Chile (SCL). Due to the distance of the flight, the aircraft has to route via AKL to refuel before continuing the leg across the tasman sea. LAN also has fifth freedom rights between Auckland and Sydney, so that leg can be independently purchased.
Quite a handful of Airlines fly between SYD and AKL, the few notable ones being QF, NZ, VA and JQ. Then there are carriers that have 5th freedom rights such as EK and LA. Of these carriers mentioned, a few do fly long haul aircraft for this journey. EK flies an A380, LA flies an A340, NZ sometimes sends its fleet of wide bodies as well.
Booking the flight was an easy affair. The ticketing engine is easy to navigate and pretty straightforward. Payment was made and ticket issued the next second which was delivered electronically to my email inbox.
This flight, prior to the Qantas Simpler and Fairer changes, earned 80 Status credits per way, although miles earn was negligible. The reason of booking LA, as supposed to QF is that LA J costs $800 return on a wide body aircraft whilst QF J costs almost double at $1500 return on a small B738. It was a no brainer actually and the decision was made to stick with LA for this trip rather than QF.
LA counters open 3 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight and close an hour before departure. As i was travelling in Business class, i was entitled to utilise the premium lane reserved for J apx and top tier Lanpass and Oneworld elites.
Bag was tagged with a business tag and was sent on its way. Boarding pass, express path invite, green immigration card and baggage receipt in hand, i quickly passed through the Customs and border protection formalities pretty easily.It was then navigating through the maze towards the Qantas Business Lounge which LA uses for its J pax. I couldn't access the First lounge then as i didn't have the appropriate credentials yet at that point of time.
Qantas Business Lounge
The lounge was pretty busy at the point in the morning with lots of trans tasman, asian and south pacific departures. Seats were hard to find, but i eventually settled on the bar instead. This lounge features a sumptuously stocked buffet corner. For breakfast a selection of cold cuts was available for the enjoyment of all the guests in the lounge.
This lounge also featured a barista, but by the time i was ready to order, the queue was 10 deep. So i settled on a Sparkling wine instead.
Boarding was announced at 0830 hours and it was a very orderly affair. I made full use of the premium boarding lane and was in the aircraft in record time.
First impressions of the seat - Large spaces, lie flat beds, good for long haul.
The Menus were already in the seat pocket when we arrived.
Let us now peruse the menu for this 3 hour Sydney to Auckland Sector.
The fasten seat belts sign took forever to be extinguished, of which the Flight attendants quickly prepared the galley for today's flight.
I am a staunch fan of European breakfasts, as such i ordered the cold cuts option, and it didn't disappoint!
The meal was accompanied with a Clos De Los Siesta 2007 vintage wine.
The rest of the flight was just 'chillax' after the meal service, where my glass was never empty as the flight attendants proactively top up as they walk by.
Landing, Disembarkation and Immigration
The landing was very smooth and we were soon taxiing to our gate. Due to the distance away from the Immigration hall, it required a very long walk.
Immigration was a breeze this afternoon as we had landed early ahead the mid afternoon bank of arrivals.
Bonus - Travel Pics of New Zealand
Large stalactites in a natural cave
The Central Otagan Valley rolling Vineyards
The Finale Note
A good for value flight that serves its purpose. Cheap and good with all the frills expected from a legacy carrier with a quality Business class service.
Flight-Report is a free website hosting more than 500 000 pictures and 17 000 reviews, without ads, this website can't exist. We understand that ads can be annoying, this is why we only display a maximum of 2 non-invasive ads per page.
To continue using Flight-Report, we invite you to add Flight-Report to your blocker's "white list".