This is the first of a four legs trip from Sydney to Papeete in French Polynesia. Since Air Tahiti Nui discontinued the route, there is no direct flight. Best options are Qantas/Air Tahiti Nui, Air New Zealand, AirCalin via Noumea.
All photos taken with my iPhone 6 plus….
My ticket is marketed by Qantas however only one sector is on Qantas metal…The joy of the code share world ! Only trouble is that LAN in SYD cannot check me in through to PPT, thus I will have to go to the transfer desk in AKL to get the AKL/PPT boarding pass. Believe however that they would have checked my luggage through all the way to PPT had I had any, which was not the case. Another interesting situation is that I am leaving SYD on a Thu morning, arriving in PPT on a Wed night. THus having two days on the ground in PPT Thu/Fri. Returning from PPT on Sat morning and arriving in SYD on Sun night…all due to time difference and time zone. I lost a week-end in the process, but that was not all that bad after all !
As usual I am tracking the inbound aircraft. The flight is operating SCL-AKL-SYD-AKL-SCL with LAN 3 remaining A340-313X. It is not unusual for the flight to be a little creative with schedule so I am a little anxious for my connection in AKL. Luckily the inbound flight lands in SYD ahead of schedule. It is operated by A340-313X CC-CQF. Sadly I have flown on that aircraft before twice…It is my 7th sector on a LAN A340
SYD Airport check in area. Qantas marketed ticket but LAN metal, so LAN check in counter…
The check in process is pretty efficient.
Sydney Airport is going through refurbishment of the air side terminal. Walking through the duty free is now a breeze..
The duty free has been relocated in the main atrium area
And some have just invented airport pop up duty free….
I make my way to the Qantas Club.
The lounge spread alongside one side of the terminal, which is the pier that Qantas uses mainly. Unfortunately, the view is obstructed…
The best part….they have a real coffee machine, with a real barista. And an ice cream bar to die for….
The business center features Apple computer…
Now to the gate. Gate 31. Conveniently located near the center of the terminal, but challenging for getting a good view of the aircraft…. I do like the LAN livery. One of the smartest in the business….(actually between BoA, Aerolineas and LAN, South America boasts 3 of smartest liveries in the world…)
Boarding is pretty smooth. The flight is not full Which makes the process easier.
I have to walk towards the back but I take time to take a few pictures of the LAN business class featured on the A340-313X Again the flight is pretty light up front. It will get full once it picks up pax in AKL.
LAN eco class config is unsurprisingly 2 x 4 x 2. I have an aisle in the middle section, not far behing business class. Lucky me I have no one next to me.
The seat pitch is quite decent. I am quite tall (188cm - 6'2). But again I am only travelling here for 3 hours.
LAN IFE is pretty spectacular…with a huge selection of (great) movies. Lots of South American movies too, which I really like. Funny enough I don't speak Spanish. I particularly love Argentinian movies.
One of the smart feature of the IFE is to be able to perk at the moving map while watching the movie. I am in heaven!
Our plane start taxiing. Flight Radar does not recognise it for some reasons
Off we go. The quality of the moving map / air show is pretty poor. Looks like the very first generation of air show. However the choice offered by LAN makes up for it.
LAN swtiches the IFE at the gate, thus I was able to start watching a movie as soon as I was seated. That is pretty cool too ! I choose to watch an Argentinian movie Wakolda. Movie about Dr Mengele exile to Argentina. The full LAN IFE program is available here:http://www.lan.com/upload/pdf/ip-340-767-787-marzo-2015.pdf
The inflight magazine. Online version available on iPad I believe.
A snack / brunch is served. I have no expectation and had fruits and yoghurt at the Qantas club. It is only 10h30 SYD time…so not very hungry. However the tray is pretty good.
See the little cup holder for the glass…
Auckland is not far
View of the back seat in front, on my left. Since I had two screens to myself, I screened the moving map of this one…
View of the cabin
A very poor photos of Rangitoto, a volcano dominating a small ilsland in the Auckland Harbour.
Coming from the West, flying south of the city CBD, sharp 160 degre turn right to line up to the West.
Parked at the gate in AKL next to….our old friend the dream machine…
Qantas Business Lounge International
Sydney - SYD
Auckland - AKL
LAN is a very enjoyable alternative to cross the ditch (as they say in NZ) between SYD and AKL. Qantas and Virgin both offer 737-800 services so LAN is the option if you want to fly a larger aircraft. AirNZ traditionally flies A320 but quite often upgauge their services with a 767, 777 or 787. The food was good, the crew nice, the plane on time, the cabin clean...what else can you ask for ? And since I have a soft spot for all things South American, well then I am a little partial.
Only drawback is the lack of a seamless experience at check in level since I was not given my boarding pass for the second leg of my trip. But the transfer in AKL happened to be a breeze so that was not an issue.
One regret though is that my trip was scheduled too early....As from next month the flight will be operated by a 787-9............argh...
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