- Latam LA351
- Buenos Aires (AEP) to Santiago (SCL)
- 14 April 2017
- Seat: Economy
A Busy Route
Welcome to this Latam LA351 Flight Review, from Buenos Aires in Argentine to Santiago, Chile. This is one of the busiest routes in operation in South America, which thousands of people each week making the trek East or West over the Andes.
Buenos Aires AEP: Domestic Airport
I was ready for the ‘off' by the time I got to Aeroparque Airport (AEP) in Buenos Aires. Do you ever get to the “okay, let's get out of here” stage? It's both moving on from the current place and an anxiety to get settled in the new place.
Everyone says AEP is only for domestic flights, but some international flights do take off from its very small International Terminal. This side of the airport seemed pretty new and well-appointed, to be fair.
Anyone for an Alien Motor Wheel (see below)?
This Duty Free was comprehensive, given the size of the Terminal with electronics, clothes, perfumes and alcohol.
Inevitably, I compare Duty Free prices in any airport with Dublin, London and New York. This one was expensive! Sometimes you only see the unusual flavours of Cointreau in an airport and this Blood Orange Cointreau was $55USD. I've been able to get this for less than £16 elsewhere.
Who knew that Crocs were so popular in South America? An American guy pushed past the woman in front of me in the queue and had the audacity to be wearing orange Crocs!
International Terminal: Food & Facilities
There is just ONE cafe, called Tienda de Sabores, and it's expensive, so you can save some cash by bringing your own snack. I was not so wise. I had a ham and cheese sandwich that was so hard, it could have been used to smooth plaster on a wall.
Having said all of that, it was clean and the facilities pretty good, including very clean and numerous toilet facilities.
This is the waiting area in the photo below. There wasn't really anywhere else to sit. I was clearly tired and vexed because more than one person appeared to be having a phone conversation on loudspeaker. Why do people do that?!
Before long, memories of dramatic conversations were in the past as Latam L351 was assigned a gate and the gate agents showed up.
Latam LA351 Flight Review: Boarding
Latam is really good at making sure that people board by row number. They split everyone into 4 groups: Priority/business/disabled, then economy is split into three groups, seating those at the back first.
Once through the gate, it was down some stairs to wait for the aircraft being ready to board via steps at the front.
Latam LA351 Flight Review: Seats
The seat was standard Latam fare – leather and, honestly, not particularly clean. This was true of my previous flight too. This is a low/no service flight (just a drink was served in the 2h20m) but once you're in your seat with a book, it was comfortable. It was smooth sailing into Santiago, apart from some turbulence over the Andes. This appears to be perfectly normal for this journey and my neighbour – a regular flyer in these parts – was surprised that it wasn't too bad. I'll take that!
Latam Economy/Coach is unlikely to win many prizes for cleanliness, however it got me there safely.
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