Flying Doesn’t Have to Suck
You just can’t do it in the US. Flying down to Chile and out to Easter Island we’ve had the incredible pleasure of using LAN, an airline that, unlike major US airlines (aside from Southwest), doesn’t treat their customers with active hostility. Yes American Airlines, I’m especially looking at you. Traveling the main US carriers you get the feeling they’d be so much happier if they didn’t have to deal with these pesky customers who expect things like flights to leave on time and baggage to not get lost. Geez, how’s anyone supposed to make a profit that way?
Flying LAN, in the other hand, has been a pleasure. Granted we’ve been flying on longer routes with bigger planes, where the service tends to be better, but this is still above and beyond. I’m actually pretty sure that the there flights on LAN so far are Joel’s favorite part of this adventure we’re having down in Chile. I mean, he likes flying anyway and we hardly do it anymore, but with LAN I can see his point.
So What’s So Great About It, Anyway?
Free Checked Bags
Well let’s start with fees: there aren’t any. Well I suppose if you check enough bags there are, but we were each able to check two bags for free. And yes, in case you’re wondering, we’re flying coach, so all of this is stuff for everyone, not just the people who can already afford it.
In Flight Entertainment
Every seat, again we’re talking coach here, has its own monitor with a huge selection of movies and a smaller selection of U.S. TV shows available, plus music and games. And we’re not just talking second run or second rate movies either. We had Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Avengers, Enough Said (which I watched, highly recommended), American Hustle, Wolf of Wall Street, The Hobbit Parts 1 & 2 (which I tried to watch but couldn’t take more than 10 minutes of either, there’s none of the book in the movies), etc. And in case you’re wondering about the content of some of those movies, I’m pretty sure they’re edited to make them a little less family unfriendly (Wolf of Wall Street, I’m especially looking at you). TV shows were more limited, with two episodes each of Big Bang Theory, Modern Family, and a few others. There are also classic and family movies. All in all, far more than enough to keep one entertained for however many hours your flight may be.
Each seat also has a powered USB plug, so you can use and charge your mobile device(s) while you fly. I think there may also have been an outlet at the bottom of the seat in front of you, but I noticed that at the end of our flight back from Easter Island, so can’t say for sure.
OK, not really, but there is a bag on your seat when you get there with a blanket, pillow, earphones, earplugs and eyeshades. They ask you to leave the headphones when you leave, but frankly I wanted to anyway. I highly recommend using your own set if you can, they’ll do much better at canceling the background noise.
OK, we were flying steerage, so I wasn’t expecting a gourmet meal. But we did get a full dinner with a choice of entrees, a salad, roll, and dessert. But more importantly, they give you a free drink. No, not just soda, but a free beer or glass of wine with your dinner. Bonus!
If you thought, based on your experience flying major American carriers (I think we’re down to American & Delta now), that flying just had to suck in today’s world, rest easy. All you have to do is Go South Young Man (or Woman, or old or middle aged, they don’t care), and you may get to experience flying like it used to be.
The biggest problem: we’re not sure if we’re on LAN or American when we come home.