Lan Chile = lame excuse Chile airline

Trip Start Dec 07, 2010
Trip End Jan 14, 2011

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Flag of Chile  ,
Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Interested to know why a 8.5 hour late departure ended up in a 24 hour late arrival in Rio?

Then read on or skip this entry. Needless to say I was not impressed with Lan Chile's transfer desk at Santiago airport!

A travel story best forgotten but lesson learnt. "No matter how tired one may be and even without concrete proof stand your ground."

Lets not race ahead and wind back the clock ...

I heard that my 11 hour flight to Santiago was due to leave Auckland at 1.15 am Wednesday the next day now, as oppose to 4.40 pm on Tuesday 7 December.

This meant an enforced layover in Santiago as the connecting flight to Rio was the last one of the day had long left by the time we arrived.

I could have arrived in Rio mid-afternoon and having a swim at Copacabana Beach but instead was stuck at Santiago.

A travel mystery that probably will never be answered. What does a protected seat on LA 750 8.50 am flight mean? Nothing. Either the Lan Chile ground staff didn't read my reservation that Eve from Adventure World had made earlier in the day when she heard of my delay and booked me on the morning's first flight, or Lan Chile staff ignored it as it was confirmed much later by other Lan Chile staff that it definitely was in their system.

At least Lan Chile fed us and put the affected passengers overnight in Crowne Plaza hotel.

Being now rebooked on LA 756 meant that I had half a day spare in Santiago. I was joined by Sergio, a fellow passenger who was on his way home to Columbia but had to wait 2 days for his next available flight.

Following the doorman's suggestion, we were heading towards a near by arts and craft area of town but saw a river of people leaving the metro so followed them up the hill and joined the throngs as they celebrated Immaculada Conception.

As Santiago's shops were closed for this religious holiday, Sergio's camera battery had died so I lent him my Olympus and he recorded the procession through his eyes. Afterwards he copied both my and his images to his computer.

Less than an hour before the transfer back to the airport so a quick walk along the deserted normally busy main road by the hotel.

Later a 5 pm departure bound for Rio de Janerio, after crossing the Andes, losing a hour with a time zone change and a short lay over in Sao Paulo, I eventually arrived there after midnight.

My pre arranged hotel transfer pick up was there waiting for me so all good even though I was a whole day late getting here. Just 2 days now to see this vibrant city.

So that was continent no 6 that I had slept in and will I make it to sleep on continent no 7 itself!
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