To the Polls: Who to Fly to Lima?

I just found out that my fiancée and I will be heading down to Peru in the Spring. Of course, I’m excited about the chance to see Machu Picchu, but I’m also excited about getting to try a new airline.

Looking at my options, I see all kinds of exciting possibilities. Though I’ll wait to see what airfares do over the next couple of months, I’m eager to find out which option you all would recommend.

So, forget about mileage opportunities, because that’s not important. In terms of onboard experience, which airline would you choose?

Update 10/26 @ 1124a: An excellent point was raised in the comments that I didn’t mention what class I’d be flying. I’ll be in coach.


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28 Comments on "To the Polls: Who to Fly to Lima?"

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Will
Guest

My colleague flew non-stop on LAN from JFK to Lima about a year and a half ago and had a great trip. Red eyes are never fun but I would choose this flight over changing somewhere in Latin America in the middle of the night

Zach
Guest

This should be an easy decision. I would always choose the widebody, and nonstop is a plus.

Sounds like a fun trip!

Smail
Guest

First class or coach?

L1011
Guest

I would agree with Zach 100%. Widebody, even though a 767, and nonstop, sounds like the perfect combo.

CF, really enjoy the blog!

Rick
Guest

I admire your spirit, but this one’s a no-brainer. Gotta go with the nonstop.

great blog, btw!

davidthomson_98
Member

Well, its a toss up. I do Latin America all the time and LAN will probably give you the best service. However, living in Colombia as I do, I’d have to say try Avianca, they are constantly renewing and it will give you a chance to see the third busiest airport in South America (BOG, 3rd after only GRU and GIG!!) and number 1 cargo airport as well.

Brian Lusk
Guest

Wow, this poses a dilemma. Do you connect through some exotic airport like Bogota, knowing that the ramp is probably filled with unusual aircraft, or do you go on a nonstop to avoid the potential hassle and delay in connections? Those considerations don’t even take in the onboard service. In all honesty, I would pick the routing with either a new aircraft type, and if there weren’t any new types, I’d go with the best service.
Brian

Alex
Guest

is cost a consideration? if that’s the case, then I would not necessarily fly a non-stop flight….LAN CHILE has a nice monopoly on the LAX/LIM or JFK/LIM route (zero competitors, they are the only airline offering non-stop flights) and therefore they charge premium fares. Try a connection and save money!

Alex
Guest

OH ONE MORE THING……LEG ROOM IN COACH ON THOSE LAN 767’S IS THE ABSOLUTE PITS, IF YOU ARE 5’8″ OR TALLER YOU WILL REGRET IT!!!

Steve Dorman
Guest

Any flight that gets you there safely NONSTOP is my preference. Also the 767 has the most comfortable coach seats in the sky, thanks to 2x3x2 seating. If you luck out with an exit row, its even better. I would never ever consider a 3x4x3 airplane for a long flight.

Smail
Guest

I voted for the non-stop LAN, but Avianca might not be too bad, either. As many others have said, widebody ftw. The 319/320 and Embraer options sound like absolute torture.

Tom S
Guest

You are kidding right? Who in their right mind would want to go to South America? I am writing this from my hotel room overlooking Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro. Even I don’t want to be here.

I voted for you to take the non-stop, but my second choice would be a boring American carrier. You can always ship your AA miles to me. :-)

Nick Barnard
Member

Not knowing service on the airlines I voted for COPA because the E190 is a sweet plane. I’m odd and I’ll chose to fly on a smaller plane, trying to remember the days of airliners with less than 15 seats. Plus connecting in another country sounds like an experience. But if the layover is long I’d go for the nonstop… (I voted before reading comments.)

SeaFlyer
Guest

Fly COPA and try to figure out how they are the most profitable carrier in the Americas (by margin).

baproden
Member

I would go for Avianca! For me it is all about logging new airports as well as new airlines.

BJW
Guest

I would not fly an American carrier and I would avoid small jets. You get both plenty of times when flying in the US.

That basically leaves LAN and Avianca as the only 2 choices.

Unless I had a very long (>4 hour) layover in Bogota I would take Avianca. LAN is a very good airline and the nonstop is enticing but flying via Bogota would allow you to take a break in the flights and also do some spotting in an exotic location you may never visit again.

Jeruen
Member
I’d say Avianca. The chance to spot in El Dorado International Airport is probably worth it. Coincidentally, I am planning a trip myself to the Sacred Valley, from May 10-20, 2008. Since I will be coming from Buffalo, my choices are limited, but if my friend who resides in New York City chooses to join me, then I might hop over to New York City and take Avianca instead of going on a US carrier straight from Buffalo. AV’s schedules from JFK to LIM via BOG provides a 9-hour lay-over (there is a shorter one, but is way too short… Read more »
Lima_Visitor
Guest

How about TACA? I flew them last december, via El Salvador. The aircraft was pretty new, but it is no-frills carrier, and I got a good price. I actually bought a ticket to Sao Paulo, and got a free layover for 3 days in Lima, for around $800 with taxes.

Holly
Guest

I flew Taca a few years ago…I would definitely recommend them…flights were on time, staff was friendly, smooth/no hassel/no wait connections, clean planes, etc.

Glenn
Guest

My wife and I flew TACA to Managua last month. We were both impressed with the comfort and the service after suffering through Continental. I’m going to Lima in July, and plan to use them again if their price is competitive.

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[…] of you who have been reading Cranky for awhile will remember back in October I asked which airline I should fly to Peru for a trip in the seemingly distant future. Well guess what? It’s time for that trip. A […]

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[…] of this post. That piece of cheesiness was the Disney theme for one of the days of the trip.) I asked you guys to recommend how you would go about getting there, and the LAN nonstop won out. I’m certainly […]

Pedro
Guest
I fly to Peru two or three times a year, I flight from SLC each time. I have to make at least one stop because there is no NON STOP flights to Lima from SLC. So where are you flying from? -If you flight from ATL then your best option is a non stop flight with Delta. -If you flight from Texas then probably your best option is a non stop flight with Continental – If you flight from LAX then LAN is problably your best option with a non stop flight to Lima… but this flight could be a… Read more »
jon
Guest

by far the best advice!

jon
Guest

from pedro that is!

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