Monday 2nd January 2017
This morning we got up at an ungodly hour of the morning (around 3am) to get ready to check out of our hotel in Chile, and then we caught our 4am transfer back to the airport…. as we were Peru bound.
We got the same driver as the one who did the transfer in when we first arrived in Chile, and this time we actually had some Chilean Pesos on us, so we were able to give him a tip. As we only had one chilean note left in our wallet, he scored a 10,000 peso tip (on top of the payment for the service he had already received.)
On arrival at the airport in Chile, we were quickly reminded that customer service was not one of their best attributes.
Checking your luggage all the way through to your final destination seemed a little beyond their capabilities. They were able to provide us with boarding passes to fly to Lima Peru as well as on to Cusco Peru………… but to have our luggage follow us, in an easy manner, was an impossibility for Latam Airlines.
So on arrival in Lima, with our next boarding pass in hand, we had to wait for them to empty the plane, put our luggage on the carousel, we then collected it, walked our luggage out of the arrivals airport terminal, re-enter the departures terminal and we had to queue up to re-check our luggage with them, to get it onto our flight to Cusco.
And guess what……. all that took time, time they said we didn’t have, apparently.
39 passengers ( including us) waited patiently for our luggage to be given back to us so we could re-check it in, and guess what……… all 39 of us missed the closure time for check in………….. even though there was still 45 minutes till the flight was scheduled to leave.
Dealing with overseas airlines whilst on holidays is a lesson in patience and flexibility.
Latam would not budge, closing time is closing time, so we were given NO option but to accept a rescheduled flight four hours later.
They agreed to contact our pre-booked transfers at Peru to let them know the change of flight number and delayed arrival time and they provided a meals voucher for us to grab a bite to eat whilst we waited an additional four hours in the airport.
Flying into Cusco later that day was a “hold your breath” moment as we saw the VERY tiny runway surrounded by mountains.
After a long, stressful day we finally touched down on Peruvian soil.
We stepped out of the plane at 3400 meters above sea level and realised what Altitude really meant.
Acclimatising and our adventures in Peru will be covered in my next few blog posts. Be sure to sign up as a follower if you want to read about Cusco, Sacred Valley and of course Machu Picchu.