Tag Archives: santiago chile

Joel Chusid’s Airline Corner – June 2013

Guest Editor Joel Chusid

Guest Editor Joel Chusid

Guest Editor Joel Chusid

Just a couple of keystrokes can make a world of difference

In the airline business, there are misboardings and misbookings. Due to increased security, boarding the wrong flight is not quite as common anymore, although it does happen. But there’s nothing to stop a passenger from being booked to the wrong destination as a result of an incorrect city code or similar sounding destinations. Unfortunately many people are handicapped in their geographic knowledge which only adds insult to injury.  Take the recent case of a California couple who booked a vacation in Dakar, Senegal on Turkish Airlines. The city code for Dakar is DKR. But they were booked to DAC. Now, it is natural to expect to change planes in Istanbul when flying Turkish, so the first part flight was uneventful. Then they boarded the second flight, and while watching the inflight video map, it seemed strange to be flying over the Middle East enroute to West Africa. Only then they realized something was amiss; they were bound for Dacca, Bangladesh, and that’s what their tickets read, only it was 7000 miles from their intended destination. From my own experience, there are undoubtedly hundreds of cases annually of people arriving in the wrong Georgetown (Bahamas or Guyana?), Santiago (Chile, Spain or Cuba?), Springfield (Illinois or Missouri?) and similar same name places. I recall one freezing winter day some years back a French family, in tropical attire, arrived in Providence, Rhode Island, got into a taxi and asked to be taken to Club Med. The problem was they were bound for Club Med in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos. Oops! Right hemisphere, wrong “Island”!

Meet at the Airport

What did we do at airports before smart phones? Although you may have missed it, late last year the mass media reported on a new website, www.meetattheairport.com, where registered members could hook up with another traveler to pass the time on layovers, have coffee or drinks, even dinner or more, especially during extended delays.  While the site’s home page tends to focus on the romantic aspect of this, it acknowledges that the idea fosters friendship, networking and travel companionship.  Our friends at USAToday did a little update on the site a couple of months ago and reported there are now over 60,000 members (there were 1,546 online as I write this), with more concentrated on the East Coast. The site recently did a survey and discovered the most popular airports for hooking up. Orlando came in first, due to its 54 restaurants and bars.  Miami was second, for an “interesting international crowd”, followed by Newark, due to its propensity for incurring delays.  Fourth was Boston Logan, supposedly for its chilly weather and fifth, Philadelphia for a plethora of amenities at the terminal. If you’re a social butterfly, this might be the way to spread your wings while on the ground.


Years ago it was rare to bring your own food, blanket, pillow or even reading material on board, let alone a carry-on suitcase. After all, airlines provided everything from drinks and hot meals, magazines, pillows and blankets – of course, and even little bars of soap in the lavatories.  Bags were checked for free. Now, in addition to their rolling bag and overstuffed backpacks, you can see travelers carrying everything for their comfort, including all sorts of pillows, throws and plenty of bottles of water and brown bags full of sandwiches, pizza, garlicky salads, reading material and more. This is by no means limited to budget carriers either.  A recent incident on board a United Airlines 11-hour flight from San Francisco to London made big news when it wasn’t sufficiently stocked with toilet paper, bringing a new meaning to “BYO”.  The airline claimed it would have caused a delay to have stocked it, and I might venture, even worse if they had to land to pick up some in Greenland. So the flight attendants got creative by placing cocktail napkins in the loos, ironically with the slogan “Fly by the tips of your fingers”. With Ryanair’s CEO now suggesting they might venture into the transatlantic market, you’ll want to be sure to BYO in case they start charging by the sheet. Stretching your legs with that 29-inch legroom is going to be tough. Maybe their new venture will be called Air DVT (Deep Vein Thrombosis)! Be warned!

Calling Not Free Either

Many airlines charge you to make a reservation over the phone now.  Spirit has gone one step further. Now the toll-free number has gone the way of free meals on airliners. The “800” number has been replaced by “801” (Utah!). While most cellphones have free domestic long distance, some land lines don’t – another reason to book online if you can.

Maids, Butlers and Facebook

Spring Airlines, a Chinese airline, recently raised the ire of social media netizens when it proposed the controversial idea of outfitting its flight attendants in rather risqué maid and butler uniforms on “theme flights”.  Responding to the criticism on numerous social media sites about this, and the airline, which also flies to Thailand and Japan claimed the idea came from its own flight attendants. The airline, which also has several prolific Facebook pages, also claimed to have surveyed its followers on Facebook and received overwhelming approval on the subservient maid and butler uniforms, as well as suggestions for superheroes and villains or even school uniforms.  Really?

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DAP Mineral Airways starts operations in northern Chile

DAP Mineral Airways (the mining-related division of Aerovías DAP)  has begun using BAe (Avro) RJ85 OY-RCE (msn E2233) on January 10 2013 from Atlantic Airways (Faroe Islands). The aircraft has small Mineral Airways titles on the left front fuselage. The airline is operating from Santiago (SCL) to the Ricardo García Posada airfield of El Salvador in the northern part of Chile (SCES) as flight DAP 442.

OY-RCE made a test and certification flight on January 9 from SCL. The jetliner arrived in Chile on December 31 2012. The other two BAe 146-200 aircraft of Aerovias DAP are based in Punta Arenas (CC-CZP and CC-ACO), operating to Antarctica as DAP Antarctic Airways (Antarctica).
Aerovías DAP (Las Aerolíneas de la Patagonia) is based in Punta Arenas, in southern Chile.
Aerovias DAP logo
Top Copyright Photo: Alvaro Romero. Pictured arriving at Santiago, Chile on January 10, 2013 is Atlantic Airways’ RJ85 OY-RCE about to land on runway 17L. OY-RCE is operating for the new DAP Mineral Airways arriving from El Salvador, Chile (SCES), as flight DAP 443. OY-RCE does not have the Mineral Airways titles on the right side of the fuselage.
Bottom Copyright Photos and Maps: Aerovias DAP.
Aerovias DAP Antartica RJ85 (Aerovias DAP)(LR)
The two BAe 146-200s now carry Antarctic Airways titles.
DAP Antarctic Airways (titles)(Aerovias DAP)(LR)
Local Aerovias DAP routes in southern Chile:
Please click on the photo for the full size view.

Please click on the photo for the full size view.

Charter flights to Antarctica as DAP Antarctic Airways (now with titles):
Please click on the map for the full size view.

Please click on the map for the full size view.

Gol to drop Santiago, Chile on October 3

Gol Transportes Aereos (Sao Paulo) will drop all service to Santiago, Chile on October 3, 2012 due to declining traffic.

Copyright Photo: Marcelo F. De Biasi. This dramatic view shows Boeing 737-76N launching from scenic downtown Santos Dumont Airport in Rio de Janeiro.