I was ready to continue my South American adventure by flying from Easter Island to Lima rather than back to Santiago where it began just a week ago. I had redeemed for two one way British Airways award tickets for the trip using their partner, LAN. One flight was New York (JFK) – Santiago (SCL) – Easter Island (IPC) while the return was Easter Island (IPC) – Lima (LIM) – New York (JFK). All in business class for a then (old award chart) amazing 80,000 points.
The Flight from Easter Island to Lima
While waiting for the plane to arrive so I could board my LAN flight from Easter Island to Lima, there was a light rain and that quickly it stopped just as the plane landed. As everyone deplaned, they had that initial sense of wonder I had when I arrived – looking around, taking photos and just waiting to start their adventure on Easter Island.
After all of the luggage was unloaded, the staff turned around and loaded our luggage. Once all checks were complete, general boarding commenced and yes, even in Easter Island there was a priority lane for elite members. But really, it comes down to who can walk faster to the plane.
Once seated in business class on the aisle (I would miss the chance again to see the island from the plane), my seatmate started small talk asking me about my visit. He, and a group of colleagues, did a quick adventure weekend during their business trip and were going back to Lima for work. I would find out that he was from Chicago and actually worked with a friend of mine (small world really!).
The flight from Easter Island to Lima was pleasant which put me in a calm state which was nice (I would need it). As we landed and walked toward immigration, I noticed a few people doing the dash to the finish line run. Thinking they had a connection or something, I didn’t do anything different from my normal “just landed in an airport” routine (which thankfully includes a restroom stop before the immigration line). A few more people were doing the fast walk and a few joggers passed me, so now I was thinking something must be up as not that many people had 11pm connections.
Turning the corner to immigration, I quickly understood the need to run with so many flights arriving at the same time (and really wished LAN business class had a priority line at immigration like BA does at T5). I entered the extremely long line. That quickly all of the space behind me and down the hall filled up and I counted myself lucky to have been one of the first off the plane. There were about a dozen immigration officers so that was promising but they were grilling everyone so that gave me reason to take out a snack and some water to settle into the wait.
Lima Private Airport Transfer to the Westin Lima
After more than an hour, I finally exited immigration to the taxi/car service station prior to the exit to the main hall. As it was after midnight, I was happy that the hotel had suggested reserving a car for me. I found my name on the board and was directed to my car – an Audi with driver. The car had a bottle of water and information about the Westin Lima, where I was staying. I would learn later that a general cab could have cost about $15 (I paid about $42 charged to the room) but arriving alone, after midnight and not speaking spanish, I felt it was worth every penny.
As we exited the airport, everything was dark and I was exhausted from the immigration wait and just wanted my Heavenly Bed asap. The drive was about thirty minutes with no traffic and nothing exciting to see along the route (we would pass a casino surrounded by western fast food restaurants and many dark streets) so different from the sunny island I just left behind.
Arriving at the Westin Lima
Arriving at the Westin Lima, my bag was taken by the bellman and as I approached the front desk, they addressed me by name. I quickly was taken that much closer to sleep. With my Starwood gold status, I chose free internet for my stay (always the best option in my opinion) and my room was upgraded.
Sweet Dreams in Lima
Having started my day waking up to the sunrise on Easter Island and the final day of discovery with Jess & Justin, I was now in Lima for the final leg of my South American adventure. Falling into my Heavenly bed, I would recount my day and dream of the Moai statues I left behind.