Balloons and bunting? Check. A ribbon to cut with comically oversize, novelty scissors? Check. LAX and LAN officials stating how excited they are (and noting that LAN beat United by one day to have the first 787 service here)? Check. Local news teams sneaking onboard to shoot their evening segments while kicking back in business class seats? Check. A water cannon salute of the plane after we boarded, pushed back and headed to the runway? Check.
There were also cookies.
So why was it sooooo special? Well, LAN Airlines was the fourth carrier to receive a Dreamliner, but first in the Americas. With the launch of LA 603 & 602 non-stops to/from SCL, they tack on a few more records, as this inaugural was...
· The first 787 scheduled service from LAX
· LAN's first 787 route to North America
· The first 787 service overall between North and South America
· The first non-stop service from LAX to Santiago, Chile (a new route that'll operate 3x/week, Wednesday-Friday-Sunday)
· The completion of LAX's trifecta of new aircraft types, as the airport now has A380s, B747-8s and B787s on the tarmac
This flight is actually on sale with just-released New Year specials on LAN. Flying LAX-SCL is $899 per person including taxes and fees, if you book before January 28 and fly between February 1 and June 30, 2013.
Stay tuned for our hour-by-hour breakdown of what exactly happens onboard a 10-hour LAN 787 flight. We promise more cookies.
Just after arrival at SCL, in the wee morning hours
Disclosure: We were onboard the inaugural as a guest of LAN Airlines, but all jet lag, photos and opinions are strictly our own.
[Photos: Cynthia Drescher/Jaunted]