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It's hard to believe that it was only last month we declared the LAN Airlines lounge at Buenos Aires' Ezeiza Airport the "best in South America." That may have been true at the time but, as of this week, the tides have changed and LAN's home airport in Santiago, Chile now not only claims the best lounge in South America, but the largest.
The brand new Salon VIP opened at SCL yesterday, and it borrows much of the look and South American design influence of that Buenos Aires lounge, albeit on a grander scale.
As the largest lounge in South America, it naturally boasts some impressive numbers, like the facts that it's 23,000 square feet, with 28 restrooms, 10 showers, a 180-foot-long buffet, 46 employees, and the capacity for 460 travelers. It's nearly 24 hours, with operating hours from 3am to 1am daily.
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There's a sweet secret within the otherwise unremarkable terminal of Buenos Aires- Ezeiza International Airport. You see, EZE is somehow home to the nicest airline lounge in South America, the LAN Airlines VIP room.
The lounge is relatively new, having quietly opened in early 2013. Dark woods and soft lighting welcome travelers, tickets are checked at reception, and then guests walk a short hallway of periodicals and departure screens to enter the lounge proper. The first sight is a wall of wine, followed by separate areas for relaxing, dining, and working. Several Mac desktops are available, and a large communal work table is ideal for spreading out with a laptop and last-minute work. Bookshelves and dividers are the only walls, allowing the space to be cozy and semi-private at the same time as open and welcoming.
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If it's cold where you live, then pay attention this week as we profile a few Perfect Weather destinations.
Chile's Easter Island (also called "Rapa Nui" and "Isla de Pascua") is an incredible destination. Travelers to this place in the Pacific Ocean, one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world, go here because it is a dream destination. There's a great deal of planning and passion behind their itineraries, and the great majority fly in on LAN via Santiago, Chile or Papeete, Tahiti, currently the only routes serving Easter Island.
The island's climate is subtropical, most of it is a protected national park, and it's on the Southern Hemisphere's calendar of seasons (January is in summer, July is in winter). Those interested in geology, archaeology, astronomy, hiking, surfing, and general exploration will find Easter Island exhilarating. To best plan when to go, we have some suggestions:
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If it's cold where you live, then pay attention this week as we profile a few Perfect Weather destinations.
July 24, 1911.
Explorer Hiram Bingham followed the hints of locals to stumble upon an ancient Incan city for which he wasn't even looking. It was Machu Picchu, and of it he wrote:
The superior character of the stone work, the presence of these splendid edifices, and of what appeared to be an unusually large number of finely constructed stone dwellings, led me to believe that Machu Picchu might prove to be the largest and most important ruin discovered in South America since the days of the Spanish conquest.
The dramatic location, breadth of ruins, and the unique architecture which so enthralled Bingham still draws legions of tourists (over 300,000 per year) and a selfie overlooking the site is one of the must-have profile pictures for lonely singles on dating websites. Want to snap your own epic profile pic? We have a few tips on when to make the journey.
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Sometimes it’s hard to stay on top of all the new route announcements that come our way, so we’ve complied a little bit of a rundown below. As long as you can afford the fares, this should definitely help add to your passport stamp collection.
There’s still some government stamps and seals to be had, but it does sound like we’re well on our way to a new option from All Nippon Airways. The plan is for ANA to do the nonstop thing beginning on June 12 between Tokyo-Narita and Houston. The daily service will operate thanks to some Boeing 777-300ERs, and if you’re looking to book things or cash in some miles—expect eight seats in First, 52 in Business, and 190 in Economy.
New Boeing birds are on the move beginning next year, as LAN Airlines is sending their 787-9 between New York-JFK and Santiago, Chile. The new route will start doing its thing on July 20, so start planning your vacation now. Utilizing this stretched version of the 787, LAN will be the first carrier to offer up international service down to South America from JFK using a plane such as this. There are 313 seats in total, so we’re sure you can find one that fits you well.
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Does it seem like everyone and their moms are in Miami right now? The deluge of social media streaming from The Magic City is all due to this week's hosting of Art Basel Miami Beach, the US branch of the modern art world's massive annual fair.
Seeing as nearly every single artist, patron, and onlooker will have spent some time at Miami International Airport in their lives, let alone this week, it's only proper that MIA star in its own Art Basel masterpiece.
The team at marsdesign Miami have applied their "Pixorama" style to the airport, depicting it in their eBoy series as a city itself, both venue and active participant in the vibrance of Miami as a whole. The mix of pixels and panorama is here inspired by MIA's sheer volume: "With 40 million passengers, 37,000 employees and 1,000 flights per day, MIA is a platform generating great energy from and to these people associated with the level of professionalism that you can expect from an American airport."
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Enough already! Talk of Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals ends today...at least until next year.
If you're hoping for a travel deal during this high shopping season, then Cyber Monday is the better bet as airlines tend to do much of their business on the internet these days.
As always, pay attention to the fine print before clicking to purchase, and remember that more sales are due to arrive after the New Year, when travel once again calms down between the holidays and Spring Break.
Cyber Monday airfare sales:
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Black Friday is upon us, and for those who prefer to stay home and search for travel deals, the airlines have stepped up to the plate to offer a few Black Friday sales worth considering.
Expect more or at least a continuation of airfare sales on Cyber Monday but, for now, here's what airlines are offering right now:
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Ever heard of the St. Petersburg-Tampa Airboat Line? We're guessing probably not, but the Smithsonian sure has; the seaplane carrier is classified as the world's first airline, which inaugurated commercial air service in 1914 when it took off with one paying passenger. It may have been a short journey (only 23 minutes!), but the Airboat Line's impact extends to today as commercial aviation has become a $2.2 trillion dollar industry, employing over 57 million people.
In 2014, the world celebrates 100 years of commercial air travel, but that's not all.
In this last century, airlines and airplanes have evolved into a fact of everyday life for travelers, and some of the pioneering companies will mark milestones this year. Here's who to wish "happy anniversary":
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1970s: inspired by Chilean heritage
2014 marks the 85th Anniversary of LAN. That's pretty incredible, considering commercial aviation itself is only 100 (and also celebrated that mark this year!).
To celebrate, LAN surprised one of their regularly scheduled flights from Santiago, Chile to Lima, Peru on March 12 with a flight attendant fashion show of uniforms over the decades, with 1950s, 70s, 80s and 90s ensembles again strutting the aisle.
This hardly marks the first time an airline has paraded its past through in-flight fashion. In fact, San Francisco Airport's own aviation history museum even aired out their archives to stage an exhibition of airline uniforms last year. Sadly that's come to a close, but scroll down for more photos of LAN's looks, plus a few other airline fashion shows from the last few years.
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Last chance to book travel to Brazil for the 2014 World Cup! Regular flights, both into and around the sprawling country, are nearly sold out during the World Cup dates of June 12 - July 13. This means it's time for airlines to announce how many extra planes they'll be running for fans to reach the 12 host cities.
Leading the pack is TAM, Brazil's largest airline, which only just dropped the huge news that they'll add 750 domestic and 300 international flights to supplement their usual schedule, all for travelers and soccer fans eager to visit during the World Cup.
TAM's competitors in the region (Avianca, GOL and Azul) are also throwing extra planes into the sky to help the rush, but nowhere near TAM's outlay. Azul, which only flies domestic routes in Brazil (and was actually created by the same man who founded JetBlue, David Neeleman), will only add around 350 flights during the World Cup period, for example.
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Go south, way south, to Chilean Patagonia. As home to snow-capped mountains, dramatic fjords, extreme weather, exotic flora and fauna, and the world's second largest ice field, it's no wonder this region ranks high on traveler's bucketlists. We've just crossed it off our own, and all week we'll be sharing our top tips to making this dream destination a reality vacation.
So while we definitely recommend making your stay longer than five days to even begin to scratch the surface, at least these do-not-dos will help no matter the trip length.
So without further ado, here is the Jaunted guide of What Not To Do In Patagonia: The Top 5 Tourist Mistakes.