I flew TWO other airlines…
My friend and I wanted to see not only the city, but some of the incredible natural beauty of Patagonia. We booked a flight to El Calafate for mid-way through the week to go hiking on the glaciers.
The first airline we flew was Aerolineas Argentinas. It was early morning and I decided I felt comfortable not asking for any accommodations. I wiped down my seat and area with wipes, which fit my comfort level for this flight. The airline did serve ham sandwiches, but that was it. No bags of nuts. It was a three hour flight and we had a late night with my cousins the evening before, so I took a nap in preparation for our next adventure. I awoke to the most spectacular turquoise water as we were landing in El Calafate. The color was reminiscent of Lake Taupo in New Zealand (another gorgeous place everyone should visit someday)!
The second airline we flew was LAN Airlines. There were no gate attendants until right before boarding the flight. I did regret not asking about what food they served, since they did pass out peanuts and a box of other snacks. I realized too late (as my friend and I were both napping when the snacks came around). I had wiped down my seat and area with wipes. I should have checked with the crew when I was boarding. If you ever take LAN, definitely check with them. I am not sure what they would do about accommodating allergies, but I would certainly ask (especially now that I know from experience). My friend was on one side of me and there was no one seated on the other side. If someone had been there, I would have explained my allergies and asked if they could wait to eat the peanut snack. This has happened before and thankfully people have always been kind and put their snacks away for later.
I like to travel wearing a hoodie (it is kind of like your own personal cocoon from allergens if necessary), so I zipped it all the way up and covered most of my face for the remainder of the flight. It wasn’t the most comfortable moment of my trip, but I knew I was prepared if anything happened and that we were almost there. Bags of nuts are not commonly served outside of the U.S., so I really hadn’t considered it for this flight. Lesson learned: always check! Even travel pros still learn lessons ;P
My last two flights home on American Airlines…
We arrived at the gate in perfect timing for our American Airlines flight from Buenos Aires to JFK. We bought bottles of water for the flight, but they were rechecking everyone’s carry on bags and wouldn’t allow any bottles of water (even though we just bought them after going through security). As a side note, I like having my own water because I don’t have to worry about anyone else having touched it and I can close it if I need to. It is very unlikely that there would be a problem, but it’s easier to have a water bottle anyway and one less thing to think about.
I did go up to the desk to ask about pre-boarding to wipe down my seat and area. The woman I spoke to was rude and dismissive, so I went back to the counter to talk to someone else (be assertive always) and the guy I spoke to walked me over to the line and let me through. Success! Even in frustrating moments with people who clearly don’t “get it,” I really try to remind myself to stay kind and push through it as gracefully as possible.
Although I had to be assertive for each American Airlines flight, both flights ended successfully!