Welcome to my trip report on Jetsmart's A320CEO!
Photo: Fernando Ariel TorreIntroduction
I had a few airlines in mind about which airline to fly with fly to EZE (Buenos Aires) so that I can connect to another airline before heading back to Sao Paulo. I considered both Jetsmart and Sky Airlines but in the end I decided on Jetsmart because of the livery, I could have gone with SKY and gotten the Airbus A320NEO. As Jetsmart was operating both types, chances of getting the newer model is about 40% after checking the history of this flight. After doing some checks, the aircraft to fly me to AEP was an A320CEO, tough luck there, but at least the flight wasn't cancelled.
A few weeks before my flight, I had been regularly checking the status of this flight and noticed on certain days, the flights were cancelled and on some other times, there were long delays. I was a bit concerned and actually made plans to book myself with another airline as a back up plan but fortunately, I didn't have to come to that. Plan B was to book with KLM which operates the 787-9 on the 5th freedom route from SCL to EZE, but thankfully things went well. Flying on a new airline in my flight logbook was more important!
Why to EZE, you must be wondering? It is because I decided to try BOA (Boliviana de Aviacion) which would operate out of EZE airport the following morning at 2. So this means I would fly into the AEP on the evening before the BOA's flight and then I transfer to EZE airport by either Uber or bus transport.
For my Jetsmart flight to AEP, as long it doesn't reached later than 10 p.m, I am fine as Iong as I have enough time to transfer over to the main airport. If it wasn't because of the atrocious flight timing of BOA, I would have stayed a day at Buenos Aires but never mind, I will plan a return to this beautiful city in the near future.
The original flight route was supposed to be SCL to EZE but a few months before my scheduled flight, the airline cancelled the flight and re-routed me to AEP airport on another flight. In addition, I was supposed to be flying on Jetsmart Argentina aircraft (scheduled to be operated by A321NEO) but they changed the flight and since there wasn't flights to EZE that day, they transferred me to Jetsmart Chile flight and fly to AEP airport instead. It's a good thing there is enough time between the landing time and the next flight as I could make arrangement to take a transport over to the EZE Airport. It is troublesome but as long as the flight arrives in AEP on time, I shouldn't have any problem. Furthermore I could enjoy the city view while on the way to the other airport. Thankfully everything went well that day.
AEP - Buenos Aires (Secondary Airport)
EZE - Buenos Aires (Primary Airport)
SCL - Santiago De Chile Airport
Jetsmart has the mobile app but unfortunately it is not available for my region so I had to use the website to do the booking and check in.
The interface of the website is user-friendly.
I booked my seat while doing the booking.
As a true ultra low cost carrier, you have to pay for everything.
Once I checked in, I was ready to go. The question at this point was would my bag be accepted for cabin baggage, let's find out at the airport in the later part of my trip report.
Jetsmart is a South American Ultra Low Cost Carrier set up by the Indigo Partners which also owns control of Volaris, Frontier, Lynx Air and Wizz Air. This airline's main hub is at Santiago, Chile, operating both domestic and regional flights. This airline also manages Jetsmart Argentina which is based at AEP (Aeroparque Jorge Newbery) in Buenos Aires and Jetsmart Peru, based in Lima, Peru. Thanks to the CEO and founder of this airline, Estuardo Ortiz Porras, the airline started operation in July 2017 and is currently operating a fleet of Airbus A320 and A321. Just like Frontier Airlines, it has special tail livery of animals on every aircraft and that certainly helps to catch the public's attention.
Before we continue the trip report, let me share with you some photos I took during my short stay in this beautiful city.
Photos of Santiago, Chile
This is at Estacion Central - Pila de Ganzo.
The famous railway station - Estacion Alameda
From here I walked to my accomodation which took about 15 minutes.
It was a great day for walking, I managed to walk about 3km before reaching my destination.
This was outside my apartment.
The view from the apartment.
The sunset view was spectacular.
I went back to the train station for dinner.
Beef Burger and fries was my dinner.
Unfortunately the weather wasn't good, the following day.
How that didn't stop me from taking the metro train.
This is Providencia - Los Leonas
I made my way to Costanera Centre.
This is Costanera Centre where you can visit the Sky Costanera. Unfortunately the weather was bad so I skipped the trip to the top floor. My original plan was to go up to enjoy the view of the entire city.
Unlike Colombia and Brazil, I felt safe to walk around.
At this point, it was drizzling and it was quite cold. This is Las Condes - El Faro
The weather improved that evening.
On the day of departure
I had a nice walk at this park, making my way to the bus stop.
I took the airport bus to the airport.
In between the 2 terminals is the Holiday Inn Hotel.
The hotel location is certainly very convenient for travellers.
I forgot to do one thing while I was there, that is to visit terminal 1, how could I forget?
Here is terminal 2.
The departure hall was buzzling with travellers. A couple of days ago while waiting to leave the airport for the accomodation, I went over to Jetsmart and enquire about my air ticket and fortunately my concern was addressed and all I need to do was to turn up and board the flight. A big thank you to the ground crew especially to the supervisor.
Flying to EZE was my preference since I have already flown into AEP airport but sometimes in life especially in air travel, things changed and you just have to cope with it.
It was a relief to be able to check in without issues. as I was worried that I may have to pay extra as my carry-on bag is not exactly small.
Once the security check was done, I was at the air side in this airport for my 2nd time.
I tried the WiFi this time and somehow the connection was better than my previous visit.
As I had no lounge access, I walked around the airside area until boarding time.
Can you spot a little playround in the photo below?
This is LATAM's A321CEO.
I would like to try this airline on my next trip.
This is LA800 flight, just arrived from Auckland.
This aircraft headed to the U.S after a few hours of rest.
Sky's A321NEO departing.
This is where my flight departed from.
Checking what aircraft I was flying on, CC-AWA gets the honour. I was hoping for the A320NEO, never mind, next time!
I was glad to be finally on the way.
The livery certainly looks smart!
My ride: CC-AWA (Photo: Alejandro Torres)
Airbus A320-232 (Leased from DVB Bank)
Name of the aircraft: Halcon Peregrino Austral
Vueling NTU (Not Taken Up) aircraft
Delivered to Jetsmart in June 2017
Engines: 2 X IAE2527-A5
Built in Hamburg (XFW)
Flight route: SCL-AEP
Date of departure: 10th June 2023
Aircraft: Airbus A320CEO
Flight route: SCL-AEP
Flight time: 1 hr 25 mins
Actual flight time: 1 hr 31 mins
Departure time: 1630
Pushed back: 1702
Take off: 1719
Schedule arrival: 1936
Actual arrival: 1950
Departure runway: 17R
Arrival runway: 13
My seat: 9A (Seatmap.com)
My flight experience
We boarded the aircraft about 5 minutes before the schedule and the reason was because of the late arrival of the aircraft and that was true when I was checking the Flightradar24. I was just glad that we were on our way and once everyone settled down, the cabin crew came around to check, they were nice and spoke English. The seats were not very comfortable mainly because of the tight legroom space but it was bearable for this short flight. The best part of this flight was the beautiful view I get to witness as the plane took off gently into the skies and enjoyed the sunset before the lights went out while flying towards Buenos Aires.
There was BOB (Buy on board) service on this flight but I decided to skip and enjoy a full meal at the airport later. The Chilean based crew came around a few times to check that everything was ok and clear the thrash. Arrival into the capital city of Argentina was a bit bumpy and we landed 14 minutes late but at least the pilots tried their best to make up for loss time.
Economy Class cabin
This cabin is configured in a 3-3 configuration, comes with a seat width of 17.5 inches. The seat pitch is between 28 and 29 inches and the seat is not reclinable.
For a short flight, it is bearable but anything longer, it will be torturing for my legs (I am 6 foot 4).
The bulkhead row offers slightly better seat pitch than the standard seats.
No headrest and USB ports for charging.
This turned out to be a full flight.
This is my seat (9A).
I have experienced worst seats than this.
If you notice the QR code, that is linked to the on board menu which you can order in-flight but that is provided you have mobile data connection, the strange thing is the airline does not offer WiFi so how are you going to access the webpage during in-flight without the network connection?
One last look at the cabin before disembarkment.
More photos of my seat
The foldable tray looks small.
The cabin view of the A320.
Window shot photos (Take off to Landing)
Sitting at row 9 will get this beautiful view of the wing and the engine.
Latam's 787-8 and United 767-300ER
We started making our way to the runway.
This is one moment when you can pause whatever you are doing and just admire the beautiful scenery.
Here we are at the runway.
We started rolling down the runway.
I was sitting at the correct side as I managed to enjoy the view of the airport.
Hope you enjoy the view of the airport as much as I do.
I was glad to be able to photograph this before the light gets dark.
Look at how high those mountains are from a distance.
We started entering the mountainous area.
The snowy mountains are definitely nice to look at.
As we were on approach to AEP airport, it was fairly turbulent.
I have to say the engine and winglet looks nice in the airline's livery.
This is the city of Buenos Aires, Argentina!
Like my previous flight with Aerolineas Argentinas, I landed on the same runway at AEP airport.
Nice to be back!
My flight summary
Airport transfer from AEP to EZE
I had to enter the country to connect to the other airport. After explaining my intention to the immigration officer, he didn't seem to be pleased that I am not staying longer. However, he chopped my passport and I was free to go. I know I would come back one day for a proper tour around the popular places.
This is where I waited for the representative from the bus company to direct me to the bus.
These photos were taken from the bus, don't mind the poor quality.
This is at Palermo.
This is Monserrat.
Plaza De Mayo
Pista de Atletismo
Welcome to Ministro Pistarini (EZE) International Airport!
The bus stopped outside the terminal near the parking lot and it took about 2 minutes to walk towards the terminal.
This is the CIPE-ANAC office.
It is like a dream come true to finally visit this historical airport, just like visiting Sao Paulo GRU Airport.
This terminal contains 3 parts: A, B and C.
I have to say how nice the exterior of the airport is.
Let's explore the airport terminal!
To be continued in my next blog post, stay tuned!
Airline's website: 4/5
Airport Staff at SCL Airport: 5/5
In-Flight Service: 4/5
In-Flight Experience: 4/5
Cleanliness of the cabin: 5/5
In-Flight Entertainment System: 0/5
In-Flight Snack/Meal: 0/5
Seat Comfort: 3/5
Cabin interior: 3/5
Overall rating: 30/50
Flying with Jetsmart is similar to flying with Frontier (U.S), these airlines offer pay-what-you-need service which you need to top up whatever service you need in addition to the base fare and if you choose to add this on later at the airport, the airfare would cost more than booking through the website. My experience on board this airlline is similar to any low cost carriers you fly from other parts of the world. The seats were standard and at a tight legroom space of 29 inches. Airlines such as Jetsmart squeeze as many seats as possible to try to make more revenue to transport passengers from point A to B while offering lower airfare to price conscious travellers. This sort of travel is more suitable for those price conscious travellers and do not need the amenities provided from the airline such as seats with better legroom space, luggage check-in, in-flight meal and beverage, WiFi and other non essential needs.
I am grateful for the ground staff's help and that's the highlight of this trip. The passenger experience on this airline was normal, nothing to shout about on this short 1 and a half hours flight. What is spectacular is the beautiful scenary especially after take off at Santiago Airport. For those wondering why the airline seems to be having punctuality issues? My guess for the frequent flight delays is probably due to the main issue which is the engine problem of the A320NEO and that means they have not enough aircraft to cover the network. With aircraft down for maintainence, there is likely to be a ripple effect and this reminds me of my flight experience with Azul.
Would I recommend this airline? Yes but it would be better to monitor the flight's history before you go for it and for those who has a tight schedule, it is better to fly with another airline that offer more flights a day so in case of a flight delay, they can transfer you to another flight. Do note this is a ultra low cost carrier, similar to Frontier and Spirit Airlines so be prepared to pay for whatever you need to make your flight more comfortable. Anyway, I expect things to get better once the engine issues are sorted out and more aircraft joining the fleet.
Hope you enjoy this trip report!
For my next report with Boliviana de Aviacion (EZE to VVI), click here.
For my previous trip report (Copa Airlines 737 MAX 9 PTY-SCL) trip report, click here.
Thanks for reading and have a good one!