I poked fun at Aerolineas Argentinas “Club Condor” Class in an earlier post, but was really looking forward to trying it. With a limited route map and limited award space, catching a longhaul Aerolineas Argentinas flight is not an easy thing.
Check-in at terminal 2 in Cancún was quick and easy. There was no one else in line and it just took a few moments for my passport to be scanned and boarding pass issued. The staff was quite pleasant and wished me a pleasant journey, joking that I was going to Madrid the long way when two boarding passes spit out.
After spending a little while in the Aeromexico Lounge, I lined up to board an hour before takeoff, the boarding time indicated on the boarding pass. About 5o minutes prior to boarding, the gate staff (same as the check-in staff) announced business class would board first.
Aerolineas Argentinas 1373
Cancún (CUN) – Buenos Aires (EZE)
Tuesday, August 22
Aircraft: Airbus A340-300
Seat: 6A (Business Class)
A FA nodded at me as I entered the aircraft, glanced at my boarding pass, and directed me left to the business class cabin. We pulled out of the gate 20 minutes early (and eventually landed 30 minutes early in Buenos Aires).
Aerolineas Argentinas Business Class Seat
The A340-300 has 32 seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. Contrary to SeatGuru, the seats are not “angle lie-flat”, which I defined as a lie-flat seat that slopes downward rather than being parallel with the floor.
Instead, the seats are merely angled recliners that seem to recline about 160º in the back. The front footrest merely rises about 45º, making it a comfortable chair but not a bed.
In the console between seats, a small storage area and water bottle holder was available.
The cabin appeared clean, but upon closer inspection it was not. Pen marks were present on the armrests and food particles and dust were present around the seat. It was quite sad. The buttons on the seat were worn out as well. USB and power ports were present and functional. The literature pocket also dangled precariously (I fixed it).
Finally, the seat featured a “snake” reading light and what appeared to be a privacy divider between seats, though the divider was broken.
Aerolineas Argentinas Business Class IFE
As you see above, the only refresh in the cabin was the IFE system, which was brand new and featured a new remote control as well. The system interface was fairly easy to use and the selection of movies included about 30 English films (and about 30 Latin American + worldwide films as well). The system also included audio options and TV/short-subject programming, but no games.
Nothing really caught my eye so I just watched Frozen…believe it or not, I had never seen it (though I love the soundtrack).
Bring your headphones: the business class headphones are no different than the flimsy, throw-away economy class ones.
Also note that while video is on-demand in business class, only overhead screens are available in economy class.
Aerolineas Argentinas Business Class Bedding
While the seat may have been falling apart, I liked the pillow and especially the blanket. The pillow was soft and not lumpy while the blanket was warm and yet very lightweight. That helped me to sleep for a few hours on the rather uncomfortable seat.
Aerolineas Argentinas Business Class Amenity Kit
The amenity kit was also above average. I liked the color and the contents contained everything important to me: 1.) good toothpaste 2.) socks and 3.) a comb. It also contained L’Occitane amenities and a plastic tote bag.
Aerolineas Argentinas Business Class Food
Having eaten United catering out of Cancun, my hopes were not high for the meal. And while Aerolineas gets an F for main course presentation, the food tasted very good.
Menus were distributed before takeoff with hot towels:
Service began promptly after takeoff. FAs wasted no time distributing salads and cheese. No nuts or other canapes. to start. The salad came with a side of Caesar dressing and was toped with ham and cheese. The post-dinner cheese selection was also included on the tray. Bread was offered from the same cart and stale.
As soon as the crew got through the cabin with appetizers, they began serving the main course. Again, service was via tray and main courses were on small (economy class sized) dishes.
I chose the pork tenderloin, served with sweet potatoes. While the flavor was good, it was very overcooked. And it just looked horrible.
Dessert with coffee or tea (no espresso) finished off the meal. The menu said tiramisu but the cake was certainly not like any tiramisu I’ve had before. It wasn’t bad, though.
Annoyingly, breakfast service began a full two hours prior to landing…meaning there was only a few hours sleep between meals.
Breakfast began with a choice cereal and fruit. The fruit was sliced orange, kiwi, papaya and pineapple. The cornflakes were…cornflakes. Two more stale, lukewarm rolls were offered and orange juice was highly concentrated in sugar. The coffee was fair.
I know it looks bad, but I actually enjoyed the cheese enchiladas for the main course. The Manchego cheese had a good favor and the tortillas and refried beans were also tasty.
Aerolineas Argentinas Business Class Service
Service is below average for business class. The crew was nice enough to me, but one FA snapped at my seatmate for not pulling out her breakfast tray quick enough. Keep in mind it was 2am…
That was totally unnecessary and the crew seemed robotic for much of the flight. They performed their service efficiently, but never smiled or made eye contact. They simply did not care: it was obvious.
After the meal service, FAs quickly handed out water bottles with plastic cups on top.
That was it. No FA made an appearance until breakfast. The cabin was not monitored and if anyone needed a drink, they were one their own. No self-serve buffet or drink station was set up, either.
All communication between FAs and me was conducted in Spanish. My Spanish is poor, but I can fool a FA and order food and drinks off a menu. The fact that the crew had no idea I couldn’t really speak Spanish is a testament to the limited interaction we had during the flight.
Aerolineas Argentinas Business Class Lavatory
The lavatory was grungy. Not dirty, just not well maintained. No cloth towels, just paper.
There you have it, an Aerolineas Argentinas longhaul business class review. Unfortunately, there was no facsimile service available onboard, but I’ll be honest…it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. But be warned: it is not a competitive business class product.