Candidate for least useful moving map, and only 20 pounds of carry-on: Lan from JFK

The Rapid Traveler and Mrs. barely made it to JFK in the rain last night for their Lan flight to Santiago. Unlike his prior Lan flights (courtesy of BA and Chase)  with only backpack, this time The Rapid Traveler had his carry-on rollerboard and briefcase. The gate agent was adamant about a one piece, 20 pound carry-on rule, though not willing to crane her head over the counter to see the briefcase and the 40 pounds of magazines.

With five minutes to spare, the Rapid couple stopped at the JFK Terminal 4’s excellent Oasis Lounge for pilof and chicken meatballs using his Delta Sky Club access. Sadly those delights will likely be traded for pretzel rods when Delta’s revamped Terminal 4 opens.

The Rapid Traveler had been too clever for his own good as the gate agents pulled aside nearly every rollerboard for a secondary weighing and they kept him and others waiting so long that he was among the last to board. He was not quite so deft at hiding the briefcase and magazines (removed to meet the 20 pound limit) and a long debate ensued with the agent trying to charge extra for this carry-on until she finally accepted that The Rapid Traveler had not checked any luggage, and waived him on with everything.

Though a policy only about maximizing luggage fees, the 767 had nearly useless overhead bins, so it would almost be less hassle to check a rollerboard, or better yet, load up a backpack instead. The Rapid Traveler will see if this happens next week coming out of Buenos Aires.

And then there is the bafflingly unhelpful moving map that accompanies Lan’s lame movie selection. Other than the several zoom levels, the only info shown is ground speed, altitude and outside air temperature. This was the same on the many Lan flights in The Rapid Traveler’s October trip.

Lan MapReaders, have you encountered any airline with a less informative moving map? And have you been tripped up by this 20 pound rule at other airports for Lan flight?

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  • NB

    Most airlines, other than North American ones, have strict limits on carry on size, weight and quantity. 8lbs is quite common. As always, enforcement is sporadic.

  • zpaul

    Wow…this is way outside of my experience with LAN. As a US citizen resident in SCL, I fly them A LOT, and all over the Americas. My carry-ons have been weighed only once before, but they are almost always give the once-over at check-in and the carry-on tags get attached. I’ve never seen the seconday weighing station, and the map has always included the actual moving map. LAN’s selection of in-flight movies has usually struck me as being more extensive than many other airlines (those that have individual IFE in economy, that is) with about 50 movies to choose from on my most recent 767 flights to/from GIG in Oct and Nov.

    That said, I have never flown LAN into or out of JFK, though I can’t imagine that the equipment and offerings would be that different from other 767s. I truly hope that your experience from EZE is better!

  • Thanks for your feedback on Lan. I flew them to/from Miami and around SA on about 10 flights in Oct and didn’t have this issue, so made sure to emphasize it was JFK. Maybe more NYC than Lan. Except for the quirks of this flight, my experience with Lan has been fine, nothing special but still better than US airlines.

    The moving map is quirky, I did mean to say they did show the map itself, but none of the typical information like time remaining on the flight, distance to destination, time at destination, etc.

    I was disappointed that the movies were virtually the same as last month, about 5 or so changed, and so many are edited, one of my pet peeves. And the new releases are rather out of date.

    These are all small quibbles, flying to me is just getting from point A to point B, but I did want to give people a head’s up on the JFK carry-on issue.

    But, we are having a great time in Santiago, I can see why you choose to live here.