I really enjoy evening departures as you get the whole day to run last minute errands and to get to the airport at a comfortable time without having to worry about early-hour phone alarms. As is the case with most departures from South America to the north and to Europe, Lufthansa flight 511 from EZE-FRA departs at the comfortable hour of 18:10. Nevertheless, my day started at 08:00 in the fantastic Hostel Obelisco Suites on Corrientes avenue, right in the heart of central Buenos Aires. I would highly recommend this hostel, which is clean, well-equipped with respectably fast Wifi and has some very friendly staff. I stayed here just for one night as I had already checked out of my previous accommodation the day before. I went for a long run in the morning, passing some of my favorite sights in the city one last time. Then I proceeded to run some last minute errands before catching a taxi from the city at 14:30 to the Manuel Tienda Leon station, the monopoly airport bus service that anyone who has travelled to Buenos Aires is probably familiar with. The service is run very efficiently (I dare say that it is one of the most efficiently run services in the city) with buses leaving to Ezeiza International Airport from a dedicated terminal next to Retiro station every half an hour. The journey takes up to one hour during the busy times of the day, however, today’s ride was quite short at 45 minutes. I got the 15:00 bus, which arrived at a rather ancient looking Ezeiza just before 16:00.
I headed straight for the Lufthansa check in counters operating stands 75-81. Six counters, including just two economy counters, didn’t seem like a lot for a ~350 seat 747. Luckily, I was able to use one of three Business Class check-in counters with my Frequent Traveller card, and I was checked through to Vienna less than five minutes after walking into Terminal C.
To give Eseiza credit where credit is due, there are parts of the airport that have been well renovated, along with the newly opened Terminal C–the flagship for home airline Aerolinas Argentinas and Austral. When passing Terminal C by bus, I noticed a TAM A330 and a LAN 767 parked at the gates. Does anyone know why these might have been at the terminal? I thought it was being used exclusively by AR.
After walking around airside Terminal A for a while, grabbing some pictures for this report, I headed through security. This was a relatively smooth process despite the fact that only one x-ray scanner was being used during the airport’s evening rush hour. The check-in and gate area were full of people waiting to board European and North American heavies.
I was surprised that I did not have to take out my laptop at security (this was also the case during my connection at FRA). As is usually the case, the emigration line that followed security was much longer than the latter, however, it only took about 15 minutes to get through. I proceeded to the Sala VIP Americas lounge situated next to gate 2, which I was able to access with Diner’s Club Gold. Now, even though this lounge was nothing to write home about in terms of decoration or comfort, I was absolutely satisfied with the drink and snack selection on offer, along with the reliable Wifi connection and friendly staff. Power sockets were also available at most of the seating areas. This is also one of the only lounges in the Terminal that has windows, however, not much of the ramp was visible from its location. I did get to check out the baggage sorting/management system, however, which kept me entertained while I sent off some last minute emails.