Old Mar 22, 07, 10:59 am
  #1  
prspad
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Southern California
Programs: The usual for over 7 Million paid miles flown to date... My first paid flight was on a DC3.
Posts: 1,518
MVD / Montevideo, Uruguay AA Flights and Contract Lounge Access (consolidated)

My Spouse & I recently spent 10 days in Uruguay, traveling on AA's 777 LAX-MIA connecting to AA's 763 nonstop MIA-MVD. Return to LAX was a 763 nonstop MVD-MIA flight connecting to the 777 MIA-LAX first flight of the day. Here's a brief review of a few particulars that may be of interest to those who travel to deep South America during their Fall/Winter season...

This was the first time that I have flown nonstop commercially from Miami to Montevideo. Previously, I always connected in Buenos Aires for the short jump over to MVD or have taken the Buquebus ferry service from BsA's Puerto Madero Terminal to either Colonia or Puerto de Montevideo. AA's nonstops from Miami to MVD operate 3 days a week from mid-November through early April. The other 4 days during this season are served by a connection from EZE. The rest of the year, 7 day service to MVD is on the daily EZE puddle-jumper!

Both 763's MIA-MVD/return were sold out in both classes and each aircraft had the old, tired and well-worn Business Class seats. Service was okay. We didn't eat the meal offered on the flight down... Too late to chow down on a flight that took off near midnight & we didn't even open up the menu. The pre-arrival breakfast was standard.

Carrasco Airport in MVD is small, indeed, and there is only 1 covered bridge available which covers gates 1 and 2. Since the LAN flight from Santiago usually arrives first, it gets the gate! The daily IBERIA flight from Madrid, AA's flight and a few other UA, GOL, COPA and PLUNA flights that arrive in mid-morning are served by mobile stairs and pax are bused to Immigrations/Customs.

AA's MIA nonstop departs around 9 PM and is the last long-haul international flight of the evening, so it is usually assigned to depart from Gate 1, as it was when we departed. AA used to grant Bus. Class and Elite Level FF AAdvantage members free access to a VIP room at MVD. However, since Carrasco Airport has taken over the operation of the VIP Club and converted it to the "Aeropuertos VIP Club," with fee membership required, there is no free access. Membership ranges from $700 USD down to $35 for one visit.

AA's food service in Bus. Class on the MVD-MIA return was improved over a flight I took a few months ago EZE-MIA... The usual Warm Mixed Nuts were augmented by a Marinated Cheese Antipasto. American's wines have been improved as well... I enjoyed a Clos Du Val Napa Cabernet and my spouse a decent Luigi Bosca Lujan de Cuyo Malbec. Leek Soup was accompanied by Gourmet Breads served with that great Castello Monte Vibiano Olive Oil that I've been seeing served in F/C on AA's flights lately! Entree choice was Chateaubriand with a Red Onion Wine Sauce, Grilled Salmon with Capers and Lemon Butter Sauce or Parmesan Crusted Chicken. Salad was Mixed Greens, Cucumbers and Tomatoes, again served with Monte Vibiano Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar, if desired. Mixed Vegetables and Potato Edges were oven roasted w/Thyme. If you preferred lighter fare, you could opt for Soup and Salad. Deserts were Gorgonzola and Camembert Cheeses served with Dried and Fresh Fruits and Cashews, AA's Sundae's (including Dulce de Leche topping) or a Grand Marnier Fruit Salad presented with Cigale Lemon Sorbet. Cigale is a chain of Italian-style ice cream shops throughout Montevideo, Colonia and Punte del Este. Since the Uruguayan population is about 44% of Italian descent, they DO do ice creams well! Prior to landing in MIA a standard breakfast was served. As usual, AA's coffee was substandard, in my opinion and not up to their improved foodservice! UA's coffee is far better!

As an aside, as our flight crossed over Cuban airspace for about 20 minutes at about 4:00 AM I looked out the window to see what appeared to be a Cuban MiG-29 Fulcrum on the horizon in the distance pacing our flight. It's not unusual for a Country's Air Forces to do so as part of their training and procedures.

Finally, why 10 days in Uruguay without a side trip to BsAs? Suprisingly, Montevideo and Punte del Este were very enjoyable in their own right! Decent food, reasonable prices, a stay in a wonderful boutique hotel with a spouse that pushes all the right buttons! When I get the time, I'll do an overview and post it in the South American Forum...

Last edited by prspad; Mar 23, 07 at 5:29 pm
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