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MVD / Montevideo, Uruguay AA Flights and Contract Lounge Access (consolidated)

MVD / Montevideo, Uruguay AA Flights and Contract Lounge Access (consolidated)

Old Mar 22, 07, 10:59 am
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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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Old Mar 22, 07, 2:30 pm
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Thanks for a great summary of your trip. Interesting to hear how small an airport MVD is -- I have only visited GRU and GIG in that part of the world.
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Old Mar 22, 07, 8:10 pm
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Thanks for the detailed description of your flight. I plan to visit EZE and MVD soon, so I'm looking forward to your trip report.
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Old Mar 22, 07, 9:47 pm
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Makes my mouth water for a chevito in Punte Thanks for the update on MVD, didn't know that little lounge was no longer accessible for AA ejecutiva flyers as a perk.
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Old Mar 23, 07, 12:13 am
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The airport info was particularly interesting. Just out of curiosity, what did you think of the check-in and gate agents? The Open Skies agreement with Uruguay has one very long transition: ground handling has to be done by the airport's management company (no AA employees) until 2019.
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Old Mar 23, 07, 8:23 am
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So, there was no lounge facility for AA J pax?

That is unacceptable.
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Old Mar 23, 07, 3:44 pm
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Glad you enjoyed Uruguay. Don't know about J but as Plat then I used the lounge many times in 2006, the last time in November.
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Old Mar 23, 07, 3:58 pm
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Originally Posted by PresRDC View Post
So, there was no lounge facility for AA J pax?

That is unacceptable.
Well, since AA charges only US$8,593.20 roundtrip for the MIA-MVD service, they've got to cut corners somewhere.
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Old Mar 23, 07, 4:13 pm
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I did the LAX-EZE-MVD-LAX triangle on a business class award ticket in Feb. 2006, stopping in Buenos Aires for a few days. No problem using the AA lounge at EZE and MVD. The leg from EZE to MVD was interesting. As it was a continuation flight, they had us in a huge 747 for a 45-minute flight (maybe AA's shortest international flight connecting major cities). I liked Uruguay. It is a very advanced country for South America and has only 3-million people. Spent one day in Montevideo and three days of sunshine in the resort town of Punta del Este (whose casino at the Conrad Hotel uses only American money even though its customers are primarily Brazilian and Argentine. It is a very nice hotel and casino.
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Old Mar 23, 07, 4:23 pm
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Originally Posted by srk123 View Post
I did the LAX-EZE-MVD-LAX triangle on a business class award ticket in Feb. 2006, stopping in Buenos Aires for a few days. No problem using the AA lounge at EZE and MVD. The leg from EZE to MVD was interesting. As it was a continuation flight, they had us in a huge 747 for a 45-minute flight (maybe AA's shortest international flight connecting major cities). I liked Uruguay. It is a very advanced country for South America and has only 3-million people. Spent one day in Montevideo and three days of sunshine in the resort town of Punta del Este (whose casino at the Conrad Hotel uses only American money even though its customers are primarily Brazilian and Argentine. It is a very nice hotel and casino.
It's a 777, not a 747, but you're right that it is AA's largest airplane in terms of size and weight (not in terms of # of passengers).
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Old Mar 24, 07, 11:13 am
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Interesting report!

Originally Posted by prspad View Post
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.
Hrm.... surprised IB thinks MVD is worth its own flight from MAD in addition to EZE.

Originally Posted by prspad View Post
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!
Sounds pretty impressive for a US carrier's J class.

Originally Posted by prspad View Post
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.
WHOA!

Originally Posted by prspad View Post
a stay in a wonderful boutique hotel with a spouse that pushes all the right buttons!
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Old Mar 25, 07, 3:15 pm
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Originally Posted by HKG_Flyer1 View Post
Well, since AA charges only US$8,593.20 roundtrip for the MIA-MVD service, they've got to cut corners somewhere.
Don't expect a price decrease either-- UA has been defeated and withdraws from the market as of June 2007. On the plus side, though, that might make the MIA nonstop viable year-round.
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Old May 26, 07, 10:10 am
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Mvd

A new terminal is under construction, and if I recall correctly, it will have ten air bridges. For those connecting to other countries/cities it might make Montevideo more competitive with BsAs. Flying from MVD or PDP into AEP and then getting oneself to EZE is not fun. Additionaly, there are still problems with the radar at EZE.
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Old May 26, 07, 10:53 am
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Originally Posted by BenjaminNYC View Post
Hrm.... surprised IB thinks MVD is worth its own flight from MAD in addition to EZE.:
It's all political... "Madre Espana" is still a pretty big concept, just as AF keeps flying to the Central African Republic, a big joke in terms of revenue.
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Old Jun 21, 07, 8:55 am
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Originally Posted by martin33 View Post
On the plus side, though, that might make the MIA nonstop viable year-round.
It's here. MIA-MVD year-round to start July 1.

quote from today's AAirmail:

"Year-Round Nonstop Service Between Miami And Montevideo, Uruguay, Begins July 1
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
American will offer year-round nonstops between Miami and Montevideo on July 1. Fly nonstop between Miami and Montevideo three times each week. Plus, we will continue to offer service from Miami to Montevideo via Buenos Aires, Argentina. American, together with American Eagle, offer nearly 250 flights a day from Miami to more than 90 destinations throughout the United States, Canada, the Caribbean, Bahamas, Latin America and Europe."
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