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NO, NO, NO! U cannot access the Lima Salones VIP w a ticket bkd in 'D' BIZ class!

NO, NO, NO! U cannot access the Lima Salones VIP w a ticket bkd in 'D' BIZ class!

 
Old Aug 17, 05, 11:22 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: 3A - most likey <> BKK <--> EZE; TACA 3A nobody, but GP million miler; Hilton Gold sometimes. Successfully divorced from CO PLAT.
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NO, NO, NO! U cannot access the Lima Salones VIP w a ticket bkd in 'D' BIZ class!

This is the story that I got last week (southbound) from a very tough and unbendable matron in Lima. This matron ABSOLUTELY insisted that I was traveling on an upgraded ticket and that upgraded tickets are NOT eligible for admission to the SALONES VIP in Lima.

(On admission what they look for is a 'D' on your boarding pass. And 'D' to them meant upgrade and this is a 'NO GO' for admission. In other words, the bridge is not controlled by more knowledgeable TACA employees).

I tried to explain to her that I was on a totally free Clase Ejecutiva ticket - not an upgraded ticket - and that I was, in fact, entitled to admission. She wasn't willing to even listen. So I tried to pull out a copy of an e that I had from SALONES VIP which indicated that free biz ticket holders are entitled to use the lounges, but as luck would have it, I couldnt find it! (Do a search for that old post of mine if you are interested in TACA's response. I suggest that you print a copy).

So I asked her to use the internet to print another copy of it. 'Not here, sir, as you are not entitled to use the lounge,' was the response that I received.

Well, to try and make a long story short, I tracked down a TACA agent... and then asked to speak w the TACA station mgr. This took about an hour. Surprisingly, the manager was well versed on the Salones VIP admission policy. 'Oh yes, sir!... free Clase Ejecutivo tickets are eligible for admission to the Lounge.'

So all of this brings me to what I want to tell you: I'm impressed with the Lima Lounge!

As you may know, some of the Salones VIP Lounges are 'contracted out' and Lima falls into that category. IIRC, the Lounge is located down an alley way to the left around Gate 17 (dont quote me on the gate no. tho.). The entrance is kind of impressive and you wont miss it due to the ante-room's impressive bright orange decor. The actual name of the Lounge is SUMAQ... at least that's the name on the entrance.

The Lounge sports the following: a self serve business center w fax, internet 4free, and a copy machine. And get this...

THERE'S A SLUMBER ROOM!

Yes, there are 5 or 6 of those slumber type of chairs (like the ones you will find in SQ's SIN or LH's FRA Lounges).

AND THERE ARE SHOWERS!

And there is wireless TV that one can watch via headphones.

But you are gonna have to wanna watch the latest soccer match because that is what it is tuned to. And there is food. Finger sandwhiches, chips, olives, fruits, juices, and coffees were on offer while I was there. And there is a bar with top shelf stuff 4free. And there's an enclosed outside 'garden' area for smoking.

Soooo, ok ok... the food's not top notch like the Silver Kris Lounge, but this little oasis in the middle of South America was a bit of a nice find.

Enjoy. But be prepared to meet a matron.

Cos your admission may vary....aka YMMV... if you are unprepared!
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Old Aug 18, 05, 9:10 am
  #2  
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Same song. Third verse. But back in the Lima Lounge.

This is going to be a problem for us.

Cheers.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 9:29 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Los Angeles, California
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Copy of Letter from SALONES VIP re: LIMA

Originally Posted by tvl4free
(Do a search for that old post of mine if you are interested in TACA's response. I suggest that you print a copy).[/i][/b]
Here is the copy of the old post of trl4free (dated June 27):

Dear Mr. tvl4free:

You are right. You can access the lounges when traveling on a Business Class Award ticket.

Sincerely,

Juana Jule
Salones VIP
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Old Aug 18, 05, 10:50 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
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I have written TACA Salones about the situation and asked for an email showing that Class D with free ticket does have access. If I get a reply, I will post here.
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Old Aug 18, 05, 2:01 pm
  #5  
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Sapman, S-VIP will respond 2u. But expect at least a 7-10 day delay.

I am in SJO now... w free airport internet access from my laptop. Me like this.

BIGTIME. COS I'M INTO 4free!

Anyway, I almost forgot to tell you guys about the LIM orange juice machine.

I have a feeling that it could become famous....kinda like the UA Narita beer machine has become.

Anyway, the LIMA lounge has this orange juice machine that is kind of kewl. You pick out your oranges from a bowl... and drop 'em into a machine - kind of like a base ball pictcher machine - and it makes fresh orange juice for you.

I'ts too kewl!

Check it out when there! If you can get in!
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Old Aug 29, 05, 9:33 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
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How to get into the lounge on GP Award Biz Ticket

Visited the Lima Salones a couple of days ago. Apparently you need a "pass" or "coupon" which says Taca invites you (in Spanish it's Taca Invitamoste or something like that). It's approx a 3x5 card which is good for salones entry.

I of course didn't have one. I talked with the front desk lady for about 10 minutes in spanish and then confirmed a bunch of it in english just to be sure. Then I found a Taca rep across the hall at a gate. He brought us back and we were in.

1) Find a Taca Agent and explain that you are on a Distancia Biz Ticket and want to use the lounge
2) Since you'll be connecting you could remind them that the airport you checked in at doesn't have the invitation coupons to the lounge (EZE doesn't for example)
3) They'll escort you to the lounge.

Only a small portion of the Taca staff in Lima actually speaks english more than a few words so be warned bring your dictionary and practice up.
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Old Sep 1, 05, 3:47 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
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Per the response I got from Salones VIP, one can use Busn Class purchased with miles to get into club. But NOT upgrades from tourist class. Club in Lima is quite nice. No club in SJO. The one in EZE is not too good, but better than sitting in the lobby area.

Their response to my email: (Name changed to SAPMAN)
--------
Dear Mr. SAPMAN,

Tickets that have been redeemed with miles in Business Class do have
access to the VIP Lounges. However, tourist class tickets that have
received an upgrade are not granted access.

SALONES VIP
TACA

-----Original Message-----
From: SAPMAN
Sent: Thu 8/18/2005 10:21 AM
To: Salones Vip
Cc:
Subject: Salones VIP


Dear Sirs:

I have read where passengers traveling in Clase Ejecutiva on a free
ticket (Class D) have been denied entry into the Salones VIP lounge in
EZE. But I was told that I would be allowed entry.

Can you please email me your policy so I can show the agent the
information so I can go into the Salones lounge while waiting for my TACA
flight from EZE to LIM? I believe it was Juana Jule who said it was ok
for admission.


Thank you for your time and response.
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Old Sep 1, 05, 4:06 pm
  #8  
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if a person still has the Diners Club Card, there are 2 lounges in SCL that we can use. I was going to Cancel mine as I wont use it any more, but in as much as they refused to refund any of the Fee Paid I decided to hold on to it till 3/06 when my next fee is due, and will be able to use it hopefully at the viaous Lounges.

The bad part is alot of the time the Lounge that we can get into is in a different Term or beyond a different Security Point that I cant get by.
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Old Sep 10, 05, 2:39 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
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I'M IN!! At EZE airport. Ticket agent wrote ok for Club without any problems. So in the lounge. Right at GATE 2. Not great, but free WI FI and 2 PC's. So if you are in Busn Class using miles, not upgraded Econony ticket... you are ok. Plane leaves for Lima at 6:40am. If you are here by 4:30am, you will have time to get processed and a half hour at club. Had to pay a ticket tax AND the airport tax this time. Do not remember doing the ticket tax before..... Either bad memory or GP did not put it on ticket correctly. And person collecting has hardly any change.

Argentina is still great. I hope to write a long tips and tricks and destination sheet in the next 2 weeks for anyone coming here. Daniela did her usual great job in getting local tickets, remis, etc.

Went to the Cow Do with other Flyertalkers here last weekend. About 30 here for it!!
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Old Sep 10, 05, 1:42 pm
  #10  
 
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SAPMAN: That's great news. I just received an e-mail from Taca Salones VIP saying that free award travel (on D) allows for lounge access at ONLY the TA-operated lounges (such as SAL).

When you (successfully) get into the LIM lounge, would you mind identifying the name of the TA agent and/or lounge matron that acknowledged your ability to access (you can PM me with the name). I'm also doing an EZE run and really care about LIM lounge access (the other stops don't matter as much to me). Would really appreciate.
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Old Sep 10, 05, 6:20 pm
  #11  
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Originally Posted by SFO_FT
I just received an e-mail from Taca Salones VIP saying that free award travel (on D) allows for lounge access at ONLY the TA-operated lounges (such as SAL).
Hmmmmm............grrrrrrr.

Did you e S-VIP too? I wonder how many others did as well? Might I ask why? Didn't you read me and SAPMAN's e's... and S-VIP's answers? Wouldn't copies of those have been enuf to get you into the Lounge... with just a little finesse? (I am now visualizing copies of your letter framed at the LIMA LOUNGE entrance. And this is NOT a pretty picture in my mind!).

I have long felt that this was going to be problematic if we didn't handle it carefully - or pressed S-VIP too often and too hard. In fact, I said so very early on in this thread, IIRC. So I sincerely hope that we havn't sc****d ourselves on this one.

Cos the LIMA LOUNGE is certainly one of the top 2 or 3 benefits that come with flying Clase Ejecutiva. Might I remind us that flying TACA to South America can involve a Southwest type 'hop scotch' game of 3 flights, 2 redeyes, plus an 8 hour layover neatly tucked in between. And THAT initial 5.5 hour flight on an narrow body Airbus out of LAX to SJO approaches the limit of tollerance. So I would submit that my little oasis of a lounge in LIMA... where the ORANGE JUICE MACHINE RULES SUPREME... is truly one of the best things that TACA still has going for itself.

Perhaps some of you don't know it yet, but TACA has re-invented itself as a LCC and has become THE KING OF CHEAP UP FRONT. By all comparisons, including the regional competition, TA now offers truly dismal BC service, folks! (I'm using SQ, MH, CX, AA, COPA, AV and CO as comparison BC stds). Let's be clear: one of the best things I like about TACA is that there are lots and lots of smiles (just as advertised in the onboard magazine). And I do like TACA. But the service up front scrapes bottom. And friendly faces doesn't really change that fact.

You'll see what I mean when your time comes. Cheap, cheap, white plastic service ware everywhere imitates china! And even the airborne Chillean champagne is served in mini-plastic! No linens are offered anymore. Instead the tray is served up w the big, rough industrial 'Brawny type' paper towel. And gone are the days of pillows and blankies (with possible exception on some flights out of LIM). And for simplicity's sake, the same basic meal is now offered on every flight systemwide! So southbound to EZE you're gonna get a triple dosing of the same 'meal.' And I really hate to use the word 'meal.' In short, you're gonna get a sandwhich with the 'Debbie's cake' or the 'flan-like' trimmings. My best guess is that the grand total on your Clase Ejecutiva 'aero snacklette' might have cost TACA $3.50. Perhaps less, considering that TACA purchases in bulk.

But the cheeze on your ham and cheeze sandwhich will be perfectly melted, I should add.

So the LIMA LOUNGE ROCKS admidst the Sea of Cheap. I hope we don't lose it!

Last edited by tvl4free; Sep 11, 05 at 8:36 am
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Old Sep 14, 05, 4:57 pm
  #12  
 
Join Date: Oct 1999
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Sorry, but with the EZE - LIM flight running a bit late and the departure gate to SJO a long way from the immigration entry to airport, I did not have a chance to visit the VIP lounge in LIM. I had my emailed letter ready, but to no avail.

On the way down to EZE, I did just talk my way into the lounge. If anyone is going thru there, I can forward my email reply from TACA so you will not need to write them.

The lounge in EZE did allow my wife and I in without a problem. In fact, the ticket agent wrote the "magic" word on our boarding passes without me asking. The lounge is not real good (and this time TACA flight to LIM was not at the gate the lounge is at). But much better than the regular seating.

HINT: When changing in LIM, they unload you on the tarmac and have you load busses. Unload from front and rear. Both times, the rear bus left for the security check first - so walk back to that one. Also stand by front right hand door, as that was only one that opened one of our times and closest to get into terminal. Once in terminal, need to walk up stairs to security. One time line was to bottom of stairs. We with a couple of others went in elevator (at bottom of stairs) and went up and merged into the line at the top. (Why they need security check when coming off a flight is beyond me). If there is one or two flights ahead of you, the security line can take about 10-20 min - a real pain.

TACA did let me check in a box I bought in SJO on my 4 hr. layover. We had 3 items checked in EZE, but I asked in advance (good English) and they said ok. I was unsure if they would allow an extra item check in during a connection.

Also the Denny's near SJO airport is still great. I just jumped on a shuttle bus (to Hampton) and tipped the guy a dollar. Same on return. (for those who have not done the 3+ hr stopovers - it is about 5 min drive away. Also no tax if you do the "transit" process when you are ready to re-enter terminal.) Still the LaRivera "hotel" is best bet for a short snooze and shower for those 6 hr. layovers. Free pickup and back to terminal.

SJO is still about the same - pretty bad. Looks like they are working on a new area, but I would say a year away until any new sections open.


I concur on TACA service. There are NO pillows or blankets on the flights in Central America. The flights in S. America did have pillows. So pack a soft jacket in your carry -on. The meals are just ok - but considering the long flights in Business, not too good. We did have some different meals on some flights. The only good thing is the hot nuts. A long way from the flights we took for our million mile runs.
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Old Sep 14, 05, 10:49 pm
  #13  
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Originally Posted by craz
if a person still has the Diners Club Card, there are 2 lounges in SCL that we can use. I was going to Cancel mine as I wont use it any more, but in as much as they refused to refund any of the Fee Paid I decided to hold on to it till 3/06 when my next fee is due, and will be able to use it hopefully at the viaous Lounges.

The bad part is alot of the time the Lounge that we can get into is in a different Term or beyond a different Security Point that I cant get by.
In SCL, there is a DC lounge no matter who/where you are flying. There is one accessible to all int'l departures, and one accessible to all national departures.
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Old Sep 22, 05, 12:24 pm
  #14  
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
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FWIW, I can report there's a Diners lounge in BOG, too, but landside outside immigration, security, etc.

On my recent TACA flights in the back (I've only every redeemed for Y except once) the service mirrored T4F's observations: lots of smiles, but not much else. Pretty sad.

My experience on multiple levels is that AA has a certain snob appeal-- actual service notwithstanding-- and that TA is they're trying to emulate the US majors by mirroring AA despite its decline in service. The reality is a 5 hour TACA SAL--LAX generates more revenue than a similar 5 hour IAD-LAX AFAIK, and with SAL based crews, I'd imagine costs are much lower, too, so there's little excuse to cut food, pillows and blankets on these international flights. Just my $.02.

EastBay1K, I don't think I'd be capable of handling the Lan F service you rave about. I think I've been too conditioned.
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