|We left the hotel in Miami Airport about 6:30 to walk over to J terminal to the Avianca Airlines desk to check-in. Jean had received an email offer to upgrade our tickets before we left, and she did. A modest cost to upgrade to Business Class. Our tickets reflected the TSA precheck which took us past the normal security..
We had an 1 1/2 wait until boarding began. Having Business Class tickets, we were allowed to use the Avianca lounge. It was a nice, quiet lounge with a decent breakfast buffet, of which we took advantage. Imused the time to read and charge my phone.
Unfortunately or fortunately depending on your viewpoint, on the plane we did not have seats together. Jean sat in 2K and I sat in 3K for the 3 hour flight. We both watched a movie (I watched Baby Boss, Jean watched two movies - and If I Stay) and we both had the omelet breakfast. I enjoyed it.
We did not have to go through passport control since we were in transit. But we did have to go through security before entering the gate area. We had an 1 1/2 layover, so we used the Avianca lounge to rest, eat and use the rest room before continuing our journey. Our gate was 34D, which meant we had to go to the lower level "cattle call" area. This area of the airport on the lower level has 7 "gates" that are used to place you on a bus to transport you to your airplane, which means upon arrival at the plane, you walk up the steps to embark. The area is a "cattle call" because there are never enough seats for all the passengers for all the flights departing from these "gates", and everyone not seated is milling around, or sitting on the floor, or hanging near the gate. Once our plane was called, Business Class and families with small children were called first to board the bus. Then our bus was sent on, which was nice since it was not packed to the gills. Then the rest had to pack onto two other buses.
On this leg of the trip from Bogota to Santiago (5 1/2 hours) we both had the seats iin the 3rd row. This leg of the trip was a nice lunch. I chose swordfish from the menu. I had enough time to watch two movies (Imagine Me & You; If I Stay) and sleep before landing in Santiago. We encountered a little delay disembarking, and then again while waiting on the bus. Once the bus began moving, it seemed we took the scenic route to the gate.
After passing though passport control, we quickly gathered our bags and found our transfer person, a woman who we learned on the ride to our hotel, was originally from Canada. It was very cold, below freezing, outside the airport building. Jean lent me her coat for the walk to the SUV. Our contact told us that it had snowed the day before for the first time in 10 years! Parts of the city had been without power and some businesses did not open. Just to encourage us, she said it is to the coldest day tomorrow. Yeah! Winter in South America.
She went over the tour plans for the next day with us. Upon arrival at the Sheraton hotel, she stayed with us and helped with check in. Whereupon we said our farewells and took our bags up to our room. It was a nice room with a king bed and as we learned the next day, a great view.
We returned to the first floor to convert $150 USD to Chilean pesos. We then returned to the room to relax before retiring. It had been a long day.