Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Episode 2

Hey, the new episode is now over and while it was a bit lack luster, once again it failed to disappoint, of course.

When we last left the motley crew, they were still in Cuzco, Peru. They now had to get to Arequipa, Peru (AQP) do some stuff as usual and then get to Santiago, Chile (SCL) to do some more stuff.

I've actually been to Arequipa; O.K. so it was just the airport, and it is a very picturesque place. I was trying to fly out to Lima, Peru (LIM) from Cuzco (CUZ) and did not make the nonstop flight. Our only way out was to get on a flight that connected to another via AQP. Now I was looking forward to seeing a little more on the show.

After the teams finished their chores; the producers said they had to take one of two flights that were 45 minutes apart to Santiago, Chile (SCL). They later showed the routing as AQP to Lima, Peru (LIM) to Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE) to Santiago, Chile (SCL). My first thought was, why that routing? So I of course consulted my trusty eSkyGuide airline timetable. The only places you can get to nonstop by air from AQP are LIM; Cuzco, Peru (CUZ) and Juliaca, Peru (JUL). So they had to go through Lima eventually no matter what. But why go via Buenos Aires without any kind of explanation. I also could not find two flights that were 45 minutes apart, but it is possible that the schedule was different at the time they flew (which more than likely it was).

Well, it became quite clear why; sponsorship I guess as the plane they showed the teams boarding was a MD88 from Aerolineas Argentinas. This for the sake of continuity does not fly from AQP to LIM. This market is only served by Lan Peru, Aero Continente and Transportes Aereos Nacionales.

The cameras also showed the contestants all boarding at night or it could have been at dawn which did not really fly with the times that they had completed their last task. So now I was very confused. The next thing they showed was what looked like a Boeing 737 landing at an airport that was assumed to be Santiago, Chile (SCL); which actually looked like SCL, so fine.

When they showed the second team landing they showed a Lan Chile (LA) Boeing 767-300 landing at the same airport; so I'm good with that; except that all the contestants were shown boarding an Aerolineas Argentinas MD88!

So the question is where did they board the MD88 and when did they change to the 737 and the 763? Well, based on the schedules from eSkyGuide, Aerolineas Argentinas flies an MD-88 from Buenos Aires to Santiago; so that picture they showed in Arequipa, Peru of the contestants boarding the MD-88 was more than likely in Buenos Aires. Come on producers, quit confusing us.

Now I know that the MD88 was not the plane used from LIM to EZE as that flight is a 4:15 flight that is usually served by an A310 with Aerolineas Argentinas (AR).

So here is what I think occurred; they took two Lan flights from AQP to LIM, possibly LP111 and LP106 as these two are the closest together. They then took a late flight either on AR or LP to Buenos Aires, Argentina (EZE). There are a few choices; two LP flights and one AR. Once in Buenos Aires, they would have taken the 7:45 a.m. AR1280, an MD88 to Santiago arriving at about 9:00 a.m. Then the other group took AR1282 which arrived at 10:00 a.m. So those Boeing 737 and 767-300 we saw landing in Santiago, Chile (SCL) may not have carried the contestants at all. Of course, I could be wrong; but given the schedules and since they showed them boarding an MD88, those are the possibilities.

We left the teams in Santiago, Chile and one was dismissed as they arrived last. Where to next week? I'm guessing that they continue to head south to possibly Punta Arenas, Chile; let's watch and see...

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