Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Episode I Cont'd

Well, I'm home from work now and can think a lot more... Let's continue.

I was thinking, "come on, there has to be a quicker way to Lima from LAX?" I knew that Lan Chile (LA) had a non-stop flight. Why were they not taking that flight? It departed only an hour before the American one and got to Lima at 11:55 p.m. at night... I had my laptop with me, so I booted up my downloadable schedule program; eSkyGuide from American Express and entered LAX to LIM and looked at the 7-day range; the United flight connection did not show up as it was not really logical (it went north to get south), but the American flights did. O.K. I get it; American and United are sponsors, but you know what, it is a race, besides, Lan (LA) is partners with American (oneworld).

O.K. so I accepted the choices, reluctantly, given to the contestants and moved on. Now the United flight is a Boeing 767-300 and yes, the interior shown was that of the same plane; however, when they showed the supposed take off from LAX by United, they showed the stock United footage of their Boeing 777-200ER in the new livery; poor choice I think for continuity, but since United is paying the bills, I guess not.

Now to the American Airlines team... Well, at least the interior was that of a Boeing 767-300 (the right airfraft), but an outside shot of "the plane" at the gate, showed a Boeing 737-800; give me a break CBS, where is your technical consultant when you need them. Of course, not to be outdone, an American Boeing 777-200ER was shown taking off; so much for continuity.

Perhaps the worst piece of continuity in LAX, was at the point where Phil does his voice over and they show the contestants seated in the airplane before departure from LAX; it was pretty obvious that some of them were not in the correct airplane at that moment. Actually, the footage shown was that of the interior of the Lan airplane that we saw them flying on later. You could clearly see the words "LAN" on the seatback cover behind them. I think that is just an insult to the viewers, let's hope this kind of thing gets corrected in future races.

The good thing was at least the terminals were correct in LAX and it all made sense. I would have loved to see what happened in JFK and MIA when the teams connected. But I guess there is only so much one can do in an hour...

To continue all this; when they showed the teams arriving in Lima, Peru, Boeing 747-400s were shown landing, when none of the aircraft the contestants were flying on were of that type.
American flies an Airbus A300-600 and I cannot look up what United flew, as they no longer serve that city, but I know it was not a 747. It was difficult to tell the airliner, from the brown haze and the angle of the photo.

On a good not though, when the teams got to Peru and went to the beach called Playa Hermosa in Ancon, Peru for their clue, the times for the flights the next day made perfect sense; I actually thought that they would get to Cuzco, Peru (CUZ) and then take the train to Macchu Picchu like my friends did a few years back. That is a story for another blog entry :-). But you can see some pictures from our trip here.

Now, CUZ is an aviation marvel; at 11,000' it is one of the highest cities above sea level. Landings and takeoffs are done here usually before noon. After that it gets pretty difficult and oftentimes the flights are either cancelled, delayed or weight restricted. I think this was the reason for the later flights being delayed from Lima to Cuzco. Much to the chagrin of some of the teams.

I did want to see more of the dilema of them being delayed and how they handled it all and possibly the real reason for the delay, but not much of that was shown.

The continuity here was actually quite good, with the correct airplanes being shown throughout and the airport sequences actually making sense. The interior footage actually made sense now as they are actually taking a Lan Airbus A320 on this route. I was of course elated. Now we are getting somewhere.

I'm excited to see the where they fly to next. Watch out for the report on Episode 2 next week.

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