Wednesday, March 25, 2009

TAM Is Tops!

By Roy Heale
What a pleasant surprise today when I flew from Buenos Aires to Florionopolis on my first flight with TAM airline. I only purchased a discount economy ticket but felt like I was flying in first class compared to other airlines which I usually fly. Immediately after boarding I noticed the comfortable seats and extra legroom and felt sad that this was only a 90 minute journey. Complimentary headsets also greeted me on my seat cushion. Even before take-off the cheerful, helpful flight attendants came down the aisle with a basket of candies for passengers to help as chewing aids for the take-off pressurization process. Something I haven't seen during my travels for at least a decade. Then just after take-off along came the friendly staff again with hot face-cloths for us all to freshen up before the meal service. Then to my utter shock we were treated to a delicious hot meal---with two entrée choices---cocktails or soft drinks, absolutely FREE! All of this on an almost full A320 and a flight of less than 90 minutes. And the flight attendants didn't even look stressed. It brought back memories of the old days of flying when airline passengers were treated like customers instead of being herded like cattle the way most airlines treat us today. Then I recalled that the check-in process didn't involve any line-ups and the staff had a smile on their faces---a rare occurrence at most airline counters. Even my luggage arrived in a very timely fashion and the waiting time was no more than a couple of minutes. If this is the South American way to travel then I am looking forward to spending more time in my new home in Buenos Aires and traveling around this continent. Perhaps these Latin airline experts could visit North America and teach the airlines a lesson on what air travel is meant to be like for the paying passengers! Hats off to everyone at TAM and thanks for a great journey. For once I am looking forward to the return trip.

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