When it's time to leave behind the beaches of the Peruvian Pacific, the aromatic coffee hills of central Columbia, the soaring heights of the snow-dusted Andes, the mysterious ruins of the ancient Incan empire, the tequila-soaked bars of Medellin and Rio de Janeiro and the metamorphic glaciers of Patagonia, travelers will want the journey home to be as smooth, easy and comfortable as possible. That means it's really important for would-be fliers in and around South America to stay abreast of the best staffed airlines going, to ensure check in is stress-free and an uncomfortable flight doesn't add to the woes of that holiday nostalgia. So, here's a look at the top five carriers currently criss-crossing the Andes-spiked skies of the south, all courtesy of acclaimed airline awards body, Skytrax.
You may think that the budget constraints and frugal philosophies of low-cost fliers would have a direct effect on the quality of service received from their staff, but in the case of Sky Airline—Chile's second largest carrier—you'd be wrong! Enjoying a respectable fifth place here, and touting separate Skytrax accolades for its successes in the South American region in general, this budget sky hopper really is a top choice for travelers looking to move between Bolivia, Brazil, Argentina and Chile this year!
Laying claim to the title of the 'First Airline of the Americas' and boasting a long history of nearly 100 years in the business, the folk over at Colombian flag carrier, Avianca, certainly have plenty of experience at their back. And apparently it shows too, with thousands of the flier's passengers last year rating them as one of the best staffed airlines on the continent, no doubt impressed with those preferential boarding services for business travelers, or the carrier's VIP lounge staff at places like Medellin and Bogota.
'I'm glad you came'—so reads TAM Airlines' motto in English, and it sounds sincere too, looking at the carrier's place in Skytrax's top three best staffed fliers in all of South America! That's because the accolade is awarded for both technical ability in the air and the friendliness and enthusiasm of service in general, meaning Brazil's largest airline must have done plenty in both categories to get so many passengers on the ground with a smile on their face!
While everything from the jets to the cabin crew liveries and even the name ('Azul' means 'blue' in Portuguese) are blue when it comes to Brazil's leading low-coster, Azul Airlines, there's nothing blue about the staff themselves it seems, because passengers taking the Skytrax airline survey last year rated them amongst the best in all of South America! On the ground, disabled passengers, senior citizens and pregnant women receive trained assistance, and in the air, enthusiastic cabin members tout live TV and duty free goods!
Eagerly awaiting the arrival of their all-new Boeing 787 Dreamliners, Santiago-based LAN Airlines are set to offer South American travelers nonstop connections to Washington DC and London in the coming years. But despite this one's ambitious expansion plans and its position as the largest carrier in all of Latin America, there's still an overarching focus on quality, with LAN's cabin crews and airport staff garnering the top prize in the category from Skytrax in 2014! Perhaps it's those bespoke lounges in Santiago, Buenos Aires and Bogota, or the 80 years of flying experience—who knows?