Gates 1-7 of the Lima airport are downstairs at ground level. All require passengers to walk on the tarmac out to waiting buses and bus to their plane. No big deal; they have this down to a science. It seems these gates are used for Cusco, Arequipa, and other destinations in Peru where there are numerous flights each day that use smaller aircraft.
We originally bought seats on Star Peru’s 7am flight to Cusco, but about three weeks before the flight Star Peru notified us that our itinerary had ‘changed’ and our departure time was now 8am. In other words, they were cancelling our 7am flight and putting us on the 8am flight. Not a big deal for us, but something to keep in mind if you book with Star Peru.
Our 8:00 flight was listed as boarding at 7:20, but they didn’t line us up for the buses until about 7:30. The bus finally left at 7:45. So it seems you need to make it to the gate by this point. Our bus took us almost all the way around the airport to our plane, so we got some nice views of the mostly-767’s sitting at the normal gates.
Our plane (the only type that Star Peru currently flies) was a BAE-146 – a short, fat, 4-jet-engine plane. The seats were 6 across (ABC/DEF) and there seemed to be about 15-20 rows. Boarding occurred at the front and the back of the aircraft. As we were were in row 1, we obviously entered in the front.
Regarding seat assignments: It seems seat assignments are filled-in from the front first-come, first-serve starting when Star Peru counter check-in begins at 3:30 am. We must have been first or second, as we got row 1 seats E and F. We had no one in the aisle (seat D) and there was a couple in 1A and 1B, but no one in seat C.
We were surprised when they walked through the cabin with boxed meals! Each box had a mini-sandwich (meat unknown, with mustard) and a pastry. Both were plastic-wrapped. The flight attendants (2) also walked through with a drink cart (juice, sodas, water – all free). Then they passed through with Spanish-language newspapers – which Katie and I enjoyed looking through to work on our Spanish. The main flight attendant (at least) was fluent in English and Spanish – and all announcements were made in both languages.
The descent in Cusco was a bit harrowing, as the pilots had to maneuver us down, around the mountains and into the valley. This demonstrates why they use the very-nimble BAE-146!
And, for JT’s fellow plane nerds, the tail number on this BAE-146-200 was OB-1930-P, built in Oct 1991, delivered to Conti-Flug who operated it from Dec 1991-Mar 1995. Sold to Eurowings (Lufthansa regional operator) who used it until its delivery to Star Peru in Dec 2009.