When we were looking for a reliable and cheap flight operator in Peru we got lost in a web of positive and negative reviews. Therefore, Bunch of Backpackers (BoB) decided to provide an overview based on recent experiences from other travelers with different airlines in Peru. In the overview we present a short review of each airline company incorporating: safety, reliability, punctuality, booking process, service and price. This way you are able to compare the operators and make a well-considered decision (Latest update: June 2014).
There are a few airlines in Peru available for domestic flights:
– LAN Peru (part of LAN Airlines)
– LC Peru
– Star Peru
– TACA airlines
– Peruvian Airlines
Review: Experiences with LAN Peru (part of LAN Airlines)
Background LAN Peru: LAN’s homebase is in Chile, but LAN’s flight network includes destinations in Latin America, North America, Oceania and Europe. It is in general known as the best airline in Peru.
Flights to/from: Arequipa, Lima, Chiclayo, Cajamarca, Cuzco, Iquitos, Juliaca, Piura, Puerto Maldonado, Tacna, Tarapoto, Trujilo and Tumbes.
Safety: Excellent safety record according to Aero International: 2 accidents since 1983. Latest 21 years ago. Safe airline.
Punctuality and reliability: Good. Rarely a delay or a cancellation.
Service: On board service is good. Ground service and customer service are supposedly reasonable to poor.
Price: LAN is the most expensive airline.
Other remarks: LAN Peru charges ‘Gringo’ tax on flights form Lima to Cuzco. This gringo tax is included in the online ticket price. Beware of additional fees in general.
Review: Experiences with LC Peru
Background LC Peru: Founded in 1993 as LC Buscre. It currently flies to 10 destinations.
Flights to/from: Andahuyalas, Ayacucho, Cajamarca, Pisco, Lineas de Nasca, Jauja, Huanuco, Huaraz, Tingo Maria and Lima.
Safety: No record of accidents. Old fleet, a number of people claim their maintenance is not according standards.
Punctuality and reliability: Less punctual than the others. They are propeller planes, and are therefore more likely to be cancelled in bad weather.
Booking: Good. Payment by Visa.
Service: Both the on board service and the customer service are good.
Price: Reasonable priced.
Other remarks: No ‘Gringo’ tax
Review: Experiences with Star Peru
Background: Star Peru was founded in 1997. They primarily do internal flights.
Flights to/from: Lima, Iquitos, Huanuco, Ayacucho, Cuzco, Pucallpa, Tarapoto and Puerto Maldonada
Safety: Older aircrafts, but no accidents have been reported
Punctuality and reliability: Sometimes delay or cancellation
Booking: Booking confirmation within an hour. Payment with VISA or Mastercard. The first step in the booking process is reservation, then follows the payment step (which you’ll have to fulfil within 24 hours).
Service: Comfortable seats with leg space. Friendly. Comfortable with a snack or lunch box.
Price: Star Peru is reasonable priced.
Other remarks: No ‘Gringo’ tax
Review: Experiences with TACA airlines
Background: TACA airlines was founded in 1931. It is one of the better airlines in Peru.
Flights to/from: Arequipa, Chiclayo, Cuzco, Juliaca, Lima, Piura, Puerto Maldonado, Tarapoto and Trujilo.
Safety: Quite a young fleet. No history of accidents in Peru. Safe airline.
Punctuality and reliability: Most often on time. Reasonably punctual and reliable.
Service: On board service is good. Some reported cases of lost luggage. Customer service is not the best.
Price: This is a reasonable cheap Peruvian airline.
Other remarks: ‘Gringo’ tax (non-Peruvians) on flights to Cuzco and Puerto Maldonado (beware of this when you book!!!). They charge a fee for Seat Assignment Stubs.
Review: Experiences with Peruvian airlines
Background: Peruvian Airlines is relatively new to the market and was founded in 2007.
Flights to/from: Arequipa, Cuzco, Iquitos, Lima, Piura, Tacna, Pucallpa, Tarapoto and Trujillo.
Safety: Old fleet. One time all domestic flights were suspended for 3 months because the airline did not meet security regulations.
Punctuality and reliability: Less punctual than other LAN/TACA/Star in general. They tend to be cancelled / delayed quicker than others (because of the old planes).
Booking: Immediate booking confirmation per email. You can pay by Visa or Mastercard. They clearly state the conditions and what is included in the price. There is a chance you will be asked for your creditcard details by email by Jenny Levano (jenny.levano[at]peruvian.pe). In response we emailed Peruvian airlines just to check if it was safe to send our details to this lady. No response. So, in the end we did not reply to Mrs. Levano, but despite this we did not have problems with our flight.
Service: On board service is good (light snack). Mixed experiences concerning customer service.
Price: This is probably the cheapest airline operator in Peru.
Other remarks: No ‘Gringo’ tax.
Some final tips:
– Compare prices via sites like skyscanner, kayak and expedia
– Book early
– Read the general conditions
– If you have questions, contact the operator before booking
– After flying report your experience back to BoB!
– How did we write this overview? BoB searched the web thoroughly in order to find all recent experiences with the different airlines combined with its own experiences and information from the airline company website. Of course experiences differ per flight.
– ‘Gringo’ tax is implemented in LAN Peru and TACA Peru for certain destinations. It is based on residency (not nationality). ‘Gringo’ tax can be quite high (up to 178 USD).
– How did we compare prices: We checked 2 different domestic flights (Lima-Cusco and Lima-Arequipa) for 3 different dates with each of the different companies combined with traveller’s experiences.
– BoB advices you to always check the latest updates on the airlines website.
The end of our overview
So this was our little overview of the big airlines in Peru. We will not finish with a conclusion that states that ‘… is the best airline in Peru’. However, we hope that you were able to sort out the pros and cons of each operator, to compare them and choose one that is to your liking.
Did you take a domestic flight in Peru? What is your experience with one of the above airlines?
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