Star Peru Airlines Reviews

Star Peru Airlines

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Star Peru Airlines - Cheap, Unreliable Flights From Lima to Cuzco

Feb 11, 2012 (Updated Feb 28, 2012)
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Friendly staff (other than customer service), inexpensive, clean (but older) fleet of aircraft.

Cons:Agent hung up on me, unable to accommodate rescheduling, flight delays common.

The Bottom Line: Star Peru was inexpensive and equally unreliable.  My outbound flight was delayed two hours.  Couldn't reschedule return flight because they were booked solid all day.  Rude operator.

When I was planning my trip to Peru, I went online to check the various airlines that provide service from Lima to Cuzco.  The primary carriers that came up in my search were LAN Airlines, Taca airlines and Star Peru.  There is another airline called Peruvian, which I did not know about when I was designing my trip.

 A search of the websites revealed that LAN Airlines was the most user friendly and clearly the most expensive.  Initially, Taca Airlines appeared to be the cheapest.  This airlines also had the worst website interface for English speakers.  Even after selecting the English language buttons, many of the items failed to translate or had inaccurate translations.  I initially booked through Taca but discovered an issue booking with them using Visa Verify.  Also, I discovered that I would face an added surcharge at the airport that made them more expensive than Star Peru.  I finally settled on Star Peru, where round trip tickets from Lima to Cuzco set me back two hundred dollars each.  Not too shabby.

Check in at the Star Peru gate went smoothly.  The line was short and the gate agent spoke impeccable English.  Our bags were searched cursorily as we entered the ticket line, but that did not slow things down very much.  All of the announcements for Star Peru were made in Spanish and then translated into English.  The translations were usually easy to understand, although the announcements on the airplane were in a thicket accent that required close scrutiny to comprehend.   
After clearing security, I was steered to the lower lobby of the domestic terminal, where the "second rate" airlines seemed to have their gates.  LAN airlines occupied the more organized upper level, with large, modern aircraft that continued boarding while my flight was experiencing delays.  When I inquired from the Star Peru representative why LAN was flying and we were not, I was advised that LAN has instrumentation that Star Peru does not.  This allows LAN to navigate efficiently during stormy weather.  My trip happened to coincide with rainy season, so we ended up delayed for two hours.  I was told it was worse the day before, when flights to Cuzco were delayed for four hours.

When they finally decided to board the planes, passengers were herded out of the gate onto shuttle buses.  The buses carried us to the small aircraft located out on the tarmac.  Boarding was quick, since Star Peru boards from both ends of the aircraft.  The flight was fully booked.  Although small, the plane had adequate overhead space for our carry on luggage.  The luggage compartments were smaller, but managed to handle all of the luggage.  

The service on Star Peru was excellent.  Although the plane was older and not as well maintained as LAN Airlines, it was clean and seemed perfectly safe.  I was concerned about a rubbing sound around the wheel well as we taxied for take-off.   However, the sound went away as we began takeoff.  It was a little bit disconcerting, but I never felt like the aircraft was negatively impacted by the noise.

My return flight was delayed one day due to a rock slide over the train tracks to Machu Picchu.  When I called Star Peru to reschedule my return flight for the following day, I was advised that they were completely booked.  When I attempted to plead my case to the agent, she hung up on me.  This was a long distance call from a hotel.  I was not happy.  I enlisted the hotel receptionist to assist me in dealing with Star Peru.  She managed to get a straight answer from the airlines without them hanging up, but it did not change my plight.  In order to catch my international connection, I had to buy two more tickets on another airlines.  I went with LAN, since they are more reliable in the rain.  The choice came at a cost of three hundred dollars per ticket, which is just about the cost of a round-trip ticket with LAN.  Howver, I had the peace-of-mind of knowing I would catch my connecting flight.  The airline also runs several more flights per day, allowing easier rescheduling if necessary.  

My experience with Star Peru was mixed.  The aircraft had standard leg room, there was adequate storage for carry on luggage, the employees were friendly, the planes were older but fairly well maintained, the prices were least expensive and the check in process went smoothly.  However, the planes are unreliable during rainy season.  My flight was delayed two hours due to rain.  When I attempted to reschedule my return flight, the entire day was booked solid.  This required me to purchase a new set of one-way tickets that cost more than my original round-trip tickets.  With international connections hanging in the balance, I think my advice would be to fly with LAN Airlines and their upgraded fleet with proper instrumentation for flying in rainy weather.  Star Peru had plenty of positive attributes, but the risk of missing an international connection may be one you want to avoid.  Three stars.

Recommend this product? Yes

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