LAN Airlines Reaches out to LGBT Americans
Story by Ed Salvato; above SF Pride sponsor shows pride it its diversity
San Francisco Pride celebrated its 40th anniversary this past weekend. This incredible event boasted a number of noteworthy firsts, including a video address by Nancy Pelosi, the Speaker of the House -- who called SF Pride "40 and fabulous" -- as well as the participation by LAN Airlines, the first time a Latin American carrier has been the official sponsor of a U.S. Pride.
Latin America has at times been considered a macho, conservative area to be avoided by some LGBT travelers. In a few short years, that notion has been almost entirely eradicated. While familiar Central and South American destinations like Puerto Vallarta(image below left), Buenos Aires, and Rio de Janeiro have attracted gay and lesbian visitors for many years, other emerging LGBT-friendly destinations -- Santiago, Chile, Lima, Peru, Florianopolis, Brazil (a gay-popular beach resort), Cartegena, Colulmbia, Mexico City, and a host of others -- have come into their own as must-visit gay-welcoming getaways.
When choosing an airline to fly, I consider a number of factors, including cost, convenience, schedule, and safety but also whether that airline supports its gay and lesbian employees and customers. In addition to San Francisco Pride, LAN supports its staff and a number of gay organizations, like the IGLTA, NGLCC and the IGLCC. (Click on this alphabet soup of links to learn about these worthy organizations!)
LAN has announced direct service from San Francisco to Lima, Peru starting July 1, which is great news for Bay Area queer travelers looking for a convenient way to get to Buenos Aires, Rio, Machu Picchu and many other destinations in South America.