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Back when I left Sydney and went on my working holiday to Ireland, I was considering going to Chile as my second choice. Life would be vastly different if I made that choice! My only experience of Chile is flying with LAN... or LATAM as they are now known. The airline with the cabin crew who have shiny heels on their shoes is a pretty good one.
As a one
world alliance airline, I happily fly LATAM when I need to. Once I flew from Madrid to Frankfurt and back in Economy Class just to try them. Since then it's been business class from Auckland to Sydney to get me home after flying Qatar to Auckland.
Flights cost NZ$417 one way in business class which is €250 at today's rate. Not only is it about NZ$300 cheaper than the competition (Qantas, Air New Zealand, Virgin Australia), they also earn one
world alliance points and the service is pretty good. Let's check it out!LA801 – Auckland to Sydney (AKL-SYD)
27 August 2017
Boeing 787-9 – CC-BGE
Seat: Business Class 2L
Departure: 07:30 Arrival: 09:10
Boarding commences approximately half an hour or so before departure. There is a priority boarding line and a general line and both were in use at the same time when I arrived.
Once on the aircraft, friendly cabin crew direct you to your seat. On this flight I was across on the right side of the cabin in seat 2L. Having a letter L seat is unusual for me as most airlines stop at K.
Seats are arranged in three pairs across the cabin of the LATAM 787. All seats face forward and are grey with red headrests. The effect is quite nice. You do need to get out of your seat to get the headphones or magazines as these are so far forward.
The entertainment controller is in the arm rest. I noticed a button near it and discovered this activates a release for the arm rest. This raises up and forms a divider between you and the person next to you. Here’s a video of it in operation.Very short YouTube video of the Business Class privacy screen is here
I am not sure how effective this privacy screen is but it is better to have it rather than not. Water or juice are offered as a pre-departure drink. A couple across the aisle asked for alcohol and the crew had no problem doing this so I asked for Champagne. Nice to know they will give you anything you like before flight.
The toilet on the LATAM 787 is nothing special. It is the same layout as other operators of the aircraft with the differences being restricted to the products.
I am not entirely sure why the plastic tumblers are in the toilet. Are they for drinking out of? For pouring down your bum for a wash? Drop your suggestions in the comments section at the bottom.
After the safety demonstration it is time to take off. Views while climbing out of Auckland on a sunny morning are worth seeing, so a window seat is a must.
Mood lighting is used effectively throughout the flight. During climb it is a pleasant purple and later during meal service it changes to a light pink.
As the flight is scheduled for around 3 hours, there is time for a movie. The selection is not extensive but there are new releases and you will find something to watch.
Hot towels are handed out prior to the meal service. On this flight, the crew left window control to the passengers, in contrast to my previous flight on the same route.
There are two choices for breakfast, a continental option and a hot option. I usually always have the hot option and this is what I selected from the crew.
Fresh fruit comprising of orange, pineapple, a strawberry and melon is a great way to start the meal. The hot portion is scrambled eggs, asparagus and bacon. Happily the egg appears to be actual scrambled egg. Actual. Scrambled. Egg. Happy days!
Cabin crew offer bread from a basket which is toast and croissants and I took one of each. There is cake to finish off the meal which must be a thing in Chile. No complaints from me!
The pièce de résistance on the LATAM 787 breakfast tray is the little pots from Mickelsen Gourmet. This is a company from Chile and the pots of spread remind me of a thinner version of jam.
Once again I asked the crew for extra croissants to spread this delicious nectar upon. More came, more Mickelsen pots arrived and in the end I consumed five croissants after the rest of the meal. So very moreish!
Along with the croissants I also had several glasses of Champagne. During one of my refills I was advised it was a Spumante from Chile. It tastes fine though Champagne might be better.
Dimming the window next to you dims all three that are in your row, which is nice. The windows are clear, dark blue or completely black. I enjoyed having control of them on the flight. Soon enough it is time to descend and land into Sydney.
The LATAM 787 is the cheapest option between Auckland and Sydney and onewould alliance frequent flyers looking to save money would be advised to book with them. I actively select LATAM over the other carriers based on price but also I think it is very good value for what you get.
Seating is much better than what is offered on the Qantas and Virgin Australia Boeing 737s on the route. It is probably not quite as good as that offered on the Qantas A330 or the Air New Zealand 777. It is a nice mid-range product with spacious seats that are more than adequate for the sector.
Cabin crew are universally lovely and helpful with a great ethos to do more than they are asked and I find the food to be very good indeed. Thank you for reading and if you have any comments or questions, please leave them below. Remember, for all the pictures in this report, please click here.