LATAM – The Merger of LAN and TAM
The merger of LAN and TAM in 2012 made for the largest and most professional airline group in Latin America, LATAM. Since then the airline has continued to grow and improve, with new liveries, new planes – notably the 787 Dreamliner, and more destinations.
My late night departure from Santiago was taking me to JFK – on an overnight flight of 10 hours – aboard their new Dreamliner.
Space and Privacy
Unlike many other airlines purchasing the Dreamliner, LATAM has remained with their standard business class layout of a 2-2-2 configuration. Initially I thought this might make the cabin seem crowded, but their design, with enormous amounts of legroom, always one of their features, made this a pleasant flight experience.
LATAM’s Dreamliner seats were laid out well giving every passenger their own space and privacy, with a large footrest that meets the seat when reclined into a bed. There was also plenty of storage space under the footrest, which could easily store a wheel aboard bag.
I selected an aisle seat in the centre of the plane, giving me and my seat mate direct aisle access. This is something I value on a long overnight flight.
Relaxing Onboard with LATAM
There was a large screen on the back of the seat in front, with a wide variety of entertainment. A remote to use with the entertainment system was provided in the arm rest. This was an absolute necessity as the seat was a long way from the screen.
The seat itself reclined to a fully flat bed, with the seat controls being intuative to use.
Eating and Drinking Onboard
Drinks and warm nuts were served shortly after boarding by the multi-lingual cabin crew, looking after the business class cabin. I had a glass of champagne – LATAM provides Casa Valduga Brut on this flight.
Menus were also distributed with a choice of meals, and a wide selection of South American wines to enjoy. LATAM really do the wine selection well!
With the late departure of this flight, I was keen to have dinner and get some sleep. Thankfully it wasn’t long before the service started and the cabin lighting changed to be more conducive to relaxing.
LATAM Dinner Starters
For my late dinner I started with the smoked salmon with a mango-avocado salsa, which was delicious. This was served on a tray with a plate of mixed cheeses and a salad of greens with seasonal vegetables. I paired this with a gin and tonic.
Main Course (Entree)
For the next course, entree in this part of the world, I had the slow-cooked Wagyu Rib Cap Beef with Andean grain risotto and grilled zucchini. With this I had a glass of the very good Carmen Cabernet Sauvignon Blend from Chile.
For dessert I had the very Latin American lucuma crisp cake with orange compote. An express dinner option was also available for those who were more inclined to satisfy their need for sleep more than their need for deliciousness!
Sleep and Serenity
The cabin lighting is a real advantage of the Dreamliner, along with the lower humidity in the cabin. Many passengers watched movies at this time of the flight, with a drink in their hand.
The noise cancelling headphones provided by LATAM are good quality and do the job admirably. A nice comforter and pillow were also provided added comfort and relaxation.
After a good few hours sleep I awoke to a beautiful, sunny morning as we approached the east coast of the US. With the Dreamliner’s large windows you got excellent views.
On approach to JFK we had to circle for a good 45 minutes to allow for heavy traffic at the airport. We landed late and, after a long taxi, finally arrived at the terminal. All in all though, it had been a very comfortable and enjoyable flight!
If you’re flying LATAM from Santiago, then you must try the LATAM Lounge. Read about it in our 6 Reasons to Love the LATAM Lounge in Santiago post.
Expert Traveller Recommends…
LATAM is definitely the airline to fly in South America. Their planes, service, and atmosphere give you a lovely welcome or farewell to this amazing continent.
We spent five years living in Latin America and travelled extensively using their regional network, and every flight was of a high quality. An airline to remember when booking for this part of the world.
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