TRIP REPORT: Review of LATAM (LA) Business Class LA801 AKL – SYD

TRIP REPORT: Review of LATAM (LA) Business Class LA801 AKL – SYD

We’ve been wanting to fly LATAM business for a while.  After wrapping up another great trip in Auckland we needed to get back home.  We decided to go East instead of West.

LATAM Airlines, formerly LAN Airlines S.A., is an airline based in Santiago, Chile.  LATAM offers an international business class product on 787’s and other aircraft.

 

Flight Details

LATAM Airlines (LA) flight LA801
AKL-SYD  AKL Airport Gate 5
Sunday, 6 May
Departure: 7:20
Arrival: 9:15
Flight Time: 3h+07m
Aircraft: 787-900
Seats: 5J and 5L

This was a continuing flight from Santiago.  The flight goes SCL-AKL-SYD.  Since it’s sold as a separate segment, we used it as a way to get from AKL – SYD.

On today’s flight we will try LATAM’s international business class in seats 5J and 5L.

First, I want to note, how off seatguru’s map is from what is the real layout.  We were in 5 J&L.  According to this seatmap above, there is a galley behind us, as you can see by our photos, there was a 2 door and FA jumpseat.  This isn’t the first error I’ve seen on SeatGuru.

We arrived at the check-in counter super early as we didn’t know what to expect!  The counter is contracted by Air New Zealand ground staff.  Yes, it was 5am local time, but we didn’t get the warmest greeting to welcome us to LATAM Airlines.

We then made our way to the Qantas One World Lounge.  It was OK.  Had all your basic needs.  Beer and wine only til 11:30am! 🤔

We left a bit early as it was a far walk to Gate 5.

As we arrived they had just started local boarding for Premium class.

As we boarded, someone was in our seats.  It was a simple case of mistaken seat, however, it was a bit awkward to have someone move who has already settled in with your seat and amenities.

The cabin is VERY open.  The 787 does a great job with lighting.

Being an open cabin, the seats are VERY open as well.  Hopefully you know the person next to you.  You will be very close.  I’d avoid middle seats if possible.

Welcome drink was OJ.

Cabin Crew came around with amenity kits.  This was a nice touch for a short flight.  Had the basics, ear plugs, night mask and pen for paperwork.

 

 

I’ve got to give a bit of credit to Boeing for the design of the 787-900 Dreamliner Aircraft.  The colors were nice, love the windows, cabin altitude and more.

“Dim-able” windows with the push of a button.

The seat does go full flat into bed mode.  However, if you have a window seat you will need to climb over the person next to you.

 

Any airplane that has an air vent gets a HUGE A+ grade from me!

Under the seat controls has a small light, IFE control and power.

After takeoff I was scrolling the IFE and put on a favorite!

A VERY strong legal release on the IFE selections!  I wonder what happened?!?

The crew came around with the menu.  This is where the flight got a bit weird.  The menu was pretty basic, Plain Omelet and Cured Meats!  Ok, wow, sounds good.

HOWEVER, there was one meat from the meat and cheese selection (which was comparable to lunch meat).

 

The FA then asked, would you like the frittata?! Um, sure?!  But that’s not what’s on the menu!

Getting close to touchdown in Sydney.

We arrived right on time and head to the passenger-in-transit at Sydney airport.  Since the Air New Zealand ground staff wasn’t able to print our tickets for our connecting flight on Etihad, we ended up in Sydney airport purgatory and ended up having our Priority Pass save the day!

 

Our final grades of LATAM LA801

 Lounge @ AKL: B

Comfort of the Seat: B

Cabin Space Seat Layout: B (high marks for an air vent and the Dreamliner, low marks for how open it is)

Food: C-

Amenity kit: C

Storage space: B-

Inflight cabin crew service: B

Ground customer service: C

Overall thoughts?

The counter staff, contracted by Air New Zealand wasn’t friendly.  The Qantas lounge was OK, good in a pinch.  Low marks for the biz seat being so OPEN, high marks for the 787, the food was bad, especially since it didn’t really match the menu, probably about as bad a meal as I had on my United flight.  Pillow and blanket was nice.  IFE was pretty basic…a few nice selections.

This flight was a mixed bag.  Having an international lay flat seat product for a 3 hour flight was nice, however, would I want this 10+ hours…?  That’s a hard call to make.  We will leave you with this, you’d better like the person you are sitting next to if you are on the long haul!

Have you flown on LATAM? How was it?  Did you like it more?  Let us know in the comments!

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