Airline review: LATAM premium business class, Santiago to Sydney

THE ROUTE

Santiago to Sydney

THE PLANE

Boeing 787-9. LATAM has 12 Boeing 787-9s in its fleet.

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

LATAM Pass and LATAM Fidelidad are the loyalty scheme programs, with LATAM Pass members accumulating kilometres and LATAM Fidelidade members accruing points.

CLASS

Premium business class seat 3C.

See also: Where the best seats in business class are

DURATION

Thirteen hours and 10 minutes from Santiago to Auckland. Three hours and 10 minutes from Auckland to Sydney. We leave and arrive on time.

FREQUENCY

The Santiago to Sydney (via Auckland) route is flown daily. 

THE SEAT

The business class cabin is set out in a 2-2-2 configuration of five rows; 30 premium business seats all up. There are 283 economy seats. 

BAGGAGE

Business class passengers can check in three bags weighing up to 23 kilograms each. 

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ENTERTAINMENT

The LCD touch screen is nice and clear, although I used the remote for ease of use. The movies are broken down into themes and if you just look at one (for example 'blockbuster' or 'current hits') the selection doesn't seem massive, but if you select 'all' the library looks more impressive. Combined with the other entertainment (games, music and so on), there's easily enough to fill 16 hours. With the flight leaving close to midnight the majority of people opt to sleep soon after dinner service; myself included.

See also: Qantas unveils new premium seat for long-haul Dreamliners

COMFORT

The business class cabin is set out in a 2-2-2 configuration and the seats are super comfy whatever position they are in (the lie-flat bed actually feels flat, whereas with other carriers sometimes there are bumps in odd places). Soft pillows and doonas (on the Santiago to Auckland leg,) make for one of the best sleeps I've had on a plane and the Salvatore Ferragamo comfort pack (Santiago to Auckland) includes everything you could need (eye mask, ear plugs, toothbrush and paste), plus moisturiser, lip balm, tissues, a comb and more.

SERVICE

Fantastic! As soon as I sat down Alekjandra came over, introduced herself and asked what I'd like to drink (pisco sour, of course). The rest of the crew was lovely too and requests were taken care of swiftly. When I ordered dulce de leche spread to go with my pastry for breakfast (don't judge, it's a South American thing) it wasn't available, so one of the airhostesses found some dulce de leche sweets for me. Good service indeed.

See also: What it's like to fly business class for the first time

FOOD

Dinner – a rather lavish affair – was served soon after leaving Santiago. I enjoyed a lovely vegetable soup (it was a murky green so I'm positive I was slurping goodness by the spoonful) and my main of spinach-ricotta ravioli was delightfully cheesey. The menu features sommelier wine recommendations, with South American wines (mainly Chilean and Argentinian) taking predominance. As suggested, I teamed my pasta with a silky Argentinian Zuccardi Malbec. For dessert there was no way I was going to skip the homemade dulce de leche flan – definitely one those with a sweet tooth. I choose to just have just a pastry for breakfast on the Santiago to Auckland leg before landing, and from Auckland to Sydney I enjoyed an omelette served alongside button mushrooms and tomatoes. 

ONE MORE THING

LATAM's Boeing 787-9 uses a new air humidification technique and the cleaner air is designed to minimise dryness, reduce swelling and help combat fatigue. 

THE VERDICT

Smooth service, flavoursome food, comfortable seats and on-time arrival and departure times all combined for a great business class experience. This was my first international LATAM flight and I'd definitely sign up again. See www.latam.com

Rating: 5/5

Tested by Tatyana Leonov, who flew courtesy of LATAM Airlines. 

See also: Why South America is closer than you think

See also: South America: a first timer's guide to the ultimate destination

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