Flight Test: LAN business class

Route Sydney to Santiago, Chile, via Auckland (then to Lima, Peru).

Aircraft Airbus A340-300.

Class Premium business, seat 7C. There are two classes: this one and economy.

Flight time After an 18-minute delay in foggy Sydney, it's 2hr 51min to Auckland, a transit of 90min, then 15hr 35min to Santiago. Total flying time to Lima is almost 23hr.

Seat dimensions A comfortable 23 inches (58 centimetres) wide with a pitch of 74 inches.

Seat configuration 2-2-2, for 42 flatbed seats; I'm in a curtained-off section of 12 seats, which is quiet and relaxed, at the rear of premium business.

Comfort Excellent. The flatbed seat has every button possibly required for adjustment, including one for a back massage, and fully reclines to 73 inches. The Bulgari amenity bag is exceptional.

Luggage Long haul allows for three pieces of 23 kilograms each in premium business. (Within South America, the limit is 30 kilograms in business, 20 kilograms economy.)

Entertainment Disappointing. LAN has a "respected film critic" choose the movies, but his tastes are broad and dated. The choice of (mostly) Hollywood titles includes a poor selection of comedies and dramas — the two "classics" are Pretty Woman and The Rock, for example — supplemented by recent South American films. More promising for a long-haul flight are the first seasons of Mad Men and Modern Family. I watch Carnage and The American, then turn to a good book.


Service Very good on the first leg; within minutes of departure, there are offers of a welcome drink, a magazine and a continental quilt. Later there's the odd moment of tired tetchiness in response to requests. When a fresh crew arrives for the long second leg, with Constanza in charge, the service is excellent.

Food and beverages After a 7am departure, breakfast on the first leg is passable: a focaccia with a fruit platter and strawberry cheesecake. The Auckland-Santiago leg has better options, from a "traditional" or "express" menu. I'm happy with an entree of carrot soup, green salad and a fresh roll with three cheeses, followed by grilled salmon in a cheese sauce with mashed potatoes and mushrooms, then a fruit platter and tea. There is a range of Chilean and Argentinian wines.

Flight frequency LAN flies daily from Sydney to Santiago and daily to Lima for about $9265 return (premium business, including taxes). Melbourne passengers pay similar and fly Qantas to Sydney to connect, and back from Auckland.

Online See lan.com. Also see Condors and canyons in Peru.

Tested by Garry Maddox, who flew courtesy of LAN.