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  • Konrad Tillman

Review: LATAM Airlines Business Class 787-9 Santiago-Los Angeles

Intro


For the last portion of this LATAM adventure, I would fly from Santiago to Los Angeles onboard the LATAM Airlines new 787-9 Business Class. After a terrific flight with LATAM from Sao Paulo to Santiago, I had about 12 hours to kill around Santiago and the airport. I visited the city of Santiago and enjoyed some fantastic wine and steak!


After 10 days of being away, 11 flights, and 7 countries, it was time to head back to my bed at home. At this point, it felt needed after the chaotic trip that had been endured.


With this flight, it seems I had saved the best for last. In conclusion, everything was polished to a fine-toothed comb with fantastic service, amazing seats, and the flight deck being extra generous.


Route- Santiago-Los Angeles

Plane- 787-9

Seat- 7K

Flight Number- LA715

Date- March 24th 2024

Flight Time: 10 Hours 40 Minutes

Price Paid- 1082$


How I Booked


Perhaps what strikes the mind of you when reading this is how I booked this one-way ticket for 1082$. Here's the thing: my original ticket was booked with a connection in Mexico City to re-review the AM Business Class product on the 787-8 and 787-9. However, when I was in the LATAM lounge in Sao Paulo, I received a notification that my flight had been delayed by... drumroll please.... 9 hours. The 11 pm AeroMexico departure to Mexico City was now due to depart at 8 am, even though the inbound was on schedule...


Needing to get back for Monday morning class, I looked up airlines that had space and saw that LATAM had two open seats on their direct to Los Angeles. I rang up Aeromexico, and within 90 seconds, they switched me onto the LATAM flight for free, no questions asked. What service!!!


If I were to have booked a one-way ticket by cash, fares would be upwards of 6000$ on this route.


Ridiculous but understood

If you want to book this ticket using miles, award space on this specific route can be a challenge to find in Business Class, but theoretically, BA and Delta are my two favorites if you can find space. Alaska is a good option as well, but with no transfer partners, it is a challenge.

Boarding


After a terrific meal in Santiago, I arrived back at the airport around 5 pm. The staff looked confused that I was checking in 6 hours before my flight. However, I was quickly issued my boarding pass and through security in a matter of moments.


I visited the LATAM lounge in Santiago, which I rank as one of my top 5 Business Class lounges in the world for about 5 hours until it was time to board.


Boarding began a tad behind schedule at 10:20 pm.


We have two gates tonight!

Can someone explain to me how there is such a large line for group 1 passengers? It reminds me of when there were millions of 1K members...


What is going on here

Not that we were going anywhere though, as there is a baggage inspection...


Boarding LATAM 787-9

This was a very inefficient process that took a long time.


LATAM Santiago

Eventually, it was my turn to have my baggage checked, and they only brushed over my luggage briefly.


Seriously, even in MEX they don't do everyone

Boarding LATAM 787-9

Soon enough, our plane's fuselage came into view. Sorry for the bad picture😱.


LATAM 787-9

I was very warmly greeted by the crew who was in a chipper mood❤️. The crew directed me to my seat, and it wasn't too difficult to find. I lucked out on 7K as this was 1/2 of the seats left available when they did the switch; the other was a middle seat.


LATAM 787-9 Business Class

Departure


Due to our flight boarding 50 minutes before departure, I asked the friendly flight attendant if I could get a cockpit visit before takeoff. She said she would go and ask but came back a few minutes later saying, "Please, you can go now if you would like".


I ended up sitting in the First Officer's chair for about 10 minutes as we discussed some aspects of today's flight. The original plan was to reach FL320 and step climb up to FL380 due to the heavy load on board. We would be cruising at Mach 0.84 apparently.


The lead captain got up out of his chair took some photos, and recorded a video of me!! We chatted about life and my childhood dream of becoming a pilot. Jokes were thrown around such as we were actually going to Sydney, not Los Angeles (they got me excited for lunch on Bondi Beach😂). They were an amazing flight deck that I would be honored to fly with again. After about 10 minutes, I got the memo to leave😅 and let them do their final checks.


LATAM 787-9 Cockpit

Perhaps I was in the cockpit too long, but I don't believe any pre-departure beverage was served.


20 minutes before departure, the lovely FA Natalie came around to take my order for dinner. I decided on the beef and ice cream, as well as the ham and cheese selection for breakfast again.


Boarding was closed at 11:31 pm, and we were pushed back 10 minutes behind schedule.


Or so we thought.


Au revoir LATAM

It turns out that there was a medical emergency onboard as we were holding short of the runway. The pilot was alerted and we returned to the gate.


I don't have enough information to speculate on the situation (I shall withdraw my emotion from this), but these are the facts that I have overheard.


  1. The family was sat in the middle, while the daughter was on the side

  2. The daughter began to experience cramps

  3. The daughter didn't want to get off and disrupt anyone but after pulling into the gate, LATAM initiated that it would be better

  4. The family agreed to deplane

  5. LATAM handled the situation very well


All that I shall say is that it's better that it happened before takeoff, and I hope whoever was affected is okay.


LATAM Medical Emergency

It took about 30 minutes after arriving at the gate for the passengers to be let off, as well as the baggage. It's not a bad turnaround time at all. By 12:22 am, we did the process all over again.


Watching and we were waiting

We must have maxed out our taxi speed as we were rolling down these taxiways.


Santiago Airport Chile

By 12:40 pm we were airborne.


Takeoff Santiago

Takeoff Santiago

Takeoff Santiago

The Seat/Cabin


I won't touch on the cabin too much during this review, as I detailed every aspect in the previous report from Sao Paulo to Santiago. However, as a quick recap, seats are arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration, with odd-numbered rows closer to the window.


LATAM 787-9 Cabin

Like the last flight, everything is the same apart from the fact I was on the other side.


Faux Marble Table LATAM

LATAM has a very competitive product here. This was the best business-class sleep I have had on any flight. Still, Thai Airways provided me with my best sleep in the sky so far, though. With this seat, I was able to get 7 hours of uninterrupted rest, a rarity.


LATAM 787-9 Bed

Amenities


Most of the same amenities were provided on this flight as the last one. The headphone came in a small package like before.


So cute this package

Once again, very decent quality. Can you spot the tattoo I just got in Chile👀.


LATAM 787-9 Business Class headphones

However, instead of one bedding package, there were 2!


LATAM Bedding

The first one was the same as the last flight, consisting of a pillow and blanket.


LATAM Business Class Blanket

LATAM Business Class Pillow

However, the second consisted of an extraordinarily comfortable mattress pad.


LATAM Mattress pad

Sign me up for this

A pair of midrange slippers was waiting at the seat as well.


LATAM Slippers

Comfy for the flight

Lastly, the amenity kit was a little bit different than the last flight. It was more beautiful and stacked with more items.


LATAM amenity kit

A couple of different bit and bobs.


Wonderful for this flight

IFE


The same IFE was used on this flight as well, with extensive options as per usual. If you want to check all the details, peep the previous report.



WIFI is offered on these 787-9's, but I decided to watch Deadpool during the meal and sleep the rest of the flight. At the end of the day, it is a perfect redeye (11:30-7:30).


Meal Service


Waiting upon my seat during boarding was the menu for dinner and breakfast. Let's take a look at the menu, shall we?


It is a beautiful menu with plenty of options.



30 minutes after takeoff, the cabin crew came around with a glasses of champagne for the passengers. Normally, I would say this is a great idea. However, they only stocked two bottles for the whole flight!!!!


The drinks service came out before the food as well (always appreciated), and I opted for a glass of Chilean red.


Drinks service LATAM

The meal came out an hour after takeoff, which was perfect timing for this flight. Everything was presented on one tray, but seeing as it was almost 2 am local time, that was fine by me.


Dinner Business Class LATAM 787-9

I'll say it once, and I'll say it again. Steak is the biggest hit or miss on an airline. The steak was overcooked and chewy but still edible. It's interesting to see how different side dishes overseas are, versus mac and cheese on American Airlines. I shall not be getting into this subject this time😂.


At least I am getting fed

The starter consisted of a plate of prosciutto, which was the highlight of the meal!


Incredible Prosciutto

Dulce De Leche flavored Haagen Dazs was the dessert as well.


Dinner Service LATAM

Not burnt I guess😅

Delicious

After I was finished, Natalie cleared my tray, and a cute bar of chocolate was brought out to me!


Good Quality Chocolate from chile

I asked for a refill of my champagne, and was promptly presented with the last glass on the plane😅.


A healthy pour though

For the next 7 hours, I slept like a baby. When I woke up I asked for a glass of champagne, and when they told me they ran out, I chose a red wine instead. Certainly, one way to wake up😂.


One way to Wake up

Breakfast was served exactly the same as the flight prior, but with the added addition of Granola. Once again, the breakfast was delicious.


Breakfast LATAM Business Class

Overall Service


Once again, I found the service to be stellar on this flight from start to finish. Here are a couple of aspects that stood out to me

  1. How chipper everyone was upon boarding

  2. The request my Natalie to the cockpit

  3. How friendly the flight deck was, the nicest I have come across

  4. The pace of the service was perfect


After 6 flights with LATAM, I can confidently say their service is some of the best I have experienced in both economy and business class.


Arrival


Sometimes, a curse is a blessing. It's what you make out of a situation, right? Due to our late departure, we had a sunrise approach into LAX this fine morning.


View out over SoCal

We came up over San Diego to the west before heading north.


IFE PLAY LATAM

Interestingly, we flew right over my university😂.


Descent into LAX

By 7:10 am local time, we were made the left bank to begin final approach.


LATAM 787-9 wing

At one point, we were lined up with an AC plane, but our ground speed was higher than theirs. Race ya to the finish?


Welcome back to Los Angeles

Air Canada at Los Angeles

By 7:15 we were approaching landing.


Landing into LAX

And by 7:17 am, we had touched down in Los Angeles, only 17 minutes behind schedule. Not bad at all LATAM!



It was a short taxi to our gate, passing by some beautiful planes at the Bradley Terminal.




Once off the plane, the former track athlete kicked in, time to run to immigration. Somehow I made it through with MPC in a little under 3 minutes. Not too shabby at all.


Funny, but the immigration officer was enquiring about my trip, and I told her that I had just been to 7 countries in 10 days. Blew her away😅.



Immigration LAX

And that wraps up my South American adventure. Thank you all for following along, and stay tuned for the new adventure I just got back from 3 days ago!Up to country 83 now!


Final Thoughts


What can I say, really? This flight was another representation of just how good LATAM is. The service was stellar, the way they helped out in the medical emergency, and the friendliness Natalie showed. The flight deck was very hospitable, which added to the perfect LATAM.


In regards to the hard product, this was the best sleep I have had on any business-class product. The mattress pad was a nice addition, as well as the full duvet/blanket.


The food could be improved a touch, but still was very good. At least to my tastebuds it was.


If I am being nitpicky, I would like to see LATAM offer pajamas on some of their Europe/longer North America Routes (not Lima-LAX/MIA but SCL-LAX/SYD) as well as adding a couple of touches to the lavatories. Other than that LATAM has a fantastic hard product and soft product! Thanks for having me LATAM, and I'll see you soon😉.





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