LATAM Airlines, a partner airline of Qantas, uses Boeing 767s on a variety of routes within South America, as well as to North America and Europe. In this review, we test the LATAM Airlines Boeing 767 Business class product on a flight between LATAM’s Brazilian and Chilean hubs; Sao Paulo and Santiago.
Although LATAM Airlines is leaving the Oneworld alliance on 1 May 2020, it will remain a Qantas Frequent Flyer partner. Qantas also codeshares with LATAM Airlines, including on the flight being reviewed in this article.
|Route||Sao Paulo (GRU) to Santiago (SCL)|
|Aircraft type||Boeing 767-300|
|Class of travel||Business|
|On-time performance||This flight arrived on time.|
This flight was booked as part of a Qantas Oneworld Award. Booked individually, you could expect to pay 43,800 Qantas points + $44 in taxes (there are no fuel or carrier surcharges on flights departing Brazil), or $1,214 one-way for a commercial ticket.
Guarulhos Airport was almost empty when I arrived just before 5am, and I was checked in straight away at the priority check-in line. While checking in, I was a little worried that I might be bumped as the check-in agent was chatting about downgrades with her colleague. Luckily (for me) I wasn’t one of the passengers on this flight that got downgraded due to the Premium Business cabin being heavily overbooked! (LATAM has a poor track record with involuntary downgrades.)
After clearing security and immigration, I headed to the excellent LATAM VIP Lounge in Terminal 3. I was the only passenger in the lounge for a little while, although it slowly began to fill up over the next hour.
This lounge would have to be one of the nicest in South America. There are clean and well-appointed showers, plenty of seats, buffet food and a very well-stocked bar. There are also dedicated seating areas such as a games roo, business centre and relaxation zone.
This lounge is still no match for the Qantas First Lounge in Sydney, or the excellent Turkish Airlines Lounge in Istanbul… particularly in terms of food quality. But it is still very good.
Boarding began over an hour before the scheduled departure time of 6.45am. I headed down to the gate around 5.50am, and the airline staff were frantically yelling at us “stragglers” to hurry up and board as the flight was about to close. (We then sat at the gate for 50 minutes waiting for our take-off slot…)
The Hard Product
The Business class seats on this LATAM Airlines Boeing 767, still in its old TAM livery, are not the world’s newest product. That said, it was more than adequate for a 4-hour day flight.
There are 5 rows of Business class on this aircraft in a 2-2-2 configuration. The seats are at least lie-flat, and there is plenty of legroom, however the seats are quite narrow (for Business class) and storage space is lacking.
Once in lie-flat mode, the seat was quite comfortable. A mattress, pillow and blanket were all provided, along with an amenity kit which came with disappointingly few actual amenities inside.
The in-flight entertainment system was fine, with lots of content.
I would note that LATAM Airlines is starting to retrofit some of its Boeing 767s with a more modern 1-2-1 Business class seating layout.
The Soft Product
The flight attendant assigned to my part of the cabin was very friendly. Before take-off, she introduced herself and offered a glass of water or orange juice.
We departed on time, just as the sun was rising over the southern hemisphere’s largest city.
Hot towels were given out after take-off, followed by breakfast. Here’s the menu for this flight:
I chose the scrambled eggs with mushrooms, potatoes and roasted tomato. This came with fresh fruit and pound cake.
The best part of the breakfast was the fruit. Both the cake and the hot meal were dry, bland and disappointing.
After breakfast and a movie, it was almost time to prepare the cabin for landing. We were still an hour away from Santiago at this point, but the crew had to be seated before we crossed over the Andes. As predicted, there was a lot of turbulence during the decent to Santiago. But I was very pleased to have a window seat as the views were stunning!
We landed on time and uneventfully in Santiago.
LATAM Airlines Boeing 767 Business Class
LATAM’s Boeing 767 Business class product is not the newest out there, but it was adequate for this short flight. The friendly crew and good in-flight entertainment made up somewhat for the lacklustre catering.