Other posts on this South American expedition:
After a great stay at the Palacio del Inka hotel in Cusco, Peru and excursions to Machu Picchu and the Sacred Valley, the next flights would take me to Patagonia and Punta Arenas, Chile on the Estrecho de Magallanes.
The only one of these flights in business class would be on a LATAM 787-8 from LIM to SCL. LATAM, which resulted from the merger of LAN Airlines and TAM Airlines doesn’t operate aircraft with business or first class on the routes to extreme southern South America. They do operate a few A320s and A319s with premium economy – coach seats with the middle seat blocked. I congratulate LATAM for calling this premium economy and not business class as many European airlines do.
Boarding for this flight was at Gate 20 at LIM.
LATAM does a good job of boarding its aircraft. Rather than have just priority and “everyone else” lanes, LATAM has dedicated lanes for priority and several groups of rows in economy which helps to control the “gate lice,” passengers who insist on rushing the boarding lane and blocking access even though they will be boarding later in the process.
My seat to SCL was 3L, a window seat on the right side of the plane.
LATAM 787-8s have 30 business-class seats configured 2-2-2. In this configuration the seats in the center are desirable because getting up requires no climbing over a seatmate as it does in a window seat. nevertheless, I selected a window seat on this flight because it was short and I definitely wanted to see the view.
The forward business-class cabin has 18 seats. There are 12 business-class seats in the rear cabin. An exit separates the two business-class cabins. SeatGuru reports that these seats are 23 inches wide and have 75 inches of pitch. The seats were very comfortable although they felt narrower than 23 inches.
Video screens are fixed, which means you can watch in-flight entertainment from gate to gate as long as the system is on. The seat has storage compartments for shoes and personal items in the back of the seat in front. There is an ottoman for your feet to rest on in the bed or reclined positions.
The ideo remote is at your fingertips in the console between the seats.
LATAM provided a well-stocked Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit on this relatively short flight as well as noise-cancelling headphones and a down quilt.
One of the nicest features on every 787 is the electronically dimming windows. I love having a darkened cabin for watching movies and still being able to observe the scenery outside the aircraft.
The flight attendants (FAs) had plenty of time for the pre-departure beverage service as the flight was delayed by over 30 minutes.
Finally at almost 10:00 flight 601 departed LIM on Runway 15. The distance between LIM and SCL is 1,532 miles. Time in route was estimated to be approximately three hours.
Once airborne the FAs served lunch and beverages from a cart.
The lunch was simple but delicious. I especially liked the bread used for the sandwich.
After lunch there was more than an hour to to recline to full flat mode and rest before landing at SCL.
Arrival at SCL was late due to the late departure from LIM.
Everything about this flight was enjoyable. The service, food, and amenities on a three-hour business-class flight was impressive. The only “complaint” was the tandem seating. I had to climb over my seatmate once to get to the lavatory. I was able to do it without having to disturb him, but this is an annoyance that all-aisle-access business class configurations eliminate. And while I did not get to fly the LATAM 787-9, the 787-8 has the same seat in basically the same configuration.