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Transport : Airlines

LATAM is a new airline formed by the merger of the Brazilian carrier TAM and the Chilean carrier LAN. LATAM has ordered 27 A350-900 aircraft. Brazil’s TAM Airlines took delivery of the Airbus A350 in December 2016, and is the first carrier in the Americas to operate this new-generation aircraft.

The Oneworld member LATAM has already begun flying Boeing 787 Dreamliners ordered by LAM, and the new A350 will sport the same seats and cabin design as LAM’s 787-9 jets. LATAM’s A350 aircraft are configured in a two-class layout, with 348 seats in total. There are 318 seats in economy, and 30 forward-facing business class seats in their “Premium Business Class Cabin” in a 2-2-2 layout (their 777s currently are laid out in 2-3-2 formation).

LATAM A350 Business Class Review
The LATAM business class design comes from consulting firm Priestmangoode, which also crafted TAM’s excellent but now defunct Boeing 777 first class cabin. The new Airbus A350 and Boeing 787-9 business class cabins share some of this innovative design with a palette of natural tones inspired by South America’s colours and textures.

The 2-2-2 layout offers a fully flat bed which is 74″ in length and LATAM are testing out mattress pads that go on top of the seat which really aid sleep. The width is comfortable and allows for a restful experience on long and overnight flights. The length is fine for those under 6 foot, but if you are taller you will have to sleep on the diagonal or with your knees slightly bent. The 2-2-2 layout unfortunately means that if you choose a window seat you have to step over your neighbour to get in and out of your seat. This is not so bad for the person in the window seat but can be a pain for the side-aisle seats.

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Every business class passenger gets a personal touchscreen (Panasonic eX3) and a remote in the armrest to control it. Every business class passenger gets a personal touchscreen and a remote in the armrest to control it. In fact the touchscreen is so far in front of you, that using the hand held controller is a lot easier than touching the screen. There is a wide selection of movies, plus box sets of TV show including Game of Thrones as well as various travel shows. The headphones on offer are good quality and noise cancelling. On board the A350 you also will notice flatter more upright walls, larger windows and restful mood lighting.

Best Business Class Seats On LATAM Airbus A350
Because of the 2-2-2 layout, you will want to avoid the side-aisle seats as people in the window seats will have to climb over or around you to get in and out of their seat, so the best seats are either the middle pair or the window seat if you prefer a view.

Best Economy Seats On LATAM Airbus A350
The economy cabin has 318 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration, the seats are 18″ wide with 31″ of seat pitch. I always prefer the seats to the front of the cabin but in this case the front of the cabin is over the wing so I would try the seats further back in the cabin if you like a seat with a view.

Food on LATAM Airbus A350
The general consensus on the food on LATAM in Business Class is that it is consistently disappointing. The choice tends to be one of three meals: chicken, fish, or steak, for example “Grilled steak with rustic mashed potatoes and roasted vegetables” which has been described as “not great” although the sides (and bread) are generally thought to be good. For breakfast, you pre-fill out a menu form in advance. There is lots of choice including eggs croissant various potatoes expect a pleasant meal but overall no part of the food offering is particularly special.

It is worth noting that the LATAM Airbus A350 has not chosen to include the “more humidity” option which means you are likely to wake up with dry skin and nose.

Expect to see the first true LATAM A350 Mid-2016 , which will carry a new livery to reflect the unified brand, including a logo representing a stylised version of the South American continent. TAM is now operating the A350-900 between Sao Paulo and Manaus, Brazil, and has also launched LATAM flights from Sao Paulo to Miami and to Madrid.

LATAM is the fourth carrier to operate the A350, joining Finnair, Qatar Airways, and Vietnam Airlines. You can also read my other LATAM Business Class reviews.

You may be interested in my airline comparisons including Avianca Vs LATAM, the best Business Class airline in South America, Business Class on United Vs Delta Vs American Airlines and my top 10 Best Business Class airlines for long haul travel.

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