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Transport : Airlines

LAN Airlines, part of LATAM Airlines Group, South America’s largest airline group, became the first carrier to offer international service to South America on the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner. LAN which will become LATAM and is a member of OneWorld, currently has 32 aircraft on order from Boeing including 14 787-9s.

The Boeing 787-9 is an exceptionally efficient aircraft in terms of fuel consumption and environmental performance. It can travel longer distances without stopping, while delivering the same environmental efficiency as the earlier 787’s, which consume up to 20% less fuel than other similar aircraft, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by 20%.

Both the new LATAM Airbus A350s and LAM’s 787-9 jets will sport the same business class seats and cabin design. LATAM’s Boeing 787 Dreamliners are configured in a two-class layout, with 247 seats in total. There are 217 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 LAN Boeing 787 Dreamliner 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.

Inside the main cabin Boeing have massively enhanced the passenger experience. LATAMs LAN currently uses the trademark 787 Dreamliner doorway arches that lift the ceiling height and give a sense of space. The mood lighting is set like a trendy bar and by the end of the flight you will have no idea what colour the walls are!

The business class cabin LATAM Boeing 787 is split in two by the entry doorway, with three rows of seats in front of the door and two behind the door. Notably, there is no galley splitting the cabin, which makes the cabin feel spacious.

The 2-2-2 layout offers a fully flat bed which is 74″ in length (23″ width) 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. In front of your seat is a seat wall and ottoman above which you will find a touchscreen TV, coat hook and storage units. The advantage of these seats is the fact your feet don’t end up in a foot-coffin. 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.

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, although the cabin is already fairly quiet due to the advanced nature of the Dreamliner.

Best Business Class Seats On LATAM (LAN) Boeing 787 Dreamliner
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 (LAN) Boeing 787 Dreamliner
In Economy Class, ergonomic reclining seats provide a headrest with four configurations for greater comfort. The economy cabin has 217 seats in a 3-3-3 configuration (see map of seat layout). The exit row seats always have the most leg space which in this case is row 30. I like a window so my favourite seat would be A30. It is however worth noting that much of row 30 is by the toilets so might suffer from passing traffic to use the facilities. If you are travelling in a 2, seats 43A & B and K&L offer a 2 -2 with one aisle and one window. This means that neither of you will be stuck in the middle seat which is a huge advantage.

Food On LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner In Business Class
Unlike our experience on the LATAM A350, the food experienced on the 787 Dreamliner In Business Class is comparatively good with options including a salad and cheese starter with zesty octopus. Veal is an option for main which comes with creamed rice. Tart to finish.

LAN part of LATAM offers great extras; hot towels, welcome cocktails, exceptional wines, the offer to take the breakfast order before sleep so you don’t have to fill a form, taking jacket as you arrive and thick duvet and comfortable pillow within seconds of starting to recline our seat. The unisex amenity kit, by Salvatore Ferragamo is packed full of goodies including vanity mirrors, shoe horns, combs and even tissues above and beyond the usual products found in a kit. The lower seat design giving expansive views out of the 787s oversized windows are perfect for viewing. When you step off the 787 Dreamliner, expect to suffer less from the usual long flight grogginess; less dry skin and bloodshot eyes.

The LAN 787-9 began operations in April 2015, from Santiago, Chile to Lima, Peru with continuing service to Los Angeles, California. They have now launched flights from Santiago, Chile to New York City, Easter Island, Madrid, Frankfurt, Auckland and Sydney. Expect to see the first true LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner Mid-2016 , which will carry a new livery (shown above) to reflect the unified brand, including a logo representing a stylised version of the South American continent.

LATAM has a massive 1600 flights a day, 800 of those from Santiago and is particularly well connected in South America and the US. The flights to Australia and Europe help connect most of the world through its OneWorld code shares.

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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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