Premium Business aboard LATAM, the largest airline in Latin America, is an ideal way to jet to, from and around South America. With a network that spans multiple countries, the airline is the easiest way to reach one of its many home countries including Brazil, Chile, Ecuador, Peru and Colombia from major North American, European and Pacific cities. It competes heavily with other international airlines for its share of the pie, and in doing so, is known to offer some competitive Business Class fares.
No longer being part of an airline alliance makes it hard to benefit from earning and redeeming miles unless you are a member of the airline’s own LATAM Pass program or Delta SkyMiles. Delta invested heavily in LATAM, which is partly why the carrier left its position in the oneworld alliance. Instead of joining Delta’s SkyTeam, LATAM has a deep relationship with its U.S. partner - members can earn and redeem with Delta SkyMiles. LATAM also has a partnership for earning and redeeming miles with Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. LATAM previously left Star Alliance to join oneworld, so its loyalty program members have pinballed between partners over the years.
While members enjoy some reciprocal benefits like lounge access and priority boarding between LATAM and Delta, it is not as expansive a partnership as some alliance airlines offer. Luckily, LATAM’s flat-bed Business Class product is competitive with international airlines and is worth trying nonetheless.
Priority check-in and security lines are available in many airports for Premium Business passengers. LATAM is a pan-national airline serving as the home carrier for Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Ecuador and Peru. It competes head-to-head with Avianca in the region, but has a stronger long-haul international network.
Depending on the connecting hub - most commonly Lima, Sao Paolo or Santiago - the lounge experience will vary. The airline has upgraded its lounge product significantly in recent years with open bars, hot and cold buffets, and relaxation areas. Shower facilities are important for those making connections and looking to refresh.
Priority boarding means passengers can get on the aircraft first thanks to dedicated boarding lanes and signage.
Mostly retrofitted, LATAM’s entire fleet now showcases flat-bed seats, but some of its older Boeing 767 and 787 Dreamliners still have a less desirable 2-2-2 configuration. Luckily, most long haul planes have a 1-2-1 setup meaning that travellers are assured of direct aisle access. In the latter setup, seats alternate row by row from being closer to the window and then closer to the aisle. The best seats have the table closer to the aisle, which makes it easier to rest without being disturbed by people passing by in the aisle.
Seats have hard-shell exteriors giving passengers more space since the seat in front of you does not recline into your area. They go fully flat and feature ample storage space either behind the seat or to the side. Adjustable reading lights are helpful on long flights, but individual air nozzles are missing on some flights, which can bother warm-blooded fliers.
On Boeing 787 flights, windows have dimmer switches rather than traditional shades - you can darken the light flow while still being able to look out. Occasionally, some crew chooses to lock them entirely essentially making them opaque and giving window seat fliers no control over the view. This can disturb some people that like to look out, and do not be embarrassed to ask to have it unlocked.
LATAM does not charge for seat assignments in Premium Business. All seats have large tables that fold out from the side and provide ample space for dining, working and relaxing. On its newest planes, the side tables are coated in a beautiful granite surface that makes it look like a side table in a boutique hotel rather than an airplane.
Power and USB outlets are within easy reach, too. LATAM did not skimp when it comes to seat comfort, but choosing a plane with all-aisle access is the key for those that prefer window seats.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes images, videos and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft Search results also include details such as seat pitch, width and recline. This way you can see the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested, before making your choice.
LATAM delivers a solid onboard service experience that starts from the moment you board the plane. Following a welcome beverage and printed menu, the Latin American-themed meal service begins after takeoff.
Your beverage of choice and nuts get the flight off to a good start. While meals arrive on linen-lined trays, the presentation is excellent with an appetizer, bread plate with warm rolls offered from a basket, salad and condiments kicking off the meal. Expect flavourful dishes including Ecuadorian shrimp with quinoa and Argentine beef.
Hot dishes soon arrive from a menu of three choices including beef, chicken pasta or a lighter cold dish often a salad or charcuterie plate depending on the flight.
There is no dine on demand service, but flight attendants are happy to oblige if you prefer to hold your meal until later. An express menu is also available, which delivers all the courses on one tray so that passengers can maximize sleep. Still, noise from other diners around you can disturb light sleepers since not everyone opts for this faster service.
Pre-arrival meals are served a couple of hours before landing on longer flights with the options depending on the time of day. On breakfast flights, the airline provides menu cards before takeoff so that passengers can select what they want and when they want it to arrive making for more time to rest rather than the cabin being woken up all at once. Hot and cold options are available including a continental plate to enjoy right before descent if you want to sleep as long as possible.
The airline has a range of special meals including Muslim, Kosher and Asian vegetarian options although these must be reserved in advance.
As guests board, they are offered water or sparkling wine, and all passengers receive a bottle of water.
Printed menus outline what is available throughout the flight. Hector Vergara, one of only two master sommeliers in Latin America curates the wine list, which includes three red wines, two white wines and a dessert wine. There is also a sparkling wine - often Gran Casa Valduga or another South American Brut although it can vary by flight. On flights where Champagne is offered, LATAM serves Louis Roederer Brut Premier or Nicolas Feuilatte Brut.
The menu includes a wine pairing for each dish, which is a lovely idea that allows passengers to enhance the flavour of every bite while trying new wines from the region.
A variety of spirits including Jack Daniels, Chivas Regal, Bombay Sapphire, Bailey’s and Courvoisier VSOP Cognac is on offer. Numerous regional beers are on the menu as is the perennial favorite cocktail, a pisco sour. Soft drinks, juices, Juan Valdez coffee and Twinings tea are available.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes, but feel free to let us know if there is something we missed.
The crew can vary wildly from doting and friendly to indifferent. Most are hard-working, friendly and eager to share the hospitality of their home country, and a little conversation can often go a long way to creating a more service-oriented experience. Since LATAM represents so many parts of South America, the crew is based in different countries, which means some flights may operate with Brazilian crew and others have Chilean or Peruvian crews. All are required to speak English, but their fluency can vary.
Noise-reducing headphones at each seat allow passengers to take advantage of the large screens in front of them. The entertainment systems are stocked with more than 100 films plus a variety of short subject documentary, sitcom or music options to choose from using remote controls or touch screens. Young passengers have plenty of children’s content to enjoy. Wi-Fi is not available.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on WiFi and inflight entertainment.
Passengers receive slippers and an amenity kit with L’Occitane toiletries, an eyeshade and socks on long-haul flights. Pillows and blankets are standard amenities, and the airline’s new “temperature-controlled” blanket is meant to be softer and more comfortable. A new NASA-designed seat pad is also available to cover the seat and is supposed to regulate temperature and pressure points for a better sleep. The only thing missing is a place to grab refreshments between meals on longer flights. The crew is happy to deliver items on request though.
On shorter flights, LATAM offers a Premium Economy product that Business Class passengers receive automatically when connecting from a long-haul premium cabin flight. These are simply economy class-style seats with the centre seat blocked. Depending on the flight length, passengers enjoy a hot meal, open bar and more attentive service similar to what most European airlines offer in Business Class on short routes.
LATAM is recognized as one of the leading airlines in the world for sustainability. This comes as the result of the airline’s sustainability strategy, which is based on three pillars: Climate Change, Circular Economy, and Shared Value. This strategy focuses on the commitment to the protection of South America’s key ecosystems, the migration to a zero-waste-to-landfill model, and providing its capacity for connectivity in the benefit of the region’s communities.
The airline plans to reduce all single-use plastics by 2023 as part of a larger sustainability plan, and it has a goal to become carbon-neutral by 2050. A partnership with The Nature Conservancy focuses on conservation and reforestation projects around South America with a goal to cut carbon emissions in half by 2030. In yet another goal, by 2027, the airline wants to cut its waste-to-landfill amount entirely. Crews recycle items used inflight, and even old uniforms are repurposed through donations to local communities that use them to make regional handicrafts.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft.