The Weirdest Business Class Flight Ever

Greetings from Easter Island, where I’ve finally to managed to find landline internet speeds slower than in-flight wifi. I can’t even check the speed on my phone because the latency test fails. The hotel has fantastic internet –  a whooping 0.4 mbps download. But I digress. It’s all about the Moai, right?

a screen shot of a speedometer

Easter Island Internet Speeds

I took LAN’s 787 from Santiago to Easter Island. This was the first time I’ve flown LAN, which I’ve heard good things about. However, I had quite an interesting experience.

LAN Airlines 787

LAN Airlines 787

The hard product was great, as these planes also do long-haul flights internationally. LAN has fully-flat seats in a 2-2-2 configuration, similar to Turkish or Hainan. While not industry-leading, these seats work quite well for if you’re flying with a friend.

LAN 787 Business Class

LAN 787 Business Class

While not expected, there was the same bedding as on international flights, which was nice compared to a light day blanket.

LAN Business Class Bedding

LAN Business Class Bedding

Amenity kits were also given out. They were literally the same quality as a hotel laundry bag, but still, better than nothing.

LAN Airlines Business Class Amenity Kit

LAN Airlines Business Class Amenity Kit

Unfortunately, the cabin crew operating the flight wasn’t the best. Besides the meal service, they passed through exactly once during the flight, passing out water bottles. Otherwise, they darkened the entire cabin and chatted with themselves in the galley.

However, what was most odd about the flight was the catering. The entire meal service was on a tray, with no hot food items. The following picture was all that was served on a five and a half flight spanning over breakfast and lunch.

LAN Business Class Breakfast

LAN Business Class Breakfast

It literally reminded me of the snack that Lufthansa serves on their one/two hour flights.

Source: Travelling the World

Source: Travelling the World

On top of that, they don’t even have a lounge for domestic business passengers. The Priority Pass lounge that I had access to with my American Express Platinum Card was literally not worth entering, and had literally the same cold cuts and bread items as on the flight.

The lounge also accepted premium Latin American credit cards, so I found it funny that fairly well to-do passengers (as opposed to anyone in North American and their dog that can a get Platinum Card) were so excited about entering the lounge.

Man, this flight was odd, because of the contrasts. Honestly though, I’d take a domestic First United flight with wifi over this, as long as they didn’t drag people off. I guess the monopoly on this route lets them do literally anything they want short of crashing the plane. 😉

But as for the word online that LAN is miles better than United/Delta/American to North America, I’m not completely sure about that. I’m flying LAN a few more times, so I guess I’ll see how those flights fare.

What has your experience been with LAN?

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  1. LAN was miles better than the airlines you mentioned, prior to the merger. with the Brazilian airline. Now that they are LATAM, nowhere close to what the airline used to be like. Shame.

    • Lan has always aspired to be a mediocre airline at best. Never being in the forefront of anything.
      They aim to be the Toyota Corolla of airlines.
      By becoming Latam they have manage to also turn former Tam into a mediocre airline.

  2. Similar experience with them SYD to AKL last year. We suspected it would be bad but they had a sale on which put J seats cheaper than cattle! I just kept going into the gallley requesting service despite the constant rolling of eyes by the crew.

    Can’t comment on the return flight as it was cancelled after sitting on the Tarmac for hours. No staff and no information. Thankfully we flew back to SYD with Air New Zealand. Fantastic lounge. Great hard product. Excellent service.

  3. Flew the same route in J RT back in January. Had a good experience except for the food, although it was even worse on the SCL-LIM-JFK flight. Avianca is not any better FWIW.

  4. In 2015 we flew LATAM from YYZ-JFK in Y (to connect with EK). For economy the flight was very good. Decent seat pitch, nice meal, some wine. Short flight. Was much better than expected. I think this was a fifth freedom route and I understand that it is no longer available which is a pity if true. Price was great (points one direction, cash required in reverse – both very inexpensive). Used the old Avios short flight points program.

    The disappearing flight crew reminded me of our flight this year DOH-LAX on Qatar (J). Crew refused to acknowledge a call button request (for meal on demand for example) and had to go to the crew station half an hour later to trip someone up to get service (add another half hour or more).

  5. I took LATAM in J from JFK-YYZ last year. I think it was like $120 one way. I thought the service was decent for a 1+ hour flight. They served a cold plate and I had several glasses of decent white wine.

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