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Recent LATAM Flights--A few comments

Recent LATAM Flights--A few comments

Old Sep 21, 2022, 1:37 pm
  #1  
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Recent LATAM Flights--A few comments

My husband and I flew LATAM return LIM to CUZ and then LIM to SCL a few weeks ago. We've never flown LATAM before and have no status with them or within the SkyTeam Ecosphere. We were booked in Premium Economy seats on all flights.

First leg, Lima to Cusco: We had no idea how long it would take at the airport, so we arrived early. The process to check a bag and then go through security was ridiculously fast, which was confusing given the large number of people in the airport, many of which seemed to be there for no particular purpose. That in itself seemed odd as we had to show our boarding passes or booking confirmation to enter the building to begin with. We stopped into the Priority Pass Lounge by Gate 13. It was almost empty. Even so, seating was scarce and there were very limited offerings in terms of food and beverage. We stayed for about 10 minutes while I had a caffeinated beverage and left.

We went to the departures lounge about 20 minutes prior to the boarding time. We were put into a line to "preboard" line and sent down to get on a bus. Once that bus and another was full, we were driven out to the tarmac and everyone got off of both buses at the same time to muscle their way through the crowds to climb a flight of stairs and board. I was not at all happy about this, as I have a balance issue and while I can go up stairs, I'm slower than most people and could tell people behind me were getting upset. What's the point of having priority boarding if it's anything but. Once in the air we were given a snack of a quinoa bar and I think it was chips. With the middle seat blocked, extra legroom, and spectacular scenery out the window, it was a very comfortable flight that departed and arrived within a minute or two of schedule. The flight attendants were polite but not engaged.

On the return, we found Cusco airport to be void of any signs of life. Every store and restaurant were closed and looked like they have been since March, 2020. The only place to get something to drinking was a vending machine that was sold out of water but had plenty of Coke. We were all basically herded into the boarding area, and they boarded by boarding group and were pretty good about controlling the chaos. The flight itself was about the same as it had been on the outbound.

The flight from Lima to Santiago was on a new A320-200. We got to the airport earlier than we needed to because LATAM sent us an email that we needed to be at the airport by 4:30 am for an 8:30 AM flight. The reality was that we could have arrived around 7:00 AM and had plenty of time. We spent some time in the PP lounge (Hanaq VIP) which was spacious and pretty well stocked. When we first arrived around 6:30 is was iffy with F&B offering, but by 7:15 the cavalry was there and they were rocking it. Out flight was boarded by Zone and we boarded in Zone 1 and settled into our seats--which were a 3x3 configuration with the middle blocked and some extra legroom. We were served a meal (I'm pretty sure it was a cheese omelette along with bread, yogurt, and fruit) and it was a nice ride, again with an excellent view of the Andes out the window. There was no business class on the plane. We weren't told about the lounge access for premium economy, but we were comfortable in the lounge we did access, so all was well. The flight attendants were again polite, but not engaged, which I'm fine with. I don't need a new best friend every time I fly.

Overall I'd give them a solid B. The biggest place they lose points is the boarding nightmare outbound from Lima to Cusco. It would have been nice to know we had lounge access on the flight to SCL as well, which I think was a tremendous gap in the check in process. My Spanish isn't perfect by any means, but I was communicating with the agent in Spanish, so he could have given us a heads up. Given the other options on the routes we flew, I'd definitely choose LATAM again.
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Old Sep 21, 2022, 1:58 pm
  #2  
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Originally Posted by Annerk
We weren't told about the lounge access for premium economy, but we were comfortable in the lounge we did access, so all was well.
Originally Posted by Annerk
It would have been nice to know we had lounge access on the flight to SCL as well, which I think was a tremendous gap in the check in process.
Thanks for sharing your experience! How did you find out then that you were supposed to have access to the lounge at LIM if they didn't mention it? I'm trying to see if the info is on the website but the section for LIM only mentions Premium Business -- they do mention Premium Economy passengers at the end section but it's not clear to me that that would apply at all lounges or only on certain ones? If anyone has a better idea of how this works it would be great to know.
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Old Sep 21, 2022, 2:04 pm
  #3  
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Originally Posted by andreadbc
Thanks for sharing your experience! How did you find out then that you were supposed to have access to the lounge at LIM if they didn't mention it? I'm trying to see if the info is on the website but the section for LIM only mentions Premium Business -- they do mention Premium Economy passengers at the end section but it's not clear to me that that would apply at all lounges or only on certain ones? If anyone has a better idea of how this works it would be great to know.
A friend was going as we were coming home, she and her husband were booked in the same exact flight/seats on the way to Santiago, and were told they had lounge access when they checked their bags. She didn't think it sounded right, but they were admitted with no problem.
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Old Sep 21, 2022, 2:19 pm
  #4  
 
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Originally Posted by andreadbc
Thanks for sharing your experience! How did you find out then that you were supposed to have access to the lounge at LIM if they didn't mention it? I'm trying to see if the info is on the website but the section for LIM only mentions Premium Business -- they do mention Premium Economy passengers at the end section but it's not clear to me that that would apply at all lounges or only on certain ones? If anyone has a better idea of how this works it would be great to know.
I believe Premium Economy gets lounge access when it is an international flight, so LIM-CUZ is domestic, no lounge, LIM-SCL, international, lounge granted. https://www.latamairlines.com/pe/es/...-vuelo/cabinas

Last edited by Insano41m; Sep 21, 2022 at 2:58 pm
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Old Sep 21, 2022, 3:00 pm
  #5  
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Originally Posted by Insano41m
I believe Premium Economy gets lounge access when it is an international flight, so LIM-CUZ is domestic, no lounge, LIM-SCL, international, lounge granted. https://www.latamairlines.com/pe/es/...-vuelo/cabinas
It was the LIM to SCL flight I was referring to. I know there is no access for PE on domestic flights.
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Old Sep 21, 2022, 4:36 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Premium Economy is eligible for lounge access. As LATAM doesn't have lounges on the domestic terminals and doesn't have agreements with operators on those terminals, in practice the benefit is only valid for International Routes
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Old Sep 24, 2022, 10:58 am
  #7  
 
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Originally Posted by Annerk
My husband and I flew LATAM return LIM to CUZ and then LIM to SCL a few weeks ago. We've never flown LATAM before and have no status with them or within the SkyTeam Ecosphere. We were booked in Premium Economy seats on all flights.

First leg, Lima to Cusco: We had no idea how long it would take at the airport, so we arrived early. The process to check a bag and then go through security was ridiculously fast, which was confusing given the large number of people in the airport, many of which seemed to be there for no particular purpose. That in itself seemed odd as we had to show our boarding passes or booking confirmation to enter the building to begin with. We stopped into the Priority Pass Lounge by Gate 13. It was almost empty. Even so, seating was scarce and there were very limited offerings in terms of food and beverage. We stayed for about 10 minutes while I had a caffeinated beverage and left.

We went to the departures lounge about 20 minutes prior to the boarding time. We were put into a line to "preboard" line and sent down to get on a bus. Once that bus and another was full, we were driven out to the tarmac and everyone got off of both buses at the same time to muscle their way through the crowds to climb a flight of stairs and board. I was not at all happy about this, as I have a balance issue and while I can go up stairs, I'm slower than most people and could tell people behind me were getting upset. What's the point of having priority boarding if it's anything but. Once in the air we were given a snack of a quinoa bar and I think it was chips. With the middle seat blocked, extra legroom, and spectacular scenery out the window, it was a very comfortable flight that departed and arrived within a minute or two of schedule. The flight attendants were polite but not engaged.

On the return, we found Cusco airport to be void of any signs of life. Every store and restaurant were closed and looked like they have been since March, 2020. The only place to get something to drinking was a vending machine that was sold out of water but had plenty of Coke. We were all basically herded into the boarding area, and they boarded by boarding group and were pretty good about controlling the chaos. The flight itself was about the same as it had been on the outbound.

The flight from Lima to Santiago was on a new A320-200. We got to the airport earlier than we needed to because LATAM sent us an email that we needed to be at the airport by 4:30 am for an 8:30 AM flight. The reality was that we could have arrived around 7:00 AM and had plenty of time. We spent some time in the PP lounge (Hanaq VIP) which was spacious and pretty well stocked. When we first arrived around 6:30 is was iffy with F&B offering, but by 7:15 the cavalry was there and they were rocking it. Out flight was boarded by Zone and we boarded in Zone 1 and settled into our seats--which were a 3x3 configuration with the middle blocked and some extra legroom. We were served a meal (I'm pretty sure it was a cheese omelette along with bread, yogurt, and fruit) and it was a nice ride, again with an excellent view of the Andes out the window. There was no business class on the plane. We weren't told about the lounge access for premium economy, but we were comfortable in the lounge we did access, so all was well. The flight attendants were again polite, but not engaged, which I'm fine with. I don't need a new best friend every time I fly.

Overall I'd give them a solid B. The biggest place they lose points is the boarding nightmare outbound from Lima to Cusco. It would have been nice to know we had lounge access on the flight to SCL as well, which I think was a tremendous gap in the check in process. My Spanish isn't perfect by any means, but I was communicating with the agent in Spanish, so he could have given us a heads up. Given the other options on the routes we flew, I'd definitely choose LATAM again.
Yes domestic flights at LIM are like a free for all. Its like the high school party in the basement that you shouldnt have while your parents are gone and the whole neighborhood decided to come.
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Old Sep 25, 2022, 8:22 am
  #8  
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Originally Posted by Insano41m
I believe Premium Economy gets lounge access when it is an international flight, so LIM-CUZ is domestic, no lounge, LIM-SCL, international, lounge granted. https://www.latamairlines.com/pe/es/...-vuelo/cabinas


Yes, I was confused because the LIM specific section mentions Premium Business and not Premium Economy. The agreement is only with Sumaq Lounge so definitely no access on domestic flights.

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Old Sep 25, 2022, 10:32 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Oct 2020
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Thanks so much for the review! I'm to do LIM-CUZ and CUZ to SCL (possibly via LIM) in November.

I'm trying to decide between the once daily CUZ-SCL departing at 8am ($550 o.w.), or a one-stop itinerary thru LIM ($270). The direct is pricier but would allow a few more hours in SCL. I also have LATAM Black form the status match and as such have enough upgrade coupons to upgrade the CUZ-LIM-SCL legs to PE/Business. This is important as the LIM-SCL is on their 787 (2-2-2 config) so as someone who want sot try different products, this greatly appeals to me.

What would you do?
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Old Sep 25, 2022, 4:50 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Originally Posted by onetouchpass
Thanks so much for the review! I'm to do LIM-CUZ and CUZ to SCL (possibly via LIM) in November.

I'm trying to decide between the once daily CUZ-SCL departing at 8am ($550 o.w.), or a one-stop itinerary thru LIM ($270). The direct is pricier but would allow a few more hours in SCL. I also have LATAM Black form the status match and as such have enough upgrade coupons to upgrade the CUZ-LIM-SCL legs to PE/Business. This is important as the LIM-SCL is on their 787 (2-2-2 config) so as someone who want sot try different products, this greatly appeals to me.

What would you do?
Didnt know their was a non stop flight from CUZ-SCL. If the stop in LIM gets you the lie-flat seat why not I have flown the 787 with 2-2-2 J configuration and can tell you it is a comfortable seat but lacks privacy.
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Old Sep 26, 2022, 8:05 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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Originally Posted by onetouchpass
Thanks so much for the review! I'm to do LIM-CUZ and CUZ to SCL (possibly via LIM) in November.

I'm trying to decide between the once daily CUZ-SCL departing at 8am ($550 o.w.), or a one-stop itinerary thru LIM ($270). The direct is pricier but would allow a few more hours in SCL. I also have LATAM Black form the status match and as such have enough upgrade coupons to upgrade the CUZ-LIM-SCL legs to PE/Business. This is important as the LIM-SCL is on their 787 (2-2-2 config) so as someone who want sot try different products, this greatly appeals to me.

What would you do?
On one hand the direct flight (if the weekly flight suits you) it's a touristic route mainly so it should be easier to get an upgrade

On the other hand through LIM you are going to get a chance to get an upgrade to Premium Business, but depending on the time and day you may encounter that the J cabin is full

Both are great choices nevertheless.

BTW remember to buy a Plus fare or higher in order to be elegible to an UPG
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Old Sep 26, 2022, 8:51 am
  #12  
 
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Originally Posted by Semphyra
On one hand the direct flight (if the weekly flight suits you) it's a touristic route mainly so it should be easier to get an upgrade

On the other hand through LIM you are going to get a chance to get an upgrade to Premium Business, but depending on the time and day you may encounter that the J cabin is full

Both are great choices nevertheless.

BTW remember to buy a Plus fare or higher in order to be elegible to an UPG
Yes thank you, both make sense. Good tip on the J cabin potentially being full already I'll monitor Expertflyer.

Having to buy a Plus fare or above renders the upgrade coupons less valuable, as I've found the delta between that fare and simply buying PE/Business to be small enough!
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Old Oct 3, 2022, 8:33 pm
  #13  
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
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Originally Posted by Semphyra
On one hand the direct flight (if the weekly flight suits you) it's a touristic route mainly so it should be easier to get an upgrade


BTW remember to buy a Plus fare or higher in order to be elegible to an UPG

You got a source on needing a plus fare? Their website seems to imply most fares (no group bookings, etc) are eligible.
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Old Oct 4, 2022, 7:30 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
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From https://latampass.latam.com/en_us/cabin-upgrade

Request an Upgrade on your next trip and enjoy more comfort, space, as well as an exclusive service. Remember that all our flights have the choice of opting for a superior cabin, as long as you buy a Plus or Top fare.
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Old Oct 19, 2022, 3:06 am
  #15  
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Paid LATAM business class longhaul GRU-MAD on 787. There was no pre-departure drinks, no warm towels or wet wipes, no mid flight snacks. Meals came in one tray. Service was courteous and to the point. This flight was from last week.

Dinner roasted beef

Breakfast omelet (egg was overcooked, burned to charcoal on inside layer, tasted bitter)

Can anyone explain why LATAM gives salt+salt, not salt+pepper? (I guess I will have to bring my own pepper on my return flight)
They give you salt+salt sachets, instead of mini salt+pepper shakers that other major airlines provide. LATAM sure is cheap.

Last edited by Mama; Jan 14, 2023 at 4:28 am
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