Welcome to my LATAM Flying adventure Part 2!
Initially I was booked on LA2392 but later I received an email from the airline that the flight was changed to LA2384, apparently they pushed my flight back by an hour. The reason for that is this flight number LA2392 was re-assigned to another route, LIM to MDE. As I check my flights on a regular basis, one day I found out that my newly assigned flight had a change. Aircraft change! The A320 aircraft was up-gauged to the Boeing 767-300ER and to top it up, I would be flying on a newly configured 767 aircraft, that means I would get to experience the new J class product! This has to be one of my highlights of my flying adventure. I was allowed to make changes to my flight for free if I was not satisfied with the change . Of course I didn't consider making any changes. I could have change my SCL-LIM flight to the 787-9 instead of flying on the 787-8 (CC-BBA) and connect to this LA2384 flight but I decided to stay put because flying the LA's 787-8 would be more troublesome for me as it flies mainly to the U.S and the regional flights. For the larger 787, they fly mainly to Europe and some parts of the U.S along with the regional flights. So if I do plan to fly this airline from Europe to South America, its either 787-9 or 777-300ER. Anyway, are you ready for my part 2 of the trip report?
About LIM Airport
Jorge Chavez International Airport is named after the famous Peruvian aviator and was officially opened in December 1965. This airport consists of 1 terminal (Terminal 1), 2 runways ( Runway 16L/34R and Runway 16R/34L) and is a home for Jetsmart Peru, LATAM Peru, Sky Airline Peru and Star Peru. It is located about 11 km northwest of Lima Center and is the biggest airport in Peru. This terminal serves both domestic and internationa flights and currently undergoing construction for airport expansion and moderization. By the 2027, the new runway, Airport control tower and a new terminal would be ready and the airport will be bigger in capacity and will be able to compete better with it's neighbouring countries.
This is the layout of the airport (Photo: Airportguide)
My time at LIMA Airport
The first place I went to after arrival from my previous flight was at the LATAM's connection desk. I wanted to collect my boarding pass for this flight at Santiago, but the staff there wasn't able to do so so I need to go to the transfer counter of LATAM. My plan was to hang around at the lounge and do some work so once I was at the counter, I requested for my boarding pass. The ground staff took a long time to figure out the issue with my itinerary as she had to ask a few times from her collaegue and a few calls with the supervisor. Finally she told me she wasn't able to process my check-in and I can only do so 3 hours before the departure. When I asked the airline representative on Twitter, I was told I won't have any issues. So whose fault is this? Anyway, I decided not to escalate this matter and just go with the flow. I was given a choice of remaining at the airside or enter the country and hang out for a while before checking in. I could do so but reading from online articles, I had to pay U.S$31 for the airport tax. Does my air ticket includes the airport tax of this airport? After checking my itinerary, there isn't a word about it so I assumed no. I didn't want to to pay for it since my stay was short. However, after checking out the airside, there isn't much to explore so in the end, I entered the country.
I was stuck here for 20 minutes!
I walked around checking out the departure hall before deciding to enter the country.
Free Wifi is available at this airport and there is no restriction.
I made my way to the arrival hall.
Once I received the clearance to enter the country, off I go to check out the land side and the terminal of LIM Airport. Currently Lima is building a new runway, control tower and a terminal to expand the airport of this city. They should be completed by 2027, by then this airport should be more exciting.
This is the landside of the airport.
There are 2 floors to this building. There are a variety of shops and eateries for you to choose from.
Let's find some food! At this point, I was hungry.
I decided to head over to the restaurants on the 2nd level to check them out.
There is a cafateria which includes the popular MacDonald's and KFC.
I settled for this popular Peruvian dish, Lomo Saltado which consists of Marinated Strips of Sirloin steak comes with onions, tomatoes, french fries and rice. This was delicious. I order an apple pie for dessert together with Coke as my beverage.
Once I was done, I went outside for a short walk.
There are local taxi drivers approaching you offering their services, please ignore them. Either go by the local taxi or Uber.
The building below you see is a hotel, it is called Hotel Costa Del Sol Wyndham Lima Aeropuerto.
Once I was done, I entered the airport
You can see how crowded it is at this hour.
The airport isn't big, so if you are on transit for many hours and if you can't get lounge access, exploring nearby outside the airport would be a good idea.
The check-in counters.
Viva Air - an airline I wanted to fly with, sadly has ceased operation.
A few hours later, I had dinner at the cafetaria, trying out the local drink. This is Peruvian style chicken with Avocado, tomatoes and french fries.
I wonder what's the history about this small plane. Does anyone has any idea? Please leave a comment below if you do.
Soon it was time to check-in, I couldn't wait to use the lounge.
I was lucky this time as I was able to check-in with a more helpful ground staff.
I was also glad that the aircraft type didn't change. If any of the wide-body type (767 or 787) gets changed to the narrow-body (A320), it means Premium Economy Class for the passengers as Premium Business is not offered.
Goodbye Lima, hope to visit your city next time.
Off to the airside.
Thanks goodness, I didn't have to pay the airport tax. The security and passport check took about half an hour.
Once I was at the airside, I headed towards Gate 17 where the lounges are.
There are 2 lounges here and I could only enter Sumaq as it is a recognised lounge for LATAM. There is another lounge called Haniq VIP lounge, Priority Pass Cardholders can use the lounge, with a limit of 4 guests. This lounge is also available to the general public but at a cost of U.S$80 can only access it for a limited amount of time, I believe it should be 3 hours.
So when I was there, you can see from the photo how long the queue it was for the Haniq lounge.
For my review of this lounge, click here
After the lounge, I made my way to the gate.
Looking at my flight status, it was confirmed.
This is where my Boeing 767-300ER parked.
I was happy to see this aircraft in the old LAN livery. I am surprised they are taking quite a while to paint the entire fleet in the LATAM livery.
It's time to board!
LAN vs LATAM livery!
The airline received quite a number of awards as you can see in the photo below.
My ride: CC-CXJ (Photo: Juan Manuel Temochi - SPJC Spotter)
Boeing 767-316ER (Owned)
Previously flew with LAN Airlines
Configuration: C20 Y213
Engines: 2 X GE CF6
Transferred to LATAM on May 2016
972th Boeing 767 built
Built in Everett (PAE)
Flight route: LIM-BOG
Date of departure: 3rd June 2023
Aircraft type: Boeing 767-300ER
Load: 50% J Class
Schedule departure: 0820
Push back: 0807
Take off: 0823
Flight Duration: 2 hours 40 mins
Actual flight time: 2 hours 36 mins
Schedule arrival: 1125
Actual arrival: 1059
Departure runway: 16
Arrival runway: 31R
My in-flight experience
Once on board the aircraft, I was greeted by a friendly female crew. Shortly after settling down, she came to introduce herself. She is definitely friendlier than the crew on my previous flight. Like the previous flight, she came to take my order and once that is done, I went about taking photos of the cabin. The cabin was about half full so I guess this aircraft is used due to the high load in Y class and also possibly more cargo to carry for this month. A month later on this flight, the aircraft was changed back to A320.
Once we took off, the weather was fine but only thing I didn't like was how short the flight duration is, just 2 hours 40 minutes of flying time, it was certainly not enough to enjoy this impressive business class product. The seats were comfortable and whatever I need is within my reach. The meal service came and the crew was great as she came around offering top up and asked if I had enough. Best crew so far among my flights!
Time flew past fast and the end of the flight came to a close. This is one of the few flights that I didn't want to end. The 767 may not be my favourite is really nice to ride in the front and yes, this was my first time riding on a 767 in Premium class so another record for me. This time round, my ears had no issue and I manage to get the ears unblocked just before touch down. Strange right?
After the flight, I thank the crew before leaving the aircraft. It was time to explore Bogota. I will post photos of this city in my upcoming blog post of Avianca's short ride from BOG to MDE, coming up soon.
Economy Class Cabin
This cabin is configured in a 2-3-2 configuration.
The orange seats you see below is LATAM+ which means more legroom space. The legroom space is at a generous 35 inches. Every seat is equipped with Panasonic IFE system.
This is really generous legroom space (below)
There is even legrest in each Y class seat.
I love the colours of these seats, they look better than Delta's.
While for the standard seats (Red), the legroom space is at 31 inches.
Would I want to try LATAM's Economy Class? Maybe one day but for now, let's head back to the Premium Business Cabin. :)
Business Class Cabin
I chose seat 5A for this flight. (Photo: Aerolopa.com)
This is the Thompson Aero XL seats introduced by the company in 2022. According to the CEO of Thompson Aero, it is designed to give comfort, more space and privacy for premium passengers. LATAM chose this seat design as part of a cabin revamp in 2018 and now rolling out gradually to all the long haul aircraft. Currently, some of the Boeing 767-300ER and 787-9 fleet have this cabin interior installed, while for the 787-8, the upgrade will start soon. The only aircraft type that has succesfully completed it's cabin upgrade is the Boeing 777-300ER (July 2023).
This is my first time experiencing this product, so if there are missing details, do let me know.
These are the fully flat staggered seats with every seat has direct aisle access. It comes with a 18 inch Personal touchscreen TV and has a total length of 79 inches when fully extended. Because the Boeing 767 has a narrow-body compare to the 787 and 777, the seat width is narrower. It has a seat width of 20 inches and 45 inches of legroom space (in take off/landing position). For the 787 and 777, the seat width is 21 inches and the legroom space is the same.
My seat for this flight
2 different configuration of the middle seats (below). The seats on the inner side has a divider and it can be removed so that you can chat and see your partner during the flight.
This is what I called a true window seat.
This is the bulkhead row. The disadvantage of sitting here is it is the closest to the galleys and lavatory especially if you are sitting on the left side.
This is seat 1A.
Another view of my seat.
I think the airline has made a great decision in choosing this J class product.
I decided not to set up the bed as it was a short morning flight.
The problem about sitting at the aisle seat is the passengers walking past you, may knock into you.
Whatever it is, this is certainly an upgrade over the old J class cabin.
From my seat, I was unable to see my seat mate across the aisle and likewise for him/her.
There is some privacy even when the seat is on the upright mode.
The 767 may not have the mood lighting like the 787 but the atmosphere is nice.
The divider separating the 2 classes.
I was probably the only one taking photos of the cabin. :)
I feel cozy and comfortable in this cabin.
More photos of the J Class seat
The legrest area is quite narrow.
The controls of the seat
Storage space for the smaller items, Ipad and cell phone can be places over here. (below)
Sorry for the blurry photo (Below), this is the shortcut buttons such as seat being reclined to lie flat or back to its original position (for landing), crew call and light switch.
The foldable tray (half opened)
The foldable tray (completely opened up)
This compartment is useful to store small items such as watch or cell phone.
The Universal Socket and USB Power Source
The storage to store literature.
This is how much space you can store inside this compartment.
The headphone jack
The seat of my neighbour across the aisle. I wonder what is that NPU!
What's provided for the passengers?
Amenity Kit (Same as my previous flight)
A bottle of water.
Same headset as my previous flight
What's inside the menu?
The choices are the same as my previous flight but this time the Yogurt with Granola and Jam was available.
- Edam Cheese Omelet, with Rosti Potatoes and Tomato Concasse with Basil
- Ham and Cheese Selection
- English Ham Sandwich with Edam and Cream Cheese in a Croissant
Complements - Coconut Cream with Fresh Fruit and Nuts
- Yogurt with Granola and Jam
All options include Fresh Seasonal Fruits, Assorted Breads and Jam and Butter.
Yogurt with Granola
I chose orange juice as my drink
I certainly enjoyed myself on this flight. Which flight do I prefer? Stay tuned for the last part of this review.
I prefer this IFE system over the old product.
You can use your phone as a remote control by connecting to the system via bluetooth.
The selection of the movies is the same.
The flight map is an improvement.
The safety video is being played.
There are some reading material that is available on this system.
I chose to watch this movie (Hobbit).
The flight time was shorter than my previous flight by half an hour.
From Take-Off to Landing photos
We have to thank the ground crew for working hard in helping every aircraft depart on time.
At this point, we were on our way.
We started rolling.
Off we go, thanks for the memories, Lima!
A great view of the airport and the city.
Fortunately, the sky has cleared up a bit, the visibility has improved compared to the previous day.
We hit some clouds while climbing.
Flying above the clouds. This flight was smooth for most parts of the trip, just some light turbulence while arriving into Bogota.
The magnificent view during the route.
Not long after, we started our descend.
The view is breathe-taking.
A little bit of crosswind causing the aircraft to shake a bit while we were descending.
The view of Colombia is also magnificent.
On approach to BOG airport.
We touched down smoothly.
This is Copa Airlines 737 MAX 9 which I would be flying from Panama City back to Santiago.
We took about 15 minutes to reach our gate.
Here we are! CC-CXJ would return to SCL after this.
Thanks for the ride, CC-CXJ!
My flight summary
The walk to the immigration took about 10 minutes.
Duty free shops
Welcome to Bogotá, Colombia!
This time, I would be staying at this city for 5 days. Do note, all visitors are required to fill up the Colombia MIG form in order to arrive and depart from any cities in Colombia. (June 2023) Here is the link. Do check whether you need to apply for visa to enter the country. For me, I was required to show my Yellow Fever vaccination since I had visited Brazil and no visa is required for me as long as I stay within 30 days.
Once I was cleared by the friendly staff, I made my way to my accomodation.
My thoughts on the Old and New J Class cabin!
- Aisle access for all passengers
- More privacy especially sitting on the window side
-You get to choose to sit either near the aisle or window side for single seats in alternate rows.
- Bigger and better screen display on the Personal TV
- For middle seats, you can sit as a couple or sit away from the other passenger. (Alternate rows).
- Smaller ottoman means lesser space for legrest.
-Seats close to the aisle feel less private
- Not enough space to place my backpack underneath the ottoman, so I have to place it in the overhead compartment.
- Wider ottoman means more legroom space
- There is enough space to place my backpack underneath the ottoman.
- Those sitting at the window seat have no aisle access
- Getting in and out of the window seat can be troublesome especially if the seat besides you is at a fully reclined position.
- More passengers in this cabin configuration especially full flight means slower service and waiting time to use the lavatory is longer.
I prefer the New J Class product especially if I am flying alone. I will choose the window seat, at the last row of business class as there is more privacy but it would been even better if they add in a sliding door, that would be fabulous.
These seats are very comfortable and the interior chosen by the airline is outstanding. I love the marble title adding to the beautiful finishing of the hand rest and drink holder which makes it looks more luxurious and the larger IFE screen closer to me compare to the old J class product. I can use the touchscreen whenever I am on a full-upright position, otherwise I can use the remote control which is easily accessible when in bed mode. The functions of using the seat is easy to use and whatever I need is available for me. Most important thing? I don't need to worry about disturbing other passengers as every seat has an aisle access.
Airline's website/mobile app: 2/5
Airport Staff at LIM Airport: 2.5/5
In-Flight Service: 4.5/5
In-Flight Experience: 5/5
Cleanliness of the cabin: 5/5
In-Flight Entertainment System: 5/5
In-Flight Meal: 3.5/5
Seat Comfort: 4/5
Cabin interior: 5/5
Overall rating: 41.5/50
LATAM airlines group spent about U.S$400 million dollars to do a cabin refresh in both Economy Class and Premium Business. I am fortunate to be able to sample both the old and new Business Class products. The Economy Class seats look impressive and even the A319's Premium Economy Class seats is not bad at all. This airline group is dominating the market in South America while the rest of the airlines such as Copa Airlines, GOL, Azul and Avianca are trying their best to grab as much market as possible by offering competitive airfares. Although the service is not as polished as Asian airlines, surely the new products will give travellers something to think about especially flying on long haul routes. What I hope this airline can do is improve the website's experience especially for those staying outside South America. For airlines such as Aerolineas Argentinas, I was able to book with them but not with LATAM which is very strange. Customer service can also be further improved by interacting better with the passengers, follow up with them too if necessary so that confusion will not happen, making it a stressful experience for the passengers.
Overall, I enjoyed my flights with the airline and I highly recommend you to try the new products. For now, the airline is rolling them out in batches so don't be surprised if you get the old cabin.
Thanks for reading!
For the Old J Class flight review (SCL-LIM 787-8), click here.
For my next trip report (Avianca A320CEO BOG-MDE), click here
Thanks for reading and have a fantastic week!