LATAM Airlines is Latin America’s largest airline with major hubs in Chile, Lima, Guayaquil, Buenos Aires, and Quito. About half of the fleet of LATAM Chile consists of the modern Boeing 787, which when flying long haul, is ideal. LATAM Airlines Economy Class is one of the more comfortable economy class cabins available. Also, some interesting flight routes are flown on LATAM such as flights from Chile to Tahiti, with a stopover in Easter Island.
Since LATAM is a Oneworld Alliance partner, many mileage award redemptions are available from partner award programs such as American Airlines, British Airways, and Qantas. While not a member of the Oneworld Alliance, the Alaska Airlines award program can book flights on LATAM.
One thing to note is typically only the British Airways award search engine can display award availability on LATAM. If you find award availability on British Airways, you can then call American or Alaska Airlines to book using miles.
Another thing to remember is each airline has completely different award charts. So, depending on your particular flight route, the best reward program can vary.
For instance, for my LATAM flight from Lima to Easter Island on business class, I used 35,000 Alaska Airlines miles. That same flight using American Airlines miles would cost 82,500 miles. This is due to American Airlines classifying Easter Island as “South Pacific”, even though it is part of Chile.
For my flight from Easter Island to Tahiti, I used 12,500 British Airways miles for economy class. Using American Airlines miles, it would have cost 15,000 miles.
The greatest part is if you wanted to book this one way flight in economy class, the cheapest cash rate I was able to find was over $1,000. That means for my British Airways redemption of only 12,500 miles, I got a value of about 9 cents per mile! Usually, I’m lucky to get 2 cents per mile on an economy class award booking.
LATAM Airlines 833 Easter Island (IPC) to Tahiti (PPT) Cabin: Economy Seat: 27A and 27B Aircraft: 787-9 Flight Time: 5h 23m
Cabin Atmosphere (5/5)
As always, the Boeing 787 delivers an exceptional cabin atmosphere, even in economy class. The large windows and tall ceiling make the cabin feel much more open and spacious than older airplanes. LATAM splurged on the enhanced lighting package, which I find helps with jet lag when traversing multiple time zones.
Thankfully, the seating arrangements were in the 3-3-3 configuration and not the awful 3-4-3 configuration. Furthermore, the plane was kept at a cool temperature and never too hot, which I can’t stand.
For a nearly 6 hour flight, the seats were sufficiently comfortable. However, the legroom was a bit tight. Included with the seat was a pillow, blanket and headphones.
Luckily, since the plane was less than half full, I was able to enjoy the “poor man’s business class”. Which is having three economy seats to yourself. I was able to comfortably sleep in the fetal position for most of the flight across the three seats.
The entertainment system was large with good clarity and resolution. However, there are a bunch of annoying commercials that are played on the screen throughout the flight. Being so used to Netflix, I found this annoying. Regardless, there was plenty of entertainment options available with a good selection of movies.
Also available was a USB power port on the screen and universal power plug under the seat.
While not visually appealing, the food in economy class was not bad. Nothing to write home about but at least it was edible.
Service was about average for an economy class flight; neither impressive nor disappointing. Hard to say if the service was efficient since the plane was half empty. I did appreciate the candy and water shortly before landing.
In conclusion, LATAM Airlines is your go to airline when flying in South America due to its large amount of destinations, fleet of 787s, and Oneworld Alliance mileage award redemptions. If you are considering flying to Tahiti, what better way then stopping over at Easter Island to explore all the ancient Moai statues?
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