Business Class Under $100? Tell me more!
A fifth freedom flight is where one airline from one country offers service between two different countries, in this case LATAM is from South America (Chile), operating a flight from New York (JFK) and Toronto (YYZ). They have great fares in the Business Cabin, and I booked it from New York to Toronto for $89. In the other direction (Toronto to New York) it normally costs a bit more due to taxes (around ~$130). Problem is, in each direction there is only about 2-3 flights A WEEK. So it might be hard to fit this flight in your trip.
What type of plane is it?!
This flight gets even better as it is operated by a internationally configured plane (Boeing 767-300) so it has lie flat seats! It’s a TAM Airlines (Brazillian Airline) route (before TAM and LAN merged to make LATAM), so at the moment it is operated by a TAM plane. This flight is the continuation from Sao Paulo.
You get lounge access?
The answer is YES at New York! At check-in you get an invitation card to American Airlines’ Admirals Club due to the Oneworld partnership. At JFK there are 2 locations, one right past security and one next to gate 42. Right now the club right at security is under construction, so for full amenities I would visit the club at gate 42.
However I am not sure if there is lounge access if you fly Toronto to New York. I read reports of people not getting access at Toronto.
Scheduled Departure: 11:10 AM (late) about 12 PM
Scheduled Arrival: 12:55 PM (late) about 1:30 PM
Short Review with scores (out of 5, 5 being the best)
At the Airport 3/5
Plane Atmosphere 3/5
Service In- Flight 3/5
In- Flight Amenities/Entertainment 4/5
Seat Comfort 3.5/5
At check-in there was a designated line for business class travelers but no agent to serve them.
Awk. We waited in the line for a good 5 minutes before one of the economy agents ushered us to go to her. Not really impressed.
Boarding was quick, with business class passengers boarding after those who need extra assistance. I got situated in my seat pretty quickly. The business class cabin was actually quite full with only one seat empty. The plane is pretty dated, still with old TAM seats. LATAM stated that all planes will be retrofitted to the new livery by 2018 (not sure about seats too) . The seats are cloth and with many scruffs and stains. On the bright side, the TV was very clear and large. It offered many movies, games and music (WAY more than I would need on a 1.5 hr hop 😉
In terms of the lie-flat bed itself, it was actually comfortable. The only problem I see is the fact that the seat is quite short. I’m about 5’9 and my feet were already touching the TV. Someone taller then me would have to curl their legs or raise their head up. Negative side of the lie-flat is that it is really narrow, so it might feel a bit claustrophobic. This is probably due to the 2-2-2 configuration. Compared to the 767 on Delta One and the 787 on American, this is the narrowest lie-flat I’ve been on. But I guess at least my feet aren’t trapped in a box (cough Delta 767).
Still prefer the Delta 767 though.
Our flight was delayed about an hour. We just sat on the runway due to the pilots saying there was a lot of airport traffic.
A welcome beverage was served and a 2 sandwiches were served right after takeoff. Both sandwiches were decent, noting to rave for yet not bad. Right after I finished my meal, we were preparing for landing haha. Super quick. Think of it as a lunch flight.
One low part of the flight is the service. Only one of the flight attendants was actually nice. This other attendant, I forgot his name, was very angrily taking drink orders and said “Well what do you want?!” Eek.
While the plane might be outdated and not offer the best lie-flat seat in the market, for under $100 with lounge access it is a GREAT flight to be on if you need one from New York to Toronto. I mean, often economy seats cost just as much if not more. You can see the true value in this flight!