One of the aspects of my Mother’s Day Trip to Chile, I was most looking forward to was flying LAN’s Premium Business Class from Miami to Santiago, which I had gotten for $900 a ticket thanks to an amazing deal back in February.
My mom and I flew from LGA to Miami, and our first stop at the Miami Airport was the Club America lounge, which was rather disappointing. The snacks were downright odd – cold cuts, olives and maraschino cherries, yuck. But we weren’t going to let that ruin our trip.
We decided to head to the gate since boarding was beginning and I wanted my mom to be one of the first passengers onboard.
This was my mom’s first trip in international business class and she was excited to see what all the fuss was about. We were flying one of the airline’s 37 Boeing 767-300′s, which they use on their long-haul routes (though the airline also has A340-300′s and is planning on getting some 787′s soon), and Premium Business is their flagship product.
The Premium Business cabin has 30 seats in a 2 x 2 x 2 configuration – though two of these are usually reserved for pilots to rest and they are curtained off from the rest of the cabin. These seats are sort of like those in Korean Air or Qantas’s business class and are armchair style that then recline to a horizontal lie-flat. However, they are only 20 inches wide and when fully reclined, only stretch to 73 inches – just 6 feet 1 inch – so they’re not that roomy and I had a hard time sleeping scrunched up and on my side.
I hope when the airline refurbishes its plane it considers putting in a new configuration more similar to Delta’s BusinessElite or Cathay’s reverse herringbone business class that gives each passenger more room and gives the folks on the sides of the plane more privacy and all passengers direct aisle access.
Shortly after take-off the crew began the dinner service. I’ve hear mixed reviews of LAN’s service, but I have to say that our crew was friendly, attentive and on the ball. Plus the menu of courses for dinner was delicious, and not just because we were starving from a day of travel!
I started with a garden salad and sun-dried tomato soup with capers. It was a nice tangy way to start the meal.
For my main entree, I opted for the steak and asparagus with saffron couscous with peppers. By contrast to the starter, my steak was very bland as were the veggies. But I was impressed with the airline’s wine program, which is overseen by Hector Vergara (no relation to Sofia as far as I know!), the only Master Sommelier in Latin America. I really enjoyed the Torrontes I had with my first course, and followed the wine pairings suggested for each dish.
After dinner, I decided to relax and watch part of a movie on my personal 15.4-inch screen, and there were dozens of films, TV shows, games and albums to choose from for entertainment options.
Before long, though, I got sleepy, so I decided to reline my seat and snooze for a while. I primped for bed with the Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit, which contained all the essentials like eye shades, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, comb, lip balm and lotion before reclining my seat to its lie-flat position and trying to some sleep.
My mom and I decided to opt for the express cold breakfast option which was served 40 minutes prior to arrival, so we could try to maximize on our sleep and hit the ground running in Santiago.
I wasn’t expecting much, but I was still disappointed by the prepackaged muffin and orange juice from a box we got. Not even a quick cup of coffee was offered! That said, it was still so early in Santiago when we landed, I didn’t really care that much since we could grab breakfast later.
All in all, the flight experience was pleasant enough, but nothing remarkable. After having experienced American Airlines’ new flagship First Class and Business Class aboard its new 777-300ER from JFK to Sao Paulo, I’d much rather fly that service, especially since I didn’t really fit into the LAN seat when it was fully reclined. That said, this was still a terrific bargain for $900 a ticket!
Have you flown LAN Premium Business? How was your experience? Stay tuned for further trip reports from my time down in Chile with my mom.
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