26th April 2013 at 12:59 #579982
Anonymous26th April 2013 at 12:59 #579983
LAN (operated by LAN chile)
Miami – Buenos Aires
Class: Premier Business
Reservations/Before the flight:
Our reservation was made via AA.com and our ticked flight was an AA codeshare operated by LAN. Due to this we were not able to select our seats online but a quick call to AA reservations and this was taken care of. LAN only offers online check in for certain flights (domestic and a few intra LATAM routes). It does allow you to complete ‘online pre check in’ although this basically entails just entering your passport details to speed in check in formality.
At the airport:
Our flight was departing from Miami International Concourse J. For those of you not familiar with MIA it is a sprawling monstrosity of one huge building with concourses A-J. Land side is stuck in a 1980’s time warp and it is not particularly pleasing to the eye or relaxing. Concourse J was very busy at this early evening hour. LAN was checking in four flights – two to Santiago and one flight each to Buenos Aires and Lima.
Suffice to say the check-in lines for LAN were L O N G. And everyone seemed to have at least two massive checked bags with them. There were three designated business class counters and after a short wait we were issued with our boarding cards and a lounge invitation and had our bags tagged. We had a short wait at the security checkpoint and was then airside.
In short, disappointing. LAN uses a contract lounge in Miami called Club America. It also seems to cater for most of the other non Skyteam airlines departing concourses H & J (Lufthansa, Swiss). The only other airline lounge in concourse H/J was a Delta lounge.
The lounge was vast although most of it was sectioned off, cramming everyone into a smaller area. There were no private areas or alcoves, it’s basically one large room with rows of chairs. At least there was natural light and tarmac views.
There was a manned bar where all items had to be asked for by the barman, including soft drinks and coffee. Of course, being the US there was the not so subtle tip jar on the bar top. Fortunately they also had a ‘proper’ coffee machine and I was able to avail myself of an espresso. I saw people requesting bottled beers and wine but these items were not on display.
Snacks were limited to some small cut sandwiches, apples and chips. There were a few US plug power points around, one shower and decent wifi (free). Separate to the lounge was a good business centre with Mac’s and a printer. Probably the highlight of the lounge to be honest.
The BA/AA/IB ‘Premium Lounge’ is located in concourse F and the other AA lounges in concourse D. Although you would have access to these lounges as flying OW partner LAN, concourse D/F are not directly connected airside with concourses H&J. So if you do have a longish transit in MIA or arrive very early at the airport you could check in at the LAN counters, head land side to concourse F and pass thru security there to use the Premium lounge. Though you would then need to come back land side, walk back down to concourse J and pass through security again.
– the aircraft.
We were flying on a two class 767-300. Premier Business is in rows 1-5 and configured 2x2x2 (AB DH JL). Economy is behind and configured 2x3x2. This aircraft had been refurbished to the ‘787’ standard with new seats and IFE in both classes. First impressions were very positive. Internally, the aircraft looked brand new.
– the seat
In summary, fantastic. All LAN long haul J seats are fully flat whether it be the older of newer incarnation. They are all forward facing seats with no weird or wonderful configurations/staggers/ying yangs etc. Leg room is massive and the seat controls are simple to use and you can control each function independently (ie leg rest, seat back) as well as a single button to put the bed in the fully flat bed position.
Each seat has a huge IFE screen fixed in the seat in front (which can feel a little far away as the legroom is so great), a lumbar function, multi plug power adapter and USB port. The table for each seat is located in the arm rest. This was the only design flaw. The table is relatively small (economy size) and does not have the ability to slide closer or further away. This was not an issue for me though. Fully flat the seat was extremely comfortable. I slept with no problem at all.
We were in row two and I was happy with our choice. I would probably avoid row 1 due to the proximity to the galley and row five with economy (and baby bassinets) directly behind.
– Inflight service & catering.
The inflight service was nothing sort of superb and I would honestly rate this flight higher than any I have experienced in J on CX or Qatar.The inflight service started with welcome drinks (juice or water only) with a small ramekin of nuts. A gueridon full of newspapers and magazines was then brought around and wash bags were distributed. They had separate male and female wash bags and each contained vastly more than what we are used to when flying J these days.
Menus were already in the seat pocket and choices for dinner were sundried tomato soup or shrimp for starter. Beef fillet, ravioli or a salmon salad for main course. And cheesecake of fresh fruits for desert. Each tray came with a fresh seasonal side salad and a small cheese plate. The was also an ‘Express’ option where you could choose a starter or a main course and have it immediately.
Breakfast was a ‘room service card’ that you completed and returned to the flight attendant. There were a range of continental items to select from (fruit/yoghurt etc) and also one hot option (scrambled eggs and mushrooms). There was an extensive separate wine list that featured around ten predominantly South American wines although you had to ask your attendant which ones they had on board that flight.
I ordered the the shrimp starter and salmon salad. My partner ordered the soup and ravioli. Both our meals were good. Nothing out of this world but also did not disappoint. I slept soundly before being woken for breakfast 90min before landing. Breakfast was fine. The hot dish was a bit tasteless – powdered eggs and mushrooms only. Though the fruit was fresh and sweet. It was nice to at least be offered something hot on such a relatively short flight. You also have the option on being woken 40 minutes before landing for an ‘express breakfast’ of coffee or tea with a pastry. When we were pulling onto stand the crew closed the curtains between J and Y class allowing true J class priority disembarkation.
The LAN Chile crew were predominately young and attractive, all immaculate and most importantly exhibited a genuine warmth that is few and far between when flying today. Our flight attendant came and introduced herself to us, asked our name and said she would be looking after us for the flight. Her care and attention from beginning to end was flawless.
The flight attendants worked extremely hard and always engaged in a little conversation with us, asking us where we were from and where we were going. And always always enquiring if they could get us anything else. Once dinner was cleared away the flight attendants came around to each passenger and asked them if they would like their duvet and pillow. It was really quite sweet, you were sat in your seats and they bring the pillow and lovely duvet (same as BA F) and kind of ‘tuck you in’. A really nice touch.
Before landing the flight attendants came around and thanked each passenger for their patronage. I was so impressed with the service that I asked for a comments card and noted my impressions which I passed onto the thankful Flight Service Manager. I should note that the MIA-BUE route is usually flown by LAN Argentina and Argentine crews. Whether they are as good as their Chilean counterparts working our flight I can not say.
The IFE was robust and offered a wide variety of movies and tv programs. The screen was large and the picture quality excellent. Controls were located in the inside of the armrest. However the screens are fixed in the seat in front of you which in business class is quite a distance away!
We both thoroughly enjoyed the flight. It is no wonder that LAN is one of the few airlines within South America that has flourished and expanded. The hard product is fantastic and the inflight service was superb. It was genuine, professional and efficient. If LAN was one of the airlines flying a route where I had a choice of carrier it would be my first preference.26th April 2013 at 16:10 #579984
Another great trip report RFerguson, Great detail. Lan is actually one of the airlines I have long wanted to try but not been able to, and this increases my desire to fly them. My sister has flown them many times from USA down to Chile and rates them very highly.Would be good if they started London! They could do very well indeed.
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