Experience of LATAMBack to Forum
Does anybody have any experience with LATAM?
I am planning to go from London to Rio. I have found a Business fare to Gru at £1,300, which seems very attractive. I also like the timing of the flight (departure from LHR after work, night flight so that I spend the day on the beach, not in a plane). Traveling from GRU to Rio is easy with even the possibility to arrive at SDU rather than GIG. And of course, nice TP and Avios.
The alternative was to use Avios with BA direct to GIG but at the price of the Latam ticket, it would be a pretty poor use of avios.
Of course, I realize their seat is a bit dated (but then, so is the BA one) and the chance of getting the new one is close to zero. But is there anything else I should know? Am I missing something?
Thanks for your advice.
PS to Admin: I couldn’t find LATAM in the list of airlines although might have missed it?8 Jan 2019
I would need to check but I think LATAM is the latest incarnation of TAM, flight code JJ. This may not be correct, it is only from memory.
A few years ago my wife flew to SAO and back on TAM (C class) and said that overall it was very good. To put that in context, she likes BA, so is perhaps not the best judge of airline quality.8 Jan 2019
at 10:188 Jan 2019
LATAM is the new airline created after the merger of TAM Brasil and Lan Chile
Lan Chile had a former unique aircraft livery and an award-winning onboard experience before they merged
They just announced to upgrade their Business Class Cabin
You can check the article published this week here, in Business Traveller Magazine
I have not experienced any flight with LATAM8 Jan 2019
I flew Latam in December and would recommend that you are very careful with your connecting flight. My experience was terrible.
1. A 2-hour queue to check in at GRU (after a 9 hour flight from MEX)
2. Flight delayed twice (no information available)
3. Flight then cancelled. Had to wait 1.5 hours at the ticketing desk to be given a new flight
4. Had to go back to check in to drop off bag again, where I was told this second flight had been cancelled
5. Was told to wait in another line where passengers would be put on a bus to go from SaoPaolo to Rio
6. Got to front of line and told my flight was operating
7. Back to check in queue where a bunch of very angry passengers were shouting and complaining. One even climbed the ticket desk, causing a surge in unhappy passengers moving forwards. Utter chaos – police were called. Didnt feel very safe
8. Dropped off bags. Back through security
9. Flight delayed again
10. Flight boarded finally. Did safety checks etc etc. Then the crew advised us there was another delay which would mean they would run out of flying hours. Literally – another huge scene on the plane with passengers shouting and very angry
11. Finally the crew decided to operate the flight and I arrived at Rio 14 hours late.
This all happened on Friday 14th December 2018 in GRU. Apparently there had been a strong thunder storm the night before causing cancellations and chaos.
A problem is that not too many LATAM staff speak English and I definately felt that the employees were ex-TAM which was a state airline and the staff didnt care at all.
On the other hand, to be fair – my return flight from SDU to CGH on the Sunday was perfect. Again it was with LATAM
I would advise you to fly GRU to SDU if possible as this airport is closer to downtown Rio and you can even use Uber if you like.
Honestly, after this experience, I would still fly LATAM, but be very wary about connections.8 Jan 2019
I have flown many sectors within Brazil with LATAM and although the aircraft can be quite old I enjoy the service.
If you download their entertainment app before you fly you can access multiple TV programmes and films on your phone/tablet.
In 2018 I flew from Auckland to Sydney in their business class cabin. It was not full and the crew allowed everyone lovesto spread out after the door had closed so in the 2-2-2 layout all solo travelers had an empty seat next to them. The service was very good and I really enjoyed my flight over the Tasman Sea.8 Jan 2019
I fly MAD-RIO (both SDU and GIG) frequently and have done so in Latam quite a few times. I would rather fly directly to Rio, as connections in Brazil can be quite a hassle (due to customs mostly and having to re-check-in your bags in GRUs lacking infrastructure) and personnel in SDU rarely speak any other language aside from Portuguese.
Latam is usually late, the product is dated, their crew is usually on the rude side and ground personnel is hardly helpful. As far as I know, you don’t have business on the internal legs and probably won’t have a decent lounge in GRU local terminal.
I avoid them as much as I can, but OW status does convince me to take their flights if IB’s are disproportionately expensive.9 Jan 2019
Mmm… mixed feedback here. I noticed the 2-3-2 layout on seatguru and the angle flat bed isn’t filling me with joy. But at £1,300 I decided to go ahead as the Avios reward tickets had gone by now and the price of Iberia or BA tickets were in excess of £2,000.
The delay is a risk with every airlines. On a previous trip to Rio, BA took me there with 24h delay… But I was planning anyway to leave ample headroom for the connection in GRU so not too concerned. And there are so many flights every day between GRU and GIG/SDU that it should be easy to find a plan B if I miss my connection.
Now I’m hoping the service and onboard B&B is decent. Otherwise I’ll pile up in one of the great OW lounges at T3!9 Jan 2019
By coincidence, someone I know travelled LHR-GRU last night on Latam. Despite the drone problem at LHR and consequent delays, they departed less than an hour late, and arrived on time.
They travelled business class and I got a text from them this morning saying : “Not bad, have had far worse flights with Iberia and Aerolineas Argentinas.”9 Jan 2019
Like Greg i was flying 14 Dec, in my case from Rio (SDU) to London via Sao Paulo. The flight SDU to Sao Paulo was cancelled and I eventually got back 30 hours late.
I found the cusomer service dreadful. They had two people rebooking flights which took hours and was chaotic. A further hour to get a hotel voucher. At SDU many staff only speak Portuguese.
I would hesitate about using LATAM again if it involved a connection – though the price can be tempting.
I think their only lounge is in Sao Paulo – but it’s a nice one.10 Jan 2019
I have flown them a bit in business (to Easter island and Syd/Auk and in economy in South America (generally they are one class there).
They are average at best in business (sub BA) and the seats are side by side. I really dislike an airline which advertises something and then consistently never delivers. In Lans case it was a G&T in business, listed as available every time and 100percent not on board. When I fly down to Chile from Mexico I could go with Latam direct but prefer to go via the States with American (enough said, only worth taking if it is cheap, I wouldn’t go out of my way to use them).
SA local flights by contrast are reasonable with a high premium put on punctuality (at the cost of rudeness to passengers on occasion – though I can live with that). They are basically no frills but fair value, we have flown a number of legs in Chile and Argentina.10 Jan 2019