TAM B767-300ER Economy (long-haul)Back to Forum
Anonymous31 Jul 2013
Flight was GIG-LHR having come off a domestic TAM flight from CNF at Rio.
GIG Terminal 2 – I had a 4 connection time in Rio so I got to spend plenty of time being bored there. Like T1 the catering is better landside than airside although it is better airside in T2 than T1. In T2 there is only a food court landside if you want a proper restaurant you need to take the short walk to T1. In T2 that whilst there are 3 catering outlets airside, the one beside Gates 30/1 better and cheaper than the Cafe Viena catering outlets beside the duty free shop and downstairs. However, if you want a hot meal before your flight get it landside.
Aircraft – the craft was one the new B767-300ER they have just placed on the LHR route. These are planes I remember reading somewhere that were originally planes scheduled for LAN but moved to the TAM fleet. As the craft was new it was in excellent condition. The only thing I really noted that was that the loos did not have any soap in them but I had hand sanitiser with me so I didn’t feel so yucky.
Boarding – as usual they started boarding early with passengers needed assistance and then premium passengers. They then called boarding for economy in groups but it seemed to be ignored and everyone went together which the ground staff allowed however as it is only 200 passengers on a twin aisle jet, the plane didn’t get too clogged up. Boarding was done with plenty of time and we pushed back a few minutes early.
Seat – unlike the B777 and A330 which are 3 class, this new B767 is only a two class plane with business and economy. However it is brand new seating in both cabins and different from the rest of the fleet, in fact not just different indeed I would say much improved. It is definitely not like their old B767s.
The cabin is a 2-3-2 configuration and the seats in alternating Blue and Red fabrics, I guess meaning that they can then repaint the plane and send back to LAN without reclothing the seats. On this flight I had reserved an extra leg room seat which you have to pay extra for, about £75 from memory.
The seat I chose was in one of the 2 overwing emergency exit rows. On the B767 they are one in front of the other and I would advise choosing row 20 in the pair of 2 which I was in because row 19 ahead of me whilst an emergency exit seat has reduced seat recline because of the exit behind it and it is also a bulk head. I was quite pleased with myself with my seat, in fact two seats as the one next to me was also free so it seemed to me as if I had my own little my own little cabin which I could stand up and almost walk around in. In fact with my legs fully stretched out when seated (and I am a little over 6 foot) I couldn’t even touch the seat ahead with my feet. I felt I had more space than I have had in some business class cabins.
As the cabin was otherwise quite full I could feel the daggers behind me from my fellow passenger but the crew wouldn’t let anyone move to the seat next to me as they hadn’t paid to sit there. The seat was the most comfortable seat I had sat in economy in a very long time, it was quite thickly padded and the head rest the same. The seat I felt also had a generous width and even though mine was slightly narrowed than the rest of the cabin because of the tray table in the seat it was a definitely wider than the B777s they use on the GRU route. Indeed I was so comfortable I got about 5 hours sleep which is as much as I have ever had on a plane including flying in business or first. The leg room on the normal economy seats is supposed to be 32″ but I thought it looked tighter, it may be because the seats are quite well padded and they slide forward when reclined so that maybe why they may have looked smaller and actually aren’t.
I had a quick peak at the business cabin, again new seats in a pleasant green fabric. The seats I am pleased to say are lie flat unlike their old economy seats on the B777 and A330. I thought they looked quite spacious and the actual shell of the seat was a pleasing on the eye curved design. The business cabin is 2-2-2 all in alignment so if you are in a window seat you need to climb past the person on the aisle to get out.
Crew & Service – I don’t think they had anyone less than 40 in age serving in economy and and all were pleasant and certainly the friendliest of any TAM crew I have come across. The purser who was unusually for TAM visible in both cabins I think led from the front and clearly managed her team well. What I did notice was different was that on this flight they didn’t do the hot towel service and instead wipes were included on the meal trays.
Catering – the same evening meal catering as usual on this flight, beef and rice or chicken pasta which I declined as the flight departs at 2355. Instead I just had the dessert which was pudim, a dessert similar to creme caramel. I don’t know why in our summer and their winter when there is a four time difference with the UK and they move the schedules why the airline just doesn’t do a quick night cap drinks run put the cabin to sleep before serving breakfast and lunch as the flight arrives in London at 15:20.
Entertainment – with the new seats they have new larger HD screens, I reckon they were about 9″ but I didn’t have a measuring tape with me. They also have a USB port unlike the B777. Whilst new hardware and software and the actual films were the same slightly disappointing choice I had on my outbound on the B777, certainly not a bad selection though. The actual system had a few problems starting and whilst on TAM you can watch films from gate to gate the actual system wasn’t working on departure and took nearly an hour in before it was.
This meant the crew had to do the safety demonstration themselves. I did manage to confuse myself with the audio, the socket for the headset jack on the economy seats is on the screen which there was was one on mine however that was functioning. It took me another hour to work out there was a separate socket in my seat because of the distance from the screen and was the one that had the audio feed. I felt like a right numpty.
Arrival – the flight arrived slightly ahead of schedule at Heathrow and luggage was the usual wait at LHR, not too quick, not too long.
Overall – TAM’s new plane is much improved in economy at least from where I was sitting the cabin. The seat was was more comfortable to sit in and provided me with a good deal of support. It may of course be a different experience if I had had an ordinary economy seat. I will definitely if flying in economy on TAM seek this routing on this plane as a preference over the larger and much more cramped 10 abreast B777 via GRU.31 Jul 2013