LATAM's business class boost: new seats, inflight meals, sleep service

The South American airline wants you to fly better, eat better and sleep better. That's a triple-play we can get behind.

By David Flynn, August 28 2019

LATAM Airlines is going big on business class as part of a near-US$1 billion investment which will see new seats, inflight meals and bedding across all international flights.

The Oneworld member and Qantas partner, which will begin direct flights between Sydney and Santiago from October 27, is rolling out an upgraded business class across its long-range Boeing 777 and Boeing 767 jets, as well as the airline's new Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliners.

LATAM's new international business class

For its new business class, LATAM chosen the Vantage XL platform from Ireland's Thompson Aero Seating with styling by London-based PriestmanGoode.

Direct aisle access? Check. A wide console where each passenger can park documents, laptops and other items they wish to keep close at hand? Check.

A secuded shelf for keeping said items tucked out of the way until needed? Absolutely.

A fully lie-flat bed while you catch up on movies on an 18-inch HD video screen? But of course.

The seat presents a familiar face to many business travellers, as the Vantage XL is the basis of the Qantas Business Suite of the Airbus A330s, Boeing 787s and soon the Airbus A380s.

The staggered layout sees window seats alternatively located directly next to the window, with a bench between the passenger and the aisle...

... while half of what are nominally considered 'window seats' have that bench between the passenger and the window.

Half of the paired middle seats are right next to one another (with a sliding privacy divider between passengers).

Every second row has the passengers furthest apart, with the seat directly at the aisle.

These options provide a little more choice for passengers based on their individual preference, as well as if they are flying solo or travelling with a partner.

The new business class cabin is finished in subdued tan and grey tones.

"It was important to us to imbue the aircraft with a sense of place, but LATAM Airlines Group encompasses a lot of different countries and therefore different visual identities," explains PriestmanGoode project lead Daniel Sohi.

"We decided to look through commonalities in landscape as the key element that draws everything together, with the design language of the business class cabin drawing inspiration from and reflecting iconic architecture seen throughout South America."

The standout example is a marble-effect granite for the cocktail table, "which visually references the beautiful veining seen in aerial photographs of the Andes mountain chain."

The journey to the new business class seat has taken three years, LATAM says, including consultations with passengers and experts, carrying out seat trials and ergonomic tests with customers and cabin crew as well as 'simulated flights' with sleep trials over a two-week period.

While headlining on LATAM's newest aircraft, the new cabins will be rolled out to over 200 aircraft through a retrofit programme over the next two years.

LATAM is also promising fewer interruptions during the flight, thannks to "new service protocols for cabin crew"... and when it's time to catch some shut-eye passengers will find plump pillows, new bedding and "mattresses with temperature-regulating and pressure-point technology" all conspire to get you from A to B with plenty of Zzzz. 

There's also a "new culinary concept" on the menu, with meals designed by renowned Chilean and Brazilian chefs Pamela Fidalgo and Aninha.

These dishes will showcase the South American ingredients and be accompanied by a selection of South America’s best wines chosen by master sommelier Héctor Vergara.

A spokesperson for LATAM confirmed to Executive Traveller that the new meals and sleep service are "being rolled out on all LATAM international flights this month."

David
David

David Flynn

David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

mb68

mb68

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

18 Oct 2012

Total posts 122

Looks really nice . I just wonder why the actual seat couldn't have been much wider?

sgb

sgb

Emirates Airlines - Skywards

30 Nov 2015

Total posts 745

Fully reclined that night picture looks claustrophobic.

parishiltons

parishiltons

18 Sep 2015

Total posts 58

Yeah, you're right. Looking closer at all the images what they have done is reduced the seat pitch and extended the foot nook under the bench top so your toes would almost be at the back of the seat two rows in front of you. Note there is almost no space between the front edge of any seat's bench/table and the seato in front. This is really packing' them in!

Aidan

Aidan

05 Dec 2018

Total posts 110

Are these a similar seat used in the Qantas 787 ?

THR

THR

20 Sep 2012

Total posts 58

Did you not read the article?

"The seat presents a familiar face to many business travellers, as the Vantage XL is the basis of the Qantas Business Suite of the Airbus A330s, Boeing 787s and soon the Airbus A380s."

sfred

sfred

05 Jul 2013

Total posts 4

It is unfortunate that LATAM does not have business class on A320 connecting flights within South America. For the long 4hour+ connection from Santiago to Rio, you have a significant step down from a nice transpacific business class seat to an economy-only A320.

Buzzfuzz

Buzzfuzz

Etihad - Etihad Guest

09 Jun 2019

Total posts 3

Does this start right away or are (some of) the flights ex SYD still in the old format?

MKS11

MKS11

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

05 Oct 2016

Total posts 26

It looks much tighter than QFs!! Screen looks really in-your-face....


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