I’ve written before about my underwhelming experiences flying LAN Peru and their annoying two-tiered pricing system, but last week marked the first time I’ve flown on a proper long-haul LAN international flight. I flew round-trip from Mexico City to Santiago, Chile and this was a whole different story. It was an impressive experience all around, even though I was stuck in economy class.
When you spend eight hours or more on a plane, little details can easily make or break the trip, so fortunately LAN gets a lot of the details right on these long flights. There was a blanket and pillow waiting on every seat, in contrast to the penny-pinching ways of most U.S. airlines. There was also real food that was edible—with two meals even. The trays came with real silverware, they served decent Chilean wine in coach, and all this was delivered with a friendly smile. (It was love at first sight with my flight attendant on the way back too, but I can’t guarantee you that same experience.)
Each seat on these long flights has an entertainment console on the seat in front. I could watch a movie or TV show in English or Spanish, play a video game, or listen to one of many music channels or specific albums—good ones too. A remote control attached to the seat controls the screen and the overhead light. Well in theory anyway. On my second flight it wasn’t working and I had to keep pressing the screen to choose anything, which I’m sure the guy in front of me wasn’t thrilled about. But everyone else’s was working fine.
A few other nice details: a cup holder on the seat in front and headrests with adjustable flaps on the sides to make it easier to catch some sleep during the flight.
The seat configuration on my flight was 2-3-2, so only one poor sap gets stuck in a middle seat for each row. SeatGuru says the seat pitch is 32 inches, which is certainly not generous, but this Boeing 767-300 version has an extra inch of width (18 inches) at least and all the diversions sure helped make it more bearable.
I couldn’t try out business class first hand, but there was clearly far more space than I’ve seen on the U.S. carriers, Taca, or Copa. LAN says the seats recline to full lie-flat position and the pitch is 72 inches—six feet. I assume the wine selection is a showcase for what Chile has to offer.
Lan flies to South America from 30 cities in North America, so there’s a good chance you can get on one of these frmo where you live and be far more comfortable than you would be on a U.S. alternative. See more at LAN.com