Review: LATAM Business Class 787-9 Easter Island To Santiago

Filed Under: LATAM

Our flight from Easter Island to Santiago was departing at 2:55PM, and the hotel dropped us off at the airport at 12:40PM, which seemed awfully early.

Easter Island Airport exterior

To enter the terminal you had to put your bag through an x-ray, though the person manning the belt didn’t seem to be paying any attention.

Easter Island Airport entrance

As you’d expect, Easter Island Airport is tiny. There were a few shops inside and to the left, and then to the right was the check-in counter.

Easter Island Airport check-in hall

The only airline flying to Easter Island is LATAM, so there’s a single check-in area there. The main line was to the left (and there were quite a few people in the line), while there was a business class line to the right.

Easter Island Airport check-in line

We were issued our boarding passes within minutes.

Easter Island Airport check-in counter

The security experience took all of two minutes and wasn’t terribly invasive. Since we still had about two hours until departure, we were among the first through security. There was an indoor seating area, though I’m not sure why anyone would stay there when you could instead be outside, which is always a treat at an airport.

Easter Island Airport airside

There was a bunch of seating outside as well, though the highlight was the garden, which had a view of our LATAM 787 as well as its very own moai.

Easter Island Airport airside

Easter Island Airport — the old & the new

Easter Island Airport moai

Easter Island Airport garden

LATAM 787 Easter Island

There was a cafe at the far end of the outside area, so we decided to order a drink there so we could occupy one of their cool outdoor tables.

Easter Island Airport cafe

Here’s the menu, for anyone who is curious (1 USD is about 600 CLP, for what it’s worth):

We ordered a sparkling water and a cappuccino. The cappuccino was pretty disgusting, but it was worth paying a few bucks to have a table with a good view.

Easter Island Airport cafe drinks

Unfortunately the airport didn’t have functioning wifi, though we did manage to get phone reception. After about an hour the airside was significantly fuller.

Easter Island Airport airside

It was only about 15 minutes before boarding that I noticed signage pointing towards a “Salon VIP,” which seemed to be a building behind the moai.

Easter Island Airport lounge signage

Unfortunately it was locked and there didn’t seem to be anyone there. Does anyone know whether they just don’t use the lounge at the airport anymore, if it’s only used prior to the twice weekly flight to Tahiti, or what?

Easter Island Airport lounge

The airport has a single boarding “gate,” and the boarding system is similar to any other LATAM station, with two lanes for economy, and then a priority lane.

Easter Island Airport departure gate

Boarding for our flight started at 2:10PM, and thanks to the lack of jet bridges, we could walk across the apron to our gorgeous 787-9.

LATAM 787 IPC airport

LATAM 787 IPC airport

Easter Island (IPC) – Santiago (SCL)
Wednesday, December 6
Depart: 2:55PM
Arrive: 9:40PM
Duration: 4hr45min
Aircraft: Boeing 787-9
Seat: 4L (Business Class)

At the door of the plane we were greeted by Anamaria, the flight service manager, and pointed left into the business class cabin (given that they were using door two for boarding). This was the same layout we had on the way out, so business class consisted of five rows in a 2-2-2 configuration, with fully flat beds.

LATAM 787 business class cabin

As on the previous flight, we were in seats 4J & 4L.

LATAM 787 business class seats

Moments after settling in a flight attendant excitedly approached us.

“You remember me? I’m Claudia, your hostess from the Mexico City flight. I can’t believe I see you guys again!” Hah, what a small world. Indeed, Claudia was the awesome flight attendant we had taking care of us on the Mexico City to Santiago flight a few days early, so what a small world it is that we had her again.

We had told her at the time we were continuing to Easter Island, and she didn’t mention that she was going to work such a flight in a few days. So she explained what had happened — when she worked the flight from Santiago to Mexico City they had to divert due to fog, then she was rescheduled on a different flight (which was the flight on which we met her), and then because that got her back to Santiago a day later than scheduled, she got reassigned on this Easter Island trip.

Once settled in we were offered water, orange juice, champagne, or pisco sours, along with mixed nuts. On the flight out there was no choice of pisco sour or champagne, though that may have just been a function of the flight having left in the morning. Ford and I both ordered pisco sours.

LATAM business class welcome drinks

Claudia also offered us bedding already, as well as the same simple amenity kits we were offered on the flight from Santiago to Easter Island.

LATAM business class bedding

LATAM business class amenity kit

At this point I think Claudia had observed a fair amount of my picture taking, and I had explained to her on the previous flight that I love taking pictures because I’m an aviation geek, etc. So about halfway through the boarding process she said “I know you like airplanes, so do you want to take a picture of the cockpit? The pilots have said it’s okay.” It was certainly a nice offer, and I took advantage of that opportunity.

LATAM 787 cockpit

At 2:45PM the captain welcomed everyone onboard and announced our flight time of 4hr25min, which he anticipated would put us into Santiago on schedule. A couple of minutes later the main cabin door closed (all but a few business class seats were occupied), and at that point the safety demonstration was screened.

LATAM 787 business class cabin

At 2:50PM we began our pushback from the gate.

Pushing back Easter Island Airport

Taxiing Easter Island Airport

We started up our engines, and then taxied to the runway.

Taxiing Easter Island Airport

We had to backtaxi for a bit first.

Taxiing Easter Island Airport

Taxiing Easter Island Airport

Then at around 3PM we were cleared for takeoff on runway 10.

Taking off Easter Island Airport

We were going to miss Easter Island, though were also looking forward to having a reliable phone signal again.

View after takeoff from Easter Island

View after takeoff from Easter Island

Our climb out was smooth, and just five minutes after takeoff the seatbelt sign was turned off.

View after takeoff from Easter Island

About 10 minutes after takeoff the flight service manager came to our seats, looked at Ford, and said “Mr. Beckett, you are very special, you are my only Emerald passenger today.” Meanwhile she didn’t say anything at all to me, which Ford loved (which makes sense, since I credited the flight to Alaska Mileage Plan, so my oneworld status wasn’t on there). Heck, I’d say that interaction alone almost made Ford feel better about the Qatar mileage run I dragged him on. 😉

Anyway, service began about 30 minutes after takeoff, with warm towels.

LATAM business class warm towel

Then about 20 minutes later carts were rolled down the aisle with two meal options — pappardelle with shrimp and scallop sauce, or stuffed turkey with mashed potatoes. I ordered the former, while Ford had the latter.

LATAM business class lunch service

Both meals were served with a small side salad that was fairly bland.

LATAM business class lunch service — salad

Dessert consisted of fresh fruit.

LATAM business class lunch service — fresh fruit

My main dish was alright. It wasn’t good, but wasn’t terrible either.

LATAM business class lunch service — pasta with shrimp

Ford seemed to enjoy the turkey.

LATAM business class lunch service — turkey

Wine glasses were kept topped off throughout the meal service, and after the meal there was a cart with coffee, etc. I ordered a coffee with some milk.

LATAM business class lunch service — coffee

By the time the meal service was done we were approaching the halfway point of our journey.

Airshow enroute to Santiago

Airshow enroute to Santiago

After the meal I decided to watch “Home Again,” which is perhaps the only Reese Witherspoon movie I’ve ever sort of enjoyed.

LATAM business class entertainment selection

Before I knew it we had a gorgeous sunset outside our window.

Sunset enroute to Santiago

The crew used some pretty drastic mood lighting to go along with it.

LATAM 787 business class cabin mood lighting

At around 9PM the captain announced that we’d be landing in 30 minutes, and shortly thereafter we began our descent.

Airshow approaching Santiago

We ended up touching down in Santiago at 9:35PM, and then five minutes later arrived at our gate. We bid farewell to Claudia and the rest of the crew, and made our way towards the international terminal for our connection.

LATAM 787 business class bottom line

LATAM’s 787s are a comfortable ride, especially for a 4.5 hour daytime flight. I’d say the food on this flight was slightly better than on the outbound flight to Easter Island, though still not great. However, what was great was the service, as we lucked out by having Claudia again.

  1. @Ben: Think you might have added a zero to much, I didn’t remember it was that cheap.

    There is also a cafe if you turn right in the check in hall, when i was there it was a supper busy day with 6 planes around the airport (private jets and one of those private jet travel tours) so we weren’t allowed inside until like 45 minutes before check in.

  2. @Lew – I thought the same thing!! That’s no mistake that Lucky included the pic of the hunky co-pilot. Hey – doesn’t hurt to look though. 🙂

  3. I noticed the VIP Lounge when I was through in September. I flew on the connecting flight from PPT-IPC-SCL (IPC-SCL portion only). The lounge was definitely not open at that time. I think it is for government or other VVIP’s as I noticed it has direct access to the apron via doorways instead of via the regular boarding lines.

    I also credited my flights to Alaska and we had a bad time getting them to credit properly. We had to go back and forth by email upwards of 4 times. Alaska kept messing up the bonus stacked with our MVP bonus. It all got sorted in the end!!

  4. In my first time in easter island two years ago i saw the vip lounge with people but when i tried to enter they told me is a place only for people who works at the airport (then realized that all the people inside were using the same clothes) and the second time two months ago was closed.

  5. First all, it is very irresponsible of you to drag people all the way down to Easter island to stay at an extremely over priced place and fly on the crappiest airline ever even in Economy. I have been on Lan and and now Latam, ridiculous airline. Terrible lounges, terrible Flight Attendants, horrible food, I would not feed it to my dog. Their crews are super lazy and I have never met one single nice one. I am surprised that you met one, Claudia… They are always super lazy and have bad attitudes… and I do travel journalism and you are very irresponsible.
    Just because you are getting these places to stay for free and you write about them and advertise it is not responsible of you, trying to sell it to the public.
    Plus, I do not believe for a Nano second that you pay for all those expensive First and Business class flights and you make people believe that you are paying out of your own pocket?
    If you are paying over $1000 dollars per night, in a ridiculous way over priced hotel, how much do you make out of the advertisement for it?
    None of your stuff makes sense. You say you pay $7000 dollars in one shot to pay for the residence but you can not actually tell people that which travel agency booked it because you are full of S*i% and lies.
    If you had really booked that rate with an agent, that agency would have loved you to advertise for them. I have been to Egypt several times and I know how bad the economy is and how much they would love to make that commission. But you lie to your readers and say it was a friend of a friend and did you a favor. What a crock of S&#t you are feeding to your gullible credulous readers.
    There is no way in hell, that you will fly on all these airlines and pay full fare First Class and blah blah blah. First of all, I am assuming the credit card companies give you the miles, (the miles they purchase from the corresponding airline) and you book with them for free for yourself and the other airlines host you so you can write about them and any publicity is publicity after all. And if you were a millionaire, there would be no way that you would just jet across the world just to stay one night or two nights and then jet back, first of all, what kind of life and vacation is that? You fly to Australia for one day or you go to beautiful Egypt and you turn around? You do not even go and see the sights or have a descent meal. Plus, your hotels are all funded by the points you are given from the credit card companies and most of them, are given to you for free to advertise for them.
    I wish you had been honest with your readers! I find this website so funny..
    The reason I read some of this, because I am putting my own website together and I have invested my own money and i have traveled around the globe and I know it takes a lot of funds and it is nearly impossible what you are claiming and it is just bunch of lies!
    You are not a journalist, you are an irresponsible person, just for your personal gain, talking crap about hotels and airlines.
    Yes, I flew on Etihad but I had the shittiest Butler and I had the most horrifying Chef, who screwed up my order and my partner’s as well and we never got one single mile or not even a $10 dollar credit from Etihad and I wrote to their shitty customer care center which is in INDIA multiple times… So, I know you are full of crap!

  6. @Lucky: The VIP Lounge at IPC is for real VIPs, not for CIPs (Commercially Important Persons). There are no airline lounges for domestic flights in Chile and all but one flight per week (to Tahiti) are domestic at IPC.

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