➔ British Airways Club Europe, A319, Heathrow – Frankfurt
➔ Frankfurt: City Guide
➔ LATAM Premium Business, B787, Frankfurt -Madrid
➔ AC Hotel, Cuzco, Madrid
➔ Iberia Lounge, T4S, Madrid
➔ Iberia Business Class, Airbus A350, Madrid – Heathrow
As LATAM would soon be ending their flights between Frankfurt and Madrid, this was the push I needed to book one final flight on the sector before it was too late. LATAM Premium Business class is generally not too expensive on this route, so it’s a shame that it will be canned. Although with the airline also set to leave OneWorld shortly, the mileage earning opportunities would have disappeared in any case.
After a look around Frankfurt, it was time to head back to the airport.
Unusually, I did pay the check in desk a visit on this occasion. As there wasn’t any mention of class or status on my mobile boarding pass, I decided to play it safe and get an airport issued boarding pass. At that time, I was also passed a lounge voucher.
It was then off to security, which wasn’t particularly fast. Although it wasn’t painfully slow either.
As LATAM use terminal 1 in Frankfurt, and the two OneWorld lounges are in terminal 2, the Air Canada lounge is used. I have reviewed this somewhat recently, so won’t say too much about it.
After around 45 minutes in the lounge (and booking my next trip in the process) I made my way down to the gate.
Frankfurt – Madrid
Boeing 787-9 CC-BGO
Despite boarding being advertised as starting at 18:25, it was delayed a little. Nothing too major though.
I was pleased to see that this flight would indeed be operated by one of the few LATAM 787’s with the new business class cabin.
This is very much improved over the previous incarnation. The new cabin offers everyone aisle access, along with power points, a larger high resolution screen, more storage and generally more privacy.
As is so common these days, the foot space was somewhat limited.
Shortly after I sat down, the purser welcomed me by name. LATAM may be leaving OneWorld, but they sure are still a part of it until they do go.
A few moments later, champagne and mixed nuts were handed out.
The captain gave a welcome speech and mentioned that it would take us 2h15 to fly “up” to Madrid. Personally, I would say that Madrid is down from Frankfurt…
Pushback came on schedule, which didn’t come as a huge shock as boarding started nearly an hour before hand.
A fairly quick taxi followed and we were into the air by 19:40.
The service got started around 30 minutes after departure. First up were a round of hot towels.
Next up was the dinner service, consisting of a salmon salad. Unusually, whilst there wasn’t a choice of main course, there was a choice when it came to dessert.
I went for the chocolate orange mousse for the dessert. The other option was strawberry and marscapone.
Once the service was done, the tray was pretty abruptly taken from me and nothing else was offered. And I didn’t get the chance to ask either. I did want another drink, but oh well. I eventually went to the galley to get one.
The IFE system wasn’t too bad, although there wasn’t the biggest selection I’ve ever seen. I managed to find a couple of bits to watch, although if I was going all the way to Santiago, I’d likely be very reliant on my iPad.
There wasn’t any Wi-fi offered on board this aircraft. Although it would appear that there was something.
Descent started roughly 30 minutes prior to arrival. The captain gave a brief weather update, but didn’t say too much more.
During descent, the cabin crew came around and thanked everyone personally for flying with LATAM. They also mentioned to me that they will see me again next time… hmmm, I think that’s somewhat unlikely with the upcoming changes, but never say never I suppose.
One thing of note was that despite the cabin lights being turned off during the cruise, they were left on full brightness during both takeoff and landing. I thought the general rule the world over was that they had to be turned off during the hours of darkness. Guess that didn’t apply here.
As arrival was into T4S, like all long haul operations at the terminal, it was a bit of a journey over to the metro station.
Due to the location of my hotel, it took almost as long to make it from disembarking to reaching my hotel in the city.
A generally good flight with LATAM on this occasion. As mentioned, it seemed a little odd to offer a choice of dessert and not a choice of main. Still, I guess on these shorter flights it doesn’t matter all that much.
It was a little disappointing to have to go and ask for a drink, as opposed to being pro actively offered one after the meal.
The new LATAM Premium Business cabin is a big improvement over the 2-2-2 that was found previously on the airlines 787 fleet. Although one minor issue was that it did feel a little claustrophobic. I cant help but feel that they shoehorned in one too many rows up front. But, I much prefer this layout over having to jump over a seat mate.
Previously, I did wonder how comfortable it would be to go all the way to Santiago on the previous cabin layout. This time around, I came away feeling that I could quite easily manage it.