Review of LATAM flight Sao Paulo Santiago in Economy

Airline LATAM
Flight LA761
Class Economy
Seat 24L
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 04:10
Take-off 26 Oct 17, 20:30
Arrival at 26 Oct 17, 23:40
LA   #38 out of 96 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 210 reviews
By 1103
Published on 22nd March 2018
What would be the coolest airport in the world, in your expert opinion?

DFW, perhaps, as the headquarters of the largest airline in the world?

Or DXB, the gate to the splendor and magnificence of oil riches?

Or maybe FRA, a business airport by excellence in the economic heart of Europe?

Ts, ts, ts. No, my dear readers. The truth is quite different.

The award to the coolest airport goes to Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International (GRU), which happens to be the main hub for nothing less than…


Welcome to the fourth and last leg of this trip to Brazil. You can also read the reports for legs 1, 2, and 3 if you like.

Some interesting info about this flight.

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Having just arrived from Florianópolis, we stop at this café in the main hall of Terminal 3…

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…for a little refresshment.

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In my case, being on the wrong side of 40s, this includes a visit to the restrooms. Too many people for photos, but this corner with a row of power outlets deserves one. Very practical!

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Outside the restrooms - and all over the terminal, indeed - Uber ads confirm that Brazilians feel at ease with new technologies.

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Need some help with your baggage? Look for these white uniforms.

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The parent in charge of the group has new tickets printed for all of us, with the new departure time.

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According to this map…

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…we are in the east end of terminal 2. Gate 242, in the left pier…

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…is accessible through this escalator leading to…

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…the check-in counters on the second floor (which Brazilians call the first floor. And the first (ground) floor is called "térreo" /TEH hew/)

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According to the FIDS…

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…LATAM's flight to Johannesburg, South Africa, is atrasado (late), too. This is one trip I want to make… as soon as I can have a shower in Cape Town without leaving the rest of the city without drinking water! Luanda, Beijing… Hm! Amazing reports coming as soon as I have visited all the largest Chilean airports.

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Getting lost is impossible at GRU, despite its size. Everything is clearly marked with large signs…

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…and bright colors.

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The group splits for some minutes and we go looking around the shops. Then… huh? What on earth is that? Is it a bird? Is it a plane??

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Hi, there. What is a nice superhero like you doing in a place like this? [no answer] You're not very talkative, are you?

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Let me check your credentials.

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Mm! You're a limited edition. So beside those muscles you must have brains, too. Do you write reports about your flights, by any chance? Oh, I see. You don't need planes.

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Now that you're here… are you taking passengers? I'd love to go for a Superman-class ride. :D

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What? Lois Lane already booked all your flights?! Dat b*tch.

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Back in the counters area…

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…it's almost 6:30! It would be a good idea…

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…to go through security check at once.

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More corridors, more stairs, more Supermen…

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…and we make it to the checkpoint.

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Beyond security check…

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…there are gates and a saída (exit) on the left…

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…and more gates on the right. This is the way we have to go.

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The usual duty free trap…

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…then a long stroll along the pier…

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…and here we are, at last. The area around each gate at GRU…

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…is a whole world in itself…

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…with money exchange services…

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……cafeterias, et cetera.

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Our flight is estimated to depart at 8:00. As you might have read above, we eventually leave at 8:30.

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Time passes quickly and we are ready to board.

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The only piece of CC-BAG I can see from here is its tail. Very disappointing. I was expecting a 787, as on our inbound trip. :(

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I can see that general boarding is the norm with LATAM here. I wonder if the same happens with other airlines in Brazil.

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Among the things…

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…that I never saw before coming to Brazil…

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…is the use of a tarp…

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…instead of the traditional accordion-like jetbridge canopy.

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This is…

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…what it looks like inside.

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Very representative of the fractured world we're living in!

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LAN-style seats, covered in leather, not wool.

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On them, a bag…

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…containing a blanket and a pillow. No earphones. :(

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Looks like I won't see much of the landscape this time. It's completely dark already!

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How did she get there?!

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The only outstanding feature of this seat…

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…is the coat hook!

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Seat pitch more than acceptable for me.

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Oh, and there's my floating device in case we crash… in the Andes!

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Tray table OK.

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Contents of the pocket.

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Ahh… It feels good to be able to read at a glance again, without that little translation work constantly going on in the back of your head!

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I wonder if a LATAM blanket will look nice on my bed. What?! Oh, cruel world! :(

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Gabriela kindly shows us how much the seats recline.

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Standard A320 panel.

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The bagage handlers have just finished their work…

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…when we are handed the form needed to enter Chile. "Bienvenido/a" is one of those monstrosities resulting from this stupid idea that grammatical and biological gender are the same thing. In Spanish, the masculine form of nouns and adjectives embraces all individuals, male and female. It's called masculino no marcado. No need to write or speak like retards.

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We're all set.

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We leave the boarding rooms behind…

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…and slowly make our way to the runway.

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If GRU looks big by day…

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…it looks even bigger by night!

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The flight

We take off towards the east.

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I can tell because that seems to be the Rodovia Presidente Dutra toll station.

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Sao Paulo makes for an amazing view…

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…even by night.

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The meal service starts almost at once.

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Actually, it's halfway between a meal and a snack…

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…made up of a sandwich…

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…some crackers…

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…cream cheese…

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…and dessert.

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The sandwich inside.

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And, oh, surprise! Branded metal cutlery.

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They are good quality. In fact, I have been using them for the last few months and the knife cuts very well! :D

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The weather outside is great. Too bad it's pitch dark and you can see nothing but this. >:(

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But the best part comes above the Andes. Intense turbulence like I never experienced before! I'm having fun, but some of the kids start crying in silence! Awww. Especially when the captain explains that the turbulence is over… but then it gets worse!! I'm telling you! Without our seat belts we all would have flown out of our seats! It was like being on a speedboat on rough water.

Arriving at SCL is a relief.

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Last one to disembark, as usual.

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Whoa! Flying on CC-BAG was quite an experience!

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SCL is very peaceful at the moment…

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…and we seem to be…

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…the only ones wandering around here (except that lady, of course)

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At international police…

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…there seems to be a booth for each one of us. Very convenient! :D

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See the mountains on the screen on the right? They will soon be featured right here, on! :D

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SCL's baggage claim, so modest in comparison to GRU's.

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When you pick your baggage…

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…you are given…

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…the very last opportunity…

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…to get rid of any products of animal or plant origin that you might be carrying! (I don't think that "option" means the same as "chance". Bad translation, IMHO. I would say "última oportunidad")

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Thanks for protecting my country! (Or else) :D

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You won't get away even with a small olive.

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Just look at how concentrated they are. Nothing escapes them!

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From there, the exit is just…

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…around this glass panel.

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It's a bit crowded outside. SCL is making some "home improvement".

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I hope you enjoyed this trip as much as I did!

Tourism Bonus - Views from the highway

Now we start our 11-hour bus ride to Valdivia. Like a backbone, the Panamerican highway (aka 5 Sur) runs from north to south along the middle of the 1000km-long valley where most Chileans live. There are some nice views along the way.

We started our trip right here, one week before. This is near my city. If you go that way you'll arrive in Osorno in about 90 minutes. But we are going north…

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…where the ondulanting land around Temuco is used for growing mainly cereals.

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North of Temuco and up to Santiago the weather becomes Mediterranean…

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…which means "short, rainy winters…

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…and long, warm summers."

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Agriculture and wineries are the main activities around here.

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In fact, you might probably find some Chilean produce at your local supermarket, say apples, or grapes, etc. They come from here!

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Too bad for us that the best products are exported…

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…and we have to make do with the rest. >:(

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This hill is very meaningful for me. I have been on its top two or three times. It's brown and dry in summer, but green and beautiful in winter and spring. It used to be my playground when I was a child.

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To finish with, a little word of advice:

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Always keep your distance…

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…from the vehicle in front of you!

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See more



Cabin crew10.0

Sao Paulo - GRU


Santiago - SCL



Large and efficient. Has all services you might need. Clear signage. Get there early because you might have to walk a lot.

Still on the small-ish side, it clean and efficient, bit it's getting more and more crowded. Be warned. New terminal coming soon.

Quality of service varies wildly for the same route depending on... God knows what. First you fly on a 787 with the best IFE, etc, and then you come back on an A320 with barely an earphone plug. Decent meal service.

Information on the route Sao Paulo (GRU) Santiago (SCL)

Les contributeurs de Flight-Report ont posté 3 avis concernant 2 compagnies sur la ligne Sao Paulo (GRU) → Santiago (SCL).


La compagnie qui obtient la meilleure moyenne est LATAM avec 7.2/10.

La durée moyenne des vols est de 4 heures et 13 minutes.

  More information


If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 438271 by
    marathon GOLD 10089 Comments
    A GRU-PEK flight would be the longest in the world ever, if it did not stop in MAD on the way.

    Plate tectonics at work in OneWorld ?

    "How did she get there?!"
    - Flight Attendants can be very tall indeed.

    "There's my floating device in case we crash… in the Andes!"
    - Never underestimate the need for a life jacket in an A320 on a flight above land. The passengers of Flight US Airways 1549 did not expect to need them.

    So-called "inclusive" spelling is the latest politically correct fashion in France, writing "mes ami.e.s" instead of "mes amis" (= my friends), with the same generic masculine convention. I find these dots as awkward as slashes.

    Sao Paulo is just as amazingly huge by night as by day !

    Thanks for sharing !
    • Comment 438282 by
      Pilpintu TEAM AUTHOR 994 Comments
      A GRU-PEK flight would be the longest in the world ever, if it did not stop in MAD on the way.

      Yes, too bad it's not a direct flight. :( It's still interesting, however. The route resembles a great circle very closely, and it passes almost above my antipode!!

      Flight Attendants can be very tall indeed.

      This one was rather short. That's why I was surprised to see her up there! :D

      The passengers of Flight US Airways 1549 did not expect to need them.

      You have a point there. I only hope we won't fall into the Mapocho. Nothing would save us fron an overdose of vibrio cholerae. :P

      Thanks for dropping by! :)
  • Comment 438276 by
    VHBrando 5 Comments
    Thanks for sharing your experience.

    GRU's T2 does indeed need a refresh. No matter what the operator does, it will keep looking old fashioned; a deeper work needs to be done urgently.

    Another weird thing is that the Brazilian and Chilean Latam have different service between GRU and SCL, there's still a lot of work to do, standardize wise.
    • Comment 438283 by
      Pilpintu TEAM AUTHOR 994 Comments
      You're very right, VHBrando! GRU is large and cool, but it definitely could use some updating. Those gray, naked walls make it look cold, dark and unwelcoming.

      Thanks for your comment! :)
  • Comment 438306 by
    loukas 341 Comments
    Hi Nechus, thanks for another great report. Surprisingly poor service for a 4 hours flight, I can't see what was the cuttlery for if the main "dish"was a sandwich? Sorry to hear about the turbulence, I hate it as I always get scared, especially after what I experienced 4 years ago somewhere over Malaysia when we were falling down for ca 10 seconds that seemed eternity... "Long, warm summers and wineries" - that's a place for me! Have a nice weekend and see you!
    • Comment 438339 by
      Pilpintu TEAM AUTHOR 994 Comments
      I can't see what was the cuttlery for if the main "dish"was a sandwich?

      Precisely! That's what made me think it was a freebie. They can't blame me!!! XD

      Sorry to hear about the turbulence

      Not at all! I love it! It's like an earthquake in the air. Makes me feel at home!

      that's a place for me!

      I'll be glad to be your guide! September and October are the best months. We have our national day on September 18, and everybody is having lots of traditional food and barbecues. You might find it interesting.

      Thans for dropping by, Loukas!
  • Comment 438558 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 6585 Comments
    I guess they need Superman to watch over GRU because it's so huge :-P
    I guess GRU just matches the size of the gigantic city it serves!

    Aircraft types and products to vary a lot on Hub-to-Hub routes, but this is definitely on the extreme side. It's one thing if you're in Y, but can you imagine in J? You go from having a lie-flat international business class seat on the 787 to a Eurobiz type deal with an Economy seat and empty middle on an A320? that is wildly inconsistent.

    I found the LATAM A320 cabin to be pretty tight for just a 1 hour flight, I would be miserable on a 4+ hour flight like this!

    You managed some good night aerials! I always have a hard time with those. I've tried several manual settings before on my DSLR and I only get lucky once in a great while.

    Thanks for sharing and nice bonus of the Chilean countryside!
    • Comment 438609 by
      Pilpintu TEAM AUTHOR 994 Comments
      Hi, Kevin!

      I would be miserable on a 4+ hour flight like this!

      Yes. Luckily we had the strong turbulence to make the flight a little more exciting!

      You managed some good night aerials! I always have a hard time with those

      I had to take those with my cellphone. My old Canon camera, which my sister discarded and lovingly inherited to me... (for a very convenient price, that is) simply refuses to take photos in low light, no matter the settings. I think I'll make a little investment in a good camera with the coming reports in mind.

      Thanks for dropping by!
    • Comment 438616 by
      Pilpintu TEAM AUTHOR 994 Comments
      Er... I'm afraid I didn't use the verb "inherit" correctly. I meant "she lovingly left/gave me".
      Well, whatever. XDD
      Oh, BTW, I have a question, but I'm gonna use the mail.

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