I have been very lucky to go and travel in South America with my other half for 4 months from Argentina to Colombia.
We were flying from Medellin to the paridisiac Colombian island of San Andres.
London - Paris CDG: Air France A320 report here
Paris CDG - Buenos Aires EZE: Air France Boeing 777-200 report here
Iguazu - Buenos Aires AEP: Latam A320 report here
Buenos Aires AEP - Salta: Latam A320 report here
Salta - Cordoba: Aerolineas Argentinas B737-800 report here
Cordoba - Mendoza: Aerolineas Argentinas (Austral) E190 report here
Santiago - Antofagasta: Sky Airlines A320 report here
Lima - Iquitos: Viva Air A320 report here
Iquitos - Lima: Viva Air A320 report here
Medellin - San Andres: Latam A320 report here
San Andres - Cartagena: Latam A320 report here
Santa Marta - Bogota: Latam A320 report here
Bogota - Paris CDG: Air France B787-9 report here
Paris CDG - Londres Heathrow: Air France A318 report here
Avios Miles earned with this flight: 302 Avios
Status points earned: 10 Tier
Latam has an App that is well designed, user friendly and fast i must say: you can see your itinary, know your seats and luggage allowance at a glance, and of course download your boarding pass.
We arrived at the semi circular shaped Medellin airport, and proceeded to the baggage drop off straight away.
The staff at the counter was very effective and professional, she also spoke english which deserves to be highlighted.
She informed us that we had to pay a USD 33 tax to enter the island, a semi autonomous department of Colombia. Once paid, you get some sort of immigration form.
We then went to have a second breakfast in the restaurant area upstairs, that had a nice view on the runway and two of Avianca's birds. You can really tell the difference of old and new livery of Colombia'a flag carrier on the next picture.
We then went through security quite quickly - with bottles full of water (not causing any issues it seems in Latin America).
Today our LATAM bird was an A320-200.
Aircraft: Airbus A320-233
Engines: 2x IAE V2527
Age: 9 Years
Layout: W12 Y150
Observation: still with the the LAN livery
Interestingly, Latam doesn't offer a Business class for the front of its cabin but premium economy
The AvGEEK Bit
Latam is merge of two majors of airlines that happened in 2010, Lan (Chile) and Tam (Brasil). The merge kicked off when the family owning Lan and the family owning Tam started to order equipment and aircrafts together to save costs, and the group now comprises Latam Brasil, Latam, Chile, Perou, Argentina and Ecuador. In 2013, the group went further in the merge of its structure and consequently TAM left Star Alliance for LAN’s membership of Oneworld, enabling the latter alliance to have as member what is now Latam, the largest south American airline.
Boarding happened by group numbers, a fashion i first encountered with British Airways. Personally i am still struggling to find the benefit of such thing, except maybe to make the last group's passenger feel so bad (like second class citizen?) that hopefully they'll pay more next time?
Our seat were clean and all equiped the usual magasines and safety instructions, the seat picth felt quite small, something you would normally find on board low cost airlines.
Although the cabin was equipped with over head monitors and volume control on arm rest, these werent used.
We took off on time, after safety briefing performed by the crew and an announce from the captain that we will encounter turbulences
the crew quickly started their on board service and we chose the "combo" coffee with muffin. Athough the cost seemed fair (£2.1-2.35€) i always disapointed when a major does follow the low cost approach - it just seems mean and tight.
We reached 35,000 feat quite quickly
Latam magasine was offering a fair amount of travel ideas and surprisingly not too many adds.. As said earlier, Latam was born with the merge of Lan airlines group and Tam, and the network covering the continent is impressive: you can appreciate how it is the largest airline in South America.
I also checked the Latam play - the app you have to download prior boarding and once on board you need to connect to their wifi network (although this is not a wifi service per say, just to stream movies on your own device). The amount of movies/series/documentaries availble in 3 languages was quite impressive, especially if we compare with Joon or Air Canada rouge that have the same offer.
The first atols were seen before approach.
Soon after we landed smoothly, despite the shorter runway on the island.
Immagration at the airport was a bit slow and bags were delivered soon after.
Due to the small size of the island, the airport is right in the city centre which was great.
In conclusion a good flight with Latam, good value for money. The airline seems to be the British Airways of Latin America however there is clearly a desire to improve the customer's experience as opposed to the former.