Since 2017 Michael and I wanted to fly with LATAM's cheap business class to Madrid and after our friend Pascal confirmed that he wants to be a part of that journey we booked our roundtrip for about 300 €.
When we arrived at Terminal 1 at Frankfurt Airport, the hall it was quite empty although it was the first day of summer holidays in hesse. We checked in at hall C and after we received our inviatation to Air Canada's Maple Leaf Lounge, we went through security and checked out Frankfurt new transit apron "observation deck".
Covered in maple wood and with an Air Canada 787 model right next to the entrance the first appearance of this relatively new lounge was amazing. As we went in, a native speaker welcomed us and we took a walk through the lounge. As we were quite early (3 hours prior departure) we had enough time to enjoy every single food and beverage.
Our aircraft landed on runway 25L so we were able to see it during landing and taxi to it's position. About 10 minutes before scheduled boarding time we walked out of the lounge and to gate B43 where our aircraft stood.
It was CC-BGB a 3.3 years old Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner from LATAM Chile which was delivered to LAN Chile on March 25th 2015. It is the second Dreamliner of the airline and has it's new colors since June 2016.
We took some photos and boarded the aircraft afterwards. As flight LA705 operates also from Madrid to Santiago de Chile, a lot of chilean and colombian people were onboard. LATAM has built in 30 business class seats and all of them were taken. I was welcomed on board by a friendly stewardess and then I went to my seat 4L. Altough Michael and I were filming the whole time nobody told us to put down our cameras and even after I mounted my suction cup to the window, nobody said something. We were welcomed by a flight attendent with some nuts and optionally water or champagne. When the captain told the passengers that there was a strike by the french air traffic controller and we have to wait for about 30 minutes, I walked through the cabin to Michael and Pascal to drink a wine. And then finally we started our engines and began the journey. What I love about the Dreamliner ist that you can start both engines at the same time. The pilots performed a wonderful takeoff on runway 18 and as we climbed out of Frankfurt we received a first inflight beverage.
Over France we reached our cruising altitude of 39.000 ft and shortly after that our flight attendants gave us a hot towel. It was my first hot towel service and I have to say that it is so refreshing. LATAM served a salad, some filled chicken breast and a cake for this short flight. It tasted really good. I chose a chilean white wine for my meal. If you are a vegetarian, you can order a vegetarian meal before the flight on LATAM's website. That's where you also preselect your seat.
The seat itself is phenomenal. 58,4 cm wide with 188 cm "legroom", massage function and three windows per seat. The 15,4" IFE touchscreen display can show you over 150 movies, TV-episodes and you can play up to 25 games. If you don't want to walk across the airplane to operate your IFE screen, you can use the remote control.
If you want to sleep you can make a full flat bed out of this seat with a total lenght of 194 cm. I could easily sleep in there for many hours. I laid down for two minutes and I got tired instantly. LATAM offers besides that ultra comfortable seat a fluffy blanket and a pillow.
Next to the central panel you have a bottle holder, a second reading light and a USB plug to charge your devices. Unfortunately this plug only works inflight and not on ground which I don't understand.
We had a nice route on that day. We flew over Paris, the Bay of Biscay and Bilbao before we started our descent into Madrid. During our way down the sun started to set which created a really nice mood in the cabin.
Probably because of heavy traffic we had to had to fly some radar vectors and even a 270 degree turn on low altitude (8000 ft) before turning into the ILS for runway 32L.
The FO did a nice landing and after deceleration we exit the runway and taxied to gate 559 (or S10).
After the engines were off we asked a flight attendant if there was any chance to visit the flightdeck. After a few minutes I sat on the left seat and we took photos of us and the instruments. The first officer even put down a HUD (head-up-display) for us. I asked many questions and they answered sovereign. He told us that he was working in Africa where he flew the 737-200 around before he joined LATAM to fly their Boeing 767. So once again thanks to LATAM and their cockpit crew on this flight for making this visit possible !
After at least 15 minutes we went of the aircraft to claim our baggage and drive to our appartment.