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MrGrumbert
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Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:38 am

LATAM Business Class from Santiago (SCL) to Easter Island (IPC)

Sun Feb 12, 2017 1:58 pm

Hello everybody!

Last year in October, my wife and I travelled to Easter Island. Here is our trip report about this rather unusual business class flight:

Check-in to Easter Island

On the day of our departure, we got up early and took a taxi to the airport. Arriving 2h before the scheduled departure time turned out to be a good idea. LATAM has designated a special check-in area for the flight to Easter Island, which means everybody is carrying a lot of bags. As a result, the queues for check-in and baggage drop-off were very long. The bad news is, that there is no priority check-in for this flight. Consequently, we had to wait in line with everybody else and it took us about 45 minutes to drop off our luggage.

Terminal and Lounge

After baggage drop-off we passed security and went directly to the gate. That's another peculiarity about LATAM business class to Easter Island. On domestic flights, lounge access is not included for business class passengers. So unless you're a member of a frequent flyer programme, you will have to wait for boarding like everybody else: at the bus gate in a remote part of the airport.

Boarding

Luckily, priority boarding began very early on, so that we only had to wait about 15 minutes in the very crowded gate area. According to flightradar24.com our plane had arrived from the US earlier that day, so that it was still parked next to the other wide-body aircrafts at the international terminal. As a result, we couldn't board through a jetway but had to board by bus instead. As the flight to Easter Island is the only domestic long-haul flight carried out by a large aircraft, it seems unlikely that you will get lucky and board the plane through a jetway.

The Plane

LATAM currently operates the flight to Easter Island with a Boeing 787. As the plane is also used for other international long-haul flights, it comes with the benefits of a full business class configuration, including lie-flat seats and inflight entertainment.

The flight to Easter Island

To sum it up: we had waited 45 minutes in line with everybody else to drop off our luggage and had waited another15 minutes standing in an over-crowded gate area, waiting to board our plane. No business class experience so far.

This changed quickly when we entered the plane. We were greeted by a very friendly crew who immediately offered to take our coats and served us a welcome drink.

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As it was still only 9 o'clock in the morning, we could choose between water and orange juice. No alcohol at this early time in the day.

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The flight was on time and soon we were taxiing to the runway.

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During take-off we had a beautiful view on the outskirts of Santiago and the Andes Mountains. The large windows of LATAM's Dreamliner were definitely a plus here.

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Only a few minutes later, we left mainland Chile behind and headed for the Pacific Ocean.

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Breakfast above the clouds

While there was nothing else to see outside the window, the crew began the breakfast preparations. Omelette or a selection of cheese were on the menu. Mrs Grumbert and I went for the omelette. The food was ok, but couldn't live up to the standard of other Airline's breakfast. An Amenity Kit was offered as well, which contained only very basic stuff like socks and a sleeping mask.

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Arriving at Easter Island

The rest of the flight was quite unspectacular. As there was really nothing to see outside the window except for clouds, we made ourselves comfortable and watched a few movies.

Finally Easter Island came into view:

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The plane crossed Easter Island, enabling us with a first glimpse of the green fields that were waiting for us.

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During final approach, we got a nice view of Easter Island's coast.

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Funny fact about this specific LATAM business class experience: Obviously we weren't the only ones who found out how to buy reasonably priced business class seats. Around us where a mix of Chilean teenagers playing music on their smartphones and elderly European tourists. On any other flight I probably would've reacted annoyed by the lack of working atmosphere in the front part of this plane. But considering this was a holiday flight for a very reasonable price, I was perfectly relaxed just like everybody else. We were on holiday, flying business class to one of the most remote places in the world. Nothing else mattered.

Mataveri Airport

The landing at Mataveri Airport (IPC) was smooth. As our flight was the only plane to arrive that day, everything had already been prepared for our arrival and de-boarding was quick.

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Interesting fact: The runway is 3,318 km (10,8 miles) long and was designed to be an emergency runway for the U.S. space shuttle

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The airport itself is very small - nevertheless we had to wait nearly 30 minutes for our suitcases. Obviously there were only a handful of baggage loaders offloading all the bags from this wide-body aircraft.

Our adventure on Easter Island

Outside of the airport, our driver greeted us with a Hawaii-like flower- and the adventure could begin!

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It's not airline-related, but if you're interested to learn more about our adventure in Easter Island, you can have a look at my website: http://www.businesstraveller-and-wife.com/blog/2016/12/29/business-class-easter-island/

Flight from Easter Island back to Santiago

After two wonderful days on this isolated island, we were already on our way back to Santiago. The flight from Easter Island to Santiago was in many ways a lot more pleasant than the first flight. Suprisingly, there was a priority check-in desk with very professional staff. After dropping off our luggage and passing security, we could wait open air with a nice view on our plane:

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Boarding was quick and comfortable, again with a priority boarding lane.

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This time around, the crew offered alcoholic and non-alcoholic welcome drinks, accompanied by a selection of nuts. We chose sparkling wine:

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A last view on Easter Island, and off we were!

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The food was surprisingly tasty:

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After dinner, the crew activated the typical Dreamliner mood-lighting and the rest of the flight was smooth and uneventful.

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Conclusion

Easter Island is one of the most amazing places I have ever visited! Travelling there in LATAM business class made my holiday perfect. Although it might not have been a "typical" business class experience, it was still a lot better than flying economy class for >4 hours.
 
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KruegerFlaps
Posts: 251
Joined: Fri Nov 04, 2016 6:17 am

Re: LATAM Business Class from Santiago (SCL) to Easter Island (IPC)

Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:46 pm

Great report on a seldom covered destination. I'm glad that you and MrsG enjoyed your trip. The on-board service looks reasonable enough and stand in stark contrast to any business class amenity at the airport on departure.

One small quibble. The runway is not 3,318 km but that many metres. Either way, it would not be 10.8 miles long, but 2.062 miles or 10,885ft.

Other than that, I enjoyed reading your report and seeing some excellentbphotos.

Thanks for sharing.
Necessity is the plea for every infringement of human freedom. It is the argument of tyrants; it is the creed of slaves. - William Pitt Speech, 1783
 
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MrGrumbert
Topic Author
Posts: 13
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 10:38 am

Re: LATAM Business Class from Santiago (SCL) to Easter Island (IPC)

Sun Feb 12, 2017 2:55 pm

Ouch... thanks for your reply. Really mixed that up here (including the difference between comma and point in German and English).

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