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TR763
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Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:07 am

São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:03 pm

Hello everyone!
This trip to Orlando occurred last September, before the Covid-19 pandemic has spread worldwide. My wish is that all the chaos it created is gone soon and hope for a better future for our friends of the aviation community, who are suffering a lot during this hard time.

Let’s go!!

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In June of 2019 I was checking my credit card points as I wanted to buy an electric pan to make gohan – the Japanese rice. After some searching, I found it, but I had plenty of points to use so I decided to go for something more exciting than a cooking utensil.

I started to simulate some trips to see what I could make with those points and that is when an obsession of mine came into place: Orlando. I had family and friends living there in the 90’s and 00’s and spent many of my school vacations in the city. This was a long time ago, but all the attractions and theme parks of the city still get my enchantment and still go whenever I can.

I obviously wanted to go to Orlando again and during my searching I found one option in which I’d be able to issue an economy class ticket with LATAM, non stop flights from São Paulo to Orlando and still rent a car for 10 days, from Sept. 19th., to the 28th.

And that is when an electric rice pan became a trip to Disney!!

Let’s fast forward to the day of the trip.
I arrived at São Paulo – Guarulhos airport early in the morning of September 19th, 2019. The schedule would take me to Orlando aboard a beautiful Airbus A350 of LATAM. Our departure time was 09:30AM.

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After immigration and security, I headed to the American Express lounge to have a coffee. Later I went to the Star Alliance lounge which is much larger and more comfortable - you can access both of them with an American Express platinum card and it’s a no brainer: go to the Star Alliance lounge if you can.

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The aircraft assigned to our flight was the Airbus A350-941, registration PR-XTH, delivered new to LATAM on April 30th, 2018. I boarded with a lot of excitement as this would be my first time flying in the A350.

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My seat was 41K, a window, and as I reached it, the whole row of 3 seats was empty. I crossed my fingers and prayed that it remained like that, but a lovely little boy sat beside and kept staring at me. It was a little awkward, but I tried to be nice to the little citizen and asked: “hey pal, are you ready to go to Disney and meet Mickey??”. The boy was silent for uncomfortably long 10 seconds before he firmly said: “NOOOO!!!!”. Well, I was, so I jut opened my window and looked at the movement outside.

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Nice mood lighting, reminded me of AA’s though.
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Thank the Lord the child’s father soon appeared and took him to the seats behind me. YES!! Pushback started and no one sat in my row, a true blessing for any economy class traveler!!

With that, I sat back and relaxed while waiting for our departure. I imagined we would have an empty(ish) flight as it was a Thursday, in the middle of September, with no holidays but I could not be more wrong. I believe that 30% of the passengers was composed of little screaming beings with less than 10 years old who, apparently, were off from school duties. Well, this was a flight to Orlando, I couldn’t expect anything different.

We departed on time from GRU Airport in São Paulo, what made me very happy as I had plans to do straight to Epcot after arrival in MCO. I’ll talk about this later.


https://youtu.be/WMH173UrlGI
Pushback and departure video

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It didn’t take long for the breakfast to be served. It consisted of an omelet with bacon and tomato and a yoghurt. I chose a water and a coffee to drink. Everything was very good and the portion was big, I was really surprised with the quality and presentation of this meal.

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The crew was absolutely fantastic, all smiles, very friendly and educated people. They also gave me a belt extensor so I could lay down on my three seats with the seat belt fastened. And that’s what I did! After about 4 hours sleeping in the “flat bed” position I was waken up by that same little boy from the beginning of the trip. He was there again, staring at me, quiet. It was kinda creepy, because for some seconds I couldn’t realize if I was really awake. I looked behind and his parents were sleeping so I decided to tell the boy that the captain would forbid children to go to Disney if they were strolling around the plane. He immediately zipped away to his seat and didn’t bother me anymore. How can people leave their children unattended in a flight like that? Really strange and dangerous.

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Flat bed position lol

Anyway, at that time I couldn’t sleep more so I watched a not-so-great movie called The Sun Is Also a Star. The entertainment system is incredibly good, responsive, intuitive and I loved the outer cameras on that aircraft, it was absolutely the best I could watch! Lol

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Spacious cabin of LATAM’s A350
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Bathroom floor detail

We were already flying close to the Bahamas at that time, so lunch was served. Again, a great service provided by LATAM. Good quality of food, big portions, I wouldn’t ask for anything more.

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And look at the amazing view we had during our meal:

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Right after lunch we started our descent, over Pompano Beach, and the symphony of the unsatisfied children is clear in the landing video below. I believe there were mini avgeeks crying for the end of a great flight with LATAM, don’t you think so?

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https://youtu.be/WCDWB7X0V7c
Landing Video

We arrived at Orlando International Airport 20 minutes before the scheduled time. After a very fast immigration, I proceeded to the Dollar counters to get my rental car. I like the system adopted by Dollar (and other companies too) where you can choose any car in a row dedicated to the category you paid for. I chose premium sedan and the options were Nissan Altima and Hyundai Sonata. Plenty of these two. But there was one, only one Chrysler 300S and that was the one I got. It seemed superior than the others.

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From the airport I did exactly what I intended: went straight to Epcot to enjoy the Food and Wine Festival that was happening at that time. It’s an amazing experience that I try to go whenever I can. It’s Disney magic for adults, I love it. On this day I just ate (A LOT!) because I was driving. I went again to the Festival, but this time without a car so I could have the “drinking around the World” experience. I really recommend it.
Here are some pictures of the event:

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Straight from the airport
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Also on the arrival day

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Finally, I’ll rate my flight with LATAM as follows:

- Check-in: 6/10: the lines at GRU were disorganized and there were only two international flights at that time, the other one going to Miami. I expected something faster, it took me around 30 minutes to complete the procedure – I arrived early there were around 15 people in front of me.

- Punctuality: 10/10: the flight departed on time and arrived ahead of schedule, which fitted perfectly in my plans.

- Comfort: 9/10: The plane was really clean and well maintained. The seat is comfortable, has USB ports for every passenger and two power outlets for every three seats. The only negative point is that the armrest is too thin, but I was lucky I didn’t have to share it.

- Entertainment: 10/10: I watched a movie and kept looking at the outside cameras, so it accomplished perfectly what I wanted. Very fast and responsive touchscreen too.

- Service: 10/10: the crew was fantastic and the meals were very tasty and in great size. Everything here exceeded my expectations.

Total grade: 9,0

That’s it guys, I was really glad I could take this flight and now share with you all. Orlando has a special place in my heart and the last time I had flown on a direct service from São Paulo to Orlando was aboard a 767-300 of the deceased Brazilian airline Trans Brasil, in January of 2001. Since than I’ve been going to the theme park capital thru ATL or MIA.

I also would like to share with you all some stories that I posted on Instagram. I’m sorry it’s all in Portuguese, but I think you can have an idea of what’s going on.

https://youtu.be/t3nIKUyLK0g

Alright, feel free to ask me any questions regarding this trip, tell me if you enjoyed it and, if you didn’t, please tell me why, so I can improve next trip reports!

Thank you very much for your attention!!
Til’ our next flight!!
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Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
 
Cointrin330
Posts: 2268
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2016 12:23 pm

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Tue Sep 15, 2020 9:31 pm

What a great report and a fun reminder of what travel used to be like (and hopefully, that it will come back). Surprised LATAM was using the A359 on GRU-MCO but very cool nonetheless.
 
outbackair
Posts: 158
Joined: Thu Jul 14, 2005 6:01 pm

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Wed Sep 16, 2020 12:56 am

A very enjoyable report. Thank you!
 
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TR763
Topic Author
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:07 am

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Wed Sep 23, 2020 4:57 pm

Cointrin330 wrote:
What a great report and a fun reminder of what travel used to be like (and hopefully, that it will come back). Surprised LATAM was using the A359 on GRU-MCO but very cool nonetheless.

Yes, LATAM used the 767 on low season and the 77W on high until 2018. For 2019 the A350 was scheduled year round which was a good upgauge.
Thank you very much!!

outbackair wrote:
A very enjoyable report. Thank you!

Thank you for your comment!!! :D
Image
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
 
AR385
Posts: 6936
Joined: Fri Nov 07, 2003 8:25 am

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Wed Sep 23, 2020 11:06 pm

Great report! Could you mention the flight time? I´m curious about how many hours it takes to get from GRU to MCO. I did GRU-MIA and I can´t recall. The food looks great. Better the lunch than the breakfast but the mere fact that they serve a real meal as the second service is outstanding in this era. Thank you for your time.
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 6278
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Thu Sep 24, 2020 4:21 pm

Thanks for the memories of what traveling was like just a short year ago.

Our last trip to Disney World, my wife got hammered at Epcot and puked all over a bush carved out in the shape of one of the 7 Dwarfs.
FOR THE LOVE OF GOD BRING BACK THE PAYWALL!!!!
 
L0VE2FLY
Posts: 1018
Joined: Wed Dec 12, 2012 10:54 pm

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Thu Sep 24, 2020 11:37 pm

Great A350TR, well done TR763! :smile:

TR763 wrote:
And look at the amazing view we had during our meal:


That's the best "restaurant" with a view ever! You were very lucky to be on the mighty A350, on the so-called Dreamliner your window would most likely be dimmed and locked by the crew, the 787 is the absolute worst for anyone who enjoys looking out the window.
 
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TR763
Topic Author
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:07 am

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:13 pm

AR385 wrote:
Great report! Could you mention the flight time? I´m curious about how many hours it takes to get from GRU to MCO. I did GRU-MIA and I can´t recall. The food looks great. Better the lunch than the breakfast but the mere fact that they serve a real meal as the second service is outstanding in this era. Thank you for your time.

Thanks a lot! The flight time was around 8:30h. It's really great to have two full meals on a flight like this, I was impressed!!

LAXdude1023 wrote:
Thanks for the memories of what traveling was like just a short year ago.

Our last trip to Disney World, my wife got hammered at Epcot and puked all over a bush carved out in the shape of one of the 7 Dwarfs.

LOL!! I haven't reached this level of excellence but I know the feeling given by all the drinks at the festival! I absolutely love it!!
Thanks for your comment.

L0VE2FLY wrote:
Great A350TR, well done TR763! :smile:

TR763 wrote:
And look at the amazing view we had during our meal:


That's the best "restaurant" with a view ever! You were very lucky to be on the mighty A350, on the so-called Dreamliner your window would most likely be dimmed and locked by the crew, the 787 is the absolute worst for anyone who enjoys looking out the window.


Thank you very much!! I imagine that this would happen if it was a 787. But at that time LATAM operated 787 flights only to Santiago and Tel Aviv from São Paulo, as these are Chilean based aircraft. The Brazilian LATAM uses 77W, A350 and 767.

Thank you very much for your comments!!!
Image
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
 
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weberflying
Posts: 10
Joined: Mon Sep 28, 2020 10:11 pm

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Tue Sep 29, 2020 8:52 am

Great report!
Looks like a really nice experience. I often miss having a meal or small snack on a flight.
The food festival in Epcot also looks delicous. Maybe one day i will also have an opportunity to go there.
 
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TR763
Topic Author
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:07 am

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Thu Oct 15, 2020 7:12 pm

weberflying wrote:
Great report!
Looks like a really nice experience. I often miss having a meal or small snack on a flight.
The food festival in Epcot also looks delicous. Maybe one day i will also have an opportunity to go there.

Thanks a lot! It was a very pleasing experience with LATAM, I was really suprised.
Go to this festival at Epcot whenever you can. It's really great, I love it!
As a matter of fact, it's happening right now, but in a different way due to the pandemic.
Image
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.
 
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christao17
Posts: 931
Joined: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:14 pm

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Sun Oct 18, 2020 10:58 am

Thanks for sharing this with us. During this gloomy time it is a bring spot to read about travel, even if it was from a year ago. A350 on LATAM looks like a reasonably comfortable Y ride... especially if you have a trio of seats to yourself!
More than a dozen years flying in and around Asia...
 
Kent350787
Posts: 1796
Joined: Wed May 28, 2008 12:06 am

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:56 am

Thanks for the TR - nice looking flights and a nice looking holiday.

Do you remember what they had at Epcot for Australian food? An Uber driver I had in Orlando at New Years was telling me about some other Australians who were complaining:)
S340/J31/146-300/F27/F50/Nord 262/Q100/200/E195/733/734/738/744/762/763/77W/788/789/320/321/332/333/345/359
 
lychemsa
Posts: 1865
Joined: Sun Oct 11, 2009 8:39 pm

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Tue Nov 03, 2020 1:20 am

Saw a lot of LATAM crews at our Miami airport hotel in December 2019. Am I correct that they are out of business?
Also saw Air Italy crew. They are out of business.
 
DDR
Posts: 1737
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Tue Nov 03, 2020 2:53 am

Meals look great. Thanks for a great trip report.
 
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TR763
Topic Author
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Mar 13, 2001 10:07 am

Re: São Paulo to Orlando aboard LATAM - Airbus A350-900

Thu Nov 05, 2020 7:37 pm

christao17 wrote:
Thanks for sharing this with us. During this gloomy time it is a bring spot to read about travel, even if it was from a year ago. A350 on LATAM looks like a reasonably comfortable Y ride... especially if you have a trio of seats to yourself!

Yes, I was really lucky on that day. On the flight back to Brazil I had just my seat and it was reasonably comfortable.

Kent350787 wrote:
Thanks for the TR - nice looking flights and a nice looking holiday.

Do you remember what they had at Epcot for Australian food? An Uber driver I had in Orlando at New Years was telling me about some other Australians who were complaining:)

I did not stop at the Australian booth, sorry!! But I found this online (https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2019-epc ... od-photos/) :
Australia
Food:

Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with Pineapple, Pepper, Onion and Snap Peas (GF) – $6.00, DDP Snack Eligible
Roasted Lamb Chop with Sweet Potato Purée, Bush Berry Pea Salad and Pistachio-Pomegranate Gremolata (GF) – $7.75, DDP Snack Eligible
Deconstructed Pavlova with Pastry Cream, Citrus-macerated Berries and Lemon Myrtle Meringue (KA) (GF) (V) – $4.00, DDP Snack Eligible


lychemsa wrote:
Saw a lot of LATAM crews at our Miami airport hotel in December 2019. Am I correct that they are out of business?
Also saw Air Italy crew. They are out of business.

Miami is the main international destination for LATAM wih multiple flights a day (even during the pandemic), so you'd probably see LATAM crew all day long at MIA at pre-pandemic situation.
And no, they're not out of business, but going thru a reestructuring process under the chapter 11.

DDR wrote:
Meals look great. Thanks for a great trip report.


Thank you very much!!!
Image
Picture by Justin Cederholm at MCO.

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