Latam, Business Class
THE FLIGHT: LATAM flight 8085 from London Heathrow to Sao Paulo's Guarulhos International Airport operated by a Boeing 777-300, departing at 22.00 and arriving at 05.40 local time.
PRE-BOARDING: Check-in was smooth and efficient. Boarding was on time, and speedy boarding for Premium Business customers meant I could cut out the tiresome queuing and walk straight on.
THE SEAT: The airline has recently launched a new Premium Business cabin with state-of-the-art seats in a 1-2-1 configuration, all with direct aisle access and more storage (see page 48). It's currently being rolled out across the fleet, but I was flying in the old cabin. After take-off, tinkering with the buttons transformed my roomy seat into an armchair with a pull-out tray for dinner and then a lie-flat bed with a mattress liner, duvet and pillow when I was ready for sleep. The old 2-3-2 configuration meant I had to discretely step over my sleeping neighbour to visit the bathroom where I made use of my classy amenity kit that included L'Occitane essentials such as lip balm, a moisturising face cloth, toothbrush and toothpaste.
THE SERVICE: Every section of the cabin has a dedicated air hostess who introduces themselves by name and is available for anything you need throughout the flight. I was immediately offered a glass of Champagne and some water, and asked to fill in a card with my preferred meals. The airline has just introduced new service protocols offering more flexibility for customers and fewer interruptions. As it was an overnight flight, this included the option to be woken one-and-a-half hours before landing for a full breakfast or 40 minutes prior to arrival for a light breakfast of yoghurt, fruit and tea. The redesigned meal service includes Latin American fare, though I opted for a tasty pasta tortellini with parmesan, accompanied by renowned Chilean and Argentine wines selected by a master sommelier – my red Malbec was the perfect night cap.
THE VERDICT: It was definitely up there with the best business cabins I've experienced – and the upgraded version should be even better.
THE DETAILS: LATAM flies daily direct between London Heathrow and Sao Paulo with a flight time of around 11 hours and 45 minutes. Return fares are from around £1,561 in Premium Business. latam.com
Reviewed by Sasha Wood (2019)