Latam LA801 FLIGHT REVIEW | Santiago (SCL) – Auckland (AKL)


  • Qantas QF10 (domestic leg)
  • Boeing 787-9 (Dreamliner)
  • Perth (PER) to Melbourne (MEL)
  • 20 February 2019
  • Seat: any available (Economy)

Santiago Airport: Pre-Boarding

Welcome to this overnight 15-hour Latam LA801 Flight Review. After a few weeks enjoying South America, it was time to head West towards New Zealand / Aotearoa. I had taken three flights with Latam already: Johannesburg to São Paulo, São Paulo to Buenos Aires and Buenos Aires to Santiago.

My expectations were no different for flight #4. Can I sum it up as ‘Latam, okay’?

Santiago: The Queuing System

One thing I noticed about Latam’s procedures in South America was how they set everyone in queues or lines so that boarding could happen in strict order. I have no issue with this and at Santiago Airport there were lots of announcements at the gate. Everyone looked more than a bit tired: the flight was departing just before 1am and I’m sure we were all feeling ‘just let us get on board and get to sleep!

I had to snap this Evacuation Route sign – as a reminder of the night of the big earthquake in Santiago!

When it came to the actual boarding, the queuing system was forgotten and people all just piled on. Staff didn’t bother with stopping queue jumpers.

Latam LA801 Flight Review: Economy Seating

This Boeing aircraft had seen some usage, although Economy did have slightly soothing lighting which may help with sleep preparation and calmness.

Sadly, the flight was in 3-3-3 formation (I always prefer 2-4-2 because it’s easier to get up to the bathroom from the window seat).  I had booked this window seat for a 15 hour flight and began to wonder about how wise that choice had been.

The passenger pack contained a (nice) warm microfibre blanket, the usual easily-flattened pillow and a set of over-ear headphones.  I have had worse amenities on long flights! However, Qantas QF10 might win for its Economy amenities.

I bring my own (blow-up but comfortable) pillow which means I do actually get some sleep. I was lucky that my seat-mates got up regularly to walk around so I was able to get up to freshen up.

The Missing Food

I always take the food and photograph it for my Flight Reviews. However, on this flight I slept right through. Sorry, not sorry 😂

Latam LA801: Approach & Arrivals

Despite this being a 15 hour flight, the fact it was headed West overnight meant the majority of people seemed to sleep or at least just catch up on movies.

About an hour and half out from arrival, a coffee and light breakfast was served and this very smooth flight made its final approach. I reflected that, while this is not the modern Dreamliner, the seat layout is sufficiently wide for a 6-footer like me to be able to get some sleep and for that I was grateful.

Welcome to Aotearoa

The airport at Auckland has some fantastic Maori art presented as door carvings. It’s so impressive and lets you know that this is a country in conversation with the cultures from which it has grown.

New Zealand does welcomes very well! I was delighted to be back and ready to explore Auckland, starting at this fascinating Franciscan retreat house.

I hope you enjoyed this Flight Review. Like Journey Reports? Find more here.

[Cover Image: Anna Zvereva from Tallinn, Estonia, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons]