LATAM is a full service OneWorld partner airline which was formed several years back when LAN (Chile) and Tam (Brazil) airlines merged. The airline operates a fifth freedom route on a 787 Dreamliner between Sydney and Auckland before flying onwards to Santiago, Chile.

I regularly trek across the Tasman on LATAM competitors including Qantas, Emirates and Air New Zealand. As such, I’ve been keen to try this product out to see how it stacks up against the competition.

Recently, I finally got the opportunity to put the LATAM business class hard product and service to the test. Read on for my take.Latam business class cabin windows

First up: Nab business class seats at economy prices

Before we jump in to the review, I think it’s important to highlight how ridiculously affordable LATAM trans-Tasman business class is.

It’s not uncommon to see one way business class airfares on the Auckland to Sydney route upward of $1,000 outside sale periods. However, a flight at the pointy end of the LATAM Dreamliner is surprisingly affordable.

At the time of writing, for example, one way LATAM business class tickets from Auckland to Sydney can be purchased for around $300 NZD (and around $400 NZD on the return leg). Quite frankly, that’s an absolute steal and cheaper than some full service economy offerings! Here’s a snapshot of a Sydney to Auckland fare for later this month which I found easily via Google Flights:latam cheap business class

Which airline should I credit LATAM flights to?

You can credit your LATAM flight directly to the airline’s loyalty scheme – LATAM Pass Points. However, LATAM is also a OneWorld partner airline, so flights can be credited to airlines including Qantas Frequent Flyer. You’ll score 40 Qantas status credits and a nominal number of points for a one way trip across the Tasman.

Check in and visiting the Qantas First Lounge at Sydney Airport

As a LATAM Business Premium passenger, I had access to the fast track check-in lane. The LATAM desks at Sydney Airport are manned by Qantas staff, who were able to process my check-in quickly and efficiently. Before long, I was on my way to security and the lounge beyond.

As a Qantas Platinum member, I’m always excited to visit the Qantas First Lounge at Sydney Airport. I arrived at around 9 am, whilst LA800 departs Sydney at 11.35am, so I had just over an hour to make use of the facilities.qantas first lounge sydneySadly, no spa treatment bookings were available on this occasion. However, I enjoyed my usual breakfast ritual of sweetcorn fritters and bacon with avocado and tomato salsa, plus a glass of Mumm Rose NV Champagne. Oh, and I may have also snuck in a sneaky serve of salt and pepper squid, too (yes, you can order selected dishes from the lunch menu at breakfast if you ask nicely!).qantas first class lounge breakfast salt n pepper squidBefore long, it was time to head off. I bid my goodbyes to the Qantas First Lounge and lugged my hand luggage to the gate which was located at the far side of Sydney Airport.

If you’re travelling with check-in luggage, it’s worth noting that passengers travelling in LATAM business class can check in three bags of up to 23kg each and one carry-on bag of up to 16kg in weight. One personal item (such as a small handbag) is also allowed.

First impressions: LATAM Dreamliner business cabin

The LATAM 787 Dreamliner features 30 Premium Business seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. The configuration of the cabin unfortunately means that direct aisle access isn’t available to every passenger. However, for a three hour trans-Tasman trip, this isn’t likely to be a major concern.Latam business class cabin ceilinglatam business class cabin seatsAs I scoped out the cabin, I admired the soft pink Dreamliner moodlighting I’ve come to love. latam dreamliner mood lightingLatam business class cabin ceiling

The LATAM Business class seat

With a 75″ seat pitch and 23″ seat width, LATAM business class delivers a slightly tired looking, yet spacious enough seat for your next trans-Tasman flight.LATAM BUSINESS CLASS SEAT FRONT VIEWLatam business class SEAT SIDE VIEWlatam business class seat longLATAM BUSINESS CLASS SEAT LEG ROOMThe seat converts to a 185cm lie-flat bed. Easy controls allow you to enjoy flat mode at the touch of a button.Latam business class seat controlsPlush blankets are provided for those who opt to doze through the short flight to Auckland.latam business class flat seatLATAM BUSINESS CLASS SEAT FLAT FRONTThe LATAM business class seat provides a range of convenient storage options. These include upper, lower and magazine storage compartments on the forward seat backs plus an ottoman to store a small personal item.LATAM BUSINESS CLASS SEAT STORAGE TWOLATAM BUSINESS CLASS SEAT STORAGElatam business class footwellThere are two tables at hand. The first acts as a small perch for a drink or tablet, folding out from the middle console…Latam business class TRAY TABLE (1)…while the larger tray table which is used for dining folds out from the side of the seat.latam business class seat trayEach seat features overhead reading light, which is easily adjusted.LATAM BUSINESS CLASS SEAT LIGHTS BETTERLarge seatback entertainment screens and basic noise cancelling headphones are provided. While a range of English language films, TV shows and box sets are on offer, I found the entertainment selection was fairly limited.latam business class entertainmentLatam business class headphonesI was surprised to be handed an amenity kit slightly after boarding, as these aren’t usually on offer for trans-Tasman flights. The contents included socks, an eye mask, ear plugs and a pen (handy!).Latam business class AMENITY KIT

LATAM business class service

Shortly after I boarded, the crew came around with a tray of drinks. No champagne or sparkling wine was on offer – surprisingly – so I opted for a glass of water.Latam business class PRE DEPARTURE WATERAround 30 minutes after take off, the crew came around with menus and to take food and drinks orders. The Sydney to Auckland flight features a one tray ‘snack’ menu – a salad of seasonal greens which is served with one of two small entrees and followed by a set dessert.

The wine list featured three South American red wines, two white and one (non-Champagne) sparkling wine. Latam business class SALAD SNACKFor my entree, I chose the cured ham sandwich with Edam cheese. This was served with a salad of mixed greens garnished with pepitas.For my dessert, I received a chocolate cake with mango and passionfruit compote.latam business class dessertA trio of thoughtful items – a Godiva chocolate, Himalayan salt and Chilean branded salad dressing – helped to lift the presentation of the meal. latam business class menu condimentsAll in all, it was a fairly basic meal, but perfectly adequate for the short crossing through to Auckland.

After my meal, I settled back to listen to some music and stare out of the bank of beautiful Dreamliner windows next to my seat – something I never tire from!latam business class windowsBefore long, the coast line of New Zealand’s North Island came into view, and we descended quickly into Auckland airport.

Verdict: LATAM Sydney to Auckland business class

While the hard product and service isn’t amongst the best in the sky, LATAM delivers a solid and spacious offering for your next trans-Tasman treck. It’s not a patch on the exceptional Air New Zealand dreamliner business class, but it’s a cut above a Qantas or Virgin 737 any day of the week. And for the price, it’s simply unbeatable!