Last week, LAN brought its 787 to LAX for the first time on the scheduled run down to Santiago. (Lima gets the 787 later this year.) I was able to hop on board while on the ground to see what all the fuss is about. You know what? LAN did a really nice job onboard.
Let’s start with the fancy seats. When you enter the airplane, you’re between the third and fourth row in business class. The first three rows are in a more private setting up front. The last two rows have more of an open feel since there is no bulkhead between the entry and the seats. Here’s a little video tour of the business class seat. (If you can’t see the video, click here.)
The seats seemed quite wide and were pretty comfortable when flat. There were only a couple of things that seemed a bit off. Most noticeable was the hidden placement of the power outlet. It is not easy to use it unless you’re fully flat. But since that was the biggest problem I found, that says a lot about how good the seat appears to be.
Back in the coach cabin, the seats also seemed comfortable (well, comfortable for coach). Then again, I’m not wide. With 9 seats across and sub-17 inch width, many people might take issue with these seats.
LAN hands out a pillow and blanket to everyone along with a mini amenity kit. Here’s a very brief video of that one. (If you can’t see the video, click here.)
But there were a couple issues back in coach. First, the carpet already seemed to have massive stains. I’m not sure what the heck happened on that flight up from Santiago, but it certainly doesn’t look good.
Also, be warned. If you’re sitting in coach, stay away from seats near the lav. Though the lavs themselves are really nice (including a sensor flush and faucet), the doors are likely to drive people nuts who sit nearby. See what I mean in this video with Harriet Baskas. (If you can’t see the video, click here.)
So overall, it looks like LAN has put together a very nice experience on the airplane. One thing that I always forget is that the 787 really is a small airplane. It may be the newest and greatest technology but after all the hoopla around the mammoth A380 and 747-8, this is tiny.
I was supposed to ride one on United this week, but that trip was canceled. So I’ll have to wait for my first airborne 787 experience for a little while.