A Walk Through LAN’s New 787 Cabin

787, LATAM

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.

LAN Dirty 787 Carpet

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.

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21 comments on “A Walk Through LAN’s New 787 Cabin

      1. I have taken multiple flights on United this past year and watched the safety videos- which included a blurb by the United CEO on their modernization efforts. Oh the irony of watching him say that on the old style monitors on a 20+ year old 757.

        1. I presume it’s ok to think the LAN interior looks crap, even if other airlines interiors are crap as well? Or maybe not…..

  1. Surprised LAN doesn’t use (or at least try) the Interface carpet tiles that Southwest uses. I know that LUV has had a few teething issues with them, but at least with those carpet tiles when major stains and spills happen the carpet can be changed out overnight, without removing the seats.

    But yes, I would suggest that someone at LAN got yelled at after pictures of that carpet hit the media. It doesn’t even look to be just stained, it also looks faded, worn and old.

    1. I once talked to a Flight Attendant who said she learned to cover up smells of spills by pouring coffee on them. While this may work, and it is better than using the industrial-grade cleaners on board a metal tube with poor ventilation, it leaves a terrible stain until the a/c can have the carpet (or carpet tile) replaced.

  2. The color scheme seems al la the early 80s.

    I’m a bit surprised at the noisy door. This Boeing apparently forgot about the time and effort that went into making a toilet seat that didn’t slam for the 777. If that’s the bathroom door I’d hate to hear what the toilet seat sounds like.

  3. I think you’re being a little harsh on the lav door. Never sat near one that was silent. It is what it is. Not so sure about the color (or stains). The business class looked ok and the technology makes it look modern, yet the color makes it look dated in my opinion.

    As for the size, I haven’t been on one yet but how does the 787 compare to the 767? Aren’t they supposed to be similar sized? I’d hardly call a 767 tiny. I do most of my flying on narrow bodies or CRJ’s (the horror) so anything with 2 aisles is a step up in my world.

    1. A – You’re right, very similarly-sized to the 767-300. LAN puts about 20 more seats on this airplane than on the 763. But I was just saying how tiny it was in comparison to all the other aircraft intros lately – the A380 and 747-8. You’re definitely right that it’s not a tiny aircraft in the traditional sense.

  4. Lav door are not quiet, but this one has a ‘click’ sound when the shuts, it may be the mic picking it up and sounding loud, but if not then it could be annoying.

    Since people enter a lav and close the down by hand, it may not be so loud even if closing by itself, people may still try to shut it and slow the door down so the sound may be less.

    If I was LAN I would have an employee standing right by that stain on the carpet to explain that there was an acident on the way to LAX and it would be taken care of. Now you just look at it and wonder what happen.

    1. David – I should have noted that this wasn’t the only stained carpet on the airplane. There was another one on the other aisle near the lav where I took the video as well.

  5. You’re lucky. We were flying back from Greece in the summer and the first thing I noticed were the stains on the floor of the aircraft it wasn’t until we entered the the smell of vomit and a cheap perfume hit us like a brick wall. Worse 5 hours ever.

  6. 9 across on a 787 – yuck. That’s torture. But, so is 10 across on a 777.

    I wonder which configuration is worse?

  7. I’m curious about the relation between cabin width and number of seats. With a cabin just 21cm wider than the A330, 9 across should be subtantially tighter than the Airbus’s 8. But at 38cm narrower than the 777, it should be more spacious than a 10-across 777. Anyway, I wonder about the design process: do Boeing’s engineers say “let’s make a more spacious 8-seat cabin”, and then the airlines find a way to cram in 9? Where’s the sweet spot that would allow comfortable seats but not enable adding an extra one?

    And when are we going to see an A380 with 11 across on the bottom and 9 on the top?

  8. I’m sorry, people. It’s a simple fact. Flying in the “back of the bus” is torture, I don’t care how the airlines spin it. 3-3-3 seating in a 787 is just more airline greed. C’mon folks, the airlines DON’T CARE about creature comfort, the various “improvements” (I call them “icing upgrades”) they are hyping notwithstanding. I’m short and for me, a seat in the back is nothing more than a few hours in a county jail, albeit at 35,000 feet. They’re just packing more and more of us in like sardines in a can. Haven’t you noticed the delightful feeling of relief when you arrive at your destination and finally can leave your incarceration behind…???

    1. Why should an airline care about passenger comfort if the people buying tickets are looking only for the lowest price and shop only on price?

  9. I was traveling with Alitalia from Milan to Athens and God, there were not only stains on the floor but stinky ones..I couldn?t believe it because they are not as bad as the other low cost competitors in Europe :/

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