My First Time Aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and As a Passenger of LATAM Airlines

Ever since the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” airplane embarked on its first flight on Tuesday, December 15, 2009, I had traveled to five continents on multiple airlines — and although seemingly everyone else in the world has already experienced it, I had never been a passenger of one of these airplanes because the opportunity simply never presented itself…

My First Time Aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and As a Passenger of LATAM Airlines

…until my flight to Easter Island earlier this month, interestingly enough: ironically traveling aboard one of the more modern airplanes to one of the most isolated destinations in the world.

LATAM Airlines operates two round trip flights each day between Santiago and Easter Island using Boeing 787-9 Y+ “Dreamliner” airplanes. The route is the longest domestic flight within Chile.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

My seat was in the economy class cabin adjacent to the middle bank of lavatories. Each seat had a pillow, blanket and headphones awaiting its occupant.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The airplane ultimately was not full of passengers; and the boarding process was smooth.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The configuration of the airplane is nine seats across, with three seats abreast for each side of the airplane and in the middle.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Overhead storage bins were rather spacious and easy to open and close…

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and when an overhead storage bin was opened, the row and seat designations are closer to the aisle because they are printed on the bottom “lip” of the door. Look carefully underneath and you will see the same information which becomes visible when the door is closed.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Every seat was equipped with a a tray table and a cup holder…

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…along with a second cup holder once the tray table was open, which I found out that mine was broken.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

In-Flight Entertainment

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

On the end of each headphone set was a plug which converts to either one prong or two prongs — depending on the system in which you plug it. No adapter is needed.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Each seat was also equipped with an in-flight entertainment system which had well more than enough options for a flight of greater than five hours, with plenty of movies, television shows, games…

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and even that all-important map in real time of where the airplane was at that moment — not that that mattered, as no land is anywhere between Santiago and Easter Island.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Lavatories

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

While not exactly spacious, the lavatories do offer ample room to…er…do what you need to do; and they were clean during the boarding process of the airplane.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Each lavatory was equipped with liquid soap and body lotion — as well as the standard tissues, paper towels, lighting and other items one would find in the economy class cabin…

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…but for me, the highlight was the sensors on both the sink and the toilet. Simply wave your hand near a sensor to activate the water flow in the sink or to flush the toilet…

…and you can always use the more traditional method of pushing a button instead of waving your hand — or in case the sensor does not work.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Another nice feature pertaining to the lavatories is above their doors even before you walk in to use them: a red light cautions that the lavatory is in use; while a green light indicates that the lavatory is available.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Window Dimming Technology Instead of Shades

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

You will not find a shade to close on any of the large windows aboard the Boeing 787 “Dreamliner” airplane because they are instead equipped with a dimmer button underneath each window. You can choose from any of five settings, from no dimming to very dark.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The large windows were one of my favorite features of the Boeing 787-9 Y+ “Dreamliner” airplane.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Two windows side by side reflect the difference in two of the settings, with the left window being left alone in clear mode; while the right window is dimmed right to a darker — but not the darkest — shade of blue…

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…and passengers chose a variety of dimmer settings for each of their windows…

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…showing just how variable are the effects of the dimmer feature while simultaneously casting a relaxing blue glow in much of the cabin, which I preferred over windows whose light is completely cut off by window shades.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

Food and Beverage Service

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The first thing I noticed was the old TAM logo on the beverage cart, which also contained the meals…

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…which were served along with the drinks.

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

The choice for passengers seated in the economy class cabin was either an omelet with potatoes…

LATAM Boeing 787 Dreamliner airplane

Photograph ©2019 by Brian Cohen.

…or a ham and cheese sandwich on some kind of ciabatta bread. Neither main course appealed to me at all — but I did eat the remaining items: orange and apple slices; a thick peach compote of some sort in which to dip the apple slices; crackers and butter.

The orange “juice” was actually an orange nectar drink which was sweet to the point of bordering on sickening. The peach nectar seemed like a good choice — but it was sweetened with artificial sweetener; and the taste was so bad that I could not finish it.

I did have some of the aforementioned potatoes. They were middling at best.

LATAM Airlines is apparently not known for its food in the economy class cabin. The food either looked disgusting, was unappetizing or was nothing special — and all they officially served for a flight with a duration of greater than five hours is what is shown in the photographs above.

Anyone who was still hungry and wanted an additional snack could ask for a cold — and plain and boring — ham and cheese sandwich.

Summary

The Boeing 787-9 Y+ “Dreamliner” airplane was clean and somewhat quieter than other Boeing and Airbus airplanes; and the air aboard the airplane did not feel as dry. I would certainly ride as a passenger on one again.

Although members of the flight crew of LATAM Airlines were pleasant and potentially engaging on an individual basis, the service was nothing extraordinary or memorable. The food and beverage offerings were forgettable — and not enough for a flight of a duration of greater than five hours, in my opinion.

The experience was pleasant enough that I would consider flying as a passenger of LATAM Airlines again — but I would not go out of my way to do so…

All photographs ©2019 by Brian Cohen.


 

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4 thoughts on “My First Time Aboard a Boeing 787 Dreamliner and As a Passenger of LATAM Airlines”

  1. Ed says:

    I hope you’ll write about your stay and activities on Easter Island. Is the destination really worth the lengthy flight?

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      I plan on writing about them, Ed

      …and for me, the destination was worth the lengthy flight — but it may not be for everybody.

  2. Charlotte says:

    I think you might have got your durations a bit screwy- you mention 9 hours but also 5 hours. Flight time is usually around 4:45. However I agree with you about the quality of catering in Y. I usually self cater unless I am in J

    1. Brian Cohen says:

      Thank you for catching that error, Charlotte. It has since been corrected…

      …and yes — self catering is indeed the better option in the economy class cabin.

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