I’m flying airlines not only that I’ve never flown before but that I’ve never heard of – Latham, LAN, Aviana. LAN is an excellent airline. The flight from Bogota to Sao Paulo was on LAN. The business cabin felt truly isolated and old-fashioned. The space between seats was greater than any I’ve experienced. In the United, Delta, BA etc. airlines, the business class seats, while wider and certainly more comfortable than any coach seat, are nevertheless squeezed in tight to one another. In some cases the seats alternate facing forward and backwards so they can wedge even more seats into the allotted space. The LAN business seats were massive, fully reclining and as soft as a favorite old recliner. It felt more like being on an ocean liner than on an airplane. The finishes were all in warm reds and golds, there was even real wood detailing. The curtain separating the classes were heavy velvet. Scarlett O’Hara would have made a great dress from them.
The one issue I have with LAN, and perhaps it’s not with them but with the Brazilian government, is that just prior to our arrival in Sao Paulo an announcement was made that shortly, as per regulation, the cabin would be sprayed with insecticide. We were being gassed! The calm, disembodied voice assured us that there was no harm to us to breathe the fumes. Really? It’s going to annihilate any insects which might have hitched a ride on us but we were not to be concerned.
On the LAN flight from Sao Paulo to Santiago we weren’t gassed but the cabin didn’t have the warmth and old world charm of the prior LAN flight. It did, however, have the best bathroom I’ve seen in Business Class. There was one flight, I believe it was a United flight, where my seat was in the first row of the Business class and directly to my right was the bathroom. It was just before take-off, the airplane was still being boarded, and I had downed too many cups of coffee followed by too many bottles of water. I popped up and dashed into the vacant bathroom. Wow! It was twice the size of any I’d been in on an airplane, the finishes were very upscale and the lotions and soaps were clearly top notch. It was only after I’d exited that the flight attendant very politely but firmly informed me that my bathroom was at the back of Business and the one a step away from me was for First Class only. I’d inadvertently broken through the class barrier.
But back to the latest LAN flight. I watched “Before Midnight” it was fine but it felt like an acting exercise more than a fully realized film. Then, thinking I only had an hour left on the flight, I switched from movies to TV. I watched the pilot for “SMASH.” I was blown away. It was FABULOUS! I was thrilled to see that I had enough time to watch not just one but two episodes of the show. The cast is top notch, the production value as good as anything I’ve ever seen on TV and the story was so compelling that if I can’t find it on my cable channels back home, I’ll buy the show. I would say it’s one of the best shows on TV.
Well, time to get ready for the next leg of the trip!