TRIED AND TESTED FLIGHTS
MIAMI (MIA) - SALVADOR DE BAHIA, BRAZIL (SSA)
LATAM 767-300ER premium business class Miami – Salvador de Bahia, Brazil
BACKGROUND Salvador de Bahia is a vacation hotspot on Brazil’s Atlantic coast popular with Brazilians and international guests alike. LATAM Airlines Brazil, a oneworld member, offers the only nonstop flight from the US to Salvador de Bahia from Miami. The once per week direct service began out of Miami on April 29. The move shaves six hours off LATAM’s 14-hour flight which is offered multiple times per week, but which has a stopover in Bogota.
CHECK-IN At an hour before the 4:55 PM departure, I was surprised to see how many people were waiting to board. My flight was “week two” for the new Sunday nonstop service (Monday return flights) and it was apparent LATAM’s new direct route was a hit. Check-in went smoothly; Premium Business was first to board.
BOARDING Flying Premium Business class, I was one of the first to be seated. The two-aisle 767-300 has 16 flatbed seats in the Premium Business cabin, configured 2-2-2. I was seated in the second row, conveniently next to the right-side aisle. Barely settled in, I was greeted by a sharply dressed flight attendant who offered almonds and nuts and a glass of sparkling white wine. Later, we were given fashionable black and white striped personal care kits, including sleep mask and comfort socks.
T H E S E AT My flat bed seat had a lighted console and digital buttons for customized back and leg support when seated upright. The armrest is cleverly designed with a pull-up partition screen and meal tray as well as a handy drink and snack table which unfolded on top. A pillow and a heavy white comforter fostered a deep sleep. A decent selection of audio and visual entertainment were at my fingertips using a tethered remote. Good quality headphones, USB port and charging outlet for accessories were useful as was the floor-level storage cabinet and shelf in front of the seat. The Premium Business Class space accommodated my nearly six-foot frame neatly.
THE FLIGHT The service offered in Premium Business was personal, friendly and professional. More than one flight attendant hovered around me, offering plenty of snacks and beverages and presenting an inviting dinner menu and wine selection. I chose King Prawns Agnolotti in a roasted tomato sauce with almonds. The dinner salad came with seasoned vegetables, and for dessert, I ordered Pisco Mousse in port wine sauce, all of which were very satisfying. Savoring world-famous Brazilian coffee and chocolate is a must. Fifty minutes before landing, I was offered a choice of an express or full breakfast to carry me through the morning.
ARRIVAL The eight-hour flight arrived at Salvador Bahia’s Deputado Luís Eduardo Magalhães International Airport right on time. Going through customs was uneventful and the wait for baggage was average. One note of caution: Be sure to allow ample time to apply for a Brazilian visa before leaving the US.
VERDICT LATAM offers a worldclass experience in Premium Business, punctuated by a genuinely friendly crew, delicious food and beverages, and Brazilian hospitality.