Colombian Domestic Flight Reviews – LATAM

I like travelling in comfort with as few inconveniences as possible. The prospect of flying domestic in a country I have never been to, and on an airline I have never been on, is a bit worrisome.  For example, will they have good customer service if something goes wrong?

There are horror stories online of poor customer service, delayed flights, and everything else that can go wrong when travelling.  I think that people tend to post, or write negative reviews more often than positive, so if you search for them, you will find them.

I am happy to report that flying LATAM on 3 domestic flights in Colombia, there were no major issues.

I booked the following flights on Expedia:

Santa Marta to Medellin

Medellin to Bogota

Bogota to Cartagena

Here are my experiences.  By the way, ALL 3 flights were delayed and did not board or depart on time.  The delays were less than an hour each.

  1. Santa Marta to Medellin – LATAM 4221 – A320?

Check in was a breeze on the LATAM APP.  You can also pay for baggage and seat selection.  For this particular flight, I had to pay for checked baggage and a LATAM+ seat.

On this flight, the first 7 rows are designated LATAM+ (there is no business class on any of these flights).  Your boarding pass will have two designations:

  • priority boarding
  • LATAM+ seat

Priority Services

Check in/Baggage drop – none

Lounge Access – none. There was a lounge at the Santa Marta airport that accepts Priority Pass.  It has WIFI and was nice and clean, but the drink and food selection were poor.

Priority Boarding – none.  Boarding was unusual at this airport.  There was a line for people with roller bag carry on, and everyone else.  The announcements were in Spanish only so I could not tell if they called priority or not.  Basically, I stayed near the gate and went to line up when everyone else went so was able to board early.

I was happy to see that the overhead bins in the first 7 rows were reserved exclusively for those rows.  For this flight, this was the main benefit of the + seat.

20190220_113012

The leg room on this plane was horrible as you will see in the following photos.  I was in seat 5J.

IMG-20190220-WA0012.jpg
I am 5’10”

For my wife, who is 5’2″, it was a bit better.

20190220_113026

Overall, the flight was short, at about 1 hour, so there was nothing really for me to complain about.  I think it was worth paying for the + seat to have the overhead bin space.

2. Medellin to Bogota – LATAM 4003 – A319

Again, check in was a breeze on the LATAM APP.  This time, for some reason, my baggage was included and I was assigned a +seat.  I have no idea why it would be any different than the previous flight.

As with the previous flight, the first 7 rows are designated LATAM+, but this time, the overhead bins are not marked as such (they are simply closed and if you open them when you get to your seat, you will find them empty).  Your boarding pass will have two designations:

  • priority boarding
  • LATAM+ seat

Priority Services

Check in/Baggage drop – none

Lounge Access – none. There was a lounge at the Medellin airport that accepts Priority Pass.  It has WIFI and was nice and clean. I did not look at the drink and food selection.

20190223_085333.jpg

Priority Boarding – none.  Again, there was a line for people with roller bag carry on, and everyone else.  The announcements were in Spanish only so I could not tell if they called priority or not.  I stayed near the gate and went to line up when everyone else went so was able to board early.

The leg room on this flight was A LOT better than on the 320 as you will see in the pic below.  I was in seat 2J.  I did not get a chance to observe if all the seats were like this or just the + seats.

20190223_100034.jpg

Again, the flight was only about 1 hour so it did not really matter to me what type of seat I was in, but I was happy with this seat.

3. Bogota to Cartagena – LATAM 4106 – A319

As usual, check in was easy on the LATAM APP, and again, for this flight, I did not have to pay for checked baggage or a LATAM+ seat.  I do not know why this and the previous flight were like that as I do not recall paying more for these options at booking.

As with the previous flights, the first 7 rows are designated LATAM+, but on this flight as the last, the overhead bin is not marked.  Your boarding pass will have two designations:

  • priority boarding
  • LATAM+ seat

Priority Services

Check in/Baggage drop – YES!  Finally, there was a line for business class, various higher tier members of the airline AND the + SEAT!

Lounge Access – none. There was a lounge at this airport, but we could not find it. Our APP said it was after security, and we asked a few people, but we were unable to get clarity due to language barriers.  We decided to wait at the gate.

Priority Boarding – YES! – dedicated line.  At Bogota, there were three lines.  One for priority, and then again, a line for people with roller bag carry on, and everyone else.

Again, I sat in 2J, and there was a lot of leg room as you will see in the following pictures.

20190225_070134

20190225_070215.jpg

20190225_070246.jpg
Even with my legs crossed, there was enough room to fit an Evian bottle between my leg and the seat in front

This flight was just over an hour, but again, I was very happy with my seat.

On all the flights, there was only a paid beverage and food service.  I believe you can ask for water which is free.

Although there is no priority security screening, I found that domestic security at Colombian airports were fast and efficient.  You do not have to remove shoes, laptops etc.

All in all, I was happy with the airline.  Yes, it was a bit annoying that the flights were never on time, but we did not experience any big inconvenience.  If you have the opportunity, I would definitely choose a + seat for the overhead bins (if you are carrying on), and if getting off first is important to you.  However, due to the short duration of the flights, if you do not get a + seat, I do not think it will matter much.

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply