LATAM to Move at JFK, Launch Premium Economy

(Photo by LATAM)

LATAM Airlines Group has announced plans to move operations at New York City’s JFK Airport and introduce its Premium Economy product to all national and international flights within Latin America operated by the Airbus A320 family. 

At JFK, LATAM will relocate from Terminal 8 to Terminal 4, where new partner Delta serves over 90 destinations in the United States, Canada and worldwide. The move is effective February 1. 

LATAM said that relocating will pave the way for smoother connections in New York between LATAM and Delta flights. Also effective February 1, LATAM Premium Business and top-tier LATAM Pass members (Black Signature, Black and Platinum) will have lounge access in Terminal 4. The airline group said that it will automatically update reservations for customers with itineraries to or from New York – JFK on February 1 and onwards, taking into account minimum connection times. 

Since codeshares were announced in December 2019 between Delta and LATAM Airlines Peru, LATAM Airlines Colombia and LATAM Airlines Ecuador, approval has been received by the relevant authorities in the United States and Colombia, with regulatory approvals in Ecuador and Peru as well as the publication of said codeshares expected during the first half of 2020. LATAM’s affiliates in Brazil and Chile also plan to establish codeshare agreements with Delta during 2020, subject to applicable regulatory approval.

In addition, the carriers are also working to provide a smooth transition for customers by establishing additional bilateral lounge access and mutual frequent flyer benefits during the first half of 2020, LATAM said.

As part of its new tie-up with Delta, LATAM will also formally end all codeshare agreements with American Airlines on January 31. Customers who have purchased American Airlines flights via LATAM prior to this date for flights from February 1, 2020 onwards will be entitled to the same services, with no change to flight or ticket conditions.

LATAM said that its frequent flyer and reciprocal lounge access agreements with American Airlines will remain in place until LATAM leaves oneworld; the airline group continues to evaluate its exact departure date, saying that it will be communicated in due course. Following its departure from oneworld, LATAM said that it will maintain its bilateral agreements and customer benefits with the majority of the alliance members (British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Finnair, Iberia, Japan Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Qantas, Qatar Airways, Royal Jordanian, S7 Airlines and SriLankan Airlines), subject to final agreement.

New Premium Economy Class

In onboard product news, LATAM also announced plans to introduce its Premium Economy class to all national and international flights within Latin America operated by the Airbus A320 family, starting March 16. 

The move means LATAM will be able to offer a premium service across its entire network of 145 destinations in 26 countries and five continents, with Premium Economy available on the short- and medium-haul A320 aircraft and Premium Business on the long-haul Boeing 787, 777, 767 and Airbus A350 aircraft. 

Once implemented, LATAM will offer two cabins classes on flights operated by short-/medium-haul aircraft: Premium Economy and Economy. Passengers in Economy will also continue to have the option to select LATAM+ Seats – offering increased space and reserved overhead bins – on most flights.

Benefits of Premium Economy class will include: 

  • Priority check-in
  • Baggage allowance from one to three pieces (up to 23 kg each)
  • Priority boarding
  • Priority baggage at luggage claim
  • VIP lounge access in airports where available (Santiago, São Paulo/GRU, Lima, Bogotá, Miami and Buenos Aires) on selected international flights
  • Seat in the first three rows of the aircraft
  • Middle seat blocked for greater space and privacy
  • Exclusive overhead bin for hand luggage
  • Differentiated onboard service (including complimentary snacks and drinks)

Bookings are now open from Premium Economy on all short- and medium-haul flights operating from March 16. The service is already available on routes from Santiago, Chile, to São Paulo, Lima and Buenos Aires; From Lima, Peru, to São Paulo and Santiago; and from São Paulo, Brazil, to Lima, Buenos Aires and Santiago. 

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