LAN and TAM Airlines officially launched their first international VIP lounge as the unified LATAM Airlines Group and announced a handful of new routes planned for this year. The merger of the two South American companies, which started in 2012, has created one of the largest airline groups in the world with service to 135 destinations in 24 countries around the globe. The new VIP lounge, located in São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport, is their largest and most stylish in Latin America.
Just shy of 20,000-square feet, the lounge caters to travelers with complimentary Wi-Fi, individual tablets, a nine-foot gourmet buffet, draft beer, and six shower rooms featuring bath amenities infused with scents of Brazilian tropical fruits. The second LATAM VIP Lounge is scheduled to open this March in Chile’s Santiago International Airport (LAN Airlines’ headquarters).
Emerald and Sapphire Oneworld alliance members enjoy complimentary access to the lounges and may also bring a guest regardless of their booking class as long as they are traveling on flights operated by LAN or TAM.
By mid-2015 TAM Airlines plans to launch a new flight from Toronto, Canada to New York’s JFK Airport with easy connection to São Paulo, Brazil. This July, LAN will be the first airline to offer daily service from New York to South America on a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner with flights from JFK to Santiago, Chile offered seven days a week. Frequencies are being added to the Miami – São Paulo and Miami – Brasilia routes, while a brand new route from Orlando to Brasilia is set to debut late summer.
For travelers interested in tacking on a European leg to a South American adventure, TAM will start flying from São Paulo to Barcelona halfway through the year and LAN will be launching daily service from Santiago to Milan by the end of 2015.&
Passengers flying Premium Business Class can toast to a year of good health with a curated menu of 30 top Chilean and Argentine wines hand-selected by Hector Vergara, Latin America's only Master Sommelier.
Nora Walsh is Travel + Leisure's Latin America correspondent.
Photos courtesy of TAM Airlines Archive