Airline Review: TAM (domestic Economy)
TAM is the national carrier of Brazil and operates dozens of domestic and international routes out of different hubs. The airline was rebranded to LATAM after merging with LAN Chile lately, but most services in Brazil are still offered under the TAM brand. That said, this airline review features the domestic Economy Class of TAM.
There are four major carriers in Brazil: Avianca Brazil, GOL, Azul, TAM. While I really enjoyed my flight with Avianca Brazil, I didn’t have the chance to try GOL or Azul.
- Airplane: Airbus A319/A320/A321
- Cabin Class: Economy
- Daytime: various
- Food: Snack
- Seat Pitch: 31 Inch (79 Centimeter)
- Seat Width: 18 Inch (46 Centimeter)
However, the airline I expected the most of is the renowned international carrier TAM, which among others offers services to Europe. The TAM domestic Economy Class is relatively expensive compared to GOL and Azul, so you expect a certain standard as a passenger. I’m actually not sure if the premium for flying TAM is worth it.
Seating in the TAM domestic Economy
Depending on the route, TAM either offers only Economy Class (most domestic flights), some kind of Premium Economy Class (a few domestic flights) or even Business Class (selected international flights) in narrow body aircrafts.
On all my four flights with TAM, the airline just offered an Economy Class on domestic flights. This meant that the planes came with a 3-3 configuration.
The planes are relatively modern and all Airbus types (A319, A320 or A321). The cloth seats come with a nice design and are reasonable comfortable. The seat pitch and the seat width are both average.
Yet, I found it strange that the seats got a beige coloring from behind, which makes them look really old and run down. However, I think that the seats never were white, but rather were delivered in this weird color.
Catering in the TAM domestic Economy
What kind of negatively surprised me in the TAM domestic Economy is the fact that there is no hot meal.
Avianca Brazil even offered a decent hot sandwich on the extremely short flight from Florianopolis to Sao Paulo. Meanwhile, TAM either offered just crackers or cookies or a small snack box with crackers with cream cheese and some kind of sweet snack.
Besides, there is a choice of selected non-alcoholic beverages. Once again, I was surprised to not be asked for a second beverage on any of the flights besides being an oneworld Emerald member.
Entertainment in the TAM domestic Economy
When it comes to entertainment in the TAM domestic Economy, you can either be lucky… or not.
There are some airplanes equipped with a Wi-Fi based entertainment system, which you can use for watching movies or series on your own devices.
The system is reasonable easy to use and comes without any serious lags. Yet, I find the screens in all seatbacks, which are offered by Avianca Brazil, somewhat superior.
Other than the entertainment system, there is only a board magazine. Sadly, there are no newspapers or magazines offered by TAM. This is especially sad in case you find yourself on board an airplane without wireless entertainment system.
Bottom line TAM domestic Economy
The TAM domestic Economy is not bad by any means. Yet, I somewhat expected more: better entertainment and better food. Why did I do so? Because flying TAM in Brazil is quite expensive compared to flying any other carrier.
Furthermore, I was quite sad that TAM doesn’t really care about oneworld elite flyers. There are no lounges for domestic flights, there is no security fast lane on most airports and there is also no personal welcome on board. Anyway, TAM is a decent choice for flights in Brazil. Yet, flying the flag carrier is not worse the typical premium.
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