Consumer Complaints and Reviews
We flew LAN from Lima to Punta Arenas, Chile. There was a technical issue; therefore the flight was delayed for one day. We was issued travel voucher for $600 credit or $200 cash and was told we can redeem back in the United States. We went to the Los Angeles airport twice, still can't redeem cash. The US-based LAN don't issue cash which we were told they do. They gave us number to call, but both numbers were not working. We called the LAN office at the airport more than 10 times, never reach anyone, so we gave up. We went to the airport again to talk to someone. They told us they need to submit the paperwork to the LAN office in Florida for the cash redeem. We never receive any update or the cash. I gave up working with them.
I am a US based travel agent. Our agency issued a ticket for a client on LAN Chile, 15 April 2016 at 5pm. The travel was to Rio on 31 July 2016. The client is a student attending the Olympics on assignment. When she arrived at the airport for her flight and there was no reservation. Apparently, LAN Chile had canceled the reservation 35 minutes after the booking and never notified the agency. After a 48 hour delay and missing her first assignment, the client was forced to purchase a new ticket for $5900. Since our agency wasn't advised, the ticket was canceled. We paid the ticket through ARC.
We have been trying to get a waiver code for a refund since 31 July 2016 but LAN Chile refuses to cooperate. I have contacted every published number for them. Their customer service refuses to help me because they say I need to speak to the travel agency support desk. Rolf at the travel agency support desk, either hangs up on me or transfers me to the customer support desk. I have made over 150 calls so far.
I finally reached a gentleman, Joe ** in Los Angeles who is supposed to be the Senior Sales Manager for LAN. He helped me one day making 3 way calls but getting the same results, either disconnected or transferred. He said he would contact the office in Santiago and get a resolution for me. He hasn't called me back and it's been over a month. I leave him a message every day but he doesn't respond. I have sent him a certified letter which he has refused. This is no way to do business. LAN is claiming there was never a ticket. They advised the client that we never issued a ticket. I have provided both the reservation number and the ticket number but they still refuse to do anything about it.
NEVER ever purchase a plane ticket directly from LATAM. Only purchase your ticket through a USA-based travel agency or a USA-based web page. ALWAYS purchase travel insurance. What's wrong? LATAM does not honor their reservations. I am a frequent flyer; in LATAM's Platinum Category. LATAM will bump anyone or arbitrarily change your flights and your schedule. If you purchase your tickets with a USA-based travel agent or travel web page, they will solve any issues caused by LAN. I made the mistake of purchasing several tickets this year directly from LATAM (ex TAM) and now I bitterly regret doing that. In the past, TAM was a jewel among airlines. Now that they have merged with LAN and become LATAM - we are all at the mercy of whatever scheduling or customer service clod LAN inflicts on us.
For example: I purchased Thanksgiving tickets for myself and the General in January 2016 directly from LATAM (ex TAM). I had confirmed every detail INCLUDING the seats for the General and I. Now, I discover that supposedly several flights are suddenly "unconfirmed". In other words, LATAM took thousands of dollars of my money for a trip back to the USA for Thanksgiving and right now it appears that I will not be able to spend Thanksgiving with my family in the USA. On another flight, also purchased directly from LATAM, I was arbitrarily bumped on my return flight from their morning flight to their evening flight. I already contacted LATAM via their Facebook page on Tuesday. Well, it's Thursday and still no answer.
NEVER ASSUME THAT YOU CAN CALL LATAM. LATAM's Customer Service phone numbers frequently do not work. Sometimes ALL of their call centers in the USA and South America will be "out of service". LATAM often will oblige you to contact them via their Facebook webpage. Their webpage promises a prompt reply. That promise is simply laughable! I contacted them on Tuesday Aug 16 regarding the trip where I was "bumped" from the morning flight to the evening flight. On Wed Aug 17 they wrote back asking for my reservation code. I sent them the reservation code. Then they wrote back again re-stating they could do nothing without my reservation code. Two days later and nothing has been resolved.
Something really unfair and illegal is happening with LATAM and their credit card LANPASS. With the credit card consumers earn one MILE per every dollar spent, however in the LATAM website they don't do the conversion, instead of getting 1 mile I get 1 km. ONE MILE IS 1.6 KMS so I am missing a lot kms. The conversion is as follows. 1 Mile = 1.60934 KM. LATAM case number is **. After several calls I don't know what to do anymore! So frustrated! This is false advertisement!
My daughter was travelling from Toronto to Cusco Peru to do some work as a volunteer and her luggage was lost. Latam staff at the airport was not qualified to assist her properly giving her the wrong information and never created a claim ticket. The agency she had signed up to to do volunteer work (a program she paid for) could not take her any more due to her missing supplies. It's been 3 days now and they still can't find her bag. I have been on the phone constantly for 3 days trying to find assistance in locating her lost bag. Every Latam staff I have spoken to provide me with a different answer or blamed the initial airline (Started with American Airline to Latam airline operated by AA) or simply "we will contact you"... Very disorganized organisation... Very sad that a young person put forward her money and time towards helping Peru as a volunteer and gets that type of treatment.
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My daughter was traveling to SFO to Cuzco, and Airline lost her luggage. It has been more than one day and they can't even locate her luggage and does not take any actions to give her all lost items. Truly worst airline, and you never should take LATAM Airlines... Truly this is not acceptable.
TAM is the worst airline I ever travelled with. I highly recommend any person contemplating a travel with TAM to choose another airline. I was supposed to fly from Sao Paulo to Mexico City. We landed in Brasilia at 1 am with very limited explanations from flight attendants. I am stuck in Brasilia with no one from the staff of TAM helping us. Help has been limited to minimum from now. We had to wait for 3 hours last night (1 am to 4 am) inside the airplane and then another 4 hours (4 am to 8 am) to get an hotel room and a replacement flight (an explanation, a smile and a glass of water would have been highly appreciated). I hope the replacement flight proposed this afternoon will finally take, as many of us have to go to work tomorrow but it seems that it is not a concern for TAM.
Apparently, if you buy a full priced ticket, you might actually not have a seat if they oversell. You don't get a choice; they will reroute you. So they doubled our travel time, and in exchange, we got 2 "food" vouchers to a fruit stand valued at 5 dollars apiece. Not cool at all. This type of overbooked-uh-oh-change-your-plans is not safe for a frequent traveler.
LAN oversold my flight and offered a voucher (to exchange for future service, or for cash) to those willing to give up their seats. I chose cash and submitted the voucher for payment. They said it takes 2-3 weeks, but it has been 3 months. I have made many calls to request a resolution, but their service truly SUCKS. Those people read from a script to give the same answer all the time: "we are working on it", "we will contact the voucher department", "we will send you an email within 24 hours"...bla bla bla...and none of this is true. This airline has no clue about customer service. Their voucher offers are a scam. Don't ever accept their vouchers because you will never see the money!!! I will never fly this airline, even if that means I have to pay more to a competitor.
SOOO UPSETTING... my parents lost their flight from Santiago to Sydney for medical reasons so I was told that they had lost the tickets and we were forced to buy new ones which we did. Next day my parents went to the airport and they were put on flight the next day to Sydney on the original ticket. I have called to cancel the 2nd tickets and I was told there is no refund and the first tickets were cancelled including the return because they missed their flight and there was no record of them taking the flight.
NOT ONLY THAT! On the aircraft my mother had pieces of glasses in her food, she swallowed one small piece and managed to take one bigger piece of glass out of her mouth. My parents made a complaint on the aircraft and we have had no response. This has been so stressful for my family. We are losing money and health especially my mother with her health condition. This instead of being a joyful time being reunited with my parents has been a NIGHTMARE. VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH LAN AIRLINES.
I previously reported that my daughter's bag was extremely delayed because after more than 11 days it had still not arrived at its destination, Iquitos, Peru. Well, it has finally arrived. LAN, in conjunction with American Airlines, was able to get the bag released from Customs in Lima. It is now being held at the Iquitos Airport for pickup by my daughter. I am certainly relieved.
Eleven days after my daughter's arrival in Iquitos, Peru, LAN Airlines has yet to deliver the only bag she checked. I understand it is held up in Customs in Lima. It took days for the LAN baggage service in Iquitos to deal with it. They say they have sent the necessary Customs paperwork to Lima. There, LAN must deliver the paperwork to American Airlines, which took her to Lima from the US. Has this been done? Is anyone looking for her bag? I have no idea! I messaged them on Facebook, and they keep saying they are "insisting" on my case.
The problem began when her flight out of Denver was delayed, and American Airlines put her on a United Flight so she wouldn't miss her connection from DFW to Lima. However, after arriving in Iquitos, my daughter had reservations to go on a side-trip and is now without internet service. The LAN online option for tracing baggage says "INVENTORY RECEIVED/TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER." But how much longer will this tracing continue?
Flying from Lima to Miami and seating on seat # 26H in a flight close to 5 hours in duration, I discovered the following issues. The TV was inaccessible, meaning it simply did not work. No pictures, no games, no nothing for 5 hours. That not only was frustrating but I felt that you are losing quality control in your aircraft, and this issue must be happening to many other passengers as in fact it happened to my entire row H. But it not only happened in my way back to the USA. It also happened in another LAN flight going from Miami to Lima on December 19th, Flight 2515 in seat 18H where the TV screen didn't even light, meaning it was totally disconnected.
Your lavatory did not drain the water correctly. This was noticed by me way prior to flying while passengers were being seated and I used the lavatory to wash my hands. I could open the Faucet however the water did not pass through the drainage. The pocket in front of my seat was filled with small bubblegum papers and residuals of napkins. What all these issues noticed by me, says about LAN, is that you are more interested in cashing and flying, than the passengers good experience and comfort, and of course, the lack of maintenance and cleanliness of your aircraft fleet, since I see there is a lack of maintenance.
God forbid this same lack of maintenance is not upon brakes, safety equipment, food conditions, bacteria, etc. When I called the attendant, she said she was going to reset the equipment. When I saw nothing getting better I called the supervisor a lady, who said that the system was broken. Easy to say. Hard to digest in the long trip. I’m a frequent flyer with # ** and I travel the most I can with LAN in the routes you have, however, unless this matter is resolved and reviewed, taking the time to not only to fly, but to maintain your fleet, I believe I will need to see other options available. I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Background: I am a loyal, frequent flyer of TAM Airlines (in the "Red Category"). ConsumerAffairs is our only means of assuring that "issues" are brought to the attention of those in charge. Persistence is required to overcome the FEW yet annoying, ignorant, untrained personnel who are as disinterested in TAM and TAM's stellar reputation as they are in the client and the Law of the Land. Three back-to-back incidents occurred during my check-in and departure from the Miami International Airport, December 10, 2015, on flight JJ8091 that TAM management should be made aware of. General ** and I arrived about 4 1/2 hours prior to our flight. We had our bags wrapped. Then we proceeded to the check-in area.
#1. A female who seemed to be a "greeter" attempted to block our access to the preferential line for TAM "Red Category" customers. I showed her my Red Fidelidade card. She did not even know what Fidelidade is. She was quite rude to the General; she told him we could not "sneak" into the preferential line if we had tourist class seats (Almost laughable as there was no one in front of us!). Not to be stopped by her, I simply waved my red card in the air and asked (loudly), "Isn't this the line for Fidelidade Red Category?" It was, of course. And the agents waved us forward.
#2. We went through the check-in. The agent was a very nice, efficient, well-spoken lady. I liked her. But then, the damnedest thing happened. The agent commented that I had a wheelchair reserved. I said yes. She then said, "I had requested 'special attention'". I explained, "I requested a wheelchair - AND - I made it clear that I cannot go downstairs. I was told to always make that clear when going to Sao Paolo since TAM flights sometimes deplane out on the runway with those steep movable staircases."
She then said she "was cancelling the special attention request". She next asked me for a Doctor's Note. I told her that I gave my Doctor's note and TAM'S own form (filled out by my doctor) to TAM in April of this year. At the Asuncion airport, they told me they were sending that form to TAM headquarters to keep on file. Next thing, she told me she was going to cancel my wheelchair!! I had to tell her very sternly that would be against U.S. Law under the provisions of the ACAA (Air Carrier Access Act).
She called over her supervisor. I was quite careful to ask them to SPEAK IN SPANISH so that General ** could understand the conversation, and of course, be a witness to this conversation. The supervisor reiterated the claim that it is TAM's policy to require everyone who requests a wheelchair to present a Doctor's note PRIOR to each flight. FACT: THIS IS NOT A PUBLISHED TAM POLICY. Rather, this seems to be a gross misperception or abusive, bullying.
The airline does NOT have the right to request a Doctor's note/medical certificate for a wheelchair. An airline cannot request a medical certificate unless the person: is on a stretcher or in an incubator; needs medical oxygen during flight; or has a medical condition which causes the airline to have reasonable doubt that the person can complete the flight safely, without requiring extraordinary medical assistance. "For passengers who require mobility assistance with wheelchairs, TAM provides a special service to ensure all necessary aid. You can request it from our Sales, Fidelidade and Service Center at least 24 hours prior to departure." Air Carrier Access Act.
#3. Boarding. I handed the boarding gate person both my Boarding Passes, my U.S. Passport and my Paraguayan Cedula. He began to flip through the pages of my US Passport looking for a VISA to enter Paraguay. I said, "You won't find a VISA, I have a Cedula, I am a resident of Paraguay." He tells me that he will NOT allow me to board; that an American cannot have a Paraguayan Cedula. That it's "illegal" - complete nonsense. I was wheeled over to the TAM counter.
I caught the eye of a male supervisor by waving my cane, passport and cedula in the air while I said "help!" (A tall, handsome fellow). The supervisor listened to me and exclaimed, "That's ridiculous, who told you that!" Thank goodness for him. He had me turned around and wheeled right back to the head of the boarding line. He said something to the young kid at the boarding gate that I didn't quite catch; either "you don't do that" or "why did you do that".
As we all know, TAM requires passengers to accumulate 50,000 base points on international flights to remain in the Red Category. To that end, I have already purchased three round trip tickets for 2016; with another 2 to 3 round trips in the planning stages. Frankly, these three back-to-back incidents make me wonder and worry about my upcoming trips.
Lan airline cancel the flight and sent me and my family to a hotel Lima, Peru to wait for a new flight. And in the taxi the airline gave us to go to the hotel, we got bitten. Also they stole a camcorder. They hit me. My family ended to a doctor. We put the claim to Lan airline the first day of December. They were not even contact us and have not even done anything to resolve this attack.
On a flight from Iguazu to Rio de Janeiro my suitcase was broken into and the same thing happened to my friend on the same flight. The lock was cut open but it was still there. Nothing was taken as I am aware of and I usually carry anything of value in my carry-on bag but it is not nice anyway. I didn't realize this until I arrived to our hotel and I cannot find anywhere to report it. Reading about other people's experiences with this company I don't even want to try!
They lost 3 luggages and they didn't care. They took my phone and never called me. I am still waiting and not even a courtesy call. I learn from my friends that are frequents travelers that this became very normal for Lan Chile to lose luggages and not to take urgent actions. One of my friend received one week after. I travelled for years with Lan and used to be good, but now it is exactly as their partner American Airlines. Last year I also have a problem. They cancelled the morning departing because they didn't have enough passenger and I had to wait another 6 hours (Took me almost 2 days from Canada to Cordoba, Argentina). Also their seat are wore out. I had to put 2 pillow on my butt because was painful to be sitting many hours on a piece of wood. Of course, this is the last time I travel with this ** airline, year after year is turning to be more garbage.
I booked a multi-city flight on TAM Airlines for July and August of this summer from Miami to Salvador da Bahia, then to Rio and finally back to Miami. I fell ill while in Salvador and missed my flight from Salvador to Rio. I called the booking agency to let them know I was unable to travel and I thought everything was resolved. I waited until I recuperated and bought another one way to Rio, not realizing or receiving notification that TAM cancelled my return flight home from Rio to Miami. When I got to the airport on August 26th to check-in, the airline personnel informed me my reservation had been cancelled and that I'd have to buy a new ticket. When I asked how much for a one-way ticket back to Miami they wanted to charge me 7,000 reals (equivalent to $2,500 usd on that day). That was 4 times what I spent on my original multi-city flight!
They wouldn't and didn't help me recuperate my original reservation and I missed the flight, despite arriving in GIG airport 3 hours before my scheduled flight. I wound up sleeping in the airport until I was able to find a reasonably priced one-way ticket home. I told them I didn't mind paying a fine as a result of the missed flight in Salvador, but they said no, my original reserved ticket back to the US no longer exists and I'd have to buy a new flight. I wound up buying a new flight, but with another company, GOL.
When the ticket agents exhausted their VERY limited recourses, I called the customer service hotline, which was even less helpful. Every time I called I selected English in the automated menu, but they kept redirecting me to Spanish speaking representatives in Colombia, every time! Luckily, I speak enough Portuguese that I was able to just go ahead and converse with a Brazilian representative, but I got nowhere. TAM refused to help me with my original flight, so I'm refusing to fly with them again. They boast about being the largest airline in Brazil, then in the same breath tell their customers there's nothing they can do to help them. TAM is a shameful corporation and has lost at least one client...
Do not give LAN your money – if you want a refund on refundable tickets (or even a credit) you will never see your money again. We purchased refundable tickets (paying more for the option to cancel) but when we called to cancel, we were told by two different LAN customer service agents that they would not refund our money (except the taxes) because of "regulations." This despite the fact that I have a confirmation email from LAN with the terms and conditions of the tickets, showing that they are refundable.
I then drove to the physical office listed on the LAN website in Los Angeles, only to be told by LAN check-in counter agent at LAX that the office is permanently closed. This agent was kind enough to look up our tickets in his system and print out a receipt showing that the tickets are refundable. I then called customer service again and the agent told me the tickets were fully refundable and that he was processing the refund. He then told me that the refunds department would be in touch. However, I never heard from the refund department, and then received a credit on my credit card for the taxes only (a discrepancy of $4300).
I contacted the complaints department and filed a claim for the refund via email (the ONLY option). After two weeks I received a reply (via email): "We apologize for not having answered your inquiry in due time; we are working on assisting customers proficiently. If you do not receive a prompt reply next time, we invite you to call us at any of our Contact centers. Our representatives will be willing to help you in any matter." No refund. No information about my refund. No information about my claim. Appalling that a multinational company can take your money and then just decide not to give it back, ignoring the terms of the ticket purchase.
I purchased 2 flight tickets to Ecuador for the amount of $1,107.46 which I pay with my credit card. The next day I have to cancel those tickets but to my surprise they told me that I will get my credit in 15 working days. I don't understand why it will take that long and besides the bank will charge me interest on that amount for those 15 days. I'm retired and I can't be losing money that way. I believe the authorities should do something about this company's policies.
Flight cancelled in march. Lan agreed to compensate me, but nearly 5 months on still no compensation. Received just lots of broken promises. Now seeking legal advice to claim for more damages. Very poor customer service. Even when I did eventually get a flight it was terrible delayed. Poor food. I can't believe they claim to be south America's number one airline. Utter disgrace.
Received an email stating I had purchased airfare through them. I did not. I sent a request to investigate. I received an email asking for my credit card information. The person's name on the receipt was Ricardo **. Per the customer service rep. I was listed third as a traveler. I asked if I was listed as the purchaser and the customer service rep said he could not tell me that. He did say that the call was monitored and that he could not look that up without the additional requested information (credit card info). I told him that I am uncomfortable giving my credit card information to find out if I was the purchaser. I am displeased that Lan.com would not answer a yes or no question given that I am victim here. They seem to be protecting or hiding something. Truly awful to know Lan.com practices this type of business.
I have flown with TAM several times to and from Brazil. I have always had a very positive experience. Unlike US-based companies, TAM seems to me to value customers. Things I like: free checked bags for international flights, helpful staff, they give you little sweets and a toothbrush, food is actually pretty good, take good care of you with snacks and beverages. I have never had to change a ticket so I cannot speak to that experience.
I received my suitcase damaged on flight from Lima to L.A on 23rd June 2015. As soon as I noticed one of the rollers was bumped into something and pushed inside. Also there was a hole underneath of my suitcase so that it did not even stand itself anymore. At the LAX airport I called one of LAN staff nearby and he told me that most likely USD 30 to be paid which is not even enough to fix a roller. Then he said to wait at the departure counter.
I waited for 20 min and he did not appear so I tried to find LAN staff again to ask for the compensation. 20 min again to wait and he came and told me USD 30 is the maximum. I asked him to give me the detail of the cost if he thought that would be enough for me to fix the damage. He said he did not know. Then I asked USD 30 does anything for my suitcase to be able to be used again? He said yes. I asked how much to replace a roller. He said he did not know. He returned to the office and came back to me and said my option was either to receive USD 30 or ring a call center to negotiate. Every time I asked a question he went to the office back and forth. I thought it would have not been wise for me to leave without getting any evidence of the damage after seeing this kind of attitude of LAN staff.
His explanation did not make any sense and he even said this damage might not be caused by LAN. Also he said there was no my sign on back of suitcase tag, which made me confused so I asked what he meant then he could not explain well. Then I felt that he just wanted to make it up to defend himself. Then I asked to make a certificate with photo of the damage with a manager's sign. He went back to the office and came back with a manager. It has been 2 hours this time since I have started talking to LAN staff. The manager did not show any sympathy but straightway asked me to use my own insurance. I said No. Then he said USD 100 to be paid so I accepted it. Then he gave me the document and damaged USD notes which was old and taped every single notes (USD 20 notes x 5).
I certainly did not see their heart from the beginning to the end. It was awful and the worst airline service I have ever experienced. I recommend to anyone using LAN airline to make sure the compensation before leaving your stuff to them.
I am a travel agent and simply helping to get correct flights for my clients, I had to switch representative at least 5 times. Surprise to me, they were all in the same call center with the same attitude. They were unprofessional, sassy and always had a smart remark. They would never let me finish my sentence, rudely interrupting me with their "know it all" attitude. They were always putting me on hold every time I ask for a request and it's always more than 8 min, they don't ask me that they are putting me on hold. They say "for this new request you have to hold for 3 minutes" then I am suddenly put on hold for more than 8 minutes. I don't understand why they are act very unprofessional, I will never book this airline for any of my clients and I do not suggest anyone book with this airline until they re-coach all their representatives. It's a bunch of run-around and attitude I had to deal with every time I called, it is very ridiculous.
Flying from santiago de chile to osorno, I was notified right before boarding that I needed to let my carry on go with the rest of the luggage because it exceeded 8 kilos, according to visual inspection of the personnel in the counter. After picking it up at my final destination I realized that I had money and electronic devices missing. Obviously this devices nowadays have become like a personal office, where we have store both personal and work's valuable information. They said that they can not give me money back, but they would consider some kind of compensation for the items. Which after a while they claimed that it was my fault.
Flight from LAX to Chile (Peru) had an emergency landing and my mother was there. It was on the news but there is no way to contact the airline to check on my mother, completely unacceptable. Why do they ask for emergency contacts for passengers if they don't notify the emergency contacts? Lack of respect for the passengers and their family.
Flew business class December with LATAM to Edinburgh. The flight was diverted to Rio due to bad weather in Sao Paulo. Landed at 9 pm and asked that I be transferred to the BA flight which was still at Rio at the time and I could see that there were seats available. Aircrew said they could not do this but needed ground crew. Asked for ground crew to be called and meantime called LATAM to get a tel number for Rio airport. Was told that the only number that they had was for lost luggage.
Meantime midnight came and went and the BA flight left and the doors of the plane were not opened. A fracas developed in the tourist cabin as no food or water had been provided by the airline. As a result the federal police were called to calm the situation down. The pilot made one announcement that we were going to Sao Pauo and the ongoing flights would wait for us. However the crew were out of hours and the plane was going nowhere. Finally at 3 am we were allowed to deplane. The airline did not follow the DOT procedures it has published on its website, nor the procedures published by the Brazilian airport authorities. I brought all this up to LATAM and asked for compensation as in the end I was delayed 24 hours and nearly missed all of Christmas.
LATAM's first disingenuous reply was that weather conditions were act of god and out of their control. I replied noting I agreed but that my claim was due to 6+ hours sitting on the plane with no food, drink, medical service available and non compliance with DOT and other published protocols. LATAM then replied stating that the DOT procedures in the event of a delayed flight with passengers detained on the plane only applied to flights to the USA! Eventually after 5 months of arguing, trying to persuade the Brazilian Airport authorities to take action as their procedures were not followed etc. LAN finally agreed to compensate me $US100 (on a $US 5000 ticket). A month later still waiting.
I can only state that to me it is true that LATAM value cargo more than passengers and although they may have one Latin America's best airline award a number of times there is not much competition and if compared with the Middle and Far east airlines they are truly well behind. Their slogan 'the delight of flying' is the biggest misnomer in the industry!
UPDATED ON 09/25/2015 - Since submitting my review of LAN's customer service published here on 6/16/15 I am still waiting for full resolution. As noted by others on this site LAN continually ask for information, back up and details which have been sent several times. There seems an endemic culture within the company to lie and obfuscate. Even though I have been promised full repayment of my costs and a laughable $100 for compensation, I have only received about 1/3 of the costs incurred by the rerouting and delay, no explanation why the full amount promised has not been paid.
In an attempt to sort this out face to face with someone other than the programmed 'customer support' executives (now there's a misnomer as well) I went to the LAN corporate offices in Santiago to speak with the manager of client services - was told (of course) he wasn't available and when I asked for his contact telephone number or email address, I was told by Francisca, the person I spoke with, that she didn't have access to the corporate directory!
As the national ombudsman in Chile is toothless, if a company which has a complaint made of it does not answer they can do nothing and the reply of the ombudsman to the complainant is 'get legal advice' LAN's modus operandi is to wait out unsatisfactory customers. As I am based in Chile I would be happy to group with others who have complaints of a similar nature against LAN and start a class action suit. If I could give the company a negative rating I would do so! 'Voted the best Airline in South America' - My A**!
We booked 3 domestic flights with LAN in Peru. We started our experience with a double charge on the credit card for the same ticket. We called their customer service, they instructed us to fill a form online and wait to be contacted back. They contacted us back via email 1 month later asking the same information and proof we had already provided. They wanted the customer to prove that a double charge happened, while they should have already noticed that their REVENUES exceeded the amount of tickets sold. They never refunded the money. We are now processing the complaint with our bank to get the money back.
The first flight on Feb 15 was CANCELLED due to weather conditions. LAN informed about the cancellation and instructed all passengers to call customer service to reschedule the flight. They did not assist with flight rescheduling in the airport as would have been more reasonable. They refused to provide accommodation or meals for foreign passengers. The passenger asked for help to a friend in Peru to call, because as expected a foreigner does not have a phone available (especially if you were not even planning on staying in Lima, so no access to a hotel) and the call center replied saying that they will call back in 2 hours. They never called back. Furthermore when calling a second time the call center informed they might be taking longer than usual due to no seat availability. However when asked if we could book a completely new ticket they said they do have seats available.
Since the delay was already too long and implied losing pre-paid accommodations in another city and missing out vacation days, the passenger bought tickets with another airline to reach the final destination. The passenger then asked LAN AIRLINES for a reimbursement of the unused ticket, the ticket had a fully flexible fare and thus reimbursements were accepted. LAN printed a refund document and promised to return the money on the credit card within 14 days. It has been 4 months and NO REFUND was received. After calling several times to LAN to complain that the refund was not received on the credit card, LAN issued a Word file saying that they refunded on Feb 19 as proof of payment. The refund was never received though, we complain again and requested LAN to provide copy of the bank transaction for the refund and they REJECT our request.
We have thus, had an awful experience with this airline. Lost twice the value of the flight ticket. Had to buy a new ticket with another airline. Lost time during the vacation, one night of hotel in Lima, lost time for phone calls and it has just been a terrible experience. HOPE OTHER PASSENGERS DO NOT HAVE TO GO THRU THIS KIND OF NIGHTMARE! DON'T FLY LAN!
On 3rd April 2015 I arrived at Manaus Airport intending to board a flight I had booked with COPA Airlines which would take me from Manaus via Panama and Bogota to Mexico City. COPA staff asked whether I had any onward bookings to prove that I would be leaving Mexico again. When they found I did not have an onward booking their staff refused to check me in and told me I would not be boarding their flight without a confirmed booking from Mexico to another country. By this time it was 2:00 am and no ticket office except for the TAM vending desk was open.
A very kind TAM representative by the name of ** sold me the ticket the number of which is listed above. He assured me repeatedly that he had taken care to sell me a ticket that was fully refundable as I had explained that I had no intention of ever using this ticket. He even came with me to the COPA check in desk and showed the ticket to the staff there to help me finally check in. I had an awful night as you can gather but figured that the next day I would ask TAM to cancel the ticket and return my money.
Since 4th April I tried EVERY single day to get my ticket money back but every time I tried a different obstacle was put in my way: Language Issues/ Non availability of information & service for non-Portuguese speaking customers. Firstly, though the flight is operated by AA I need to have the money back from TAM. When I called the TAM customer services helpline in Mexico I was told TAM no longer had any English speaking call centre staff. As a non Portuguese speaker, I would have to call LAN. When I called LAN, the call centre agent there told me he could do nothing for me but "open a case".
When I told him that I was contactable by e-mail only but had no phone, he was very rude to me, told me he could do nothing for me and slammed the phone down. A very kind travel agent in Mexico eventually found a free phone number for me for TAM customer services for the US. I decided to try and wait until I got to the US.
TAM desks at airports are not authorized to assist clients with customer service related queries. Before flying to the US I had one last hope: the TAM offices at Mexico City Airport. I was told they could do nothing for me, I had to go downtown and see someone at the town offices. Their offices open at 9:00 am, my flight to Vegas took off at 8.20 am. There was no chance for me to go into town.
Upon arrival in Las Vegas I immediately called the free phone number. A Call centre agent ** told me the ticket I had bought for US 388.00 and which I had been assured on a number of occasions by ** was refundable was in fact non-refundable. When I asked her to put me on to her team leader, I had to ask five times before she finally put me through to someone called **. He in turn told me there was nothing they could do for me and they were not customer services anyway. By this time I was in floods of tears. The money I had spent with TAM I had spent in good faith only to find that now: I had been given the wrong information by **. Why? Was he not trained well? I was never shown any terms and conditions for the ticket, all I had was his word to rely on but surely an airline representative should know what he is doing/selling.
I feel TAM have mis-sold me the ticket which is a very serious legal issue. When I pointed this out to **, he was totally indifferent to this. Mis-selling is serious!!! Please, could a SENIOR member of your management look into this as a matter of urgency? If this happens to me, it will happen to other people!! Any reputable company should make itself accessible to its clients but way of suitably trained multi-lingual staff and by providing offices in locations accessible to customers. So if you sell tickets at airports your agents should be able to issue refunds at airports. In Mexico City Airport this was not possible. No customer should be sent round the houses with no one claiming responsibility.
TAM Airlines has corrected all of the issues I previously mentioned. The unclear and ambiguous Loyalty Program rules have been carefully rewritten. TAM also reinstated me in the "Red" Category. On each of the 3 trips I have taken since posting my previous review: my seat(s) were exactly as reserved; no arbitrary changes.
Other travelers may find it helpful to know that since TAM Airlines merged with LAN Airlines, customer service calls may go to a variety of call centers. I have been consistently given incorrect information when my call has been routed to an LAN call center. If someone tells you your Reservation Locator Code does not exist – you have been routed to an LAN Call Center. The LAN call center personnel are quite inattentive and rude. Just try calling again. And, ask if you've gotten a TAM call center. I now believe that many previous misunderstandings may have been due to non-TAM personnel.
On these last 3 trips, TAM was great about requesting a wheelchair at each stop. The only difficulty was caused entirely by the São Paulo airport. Travelers requiring a wheelchair should know that the São Paulo airport does not seem to have enough available wheelchairs; and, also seems to have coordination and scheduling issues. This is NOT a TAM issue since the airport provides all wheelchair and boarding assistance. TAM might want to suggest to that the airport invest in several "courtesy carts": electric carts which can transport several passengers at one time.
Background: I have been a frequent flyer of TAM Brazilian Airlines for many years. In fact, I was in their Fidelity Program's RED Category which requires the passenger to accumulate 50,000 points during a calendar year. During 2014, I accumulated over 70,000 points. During 2014, I was also repeatedly subjected to abusive and dismissive treatment.
Having a physical disability, I am accustomed to purchasing my tickets about six months in advance: always asking for and reserving an aisle seat; and requesting a wheelchair as both the Miami and Sao Paolo airports are enormous. Without fail, on at least one segment of each trip, the wheelchair was not available. Without fail, on at least one segment of each trip, I was arbitrarily reassigned to another seat DESPITE the TAM staff being well aware that I was a frequent flyer with a disability. TAM's business practices also leave quite a bit to be desired.
RECOMMENDATION: If you decide to choose a TAM flight, DO NOT book your flight directly with TAM. TAM has a very poor refund policy; even in cases of family death and illness. Instead, book your flight with an on-line USA-based travel website that offers Travel & Flight Interruption Insurance. Interestingly, the USA websites are often cheaper than purchasing directly from TAM; even with the added insurance.
Although my frequent flyer account shows ALL of my 2014 flights; I have now been informed that the airline has a HIDDEN rule to their Frequent Flyer Program: it's NOT published, mentioned or cited in the Frequent Flyer Program. Rather, it is surreptitiously hidden in another section. I was informed of this nearly secret clause when I went in person to an Asuncion, Paraguay TAM office. (Amusingly enough, the lady behind the counter was also unable to find this rule when I asked her to please point out "just where it says that.") This hidden rule states that 75% of the points awarded to Red Category customers are excluded from the annual points accumulation requirements.
Note: during 2014, I did consult with local TAM personnel. I had been told that I only need to accumulate 50,000 points. No other condition was ever mentioned. And, I was repeatedly told I needed to fly only four round trip South America - USA flights. TAM's customer loyalty program is ironic and laughable. The purpose of a Frequent Flyer Program is to encourage Customer Loyalty which would logically require an airline to show loyalty to their customers. TAM could very easily have clearly communicated that TAM would require Red Category Customers to fly a minimum of five round-trip international flights per year. Instead TAM chose to be unclear and misleading; both in publication and verbally. I would GLADLY give all of my 133,000+ points to Brazilian charity to provide airfare for cancer patients or whatever; just to be done with TAM.
Unfortunately, I had already purchased four round trip tickets from South America to the USA for 2015. I would NOT recommend TAM to anyone unless you take steps to protect yourself and your purchase. BUY your tickets ONLY through a USA-based travel website and purchase Travel & Flight Interruption Insurance. I would recommend that you carefully document each problem you encounter.
TAM Airlines Company Profile
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- TAM Airlines