New rules for Latam.

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Re: New rules for Latam.

Post by admin » Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:27 am

Well it started a few years back. They would let you pay an extra fee for seats with more leg room, like in front of the plane, or next to the emergency door.

Then as they started transitioning to the low costs carrier, they started deploying it for all seats.

Which, fine, that is the name of the game. Willing to play that game, as long as the price comes down with it.

The problem is their software / online booking system is crap at Lan. At one point, for several months, you would go to select your seat, and it would reload the screen showing the plane, with all the seats booked. In less than 15 seconds, a flight that had all seats available, had none. I just had this vision of airplanes taking off with no one on board, because their crappy web site told all the rest of their network that the flight was full.

More than once however my wife paid for premium seat, starts boarding the plane, and they tell her they gave her seat away or her entire ticket was cancelled. Most of the time, when there is no big rush to get somewhere, we take a free ticket on the next flight and a couple hundred in cash. We can wait until later in the day, or the next day; assuming we have no emergency to fly.

The over booking flights thing is starting to get out of control however. They tried to cancel my wife's ticket on Christmas weekend last year flying back from Santiago. Management at LAN got the message from a pissed-off, tired, attorney that there were two seats on that plane that were not going to be cancelled: hers and the pilot.

The over booking plane thing pissed off more than my wife. They pissed off the congress. They are now introducing legislation to make it illegal for airlines to overbook flights or change your seat, and it might include charging separate for the seat selection. It is fundamentally a bait and switch scam, copied from the United States, that violates the consumer protection laws in Chile. You pay for a ticket on the plane, they don't get to sell it twice. One thing about the "low cost" airline, and there not being a business or first class option domestically in Chile, congress flies the same crappy class as everyone else. I have been on planes regularly in Chile with senators, ministers, etc a couple seats over. The airlines have just over-played their hand with pushing the "low cost" thing.

Internationally though, regardless of airline, if you want to fly like a human being and not cattle, or something say resembling flying economy back in the the 70's or 80's, you got to buy a business class ticket. You either got to pay up or suck it up.

If you fly business class out of Santiago on LATAM, you go through a separate entrance at the airport, with separate customs and immigration control with no lines, to hang-out at their business lounge with free food, drinks, showers, etc while you wait for your flight. You get the preferential boarding, two suitcase allowance per person, and seat selection is included, etc, plus you get to feel your legs when you arrive at the destination. But obviously it costs. I know someone that just had to fly in to Santiago on Latam from the Florida for a last moment emergency. The economy class was $3,000 U.S, the Business class was $8,000 U.S. I think those business class seats typically run $2,000 to $4,000 with advance purchase. With some careful shopping, using miles, etc, you can get those business class seats for a lot less, but it takes some work; other than that, you need a corporate account to pay for it.

That said, the low cost airline has put a lot of buts in the seats that have never flown before in Chile. I think I seen passenger traffic out of SCL was up 10% domestically in 2018 over the previous year. We use to pay somewhere between $100,000 and $300,000 pesos for tickets from Puerto Mont to Santiago a few years ago. We are typically getting tickets now at around $30,000 pesos, and often fly free with miles and playing with the booking systems well in advance. So, for a couple hours flight, the cattle call economy does not bother me. For much longer, international flights, we start eyeballing the business class seats.

So, I don't know if it is any worse, than say back in the 70's in the U.S. where most people could not afford to fly at all, or at least regularly; or, even just a few years ago across Latin America, most people would never have a chance to fly. It was just too expensive. Now millions of people around South america are flying; but, most I am sure don't care, as long as they get point A to point B, and definitely a hell of lot more comfortable than a chicken bus ride, that in Latin America is far more dangerous than flying in most cases.
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Re: New rules for Latam.

Post by admin » Mon Apr 01, 2019 3:46 pm

well july they are going to also lower the airport tax again.

https://www.df.cl/noticias/empresas/ind ... 50904.html

they are reducing them 40% by 2020.
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Re: New rules for Latam.

Post by Britkid » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:28 pm

Here's an overbooking story for you, quite a good one if I say so myself although I may have told it before.

2004. I was doing a round the world. Europe-Africa-Australasia-South America-Europe. Went to the airport in Auckland for my pacific flight to Santiago.

Actually I had no interest in Chile. I was only flying there because there was no flight direct from New Zealand to the south of Bolivia. What I really wanted to was to spend a few months traveling through Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador which seemed to me more exciting as well as cheaper than Chile.

I was going to fly to Santiago, look around Santiago for a couple of days, get a flight to Calama, get the bus to San Pedro, and head on to Bolivia.

But the flight from Auckland to Santiago was overbooked. So I was an obvious young traveller with a stereotypical backpack, so they offered me $200 to fly via Los Angeles instead with a 10-hour stopover. I accepted, on condition, that the 10-hour stopover be changed to a 2-week stopover. Basically a free flight to the US for a holiday. They accepted. I deleted Santiago completely from my plans, and sorted out a new itinerary where I'd just change planes in Santiago to get to Calama and then head immediately out of Chile. On the new plan I wasn't even going to bother with a day in Santiago.

For half an hour I was reading the guidebook in the shop planning a trip to the Grand Canyon. But then when I went back a half hour later to get the new tickets they changed their mind, withdrew the deal, and put me back on the original flight.

I met my future wife a few hours after I arrived in Santiago, and we now have 2 kids.

At least one person did not turn up for that flight from New Zealand to Chile.

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Re: New rules for Latam.

Post by admin » Tue Apr 02, 2019 5:13 am

ahhh, one of those philosophical "what if" / "two roads diverge in the woods" sort of moments in life where you look back and think 'what would my life have been like had I chosen to do .... instead of ...'?

how diffrent would my life had been if say I had taken that bus, train, plane, boat, etc, instead of the other one to another country or city?

what would have happened had i followed that pretty girl i was talking to in line at the train station waiting for a ticket, say 25 years ago?

what would have happened had i acepted that invitation for a ride to Istanbul when i was 20, instead of turning back and heading to Spain?

there are a billion of them in life everyday, but some are more obvious than others.

The decisions that were made with a split second of thought and had the biggest consequences, seem to stick in my mind more than most of life's crossroads. especialy considering how much time and effort we seem to waist in our life trying to carefully plan, prepare, and control for big life altering decisions.

In the end, all that preparation is probably just a waist of time. Just go with the flow, and enjoy the ride. The destination is less important than the trip; and you really don't get to choose anyway.

P..S. Don't forget to pack a towel. :lol:
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T_ROBO
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Re: New rules for Latam.

Post by T_ROBO » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:42 pm

admin wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:27 am
The problem is their software / online booking system is crap at Lan. At one point, for several months, you would go to select your seat, and it would reload the screen showing the plane, with all the seats booked. In less than 15 seconds, a flight that had all seats available, had none. I just had this vision of airplanes taking off with no one on board, because their crappy web site told all the rest of their network that the flight was full.
Yeah, I have to agree that their software is crappy. I flew from SCL to NY JFK two weeks ago, and it was impossible to select a seat: the software kept saying that the seating chart was not available. Luckily, I arrived at the airport early, and the checkin agent sorted it out immediately.

On the way back, I called their agent and they got my seat assignment immediately. The call was fast, the agent was very courteous and helpful. The minor thing I noticed was that it seemed like he took the call from his house with kids in the background.
admin wrote:
Sun Mar 31, 2019 11:27 am
If you fly business class out of Santiago on LATAM, you go through a separate entrance at the airport, with separate customs and immigration control with no lines, to hang-out at their business lounge with free food, drinks, showers, etc while you wait for your flight.
Priority checkin for international flights at LATAM is very fast. You take the escalator near the regular security entrance to the second floor to their checkin counters. After checking in, you go straight to security with almost no waiting. Immediately after security scanning, you will see LATAM lounge.

LATAM lounge for international flights in Santiago is very good. I was pigging out on their ice cream :-) while there. They even have a room with beds for you (on the 2nd floor, near the corner) if you want to sleep there. The only complain I have is that they will not announce when the boarding starts (American Airlines lounge always does). You have to watch the TV screen (available almost everywhere in the lounge) to see when the boarding starts.

I personally would avoid the Pacific VIP lounge. Too many kids running around without parents' supervision. One time I had a kid running into my champagne, knocking it into my lap, and his parents did nothing to control him afterward (meaning the kid kept running around in the same manner).

TP

PS. Gloria, other airlines (United, for example) also charge customers for choosing seats. American Airlines is the only one I know who does not charge this fee (unless you are buying their cheapest basic economy ticket -- in this case you will not be able to select seat, it will be assigned at the airport when you check in). I flew British Airways from London to Belfast last year and found out about this fee. The flight only offered coach seatings, so you have to wait until checking (24 hours before the flight) to select seat without having to pay. At least their software worked perfectly.

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Re: New rules for Latam.

Post by Space Cat » Thu May 02, 2019 2:15 am

Found on Twitter:

latam.jpg

bow26
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Re: New rules for Latam.

Post by bow26 » Thu May 02, 2019 2:26 pm

Haha it’s like if you fly premium economy. Instead of pollo o pasta you get a menu giving you a choice of pasta a la balls bla or chicken au bla bla. When I first saw it I couldn’t believe people fall for this kind of crap and think they are getting a higher quality service .

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Re: New rules for Latam.

Post by bow26 » Thu May 02, 2019 2:27 pm

Hmm the above should have read pasta a la bla bla but anyway what autocorrect said is in some ways more appropriate

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