Airlines steeling from victims

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Re: Airlines steeling from victims

Post by BHC » Wed Mar 03, 2010 7:35 pm

here's my 2 bits...

My flight through Delta was scheduled for the 4th and fell into these terms

(To, From, or
Through) Dates of Travel Impacted Ticket Reisssue Date
(On or Before) New Travel
Origination Dates (No Later Than)
Santiago, Chile (SCL)
Feb 27–Mar 05, 2010 Mar 08, 2010 Mar 08, 2010

The kicker to this statement is that you have to rebook and fly by the 8th. You can only rebook to the same fare type, ours was L (whatever that means). If you book to a different fare you incur the difference in fare.
There was no way for us to fly on the 4th. After finally getting sent to customer services, double speak for sure, they waived the $250 per seat fee that would allow us to fly outside the 8th. After I got confirmation from our landlord that all was well and that we were still welcome I called Delta back to get booked. Back and forth we went for 5 hours, at least 10-12 people and 2 dropped calls. We were finally told that there was availability for a flight on the 12th, but that because it was a different fare type that it would be an additional $1300 per seat, we have 4 seats. So after 5 hrs of talking to them at this point I knew full well that every seat up to the 8th was booked. I asked the agent to go ahead and put me on a flight on or before the 8th so we wouldn't have to take the monetary hit. She just sat there then softly mumbled that there were no seats available. My question was, how does it work if I have to book and fly by the 8th and there are no seats for us, this was at the 4 hour mark. She said it doesn't work.... so off to a supervisor I went. 40 min later we were rebooked for the flight on the 12th with no additional fees. She was very friendly and even extended our return date.

The problem is that the first line of corporate defense at Delta has absolutely no power to do anything other than what is posted on the web site, period. Avoid the 4 hours of trying to reason and politely ask for a supervisor. Politely is the key word. Just like any time in an emergency you should keep your cool, maintain your composure and think logically, not with anger or fear. No one is going to go out of their way to help you if you're treating them crap.

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Re: Airlines steeling from victims

Post by audeo13 » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:10 pm

Yeah I've heard a few people having that problem with quite a few airlines. Say what you will about Air Canada (and believe me I'm not a fan, I fly them for the same reason as the others; the direct flight from TO to SCL) but I had friends end up having to rebook their flight here. They weren't penalized and they had a 30 day window to choose from. It says so on the Air Canada travel advisory for Chile. So Act of God or not, they are trying to work with their customers. It would be awesome if they threw in hotel rooms and what not for their stranded customers but they've never been that kind of awesome. None of the North American carriers offer that level of customer service anymore.

You forget about it most times, but then when you head for the South Pacific and are lucky enough to fly Malaysia Air or something like that and get spoiled rotten with a guaranteed hotel room to freshen up if your layover is too long as well as an in-flight menu to order from, you realize how far customer service has fallen in North America. The last time I flew American overseas, the snack between meals was a lousy granola bar.

My policy is to always go straight to the supervisors. I just keep climbing the ladder until they either see reason or give up. It usually works.
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Re: Airlines steeling from victims

Post by nwdiver » Wed Mar 03, 2010 8:57 pm

I harken back to my early days in Chile and I flew LADECO allot, they flew old gear but the white linen table cloth and china plate with a service cart of choices rolling down the aisle kept me coming back, it was the desert cart and the choice of wine that really did it.
It's all about the wine.

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Re: Airlines steeling from victims

Post by Steph » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:07 pm

My husband has been stranded in Aus for a week, he was booked on a LAN flight, but through qantas (code share). He has been booked and rebooked on 3 or 4 different flights in the interim, until they found one that worked (direct via auckland, rather than via LA, or Houston, or Miami and then Lima...). While it has been frustrating, i have to say Qantas have been nothing but completely helpful and communicative.

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Re: Airlines steeling from victims

Post by admin » Wed Mar 03, 2010 10:54 pm

Both Sky airline and Lan are re-booking all tickets. Now that is how airlines should behave to their customers in crisis. Contact to reschedule.

We were scheduled to fly to Santiago at 10 am on Saturday.
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Re: Airlines steeling from victims

Post by ingrambr » Wed Mar 03, 2010 11:46 pm

I flew with Air Canada to Buenos Aires and was due to fly back the day of the earthquake. Flight cancelled with a notice to call back on Tuesday. We did that and they said call back on Saturday. We were anxious to get home. We were offered a refund of our ticket which they claim will be exactly half of what we paid. We'll see. Anyway, we took this up Tuesday and caught some buses and we are now back in Santiago in a hotel. Tomorrow we'll make the trek home to Talca.

It was suggested to me by another passenger that Air Canada are taking advantage of the "act of God" clause. Apparently they could fly BsAs->Santiago, but chose not to since their route flies on to Toronto and passengers could only disembark and not board, hence they'd fly Santiago->Toronto half full potentially. So it's an "act of God" plus not wanting to losing too much money perhaps?

I'm not sure what I was expecting from Air Canada, I feel they were a bit vague and unhelpful. It was a bit expensive hanging out in BsAs for 4 days more.

Regarding the outbound flight, I preferred the plane, in-flight entertainment, food, etc... over the LAN equivalent which is sightly more expensive. But for such a short journey it barely makes a difference.

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Re: Airlines steeling from victims

Post by chilechinadollz » Wed Mar 17, 2010 1:12 pm

Here's my experience with Delta. We just got back to the States 2 days ago. Our outbound flight from Santiago was scheduled for the 10th. Having trouble getting a flight back to the capital from Temuco to meet this date, I rescheduled, and paid the $275. per person upcharge. I just emailed them yesterday to explain our circumstances and lobby for a refund on the change penalty. They sent me back a very nice note in less than 24 hours saying that they would apply a refund for the rescheduling charge.

Needless to say I'm a very happy camper now and wanted to relay my story. If anyone is in a similiar situation, I suggest you go the Delta site and plead your case. Just make sure you chose "other" in the window that asks what the coorespondance is relative to and then type in Chile Earthquake. I figured that might get my mail answer ahead of others who may be emailing to complain about meals etc.. :)