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Old Feb 14, 2009, 1:42 PM
jetsetvagabond jetsetvagabond is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 1
Default LAN Chile - bookings system failure

I booked a flight online with LAN late last year LIMA to RIO return. The first leg of the trip was completed no problem, however on trying to change the date of my return flight I have encountered endless problems. My flight restrictions are; 12 months max stay at destination, $50USD penalty to change flight date. Over the phone LAN tell me that my max stay at destination is 2 months and that i will incur more than $300USD in penalties. When I disputed this and called back 2 hours later LAN tells me that I could not change this flight at all.

I emailed a complaint to LAN, a MR Francisco Gomez responded apologizing and sent a copy of my original flight restrictions and said I could change my flight. On calling LAN again they again tell me that I cannot change my flight at all, even when I explained the email stating otherwise from Mr Gomez, they still refused to help me. When I again emailed Mr Gomez, he told me the call centre was in the wrong but refuses to help me further. So I am in a stalemate, the call centre refuses to change my ticket and the complains managager acknowledges the fault but refuses to help me resolve it, so, I lose my ticket with no refund and am stranded in a foriegn country. I have spent a fortune on the phone trying to resolve this, they have hung up on me, called me a liar, put on hold for half an hour then disconnected me. I have called and emailed dozens of times but LAN simply refuses to resolve this issue. It is obviously a glitch in their system, which they admit, but refuse to remedy it for me. I am an experienced world traveler for more than 20 years and have never encountered incompitence like this.
Old Feb 14, 2009, 5:45 PM
PHXFlyer PHXFlyer is offline
Join Date: Dec 2008
Posts: 1,366

Ask if Mr. Gomez can somehow make a notation on the reservation that the fare rules do allow the changes you are trying to make. If the call center employee can read the documentation then they should be able to make the change for you.

Otherwise, and I've said this before, if you aren't getting any satisfaction on the phone with an airline's call center then make a trip to the airport. We hear on this forum all the time about countless hours spent on the telephone being transferred from agent to agent and placed on hold for long periods of time. We also hear of the cost associated with these calls when they are made from cellphones or hotel phones in foreign countries. If you are at an airport ticket counter they have to deal with your issue face to face. They can't hide behind a hold button on a telephone.
Old Feb 15, 2009, 1:36 AM
jimworcs jimworcs is offline
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Shropshire, England
Posts: 3,197

I agree with PHX, which if you read this forum much, you would know is not at all common! I would take copies of your original documentation with conditions and the email from Mr. Gomez to the airport and deal face to face with the ticket desk. The problems with all call centres is that there is no direct engagement. Call centre workers are often measured on performance which creates perverse incentives. For example, how many calls you handled in an hour. This can lead to the ridiculous situation in which an employee is incentivised to get the customer off the phone, rather than resolve the problem. This is why many airline employees tell you bare faced lies in order to get you away, without worrying about whether the problem is resolved or not. More enlightened customer focussed companies provide incentives to resolve the problem the first time. Unfortunately, the airlines are not enlightened. Call centres dissipate responsibility, face to face encounters make it much harder to shirk the responsibility. Good luck!

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