Written on: 04/06/2012
Prebooked and paid for flights to and from Australia to Buenos Aires, and another 4 flights in South America with LAN airlines. At beginning of our tour from Buenos Aires, we turned up at airport at 0605 hrs for an 0840 flight. Lined up and waited till 0735 hrs, at which time we reached the check-in desk to be told there were no seats! despite protestations, there were no seats. They had overbooked the flight and left several ( based on the number of people I could see), in the same situation. We were delayed by 14 hrs onto the next flight. Our tour was only 12 days. LAN had made no real attempt to encourage voluntary uptake of delay from passengers in queue. There was never any apology. We missed our land transport at Lima, despite having paid for it. Our attempts to resolve various issues that arose directly from this forced denied boarding, was frustrating and useless. The ground staff, were basically useless. To add insult to injury, LAN then contacted my travel agent, informing them that I was a 'no-show' and they were going to cancel the rest of my flights. I received an email from my agent, wondering were I was, and expressing concern regarding our safety! I would consider their behaviour unconscionable and negligent. As for the overbooking per se- may be I was naive in thinking that having paid and fulfilled all the airlines documentary criteria, I was entitled to a seat! At the least, LAN needs to inform customers that a confirmed booking does not mean a guaranteed service, and I believe that airlines should make significant attempts to entice passengers to take on voluntary 'bumping', to avoid 'forced denied boarding'!
As rated by real users