Avoid LAN Airlines -- how I didn´t make it to Ecuador
by Paul Meuse
(Porto, Portugal wandering)
OCTOBER 12, 2011
Avoid LAN Airlines
I am traveling and living in the least expensive
places I can find in España and Portugal after LAN airlines didn´t let me board a flight to Quito,
Ecuador on August 26th, 2011.
I´m trying to save another airfare. LAN didn´t let
me proceed past the ticket booth unless I either
bought a return ticket or a ticket for a forwarding flight to another South American country.
They had a separate counter set up where people
could purchase either ticket. I was told that if
I bought a ticket to Medellin, Colombia for €350,
then I could get on the plane and then cancel that
flight the next day in Quito. The woman said that
LAN airlines would then reimburse me.
I asked if LAN would reimburse me in cash, and they
woman said "Oh, we never do it in cash; we put it
back on your credit card." The problem for me was
that I had no credit card; just €450 cash, so if
I did that I would only have about $140 until
I thought that I might be able to make it on that,
but realized that they could refuse me entry for ´insufficient funds.´ So I was stuck in Spain; I
lost my flat in the process and am then found myself living out of cheap hostels or hotels.
I spent 30 nights in Badajoz, Spain; it was a
lovely place and I saved just under €300, but
I need another €1,000 tops.
I spend 7 nights in Lisboa, Portugal, a lovely
city, but couldn´t afford €30 a night. I am now
in Porto for my first night in a place for €20
a night. All the places have been very nice, and
the people at this one are great, and the place
looks good. If not for a friend´s help I would be spending nights on the street.
In fact, I have been looking for camping gear as
I reasoned that 20-30 nights camping would save
much more money quicker. I figured that I could
spend every 4th and 5th night in a hostel that way.
I am trying to save money to get back over to
Ecuador. I wanted to travel in South America; it
is much cheaper and would ease my financial burden.
I make more than enough to live comfortably in
I am a Vietnam veteran and I am writing a novel.
It seemed hypocritical for the airlines LAN not
to let me board the flight unless I bought a
ticket that I could cancel the next day.
That´s a scheme, or what I would call a scam.
I lost €758+ in airfare, my apartment, and I
found out that I am not the only one that LAN
has done that to. It´s a morally and ethically
bankrupt policy for them to do that, but it is
also very profitable for them.
So, if you intend to travel to South America
avoid LAN Airlines.
Posted by Right From Jump Street at 1:09 PM
Labels: Avoid LAN Airlines, Badajoz, Colombia,
Ecuador, Lisboa, Medellin, Porto, Portugal, Quito,
South American, Spain, writing a novel.