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
September 1st.

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
South America.

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.

Comments for Avoid LAN Airlines -- how I didn´t make it to Ecuador

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Jun 16, 2012
no free stuff
by: Anonymous

"I like the free wine and beer, great food, punctuality, great free entertainment, and no baggage fees."

I had no free wine and beer, and no great food. I also had no free entertainment. And because I had flown first class and had the additional luggage allowed on first class, they charged me overage on my bag which wasn't over and for my addtional bag, which first class ticket allowed me.

Nov 16, 2011
Response to avoid LAN
by: Anonymous

Most foriegn countries I've been to, require visitors to have a round trip ticket when they enter the country. I'm not sure I understand what happened to you. Did they sell you a one way and then when you tried to board, tell you that you needed a round trip?

My experience with LAN has been great, and I've made numerous trips to Ecuador. I like the free wine and beer, great food, punctuality, great free entertainment, and no baggage fees.

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