I barely made it to my next flight due to a weather delayed flight from MIA to CLT. This is the story of what happened next and why Latam Airlines will NEVER have me as a customer

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A couple of months ago I flew American Airlines from round trip SEA-MDE on the way back on my second leg, MIA to CLT, we were delayed in MIA due to weather a couple of hours, I only had one-hour layover in CTL, there was NO WAY I was going to make the next flight.

Run Forest, run…

Non the less, the incoming airplane into CLT was delayed as well and I made it to CLT with minutes to spare I ran like Forest Gump to catch flight 2062 to SEA from one terminal to another, determined to make it to SEA that same day.

I made it…

When I got to the gate, they had just closed the gate door I begged the American Airlines agent to let me on the plane so I did not have to spend the night in CTL and catch the next flight the next morning at 5 am in the morning. The agent checked a few things and then he proceeded to open the door to let me on, my boarding pass was scanned and I was walking down the aisle feeling lucky, accomplished, triumphant until …. I got to my seat assignment only to be faced with the terrible fact that my seat was occupied. Turns out that AA had given up my business seat and the only available seats left were in economy.

Should I stay or should I go?

What to do now? Should I stay or should I go? Do I get off the plane and catch the early flight the next day or do I settle for economy and sleep in my own bed that night? I choose my own bed and figured I would deal with the bumped seat issue the following day. At that point, the only thing that made me happy after this ordeal, was that my bags made it to SEA that night. Big shout out to the flight attendant who kept giving me drinks to help me relax and forget I was on economy for the next 5 hours!

I booked my SEA-MDE roundtrip airfare thru Expedia because it was cheaper than booking thru www.aa.com directly. However, Expedia sold it as Latam, operated by American Airlines.  This is where this went array…

The next day I contacted AA to try getting a credit on the CLT-SEA leg for being bumped from my seat by NO FAULT OF MY OWN. This was the start of a month long battle between me, American Airlines, Latam Airlines and Expedia that had me feeling like I was being tossed like a hot potato between AA and Latam, each one saying they were not responsible for the weather, the fare, the booking, you name it they threw it at me.

The agony …

After a lot of back and forth with American and Latam and getting nowhere, I started to think I was not going to get anywhere and that maybe I should just cease and desist.  But I did not, it was not my fault and I have rights as a passenger, I paid full price and I did not get what I paid for and I should get credit for this, period!

I continued to email, call and post on social media to see if I could get the outcome I was looking for. American Airlines, was the first to respond and they were willing to work with me, they ended up crediting me 10,000 miles and gave me a $100 eVoucher even though it was ultimately Latam’s responsibility as they were the ones getting the money for my ticket, not American Airlines.

Latam, on the other hand, has the worst customer service I have ever experienced, thru this process, they bullied me, they would NOT take responsibility for any of it, even though I sent them all the backup information, they would continue to deny me requests for credit.

Finally, and tired of getting nowhere with Latam directly, I contacted Expedia directly, they got in touch with American Airlines who then were gracious enough to send me a statement of what happened on their letter head for me to forward to Latam and only then I got their attention…

I contacted Latam for the 100th time and finally they agreed to give me a choice of $300-dollar voucher to use within 6 months or a refund of $150, I choose the money because I never want to deal with Latam again. Latam asked me to give them some information, I sent it back within minutes.

A week passed and I still did not have the refund, after contacting Latam again, the same customer service person proceeds to shame me saying I did not send the correct information, which I DID SEND THE CORRECT information, after more back and forth with this woman for several days, she finally learned how to successfully make a wire transfer.

Bottom line is: Passengers have rights and we have to right to fight for them. Airlines continue to nickel and dime us and situations like should be resolved with treating the passenger/customer with respect and dignity, we are making the airlines billions of dollars so we have the right to be treated well. 

That’s it!

Thru this frustrating experience, American Airlines showed me that they were ultimately willing to work with me to find a positive resolution and although the process was frustrating, they communicated with me in a way that was respectful and ultimately I believe they went above and beyond what they needed to do and for this, they have a loyal customer in me forever.

As for Latam, I hope I never have to deal with them again, they never had me as a customer and they never will, they need to learn that a little goes a long way with customers……

Good luck Delta, hope that Latam does not destroy your customer relationships by providing the poor service I received when flying on Delta with Latam as codeshare partner…. This should be interesting …

And as for me, well, unfortunately, I have another trip planed later this year, also purchased thru Expedia, sold by Latam, operated by American Airlines again, roundtrip SEA-MDE.  I booked them at the same time, not knowing this would happen, so please Pray for me people that history does not repeat itself!

In the meantime, good travels from This Colombian Eats and Travels …




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