I have a second home in Fortaleza Brazil that I spend two weeks a month at – so I spend a lot of time flying to South America. Since Fortaleza is not a major destination for American or United I end up on LATAM or Avianca as a code share for part of each trip. I don’t have a lot of issues on Avianca or when Flying LATAM within Brazil. However, I have yet to have a safe good experience flying LATAM on an International Flight! I am not exaggerating when I say that I have not had one (1) international flight on LATAM that hasn’t been cancelled or delayed by at least one hour. Today was no exception.
I had to overnight in Miami because my flight to GRU was scheduled for 9:40 and there weren’t any flights that could safely get me from ORD there that morning. I was a little happy to receive the email at 01:00 AM letting me know my flight was delayed until 10:30 this morning. An extra hour of sleep.
LATAM USA has a One World Priority check-in lane but, for some reason keeps it roped off until a customer service representative greats you and lets you through. I stood there for a period of time while the two LATAM customer service reps chatted about there personal lives. Finally I said, “Excuse me, is it ok for me to pass and check in?”. They looked at me and then looked back at each other and continued to chat. I have to say I was a little shocked that a customer service rep on a priority lane would really be that blatantly rude. So I said, “Excuse me” again. This time with a little more strength. He walked over and told me I need to just wait for him to finish – I reminded him I was a customer and just wanted through to check in and he could continue with his personal conversation in 5 seconds. That’s when the other rep looked at me and said, “You are a LATAM customer? because you sure don’t look like one! I hope they seated you at the back of the plane!” Not exaggerating here – those were his exact words.
In the scheme of things compared to world hunger, school shootings, and corrupt politicians this is nothing. But my mouth did hit the floor as to how rude an airline representative can be toward a paying customer. A repeat paying customer. What shocked me even more was when I spoke to the supervisor as she walked by she rudely shrugged it off. I guess this is LATAM corporate culture at its best!