A lot of people assume that travelling the world is an exciting experience, and for the most part it’s very rewarding.
However, it also means dealing with inconveniences such as this one. I’m posting about this negative experience with #LATAM so that fellow travelers are aware.
On 9 April (this Tuesday) I flew out of La Paz, Bolivia on LATAM with a stopover in Lima for my final destination, Rio de Janeiro.
I knew I would have to pay to check my bag in and expected a fee between $50-70 USD, which is standard on any international flight nowadays. My backpack weighed 15kg and the employee at the check-in counter explained that it was US$69.
I handed my card and the airline continued saying that it doesn’t work. They continued to try between two to three times and were unable to charge me. I went to several ATM machines and this didn’t work either.
After explaining that I only had 40 bolivianos and don’t know anyone in La Paz, the flight’s supervisor said they would make an exception and allow me to continue on to the flight without charging me because the crew had already sent the bag out, and there was no way for me to leave it behind (this is something I offered to do because the contents of my bag were things I could easily replace in Rio de Janeiro).
I arrived in Brazil and checked my bank account, which showed two separate transactions totaling US$187.49. This is much higher than the US$69 I was told it would cost to check my bag in.
To top it off, the airline says it will get back to me in 9 days. They haven’t mentioned when I can expect to receive my money back. I spent hours trying to get in touch with them and turned in my information.
It seems to me that I’ve been spending most of my time trying to get money back that I should not have been overcharged, to begin with. To top it off, though I’m a U.S. citizen I can’t make a complaint to the U.S. Department of Transportation because this didn’t happen in US territory and I don’t know how to make a formal complaint in Bolivia.
Okay, end rant. If anyone knows how to make a formal complaint, that would be great!