A LATAM ticketing error cost this traveler $200. Where’s her refund?

A LATAM ticketing error left this traveler with two tickets.

Patricia Honeycutt buys a ticket to fly between two cities in Argentina, but because of a LATAM ticketing error, she’s out an extra $200. Can our advocates help her get a refund?

Question

I booked a flight with LATAM Airlines in October, and I received an email from them stating that they had a problem issuing the ticket. LATAM charged my credit card. No one could tell me what the problem was.

I called customer service five or six times before a supervisor suggested I cancel the reservation and rebook. I’ve called seven more times. It is now almost two months later and I still don’t have a refund for the original reservation.

I tried to send an email to one of the LATAM names on your website, but it bounced back. I just want a refund of the $186 that LATAM charged to my credit card for the ticket it never issued. — Patricia Honeycutt, El Dorado Hills, Calif.

Answer

I’m sorry you had a problem caused by this LATAM ticketing error. Let’s take a closer look at what happened.

You went online and purchased airfare between Ushuaia and Buenos Aires in Argentina and paid just under $200. Immediately after your purchase, you received an email saying there was a LATAM ticketing error: “Your reservation and payment was made successfully, but an error has occurred with the issuance of the ticket. Soon you will receive an email confirming that your tickets are issued.”

However, the airline’s message did not state the cause of the problem. Meanwhile, LATAM had charged your credit card, and that follow-up email they promised never came.

You did the right thing by advocating for yourself using the executive contacts for LATAM that we list on our website. However, your emails to our primary contact kept bouncing back.

LATAM’s confusing response

When you finally were successful in reaching LATAM’s representatives via email, you received responses like the following (translated from Spanish):

We want to inform you that we are already processing your request… As soon as we have the answer, we will contact you again by this means to deliver the result.

On the other hand, we also want to ask you to please not answer this email.

OK — the company never issued you a ticket, it charged your credit card, seats were running out on your flight, and you were instructed not to answer the email. What were you to do?

You picked up the phone and tried again and again to contact the airline, finally reaching a supervisor, who suggested that you cancel the first reservation and rebook.

Fortunately, you were able to procure one of the few remaining seats. You also attempted to cancel the first ticket via email:

Since the ticket has not yet been issued for the reservation I made on October 31, 2017, and since I have not received any information explaining the problem with issuing the ticket, I want to cancel that reservation. I am requesting a refund of the $186 that I paid for that reservation. Please note that I have made six phone calls regarding this issue and that two of the emails I received in response were in Spanish.

I made a new reservation on November 11, 2017 because the website showed a limited number of seats left on that flight for that price. A charge of $186 is pending on my credit card.

LATAM’s representative reported your request to “the special department to continue with the process.” But nothing happened. No cancellation. No refund.

Correcting this LATAM ticketing error

Finally, you reached out to our advocates through our helpline, who contacted LATAM on your behalf.

Although LATAM never returned our emails, you let us know that the airline processed your refund.

While there was nothing you had done wrong, LATAM’s ticketing error caused you unneeded aggravation, and we’re pleased with the positive outcome.

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