LAN now charging all NON-RESIDENTS a $178.50 fee

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Do you have a problem with the additional $178.50 extranjero fee for all domestic tickets with Lan Peru?

Yes
46
77%
No
12
20%
It Depends
2
3%
 
Total votes: 60
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Postby americorps » Mon Sep 07, 2009 9:52 am

Yes, first hand documentation, employees of the ministry of tourism, direct contact with Lan.

and you simply choose to deny those sources, they do not mean they do not exist, it only means you do not like them so you pretend they do not exist.

Conveninet, yet dishonest as they are are all verifiable.

Plus the info from the Lan website clearly poorly labeled and misleading, plus the very verifiable comments from other people here about third party websites selling tickets and Lan then charging the customer and not the third party.


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Postby gerard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:06 pm

I probably shouldn't have, but as it was pointed out that everything is easily googleable, I had a quick look for that LAN chappy who has allegedly killed this story in the local press. Turns out he's worked for some pretty shady organizations :-)

Roberto Del Águila
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Tiene una larga trayectoria como periodista y editor en diferentes medios locales (Diario La Razón, revista Caretas, Radioprogramas del Perú, Canales de Televisión 5, 7 y 13). También ha trabajado en comunicación institucional y corporativa para organizaciones como Unicef, el Centro Peruano de Estudios Sociales (CEPES), el Instituto Libertad y Democracia (ILD) y la Comisión de Promoción del Perú (PromPerú). Es docente en Periodismo y Comunicación Corporativa. Actualmente se desempeña como Gerente de Imagen de LAN PERÚ.


Oh the irony! And I am happy to quote my sources: http://salgalu.com/nosotros-salgalu.html. Apologies for the Spanish quote.
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Postby americorps » Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:08 pm

Hence, thank you for showing that he has editorial powers at RPP and insider knowledge of Prom Peru.

My point exactly.
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Postby gerard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:39 pm

Just noticed that way back in the original post it did show a LAN website cut stating that the fee was a fixed $178.50, so happy to accept that as fact.

I am confused a little though as I thought people were complaining to PromPeru but the fact that Sr Del Aguilla used to work for them somehow counts against him. Another interpretation might be that as someone with an interest in promoting Peruvian tourism when the issue was pointed out to him he returned your call personally and got LAN to change their (Peruvian at least) website pretty quickly.

And just so there's no confusion, I don't work for LAN, but I am flying them (LIM-MIA) in Feb next year and would be more than happy to accept an upgrade (2 adults, 1 child, 6th Feb back on the 20th :wink: )
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Postby americorps » Mon Sep 07, 2009 12:46 pm

I am surprise you miss the conflict of interest. He has ties to the press that should be reporting on him, he has ties to the agency that will be forwarding him complaints. His interests, however, are his full time employer, LAN.

IF RPP were to investigate this issue at Lan, their source would also be one of their journalists. Prom-Peru has no investigative powers, but if they decide to take issue, the good-old-boy network would undoubtedly play a factor and if you do not think so, I would akin that to living in Mr. Rogers neighborhood.

As far as calling this a vast conspiracy as has been contriubted to me, I laugh at the dramatic interpretation and simply re-point to the facts. A news organization who has one of their reporters also serving as the source for an independent news story conforms to no ethical standard of conduct I have ever heard of.

Fairly worth the question, I would say.
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Postby iron butterfly » Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:02 pm

Lets say an independent hungry reporter investigated this. What would this reporter find, upon investigation? That he immediately remedied the problem when it was pointed out to him?
Last edited by iron butterfly on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:18 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby americorps » Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:03 pm

I have seen no remedy. The letters are slightly bigger, third party sites are still selling the tickets with impunity and no admission of error or apology to those affected is forthcoming.

Other than that, mrs. lincoln, how was the play.
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Postby gerard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:13 pm

So it would be unethical for RPP to run the story, and they didn't. Damn those ethical journalists.

There's no conspiracy but the old boys network will kick-in and quash any investigation. Damn those non-conspiracies.

Still confused as to what the end result desired is.

Drop the promo? Why if it helps residents fly cheaper?
Make it clearer on their web site? They have.
Pay back anyone they have made pay extra? Unlikely but could be done if they paid by cc.
Parade LAN chiefs through Lima in sackcloth and ashes? Probably not severe enough.
Get foreign media to trash Peru? Probably getting there.
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Postby americorps » Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:37 pm

i have to question your motives, I think you are just baiting me now as you are saying random things.

The solution would be to forgive the victims, apologize to them, use modern 21st century web tools to make this much more clear, Make it clear when you select the fare that it is not available to foriegners as currently the disclaimer is still presented after the reservation is made but before the payment. Make it clear that if the tickets were purchased through a third party that the third party will be held liable, not the tourist, if the tickets were issues through Lan offices, then honor the ticket.

You said:
Drop the promo? Why if it helps residents fly cheaper?


Of course I have repeated stated over and over that I have no problem whatsoever with a promotion to promote Peruvians to travel within Peru offering them discount prices, I do not see that anyone has a problem with that..so why i have to wonder did you make that statement.

The only answer I can come up with is because it is a bait, a passive agressive way to attack me. It is clearly a dishonest question based on the repeated comments by me and others who agree with me that this is clearly not the issue, but you wanted to say it anyway because you felt it has an emotional impact.

It is clear now, your personal motives and I am not playing that game. Have fun though.
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Postby gerard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 1:55 pm

I'm definitely not trying to aggravate you and if it's coming across that way then I'm happy to apologise. Others have commented that the promo is not giving cheaper fares to residents and just makes non-residents pay more, so asking if an aim was to stop the promo seemed reasonable.

Your other answers succintly outline what you're looking for. Not sure how LAN would go about some of them for passengers who have already flown, but I and others have agreed that people who were mis-sold tickets by 3rd parties should have the fee waived.

As to the web site, I've just looked at it again and and to me there appears to be clear references to some prices being available to residents only, there's a link to that explains what this means, and there's a yellow triangle staing it again on the page showing the prices. At some point people have take responsibility for what they book.

As to my motives, do we need motives to join in a topic now? I thought this was a discussion forum and that's what we've been doing. The internet isn't always a great place to hold what can become heated debate as so many nuances are lost, so again, apologies if my comments have offended you.
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Postby naturegirl » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:11 pm

Guys, please stop fighting with each other and fight together, against the problem. United we stand, divided we fall, you know.
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Postby gerard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:13 pm

What did United do? I didn't know they even flew out Peru :-)
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Postby iron butterfly » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:20 pm

I did not know there was a problem, that is what I have been trying to determine. So... it is at United?
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Postby LauraMH » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:36 pm

OK, please help me out here. Please show me where, on the USA English site, does it clearly state after selecting Peru as a travel itinerary: "If you are a Peruvian resident, you are entitled to cheaper fares. Please click on this link for other pricing."

That is all I want to see, in English, LAN clearly state there are cheaper fares for Peruvian residents.

Or, just add another column, on the English page, with the cheaper fare and label it "Peru Residents Only".[/quote

This is a reasonable comment. Disclosure. But most companies seem to prefer crimes of omission rather than comission.
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Re: new rule

Postby LauraMH » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:48 pm

[quote="mahou123"]I just looked at Lan website. They state quite clear now that ´tarifa base´ is for Peruvian residents (DNI or CE) only. However, there are 3 other tarifas, that are ok for everyone. For Lima -Chiclayo flight, difference in price between base and base plus is $25 each way for dates I looked. $178 is a fine for booking tarifa base and not being a resident of Peru. Base plus also allows changes and gives 100% frequent flyer points, unlike the base one. Depending on how to value this, one might consider buying base plus even if the cheaper one, base, was for everyone. Although for other destinations, price difference can be higher or lower.

I agree. I misunderstood. I thought it was all tickets purchased on the Peru site. However I realize now it is only the cheapest tickets. The other tiers can be purchased without any additional fee. If this is the case then I find it to be fair. In country tourism should be encouraged and it includes residents as well (people with carnet too). The next level up is still a fair price.

The part that concerns me is the non-disclosure for those who purchased it without any knowledge. However, it seems that is now clearly remedied.
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Postby gerard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 2:53 pm

The US site doesn't let you book the promo prices so there's no need for the disclaimer. I don't know whether this is a change they've made or was always the case.

There was a suggestion made that Peruvian residents may use the US or other country sites and hence miss out on the promo.
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Postby american_in_lima » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:26 pm

Interesting to watch the votes in this forum. Out of 25 votes, 11 are them either disagree with Lan are aren't sure. I voted that Lan was wrong, but that is just my opinion.

At the end of the day, regardless if the press covers the story or not, the market will correct itself. Do I think that people will stop coming to Peru because Lan raised their prices? No. However, I do think they will fly a different airline such as Star Peru.

I just recommend taking a different airline

A comment that has not been brought up yet is that of the park ticket and train ticket to Macchu Pichu. As a resident it's a lot cheaper than as a tourist. That seems to me more of an abuse than a "tourist tax" from Lan.But in Florida, I paid less for Orlando parks than non Floridians, so it does happen.

Anyway, in sum, Fly Star Peru.

I probably spend $500 to $1000 a year with Lan. In ten years, they just lost $5000 to $10,000 just in one customer.
Last edited by american_in_lima on Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:31 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gerard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:28 pm

I misread the earlier post - I thought it was asking for the disclaimer for non-residents to be shown, not for residents to be pointed to the promo prices. It could be done but surely that's a business decision for LAN. I'm not aware of any other airline sites that do it though. I was looking at KLM the other day and their specials are targetted at the country you're booking from, although I don't believe you can book flights that start in other countries from the wrong country's web site, so to speak.

If LAN did of course, then they'd also need to do the same for all promos in other countries that their residents might be entitled to, which could make for a confusing home page. I can understand why they might consider it simpler to restrict promos to each country specific site.
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Postby iron butterfly » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:45 pm

Since this promotion is for domestic flights, maybe you can only purchase tickets in Peru.
Last edited by iron butterfly on Thu Nov 19, 2009 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby gerard » Mon Sep 07, 2009 3:50 pm

I don't think so. I haven't gone as far as to buy tickets, but you can certainly put Peruvian cities as your start and end end points in all of the LAN country specific sites and get prices. For other country sites you just get the standard fares - no mention of a promo.

I'd imagine that prices also very between different country sites to take into acount local taxation, currency fluctuations etc.
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Postby cajun jamie » Mon Sep 07, 2009 5:47 pm

The way it was in the past, the way I have done it and the way thousands of others have done it was simple.

LAN used to allow anyone to purchase a ticket, at the Peruvian price, as long as you paid for the ticket in Peru, or had an agent in Peru purchase the ticket for you.

There are hundreds of posts on this and many other forums, explaining how LAN posts two different prices, and anyone can purchase the Peru price, if they pay for the ticket in Peru, or have the agent do it.

What changed was one day, LAN decided they were losing a lot of money by allowing just anyone to get the Peruvian price. So, instead of buckling down on the agents, or making sure LAN offices only sold tickets to bona-fide residents, they penalized the ticket holder.

This is what rubbed people wrong. People bought tickets, using agents and LAN in Peru, then showed up at the airport and LAN surprised them.

NOPE! You should not have been allowed this ticket, so pay or you don't fly. This is NOT the way to do business. The way to do business is to prevent the SALE of tickets to people who do not qualify.

But, instead of cracking down on agents (even their own), they punished the passengers, who often times, knew no better.

That is the crux of the matter. If someone is allowed to purchase a ticket, LAN should honor that ticket. Plain and simple.
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Postby iron butterfly » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:15 pm

Has anyone been able to catch that slippery running foreign media running with this story?
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Postby Just a thought . . . » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:19 pm

cajun jamie wrote: If someone is allowed to purchase a ticket, LAN should honor that ticket. Plain and simple.



I couldn't agree more!!
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LAN's price gouging foreign tourists doesn't help Peru

Postby rickfrombrooklyn » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:22 pm

Let me start with some personal disclosure: I earn most of my daily bread from the travel business.

LAN claims that this fare hike represents its "commitment to the country's development" and that it "is working very hard to promote air transportation inside Peru, (and) therefore (is) pushing internal commerce and tourism."

"In this sense, we have created a campaign directed especially to the public, which despite currently residing in Peru has not yet had the opportunity to be acquainted with the diverse and attractive destinations that are offered by the distinct cities of our country. For this campaign we have coined the name 'Peru is yours, Know it,' and will be disseminated it via a major publicity campaign, inviting Peru's residing public to get to know Peru's distinct cities, using our promotional fares ... which will apply only to resident of Peru."

That sounds very magnanimous. But it's B.S.

This campaign, in fact, represents the height of cynicism on the part of LAN.

Take note: this airline is not offering lower fares for Peruvians and residents of Peru, so much as it is barring foreign tourists from purchasing coach tickets at the normal base fares (Clases Tarifarias O,Q,N and S).

A middle-income Peruvian who couldn't afford the $130-$160 cost of a round trip ticket to and from Cusco isn't suddenly going to be able to afford that ticket.

But now instead of a Lima-Cusco-Lima round trip fare costing a foreign visitor $160, it will cost upwards of $240... and more than $400 if he/she buys directly through LAN's USA or European web portals.

Price gouging visiting tourists does not promote air transportation inside Peru, nor does it create an incentive for commerce and tourism. It has just the opposite effect, making Peru distinctly unaffordable and drastically dissuading foreign tourists from considering Peru before other destinations.

What does that mean for tourism in Cusco, where the global economic crisis has meant a 30-40% drop in tour groups this year?

It is an outrage that one airline maintains a monopoly on 90% of the domestic routes and can get away with such a flagrant act of price fixing.
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Postby cajun jamie » Mon Sep 07, 2009 6:48 pm

Thank you. Exactly.
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Postby mammalu » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:16 am

Bad very bad for tourism. But it was something that was going to happen eventually.

You just mentioned, the tickets to Macchu Picchu and tourists not allowed on certain trains. The promotional rates in Lima hotels (valid only for residents or nationals). When will it hit restaurants or shopping? :(


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Re: LAN's price gouging foreign tourists doesn't help Peru

Postby american_in_lima » Tue Sep 08, 2009 9:50 am

rickfrombrooklyn wrote:
It is an outrage that one airline maintains a monopoly on 90% of the domestic routes and can get away with such a flagrant act of price fixing.


This reminds me of Telefonica and their complete monopoly until Telmex/Claro got a chance to play in the game.

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Postby gerard » Tue Sep 08, 2009 12:52 pm

CJ's and Rick's posts have helped me understand this a lot better, but at the risk of sounding like a LAN guy let's see if we can come up with a business model for what they're doing. I'm giving them some credit here for actually thinking about this campaign and not just waking up one day and saying let's gouge the gringos.

LAN have almost a monopoly in the internal market. That may require them to fill their landing slots - if they don't there'll be pressure from other airlines to open up some of those routes to competition. But passenger numbers are down 30-40% and your local passengers can't afford an across the board price hike. So you look at your passenger mix and see who you can get more money out of. The easiest way to do this is to restrict your cheapest tickets to your local passengers and call it a promo. You get the same revenue even though your flights are 40% emptier as the tourists are paying 40% more. I don't get the impression that the recession has hit that hard here, so local passengers numbers may not have changed too much.

So my guess would be that the promo will run until the economy picks up and passenger numbers increase again. At that point LAN will need to drop prices again to stay competitive or the other airlines will be able to point at half empty LAN flights while they're flying full and demand more access to routes. In that sense the market will self-regulate.
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Postby guest145 » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:32 pm

yes, sadly it's the consumer that suffers when lan/any other monopoly cashes in on its dominant position. As you say american-in-lima, the market should work this out - but obviously that's going to take a while to say the least - especially given the barriers to entry into the airline business (whilst star peru planes look pretty on the outside would you rather fly with an airline with planes that are on average just under 4 years old (lan) or one with 23 year old planes? (star)*..i'd rather pay the extra). * according to airfleet.net

the issue of negligent or dishonest misselling seems pretty clear - so it seems v bad pr at the very least that those affected have not been re-imbursed.

on the general issue of better rates for residents/nationals - i appreciate that this is profitable business but could this not also
be race discrimination? ( the practice adversly affects the majority of non-residents on grounds of race) - i think cusco previously raised this issue of discrimination. i guess this might depend on whether:-

a) promoting tourism within peru for peruvians is a legitimate aim which could legally justify otherwise discriminatory action (eg the dual rates) - (no idea really, although my initial thought is that it could be);

b) if so, whether the action taken in each case (train, lan, hotels) is a proportionate means of obtaining the legitimate aim - re lan, as you say rickfrombrooklyn, since the costs of flights have not come down for peruvian nationals/residents this doesn't look promoting domestic tourism

obviously, appreciate that I could be quite/way off the mark on all this!! ..and even if I'm not, this is probably largely theoretical anyway (given the state of the peruvian legal system ).

One fact I'd be interested to find if anyone has it to hand - does Lan have dual fares in other countries it operates in or is this just Peru?...

just my 2 centimos worth and sorry to add more words to this already long post. i know people must be tired!
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Postby gerard » Tue Sep 08, 2009 1:45 pm

The answer to that last question would appear to be yes. A quick look at Santiago-Concepcion on Lan Chile gives 3 rates varying between $55 and $100. Same flights, same dates on LAN USA gives 2 prices between £190 and $210. Base rate is not an option.
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Postby LauraMH » Wed Sep 09, 2009 11:00 pm

Just to add, I don't know if anyone else has seen the commericals but their travel campaign is now on TV. We just saw a commerical about promotional fares for Peruvians in Peru.

The sad thing is.....it's not promotional. The fares have always been there at that price. It's a low price, but not a new price. What is new is their advertising campaign.

You're right. If you couldn't fly before, you can't fly now. Maybe they'll get a few new people but in general. I don't see all the effort amounting to much for them.
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Postby american_in_lima » Thu Sep 10, 2009 6:47 pm

Has anyone on this forum actually paid the $180 gringo tax yet?

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Postby iskndarbey » Thu Sep 10, 2009 7:06 pm

If you book the way you're supposed to, round trip tickets generally come out ~$50 more expensive than the base option. So it's not a $180 gringo tax, it's a $50 gringo tax and a $130 stupidity tax.
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Postby jude » Thu Sep 10, 2009 8:37 pm

Depends where you're flying. Lima to Cusco round trip is more like $100 more expensive. If you take LAN's nice suggestion to book using the US or European version of their site then it's more like $300 more expensive.
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Postby tupacperu » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:11 am

This is where your money is going with LAN:

LAN expects another profitable year
Air Transport World Thu, 10 Sep 2009 21:17 PM PDT
LAN Airlines is feeling the effects of the industry crisis but said it expects to report a profit this year thanks to its domestic strength in Chile, Argentina, Peru and Ecuador and a robust cash position


http://www.atwonline.com/news/story.html?storyID=17831
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Postby tupacperu » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:14 am

Spirit Airline is not looking at all bad to me. :)

Bad service, but a cheap flight that last 5.5 hours (FT Lauderdale)
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Postby Kelly » Fri Sep 11, 2009 11:56 am

It's bad now, for a company to make a profit?
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Spirit

Postby JimOnTheBeach » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:07 pm

My wife has used Spirit from Ft Lauderdale on her last 2 trips to Lima. Not only is the price good, it is much easier to go out of Ft Lauderdale than Miami. :D
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Postby tupacperu » Fri Sep 11, 2009 12:22 pm

Profit is not bad, it depends if you make a profit shaking people down (BAD-BAD).

Read the article "profited mostly from domestic business ( national flights ). This is a part of the $178.00 fee (which is probably implemented in each country where LAN is based)

T

Kelly wrote:It's bad now, for a company to make a profit?
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Postby american_in_lima » Fri Sep 11, 2009 1:31 pm

TupacPeru wrote:Spirit Airline is not looking at all bad to me. :)

Bad service, but a cheap flight that last 5.5 hours (FT Lauderdale)



Tupac - They only flyt out of Lima on Saturdays now if I remember correctly.

I have flown them more than 15 times. For a 6 hour night flight where you can sleep, I don't mind paying $150 to $200 less on a ticket. Leaving Fort Lauderdale to Lima, they have a one bag limit (maybe they changed it) which to me is a negative. Customer service is not their middle name. Comes down to the customer determining what is more important: price or value.

George
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George
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Postby cajun jamie » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:20 pm

Please re-direct all future Spirit posts to the thread about Spirit, to avoid deletion.

This is a discussion about LAN and the foreigner fee.
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Postby tupacperu » Sat Sep 12, 2009 2:19 pm

I flew LAN many times in the past (over 5 years), it was costly and overrated. The taxes/fees to book a flight out of Peru are bad. If you buy a ticket rt from the USA the taxes/fees are not that bad, but from Peru rt it cost almost the one way price. Have to look at the fine print on LAN.
I do mind the cost, I can spend $200.00 on enjoying dinners out in Lima for that price. :-)


Sorry -You got bad info on that (Spirit/Saturday). It was posted on this forum and not verified. Nothing in the press releases on this.

Really do not know how people are allow to spread stuff like that. I figured one of the Mods would catch. But as many do not like Spirit, they may have let it ride. Seen law suits about this, a company EMULEX (mid 90s) where something was falsely posted about an event and the price of the stock went way down.
People started dumping stock.

american_in_lima wrote:
TupacPeru wrote:Spirit Airline is not looking at all bad to me. :)

Bad service, but a cheap flight that last 5.5 hours (FT Lauderdale)



Tupac - They only flyt out of Lima on Saturdays now if I remember correctly.

I have flown them more than 15 times. For a 6 hour night flight where you can sleep, I don't mind paying $150 to $200 less on a ticket. Leaving Fort Lauderdale to Lima, they have a one bag limit (maybe they changed it) which to me is a negative. Customer service is not their middle name. Comes down to the customer determining what is more important: price or value.

George
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Postby Kelly » Sat Sep 12, 2009 4:30 pm

Before you accuse people of not checking facts or of some sort of anti-Spirit bias, perhaps it would do you well to check your facts.


From the Spirit Air website: Service to Lima, Peru operates on Saturdays only between September 1, 2009 and April 30, 2010.

Now, as CJ said, let try to keep this thread on topic, shall we? We have plenty of other threads for discussing Spirit. ;)
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Postby tupacperu » Sun Sep 13, 2009 10:04 am

Have to admit. I was wrong. Called Spirit and this was not a general annoucement. Spirit cut back service between Sept1 and April 1 to only SUnday's. Quite surprised. Apologies to the MODS :).
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Postby cajun jamie » Fri Sep 18, 2009 6:13 pm

I am going to purchase my tickets next week for Machu Picchu. I will report on what plays out.
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Postby americorps » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:00 pm

Are you going to purchase the peruvian priced ticket?
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Postby cajun jamie » Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:08 pm

yup!
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Postby Claudia1973 » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:35 pm

We purchased a ticket on LAN.com today. The cupon de pago states that foreigners will be charged $178.50 extra.

This foreign fee is mentioned at the end of the online reservation process.

LAN ought to list the fee with the ticket price. For example, at the quotation stage use a foreign check box to toggle the $178.50 fee in the quote.

Final note: $178.59 per foreign fee is about 135% of the cost of the flight.
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Postby cajun jamie » Mon Sep 21, 2009 9:44 pm

Who else flies to Cusco from Lima besides LAN? I don't care how much. I am taking my once in a lifetime trip to Machu Picchu.

This is about principle, so if 3-4 days there costs me $2,000. So be it.

Enough is enough.
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Postby gerard » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:20 am

But LAN now seem to be offering a base plus option that's only $30 dearer each way than the residents only price. Why would you book the base option and then pay $178 fine instead of base plus for only $60 more return? It is a more flexible ticket though, so there is some "value" in the extra charge.

Star Peru look to be about the same price as LAN's base, with no residency restrictions, and hence $60 cheaper then the LAN gringo price.

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