✅ Verified Review | San Andrés to Medellín. LA3307, 16 July. That was my first flight with the old LAN Colombia, now LATAM Colombia. The flight departed at 16.33 and arrived slightly early at 18.20. The crew were very polite, I asked if I could change my seat and I wanted to see what they would do, however, to be honest they were so friendly, and the flight attendant took me to another seat. The catering was a little box with a bag of chips, two candys and a packet of biscuits inside which I thought was quite generous catering. The complete flight was a nice and warm experience.
I have spent much of the last eight years in South America and my Spanish is fluent. I went to Rio Negro airport, which serves Medellin, and requested an emergency row seat which reclines, in fluent Spanish. The rep said that she could not give me one because 'you speak very little Spanish and have a passport from another country'. I was floored and finaly spoke with her for a few minutes whereupon she realized that she had probably misheard me. I speak Spanish as is heard in Bogota and not with a regional dialect. She quickly apologized and gave me a seat in the emergency row. Then onward to gate 5 for the 2:15 PM flight to Bogota. It appeared that our airplane, upon landing in Rio Negro, sustained a bird strike. It was up to the four young woman to tell more than 150 people a series of statements none of which matched. They admitted there was a bird strike and that we would have updated information. Everyone was hovering over the small desk where the four of them were. I heard four versions from (translated) 'an hour at the most' 'we don't know' 'there will be an update at 4:40 PM' and I forget the last one. My point is that there was clearly no one who could handle any type of crowd control, nor work with three sets of passengers, ie those going to Bogota, those with transfers in Bogota for national destination c those with international connection in Bogota The woman who spoke the most told me to tell my friend (at 3 PM) and who had a 6 PM flight to Madrid with another airline to return to the desk at 4 PM. I told her that would not give him enough time . She stated again that he return at 4 PM. At 3:50 she asked that I tell my friend to come to the desk, ostensibly to send him on another flight. He missed his connection. I finally got on a very crowded LAN flight at 5:30 and noticed that LAN had wedged in even more seats than ever. I was happy to get on the flight but I don't plan on using LAN again. The woman sitting next to me said that she would be put up in a hotel (she had a national destination with a change of planes in Bogota). She was offered no compensation. She stated that it had happened before but she wasn't really phased; another passenger said that he was offered a hotel and seventy dollars. My point is that there doesn't seem to be anyone , or in this situation, anyone capable of dealing with a group of people, all of whom were getting more an more nervous, in an orderly way. Rather than swarm the desk, someone with experience could have sat people down in the large area at gate 5 and stated the same thing. There was a birdstrike, we don't make the decisions but will keep you informed as we are told what to do, and to perhaps segregate those traveling to other national destinations from Bogota in one area, international from Bogota in another area, and to Bogota in another area. There was plenty of room to do this. This would have prevented the constant swarming of the desk, the yelling, (one of the four attendants was visibly upset, I spoke with her as she was put in an impossible situation), The tight seats were an indication of cost cutting. No water, no coffee, no nothing, but that could be because it was a full flight. I have seen LAN economy class go downhill, seat pitch become smaller and smaller. I asked if a supervisor would come and was told 'she is busy but is coming.' Right. LAN should have had a professional deal.
Medellin to Palonegro via Bogota. The Colombian subsidiary of the Chile-based LAN Airlines. It was a pleasant experience to fly. Although the check-in/baggage drop process was a little slow, personnel was kind and professional. LAN Colombia mostly operates A320s, which are well-kept, clean and spacious. No complaints about punctuality. Luggage delivery was fast. IFE was ok considering the short duration of the flights as was the cabin service. Good choice if you ever need to fly any of their routes.
Two LAN Colombia return flights inside Colombia, from Bogotá to Cartagena and then Bogotá to Pereira. One was shortly delayed because of the bad weather conditions in Pereira (heavy rainfall) and another one because a passenger decided in the last minute not to fly. In both cases the cockpit keeped us informed, and apologized for both delays. Being a domestic flight there were only complementary drinks served and because the flight to Pereira was very short (like 25 minutes) not everybody got something, but a good manage from the crew. Check-in using their App is piece of cake. There was entertainment using their new App, via WiFi, on one of their flights and it did work without problems. Overall a very good experience.
I flew twice from Bogota to Miami on LAN, on June 28th and on July 26th. Plane old 767 but in good condition, very good entertainment system and very comfortable economy seat. Paid US$50 to sit in the economy first row but definately worth it, it had tons of legroom. However there are 2 negative points of LAN: first, the meal. They serve a cold disgusting sandwich on a route where the 2 other full service airlines (Avianca and American Airlines) serve 2 choices of hot meals. Two thumbs way down. But the worst part is having to deal with their reservations department. If you buy a ticket on LAN, make sure you do not change it. It took me 3 calls to have my flight changed, the first 2 tries I was given wrong information by 2 totally clueless agents in their call center in Colombia. Finally on the third attempt an agent in the call center in Chile could change my flight. Each time I was on the phone with them about one hour.
Internal flights in Colombia (BOG-SMR CTG-BOG) were real value for money. The planes were clean the service was good and the free Juan Valdez snack (peanuts and some little cookie) were delicious. Excellent value for short flights.
This airline may be good for small/short trips inside Colombia; but their service for international flights is very poor. I booked a round trip flight for my elderly grandmother from Bogota to JFK they don't offer anything on board you have to buy your own food (which is "normal" for flights inside the US but not for international flights). On her way back they left her suitcase behind along with another 65+ suitcases because they had more than they could carry and they promised her luggage will be available for pickup on the next day. Well it's been almost a week and now they don't even know where her luggage is; their call center and other employees haven't been helpful throughout the whole ordeal. I'll not use this airline again or recommend it to anyboody - if you book your flight with enough time you can get great deals from the other airlines that are much much better that Aires.
BOG-MZL-BOG. I took them from Bogota to Manizales when I was visiting Colombia in December. The crew was fantastic airport staff was polite. The planes were new comfortable and service was great. Tickets were very reasonable but book them early through the website to take advantage of the "promotional" fares which could equal $50 U.S. round trip depending on where you are going and how early you book.