Over 4 months ago I had a multi-flight trip offered by Qatar, with the last stage operated by LATAM. Receiving my luggage, I noticed that my suitcase had a broken handle. I immediately filed a reclamation with LATAM - Qatar did not have a stand in the destination airport. Latam accepted the reclamation and after approximately a month of WhatsApp and e-mail communications, I was given a voucher for a bank transfer of 50 USD as compensation.

Again, immediately I try to redeem the voucher. I hear that the voucher is redeemed and the transfer should be processed in up to 2 weeks. Since then, every week I ask them about the status of my case and they say that payment is being processed, and every now and then I am given a new follow-up case number. 3 months after applying to redeem the voucher I have not seen my money. Needless to say, I am very angry right now.

What are my options? Any ideas on how I could get this compensation? Right now I don't care that much about 50$ as much as LATAM paying this money because I am disgusted with their approach. I also heard from some friends that this happens regularly with LATAM and that they have given up on their claims. If that's true then it seems like a substantial class-action case that some law firm could take up, am I wrong on this?

I also contacted Qatar about the situation and received no response.

For context, I am an EU citizen and the trip I took was from an EU country to South America.

1 Answer 1


This is unfortunately a common problem these days, and LATAM's behavior is not unique. Since Covid in early 2020, airlines have consistently refused and delayed and avoided paying claims. Search on this site (top of the screen) for "Compensation delay." Airlines sometimes act this way even when directed to pay by a government agency.

The best you can do is to be polite and persistent. Being angry and disgusted with LATAM is not going to help you: your emotion will get in the way when you call or write the airline trying to convince them to process your payment. If you worked for an airline, and were confronted via call or email or message by an unhappy demanding passenger, you'd put their demand at the bottom of the pile, not the top. Or you'd discard it.

Finally, this isn't an attractive class action proceeding. I'm a retired lawyer. Class actions aren't available in all jurisdictions, and even if available, class actions make no sense when class members each have different facts and evidence regarding their individual claims, and are likely scattered around the globe in different countries.

All in all: if LATAM pays, well and good. But if they don't pay, I suggest you consider how long you want to keep being angry and disgusted over a $50 loss.

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