Upgrade Fine Print

Old Jun 24, 19, 7:19 am
  #1  
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Upgrade Fine Print

I just had a conversation with the LATAM Call Centre for some seat arrangements for a forthcoming flight to Europe together with my sons (one adult, the other still a "child" at 11),

By the way, I asked the agent to check upgrade availability, as our tickets do allegedly qualify.

To my surprise, I was told that my younger son could not upgrade, since he was travelling on a "discounted tariff", i. e. not even USD 50,00 cheaper than the regular fare.

I am 100% sure that I have upgraded children's tickets in the past, so I am suspecting that this is just another "enhancement" to our dear programme with the additional side effect of limiting under-age presence in the premium cabin.

The agent of course told me that this has been like that forever and is written somewhere in the LATAMPass terms and conditions (loved his wording, when he said I should read them carefully, so "that I would be aware of all my Black benefits and not miss out on them". Oh, thank you!) , but I did not have the time and energy for an extensive research. Yes, I saw that it says that infant and discounted tickets are not eligible, but I was rather thinking that this implied heavily discounted industry or staff fares and not tickets that are issued by default at a marginally lower price because of age only.

Well, I am psychologically preparing for a Y class long haul (yes, this is what I paid for, however... to make things worse, it's JJ metal), unless someone can confirm that the agent was mistaking (what I am silently hoping anyway).
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Old Jun 24, 19, 8:18 am
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I can confirm that. Had a similar situation in the end of the last year (paid tickets on LA, not JJ). The child's ticket was just a little bit cheaper, but it was sold under some sort of "child / discounted" tariff. Didn't quite paid attention when purchased it though (since the difference was really small). When it came to posting upgrades I was quite surprised that the child couldn't be upgraded due to that very tariff issue. Called LATAM and two different staff members confirmed that the child's ticket is not eligible for an upgrade indeed. The worst part - the flight was not full at all, there were plenty of empty seats in business Lesson learned.

These are the corresponding rules: https://www.latam.com/en_us/plan-boo...nd-conditions/

The child's ticket falls under the exclusion "passengers traveling with reduced fare tickets", this is how it was explained to me. The fact that this very ticket might be just 10$ cheaper doesn't matter. It's all about the definitions.
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Old Jun 24, 19, 9:03 am
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Thanks, Carolinas. Underwhelming, but helpful... So my hopes are dwindling...

Lesson learned indeed. I will bid for the upgrade anyway and if it goes through for my elder son and myself, I will treat the boys to the better seats and will enjoy the luxury of row 14...

Well, after November, I will have no issues with children´s fares any longer...
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Old Jun 24, 19, 12:44 pm
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You can always buy an adult fare for an child
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Old Jun 24, 19, 6:49 pm
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Originally Posted by Semphyra View Post
You can always buy an adult fare for an child
I think you are missing the point here. The problem is that LATAM does't clearly explain this very rule when it comes to children. The ticket for a child WASN'T that much cheaper than the regular adult fare (in comparison to what most of us would expect from a true discounted fare). That's the point. Therefore it wasn't an issue of saving significant amount of money on the purchase in this very case, but it's an issue of rather poor (and I would even say sneaky) explanation on LATAM web-page.
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Old Jun 26, 19, 2:45 pm
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Since I don't want to mess up the fine print, either...is a oneworld RTW ticket eligible for a LATAM upgrade for myself and a companion if I have Black status? Do I have to earn the miles of those flights with LATAM as well? What if I'm connecting flights from another OW carrier--how does the upgrade/check in process work? Sorry for all of the questions, but hoping someone can shed light!
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Old Jun 26, 19, 5:22 pm
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Originally Posted by flyingislove View Post
..is a oneworld RTW ticket eligible for a LATAM upgrade for myself and a companion if I have Black status?
Only flights operated by LA and booked under their own flight number qualify for upgrades (assuming that you are referring to an upgrade via the unlimited number of coupons for Black members). Furthermore, these have to be from the Plus or Top fare baskets (this can be tricky to find out, when you book your tickets via an OTA or any other channel that is not the LATAM website). In the past, the qualifying fares were easily distinguishable by the corresponding letters, but this seems to have changed, although the letters, traditionally used by most airlines for the higher value Economy fares like M, B and Y, have always been upgradeable fares, at least in my experience. LATAM actually also allows to upgrade tickets purchased with their miles (LA flights that is).

In summary, you can upgrade the LA portions of your OW RTW ticket, provided that the above criteria are met. Of course, you have to take into account that as a Black member, you have a maximum of six coupons to spare for travel companions and flights to and from outside Latin America do require a minimum of two vouchers (best value for this very amount is probably LIM - MAD or LIM - BCN, especially if you can get the new business class product on the B767).

I hope this answers your questions at least partially.
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Old Jun 27, 19, 6:59 am
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Originally Posted by SenSCL View Post
Only flights operated by LA and booked under their own flight number qualify for upgrades (assuming that you are referring to an upgrade via the unlimited number of coupons for Black members). Furthermore, these have to be from the Plus or Top fare baskets (this can be tricky to find out, when you book your tickets via an OTA or any other channel that is not the LATAM website). In the past, the qualifying fares were easily distinguishable by the corresponding letters, but this seems to have changed, although the letters, traditionally used by most airlines for the higher value Economy fares like M, B and Y, have always been upgradeable fares, at least in my experience. LATAM actually also allows to upgrade tickets purchased with their miles (LA flights that is).

In summary, you can upgrade the LA portions of your OW RTW ticket, provided that the above criteria are met. Of course, you have to take into account that as a Black member, you have a maximum of six coupons to spare for travel companions and flights to and from outside Latin America do require a minimum of two vouchers (best value for this very amount is probably LIM - MAD or LIM - BCN, especially if you can get the new business class product on the B767).

I hope this answers your questions at least partially.
This helps quite a bit, thank you! I really appreciate your time! I guess all that's left is understanding if I can swap accounts if I decide to post mileage with a different carrier, and how multi-carrier check in works with requesting upgrades (if the LATAM flight is not first). But I wouldn't be surprised if that is a bit too technical, and I would have to try and see for myself!
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Old Jun 27, 19, 7:31 am
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I don't think a RTW ticket would work. If I recall correctly, the ticket uses private fares and they are not elegible for upgrade:

From https://www.latam.com/en_us/latam-pa...ow-to-request/
The Courtesy Upgrade does not apply in the following cases: [...], tickets with unpublished fares (including group fares) and tickets subject to special terms and conditions.
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Old Jul 1, 19, 5:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Semphyra View Post
I don't think a RTW ticket would work. If I recall correctly, the ticket uses private fares and they are not elegible for upgrade:

From https://www.latam.com/en_us/latam-pa...ow-to-request/
The Courtesy Upgrade does not apply in the following cases: [...], tickets with unpublished fares (including group fares) and tickets subject to special terms and conditions.
That's my concern...the language is so tricky here!
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