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Dear LATAM Airlines

Dear LATAM Airlines,

I used to be a fan of yours. I've been a frequent flyer member for close to a decade, made innumerable trips on your planes, racked up many hundreds of thousands of miles with you flying all over the continent. Once upon a time you were the most reliable and punctual airline company in South America but all that changed late last year and your decision to go "Low Cost" (between inverted commas because there's precious little difference in the prices you charge). Since that fateful decision your company has gone from being the best in South/Latin America and directly to the worst.
  • Constant delays. Getting to destination on time has become the exception rather than the rule
  • Flights re-scheduled because you can't fill the plane at the time allotted. For the record, you've done it to me on my morning flight five times in the last three months.
  • Flights cancelled, sometimes quite literally at the last minute (my stars I hated you for what you did to me in October) for the same reason, made worse when you lie to our faces and tell us something like "unscheduled plane maintenance".
  • Seat legroom that shrinks by the month (we are human beings, most of us have two legs, apologies if that interferes with your profit maximization plans)
  • The public fight you're in with Lima (Jorge Chavez) airport, Peru over costs that has resulted in even poorer service for us passengers there.
  • Demoralized staff in all areas (far too obvious to be denied) and mediocre in-flight service from cabin crews who may try their best (sometimes, others have just stopped caring) but when you drop the cabin headcount by 50% there's only so much they can do to help.
  • And though common to just about every airline company out there, the draconian changes you've made to your frequent flyer program (seven squillion points for a free one-way trip...oh thank you) mean you're not even bothering to court customer loyalty any longer.
Last night's flight with you, once again crammed like a sardine into an unkempt plane for three hours and forced to stew because running the aircon costs fuel, was the last straw. I'm at the end of my tether with LATAM Airlines and when my current batch of pre-booked flights ends next month (then after I think I have one final segment in early January) I will bid you farewell forever, donate my air miles held with you to charity and gladly walk past your check-in desks on the way to those of other, better or cheaper (often both) companies. You may think you can get away with your policy of treating people like cattle and pretending you're "Low Cost" when you are most obviously not. Hey, you'll probably get away with it for while too, thanks to your market penetration. But the path you set upon this year leads to failure and it is very easy to predict your demise.

Yours, Otto (LATAM Pass frequent flyer 6074__7__5)