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Update on Life & the Epic LAN Airlines / Travelex Battles

Hello everyone!

It's been a bit since my last post, but I wanted to fill you in on what's been going on. I've been keeping up much more on Instagram (@thetravelingmortician) and on Twitter (@travelmortician), so while I'm on the mend, follow me there :)

Since our epic battle with LAN Airlines (which then escalated into an epic battle with Travelex Insurance), I'm happy to report that we FINALLY got our money back!!!! In the end, I decided to call the FAA in Miami in an attempt to get a copy of the plane's maintenance records to prove that the reason that our flight didn't take off was that they had to fix a broken airplane. As it turns out, as a condition to be able to operate in the United States, they have to turn over these records when requested. One day after making the phone call, the letter needed for insurance magically appeared in my inbox, which allowed us to successfully file our claims and get paid. I'm happy to report that the checks cleared! My non-traveling husband actually suggested that we take the refund check and go on our first trip together in about a decade (a legit honeymoon!), and so we're currently booked on a Norwegian Cruise on the Breakaway from NYC to Bermuda for May 2016!! 

We have a balcony room and unlimited drink package, and he's actually excited. Now to renew his passport since it's actually been over 10 years since I gave up dragging him everywhere with me....

I learned a lot from this fight to get our money back, such as:

1. LAN Airlines SUCKS!!! Don't assume that since they're a publicly traded company and an international carrier that they'll be good, on time, or even have a manager available to speak to. While we didn't have an option as far as carriers since this was a bundled, guided tour, I highly advise to take another airline (even if it means connecting), run, walk, or swim to South America before booking with LAN. And if you don't believe me, just read the posts on their Facebook page. Every now and then, I remind them that I still exist, and that I'm still bitter over how they screwed us. It gives me something to do, and everyone gets a good laugh since I can be quite creative.

In case you're in need of a good laugh, here are some of my favorites:

2. Not all travel insurance companies are created equally! Travelex pulled a really low move when they denied our payments on a technicality. The entire issue was that they needed a letter that stated that the flight was cancelled for airplane REPAIR, and wouldn't accept the word MAINTENANCE which is all that the airline would provide us. The FAA even has a FIFTY SIX PAGE document listing the definition of airplane maintenance, which is FIXING A BROKEN AIRPLANE, but they used that one single word as a loophole to deny payment. If you learn anything from our Peru disaster, it's that you should read the fine print on all travel insurance paperwork. And if all else fails, take your fight to social media and higher up if needed. Can't get a resolution from a manager? Look into the BBB, Yelp, or if you're a super douche like I can be at times-the FAA. If you're planning on going away with travel insurance with a pre-existing condition and it causes some issue which requires the use of your insurance while you're gone-they WILL require you to hand over previous medical records to avoid fraud. Read the fine print. Call and ask questions if you aren't sure-because chances are, you're paying a good amount of money for the insurance. And if they try to use a scummy loophole, drop me an email :)

3. I will probably never book another trip again that doesn't give me more than one day in the first city. Could we have gotten to Peru eventually? Yes. The reason why we 
ultimately had to pull the plug on our trip was that we were flying JFK to Lima, and then Lima to Cusco, which is where our tour started. Unfortunately, even if we had gotten onto the plane the next day, there were no available connecting flights from Lima to Cusco that would have gotten us to our group before we left. On the second day of the four day tour (which is when we would have arrived), the earliest connecting flight would have put us in Cusco at about 6am, which was no good considering that our train to Machu Picchu left before 7am, and it was quite the journey from the airport to the train station that we would have never made. If we had more than one day in Cusco, we could have made it work perhaps. But unfortunately, it's a risk that you take when booking a four day, whirlwind trip to another continent.

Besides that, life has been quiet. I'm still on doctor's orders to take it easy since I keep falling and hurting myself. My lower back is showing early signs of fusion, which is positive-so I'm really trying to take it easy and not do anything stupid. I'm counting down the days until I can go jump out of an airplane, or off a mountain or bridge or something. The adrenaline junkie in me is screaming for release.

That's all for now. I'll be posting again real soon with my annual list of Christmas Presents for the Traveler, and I have some really unique ones this year-check back soon!


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