Hello from Lima Airport where I’m not having the best end to my wonderful South American adventure due to the incompetence and rudeness of multiple airline staff. It has been a wonderful week, I spent most of it in Cusco and yesterday visited Machu Picchu, which was a real gem and a place I’ve wanted to visit for years.

I landed at Lima Airport two hours ago from Cusco on Avianca, which I actually like as an airline in terms of their onboard service.. when it comes to their ground staff.. not so much. I checked in a bag at Cusco airport and needed to pick it up and recheck it again in Lima.

Avianca A319

Avianca A319

Well, I have a long connection in Lima, but I didn’t think much of it and didn’t think checking my bag would be an issue many hours before departure because Lima is Avianca’s hub so there shouldn’t be an issue. Wrong. I arrived at the Business Class/Star Alliance Gold counter and waited for 20 minutes before someone was available to “help”.

“No. Bag can’t be checked. Come back 3 hours before departure.”

I explained I have a really long connection and I just arrived from Cusco on Avianca, and I can’t go airside with my checked baggage, so I can’t go to the lounge.

“Go away, not my problem.”

This time I thought pulling the “do you know who I am” card would help.. but it didn’t.

“Go away, I told you – you can’t check it, I don’t care if you fly Business Class.”

Wow. And this was a supervisor talking to me. Not only that, I’ve just now noticed that my bag was broken and has holes in it from this flight. I’m literally sitting right now in front of Avianca’s office and am going to report the damages. But I highly doubt they will care.

Avianca is hands down better than LATAM in terms of the onboard experience, but when it comes to ground services at Lima Airport, the employees treat you like shit… on both airlines. They don’t care what you want and instead stand around doing nothing. This makes the U.S. airline ground agents look like angels – and that says a lot.

I’m done with Lima Airport and South American airlines – Peru is beautiful as a country, but I’ve received better treatment in Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Costa Rica, and many other Latin/South American countries. If Business Class passengers receive this treatment then I’m wondering how Economy Class passengers feel about these airlines.