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LAN Airlines Pulls an Oprah and Surprises 200 People With Flights to South America

October 7, 2011 at 9:35 AM | by | ()

Have you ever been to a taping of The Oprah Show where she gave away something to the entire audience? We haven't, but we like to imagine that it was a bit like what we experienced last night in New York City, when LAN Airlines gave away roundtrip tickets to South American destinations to nearly 200 bewildered diners.

The big surprise went down at Nuela, a nuevo latino restaurant in the Flatiron district, when LAN flight attendants first sprung free tickets on only a few tables. But then the manager got hold of a microphone and told everyone else to look underneath their tabletops...

Mass hysteria. There's something about winning airline tickets that just puts people over the edge with excitement. We don't think we've ever been in a place where that many people have been that psyched all at the same time.

There was hugging of strangers, calling of friends and much jumping up and down. What really touched us were the stories that emerged, like two guys—one of whom was about to marry his partner in Argentina in a week and the friend couldn't afford to come—and now he can. Or the group of ladies who had been torn over a Mexico vacation together but the violence in the country was freaking them out; guess where they're going now?

The event was to kick off LAN's new "Only in South America" campaign in a big way, taking the "Only in South America" and doing something very "only in New York" with it. There's still a chance to win some free LAN tickets too, however; follow @LANAirlinesUSA on Twitter and watch their tweets for a retweet to win before the contest ends October 13.

[Disclosure: LAN provided single tickets to everyone in the restaurant, including media. However, nothing was expected and our coverage is completely our own and uninfluenced by the hosts].

[8am, 10/10/11: Jaunted has no plans to make use of the ticket and never had.]

[Photo: LAN]

Archived Comments:


great surprise for their customers but also brilliant marketing for the restuarant and possibly the destination countries!

the options

It's not like everyone has to go to one place, either. LAN gave the diners the option of Guayaquil, Buenos Aires, Lima, Santiago or Quito.

I call Bullsh*t!

This was all bull and the only reason they even wrote this article was bc they got free tickets. You can read more on this here: http://gothamist.com/2011/10/07/bloggers_score_free_plane_tickets_t.php


This has been addressed. Please read the article before commenting. Thank You.

Those lucky diners! I wonder what the occasion

Those lucky diners! I wonder what the occasion was for Lan airlines to be so generous to a group of unsuspecting customers. It is especially interesting to see the two stories of customers who had an added reason to get to the south american destinations.