But because LATAM was more efficient (or slightly less bad, to be more accurate) when dealing with passenger claims, it surpasses Aeromexico in the ranking, securing the 38th position, while the latter ranks 42nd only.
Both airlines' flight performance was good in 2018
On a positive note, only 20.4% of LATAM's flights were late in 2018. That's much better than the industry average of 24.30%.
Aeromexico did even better, with only 19.24% of delayed flights. However, the average delay of flights from the Mexican carriers is longer than that of LATAM's (53 minutes, versus 46 minutes for the latter).
In the end, based on the rating system we used to compare 150 airlines, LATAM and Aeromexico's flight performances are comparable: both scored 6.2 out of 10.
Claim Processing made the difference
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, LATAM proved better than Aeromexico to handle passenger claims.
Our data shows that both of them have trouble dealing with European air passenger rights: it took on average 109 days to LATAM to processing a claim in 2018 and 114 to Aeromexico.
By comparison, the best performer in this regard, the Canadian Porter Airlines, dealt with compensation claims in 23 days only on average. It's worth pointing out that, like LATAM and Aeromexico, Porter Airlines isn't a European airline; it didn't prevent them from enforcing the EU Regulation in an exemplary manner.
A quick note on passenger rights in the EU
According to the EU Regulation 261/2004, passengers are entitled to up to 600€ in compensation for their delayed, cancelled, or overbooked flight. This applies to flights departing from Europe, including those of the two Latinamerican airlines.
The amount of the compensation is determined by the length of the flight (along with the length of the delay, in some cases) and varies from 250€ to 600€.
To be eligible, passengers must have suffered a delay at destination of at least 3 hours, a cancellation of their flight, or a boarding denial due to the overbooking of the plane (this happens when the airline sold more tickets than there are seats on the plane).
However, in cases where the airline cannot be held responsible for the flight disruption, passenger will not receive compensation for their trouble. This happens for instance when the flight was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions or because of a decision from the Air Traffic Controllers. Such cases fall under the spectrum of "extraordinary circumstances".
Latinamerican airlines need to step up their game
Travelers are becoming increasingly aware of their passenger rights. Up until recently, airlines were able to bypass the European law and avoid paying the compensations they owed to their wronged passengers, often by abusing their lack of knowledge regarding the intricacies of the Regulation.
Not only are passengers catching up with their rights; they intend to have them enforced. And they don't manage to do it on their own, they do not hesitate to turn to agencies like ClaimCompass, experts at making the airlines pay.
An airline's level customer support is no longer only determined by their ability to answer the questions of their passengers - the way the airline addresses more critical issues, such as the payment of up to 600€, has become a primary way to measure their customer support performance.