LAN Airlines surprises restaurant-goers with free tickets to South America

Courtesy LAN Airlines

Last night, LAN Airlines surprised nearly 200 unsuspecting patrons at Nuela restaurant in New York with free round trip tickets to South America. The Oprah-style giveaway kicks off the company’s Only in South America campaign, a multi-year effort to promote travel to the region.

In the midst of busy dinner hours, guests at the South American restaurant in Manhattan’s Flatiron district were directed to look under their tables for a major surprise. Moments later, everyone in the restaurant was holding a voucher for a ticket to any LAN destination in South America, including destinations in Argentina, Chile, Ecuador and Peru.

“It was a genuine pleasure to see the restaurant full of dinner guests enjoying South American dishes all of a sudden receive the unexpected news that they were getting the chance to travel to where our cuisine originates, just because they were at the right place at the right time,” said Chef Adam Schop. Schop was recently awarded Star Chef’s 2011 Rising Star award, and New York Times touted his arroz con pato (duck paella) “best tasting dish of the year.”

Those who weren’t lucky enough to be gifted with tickets can still enter an online sweepstakes to win tickets to Quito, Guayaquil, Lima, Santiago or Buenos Aires by following @LANAirlinesUSA. The contest ends October 13th.