There are direct daily services between Buenos Aires and several North American cities, with New York and Miami being primary departure points. Many airlines fly to Buenos Aires via Santiago de Chile or São Paulo in Brazil, which adds only a little to your trip time.
Aerolíneas Argentinas, the flagship airline, operates direct flights between Buenos Aires and Miami. Since its renationalization in 2008, Aerolíneas's reputation for chronic delays has greatly improved.
Chilean airline LAN is the Aerolíneas's biggest local competition. LAN flies direct to JFK, Miami, and Los Angeles, usually via Santiago de Chile or Lima. There are direct flights from Los Angeles and Atlanta on Delta. American has nonstop service from JFK, Miami, and Dallas. United flies from JFK via Washington, D.C. Continental connects Buenos Aires with Houston (and from there to Dallas) and Newark.
Flying times to Buenos Aires are 11–12 hours from New York, 9 hours from Miami, 10½ hours from Dallas or Houston, and 13 hours from Los Angeles, via Santiago de Chile.
Most domestic flights operate from Buenos Aires, so to fly from the extreme south of the country to the extreme north, you often have to change planes here.
Aerolíneas Argentinas and its partner Austral operate flights from Buenos Aires to more Argentine cities than any other airline, including daily services (often more than one) to Puerto Iguazú, Salta, Mendoza, Córdoba, Bariloche, Ushuaia, and El Calafate. LAN also flies to these cities.
If you're flying into Argentina on Aerolíneas Argentinas, you're eligible for their South American pass, which enables you to also visit Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. The price is based on your total mileage: 1,900 mi cost $319, for example.
If you plan to take at least three flights within Argentina or South America in general, the OneWorld Alliance's (of which LAN Chile is a member) Visit South America pass can save money. Flights are categorized by mileage; most segments (both domestic and international) range from $119 to $359. The catch is that most domestic routes only operate from Buenos Aires, so you always have to return there. Visiting Iguazú and Calafate from Buenos Aires would cost $690, for example.
Aerolíneas Argentinas (www.aerolineas.com.ar.)
American Airlines (www.aa.com.)
Continental Airlines (www.continental.com.)
Delta Airlines (www.delta.com.)
United Airlines (www.united.com.)
Airlines and Airports
Airline and Airport Links.com (www.airlineandairportlinks.com.)
Airline Security Issues
Transportation Security Administration (www.tsa.gov.)
South American Pass (800/333–0276 Aerolíneas Argentinas. www.aerolineas.com.ar.)
Visit South America Pass (866/435–9526 LAN. www.oneworld.com.)
Airports in Argentina are mostly small, well maintained, and easy to get around. Security at most isn't as stringent as it is in the States—computers stay in cases, shoes stay on your feet, and there are no random searches.
Buenos Aires's Aeropuerto Internacional de Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini (EZE)—known as Ezeiza—is 35 km (22 mi) southwest of and a 45-minute drive from city center. It's served by a variety of international airlines, along with domestic airlines running international routes.
Aerolíneas Argentinas and its partner Austral operate out of the older Terminal B. All other airlines are based at Terminal A, a pleasant, glass-sided building. A covered walkway connects the two terminals. Each terminal has a few small snack bars, a small range of shops, a public phone center with Internet services, and a tourist information booth. The ATM, 24-hour luggage storage, and car-rental agencies are in Terminal A.
Avoid changing money in the luggage reclaim area. By far the best exchange rates are at the small Banco de la Nación in the Terminal A arrivals area; it's open round the clock.
Most domestic flights operate out of Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP). It's next to the Río de la Plata in northeast Palermo, about 8 km (5 mi) north of the city center. Both it and Ezeiza are run by the private company Aeropuertos Argentinos 2000.
Elsewhere in Argentina
Several other airports in Argentina are technically international, but only because they have a few flights to neighboring countries; most flights are domestic.
Aeropuerto Internacional de Puerto Iguazú (IGR) is close to Iguazú Falls; it's 20 km (12 mi) from Puerto Iguazú and 10 km (6 mi) from the park entrance. The northwest is served by Salta's Aeropuerto Internacional Martín Miguel de Güemes (SLA), called Aeropuerto de Salta, 7 km (4½ mi) west of the city of Salta.
The airport for the wine region and western Argentina is Aeropuerto Internacional de Mendoza Francisco Gabrieli (MDZ), also known as El Plumerillo. It's 10 km (6 mi) north of Mendoza. Northern Patagonia's hub is Bariloche, 13 km (8 mi) west of which is the Aeropuerto Internacional San Carlos de Bariloche Teniente Luis Candelaria (BRC), known as the Aeropuerto de Bariloche. The gateway to southern Patagonia is Aeropuerto Internacional de El Calafate Comandante Armando Tola (ECA), 18 km (11 mi) east of El Calafate itself.
Aeropuertos Argentinos 2000 (11/5480–6111. www.aa2000.com.ar.)
Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires. 11/5480–6111. www.aa2000.com.ar.)
Aeropuerto Internacional de Ezeiza Ministro Pistarini (11/5480–2500. www.aa2000.com.ar.)
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