Traveling between the Americas is usually less tiring than traveling to Europe or Asia because you cross fewer time zones. Miami (8½ hour flight), New York (11 hours), Dallas (9½ hours), and Atlanta (9½ hours) are the primary departure points for flights to Chile from the United States, though there are also frequent flights from Los Angeles, Boston, Washington, D.C., and other cities. Other international flights often connect through other major South American cities like Buenos Aires and Lima.
Arriving from abroad, American citizens must pay a "reciprocity" fee of US$131 (to balance out fees Chileans pay upon entering the United States). Credit cards and cash are accepted for payment.
Always confirm international flights at least 72 hours ahead of the scheduled departure time. This is particularly true for travel within South America, where flights tend to operate at full capacity and passengers often have a great deal of baggage to process.
LAN offers the LANPASS program, where customers can earn miles (actually, kilometers) by flying with LAN or other members of the One World Alliance (American Airlines, British Airways, Qantas, and others) or through car rentals or hotel stays with affiliated companies.
Most international flights head to Santiago's Arturo Merino Benítez International Airport (SCL) about 30 minutes west of the city. Domestic flights leave from the same terminal.
Comodoro Arturo Merino Benitez International Airport. 2/690-1752. www.aeropuertosantiago.cl.
The largest North American carrier is American Airlines, which has direct service from Dallas and Miami; Delta flies from Atlanta. LAN flies nonstop to Santiago from both Miami and New York and with a layover in Lima from Los Angeles. Air Canada flies nonstop from Toronto. Most of the major Central and South American airlines also fly to Santiago, including Aerolíneas Argentinas, Avianca, Copa, Taca, and Tam.
LAN and Sky (whose Web site is Spanish-only) have daily flights from Santiago to most cities throughout Chile. LAN's last-minute deals are very affordable, if your itinerary is flexible.
Aerolineas Argentinas. 800/333-0276 in North America; 2/210-9300 in Chile. www.aerolineas.com.ar.
American Airlines 800/433-7300 in North America; 2/679-0000 in Chile. www.aa.com.
Avianca. 800/284-2622 in North America; 2/270-6613 in Chile. www.avianca.com.
Copa. 800/359-2672 in North America; 2/200-2100 in Chile. www.copaair.com.
Delta Airlines. 800/221-1212 for U.S. reservations; 800/241-4141 for international reservations; 800/202-020 in Chile. www.delta.com.
LAN. 866/435-9526 in U.S.; 600/526-2000 in Chile. www.lan.com.
Sky. 600/600-2828 in Chile. www.skyairline.cl.
Taca. 800/400-8222 in U.S.; 800/722-8222 in Canada; 800/461-133 in Chile. www.taca.com.
Tam. 888/235-9826 in North America; 2/676-7900 in Chile. www.tam.com.br.
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