Cheapest way to book airfare in Argentina?

sergio

Registered
The problem with buses is that Argentines like a lot of heat and little AC. My system just can't cope with it. Also they insist on playing irritating films on the buses so you seldom have any peace. It's not a pleasant way to travel. If you take the train in 'clase turista' (to places like Mar del Plata, Pinamar etc) you can at least open the window and breathe.
 

luddite

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I don't think the OP had his question answered. Most of the time, cheapest airfares are found on the airline's websites themselves. I have never found a fare on a consolidator's website that was cheaper than what the airline itself offered. If you know your specific destinations, visit the carriers for those countries and see what's available. For internal flights, or flights to neighboring countries, national carriers usually offer the better routes and more competitive rates on some flights (e.g. LAN). Not to get too off subject, but sometimes buses are a better option. For example, if you want to fly Salta to Iguazu, the flight is routed through BA; it may make more sense to take a direct bus.
 

StevePalermo

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For travel around south america I tend to use despegar.com Its a good search engine and always gives the total price including taxes. I've never found a better price elsewhere and I'm pretty sure it doesn't discriminate against non-residents.

At the risk of offending the pedants, I'll say that within Argentina I find the buses are fine, apart from the air-con, which for me is usually cranked up too high! Its definitely not like the european market where cheap airlines like Ryanair/Easyjet tend to dominate the market. Air travel here tends to be expensive, whereas buses can be very comfortable and good value.
 

captdave

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StevePalermo said:
At the risk of offending the pedants, I'll say that within Argentina I find the buses are fine, apart from the air-con, which for me is usually cranked up too high! Its definitely not like the european market where cheap airlines like Ryanair/Easyjet tend to dominate the market. Air travel here tends to be expensive, whereas buses can be very comfortable and good value.

The downside of air travel, for me, is that after traveling to the airport (several hours early), waiting on lines, going through "security" and having to get from the airport to town (never close, except for Jorge Newberry!) I find the bus is frequently a more comfortable option.

Even the trip to Paraguay (18 hrs. by bus!) seemed daunting but turned out to be MUCH more pleasent by bus then airplane! The plane trip was an all-day affair (see above), ending with a bouncy, hot ride from Asuncion airport into town. The bus left Retiro about 5 PM, had a drink and a light meal in a comfy (coche-cama) seat, and woke up at Clorinda (customs) in the morning. You get off the bus, buy fresh juice, hot chispas and change money from the milling hawkers while you get your paperwork processed, and then get back on the bus for a short, interesting ride to Asuncion, arriving about 9 or 10 AM withing walking distance of my friends house!

Sometimes you need to fly (mostly for time reasons) but my experiences with long distance bus travel here are not negative!

Saludos,

David

PS: Also, you won't "lose" your luggage on the bus!

:)
 

AyCarambAaron

Registered
Thank you all for your input. I have taken the bus before (to Iguazu last week, in fact) and recognize the merits of this mode of transport. However, I'm currently planning a trip to Patagonia and think I'd rather take a 4 hour flight than a two day bus ride if the cost differential is ~US$100 each way.

I will check out the despegar.com and Pluna and report back with my experience.

Any further suggestions in the meantime are much appreciated!
 

arty

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I flew to Paraguay and did not have the airport check in process take any longer than I was used too. I also flew LAN, maybe that was part of it. It is nice not having to remove your shoes, take out my laptop and be able to bring a bottle of water with me. I find flying in the USA to be a much bigger hassle thanks to the TSA morons who think old people in wheelchairs are security risks. Common sense is dead in North America.
 

Carolina Girl

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It's very different than in USA. Everyone takes the bus in Argentina while in the USA, not everyone takes buses but almost everyone takes the trains.

In the USA, the middle class and above don't usually take buses (except to and from airports to downtowns or from NYC to the Hamptons). Our American buses stop in every little town imaginable (and there are thousands) before you get to your destination. To big cities, of course, are more direct but they sure take a long time if you are going to the secondary cities. I certainly had a bad beginning experience going home from college once and that prevented me from getting into another bus so I may be prejudiced.

I can understand why Americans hesitate but I would encourage you as it is a very nice and efficient way to travel. The Retiro station in BA is the center of bus and train travel. Penn Central in New York or Union Station in DC (even together) does not hold a candle in size and number of people it handles.
 

Illinoisjoe

Registered
I just joined this forum and I am AMAZED at how unhelpful people are on these boards! only about one out of 15 responses was at all relevant to the topic (this one included, mea culpa!). Seems like most responses are lectures on cultural appropriateness and attempts to appear more porteno than thou!
When some one asks about airfare, let's keep the posts about airfare. The conversation about the differences in travel between Argentina, the US, Europe and the ethical/cultural considerations posed by taking a bus/motorcycle/train/plane are both interesting and appropriate for this forum, but NOT this thread. Keep it on topic, and if you don't have something helpful to say, shut your trap!
Honestly, this thread is 80% a discussion on buses, 15% people like me complaining about it, and 5% actual advice on airfare... What's the point?
 
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