Aerolineas Argentinas

Alliance: None
Information: Aerol?neas Argentinas is Argentina's largest domestic and international airline. It is the national airline and carries around 80% of Argentina's domestic traffic and 40% of international flights from Ministro Pistarini International Airport, which is located in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires. Aerol?neas Argentinas and LAN Airlines are the only Latin American airlines that fly to Oceania.
Reviews: I flew Aerolineas Argentinas on a total of 4 flights during December 2007 and January 2008. Specifically, I traveled from Miami to Porto Alegre, Brazil, and return, via Aerolineas Argentinas' hub at Ezeiza airport in Buenos Aires.

The trips from Miami to Buenos Aires and from Buenos Aires to Miami were on Airbus A340 equipment; the legs from Buenos Aires to Porto Alegre and return were aboard Boeing 737-500 planes. The planes were all well-worn but functional. On board food and service were better than what you would expect on a U.S. carrier, but nothing to write home about.

Be prepared for delays when you travel Aerolineas, sister carrier Austral, or in fact any airline servicing Ezeiza (the international airport in Buenos Aires) or the domestic airport, Aeroparque.

Since this airline runs most of the country's domestic flights, you will undoubtedly fly them at some point if you travel within Argentina by air.

Nonetheless, I met many nice people while flying Aerolineas Argentinas (both airline employees and fellow passengers). Incidentally, all of the AR employees were very nice but not outgoing at first-- don't let this stop you from being friendly (if you are, you will be treated very nicely in return).

This airline is a microcosm of South America and especially Argentina in ways both good and bad. On the plus side: the carrier's fares are very competitive and good Argentine wine and Quilmes beer are served free of charge; on a negative note, as mentioned, timekeeping isn't a priority.

A final thought: do not book tight connections when flying Aerolineas Argentinas or Austral, particularly on return legs to the U.S. Your return flight has the highest likelihood of being very late. My return flight to Miami was delayed by a total of 6 hours, but because I was prepared for it, this didn't ruin my plans.