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Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

Austin, Texas
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Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

4 of us will be traveling around Argentina next month with the trip ending in Mendoza. Our flight back to the United States actually departs from Santiago at 9PM, so we have decided to fly from Mendoza to Santiago the day of our flight and immediately jump on our flight back to the US. The only affordable flight we could find was the Aerolineas flight that lands in Santiago at 6PM. That leaves us with a couple of questions:

-First, is 3 hours enough time to safely get to our flight back to the US? We realize there is a chance that the MDZ->SCL could be delayed, but assuming it runs on time, will 3 hours suffice?

My first thought is that if we carry on luggage, it would be much easier.

-That brings me to my next question: If we checked our bags, can we check them all the way through to the United States from Mendoza, flying Aerolineas to Santiago then flying American Airlines to the States? (I know LAN has a partnership that allows us to do this on the way to South America at the front end of our trip, but not sure on the possibility with Aerolineas)

- Is the Santiago airport setup to where we don't have to clear customs? We fly in from Mendoza, have a 3 hour layover, then fly to the US. I would assume we stay in the Int'l terminal and not have to bother with customs. My only concern is in the event we have to check our bags, and they don't allow us to check them all the way through to the US. (I also assume this will help us avoid the Chilean Reciprocity Fee?)

Any insight into these matters would be appreciated. Cheers!

Mendoza, Argentina
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1. Re: Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

comments in your questions

-First, is 3 hours enough time to safely get to our flight back to the US? it normally is , but the problem is that aerolineas is famous fro repeated delays and cancellations for specious reasons, e realize there is a chance that the MDZ->SCL could be delayed, but assuming it runs on time, will 3 hours suffice? yES

My first thought is that if we carry on luggage, it would be much easier. yes, but they do enforce carryon size restrictions in mendoza

That brings me to my next question: If we checked our bags, can we check them all the way through to the United States from Mendoza, flying Aerolineas to Santiago then flying American Airlines to the States? several people I know have been able to do precisely that, but again do not count on it, your decision to fly aerolineas has created risk (I know LAN has a partnership that allows us to do this on the way to South America at the front end of our trip, but not sure on the possibility with Aerolineas- aerolineass has analliance with a different one,skyteam )

- Is the Santiago airport setup to where we don't have to clear customs? yes but only if you check your bags thru and arrange to get your boarding pass in the international transit area- i doubt that aerolineas will issue tyouan american boarding pass but interling bag between alliances is common---ask american directly if they do that, lan has a counter in the transit area where they issue boarding passes efficiently, and they may do that for a partner, but check directly with american---We fly in from Mendoza, have a 3 hour layover, then fly to the US. I would assume we stay in the Int'l terminal and not have to bother with customs. My only concern is in the event we have to check our bags, and they don't allow us to check them all the way through to the US. (I also assume this will help us avoid the Chilean Reciprocity Fee? yes)

please report back...many ask , but few report back so that clearer answers could be given in the future. Good luck.

Mendoza, Argentina
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2. Re: Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

sorry, had originally written my comments in capital letters to be clearer, but the sheesh rules here say i cannot

Austin, Texas
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3. Re: Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

Thank you for the input. I think the best way to go about it is calling Aerolineas and seeing if it is possible to check our bags all the way through to the US.

I will follow up after the trip to let everyone know how it goes.

If anyone else has experience of this nature, please don't hesitate to chime in.

Cheers!

Austin, Texas
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4. Re: Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

Another question that is tied to the situation. Because one-way flights are so expensive, we are booking a RT flight to get from Mendoza to Santiago, and then not using the return leg. Will this factor into our ability to check our bags all the way through to the US?

I can just see the flight desk saying, 'You're going to the United States, and then be back in 4 days to fly back to Mendoza?" or do they just not care?

The Chilean Central...
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5. Re: Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

>>>>> I can just see the flight desk saying, 'You're going to the United States, and then be back in 4 days to fly back to Mendoza?" or do they just not care?

They care but only if they catch you and you have set yourself up to be caught (when you ask about checking bags through during Aerolineas checkin). To avoid this, you may have to clear immigrations and customs at SCL which means paying $160 USD per US passport to do it, then checkin again and clear outgoing passport control and security. And all with the stress to accomplish this in three hours (assuming no delays at all). If you miss your AA flight out of SCL, AA technically has no obligation to help you as the flight segments are on separate tickets.

Santiago, Chile
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6. Re: Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

If you need to go through immigration in Santiago, paying reciprocity fees before you do, you are going to find the time tight even if your flight from Mendoza is on time. The evening flights to the US on American are always full it seems and check-in and security can take the full three hours they recommend. You could easily have only half that time if you have to pay the reciprocity fee and go through immigration/customs on arrival from Mendoza.

I assume you flew into another destination in South America at the beginning of your trip? Because if you flew into Santiago on an international flight, you already paid the reciprocity fee and it is good for the life of your US passport. If that is the case, just book an earlier flight from Mendoza and leave time to go through immigration/customs and check in.

Austin, Texas
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7. Re: Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

Actually, we are flying into Santiago on the way down as well, but we are immediately jumping on a flight to Mendoza, so no customs and/or reciprocity fee. And because we are flying LAN to Mendoza, we are able to just check our bags all the way through to Mendoza from the US.

I am considering just shipping our backpacks back to the US on the last day from Mendoza so getting home is less of a hassle. Anybody have experience on doing this and its associated cost?

8. Re: Traveling from Mendoza to Santiago

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