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LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

Los Angeles...
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LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

I've seen numerous postings critical of Aerolineas. I can understand that LAN is newer, more reputable, and with a better on-time record than Aerolineas. The Argentine travel agent I'm using (Isabel at Buenos Aires Tours--superb!) informed me that there is a serious shortage of LAN flights in November and December of this year and that I almost must use Aerolineas to get around if I want to purchase flights in advance. Has anyone else heard about this shortage? Will I make it to my destination using Aerolineas or should I chance it and book with LAN, the few flights that are available?

Buenos Aires...
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for Buenos Aires
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1. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

Personally - From everything that I have read and heard about Aerolineas..I would take LAN if at all possible..regardless of what Isabel says.

The big problem for me would be not knowing if AA would be flying that day for whatever reason and then there is no choice..here at least you can choose the more reliable airline ..

Punta del Este...
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2. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

There is ALWAYS a serious shortage of LAN flights, for the simple reason that LAN has recently entered the Argentinean market and has very few planes. But those planes fly when they are supposed to, so if you can build a trip using LAN, by all means do so.

There was a big article yesterday detailing just how bad the domestic airline situation is. Ten years ago there were 89 planes for domestic flights; now there are only 51. Ten years ago Aerolineas and its subsidiary Austral had 41 planes, and several other airlines had a total of 49 more. Today, every one of those other airlines is out of business, and the new entrants, which include LAN, only have 10 planes among them. The number of seats available throughout the country, per day, has fallen by 40% in the last ten years. And service, primarily by Aerolineas, continues to decline. And, this week, the president is expected to sign off on a domestic fare increase of between 30% and 40%.

Los Angeles...
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3. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

I've spoken at length with the travel agent about this. She seems to be on the ball and had already notified me about the 30% fare increase, starting tomorrow. Hence, the rush to decide about the flights I've already booked. I guess the problem is one of convenience. Because LAN only has one, maybe two, flights per day, I would be limiting my ability to get to different parts of the country on the days I'd like. In addition, if a flight were to be cancelled, I'd have no other options until the next day. Guess I'll have to just take my chances with Aerolineas...

Thanks for the input.

Abilene, Texas
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for Buenos Aires
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4. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

You have an outstanding travel agent. I have never seen a single post critical of her work and many, many positive comments.

Punta del Este...
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5. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

No fare increase goes into effect tomorrow. It hasn't been signed off, and if it were it would take a while to be effective.

It's interesting that a travel agent is pushing someone onto Aerolineas when its record is so bad and LAN's is virtually perfect.

But one has to trust the travel agent with whom one is dealing and not a stranger on a board.

Calgary, Canada
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6. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

It's not always easy to take Lan over Aerolineas. Sometimes there just aren't lan flights available or the price is double or triple Aerolineas. So far I guess I've been lucky, I haven't run into a strike or had a cancelled flight yet. My flight was late coming back from Mendoza yesterday, but only a half hour or so. Not that bad in the grand scheme.

Personally, I wouldn't panic about it. Book your flights on Aerolineas and hope for the best.

Buenos Aires...
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7. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

Well, I'm not sure what your travel agent meant when she told you about "serious shortage of LAN flights", but the truth is that you can't make a reservation for any LAN Argentina flight for any date further than six months from today. Maybe she told you the truth, maybe she didn't, but that's the actual reason for not being able to get tickets for your intended flight dates. This is only for domestic flights, if you book a domestic leg as part of an international air trip (for instance, from Los Angeles to Bariloche), there will be no problem.

You can check by yourself: try to make a reservation on line or call LAN.

Nobody knows when there will be a raise in domestic fares, but in a couple of months you will be able to book your domestic flights with LAN.

Buenos Aires...
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8. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

Oops, sorry. When I said "any LAN Argentina flight" I meant "any LAN Argentina domestic flight".

London
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9. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

I relied on Aerolineas last November. Mainly because they flew on days and at times I needed.

I flew:

BA - Iguazu

BA - El Calafate

El Calafate - BA

BA - Salta

Salta - BA

I have to say that I was so nervous about delays but, only one flight was delayed and that was by just 20 minutes. Each and every other one left on time and with good service.

I guess the thing with Aerolineas must be a case of luck! I got lucky.

Just wanted to give a positive experience

EM78

Los Angeles...
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10. Re: LAN vs. Aerolineas for Domestic Flights in Argentina

Yes, it is impossible to book flights directly with LAN more than 6 months prior to departure. However, my travel agent does have access to domestic flight schedules on LAN and would be able to book them on her end. She has been honest and superb--I definitely don't feel that she is misleading me. There just aren't that many LAN options avaiable at this point. I'll just take my chances with Aerolineas and hope for the best.

Thanks so much for the input.