When looking at flights to join one of our trips research this: Does it arrive in Santiago or Buenos Aires early enough to make the early connections to the south that are needed to get to your destination the same day? On your return home does the international flight depart late enough from Buenos Aires or Santiago, to allow you to make all the connections from the Patagonia back to make a legal connect time with your departing international flight? In Buenos Aires although it takes about an hour to transfer between the domestic airport and the international airport the legal connection time for a connection is 4 hours. In Santiago the International terminal and Domestic terminal are in the same building. The legal connection time between flights is 1.5 hours. There are International carriers whose arrival and departures do allow this and many that do not. Another important factor is the code share and buying a thru ticket. If a flight is missed due to a carrier delay we want the airline to be responsible for re-booking you to your destination on the next flight. If you purchase the tickets separately and you miss a flight you may lose the connecting ticket. Gilda understand all the moving parts and can make it easy for you.
We generally recommend that once you are in the transportation system keep pushing through to the end destination. Then rest. We find leaving the airport to a hotel, and then getting back to the airport the next day to continue your journey not that efficient or relaxing.
However, If you are over 69, traveling across many time zones, or want to spend some time in the capitals enjoying them and recovering from the international flight, spending a night or two in the capital then makes sense. It also allows you to fly any international carrier that you choose.
North American Travelers:
The time zone difference is negligible for North Americans. Both Aerolineas Argentinas and LATAM have flights that arrive early enough to make your connections.
If you are from a country outside North America.
Information for your Travel agent:
If you are using a travel agent from another country, suggest to your agent to call our office for advice and view our travel pages before booking you. First choice is to use Aerolineas Argentinas Internationally and domestically through Argentina. Second would fly LATAM internationally and domestically through Chile. IF that is not possible use carriers internationally that have a relationship or codeshare with Aerolineas Argentina or LATAM for the international portion.
European and Russian travelers coming through Europe. We recommend to fly through to Buenos Aires. If the international flight does not arrive in time to make your connection to Esquel, Argentina (Futaleufu) or other destinations, consider spending the night in Buenos Aires.
Brazilian Travelers: Time zone difference is negligible. Schedule an international flight that arrives in Buenos Aires in time to make a legal connection to Esquel (Futaleufu) or Calafate (Torres del Paine)
Australian, New Zealander, Chinese, and Asian Travelers. A big time zone difference. If the international flight does not arrive in time to make your connection to Esquel (Argentine gateway to Futaleufu) consider spending the night in Buenos Aires. If you are flying through Chile and you can not make it in time to Puerto Montt to make your connection to Chaiten (Chilean gateway to Futaleufu) consider spending the night in Puerto Montt.
Student, Adventurous, travelers in Patagonia: If you have more time than money, you can purchase the cheapest fares via goolge flights to the capital city. Then use advance purchase Sky Airline in Chile combined with Bus travel and Ferries to get to Futaleufu. When the connections are awkward spend the night in a Hostel. Be careful of your luggage in the bus stations in the Capital city. The Argentine government has recently (July 2017) given permission for a low cost airline AirBondi to start operating in Argentina but plans are to start service in 2018.
Airlines Inside Argentina
Aerolineas Argentina: Flies to all our destinations only carrier to Esquel.
LATAM: Flights to Bariloche and Calafate.
AirBondi First Low Cost carrier in Argentina coming in 2018, no codeshare, strict baggage allowance. Proposed fights from BA to Bariloche and El Calafate. More info
Airlines Inside Chile
LATAM: Flights to all our destinations. The most flights each day to all our destinations.
Sky Airline: Low cost carrier in Chile. Web or phone only. US Travel agents can not book this. Codeshare with TACA and Avianca. Strict baggage allowance. Less flights per day than LATAM. Significantly cheaper with 3 - 4 months advance purchase.
Jet Smart Airline: Low cost carrier in Chile. Web only, a new carrier flying from Santiago to Puerto Montt and limited other routes.
Cielo Mar Austral: Scheduled Flights Puerto Montt - Chaitén from a private airstrip in Puerto Montt called La Paloma. Ticket arranged outside of Chile only by Gilda our Travel Agent.
Air Charters direct to Futaleufu. From Puerto Montt airport to Futaleufu.
Charters direct to Futaleufu: Arranged by Exchile office.
Aerolineas Argentinas Codeshare Partners.
Delta SkyMiles Frequent flyer Miles to Buenos Aires, Bariloche and El Calafate on Aerolineas Argentinas.
SkyMiles in Argentina
Sky Miles more info
Sky Miles to Calafate
LATAM Codeshare Partners One World Partners.
American AAdvantage miles can get you to Santiago Puerto Montt, El Calafate and Bariloche on Latam Airlines.
American Airline Miles to get to Patagonia
AA miles to Patagonia.
Buenos Aires International = EZE
|Santiago = SCL
|Buenos Aires National = AEP
||Puerto Montt = PMC (El Tepual)
|Esquel = EQS
||Puerto Montt Local = SCPF (La Paloma)
|Bariloche = BRC
|Calafate = FTE
||Futaleufu = FFU
||Punta Arenas = PUQ