Airfare in Argentina – Need to know!

If you’re expecting to just purchase a ticket the night before or the day of departure for a domestic flight (I believe it only applies to domestic flights) you MUST purchase your ticket 24 hours before departure.   

If you’re like me, sometimes you plan ahead for a flight and sometimes you leave it to the last minute.  I had searched on Google Flights for prices for the short domestic hop from Cordoba to Buenos Aires a few days prior and all the prices were listed in the $20-$40 range.  Great I thought, I can easily just buy a ticket the night before and be done with it. 

First off, if you’re flying domestically into Buenos Aires, you’ll want to fly into Aeroparque Jorge Newbery (AEP) and not into the main international airport (EZE).  You’ll see a lot more options and basically all the low cost carriers will fly into AEP (like Norwegian Air, Aerolineas Argentina, Austral, etc). 

AEP is also much closer to the city than EZE so you’ll easily be able to take a bus into the city vs. getting a taxi or a private car. 

Now, here’s what you need to know.  You need to make sure you PURCHASE your ticket at least 24 hours before departure.  On Google Flights, it’s noted as a “resident’s only” price. This is because inside of 24 hours, you need to pay with a credit card that is issued in Argentina.  If you are in the process of booking the flight but don’t pay outside the 24 hour window, you ticket will be DENIED (learned this the hard way). 

This is also not to say that tickets are not available.  The plane could be completely empty and they still won’t allow you to purchase the flight.  I’m assuming the only workaround would be to come to the airport and pay in cash but I have no clue.  I’m not sure but maybe you could go to an airline office and see if they can help you if you’re in a bind.  I tried everything I could but was unsuccessful.

In case you’re wondering, the resident’s price is not cheaper.  In many ways it was more expensive…go figure. 

A side note on the pricing that you see on Google Flights.  I’m not entirely sure where that pricing pulls from because every time I clicked through to see the pricing, it was always more expensive…and not by a little, but by A LOT.  I really wouldn’t trust the pricing on Google Flights and strongly recommend you click through to the booking page to make sure the price matches. 

This rule makes absolutely no sense to me but I ended up taking a 5pm flight when I was originally hoping to fly out around 10am.  In the end, it really didn’t make much of a difference because it gave me one last time to walk around the city of Cordoba but that was a frustrating hour or so on the computer.  I can only say thank goodness I got tired of walking around and had to come back to the hotel and relax for a bit which got me thinking about the flight or I would have been really screwed. 

I will say I ended up getting a seat on Norwegian Air for the 90 min flight and I can’t believe how few people were on this plane.  There were MAYBE 20 people on the entire flight and I didn’t realize the flight was basically empty. Boarding took all of 2 minutes and I thought I must have missed my boarding group because it went so quickly from preboarding to final call. 

So, if you’re going to be doing any flying around Argentina domestically, you’ll want to make sure you’re planning over 24 hours in advance for your tickets or you could be stranded an extra day.

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