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Dual Pricing At Aerolineas Argentinas?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 1:58 am

I recently experienced something quite frustrating and troubling on the Aerolineas Argentinas website when trying to book a domestic trip (EZE-MDZ) in May. I put that my country was Argentina and searched for flights and found a price of 260 Argentine pesos (approx. USD$88). Thinking it wouldn't matter what country I had recorded, I was surprised to see a message pop up that stated that the prices quoted were only for residents of Argentina. I changed my country to the United States, and lo and behold, there were no more "economy restricted" seats for Americans (or any other foreigners, I would venture to say), and the new price for the same exact flights was USD$460!!! How can this be?! I know the Argentine economy is in the toilet, and it's nice that Argentines can still fly on their national airline, but this type of pricing leaves me very concerned. In fact the last time I encountered this was in Cuba when I bought a ticket from Santiago de Cuba to Havana on Aerocarribean at an office specially set up to sell flights to foreigners on a government-run subsidiary that was itself set up primarily to transport foreigners. Are similar things in store for Argentine aviation? Does anyone have any experience or suggestions on how to purchase and travel on the Argentine fares?
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RE: Dual Pricing At Aerolineas Argentinas?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 2:58 am


Unfortunately, things are this way. Aerolineas Argentinas is a private company, and their pricing policies are like that. You see, not only in the air fares, but even hotels in major touristic places charge a different rate if you are a non Argentina resident.

After the economic turmoil, the argentine peso lost 3 times it´s value against the dollar, and apparently they subsidize local fares this way.

Sorry, but things work like this in a defaulted country. What a shame.


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RE: Dual Pricing At Aerolineas Argentinas?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:04 am


What you experienced is not uncommon, and is in fact a lot simpler and less scandalous than it looks:

First, it is not that you are a US citizen. I have dual citizenship (Argentine and UK), and when I book a domestic flight in Argentina from abroad (MDQ, or Tierra del Fuego, for example), I go to the "Argentine option", and reserve my seat with the Peso tariff. The only catch is that you cannot pay the Peso fare outside of Argentina, so the simplest solution is usually to book the flights, print out you itenerary (valid until 24 hours before the flight), and collect your ticket at AR's office (at the entrance to their terminal) upon arrival in EZE. They accept both cash and credit cards, depending upon your preferred method, but you will be charged the Peso fare you originally saw.

When I tried to book an AEP-MDQ return from Uruguay, AR were quoting me US$287 return, so I said no way. As a result, I called my travel agent in BA (Keenly Travel, +54-11-4393-1797, I do recommend them), and I was able to book the same flights for 270 Pesos return (under US$100).

And amazingly, the Argentine economy is making quite a rebound from the toilet, believe it or not, for the time being at least. Let's hope it lasts!...



How do you say "12 months" in Estonian?
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RE: Dual Pricing At Aerolineas Argentinas?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:04 am

Aerolineas allways charges full "Y" to foreigners... but you can allways fly SW and pay the cheapest fare available.. www.sw.com.ar
Alto.. Mucho mas alto.. hasta la cumbre
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RE: Dual Pricing At Aerolineas Argentinas?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 3:51 am

A dual pricing system exists in Russia for lots of things including charter flights. While I have not encountered dual-pricing on scheduled flights, many tour operaters claim that there is a special foreigner surcharge (which is often like 400%) on holiday packages. Bah! Aside from it being inconsistent with Russian law (like that means anything), one can always find a reputable operator who is willing to forgo the "surcharge."
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RE: Dual Pricing At Aerolineas Argentinas?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 4:28 am

Dual pricing is common in Africa, India, parts of the Middle East and Asia. Generally countries with a low GDP have lower fares to spur travel. At the US/EU fare levels locals could not afford to travel.
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Joined: Mon Sep 27, 2004 11:52 am

RE: Dual Pricing At Aerolineas Argentinas?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:14 am

Thanks for the replies. I have encountered dual pricing before, but was surprised to see it in Argentina, that's all. Last time I was there, the dollar and peso were on par, so I wasn't prepared for this. Anyway, I will either fly SW or book my ticket straight through from MIA to MDZ w/a stop in BA (that prices out not much more than the MIA-EZE r/t anyway on AR, who I really would like to try).

Afay: I know what you mean about Russia...I bought an Aeroflot ticket at their New York office from Irkutsk-LED a couple of years ago for what I later discovered to be an exorbitant price. Since it was refundable, I ended up cancelling it and buying a ticket on KrasAir the day before the flight for considerably less! I understand it's all about economics, but it sure seems unscrupulous when you're trying to book tickets from the other side!
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RE: Dual Pricing At Aerolineas Argentinas?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 5:15 am

I think it makes sense from the company's point of view to have dual pricing. If AR would charge dollar prices for Argentine pax, it would be impossible for 90% of the population to fly because of the high price. Therefore AR takes as many customers as they can, making it more accesible for Argentines and for foreigners by having peso prices for locals, and a completely different fare for foreigners, but also accesible. Althoug not entirely fair, it makes sense.

Carp aunque ganes o pierdas ...
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RE: Dual Pricing At Airlines Argentines?!

Thu Jan 20, 2005 6:08 am

Hi All

There's more to this double fare than meets the eye. For example its a way for regular airlines to fight low cost. Since low cost normally do only point to point you penalize those who try to book a real cheap flight and then get another cheap internal flight to where they want to go by restricting the purchase of low internal fares to the country of origin and with a one day or more advance purchase to avoid them purchasing them on the same day at the airport of arrival.
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