Though some visitors reach Argentina overland from a neighbouring country and a tiny handful arrive by boat, the overwhelming majority of travellers first set foot on Argentine soil at Buenos Aires’ international airport, Ezeiza.
In general, airfares to Argentina tend to be quite high, but they do vary widely depending on the routing and the season. The highest fares are between December and February, around Easter and in July and August. You’ll get the best prices during the low season: March to June and September to November. Note also that flying on weekends often hikes return fares.
Flights from the UK and Ireland
Several airlines offer regular scheduled flights from the UK to Buenos Aires, via another European city, São Paulo or the US (the latter trips can be marginally less expensive, but are usually longer). British Airways (wba.com) is currently the only airline to fly direct from London, refuelling in São Paulo. Iberia (wiberia.com) via Madrid skimps on the creature comforts but is often the cheapest.
There are no direct flights from Ireland to Argentina. If you’re trying to keep costs down, consider flying to London with an economy airline and making a connection there. For less hassle, though, and only a fraction more money, you’re better off flying direct to New York or Miami and catching an onward flight from there.
In addition to fares, it’s worth paying attention to the routes used by different airlines. The shortest and most convenient routes from London, often via São Paulo or Madrid, entail a total travelling time of around sixteen hours. Apart from minimizing the length of the flight, another reason to check the routes is that many airlines allow you to take stopovers on the way — sometimes for free, sometimes for a surcharge of around ten percent. Potential stopovers include Bogotá, Rio and São Paulo in South America; Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Miami, Newark and Washington DC in the US; and Frankfurt, Madrid, Milan, Paris and Rome in Europe.
Flights from the US and Canada
Several airlines, including American Airlines (waa.com), United (wunited.com) and Aerolíneas Argentinas (w), offer daily nonstop flights from the US to Buenos Aires. Flying times to Buenos Aires are around eleven hours from New York and Chicago, and nine from Miami.
There’s less choice if you’re flying from Canada, with Air Canada (waircanada.com) offering the only direct flight into the country – from Toronto via São Paulo (with connections from other major Canadian cities). You’ll be able to put together a considerably more flexible itinerary if you look for connecting flights with a US carrier. Direct flights from Toronto take around thirteen hours, and from Vancouver the journey time is at least eighteen hours.
Note that reciprocity fees charged to Americans and Canadians are only payable when entering Buenos Aires on an international flight, so if you’re travelling to other South American countries anyway it may be worth considering entering Argentina another way – via the land border with Brazil, for example, or on a flight from Santiago in Chile to Mendoza.
Flights from Australia, New Zealand and South Africa
The best flight deals to Argentina from Australia and New Zealand are offered by Aerolíneas Argentinas (waerolineas.com) and LAN (wlan.com) in conjunction with Qantas (wqantas.com.au) and Air New Zealand (w), either direct to Buenos Aires or via a stopover in Santiago. In Australia, flights to Argentina leave from Sydney, plus a couple a week that depart from Brisbane and Melbourne. There are no direct flights from New Zealand, so you will need to go either via Sydney or with LAN via Santiago. Flights from South Africa to Argentina leave from Cape Town and Johannesburg and usually go via São Paulo, taking sixteen or seventeen hours. South African Airways (wflysaa.com) has direct flights from Johannesburg.