Aerolineas Argentinas, the country’s flag carrier, is the largest airline in Argentina, flying to 24 cities in 14 countries. The airline also has an extensive domestic network connecting Buenos Aires to 35 cities. From its hub in Buenos Aires, it flies to two U.S. destinations: Miami and New York.
Passenger reviews for Aerolineas Argentinas are very mixed, and follow a premium vs. coach divide. Since the airline installed new lie-flat seats on some of its long-haul routes, flying in its Club Condor class has become more comfortable. Coach passengers, on the other hand, note an extreme lack of personal space and broken or inadequate entertainment equipment.
The carrier’s frequent flyer program, Aerolineas Plus, is fairly straightforward and easy to use.
Aerolineas Plus awards can also be a pretty good value. Domestic flights begin at 8,000 miles roundtrip, and flights between Argentina and the U.S. at 40,000 miles roundtrip.
Unfortunately, you can’t make any changes or get your miles redeposited if you redeem an award seat at a saver rate. For SkyTeam partners, the change fees are $100 for changes or refunds for flights over six hours in duration, and $50 for changes or refunds for domestic flights.
One unique feature of the Aerolineas Plus program is that it offers a free domestic short-haul flight from Buenos Aires with long-haul flights. Long-haul flights are defined as being at least eight hours long.
All Aerolineas Argentinas’ flights offer two classes. What they are depends on what route and aircraft you’re flying.
Airbus aircraft in their fleet have Club Condor (or business class) and economy. Boeing and Embraer aircraft offer Club Economy (or economy comfort) and economy. For the most part, Club Condor, with its separate cabin and improved seats, is offered on long-haul and international flights.
Club Economy gives passengers preferential seating in the economy cabin, as well as improved food and service. Surprisingly, the redemption levels for Club Condor and Club Economy are the same.
Using the Aerolineas Plus program to fly on Aerolineas Argentinas is quite simple, even though it divides Argentina into three zones and South America into four. It has a straightforward award chart for each of the program’s three redemption levels: Promotional, Tourist and Club Condor/Club Economy.
Promotional awards are like saver awards on other airlines. Availability is the most limited, but they are the cheapest. This class is only issued as round-trip flights. They are also non-refundable and cannot be changed.
Tourist, Club Economy and Club Condor classes, which are equivalent to flex economy/standard, economy plus, and business on other airlines, are issued as one-way segments and can be changed or cancelled in advance of the flight.
Redemptions on partners, however, are a little more complicated. Aerolineas Argentinas has a different chart for every partner and doesn’t publish them. Instead, it offers a miles calculator. In addition, not all SkyTeam partners can be booked online.
- No fuel surcharges, including flights on partner airlines
- Free domestic short-haul flight with every long-haul redemption
- Excellent redemption rates on both domestic flights and international travel between the U.S. and Buenos Aires
- No award charts for partners
- Cant book award tickets online for some partners
- Older planes with limited amenities
One of the best features of the Aerolineas Plus program is a free domestic short-haul ticket from Buenos Aires with a long-haul redemption. Considering that domestic award levels range between 8,000 and 16,000 miles, it means you can save one-third of the miles.
Another great Aerolineas Plus redemption is an economy ticket between the U.S. and Buenos Aires for 40,000 miles roundtrip. This rate rivals American Airlines’ off-peak Saver Awards, and unlike AA’s limited seasonal discount, you can redeem at this rate year-round.
With the exception of flights to Argentina, redemption rates for flights between the U.S. and Latin America are not great. Since flights between the U.S. and northern South America connect in Buenos Aires, they cost 25 to 50 percent more.
You can use miles to upgrade your cash tickets to Club Economy or Club Condor on Aerolineas Argentinas flights. You will need to request your upgrade from 3 to 21 days before your scheduled departure for international flights, and 3 to 15 days for domestic flights. Award tickets cannot be upgraded.
Each level includes the perks of the previous level:
- Gold Plus: Check in at business class counters, free upgrade to Club Economy on domestic or regional flights, access to VIP Lounge and SkyTeam lounges, priority boarding, 25 percent bonus miles, additional 10 kg baggage allowance
- Platinum Plus: Change and other corresponding fees are waived, 100 percent bonus miles, additional 20 kg baggage allowance, two free annual upgrades to Club Condor, access to premium Club Condor seats in the new A343 aircraft, priority booking at the airport, priority baggage drop-off
Aerolineas Argentinas does not currently offer a co-branded credit card for U.S. residents.