Aerolineas Argentina - Only like the worst airline EVER!
Taken: 18 Mar 2008 - 1:34pm
I wrote this post a couple months ago, but decided not to post then for fear of repercussions, since I still had flights books with this company ;).
Imagine this scenario... you've decided you want to fly somewhere, so you try find some good flight deals, choose one and then book the flight. Pretty straight forward, right? Well not with Aerolineas Argentina.
I recently booked a flight to Iguazu Falls for myself, sam, and my parents. The process went something like this:
- Find a flight, use their website to book it (note that on trying a few options I found that Argentine residents pay about 1/3rd of what Canadian residents have to pay, fair enough though, since it /is/ an Argentinian company (well... actually it's a Spanish company, but that's a whole different story)).
- After the online booking session it stated that my reservation was confirmed. However, I'd still yet to give them my credit card details.
- I then received an email, stating that I need to pay within 24h or my reservation would be canceled. This email contained no information as to /how/ I should pay, or even a phone number for the airline.
- Approx. 30h later I received a second email which gave me a list of toll free phone numbers all around the world I could call to pay and finish the booking. I needed to complete this step by 5PM the next day, no timezone given.
- Calling numbers in Argentina can sometimes be a real hassle, and I have my VoIP phone with a Vancouver number, so I called the Canadian toll free number.
- After going through the automated menus I was transferred to a human, give my passport numbers, my visa details, etc... the woman asked where I was calling from. I said Argentina, but from a Vancouver number. She then told me it was not possible for her to complete the booking, since I was in Argentina I can /only/ call the Argentina toll free number. It didn't matter that I was calling from a Canadian VoIP number, or that I was paying the Canadian price for the ticket. After a few seconds of my arguing with her I eventually gave up and figured out how to call the Argentine number.
- This next phone call went surprisingly smooth. The woman spoke English, I gave her the CC and passport details again and she said I'd receive an electronic ticket in the next couple days.
- After a week, I /still/ hadn't received an electronic ticket, so I tried calling back. I waited on hold for about 10 minutes and then got disconnected, the same thing happened another 3 times before I gave up. I called the next day and the number had stopped working all together.
- I then went to their office to see someone in person. I waiting for about 1h in their queue, and talked with a representative who actually booked my flight, but I didn't have two of the passport numbers at this point, so he asked if I could call in with them. (I'd only given them these numbers 3 times already at this point)
- After sorting things out with him and paying for the tickets, I then had to wait in a /second/ line. In this lineup the person would give me my receipt for the flight.
- I called the next day to provide the passport details and to my surprise they had /none/ of my information, so I gave it all to them once more. At least I had real tickets in my hand.
As far as the actual flights were concerned... no worse than Air Canada.