In an effort to preserve the fact that Argentina is the most broken an chaotic of all the South American nations they have enforced their “reciprocity fee” scheme, probably because they are so desperate for money, at all border crossings and Airports for Aussies and Gringos. Earlier, because, Argentina is broken, you could cross by land or fly into any other Airport besides Buenos Aires Ezeiza Airport and skip the tax.
Now you must navigate this (in a sarcastic tone) really clearly documented and well thought out website, and pay US $100 for the freakin’ privilege.
If that is not retarded enough you actually have to go to this site to pay:
Of course all travelers to Argentina are fluent in Spanish, so it should be too hard hey. You need to create a log in, add the “reciprocity fee” to a cart and checkout – like a retarded online store. Even after completing the process already, I can’t remember where you should click to buy a visa. You also have to print the receipt, because they cannot send that information to immigration electronically. (nothing to stop you just whipping one up in indesign hey hey)
TIP – go here
It’s in English!
This reminds me of an great travel moment…
I was flying LAN, from Lima Peru, to Argentina. I purchased my stupid US$100 “reciprocity fee” in advanced and was last in line boarding the plane in Lima. The staff asked for the receipt for the “reciprocity fee” which I didn’t print, but did save a copy to my phone. They said that wasn’t good enough, and I needed to go to their service counter to print it. The service counter was miles away, and the plane was almost completely boarded.
La casa del decisions buenos.
So, thinking I didn’t fancy spending an entire night at the Airport in Lima, I hurried down to the desk and printed my receipt, and returned to the boarding lounge. Where this amazing thing happened. The girl from the boarding desk, in her high heels, ran the last 100m with me, while, checking my passport, “reciprocity fee” receipt, and ticket.
LAN, you’re alright aye! With you piece of crap website, and you tendency to rip of foreigners. At least your staff are cool.
I ran the boarding ramp under the encouragement of LAN staff and made it to my seat in the first row, where I had the whole row to myself… which reminds me of another story.
It always pays to flirt with the check-in chicks. They love it, and they always hook you up with the better seats.
Now when I arrived in Cordoba… I had my very own immigration official with a piece of paper with my name on it and a questionnaire. Thanks Argentina, so caring.
So to summaries today’s lesson.
- Argentina is more broken than anywhere else and their customs demonstrates this. Get the VISA, um sorry “reciprocity fee” online. Or skip Argentina with their BS fees and go to Colombia where there are none. (but miss out on steak and red wine?)
- Flirt with the check-in staff
Oh if your booking flights online last minute, try orbitz.com, at least they accept foreign mastercard.