Review of Aerolineas Argentinas flight Buenos Aires Miami in Business

Flight AR1302
Class Business
Seat 8H
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 08:53
Take-off 15 Dec 21, 23:50
Arrival at 16 Dec 21, 06:43
AR 40 reviews
Yrgwyn
By 2300
Published on 26th December 2021

Routing

  • Buenos Aires - EZE to Miami - MIA You are here
  • Miami - MIA to Buenos Aires - EZE Coming soon

FLYING AEROLINEAS ARGENTINAS' BUSINESS CLASS, AGAIN.


My last time onboard AR's business class was from EZE to JFK on December of 2019. Things have changed a lot since that last flight, and after a while without being able to fly for pleasure, I had the oportunity to fly again in business class. This time, for a family vacation to Miami. We bought our tickets from a travel agency, around USD 7000 round trip for 3 passengers. We were able to pay for them in 12 monthly interest-free payments (a week after we bought our tickets, in an effort to stop people from traveling abroad and spending their US dollars, Argentina's government decided that all international travel could be no longer paid in these monthly payments, but rather had to be paid all in one go, or with an interest of around 70%. Interest-free monthly payments were particullarly attractive living in a country with 60% anual inflation. I wasn't expecting great service from AR this time, since this new administration is known for being extremelly bad. Still, tickets on American Airlines costed nearly double and I was more than happy with having a bed for my trip, so I chose AR. 


PREPARING THE TRIP


Flying in 2021 has become a bureaucratic nightmare, having to fill endless forms, sworn declarations, making sure to have printed the vaccination certificates, having COVID-19 travel health insurance, having a negative test from the day prior, and so on. I literally had to get a folder to have all the documentation in an orderly manner. It took me a full 2 hours to fill in all the forms, and by far the most tedious of them all was the online sworn declaration from Argentina's Immigration Authority (Dirección Nacional de Migraciones).  


Buenos aires - ezeiza airport


Once we had all the paperwork done, we headed to Ezeiza. This time, we were able to book a parking spot on the long stay parking lot for just ARS 2900, or USD 14.50. A taxi would've costed around ARS 7000 (USD 35) round trip from my home to EZE. The only big disadvantage was that we had to walk to the terminal, a 1.1km walk through the parking lot. Not the most glamorous way to start a trip, but the cheap parking was worth it. 
Once we made it inside terminal C, we were greeted by a giant crowd who was waiting at the check-in counters. The reason was obvious: the aditional documentation checks were taking ages, since each country has its own requirements and the check-in personnel have to manually check each passenger's documents. Thankfully, we were able to skip the line since we were travelling business class. The Sky Priority line was almost empty.  


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The belt was jammed so the very kind lady started checking our documentation first, which of course was all in order. She even congratulated me for 'doing my homework well'. It was a big relief since I was quite stressed out about the documents, wondering if I got anything wrong and that could mean that they wouldn't allow me to board. 
After dropping off our bags, we proceeded to security, were we spent some 15 minutes waiting. Then it was passport control time, which also took some 10 to 15 minutes. After that, we were airside. 
I was quite excited to find out if the duty free shop had any interesting deals since they should be selling everything at the official and tax-free exchange rate of 100 ARS per USD (the "tourist" exchange rate, which has a "solidarity tax" of 30% and an aditional one (RG4815) of 35% currently is exchanged at about 177 ARS per USD and is the one you'd get when paying with a credit card abroad. Cash is exchanged for ARS 204 per US dollar on the informal market since you can only get 200 USD per month on the formal market.) but I found out that they increased their prices in USD dollars to match the market price in Argentinian pesos, so I didn't buy anything. 
After touring the duty free shop, I looked at some planes and went to Aerolineas Argentinas' lounge, "Salón Condor". 


THE LOUNGE: SALÓN CONDOR


The Salón Condor lounge is starting to look dated: the couches look old and nothing changed there since my last visit. The food selection was quite limited: only some sandwiches, some empanadas, and some desserts. No self-service available, everything is served by employees since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. 


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I had an empanada, a sandwich, and a portion of chocotorta (local cake made with chocolate cookies, and a mixture between dulce de leche and cream cheese). Everything was delicious, although portions could've been a bit more generous. 


boarding time


At 22:30, we headed for gate 21. We didn't wait to be called because one of us had the dreaded SSSS on its boarding pass, so we already knew what was going to happen. At the gate, we were able to board first after the secondary screening. We were greeted by a very kind crew. 


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My seat was 8H, as in my previous business class flight reports. The seat looked nice at a first glance. Today's plane was LV-GKP, 17.2 years old.


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Immediately after sitting down, I couldn't help but notice that my seat wasn't in the best shape, having some plastic covers removed and misplaced. Not acceptable for a business class product. 


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After settling down, we were served a welcome drink (I choose water) and some nuts. 


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At 23:20, we started pushing back and the safety video played. I couldn't help but notice that I was the only passenger actually paying attention to the video. That's a big safety risk there, if an accident were to take place no one would know how to act. 


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LV-FVH next to us, bound for Madrid-Barajas. 


THE FLIGHT


While the video was still playing, we taxied to runway 11. We held short for some minutes while we waited for the video to finish, and after that we immediately took off. 


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Some minuted after take off, we were flying over Paranacito, a popular fishing destination. As we climbed for FL330, the smell of food filled the cabin. Once we reached our cruising altitude, the FAs started handing out hot towels, which are always a nice detail. Shortly afterwards, they served the appetizer: prosciutto with pear compot along with a cherry tomato salad. A variety of wines was offered, along with beer, soft drinks and orange juice. I chose the orange juice. 


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AR could really improve the presentation of the meal by just removing that horrible plastic film that makes everything look like it's from economy class. I know it's for COVID-19 prevention, but they could think of something else or remove them before serving. I was surprised that no paper menus were given.


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Main course: Pumpkin cream pasta with a touch of blue cheese. Really delicious although not the best presentation. 
Now, time for my favourite part of the dinner experience: the dessert.  


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It consisted of some cheese with tomato jam, and some chocolate cake with dulce de leche mousse. The cake was very rich and the mousse was very nice too. The cheese and jam were good, but not exceptional. We were also given a box with two chocolate bombons which also tasted  very rich. After dessert, we were offered some coffee, tea, alcoholic beverages or mate cocido. I decided not to drink anything and started getting ready to sleep. 


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The seat reclines 170 degrees, which is good, but completely substandard when compared with competing airlines that offer fully-flat beds. No mattress was provided. 
Before going to sleep, I made a quick visit to the bathroom, which was aceptably clean, but looked a bit old. The bathroom for business class was the same type as the ones for economy.  


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After going to the toilet, I put on the ear plugs provided in the amenity kit (whose contents I will show later on this report) and was able to get a very nice sleep. The plugs made it so quiet I didn't even feel like in a plane. I was woken up by the lights once the crew started serving breakfast, which I wasn't going to miss no matter what. 


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At first, I was served a small fruit salad, a hot drink (I chose coffee), some orange juice, a small jar of dulce de leche (which by the way was the thickest dulce de leche i've ever seen, with an almost peanut butter consistence and some butter. Later on, the crew served hot ham and cheese sandwiches, which were okay, but not the best. 


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After eating, I decided to open the amenity kit provided. This time, it's "La Martina" branded, a local polo brand. The amenities provided are the same, albeit a different brand. The ear plugs are definitely the best thing, every airline should have them. 


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After breakfast, I started recording the sunrise above the caribbean. I got this timelapse: 



Shortly after starting to record it, we started our descent into Miami Intl. Airport. We flew downwind, then turned base and landed runway 09. The landing was average and we taxied towards gate H8. Upon arrival, I asked the friendly crew if a visit to the cockpit was possible, and sure it was. Captain Aldo Mañano was friendly and I was able to have a quick conversation. He wished me best with my future career - geting to see the cockpit and talking to the captain and the FO is always a great way to end a trip.



Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for the return report!


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Verdict

Aerolineas Argentinas

6.8/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew9.5
Entertainment/wifi3.0
Meal/catering8.5

Condor Aerolineas Argentinas

7.5/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering6.5
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Services7.5

Buenos Aires - EZE

6.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access1.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

Miami - MIA

8.4/10
Efficiency7.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.5

Conclusion

Aerolineas Argentinas delivered a mediocre service in regards to comfort, I really didn't like that the seats were in bad shape. The food was good, although not as rich as in my last J class trip. The crew was much friendlier than last time and the lounge was OK, although there's definitely much room for improvement, I'd still choose AR since they charge half what American does and at the end of the day they still take you to Miami in a bed (well, almost..). Ezeiza airport was utter chaos as usual and I really wonder why they still don't open the brand new terminal which is sitting almost complete but untouched since 2019.

Information on the route Buenos Aires (EZE) Miami (MIA)

6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 590091 by
    ChrisB GOLD 1952 Comments

    Hola gracias por el FR!
    Vos fuiste en Miami por el ano nuevo?
    Looks like Aerolineas Argentinas urgently needs to refurbish the cabin at least, or better get new long haul planes!
    The food doesn't seem to be the best neither..
    Shame

  • Comment 590971 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5832 Comments

    Hi Yrgwyn,

    Thanks for sharing this long-haul J report on AR, which are very rare these days. These old cabins are way beyond their prime. Angled-flat was outdated 10 years ago and only really ok on regional J anymore. I hope that things get better financially for AR and they are able to offer a better product soon or they will be left out in the dust compared to competition.

    I'm glad to hear at least their fares are less than the competition, which means they recognise the product is inferior and worth less--it's honest business.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 591175 by
      Yrgwyn AUTHOR 18 Comments

      Thanks for reading! Honestly, I don't think they recognize their product is inferior, but their prices are heavily subsidized (AR receives USD 2 million EVERY day to cover its deficit!). I hope they improve the quality of their cabins with the new Ex-TAP Portugal A330's that they're about to receive!

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