We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Affordable travel to Chile?

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
105 posts
51 reviews
Save Topic
Affordable travel to Chile?

Hi guys,

Any special hints on cheaper ways to get to Santiago? From Houston (IAH) to Santiago is $1000 and up. This is absurd when you can get to Paris for $300 in the current market.

Any hints? Cheaper to fly to Mexico (or another country) and then book a separate flight to Chile?

I would like to travel in July for about a 2 week stay.

Thanks!

Mentioned in this post
Santiago
Santiago
Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
Chile
Chile
South America
Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Chile, Santiago
Level Contributor
6,821 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

You should be able to find flights under US1000, check LAN and Taca.

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
105 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

Never heard of those airlines. Do they fly out of Houston (Bush) Intercontinental Airport (IAH)?

Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
105 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

I think Chile could really increase its tourism if perhaps they created an airline with the specific purpose of bringing tourists in for a fair price. It seems that right now they are catering only to business travelers, who are not price-sensitive. On the other hand, flights to Europe or Mexico are quite cheap. I flew to Mexico last year for $175.

Mentioned in this post
Chile
Chile
South America
california
Level Contributor
11,773 posts
169 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

Chile is not a cheap Latin American country.

If they were interested in attracting price-sensitive travelers I don't think they would have a $130 entrance visa fee. You do know about that, I hope?

Mentioned in this post
Chile
Chile
South America
Santiago, Chile
Destination Expert
for Chile
Level Contributor
11,197 posts
30 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

The price of flights varies depending on the time of year. It takes a lot of monitoring to get the best price on the internet. Flights from Miami are often a good price. Try routing through Panama or Miami. Some people on a budget try despegar.com for flights.

The vast majority of visitors to Chile do not have to pay a reciprocity fee or get a visa.

Mentioned in this post
Chile
Chile
South America
The Chilean Central...
Destination Expert
for Chile
Level Contributor
2,410 posts
1 review
Save Reply
6. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

The main US gateways to Chile are:

LAX MIA NYC - LAN

DFW MIA - AA via their other US served cities

ATL - Delta

Then their are other airlines like TACA where you have to connect in Central America or Northern South America.

Monitor the AA site for sales as they were recently offering flights for as low as $700 but they had a May-June travel deadline so you are SOL till another sale war is offered. Maybe if you hold off till early to mid May and let the down economy do its thing, you may get better offers. I usually purchase two to three months out for the best price.

Check the distance to SCL via the great circle mapper and you will see how a trip of that length eats a hell of a lot more fuel than to Paris or Mexico City.

Mentioned in this post
Chile
Chile
South America
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
105 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

Thanks for the suggestions. I don't mind connecting flights in another country along the route. I am not really interested in flying to another farther away U.S. city only to waste many hours of time and prolong time in the air. I live in HOUSTON, the gateway to Latin America... not really sure why IAH wouldn't be the gateway to all of these countries as it's the closest U.S. airport.

I'm happy to go to Mexico City, etc, which is a short 1.5 hour flight from Houston... yes, it's that close, hence the gateway to Latin America. It's retarded to fly to Florida to get to South America. I just have a fundamental 'thing' about going way out of the way and chances are it would be no cost savings at all since domestic U.S. flights are not necessarily always cheap.

To whoever said that Chile wasn't a cheap Latin American country, I kind-of disagree. Prices in Chile are no more than Peru, Costa Rica or even Mexico... I would be going to visit a friend who is a native and believe me, they are strikingly similar as far as costs, but I know they are strikingly different in most other ways, hence the reason I'd love to go there myself.

Also, yes, Santiago is NOT more miles than Paris. 4631.44 from Houston to Santiago vs. 5043.27 from Houston to Paris. That's 411 fewer miles to Santiago vs. Paris. I was about to pull the trigger on a $298 round-trip ticket on Continental to Paris when we changed our minds and routed to Frankfurt, Germany, which was still only $466, compared with an average price of $1,100 to Santiago. I wouldn't call France a "cheap Latin American country" by any means. I've never paid so much for crappy food in my entire life :)

So, again, why are the prices so high from IAH to Santiago?? It would be naive to say that Chile isn't interested in tourism.

Mentioned in this post
Latin Grill
Latin Grill
741 Reviews
Santiago, Chile
Chile
Chile
South America
Santiago
Santiago
Santiago Metropolitan Region, Chile
The Chilean Central...
Destination Expert
for Chile
Level Contributor
2,410 posts
1 review
Save Reply
8. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

(1) Latin/South America have few if any LCCs. The ones that exist are usually for domestic travel.

(2) Because of (1), prices have ALWAYS been on the higher side than the developed world.

(3) You can complain to the governments of Chile, Argentina, etc. but I doubt your complaints would mean squat.

(4) The airlines that serve SCL directly are not located at IAH, thus you will have to connect or go to DFW to get more direct flights to SCL. If you don't mind going through the hassle of connecting in Mexico, Central or North South America what is the difference with connecting in DFW, MIA or LAX for a more direct routing with less chance of luggage loss?

Also RE (4), if you start out at a non hub airport to get to the hubs of LAN or AA, prices are usually nearly the same as starting out from their hub.

Mentioned in this post
Latin Grill
Latin Grill
741 Reviews
Santiago, Chile
Chile
Chile
South America
Argentina
Argentina
South America
The Chilean Central...
Destination Expert
for Chile
Level Contributor
2,410 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

(5) Also true that Chile has incompetents running their tourism promotion when compared to what their counterparts in Argentina have done.

Mentioned in this post
Chile
Chile
South America
Argentina
Argentina
South America
Houston, Texas
Level Contributor
105 posts
51 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Affordable travel to Chile?

In regard to (4), DFW is a 2 hour flight NORTH... then get into a plane, transfer luggage, etc, and fly south, right back by Houston, 2 more hours, so that adds at least 5 hours to the trip... most of it air time. For health reasons, I would prefer to minimize time in the air, so it would make more sense to change planes on the way there, rather than go in the exact opposite direction :)

Many airlines try to get us to fly to DFW first to get to Mexico City. What? That more than doubles the travel time to Mexico City, which is less than 2 hours direct. I understand their business plan, but frankly don't care... As a traveler I want to get there directly if possible, and living by one of the largest international airports in the U.S., which also happens to be the CLOSEST U.S. airport to Latin America, I kinda feel I ought to be able to depart and get right on my merry way :)

Of course, my desires have nothing to do with the airlines' business plans, but I am actually using logic here and I dare say there is more business travel between Houston and South America than Dallas...

Mentioned in this post
Latin Grill
Latin Grill
741 Reviews
Santiago, Chile
;