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Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

Brooklyn, New York
4 posts
Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

We enjoyed a wonderfully relaxing week in Buenos Aires, but when it came time to get to the airport and head back to New York, boy oh boy - were we SO glad that we came 3 hours early. Here's why:

There were so many queues we had to go through to get to our final destination (the departure gate). First, the line to check in our bags. Then another line to pay airport taxes - 15 American dollars, I think. (PS- I'd never seen that mentioned in any travel books but maybe I wasn't paying attention). We also wanted to exchange our pesos back to dollars...so another line there. (There were money exchange establishments in the city, but they were not exchanging for American dollars on the weekend for some reason...only Monday through Friday). Then another line for passport control/customs. Then security. Then! when we finally got to the gate, we actually had to go through yet another security line where airport authorities individually searched each and every carry-on of each and every traveler. (We did think they were a little lax in the first security go-round, so it made sense. What did NOT make sense was that they didn't just do it all in one shot.) Also, I purchased some water at a kiosk right next to our gate and was not allowed to bring it on board - much to my dismay. I was so thirsty at that point. I know everyone's paranoid about airport security, but really- I purchased it within spitting distance of the security people at the gate. At that point, it was beyond annoying. And no one even "caught" the lighter in my coat pocket. Huh?

Anyway, bottom line, for international flights, there are a lot of lines to get through, so make sure you give yourself ample time at the airport. This could just have been specific to it being a Saturday evening and American Airlines....who knows? But I felt it was worth mentioning.

The trip was great. The EZE airport = muy stressful. :)

Punta del Este...
Level Contributor
3,654 posts
16 reviews
1. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

I've flown out of EZE to the USA about 40-45 times in the last 12 years, on American, United, and Delta, and a few times to Europe. I've always gone at least 2 1/2 hours before flight time, usually three hours. 80% of the time I've wound up with over 90 minutes to sit around. But a few times it's taken every minute. It's a lottery.

Level Contributor
113 posts
17 reviews
2. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

We have just returned through EZE and we arrived 3 hours before our flight and only just made the flight it was absolute chaos !

Level Contributor
2,240 posts
50 reviews
3. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

Great advice. The only issue I had arriving real early a couple of times was that the American staff was not in position and I had to wait for them to start checking people in. But it is well worth it to be early. Another note there is a kiosk to pay the airport departure tax on the second floor just outside the entrance to security and the gates. If you do come late and that line is long you can try the one upstairs. Usually the line is short.

Abilene, Texas
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
7,696 posts
80 reviews
4. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

Another note re: Paying the Departure Tax. The fee is U$18 and can be paid at two kiosks downstairs at either end of the airline counters or upstairs near the entrance for the departure gates.

Abilene, Texas
Destination Expert
for Buenos Aires
Level Contributor
7,696 posts
80 reviews
5. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

and another note....you can pay the departure tax in pesos, dollars or credit card....so one way to avoid currency exchange lines is to use your pesos to pay the tax.

Calgary, Canada
Level Contributor
694 posts
7 reviews
6. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

Le_giblet, were you flying with Continental? Continental airline has it's own security. When you check your bags you get screened and possibly searched by the airline security and again at the gate you are screened and your carry on bags are searched. You still have to go through all the airport security along the way. I haven't seen any other airlines with that type of additional security, I think it was put in place after the 9/11 hijackings. Maybe Continental was one of the airlines involved, I don't know. Personally I appreciate the extra security.

They told us to get there 4 hours in advance, we did and ended up sitting around for a good couple hours. But that's ok, it's less stress, you have time to sit and enjoy a cool beer.

Level Contributor
882 posts
42 reviews
7. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

Since we are always looking to save some time at an airport . . .

Is it possible for two people to split up and each handle a different line? In other words, can one person check in while the other goes to pay the departure tax? Or, do you need your boarding passes before you can pay the tax?


Barry, Wales, UK
Level Contributor
101 posts
2 reviews
8. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

You need the boarding pass to pay the tax. Also, there are more than one places to pay the tax. There was one in the middle with a big queue, but we paid at the far left (if facing the check-in desks) with no queue. There may have been a place on the upper level too.

The additional security must be airline specific, as we were allowed to carry water onto British Airways. The most strict airport we encountered was at Punta Del Este. We had chocolates in our hand luggage bought at Bariloche, but couldn't take them on. Fortunatley, being a small airport, they managed to find our case on the trolley, brought it to the gate, and we could swap some stuff from the case.

Dublin, Ireland
Level Contributor
111 posts
11 reviews
9. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

Would you say that the same applies to the domestic airport or is it safe to leave it a little later?

New York City
Level Contributor
1,876 posts
6 reviews
10. Re: Buenos Aires airport (EZE) - tip

When I arrvied in EZE from my flight from JFK, my bags are screened. The only problem I have is that I am carrying a lot of camera gear, a laptop and electronc gear.

Then I have to explain security I am a photographer on vacation and show the security personal my business card.

I have been lucky that they have never ask to search my bags.