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Old Jan 4, 11, 7:20 pm   #1
 
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Mendoza to USA via Santiago - any transit issues?

Hi,
I have read a few posts about US-bound LAN passengers originating in Mendoza having to collect bags/clear customs/pay Chilean entry fee in Santiago before catching their connecting flight. Assertion was that Mendoza security was not up to TSA standards.

Has anyone had this problem, or have you had an easy/fast international airside transit in Santiago?

Thanks.
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Old Jan 4, 11, 9:23 pm   #2
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You go through SCL transit security, and then have a gate security check (a possible patdown and a carry-on check). If you are flying LA/LA you should have the bag checked through, no problem.
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Old Jan 5, 11, 10:53 am   #3
 
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Hola EastBay,

Have you actually done this route MDZ-SCL-USA as a SCL transit? I only ask because I have also heard of reports of the above (being forced with luggage to clear immigrations and customs at SCL because of distrust of MDZ security). I think the OP should be prepared for the worst case scenario unless it can be confirmed by a recent real life traveler who did this without that hassle.

Remember, it is only those SCL-MDZ flights that even make MDZ an "international" airport.
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Old Jan 5, 11, 1:28 pm   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viajero Perpetuo View Post
Hola EastBay,

Have you actually done this route MDZ-SCL-USA as a SCL transit? I only ask because I have also heard of reports of the above (being forced with luggage to clear immigrations and customs at SCL because of distrust of MDZ security). I think the OP should be prepared for the worst case scenario unless it can be confirmed by a recent real life traveler who did this without that hassle.

Remember, it is only those SCL-MDZ flights that even make MDZ an "international" airport.
I haven't been through MDZ in about 4 years. (I would have thought that SCL transit screening would have been sufficient, but sorry to hear that it may not be.)
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Old Jan 6, 11, 6:57 am   #5
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Viajero Perpetuo View Post
Hola EastBay,

Have you actually done this route MDZ-SCL-USA as a SCL transit? I only ask because I have also heard of reports of the above (being forced with luggage to clear immigrations and customs at SCL because of distrust of MDZ security). I think the OP should be prepared for the worst case scenario unless it can be confirmed by a recent real life traveler who did this without that hassle.

Remember, it is only those SCL-MDZ flights that even make MDZ an "international" airport.
You would, of course, have to do the same thing if transiting a U.S. airport when transiting between two other countries. Both there, and in Brazil, I've gone through Immigration, then gotten my bags, then gone through Customs. I'm not aware of anyplace where you have to go through Immigation with your bags.

Mandoza is, of course, in a different country than SCL. I'm not sure if going through Immigration and Customs has anything to do with distrust of Argentine security procedures at MDZ. Is this involving a flight to the U.S.? Such flights may require additional security. When flying from Fortaleza, Brazil to Miami, with a stop or change of planes in Manaus, I've had to go through additional security procedures at Manaus.

Have you tried phoning your airline? Is this a concern becuase of the amount of time it might take?
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Old Jan 6, 11, 8:05 am   #6
 
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I was hoping for someone with recent real life experience with this itinerary to respond.

Eastbay, the OP and I are obviously very aware of normal SCL immigrations (RECIPROCITY FEE) and customs procedures, international transit procedures (non-MDZ like from/to EZE or just about anywhere else with just a simple airside security screening assuming your bags are checked through) and special circumstance combos (JFK/SCL/IPC).

Instead, we get an out of context comment pulled about going through immigrations with bags with zero real life knowledge of what the OP is asking.

Also, relying on some low paid, CYA call center employee at LAN to have a definitive non-chamullo answer to this is no better than flipping a coin as those in the know are already cognizant of.

To clarify in hope for a correct answer, there have been reports of MDZ/SCL/USA itineraries not allowing airside transit at SCL due to MDZ being viewed as a local/national airport in regards to international air travel security matters. In this situation, a person would have to pay the Chile reciprocity fee if your passport situation warrants it ($140 USD for USA), go through passport control like any 90 day tourist, pick up bags, go through customs, go up the elevator, stand in line and recheckin your bags, stand in line to clear exit passport control and security to catch your next flight.

So the answer is:
(a) True
(b) Not true
(c) It depends on the phase of the moon

Anyone with recent real life experience with this itinerary?

Last edited by Viajero Perpetuo; Jan 6, 11 at 8:18 am. Reason: Additions, grammar
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Old Jan 6, 11, 1:09 pm   #7
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If a transit pax gets nailed the fee because LAN cant implement additional screening airside then me thinks that LAN should reimburse those pax for the fee.
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Old Jan 6, 11, 1:10 pm   #8
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BTW, the answer to your multiple choice question above is...

(D) none of the above. we have to wait for someone to fly this and report back
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Old Jan 7, 11, 12:24 pm   #9
 
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If no one answers and you want to play it REAL safe.

(1) Reroute and begin your international flights out of EZE.
(2) Drop the MDZ-SCL segment, take the bus and get an awesome ground view of that route through the Andes.
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Old Jan 7, 11, 2:13 pm   #10
 
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As close as I can get to a personal experience: last year (mid-year sometime) a friend was doing the connection to the USA via SCL and starting in Mendoza. She called LAN (they were both LAN flights) and was told that she would have to pay the fee and collect her bags and check in again. Reason given was the one mentioned above about Mendoza not having sufficient security for a connection ending in the US etc. Needless to say, she was not happy. But on checking in at Mendoza they told her it was no problem and checked the bags all the way through. YMMV, but I would smile nicely at the counter in Mendoza and hope for the best. If it is a rule, it appears to bend.
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Old Jan 27, 11, 4:55 pm   #11
 
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Check this out

Santiago (SCL) international airside connection possible?
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Old Apr 21, 11, 1:57 pm   #12
 
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Any new experiences on this matter? I'd like to fly the Mendoza -Santiago- USA route but don't want to do it if I have to pay the fee when I'm transiting.
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