Reciprocity fee/Argentina

Discussion in 'American Airlines | AAdvantage' started by John Woram, Oct 18, 2013.  |  Print Topic

  1. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    AA website states boarding EZE-bound flights will be denied if one doesn't have proof of payment of Reciprocity fee. I paid it back in 2010 and it's valid for 10 years. BUT, the sticker is glued into my expired passport. I presume if I bring that passport, plus my new one of course, all's well. I inquired at the Argentine consulate about this, but needless to say they have more important things to do than respond to gringo tourists :(. So, does anyone here have any first-hand experience with this? Or, know someone who does? Thanks, John
     
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  2. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    YMMV. I have less experience with this than will some others who'll soon respond. I do have two US friends who had the identical circumstance and had no problem. They boarded AA at JFK and were referred to s supervisor at checkin but had no problem otehr than that. At EZE they spent a trifle more time than others, they said about five minutes while the immigration officer made a referral, then they were on their way. Technically they were told at EZE that the reciprocity fee is good for 10 years or the life of the passport, whichever is shorter. However, they had no problem.

    That is two people, a married couple, both of whom were Spanish speakers, FWIW.
     
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  3. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    This is the first I've heard of the reciprocity fee expiring with the passport. I have the impression that you just need to bring the old passport too.
     
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  4. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    My two friends had no problem despite what they were told BTW.
     
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  5. redtailshark

    redtailshark Silver Member

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    I was told also that my reciprocidad would expire with the passport to which it is attached, even if that is sooner than 10 years. I like what I hear - but I think I'll test this at AEP with my UK passport in my pocket....
     
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  6. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    Yup --- that part about the reciprocity fee being "good for 10 years or the life of the passport, whichever is shorter" doesn't really compute. Passport life is always 10 years, so the Reciprocity fee time span will always be greater than that, if it's glued into a currently-valid pp. So I think bringing the expired pp with the sticker should do it. Anyway, I just bopped off an inquiry to AA. I'll post the reply (if there is one).
     
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  7. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Mine is a plain white sticker from the "blank" period in 2012 and I had no trouble using it in 2013. However, my passport expires in a few years. If I had known that it really is "life of passport" I might have tried to do an early passport renewal before my first trip to Argentina. I'm pretty sure I would have noticed that if it had been disclosed/publicized in the rules I looked about the reciprocity fee before my trip.

    AFAIK a number of countries accept visas in expired (or cancelled due to early renewal) passports, but obviously it's mostly an issue for long term visas and similar travel documents.
     
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  8. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    But not all do. It is important to know the rules of the country you are headed to, not what other countries do in similar scenarios.
     
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  9. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Of course. Also, the rules can change over time, so a visa that would have previously been valid in an expired passport might cease to be OK before the expiration date shown on the visa in such cases.
     
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  10. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    I still don't think it's a "life of passport" issue. The good news: my sticker plainly states (en español) "Expiration date: 11/10/2020." The bad news: I just got a moronic reponse from AA: "Thank you for contacting Customer Relations. ... we have determined that our reservation personnel can better address your concerns." (followed by useless info about how to make a reservation, and sent from a "noreply" address). Now, if reservation personnel had been able to answer my question, I wouldn't have bothered to send an e-mail inquiry in the first place. So, now I'll have another go at trying to find an intelligent life form at AA via phone. Too bad they don't have the brain power to post clear info on their website. Or to answer questions that have nothing to do with making a reservation.
     
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  11. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Given all these discussions and the "life of the passport" issue. My friends were told taht, but still had no problem. Neither they nor we know if what they were told is true because there seems to be no official statement.

    IMO if AA will allow boarding it will work in Argentina. Why? Because AA will be liable to repatriate you if AA boards you without proper documentation.

    Although I often go in and out of Argentina myself I do so with a nationality that allows use of just the national id card for Argentina entrance. We do not even need a passport. Thus I do not personally know about this issue.
     
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  12. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    I went back for more punishment, called AA reservations, apologized for bothering them about an issue that was really up to AA customer service to address. But of course "customer service" is one of them there oxymorons ;), where the last thing in the world is what the name implies. Anyway, I mentioned that AA packs up a plane load of JFK/EZE pax every day of the week, so surely by now someone at the check-in desk will have figured out what's acceptable, and what's not. The rez agent was sympathetic, put me on hold for awhile, then came back and said the sticker in the old passport was indeed valid for 10 years, regardless of the pp expiration date. So, why can't AA pull themselves together long enough to post a simple sentence on their site, instead of leaving each passenger to sweat it out, one at a time? Beats me. But then, I'm not running an airline. And I guess neither are they. So much for customer service.
     
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  13. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    But you have the answer, thanks to your persistence.
     
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  14. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    I know of no airlines which state immigration rules with authority rather than referring passengers to TIMATIC or consular resources. The rules change often enough and the liability is significant enough that I'm not at all surprised they've taken this approach. I would, too.
     
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  15. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    However the airline is the one that has the liability for inadequate immigration documents. Thus they must know what they require to allow passengers to board. There is no way they can pass the buck on that issue. Only one circumstance allows that: if the requirements change after the flight has taken off. Oddly that has happened at least once that I know of.
     
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  16. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    They reference TIMATIC for clarity on that. And they often tell passengers to do the same. That's very, very different from providing a declarative statement as to eligibility on their site.
     
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  17. NYCUA1K

    NYCUA1K Gold Member

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    It seems that the question at hand has already been answered, but I will chime in anyway. I went to EZE in August with a proof of reciprocity payment sticker that will expire in 2021 and will outlive my current passport by 4 years. In addition, I am renewing my passport next month because I have run out of visa pages despite having had 12 new pages stitched in 3 years ago. Therefore, I had a compelling reason to know whether the sticker would still be good in a different passport, so I posed the question to a passport control agent when I arrived at EZE. The answer what unequivocal: No problem, just bring the passport that has the sticker along with the new passport.
     
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  18. MSPeconomist
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    The DL website sends passengers to a third party visa service agency that tends to state that a visa is required when it really isn't. DL agents have been known to make statements about visa requirements based on what they believe the rules are, regardless of what is stated on TIMATIC, and then call random persons to confirm their beliefs when pushed. I was almost denied boarding for NRT-PVG because the DL BE check in agents at NRT did not believe that 72 hour TWOV should be possible and then a redcoat almost forced me to make a reservation at an airport hotel (none airside at PVG, BTW) because she didn't think I would be allowed to leave the airport for almost three days in Shanghai. So it does happen!
     
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  19. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    Yes, yes. That has happened to me numerous times. In my experience the statements are invariably more conservative than is the reality, which reflects the draconian penalties that can accrue to an agent who improperly allows boarding to someone who does not have acceptable documentation.

    My most humorous Delta agent moment was soon after they began ATL-GIG service. I began to check in at ATL and was told I could not be boarded because I had no visa in my US passport. I had presented both my US and Brazilian passports, as is normally required. Said the, full of moral indignation, "it does not matter if you have a Brazilian passport. You're a US citizen and US citizens require a visa and you do not have one so you cannot board." Eventually a supervisor arrived to solve the issue. Thus YMMV is my mantra on all matters related to international travel documents. BTW, it was not only Delta. US did the same thing when they first began to fly CLT-GIG. It takes time for agents to learn how real life works. To this day no US carrier, AFAIK, allows entry of more than one passport in their systems although numerous non-US carriers do have such provisions.
     
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  20. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    In the China example it is a matter of getting them to put PVG/PEK/CAN in the field as a transfer point, not a destination. At that point TIMATIC should be correct. Most agents are not used to that, however, and they screw up.

    So imagine how much worse it would be if they pushed that bad info on their website.
     
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  21. John Woram

    John Woram Silver Member

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    AA does neither. The website simply states that boarding will be denied if a passenger does not have proof of payment of the Reciprocity fee. It says nothing about validity of a valid receipt glued into an expired passport, nor will it answer that question over the phone without going to a lot of hassle to pry it out of them. Since there is a page dedicated to the Argentina Reciprocity fee (maybe other pages for other countries too, but I didn't check), it seems to me it would be no trouble to add a simple line stating a valid sticker in an expired pp is/isn't acceptable. But that seems to be beyond their capabilities.
     
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  22. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    Not to hijack but we were just in EZE in May for the first time. I didn't get a stamp beyond normal passport entry and exit. They just looked at my retroprocity payment print out and let me through. Should there still be a full visa style sticker ala Nepal/South Africa et al from Argentina for USA visitors? Also semi related that AAdmirals club in D at DFW has a special computer and printer setup by the biz center to pay your fee before departure if you forgot somehow.
     
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  23. Wandering Aramean
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    Wandering Aramean Gold Member

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    They've changed the process relatively recently. You used to get the "visa" sticker in your passport. Now you just get the receipt. That's part of the confusion in this case.

    ETA: And given that one used to just pay on arrival - a policy which existed for several years - it isn't all that hard to believe that someone might not realize you now pay in advance.
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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  24. ballardFlyer

    ballardFlyer Gold Member

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    Thank you for confirming WA!
     
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  25. jbcarioca
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    jbcarioca Gold Member

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    And some carriers already can do the payment online and provide the receipt to their passengers when they board. Emirates is one of those, but they also show when buying the tickets whether the passengers require a fee, a visa or neither, based on the passport data EK hold. Thus, when I booked to EZE on EK this AM, I was as always, instantly advised "no passport required if RG is in your possession. RG is the Brazilian national identity card. I so wish US carriers would learn from the experience of a carriers whose passengers have almost endless permutations of entry, exit, visa and other requirements. They are among the simplest of all carriers for these issues IME.

    The OP would have had zero issues were he travelling with EK.
     
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