We needed six tickets from Buenos Aires to El Calfate from August 26 to August 28. We went to Aerolineas Argentinas office in Buenos Aires on August 25 and sat with an employee. She took the information and mid way – called another employee to finish the booking. We told the new person that we needed six tickets to El Calafate and she assured us that she has done the booking. We paid for the tickets (USD 1400) and took the flight the next day. However to our horror we were asked to get down at some god forsaken place Trelew in Argentina. We were told that tickets were to Trelew and not to El Calfate. To go to El Calfate from Trelew it will cost us another USD 1300! Needless to say, we took the next flight back to Buenos Aires the same day. Next day when we went to Aerlolineas office, they refused to admit their mistake and told us that we had asked the tickets to Trelew. On being confronted by the fact that we had a hotel in El Calfate and why would somebody buy six tickets to a place and come back in the next flight, they could not say anything. They refused to give us tickets to El Calfate or issue a refund. Please be careful as the Aerolineas Argentinas employees are quite dumb.
We flew with Aerolineas Argentinas from Madrid to Buenos Aires on 26 December 2007. On that flight, apart from the aging aircraft, with broken reading lamps, essentially inedible food and the low-quality inflight entertainment, they lost the luggage (and delivered it only 36 hours later!). In addition, a camera was stolen from the checked-in suitcase.
On the return flight from Buenos Aires to Madrid on 8 January 2008, the flight was delayed - initially - by 16 (!) hours, from 2300 to 1500 next day because one of the pilots failed to show up for work. This meant for everyone: re-entering Argentina (queue for passport control), waiting for the luggage to be unloaded (another 1.5 hours wait), queuing to get a hotel voucher (another 1 hour), and then a 90-min bus transfer to a hotel 60km away from Buenos Aires. We eventually got our hotel room around 0500 am. We were told to await the bus back to the airport at 1100 am (i.e. 6 hours later). It arrived only at 1430, by then the flight had been postponed from the originally planned 1500 departure time to 1900. Later on, it was shifted again to 2100. It eventually took off just before midnight. The cabin was initially not airconditioned, leading to unbearable sauna-like heat for the first hour or so.
Worst of all, not a single word of apology from the captain or crew for the 24 hour delay. To add insult to injury, the captain did his usual spiel at the end with "hope to welcome you onboard an Aerolineas Argentinas flight again", which appeared to be a deliberate affront to a full cabin of enraged and suffering passengers In Madrid, the onward flight to Frankfurt was missed, causing another 5-hour wait. Rebooking of flights for all passengers with onward connections at the local Aerolineas Argentinas desk was a chaos, causing tumultuous scenes. There were in fact were ealier flights to Frankfurt with other airlines, but since none of these would do any business with Aerolineas Argentinas, we were - once again, as had been the case for the past 36 hours - de facto "hostages" of an atrociously badly managed and incompetent airline.