Upon arriving into Buenos Aires, I was one of the first from my flight to arrive in immigration. Thank you Business Class.
As you get into immigration, a representative asks where you are from. Because I have a US passport I was directed to the line for US citizens; however, I had already paid the reciprocity fee* when the boyfriend and I visited Argentina last year. When I showed the page in my passport confirming this, I was swiftly directed to a different line where I was quickly and efficiently stamped into the country (unlike in Miami upon my return into the States, but I digress).
The events that follow I can best describe as a clusterf#ck brought on by yours truly.
After immigration, I spotted a duty-free shop and asked where the American Airlines Business Class Lounge was. The woman working there did not know where the lounge was and directed me to another man, who worked for a different airline. I got nothing. I went through Customs and asked at a taxi stand. Nothing. Made my way to the to the American Airlines departures desk. Closed. The woman at the shared LAN counter told me I could only use the lounge if I was departing that day. Kind of defeats the purpose of having a shower upon arrival, no?
Hot (I was still wearing my fleece from the airplane) and eager to shower and put on weather-appropriate clothing, I continued to ask various people working at the airport where the lounge was. Nearly an hour later I decided to give up on that shower I had been dreaming of.
A smart girl would have asked on the plane, or would have referred to the map in the magazine – which I normally do look at. I blame this on my distraction with all things Business Class and thus neglected to figure out the lounge access situation prior to my arrival. Note to self: make this a priority before getting off the plane. Next time…
* Reciprocity fee is the equivalent to what Argentine citizens pay to enter the US. The entry visa is good for US citizens for ten years. Argentina charges reciprocity fees to citizens of Canada and Australia. The costs and validity vary. You can avoid the fees by traveling overland. Note: Chile also has reciprocity fees; however, I did avoid those by entering the country by bus.