The Dark Energy Survey
International Collaboration Meeting
April 23-25, 2008
Travel Tips & Tricks
For ALL travelers: Make sure you have ample connection time on arriving into Chile before departing to La Serena. You will need 2.5-3 hours to pay you reciprocity fee, clear immigration and customs, re-check your bags at the LAN counter, and make it to your gate (although it is a small and easily navigable airport).
SCL has multiple airline club lounges, and you might consider buying a day pass (they have snacks, open bars, TVs, comfortable seating, etc). If you fly often, you might gain access free (e.g., One World fliers can access the lounges on international travel with Sapphire+ status or Platinum on American Airlines). Delta/Continental also has a lounge, and LAN has two. A day pass to the American lounge is ~$50 and is good at American Admirals Club Lounges for both the night before you travel and the following day of travel on your American Airlines itinerary.
If you fly a One World airline, you can usually check your bags all the way to/from La Serena from/to your original destination. While you still have to pick up your bags when you arrive at Santiago (to clear customs), the re-check-in procedure onto the LAN national flight is less of a hassle.
For North American Travelers: On your departure day from Chile, flights from Santiago to the US leave late at night. So the later you leave La Serena the better (to avoid hanging around at the airport for 6+ hours). You’ll need about 1-2 hours of connection time in Santiago to check your bags, clear immigration, and make it your gate.
If you do have a long wait in Santiago on your way back to the US, you can usually check in around 3 hours before the first departure to the US by your airline (American flies to both Miami and Dallas) and head to one of the airline lounges to relax (see above).