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Several major airlines serve Santiago's Arturo Merino Benítez airport (SCL) with direct flights from Miami, Atlanta, New York, Dallas-Fort Worth, Los Angeles, and Toronto. Turbulent times in the airline industry mean that fares can vary wildly depending on the time of year, departure location, and price wars that periodically break out. Most flights are red-eyes.

Note: LAN Airlines has a South America Pass for travelers who would like to visit more than one destination in Chile, or more than one country in South America. The pass gives travelers the opportunity to customize their own journey by purchasing one-way tickets to 49 cities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Paraguay, and Uruguay. The glitch is that travelers must produce a round-trip air ticket to South America aboard LAN or any other "oneworld Alliance" airlines, and there is a minimum of three legs that must be purchased. Check the website to build a flight combination, then contrast the fare with your travel agent's fare or any other Web-generated fare; a promotional deal might be cheaper than the South America Pass's fixed prices for its routes. Visit the website for more information and for suggested itineraries.

From North America -- The country's national air carrier LAN Airlines (tel. 866/435-9526; www.lan.com) has daily flights to Santiago from New York and Los Angeles, and nonstop flights from Miami. Check its website on Wednesdays for cheap, last-minute (and heavily restricted) fares from Miami. American Airlines (tel. 800/433-7300; www.aa.com) has daily nonstop flights from Miami and Dallas-Fort Worth, with connections from Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal. Delta (tel. 800/221-1212; www.delta.com) offers nonstop daily flights from Atlanta. Costa Rica's Lacsa airline, of the parent company Taca (tel. 800/535-8780; www.taca.com), has flights from San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, or Miami with a stopover in Costa Rica or El Salvador. Air Canada offers nonstop service from Toronto to Santiago (tel. 888/247-2262; www.aircanada.com). Tip: The airline with the most gracious service and the best planes (domestically and internationally) is LAN Airlines, by a long shot.

From Europe & the U.K. -- LAN Airlines (tel. 0800/917-0572 in the U.K.; www.lan.com) serves London to Santiago via Madrid, in partnership with Iberia and British Airways, or try booking directly with Iberia (tel. 800/772-4642 in the U.S., or 0870/609-0500 in London; www.iberia.com) or with British Airways (tel. 0870/850-9850; www.ba.com). Air France (tel. 0870/142-4343; www.airfrance.com/uk) has two to five daily flights from London to Santiago via Paris. KLM (tel. 0870/142-4343; www.klm.com) and Lufthansa (tel. 0870/8377-747; www.lufthansa.com) also serve Santiago.

From Australia & New Zealand -- Qantas (tel. 13-13-13 in Australia, or 0800/808-767 in New Zealand; www.qantas.com) works in conjunction with LAN, offering four flights per week from Sydney and Auckland to Santiago. Aerolíneas Argentinas (tel. 2/9234-9000 in Australia, or 9/379-3675 in New Zealand; www.aerolineas.com) has three weekly direct flights from Sydney and Auckland to Buenos Aires, Argentina, with a connecting flight to Santiago aboard LAN.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.