After my plane touched down into Buenos Aires airport, there was a rush forward of people determined to get off first! Seated in the first row of Economy (Row 20A on this American Airlines Boeing 777) meant I had a little head start.
I walked quickly and was soon close to the front of all the deplaned passengers. (Immigration queues in many countries can be horrendous so I try to be as close to first in the queue as I can!). Upon deplaning, we walked up a steep gangway to a gleaming new terminal. More twists and turns brought us to a junction with three coloured lines:
- Argentinean Citizens
- Citizens who had visa rights (almost every country in the world)
- Citizens of Australia, Canada and USA
I followed the third line to a booth where I handed over $100 for the privilege of entering Argentina. US and Canadians seemed to pay less. How did Australia offend Argentina so much? The advantage of being separated from the general queue means I got from plane through payment, immigration photo and thumb printing and customs (where my customs form was taken away and baggage x-rayed) to the airport hall in 16 minutes!
While paying my $100, an altercation started at the line of non residents from other countries. The disadvantage of getting free entry to Argentina, is that the entry line stretched for hundreds of people.
One guy began shouting that he had been waiting too long. He began demanding in English that more officers be put on duty. I think his accent was Russian. He pushed people in front of him, out of the way, as he tried to find a faster way out.
Some tried to infiltrate my line where the immigration official told them to go back.
The airport police came down as I fled the scene! Not sure I would start a fight in the immigration hall of a country I am trying to get into? Kinda Wacky