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Will Copa make it easier to travel to South America?

Will this week’s news that Copa Airlines will begin direct service from Boston to San Juan in July increase local summer traffic for skiing and riding in South America?

A roundtrip flight from Boston to Santiago International Airport, with connection through Panama City Aug. 1-7 runs about $1,856.40 on the Copa Airlines website. However, the exact same flights are running $1,176.40 on Orbitz. That’s a significant savings not only from the airline’s official website, but the next-closest competitor on Orbitz – LAN Airlines at $1,661.

But Copa will avoid having to pass through customs in Miami, a nightmarish ordeal for anyone who has experienced it.

“The connecting service through Panama City is so much easier and so seamless that it’s like the next best thing to having nonstop service into Brazil, Argentina, and Colombia,” said Patrick Moscaritolo, president of the Greater Boston Convention & Visitors Bureau told the Globe.“It opens up lots of different avenues.”

Travelers also don’t have to go through customs and immigration when they fly through Panama, another hassle avoided.

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