I try to head down to Brazil as much as I can, since a lot of my friends and family members live down there, mostly in São Paulo area. I decided to take about 2 weeks of leave to travel down there this past Christmas/New Years break, traveling within the country to other cities such as Porto Alegre, Campinas, and Rio de Janeiro. I had purchased the itinerary from San Diego to São Paulo/Guarulhos via Delta Airlines about 10 months prior, when the tickets were very cheap. Delta offered the roundtrip at a price about $800 at that time. The outbound leg was via Atlanta and the inbound leg was via Detroit.
On the day of departure, 24 DEC 2015, I heard there was a t-storm moving through Atlanta, where I was supposed to be making connection for about 5 hour. To my relief, my flight from San Diego left on time at 7:50AM, landing on time at Atlanta at around 2PM. I consider myself lucky, since a lot of the flights ended up diverting/cancelling last minute. On my approach into ATL, I could feel the presence of the t-storms around the area. My flight to GRU, DL 105, landed on time from Amsterdam, also to my relief.
As soon as arrived at concourse C, I checked-in at Delta Skyclub in that concourse to unwind a bit. The situation was a bit hectic everywhere. The check-in desk was flooded with people needing assistance with their flights. But overall, the lounge wasn't crowded.
I got my money exchanged to Brazilian Reais (thank you exchange rate!)
Every concourses' help desks were flooded with people needing assistance. A lot of people's plans, particularly along the east coast, were affected by the storms.
I headed over to Concourse F, the international terminal. This would be my first time ever being in the terminal ever since it opened. Overall, I thought it was a nice terminal. The airline lounges were located on the top level. With my American Express Platinum card and Priority Pass Member, I decided to check out both the Club at ATL and Delta Skyclub.
The entrance to the Club at ATL.
View of International Terminal security check-point from the Club at ATL.
Overall, the Club at ATL was a relaxing lounge. The only downside is that they could've done better with the food offering (I've only seen hummas and pita bread, couple yogurts, chips, and beverages). There were shower facilities (which I took an advantage of), business room with computers, and bar area.
The self-service snack area.
One of the shower rooms.
I walked on over to the Delta Skyclub, which was just around the corner.
The food offering was much better than that of the Club at ATL. There were minestrone & broccoli cheddar soups, BBQ chicken breast, mushrooms, mac and cheese, salads, breads, and complimentary beverages.
Self-service food area and bar.
My plate. The mushrooms were my favorite.
Delta's breast cancer awareness B764. I miss the pink livery.
I headed toward my gate at around 7PM. The gate was located at the end of this concourse.
My plane had already arrived from Amsterdam. I started to hear Portuguese here and there.
This is Delta's brand-new 242-tonne A330-300.
Boarding started around 7:10PM. They had some issues with the system so they manually checked everyone's passport for valid Brazilian visa.
The last economy class section of the A330-300.
This is my seat.
All seats had AVOD.
A British Airways speedbird had arrived from LHR.
I like the 2-4-2 configuration on A330.
The seat pitch was good enough for me.
The captain made an announcement that some connecting passengers couldn't make it to this flight due to cancellations in/out of ATL. The seat next to me was empty for tonight's flight. He had also mentioned that this plane was brand-new.
Cabin scene during push-back.
KLM flight had just arrived from Amsterdam.
Take-off was a bit behind-schedule at around 8:30PM.
Pretzels and peanuts were distributed shortly after take-off.
Cabin scene during beverages and meal services.
The rear galley of the A330-300.
Watching Straight Outta Compton. Great movie by the way. I am stunned non of the actors got nominated for Oscars.
Meal service commenced about 1.5 hour after take-off. Choices were pasta or chicken.
My frango (chicken) dish.
It was tomato-sauce based chicken dish and rice with shrimp cocktail side, salad, and bread roll.
About to pass over Haiti.
Brazil Immigration form was distributed after meal service.
I slept for about 4 hours, waking up somewhere near Manaus.
Cool feature enabled me to see the movie and the map at the same time.
Passing over a small city somewhere over Mato Grosso.
The sun was beginning to rise at around 4AM local time.
Breakfast service commenced at around 2 hours before arrival into GRU.
The sun was pretty much up by then.
For breakfast, this little box was distributed to all passengers. Some passengers with special order got hot meal.
The contents of this box were written on the box.
Inside the box were as follows: cold bagel with cream cheese, Biscoff cookies, cheese, and yogurt. Pretty simple breakfast snack.
Orange juices were distributed immediately after.
Couple hours left to São Paulo!
When it came time for descending, the plane made a very steep and quick descent. Just look at the angle from this picture!
The plane descended through the clouds in no time.
I assume that's Campinas over there.
As the plane made the final turn, the city of São Paulo was clearly visible.
I could see Bom Retiro from here. Paulista was visible from here too.
The plane landed about 15 minutes behind schedule.
Terminal 3 scene.
The plane taxied toward Terminal 2, where Delta maintains its GRU operations.
Thanks for the nice flight!
At that time of the day in Terminal 2, there were two arriving flights, my flight from ATL and another DL flight from JFK. Luckily, I got to the immigrations and customs before most of the passengers disembarked from the JFK-GRU flight. It was still a 30 minute wait for me, and I remember Terminal 2's immigration and customs being small in size. With the passengers from the other flight joining us, the hall quickly became packed, with people waiting by the escalators. I can't even what it was like before Terminal 3 opened up! I was able to locate my bag right away in the baggage claim and walk out to arrivals floor in Terminal 2, where my friend greeted me. The walk from arrivals to the parking wasn't too long. GRU Terminal 2 hasn't changed much, minus couple renovations on the departures floor to improve securities and customs.
We immediately headed toward Bom Retiro, where I would be staying for most of my trip in the city. We ended up watching Star Wars that night in Shopping Center Norte.
Delta Air Lines
Delta Air Lines Sky Club (Concourse F)
Atlanta - ATL
Sao Paulo - GRU
Overall, fantastic flight via Delta! This was my second time ever flying internationally with American carrier and I think Delta stepped up its game upgrading the entertainment system throughout the economy class in its wide-bodies. I was very fond of the Delta Skyclub at Concourse F, though the Club at ATL provided good services too (minus the food offerings). I consider myself lucky to have made it through ATL during the storms, with hundreds of flights being cancelled/delayed/diverted around me.
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