Review of GOL flight Asunción Sao Paulo in Economy

Airline GOL
Flight G37481
Class Economy
Seat 26A
Aircraft Boeing 737-800
Flight time 02:00
Take-off 17 Jan 17, 13:20
Arrival at 17 Jan 17, 16:20
G3   #84 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 34 reviews
DiegoSS02
By 712
Published on 28th January 2017
Hi Everybody!
One month ago, I discovered this page and started reading and commenting different FRs published here, and altough I had published other flight reports in other websites, I didn't wanted to publish the same reports in different pages. But because of my recent trip to Rio, now I have the chance to write my first report on this page.

Background
I'd already treavelled by Gol (G3) several times to different destinations such as EZE, CWB, and GRU because of their lower prices than legacy carriers (that was ten years ago when G3 had recently entered the international market and was a real low cost, now, their prices have risen to the same level than LATAM (JJ and PZ), which is their main and only competition in the ASU-GRU route). But because ASU (which is my home airport) doesn't have a direct link with Rio, I was forced to make a stop in GRU, but making a connection there gave me the chance to land in SDU (which I find more pleasant because of the thrilling approach to runway 02R and because of its location in the centre of the city) instead of GIG, and because G3 operates flights between GRU and SDU, I made my choice. I bought my tickets through their website, where you can also choose your seat without charges, so, I reserved the seat 26A, because all forward window seats were already reserved.
So, the itinerary is the next:

- ASU-GRU, G37480, Boeing 737-800 - You are here
- GRU-SDU, G31086, Boeing 737-800 - Not covered
- SDU-GRU, G31081, Boeing 737-700 - click here
- GRU-ASU, G37481, Boeing 737-800 - Not covered

At the airport
In the morning of 17th January 2017, I arrived at Asunción Silvio Pettirossi International Airport (ASU) at approximately 11:00 AM, sort of 2 hours before the scheduled departure. After a quick queue and check-in, I went to clear customs.

Airport entrance:
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Check-in hall:
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G3 check-in counter:
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Departures and arrivals at the time I finished check-in
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ASU current terminal building was inaugurated in 1980 during the times of Stroessner's dictatorship, and although the authorities had made several improvements on the last five years, the structure is outdated, and a new terminal building is needed.

Airport's main hall:
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I cleared customs and security quite quickly, and went to have a meal before heading to gate 5.

The airport has two departure halls, the south and the north ones, the south hall is the oldest and has four gates (1,2,3 and 4), meanwhile the north hall back in the 80's and 90's served as a departure hall for domestic flights, and it was abandoned and served as a sightseeing spot of the tarmac until in 2014 it was reinaugurated with the gates 5 and 6 and a bridge connecting it to the south hall.

South hall:
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ASU has only two lounges, both located on the south hall. Sadly, I hadn't access to any of them.

BBVA Lounge:
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VIP Gold Lounge:
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Bridge connecting south and north departure halls. This is the newest part on the airport, and as you can see, it have a totally different style than the rest of the aiport. Its crystal wall allows a full view of the tarmac.
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Tarmac view from the connecting bridge. At early afternoon, traffic is almost unexistent in ASU (Rush hours are in early morning and late afternoon)
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There were some reparations at the runway going on, so only half of it was available.
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After having a meal at the only restaurant on the departure hall, I headed to gate 5, in the north hall, where boarding was scheduled.

My documents and boarding pass:
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North hall:
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Gate 5, my flight information was already on the screen.
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Boarding

Airline: Gol (G3)
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800
Registration: PR-GUT
Age: 4 years
Scheduled time of departure: 1:20 PM (ATD 1:42)
Scheduled time of arrival: 4:20 PM (ATA 4:30)
Takeoff from runway: 20
Landing in runway: 09R

The plane arrived punctually from GRU, it was PR-GUT, a 737-800 received brand new by G3 in 2012.
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Arriving to gate:
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A short time after the plane arrived, boarding started. It was very deorganized, taking approximately 20 minutes. I was welcomed into the plane by smiling FAs. One curious fact about this flight was that the entire crew was male.


When I entered the plane, I saw it was fitted with Sky Interior:
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I arrived to my seat, 26A.
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View from my window:
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Safety card:
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In-flight magazine:
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This airplane was fitted with Gol Online, Gol's Wi-Fi network which have access to GoGo Entertainment, Gol's entertainment portal which includes Movies and TV series, and it doesn't have a flight map yet. I didn't used it. For a 2 hours flight, looking through the window was enough for me. This panmphlet explained it.
photo sam_1154

Amaszonas Paraguay CRJ-200. Amaszonas Paraguay is the paraguayan subsidiary of Amaszonas, a bolivian regional airline. It operates domestic flights to Ciudad del Este (AGT) and also international flights to Montevideo (MVD), Iquique (IQQ), and seasonal flights to Florianópolis (FLN), and Punta del Este (PDP).
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We started pushback:
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Flight
After pushback, we taxied to the runway. We had to perform a backtrack because only half of the runway was available. I consider this the bumpiest takeoff I ever had, because of the thrust applied to rotate with only half of runway. We took off 22 minutes behind scheduled, at 1:42 PM.
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Video of takeoff:


After a really bumpy takeoff, we were airborne, in the background you can see the Ypacaraí Lake:
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We flied over different Asuncion's suburbs:
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Climbing to cruise altitude:
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View of the winglet:
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We were about to cross the Parana River, which is the eastern border between Paraguay and Brazil.
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We passed over Guaraní International Airport (AGT), Ciudad del Este, which is second most important paraguayan airport, and with ASU, they are the only paraguayan airports in receiving regular commercial flights.
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Ciudad del Este:
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What you can see here as we crossed the Parana River is the Itaipu hydroelectical dam, which is one of the biggest and the most powerful in the world:
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Before meal service started, the captain told us through the speaker that we were expecting storms in Sao Paulo, and about that time, stormclouds began to be seen:
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After that, meal service started. It consisted in the classic Gol's sandwich (you could choose between ham and cheese, or only cheese), with a non-alcoholic beverage at your choice. (They had soda, juice, coffee and water). Apparently, Gol signed an alliance with Coca-Cola, and now they're only serving their products. Because of that, they no longer serve Guarana Antarctica (the classic guarana soda of Brazil), which I find shameful. In my case, I had a ham and cheese sandwich (which was very tasty as always) and a Coca-Cola.
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By that time, we were flying over a sea of clouds:
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View of the plane interior from my seat:
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Route map of G3's allied airlines featured on the magazine:
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Without any words of the captain, we started descent.

Surfing the clouds:
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Total whiteness:
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When I looked down through the window, I realized we were flying over the huge city of Sao Paulo:
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Spoilers were used during the approach:
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Flying over GRU:
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Arrival
After flying a holding pattern over the city, we came for a landing, which was also very bumpy because of the wind. Luckily, it wasn't raining in Sao Paulo. Because of the slight delay back in ASU, we landed 10 minutes behind scheduled, at 4:30 PM.
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Video of the landing:


After landing we taxied to a remote position, where two buses were already waiting for us:
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After the bus leaved us on the terminal, I headed to baggage claim. I was pretty in a rush because I had to clear customs and leave my lugagge in Gol's domestic counter again for my conncetion to SDU. And I only had one hour and half for it (my flight had to depart at 6:25)
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Affortunately, I cleared customs very quickly, and I headed to domestic check-in area.

GRU main hall:
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See more

Verdict

GOL

8.5/10
Cabin10.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering8.0

Asunción - ASU

8.6/10
Efficiency8.5
Access10.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Sao Paulo - GRU

7.6/10
Efficiency6.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.5

Conclusion

Another great flight with G3, with all the flights I had with them, I was never dissapointed. For a "low-cost" airline, the product offered by Gol is excellent (Free meals, in-flight entertainemnt, with which Gol has taken a great leap forward). I definitively would fly with G3 again. As I said, ASU terminal building is clean and well maintained, but the structure is really outdated. Excepting the newer terminal 4, GRU is still being the same grey and monotonous airport I remember.

Related

6 Comments

  • Comment 383684 by
    Pilpintu SILVER 677 Comments

    Ya no ofrecen guaraná?!?!?! Dios! Eso es un crimen!! Es de las mejores cosas que tiene Brasil!

    Excelente informe. Muchas gracias! Asunción es un lugar que quiero visitar, pero va a ser en invierno porque el calor me hace pésimo. Ahora al menos conozco el aeropuerto! ^^

    Saludos! ^^

    • Comment 383692 by
      DiegoSS02 AUTHOR 69 Comments

      Muchas gracias por tu comentario!! Esa fue mi reacción al saber que no la servían, ahora ofrecen Kuat, que es la guaraná de Coca-Cola, pero que por supuesto no se compara con la Antarctica. Para mí, la mejor época para visitar Asunción es en otoño (de finales de marzo a mediados de mayo) o en primavera (agosto a principios de octubre), cuando el clima es más o menos templado (porque el invierno es bastante extremo también, con temperaturas muy bajas). Saludos!!

  • Comment 383720 by
    joaointhesky 69 Comments

    Thanks for this very nice report! GOL is trying to improve its service, and it looks it is really good now - at least way better than before. You were lucky enough to catch an aircraft with wi-fi. Very few of them have it.
    The sandwich looked really tasty! By the way: I don't like Guaraná Antarctica, haha! I prefer Kuat. You should try Fruki Guaraná if you can, too - it is only sold in Rio Grande do Sul state, but it's the best in my opinion.
    Saludos!

    • Comment 383785 by
      DiegoSS02 AUTHOR 69 Comments

      Thanks!! Actually, GOL improved a lot since it entered the international market. I still remember the little box with a sandwich and Goiabinha the served years ago. I also had the luck to catch another plane with Sky Interior and wi-fi in the return flight!! Haha, I've also drinked Kuat several times, but is like it doesn't convince me. It's good to now about Fruki, if something brings me to POA in the future, I will be sure to try it!!

  • Comment 384022 by
    lsmick3 35 Comments

    Thanks for the report! Its nice to read about someone else travelling to/from ASU :) You definitely missed the rush late evening/early morning times...seems like we are always flying out on the 0100 to PTY and the terminal is always packed.

    I've always enjoyed our GRU-ASU flights on GOL...and the sandwiches are a good addition. You're very right that they don't really behave like a low-cost carrier. Much better way to get to ASU than on Copa via PTY.

    • Comment 384029 by
      DiegoSS02 AUTHOR 69 Comments

      Thanks for your comment!!! Definitively, early morning is really a rush time, with flights such as CM to PTY (twice and now three in high season), AV and PZ to LIM, PZ to EZE, JJ to GRU, another G3 flight to GRU, and a domestic flight to Ciudad del Este. As I said on the report, Gol always had a pretty good service, and despite its simplicity, sandwiches had always been tasty. I didn't had the chance to fly with Copa yet, but their connections and the location of PTY look convincing.

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