So this is it, KevinDC convinced me to write a FR in English. For that, I chose one of my favorite flights: a domestic flight in Brazil, where my father has lived since 2008. Previously written in French : http://flight-report.com/fr/report-2100.html
In the summer of 2012 my father and my stepmother decided to take me to Rio de Janeiro and they wanted some kind of special flights for me. Avianca Brasil, quite an unknown airline in the world but also in Brasil. And for the airports, nothing better than Congonhas and Santos Dumont ! I already knew CGH but this was going to be my first time in SDU and I was pretty excited.
Avianca Brasil is a small airline owned by Avianca Colombia, which does some domestic flights in Brazil with A319 and Fokker 100. Most Brasilians don’t even know that this airline exists.
We tried unsuccessfully to do online check-in in order to have a window seat. Usually airlines ask for a ticket number or the confirmation number, here you have to give your passport number to begin.
Then you have to give your first name, last name, birth date, address, phone and a lot of other personal data. After giving all this information about you, you have to answer a marketing survey about your favorite restaurants or your favorite sports. After doing this, you can access the online check-in and change your seat. But to confirm the change, you have to give your passport number, your first and last name, your address, your phone…again… So, I gave up and we called the service center to change our seats.
That was quite unbelievable!
We took a taxi to Congonhas Airport, it’s a 20mn drive with the usual traffic. We first went to the TAM check-in because my stepmother had a TAM flight to Rio 30mn before us. She has to go to Rio for work once a week and the government takes care of her flights.
After leaving our bags at the Avianca check-in, we were heading for the security checkpoint. At first we have to cross this hall where the restaurants and stores are.
Then, we had to go upstairs to find security and the access to the gates
And here we are
The traffic in CGH is mainly GOL and TAM. Sometimes you can find an Azul or an Avianca aircraft but that’s only if you’re lucky.
Sao Paulo – Rio is one of the busiest air-route in the world. Sao Paulo has 3 airports and Rio has 2. Between Congonhas and Santos Dumont there is an average of one flight every 10 minutes. There are about 220 flights between Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro every day! And I’m not kidding. By the way, try to find the only flight that isn’t Gol or TAM. But it doesn’t really count because they do flights for TAM.
There’s free wifi in the airport…only if you can find the right one! There are so many networks; the picture shows 2/3rd of them. And when finally I had the right one, they asked for passport number, name, birth date, boarding pass number, e-mail address etc… I gave up.
The A319 in front of us is leaving
Immediately replaced by my stepmother’s A319 for SDU. PT-TMC operating JJ3326
Now that she’s boarding, my father and I are going to our gate where our A319 is about to arrive PR-AVD with an all-economy class configuration for 132 passengers
We are boarding when PT-TMC is leaving
And I discover this beautiful cabin with a nice combination of colours.
And surprise!! There are PTVs!
The pitch is pretty good and there’s a footrest
Still Gol and TAM in here
Our winglet, not very original
A Gol B738 is taking off
As well as an Airbus of TAM
A last TAM before we take off
Even though there are PTVs, the security announcements have been done by the FAs
This square is the memorial of the TAM flight, which crashed here in 2007. I was in Brazil, coming back in Sao Paulo from Belem when it happened. What a sad day.
The end of the runway is very close from the buildings and the roads
Take off a bit late! Flight time will be 40mn
Just after taking off, we heard the FAs doing things in the galleys.
Now we are out of Sao Paulo
The PTVs were blocked on this screen during the whole flight. Nothing to do about it but during the return flight we had the same entertainment program as a passenger on an A330 of Avianca Colombia. Pretty impressive for a 40mn flight.
And here is another surprise! We had a hot meal! Ok it’s not the best food ever but it wasn’t bad at all. Some croquettes with cheese, fish, and meat in it and a pudding for dessert.
Barely served and we already began our descent onto Rio de Janeiro
Crossing through some clouds
To find ourselves above the clouds again
Antonio Carlos Jobim Airport
I’m not on the right side for the approach and we are not doing the impressive one anyway, which is the southern approach.
Corcovado far away
A 270 degree turn to find ourselves ligned up for the runway
Landing on time. Definitely not a kiss landing and we understand why when we leave the runway; we are very close to the sea
Bem-vindo a Rio de Janeiro Santos Dumont !
The traffic is more varied than in CGH. Here is an Azul
My stepmother’s plane
Another Avianca Brasil
A B737 of Gol
Overview of SDU with the Pao de Açucar in the background
The winglet of our neighbor is way more fancy than ours.
And that’s the end of this FR. Hope you enjoyed.
São Paulo - CGH
Rio De Janeiro - SDU
On-time Performance: Departure was a bit late but it had no impact on the arrival time.
Onboard Comfort: A good and comfortable seat. Footrest, PTV, something for coats and for glasses and a good pitch. I don’t ask more for 40mn.
Cabin crew: A little bit aloof but there were 4 and they had to serve hot meals and drinks to 132 passengers in less than half an hour. At least they were smiling.
Whatever the quality, the meal gets 7.5. It’s not usual to have a hot meal during a 40mn flight, especially in Europe and North America. It was quite good, not exceptional but having that during a short flight like that is always nice.
I’ve tested Avianca Brasil, TAM and GOL. My conclusion is that Avianca Brasil is way better than the two other. They have good service and recent aircraft with modern cabins.
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