Flight-Report

Review of Azul flight Campinas Belo Horizonte in Economy

Airline Azul
Flight AD4053
Class Economy
Seat 25A
Aircraft Embraer E-195
Flight time 01:10
Take-off 06 Feb 14, 10:20
Arrival at 06 Feb 14, 11:30
AD   #6 out of 128 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 30 reviews
momolemomo
By GOLD 2436
Published on 7th February 2015
Hi everyone!

My father and my stepmother had to go to Belo Horizonte for work. Instead of staying alone in São Paulo I decided to go with them to discover Belo Horizonte. Azul was the cheapest and I already know TAM, Gol and Avianca Brasil, so it was a good deal.

The downside of Azul is that they fly from Campinas, which is about 1h30 from São Paulo. However there are buses going from various places across São Paulo to Campinas airport. You just need to show your booking confirmation to get in.

My father was flying at the same time as me but from Congonhas and with TAM so we went together to the airport, me for the bus and him for his flight.
Here’s the bus
photo P1160273

It has air conditioning, toilettes in the back, free wifi and large reclined seats. It was pretty confortable.
photo IMG_3602

I arrived in Campinas at 9:35, completely stressed out because my flight was boarding in 15mn and I wasn’t checked in.
After rushing to the check in area I quickly got my boarding pass. Actually it’s more of a receipt than a boarding pass. There’s 2 parts, the lower one for the gate agents and the upper one for you.
photo P1160278

I got quickly through security where there is no need to remove your jacket, your belt or your shoes.
Airside there is only a few boarding gates going from A to M and most of them requires a boarding by bus.
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Sadly it is not possible to do some spotting from here
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We were supposed to leave from gate D but at the last minute an announcement has been done and we left from gate J. At least, since it’s a small airport, it’s fast to get from one gate to another.
For your information nobody speaks English here.

We got into another building, which is just across a road, with numbered gates. There are fewer gates than before because it’s only for the lucky ones who are going to walk to the plane instead of the bus ride.
photo P1160280

It’s much easier from here to spot something like this Breast Cancer special livery. Azul is the king of special liveries; they’re so few airplanes wearing the regular one.
photo P1160279

Shortly after, we were invited to board and it was the first and only time they checked my ID.
The plane is an E-195, as planned, PR-AYD, 5 years old, called Amigo Azul William Rodrigues. I was almost disappointed to get a regular livery


Our neighbor has a sticker
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Since I was seat 25A, I entered the aircraft from the back
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A Trip ATR42
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And Wow! The cabin seems really nice! It is equipped with PTV.
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The TVs are big, there’s the geolocalisation and a large choice of TV channels. There’s no need to pay to access the programs.
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Pitch is good. Seat is comfortable.
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The little command to control the IFE
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Headphones are distributed
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Here are the TV channels available and the coverage
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Note that on the Azul livery there is a little colored strip between the dark blue and the white. Each plane has a different color, which makes them even more unique.
photo P1160295

An intruder in Campinas
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We reached the runway and took off on time. Every announcement is in Portuguese. I haven’t heard any English during this trip.


Around Campinas
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The city of Campinas


The catering is verbally announced and is free of charge. There is no trolley, just FAs going around asking what you would like to drink and coming back with it on a tray. The other FAs are handing snacks from a basket.
photo P1160322photo P1160323

To drink there is peach or orange juice, sodas, coffee, tea, coconut water and water. Regarding snacks, you can take as much as you want so I took one of each.
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A Gol 737
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We are slowly approaching Belo Horizonte’s area
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We approached CNF from the north. The airport is located in-between Belo Horizonte and Riberão das Neves
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Each rectangle that forms the logo represents a Brazilian state
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Approaching
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The city of Sete Lagoas
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Final approach


We landed on time
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At the time of this flight they were working to improve the airport for the 2014 Fifa World Cup
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767 American Airlines from Miami
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TAM, Gol and Trip
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Gol taking off
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We disembarked by bus. The plane is here in transit. The flight continues to São Luis, Teresina and Fortaleza
photo P1160360

And here I am, in Belo Horizonte!
photo P1160361photo P1160362
See more

Verdict

Azul

8.8/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi9.0
Meal/catering9.0

Campinas - VCP

8.6/10
Efficiency10.0
Access9.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness8.0

Belo Horizonte - CNF

8.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

-Confort : The cabin is really confortable for a short flight such as this one. Not to say that having PTV is a major advantage.
-Crew : They did their job with smiles, which is what matters. However I haven't tested them on their English abilities.
-Catering : Being used to the catering in Europe and in the US, this is amazing! Besides, I loved the trays and the baskets.
-Entertainment : There is a large number of TV channels available and the coverage seems pretty good.
-On-Time Perf : We left on time and arrived on time.

Campinas is not the most welcoming airport in the world but it's functional and small enough to be easy. The buses coming from São Paulo and other cities are great, without them I wouldn't have taken Azul.
CNF was smaller than I expected. It is quite dark and ugly but that's the only thing I have to criticize. The buses for the city are well organized and easy to find.

Related

13 Comments

  • Comment 128834 by
    jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

    Thank you for this report.

    It seems that all airlines operating domestically in Brazil use the receipt as boarding pass. I once took a TAM flight from CGH to CNF. Perhaps it is more economical and environmentally friendly, but horrible for boarding pass collectors.

    AD inflight service is almost exactly like B6. After all, they both share the same founder - Mr. Neeleman.

    • Comment 310273 by
      jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

      The clock is turning back. Things seem to be going the way they were before alliances. Sometimes I don't think alliances are all that they are cracked up to be. Let's face it, some alliances are smoother than others.

      For example, when I took my SK flight in SK+ , I originally credited that trip to TK. Guess what? after two attempts to contact TK about that, and both times they were refused with no explanation (this was a straight A fare which should have been given bonus miles on top), I gave up and was able to credit it to UA online in a short time. TK only credited GOT-ARN, but not ARN-NCE. Go figure.

    • Comment 310150 by
      jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

      That should be interesting with widebodies coming to their fleet. B6 took a risky gamble by implementing its MINT F cabin and people rave about it now. Having a premium cabin seems contradicting to a LCC carrier, but Brazil is a rich country and is part of the BRIC group. Now that TAM is part of Oneworld, UA has made AD a partner starting March 2015. I wonder if eventually AD will join *A to feed the Brazilian market, because it seems to be a more lucrative partner than AV there.

    • Comment 310231 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4730 Comments

      @Momo - I really want to see a report on Azul long-haul too! You should work on that on your next trip to see your dad in Brazil :-)
      @Jetsetpanda - I doubt Azul would ever join an alliance (never say never, but it's unlikely). I think like B6, they are just being codeshare wh*res :-P

    • Comment 310264 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4730 Comments

      @jetsetpanda - Hehe, codeshare p*mp, I like that!
      Seems like airlines these days are more inclined to stay independant and form their own partnerships so as to not be constrained to one alliance. Even the nature of alliances seems to be changing as more and more carriers are creating strong partnerships and joint ventures outside their alliances...e.g. Delta and Virgin Atlantic, Qantas and Emirates, Etihad and everyone, LOL

    • Comment 310094 by
      momolemomo GOLD AUTHOR 5223 Comments

      I think they all use the receipt in Brasil and I really don't like it.
      I don't know B6 but with the different reports on the website it seems similar. What I really would like to know is Azul's product on long-haul flights from FLL and MCO, especially with the new cabins coming.
      Thank you :)

    • Comment 310254 by
      momolemomo GOLD AUTHOR 5223 Comments

      AD really looks like a legacy. Their ambition is to become Brazil's flag carrier. The new business is lie-flat, in 1-2-1. A350 are coming in 2017 and they should start flights to Europe with them. I can't wait.
      If I remember well TAP has been the earliest partner of Azul. Star Alliance is creating strong bonds with AD like Skyteam with GOL. Etihad also started to share codes with Azul. I think they'll stay independent but we never know.

    • Comment 310262 by
      jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

      @KevinDC - a codeshare wh*re? lol - more like a codeshare p*mp. ;)

  • Comment 129017 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4730 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report on a domestic Brazilian route. Jetsetpanda beat me to it...I was going to say that Azul is an almost perfect copy of JetBlue! From the similar livery to the aircraft type to the interior...which is actually exactly the same as JetBlue. And like JetBlue, it seems like a good value with an above average product. I am surprised, however, that Azul does not have a direct flight from Sao Paulo to Belo Horizonte.

    • Comment 310303 by
      momolemomo GOLD AUTHOR 5223 Comments

      I would love to be able to be the 1st one reporting Azul's 330. I'll try next time I go to Brasil to motivate people to visit Recife but it won't be easy :p

      TAM is so big on the Brasil - Florida market. Now that they are part of OneWorld it's even more crazy. On Miami, they have 3 direct flights from Sao Paulo GRU per day, in addition to the 4x daily from American Airlines. And then MIA has flights to Brasilia, Belem, Belo Horizonte, Manaus, Fortaleza, Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Campinas (with GOL and AA), Salvador, and Recife. MIA was definitely the airport to avoid for Azul. For Orlando, TAM has only 12 flights from Sao Paulo per week and in june they're starting a daily Brasilia - Orlando.
      Btw, starting in March, you'll have TAM doing JFK-YYZ on their 767. Could be more interesting than the CRJ of Delta or the Ejet of United.
      I hope it works out too for Azul, I would love to see their beautiful planes flying to Europe. It's really a great airline and I hope they won't fail like Air Asia X with their flights to London and Paris.

    • Comment 310255 by
      momolemomo GOLD AUTHOR 5223 Comments

      They do have flights between SP and BH. They have a base in Guarulhos and Belo Horizonte Confins in addition to VCP.
      They fly from CGH to CNF, from GRU to CNF and PLU (both airport of Belo Horizonte) and from VCP to CNF and PLU.
      We booked the flight one week before and going from VCP was cheaper, allowed me to come back on TRIP from PLU and I wasn't sure about the buses from Sao Paulo to Guarulhos.

      I would like to fly with them long-haul but it's pretty expensive, about 950eu round trip from FLL and even more expensive from MCO. What is surprising is the price difference from Y to J, it's more or less 100eu. However, they do use their 330 on the Campinas - Recife route. That could be interesting.
      Thanks :)

    • Comment 310263 by
      jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

      I think you should be the first one to report on the new A330 service, even for such a short haul domestic trip to give us an exclusive on the new widebody cabins. ;)

    • Comment 310265 by
      KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4730 Comments

      Oh wow, I didn't kow they were so expensive from Florida to Brazil. I'm surprised to hear that considering how well served the Florida-Brazil market is with the AA hub at MIA and the large presence of LATAM group in Florida to South America. Based on those kinds of fares it seems that Azul was smart by chosing MCO and FLL as gateways since they have less direct competition from those airports.

      I really hope Azul's long-haul service works out and inspires more LCC to try their hand at long-haul. I know long-haul LCC have never really worked in the past so Azul's success story could be a (hybrid) model on how to do it correctly. WestJet is gettin widebodies this year I believe, which is really cool. I would love to see JetBlue with widebodies, and now that they've had so much succees with their transcon A321s, it could be a stepping stone to Long-haul widebody service. Southwest, on the other hand, I can't ever see with widebodies. It would be too much of a radical departure from their business model. And if Spirit ever got widebodies, we'd see them invent 3-4-3 configuration with 28 pitch on A330s, LOL.

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