The Tam Brazil shuttle flying experience – flawless flight, just skip the kiosk on UA tickets

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The only small hitch was testing kiosk check-in for my Rio Santos Dumont (SDU) – São Paulo Congonhas (CGH) on Tam. Screen after screen after screen, all requiring information, and in the end it said we could not check-in, presumably because it was a United award ticket.

Brazil 305

I had apprehensions of flying Tam from many times seeing their unmoving check-in lines in Miami snaking across multiple terminals, yet at Santos Dumont there was no line to the smiling agent, who said the magical words, “Would you like an earlier flight?”  The Rio-São Paulo shuttle runs constantly and we zipped up to the earlier flight.

The short flight matched the Gol shuttle for comfort and quality service.

From what I hear, like for Gol, the Rio-São Paulo shuttle experience is in no way representative of any other Tam flight.

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Brazil flyer
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Brazil flyer

As a resident here, I think the quality of Tam and Gol flights across all routes really varies, and does depend a lot on the competition. They fly a lot of A319 and A320 within Brazil, and on int’l routes across South America. Almost all the TAM planes now have cell phone connectivity in the air, which is quite advanced compared to other airlines. If you visit BR again (and you should, with that pricey visa), consider moving around the country next time via bus. It’s a different experience, you get to see the colorful Brazilian countryside, and there are… Read more »

Rapid Travel Chai
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@Brazil flyer – the wife rule imposed on me is no long bus, minimum 3 days per place, and avoid flight connections, so that’s why we just hit the big cities. I loved my May overland trip to Paraguay and Iguacu, and do hope to get much more use if that visa, the northeast coast is my next target.

GB
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GB

Yup, shuttle flights are a precious money-maker for the local airlines so there is still competition for that route. As such the planes are new and sparkly, agents are well paid and pleasant, and airport service is quick and painless. Buy tickets ahead of time and they are dirt cheap too!