TR on TAMīs regional flight from S. Paulo ( Guarulhos ) to Buenos Aires ( Ezeiza ) on July 2012.
Got to Guarulhos at around 6.30am. Parked off airport and we were at TAMīs Terminal 1 check in at 6.50am for our 8.35am service to EZE.
Check in was a mess in Economy as usual ( *A Gold wasnīt much better with the amount of TAMīs RED Fidelidade FFs that exist ). *A Gold canīt check in at the Business Class counters; only at the Fidelidade Red counters.
Guarulhos is in need of an urgent update having exceed its capacity long ago.
Usual mess at GRU
However Business Class check in was quiet and upon arrival we were immediately called up front by an agent. Check in was fast and friendly as usual with TAM, asked if I knew where the lounge was located and off we went. Immigration was pretty fast as well without any queues ( not sure this week as the Federal Police is on strike, again! ).
Business Class Check In
Passed immigration, turn left, up the stairs and youīre in the lounges area.
TAMīs business class lounge at GRU is always a mess and today was no exception. The lounge is just too small for all the business class, *A Gold and Fidelidade Red that have access to it. Across the hall thereīs the United lounge that is bigger but doesnīt open till 10am.
Thatīs a one crowded lounge!
TAM could easily work out some kind of deal to have both lounges open specially during the critical times of international flights ( early morning and in the evening ).
Showed our BPs to the lounge dragon and were admitted without a welcome or a smile.
We managed to barely find two seats, got my wife some espresso and I got things running by fixing a quick Bloody Mary ( not much Mary as it was early morning ). The flight display was off and no announcements for flights are made. Check your boarding time carefully.
Wi-Fi works reasonably well after you get a voucher from the front desk and thereīs a decent spread of wraps, sandwiches, some hot food ( scrambled eggs and bacon ), pastries and fruit. There are plenty of options for drinks and coffee is good.
At T-45 we went to the gate as this looked like a bus ride to the plane. When we got there boarding was already on the way, we made it to the front of the queue, BP scanned and off to the bus. We waited for the bus to fill up ( both business and economy ) and drove about 10 minutes to the plane.
Boarding up the stairs, turned right for our seats in 8 A and C. We settled in without any help from the crew ( not that we needed ). Headphones were placed in the front pocket, pillows and duvets on the overhead bins.
Legroom shot and IFE screen
Seats are angled, with plenty of room and perfectly adequate for a 2.5h flight.
PDB of water or OJ were passed around ( plastic cups ) and menus distributed at this point.
Wine list. No Champagne so too early for me! At this morning hour only BM or Champagne will do.
Push back 5 minutes ahead of schedule and soon we were on our way.
One of the great things on the A330 are the cameras that allow you to watch the departure and the approach for landing. IFE is good, plenty of options for movies and good sized screens on this new version of the A330.
Camera showing the runway
Breakfast was served. It was ok.
I dozed off for while and soon we were on approach to EZE.
Landed 15 minutes ahead of schedule. Immigration was empty, waited about 10 minutes for our luggage that came in the first batch having priority tags, passed customs and went to the booth of Manuel Tienda Leon for the transfer to the Hotel Emperador in Buenos Aires. 250 pesos ( around $55) and we were on our way in a nice Mercedes.
All in all a pleasant short flight. On time, good seat, good IFE and nice breakfast. The crew wasnīt the best Iīve had in TAM but did their job.
Nice beef… Iīll get killed by the gurus on the Argentinean forum for eating at a such touristic place!
The return flight 3 days later was almost the same. TAM uses the Sala Vip Las Americas in the morning at EZE as the United lounge doesnīt open till 1pm. Itīs a crappy lounge with some drinks and almost no food. I was happy to watch some of the Olympics while having a G&T.