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Connection time domestic to int'l at GRU

Connection time domestic to int'l at GRU

Old May 7, 14, 12:08 pm
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Question Connection time domestic to int'l at GRU

I know there are a few threads dealing with connections but I feel the need for the experienced folk to advise on my specific query, if you would be so kind...

I plan on flying IGU/GRU (on JJ) and GRU/JNB (on SA) on separate tickets. My connection time will be 2 hours and fifteen minutes - arriving at 21:20 and departing at 23:35.

This seems adequate for most airports of my experience - but I thought maybe there are specifics that make this connection dodgy at GRU. I'm thinking of things like how long it takes to transfer between terminals and re-check bags; long immigration formalities, etc. Also the probability of the inbound TAM flight being excessively late.

Is 2:15 a reasonable transit time when flying on separate tickets?
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Old May 7, 14, 5:41 pm
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2:15 is risky IMO for separate tickets. The time will be enough at normal times, but if there is a delay, things can get pear-shaped. Is your SA ticket changeable, even for a fee?
Time between terminals 1 and 2 is 5 minutes walk, so not an issue, however, TAM will most probably refuse to check your bags through if you have different tickets, so you must wait for you luggage and then check in for the next flight.
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Old May 8, 14, 8:24 am
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Given the number of flights significantly delayed in Brazil, I'd be too nervous to do this. IMHO, that's the big risk here.
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Old May 8, 14, 1:50 pm
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Darn! Those were the responses I was hoping not to get.

I hate being on edge about making connecting flights and normally I prefer to allow generous connection times. But my choices here are the 2h15 connection or... 7h10 if I take the earlier flight. Even a risk averse traveller like me baulks at spending over 7 hours at the airport!
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Old May 8, 14, 5:35 pm
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2 hours 15 minutes could be enough to make this connection -- but only if everything works perfectly. You will need to leave the plane. collect your bags, walk to the check-in lines for the SA flight, check in and get your boarding pass, and then go through passport control and security before reaching the departure gate. If your flight is late for any reason or if there are unusually long lines for check-in, passport control or security screening you could indeed miss your flight to JNB.
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Old May 9, 14, 1:33 pm
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In the past I have done a few 2 hour connections before at GRU, domestic to International on separate tickets. I don't recommend it. Been lucky enough to not miss a flight, but it was close a few times.
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Old May 11, 14, 1:41 am
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Thanks for those responses. I'm not brave enough to risk it, so may now opt for earlier flights from IGU and on to JNB with a 3h45 connection in GRU.

This would deprive us of a full day at the falls - but it would be a day of me worrying about the connection anyway so probably better this way.
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Old Aug 8, 14, 5:42 pm
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Have GRU-FRA booked on LH but will actually be staying in GIG, so need to buy a separate GIG-GRU ticket.

The LH flight leaves at 18:40...

TAM has a 12PM flight, which arrives at GRU at 13:15.

Is this too close? I'm guessing 5 hours should be enough but I'm also thinking about irrops.

What do you think?
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Old Aug 9, 14, 7:40 am
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I would say 5 hours is fine. I normally like 3 hours or more for a domestic to International connection at either GIG or GRU.
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Old Aug 10, 14, 8:14 pm
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Surprised there is not more said about Terminal 3 at GRU

It was almost two weeks ago when I last left Brazil. I checked in at the customary Terminal 2 for AA flight 216 - GRU non stop to LAX.

During check in at Terminal 2, passengers were not told that the aircraft left from Terminal 3. There also was no mention of the great walking distance between Terminal 2 and Terminal 3.

Terminal 3 is about two and one-half miles by taxi from Terminal 2. However, there is no check in facility for AA at Terminal 3.

There is no shuttle bus from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3.

There is another way to access Terminal 3 after checking in at Terminal 2. Access from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 is via a very long "sky bridge" or "ponte" in Portuguese.

The bridge is close to two miles in length. To access the bridge, it is required to go through security again, which made little sense because we did not exit any secure area.

Walking as fast as we could (while pulling a carry on), it took us about thirty-five minutes to get from Terminal 2 to the gate in Terminal 3.

In short, if you have a flight coming up on AA out of GRU, be sure to leave plenty of time in case you are sent to Terminal 3 for boarding.

Some AA planes still depart from Terminal 2. Until a gate is assigned, passengers do not know if the plane will leave from Terminal 2 or whether the passenger will have to sprint to Terminal 3.

Other international air carriers also are affected by the temporary use of two terminals at GRU.
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Old Aug 11, 14, 5:05 am
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Hi dgcpaphd,

You have me a bit confused. I have walked between Terminal 2 and 3 landside several times at GRU and it is nowhere near 2 and a half miles. I can't imagine that the airside wouled be any different in length. There is a Starbucks just before leaving Terminal 2 and heading into the connecting corridor and from there, it isn't more than 10 minutes, max, to get to Terminal 3. Is airside different?
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Old Aug 11, 14, 10:32 am
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Originally Posted by qfrodo View Post
Hi dgcpaphd,

You have me a bit confused. I have walked between Terminal 2 and 3 landside several times at GRU and it is nowhere near 2 and a half miles. I can't imagine that the airside wouled be any different in length. There is a Starbucks just before leaving Terminal 2 and heading into the connecting corridor and from there, it isn't more than 10 minutes, max, to get to Terminal 3. Is airside different?
Hi, I did not say that walking was 2 and one-half miles.

I said "Terminal 3 is about two and one-half miles by taxi from Terminal 2."

I also said that "The bridge is close to two miles in length. To access the bridge, it is required to go through security again, which made little sense because we did not exit any secure area."

and

"Walking as fast as we could (while pulling a carry on), it took us about thirty-five minutes to get from Terminal 2 to the gate in Terminal 3."

I am puzzled how you could get to terminal 3 in ten minutes. Did you also have to go through security again just prior to entering the sky bridge? The security process added time to the trip to Terminal 3.

Is there another route to get from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3? Could it be that there was just a temporary situation the night we made the trip?

I am a bit concerned because I am returning to Brazil soon and might run into the same situation.

If there is a way to avoid the great walking distance and additional security check from check in to the actual gate where the aircraft departs, I would like to know.

By the way, at the gate there were many people complaining about the distance from check in to the gate.
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Old Aug 11, 14, 10:54 am
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I can only assume that you are talking airside while I am speaking landside. As there would be no security to go thru if landside. I have not done airside as all my connections, both coming and going, thru Terminal 3 have been to/from domestic flights. And I was there the first day UA began using Terminal 3. We did go thru security to continue to GIG, like the old days, but we left from Terminal 3.

I agree about the security part, if you haven't gone to customs to access a checked bag, there should be no need to go thru security again if staying airside. They used to make UA do that in Terminal 1 a few years back until someone wised up and allowed those continuing to GIG to go directly into the waiting area.
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Old Aug 11, 14, 2:24 pm
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Originally Posted by qfrodo View Post

I can only assume that you are talking airside while I am speaking landside. As there would be no security to go thru if landside. I have not done airside as all my connections, both coming and going, thru Terminal 3 have been to/from domestic flights. And I was there the first day UA began using Terminal 3. We did go thru security to continue to GIG, like the old days, but we left from Terminal 3.
Yes, I am talking about air side.

As you know, one first checks in at the airline at GRU - next is security - next is immigration - next is the lounge (if one has access). Next should be the gate from which the aircraft departs.

However, on my last trip from GRU. an extra step was required getting to the departure gate, as previously described.

Out of curiosity, I checked AA's web site and tracked flight 216. I noticed that during the past several days, sometimes the plane departed from Terminal 2 while other times it departed from Terminal 3.

Last night (August 10) the flight departed from Terminal 2

Sunday August 10, 2014 Modify Search
Search Results
Depart Flight Depart Arrive
American Airlines
216

Sao Paulo (GRU)
August 10, 2014

Departed
Scheduled Time: 10:05 PM
Estimated Time: 10:02 PM
Actual Time: 10:02 PM
Terminal : 2 Gate : 22


Tonight, the flight departs from Terminal 3

Monday August 11, 2014 Modify Search
Search Results
Depart Flight Depart Arrive
American Airlines
216

Sao Paulo (GRU)
August 11, 2014

Departed
Scheduled Time: 10:05 PM
Estimated Time: 09:56 PM
Actual Time: 09:56 PM
Terminal : 3 Gate : 43

My purpose for making my post is to alert others of the potential of missing one's flight if the aircraft departs from Terminal 3 while check in is at Terminal 2. One should allow extra time for the long walk from Terminal 2 to Terminal 3 plus allowing for the line at security just before entering the sky bridge. Again, this is air side.
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Last edited by dgcpaphd; Aug 11, 14 at 8:48 pm
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Old Aug 11, 14, 3:45 pm
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Thanks for the info and clarification, dgcpaphd ^
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