Sao Paulo airports

Old Mar 6, 17, 3:40 pm
  #1  
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Sao Paulo airports

G'day all,

This question may well have been asked before, I scrolled back a little but didn't immediately see anything.

Congonh (CGH) and Guarulh (GRU).

Domestic flight lands CGH at 18:45, then an international leaves GRU at 22:45. On Friday evening. I'll be checked into the second flight already, though I will need to retrieve and then check in baggage.

Given day of the week, rush hour, potential storms (looking at the forecasts), and I am told occasionally very impressive queues through GRU passport control...what are my chances?

I am considering rearranging existing internal flight plans and making sure I get to GRU in plenty of time, as not sure I fancy the risk of missing the long-haul flight. Expensive and time-consuming to rectify.

Incidentally, are the GRU to London Heathrow flights always terminal 3? Am mulling over buying a pass for a lounge/club if I have some hours to pass in the airport.
(So if any input on the merits of a day pass for Star Alliance Lounge or the
Executive Lounge GRU Airport, both of which look to be in T3, then do share them)

Thanks all for any help
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Old Mar 6, 17, 3:52 pm
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Is there a reason you can't get a domestic flight to GRU? The biggest problem you are likely to run into is the traffic between the airports. The Star Alliance lounge is pretty decent.

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Old Mar 6, 17, 3:57 pm
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Thanks!

A few flights were booked all together by our company travel agent. Now, a guick look at skyscanner suggests the only one that would work would be a GOL flight at 316. May still be the cheapest option to rearrange things, travel agent should get back to me in the morning with options, hopefully.

But yeah, anyone any insight with likely time for a dash between airports on a Friday night in SP, all thoughts welcome.
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Old Mar 6, 17, 5:58 pm
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Given the distance between airports, time of day and expected transit, it is tight.

I would not do it myself on purpose. Why subject yourself to uncertainty and anxiety if you could avoid it?
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Old Mar 7, 17, 3:48 am
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Thanks and yes I'm keen to avoid the stress and anxiety of potentially missing that flight. I think I will seek to alter the schedule, prob not go to Brasilia and flight to SP from Belo H (where I am now) instead.

Cheers,
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Old Mar 7, 17, 2:33 pm
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I would be more concerned about the traffic and on-time arrival in CGH rather than the queues at passport control. That has significantly improved in my opinion compared to a couple of years ago.
There is always a risk that your inbound flight to CGH is delayed due to weather or whatever, you have to wait for the luggage in CGH as well...

The other way round I would eventually dare it. But domestic to international on a Friday evening, no man don't do it except you are really seeking the thrill.
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Old Mar 8, 17, 7:44 am
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Originally Posted by quaxpilot View Post
I would be more concerned about the traffic and on-time arrival in CGH rather than the queues at passport control. That has significantly improved in my opinion compared to a couple of years ago.
There is always a risk that your inbound flight to CGH is delayed due to weather or whatever, you have to wait for the luggage in CGH as well...

The other way round I would eventually dare it. But domestic to international on a Friday evening, no man don't do it except you are really seeking the thrill.
This. It is going to be tight at best. CGH to GRU on a Friday night will take 2 to 3 hours. It's been raining a lot in SP as well, which increases the chances of a late arrival in CGH and makes the traffic much worse. Change it while you can.
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Old Mar 8, 17, 7:51 am
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Well, all very interesting, and stressful for me.

I cannot change my schedule. LATAM will not let me. They will not let our travel agents change the booking. The local LATAm agent here in Belo Horizonte will not change to an earlier flight either.

So how about cancelling the 5pm flight and I'll separately rebook on an earlier one? No. LATAM will then cancel all my schedule, as the flights are 'linked' and because I didn't show up on one of the six flights, everything is then cancelled. So I'd then have no London flight to get back home.

All they can do (apparently) is to say get to Brasilia airport early on Friday, and if there is room on the two earlier LATAM flights to Sao Paulo,I can change my ticket there and then. There are seats available at the moment on both flights. But apparently this cannot be done in advance.

This is what both my travel agent and the LATAM agent has told me. Chuffing ridiculous. So I have to stress until Friday, and then still may have to run the gauntlet of Friday evening rush hour, Sao Paolo style.

This may be the stress talking, but I think it's disgraceful from LATAM. I've travelled a fair bit, with a planned schedule of flights sometimes, and never come across this bizarre farcical policy of theirs.
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Old Mar 8, 17, 8:12 am
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I think it's your travel agent you should be annoyed at, very amateurish to book this in the first place and also book it in a completely non-changeable fare class
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Old Mar 8, 17, 8:14 am
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Well, this is true. At time of booking, I did ask the agent if the four hours would be enough time, the answer was the written equivalent of a confirmatory shrug of the shoulders.
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Old Mar 8, 17, 8:25 am
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LATAM will certainly allow you to take an earlier flight, and the earlier you get to the airport on a Friday the better your chances.

It has also been my experience that you have a better chance of modifying your booking in person than over the phone, so if by any chance you have the time to go to the airport or some other actual LATAM place before Friday you could try that.

In any case, best of luck to you.
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Old Mar 8, 17, 8:27 am
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Thank you.
Like I say, I was in person at the Belo Horizonte travel agent. Maybe it would be different at the airport?
I'm flying from Belo Horizonte to Brasilia tomorrow morning, so I will make sure I have time to try the LATAM people at Belo H airport, and also on arrival at Brasilia.
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Old Mar 8, 17, 1:26 pm
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I'm not as concerned as the other posters here. I agree it is a bit tight, but I successfully made a series of shorter CGH-GRU and vv connections over the past couple of years. I cannot remember any longer bus transfers than 1:30h, even in heavy road traffic. Also, GRU has improved quite a bit, especially T3.
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Old Mar 8, 17, 2:21 pm
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It's standard LATAM policy to allow you on an earlier flight if there's room, but you can only make the request on the day at the check in counter and it's first come first serve so the earlier you show up the better your chances. On occasion they can even put you on a flight to a different airport (GRU) if you're lucky. Friday should be pretty easy to score a seat as most politicians leave Brasilia for their constituencies on Thursdays...
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Old Mar 8, 17, 5:09 pm
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Thanks Rafka!

That's helpful. When I asked in the LATAM office, the guy there showed me that there were 32 seats on one of the earlier LATAM flights, and 11 on another, so hopefully between the two, there should be room?

If I came to the airport at 8am, would that usually be early enough to score one of the spare seats?
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