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How long to allow for a "Do it myself" INTL->Domestic Connection at GRU?

How long to allow for a "Do it myself" INTL->Domestic Connection at GRU?

Old Oct 13, 20, 8:10 pm
  #1  
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How long to allow for a "Do it myself" INTL->Domestic Connection at GRU?

Hi forum,

Thanks so much for the help on my last question.

For a few reasons I've booked a US->GRU->US ticket, even though I'll need to be in Rio for a portion of my trip (99% sure this will be the first 1/2) mainly because on my preferred airlines both costs and schedules to do US->GIG/GRU->US as an open jaw was insanely expensive (>3x the straight round trip) with horrible schedules, e.g. arriving 2 or even 3 days after departure

As was pointed out in the replies to my last question there seem to be plenty of flights between the two cities I am wondering how much time I should allow from (planned) arrival of my international flight, collecting my luggage, and clearing immigration to check in cutoff of the domestic leg... I won't be in a extreme hurry to get from Sao Paulo to Rio but would also rather not sit around the airport longer than needed. Other international airports I'd say 2-3 hours would be a reasonable buffer, but clearly I have no experience with Brazil's process..

Or should I just wait and buy a ticket at the counter on the day after I've made it through customs?

Any recommendations for the a domestic airline (since Star Alliance doesn't seem to have a presence) or are they basically interchangeable (will have one bag to check, want a pre-assigned seat, and prefer a premium economy/business/first cabin generally, but I get the sense based on the flight length that that last part doesn't really matter )

Thanks!
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Old Oct 14, 20, 1:13 pm
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The are only a handful of flights from GRU to GIG/SDU, most flights leave from CGH to SDU. CGH is about one hour from GRU.
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Old Oct 14, 20, 1:40 pm
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Originally Posted by boboqui View Post
The are only a handful of flights from GRU to GIG/SDU, most flights leave from CGH to SDU. CGH is about one hour from GRU.
Then I suppose the question is "how long should I allow to clear customs/immigration and reclaim luggage at GRU?" (if I allow 2.5 hours it does appear that there are some good options from GRU to GIG/SDU but if I need to allow longer ... CGH may become a necessary alternative)
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Old Oct 14, 20, 4:45 pm
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At GRU you will probably have to change terminals to catch the domestic flight, another 20 minutes...
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Old Oct 14, 20, 6:19 pm
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2.5 hrs is plenty of time (assuming on time arrival...). I have been delayed by as much as an hour just trying to clear immigration in GRU but that was during boom times and even then it was an outlier. My guess these days is immigration + bag retrieval + customs will take 25 min plus another 25 to transfer terminals.
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Old Oct 14, 20, 6:51 pm
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Originally Posted by Esmjb View Post
2.5 hrs is plenty of time (assuming on time arrival...). I have been delayed by as much as an hour just trying to clear immigration in GRU but that was during boom times and even then it was an outlier. My guess these days is immigration + bag retrieval + customs will take 25 min plus another 25 to transfer terminals.
Great to know, thanks
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Old Oct 15, 20, 11:22 am
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Originally Posted by boboqui View Post
The are only a handful of flights from GRU to GIG/SDU, most flights leave from CGH to SDU. CGH is about one hour from GRU.
This is factually untrue. There are plenty of flights from GRU to GIG and even more from GRU to SDU, azul has 2 daily, Gol has between 5-7 daily, and and latam 3-4 daily. I would not go to CGH to catch a connecting flight, thats a total waste of time could take over an hour or more in traffic. You'd spend more on the uber then the flight, and good chance you'd miss your flight unless you have a helicopter.

Last edited by PointsPanda; Oct 15, 20 at 11:42 am
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Old Oct 15, 20, 11:25 am
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
Hi forum,

Thanks so much for the help on my last question.

For a few reasons I've booked a US->GRU->US ticket, even though I'll need to be in Rio for a portion of my trip (99% sure this will be the first 1/2) mainly because on my preferred airlines both costs and schedules to do US->GIG/GRU->US as an open jaw was insanely expensive (>3x the straight round trip) with horrible schedules, e.g. arriving 2 or even 3 days after departure

As was pointed out in the replies to my last question there seem to be plenty of flights between the two cities I am wondering how much time I should allow from (planned) arrival of my international flight, collecting my luggage, and clearing immigration to check in cutoff of the domestic leg... I won't be in a extreme hurry to get from Sao Paulo to Rio but would also rather not sit around the airport longer than needed. Other international airports I'd say 2-3 hours would be a reasonable buffer, but clearly I have no experience with Brazil's process..

Or should I just wait and buy a ticket at the counter on the day after I've made it through customs?

Any recommendations for the a domestic airline (since Star Alliance doesn't seem to have a presence) or are they basically interchangeable (will have one bag to check, want a pre-assigned seat, and prefer a premium economy/business/first cabin generally, but I get the sense based on the flight length that that last part doesn't really matter )

Thanks!
I was just in GRU 2 weeks ago, the international terminal for both outbound and inbound is practically a ghost town, including immigration and getting to the domestic terminal is a piece of cake, they're connected by a walkway that takes maybe 10 minutes to walk through. I'd say 90 minutes or more is easy, 60-80 minutes cutting it a bit tight but you'd probably make it. Less than an hour is too tight.

I was in the domestic terminal too even on a weekday morning it was pretty quiet.

If anything I think 2.5 hours is too much, I would aim for 1.5 hours. Most lounges are closed you will be bored with nothing to do.

Of course try and aim to fly to SDU instead of GIG if you can, save you some time there too. (assuming the schedules fit).

Don't go to CGH thats totally unnecessary, and a terrible idea. The uber could easily cost $50USD. There are tons of flights leaving every hour to either GIG or SDU.

There is no possible way on this earth with 2.5 hours you'd miss your domestic connection, its impossible. I'd say with 1.5 hours is ~90% chance you'd make it too.

For such a short cheap flight it doesn't really matter though some Brazililans prefer GOL over the other big 2. LATAM typically has the oldest crappiest planes but the plane is in the air like 15 minutes. If you want extra space book 2 seat on GOL or Azul, or book LATAM "premium economy" fare that guarantees you empty middle seat.

PS. Although Azul is not formally in Star Alliance they are quasi-members sharing code-shares, lounges etc, especially with United, so there is a presence.



GRU -> SDU schedule (better this airport if time fits) some flights may not be running due to covid

GRU -> GIG schedule, some flights may not be running due to covid
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Last edited by PointsPanda; Oct 15, 20 at 11:39 am
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Old Oct 15, 20, 11:56 am
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I do this every time I fly to Brazil and 2.5/3 hours is more than enough time to clear customs, walk to the domestic terminal, check bags if you have to, clear security and even grab some coffee before getting on the plane.
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Old Oct 15, 20, 1:22 pm
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Originally Posted by PointsPanda View Post
I was just in GRU 2 weeks ago, the international terminal for both outbound and inbound is practically a ghost town, including immigration and getting to the domestic terminal is a piece of cake, they're connected by a walkway that takes maybe 10 minutes to walk through. I'd say 90 minutes or more is easy, 60-80 minutes cutting it a bit tight but you'd probably make it. Less than an hour is too tight.

I was in the domestic terminal too even on a weekday morning it was pretty quiet.

If anything I think 2.5 hours is too much, I would aim for 1.5 hours. Most lounges are closed you will be bored with nothing to do.

Of course try and aim to fly to SDU instead of GIG if you can, save you some time there too. (assuming the schedules fit).

Don't go to CGH thats totally unnecessary, and a terrible idea. The uber could easily cost $50USD. There are tons of flights leaving every hour to either GIG or SDU.

There is no possible way on this earth with 2.5 hours you'd miss your domestic connection, its impossible. I'd say with 1.5 hours is ~90% chance you'd make it too.

For such a short cheap flight it doesn't really matter though some Brazililans prefer GOL over the other big 2. LATAM typically has the oldest crappiest planes but the plane is in the air like 15 minutes. If you want extra space book 2 seat on GOL or Azul, or book LATAM "premium economy" fare that guarantees you empty middle seat.

PS. Although Azul is not formally in Star Alliance they are quasi-members sharing code-shares, lounges etc, especially with United, so there is a presence.

GRU -> SDU schedule (better this airport if time fits) some flights may not be running due to covid

GRU -> GIG schedule, some flights may not be running due to covid
Fantastic information, thank you very much
Was aware of the Azul partnership (and it looks like I might be able to add Azul flights to my existing United ticket between $0 and $5) but all of the Azul options I was finding included a connection while GOL and LATAM both have non-stops. The dates for my trip just moved by a little more than a week so I may have better (or worse) options now -- I'll look again.

The sad part is normally I'd love an extra flight/seeing a new airport but with COVID adding an unnecessary couple extra hours of flying in a foreign country "just because I can" seems inadvisable.

Originally Posted by anaggie View Post
I do this every time I fly to Brazil and 2.5/3 hours is more than enough time to clear customs, walk to the domestic terminal, check bags if you have to, clear security and even grab some coffee before getting on the plane.
^ Great to have confirmation from someone who's actually done it, thanks for the feedback
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Old Oct 15, 20, 1:58 pm
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... and of course, just before I go to book my 3rd attempt at a ticket, the client has changed scenerios on me agan... now I'm going to be in Sao Paulo for 3 days before Rio so this is all moot :/

On the upside Azul now has very attractive nonstops for my needs.
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Old Oct 15, 20, 3:57 pm
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delete

Last edited by boboqui; Oct 15, 20 at 7:46 pm
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Old Oct 16, 20, 10:11 am
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Originally Posted by lincolnjkc View Post
On the upside Azul now has very attractive nonstops for my needs.
As a UA 1K you are entitled to the seats at the front of the plane on Azul, usually the first 6 rows which have additional space. You may have to argue this depending on the agent, as all of them are not up to speed. I also confirmed this via email with Azul. So have your 1K card, and if you can, find the section on the Azul site that references this benefit for UA Elites. If they won't budge and you want to sit there, the cost is not that much when converting Reais to Dollars. As mentioned upstream, the Sao Paulo to Rio flight isn't that long, but should future plans take you elsewhere in Brazil it may be of benefit. You likely don't have the time before your trip, but as a 1K you can also status match to Azul Diamante. You can find this on Azul's site as well (if nothing has changed).
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Old Oct 26, 20, 1:57 am
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75 minutes is enough time to transfer inbound INTL to domestic under the current circumstances.

RC
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Old Nov 16, 20, 1:13 pm
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Connection intnl to domestic

Booked on AA flight 929 from Miami to GRU in business.
scheduled to land 8.10am

LATAM has a flight GRU-SDU at 9.20am
would I make it?
if not, would I be rebooked onto the next LATAM flight at 12.05pm?

thanks
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