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cmte_valle Jan 7, 11 6:34 pm

Star alliance legacy? GRU-MVD on TAM
At mid-december I had no trip booked for early January, which was weird, but the situation would soon change. A little business trip down to Uruguai, Montevideo and Punta Del Este were the cities to visit when visiting a couple suppliers and distributors.
The itinerary was pretty straight forward as I was to cover the distance between Montevideo and Punta Del Este by car, but I was pretty annoyed flying TAM, the only thing that made me feel more comfortable was that I would be scoring *A miles turns out that it wouldn’t be that much of a smooth trip, you will see soon.
going to the airport,

Airbus A320

One hour and fifty minutes before the flight I presented myself at the check-in desk, the first bad thing at TAM is that the premium check-in lounge is pretty much crowded, they are not the same counter as business class or first, which is not bad as there are fewer people to check-in, but they are really crowded, looks like TAM gives the second tier members(blue) the chance to check in there, so it gets really crowded. At first they informed me I was not eligible to check in there because I was a member of another star-alliance program, not Tam. But I took my droid phone to and showed them I was eligible, after the fuss, the check-in was done by a rather unhappy agent.
A friend of mine was traveling to Uruguai for Vacation and he is a United 1K member, we went to tam’s lounge and they kicked him out of there because he was not eligible to take to people into the lounge and the dragons were saying something about having to be family with the people you invited, all ........, to avoid the fuss, we got to American Express Lounge.

In-Flight experience
We pushed-back and taxied on time and by 0935 we were airborne with a flight time of two hours, and the service took all the flight because the crew could not manage to serve and take the breakfast back on time. This really annoyed me as I woke up at 0500 and was looking forward to take some well-deserved sleep, I couldn’t because of that tray-table, holding all the trash that they took all flight to take back, at least the meal was good and carried on bio-degradable packing, can you call a flight on time when you arrive 20 minutes before? If so, the flight was on time.
mandatory legroom picture

Montevideo ground-experience
Immigration although packed was quick, as people from an AA flight had just arrived, no problems thought, I got throw the nice duty-free shop inside the arrivals area, bags were out really quickly and soon enough I was on a little delayed taxi, on my way to the holtel, which would be Holiday Inn Montevideo.

cmte_valle Jan 7, 11 6:34 pm

Sorry for the delay on finishing this trip-report, I got really busy for a couple days.


My droid phone rings at three fifteen and I immediately go showering, I am supposed to be awake, alert and working for a whole day waking up at 3 am, this doesn't sound like it is gonna work well, it ended up working though.
4 o'clock and I'm down the lobby, took the taxi and in no time I was at the airport, as soon as I arrived I checked-in and the guy that checked me in was a real treat, polite, happy and willing to help, it doesn't get any better than this, boarding pass and lounge invitations on my hand and off I was to security.

After breezing throw security, I got to the lounge, which was good enough, had a coffee and soon enough they called boarding, I got a weird look for cutting the line, someone shout, and I just said, I just flew 60.000 miles in one year in top fares and give the alliance a lot of revenue, that's why they give me this black card which allows me to cut the line, I didn't bother hearing what he had to tell me though.

I was among the first aboard and stored my luggage on the overhead bin which thankfully was still pretty empty, we pushed back behind schedule and soon enough the beverage run and the small breakfast were on the way, I gotta say they are pretty disorganized though the FA kept going back to the galley, but she ended up providing me a second meal which I really thought would be denied, not bad, but she promised me some coffee and never came back.
even got a second meal! ^
enjoying Iron Maiden at the skies, life doesn't get any better!
Looks bad down there!
It rains in Sao Paulo, a couple days before the worst natural disaster in Brazil's history had happened near Rio de Janeiro.

A couple minutes behind scheduled we landed and soon enough I ran out of the plane, turns out that there was a huge line due to flights coming in from Europe, North America and South America, got throw the line and bought a couple bottles of wine and underwear in the duty free.
Huuuuge lines!

cmte_valle Jan 17, 11 9:47 am


TAM is a *A member for quite some time now which made me choose them as the carrier for this trip over Gol or Pluna which I had researched before, what bothers me @ Tam is their inconsistency, there are great people working there and horrible people as well, people that are willing to help, and people that don't really care about the service, but I really believe that with some time TAM may get better and if brazilian government helps, improving the airport facilities for example, they may be a great carrier in a couple more years.

Feedback always appreciated!

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