The 3 Best Airlines (and 1 to Avoid) in Brazil

airlineswebWhether you live in Brazil or are just visiting, it’s a great idea to know these 3 best airlines for traveling around the country so that you can get where you want in an effective and safe way – and avoid my mistake.

I should probably note that these 3 best airlines are taken from my personal experience of traveling in Brazil together with feedback from this community and within this post you will hear of 1 dramatic experience when flying TAM…

Traveling by Airplane in Brazil (but for the love of everything, not TAM!).

In the olden days in Brazil, there were basically 3 airline companies that overcharged for their flights, gave terrible service and were highly bureaucratic.

Now a days, this situation has changed a lot and traveling by airplane has thankfully improved by leaps and bounds do to the Brazilian airline commission loosening rules up allowing more competitors and a free-er market.

There are basically 4 main airline companies (and 1 up and coming) that serve Brazil nationally – one of those should be avoided at all costs: TAM

Why I will Never Fly TAM Again



tamweb

I’m a pretty easy going guy when it comes to traveling by air and can tolerate some delays and mishaps without issue and I’m not the kind of person to waste my time complaining, though in the name of helping you out, I would like to retell you a little story to benefit your flying experience.

About a month ago, I flew TAM between Florianópolis and São Paulo and it would be the last time…

After waiting in line for an hour, I walked up to the check in desk to give them my bags and happened to be about 5 kilos overweight.

They then explained that in order to check the bag in that I would need to take the receipt they gave me, go to the TAM office and pay for overweight baggage to then come back to the ticket counter and get my tickets.

A Long Time Later



I then waited an an enormous line for a long time, finally payed the overweight luggage to then wait in line again to get my tickets.

After my tickets were in hand and I made it through security, the gates were in sight except that they had the wrong one on the screen.

I then proceeded to a TAM employee at the gate desk (who was reading a newspaper) to ask him what the right gate was – he ignored me.

Finally figuring out what the right gate was, I then rushed down to it to barely make my flight.

Ready for Takeoff!



I then sat into the (very dirty) seats and was ready for take off…

And then my leg was stuck to the chair!

Yep, some yummy, gooey, pre-chewed gum had cemented my leg to the chair.  It was the last straw and I couldn’t take it anymore.

I then told the (poor) flight attendant about my experience with TAM and the 4 huge inconveniences.

This was my last time flying TAM.

The 3 Good Airlines

Now before scaring you away through my story of TAM, there are many wonderful airlines and especially now since competition within Brazil has opened up.

Azul Airlines

azulweb

is brazil’s newest airline company, it was started by an dual American-Brazilian man who founded Jet Blue in the USA.

And as we all know, airlines in the USA in terms of customer service are generally unparalleled in the outside world.  This has to do with the demand by people from the USA to have adequate services and a higher level of customer service.

Their fleet is completely new and the 68 aircrafts are now serving most all cities around Brazil.

Prices are very competitive and they have some great deals too, you can check in easy like you are used to abroad (no 100 person deep lines like in TAM).

Gol Airlines

golweb

has been around for a while now and was Brazil’s first real budget airline company.  They are pretty decent in my experience with them and they have some amazing “right here right now” deals every now and then.

Their motto has always been to undercut the long distance bus industry, which has always been the preferred mode of long distance transportation due to the price.  That gap is narrowing quickly.

You usually get free WIFI access in flights and pretty decent treatment.

Avianca Airlines

aviancaweb

Now I haven’t actually flown with yet but they are a Colombia based airline that is more traditional in their way of operating.

Their fleet is pretty new, service is known as being good and a more “classic” airline to fly with: overall pretty decent.

Where to Find Cheap Flight Tickets in Brazil

The biggest and most common website is , they are a safe ticket brokering website that will show and compare all the airlines operating from within Brazil.

They should accept your credit card fine but if you have any issues at all, you can try either kayak.com or momondo.com to find the same flights.

Final Words

I’ll be honest, the main intention of this post was to help you to avoid going through the frustrations I did when using TAM airlines (there is a saying in Brazil when talking about the quality of TAM airlines “Oh, that’s just TAM”) though at the same time hopefully you became a bit more aware of the other options out there and where to look.

If you would like to learn more from my mistakes make sure and sign up for my free video series, where I give you the golden ticket to Brazil (below).

Até pronto!
Kevin

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5 Comments

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  • I flew TAM twice in May and I did not have these problems. When my connection flight was missed they put me up in the nicest hotel in Natal. I actually liked TAM a lot for lots of reasons.. they were polite, kind and very helping of me being that I spoke little portuguese… The airplane was clean.. had easily accessible power plugs.. but I can see that you did not have a good day.

  • The best airline in terms of aircraft is AZUL, but the destinations are limited from CWB..
    The Worst overall is GOL.. I had some very dodgy landings and turnarounds…
    TAM I have to say I have flew with more than 50 times and I never had a bad experience
    OceanAir is a great airline, great service but again limited in destinations for CWB

  • I had problems also with TAm airlines but I had pleasant times also I guess depends when you fly and who you talk to, once I took a bus from Rio to Vitoria Like 7 hours trip because I did not want to deal with people from Tam

  • I flew TAM from New York to Rio in business class. The plane was a 767ER. I was flying to meet a cruise, and the cruise line had made the flight arrangements. I had never heard of TAM. The aircraft was clean, the business class seat of the older variety, but still offering lie flat sleeping. Food, and service were excellent.

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