hangarrat
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:24 pm

Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:10 am

I have tickets to travel to Brazil for a friend's wedding from JFK on Aug. 19 and to return on Aug. 25. I purchased them through Orbitz.com back in March before we started hearing anything about the airline's problems. The bride (who is Brazillian) and groom also planned to fly Varig.

Despite news of plans to resume international flights following the sale of Varig to VarigLog a few weeks ago, the company's Web site says it has suspended all operations until further notice. The 800 number on the site gives a busy signal. I can't seem to find any news more recent than July 28 on the Web.

Is there any chance at this point Varig will be operating a JFK-GRU flight with a connection to Belo Horizonte by the time I need to travel?

What are my chances AA, UA or someone else will honor the tickets?

Does anyone have any suggestions? I laid out close to $1,400 to travel to my friend's wedding and I'm in no position to make a similar expenditure with another carrier.

(Please spare me the business, grief and the guff about how I should have used a travel agent. Perhaps the folks who want to talk about that can start a seperate thread on how Orbitz doesn't feel the same ethical responsibility as a human travel agent to warn its customers that a carrier is in financial trouble. Caveat emptor is fine, but the buyer needs a fighting chance.)

Thanks.
Spell check is a false dog
 
bennett123
Posts: 7524
Joined: Sun Aug 15, 2004 12:49 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:42 am

Did you use a Credit Card?.
 
Wazobia
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:41 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:45 am

I am just as frustrated as you. I did use a travel agent no good it did me. Flying mid Aug. out of Mia. I did get thru to Varig today. Basically they don't have any information past Aug. 1st. They will fly tomorrow out of MIA and the pax scheduled to fly today they put on standby with AA and Tam. The guy I was talking to at Varig said that they can only do this the day of the flight and the other airlines were very tired of Varigs passengers.

Good luck to ya!
 
MKEdude
Posts: 954
Joined: Thu May 05, 2005 9:55 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:47 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 1):
Did you use a Credit Card?.

Amen to that! If you used a CC you should be fine, but I think you are SOL on the tickets and need to go shopping again.
"You can't be a real country unless you have a beer and an airline." Frank Zappa
 
hangarrat
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:24 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 5:59 am

Quoting Bennett123 (Reply 1):
Did you use a Credit Card?

To tell the truth, my girlfriend made the actual purchase. I'm not sure whether she used a credit or debit card. Is there a practical difference?

The bill acceptor on my laptop is broken, so I had to use plastic.  Wink

[Edited 2006-07-31 23:01:34]
Spell check is a false dog
 
PHKLM
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:28 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:02 am

Quoting Wazobia (Reply 2):
and the other airlines were very tired of Varigs passengers.

This arises a couple of questions:

Primo: are JJ and GOL paid for the RG passengers they take on domestic routes? I.e. does RG have to pay for the thousands of tickets they issue? Or are they obliged by Brazilian law to take these passengers, even if the tickets issued by RG are not paid?

Secundo: are StarAlliance partners LH and UA paid for the RG passengers they take? What fare do they charge RG; full-flexible ones? Discounted ones?

Tertio: which other airline is still accepting RG tickets?

[Edited 2006-07-31 23:20:05]
 
Wazobia
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:41 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:09 am

Even if the other airlines are happy to take Varig pax they ...day of travel their flights will be full or close to full. Especailly with this Varig mess they are getting a lot more pax directly . That being said there isn't room on the plane for Varigs pax which leave most of us out in the cold.
 
PPVRA
Posts: 7878
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:48 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 6:48 am

For the time being, TAM is not accepting RG tickets anymore from NYC, MIA and CDG. Varig owes TAM 1.5 million in tickets that are yet to be paid.

Good luck!
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
PHKLM
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:28 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:15 am

Quoting Wazobia (Reply 6):
1.5 million

Reais or US dollar?
 
PPVRA
Posts: 7878
Joined: Fri Nov 12, 2004 7:48 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 7:21 am

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 8):
Quoting Wazobia (Reply 6):
1.5 million

Reais or US dollar?

USD
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
jetdeltamsy
Posts: 2688
Joined: Tue Nov 14, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 8:12 am

Quoting HangarRat (Thread starter):
What are my chances AA, UA or someone else will honor the tickets?

AA cancelled their interline agreements with RG a few weeks ago. Zero chance AA will help you out.
Tired of airline bankruptcies....EA/PA/TW and finally DL.
 
LipeGIG
Posts: 5050
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 9:36 am

Quoting HangarRat (Thread starter):

Sorry to inform you but try to get one of the RG flights from JFK (every two days), the only one airline that is accepting RG tickets is JJ (but a very few number of seats per flight as demand keeps strong)

Better to ask for a reimbursement and try to book on another airline.

The worst news is they just drop Belo Horizonte as a destination and there are no short term plans for its return. You will also depend on a G3 or JJ flight GRU-CNF (and the number of flights is limited) or CGH-CNF.

I have a friend on Varig in the US, i will check if they can do something for you.

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
JJMNGR
Posts: 924
Joined: Wed May 26, 2004 9:06 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:07 am

I had dinner with a close friend of mine from LH and he said LH sent a msg to all its offices stating also that they do not operate on code-share with RG anymore. Nor on intl. flights, nor on domestic flights.

There are rumors that RG may be taken out of Star Alliance as they don't want and need a so weak partner in Latin America. This is a possibility of an open door for the invitation to a new carrier.
 
bongo
Posts: 1783
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2003 5:32 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:39 am

Quoting JJMNGR (Reply 12):
There are rumors that RG may be taken out of Star Alliance as they don't want and need a so weak partner in Latin America. This is a possibility of an open door for the invitation to a new carrier.

May I suggest AVIANCA?
MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
 
aerokiwi
Posts: 2263
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2000 1:17 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:53 am

Quoting JJMNGR (Reply 12):
I had dinner with a close friend of mine from LH and he said LH sent a msg to all its offices stating also that they do not operate on code-share with RG anymore. Nor on intl. flights, nor on domestic flights.

There are rumors that RG may be taken out of Star Alliance as they don't want and need a so weak partner in Latin America. This is a possibility of an open door for the invitation to a new carrier.

So after touting all the benefits of being in Star, when you really need help (as RG pax do now), the rest of the alliance abandons it and feels no obligation to carry RG pax. Some alliance that turned out to be.
 
AJMIA
Posts: 431
Joined: Wed Dec 14, 2005 11:29 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:09 am

The AA flights to Brazil have been going out totally packed.

Many have oversales who are being paid $800.00 vouchers for the bump.

I spoke with top manager of JJ last week and he said he is getting calls from old friends and people he never heard of looking for the favor of seats to Brazil.

The ops manager at JJ called us at AA MIA today to see if we had any seats to give him for oversales so I assume they are just as packed.

Hopefully you paid with a credit card and can get your money back.

At this point your best bet would be to buy a new ticket with another airline if you can find a seat. I do not think you will have much luck using your RG tickets on another airline if they don't operate their flight.

Maybe maybe maybe JJ will take you. But you would be VERY lucky.

AJMIA
Lady it's a jet... not a kite.
 
mattnrsa
Posts: 361
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 12:27 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:28 am

Quoting Aerokiwi (Reply 14):
So after touting all the benefits of being in Star, when you really need help (as RG pax do now), the rest of the alliance abandons it and feels no obligation to carry RG pax. Some alliance that turned out to be.

The alliance would still carry RG pax, just like any airline would. I don't know about any rumors of ending the alliance, but they might not want to send their pax or sell tickets on an airline that might liquidate any day. AC/US/UA did not have any problems with Star when they were in BK, but RG is way beyond BK.
 
aerokiwi
Posts: 2263
Joined: Sun Jul 30, 2000 1:17 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:57 am

Quoting Mattnrsa (Reply 16):
The alliance would still carry RG pax, just like any airline would. I don't know about any rumors of ending the alliance, but they might not want to send their pax or sell tickets on an airline that might liquidate any day. AC/US/UA did not have any problems with Star when they were in BK, but RG is way beyond BK.

I don't see UA upping capacity on US-Brazil routes. Is LH taking pax that are suppsoed to have flown RG but now can't?
 
mattnrsa
Posts: 361
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2002 12:27 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:16 pm

Quoting Aerokiwi (Reply 17):
I don't see UA upping capacity on US-Brazil routes. Is LH taking pax that are suppsoed to have flown RG but now can't?

Airlines, whether Star or not, will add capacity when they can. I don't know about plans for each Star airline, but I would imagine most planes are spoken for in the busy summer season. Adding a flight now would mean cancelling one somewhere else, most likely Europe where the flights are full too. UA has announced an extra flt to Brazil starting later this year when they are able to add it.
 
thering
Posts: 527
Joined: Tue Jun 27, 2006 1:44 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 12:27 pm

Quoting Bongo (Reply 13):
May I suggest AVIANCA?

May I suggest TAM??  Big grin
146 319 320 321 332 722 732 733 734 735 73G 738 742 743 744 762 763 772 773 CRJ ER4 100 F50 F27 M11 D10
 
hangarrat
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:24 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 2:37 pm

Quoting HangarRat (Thread starter):
The bride (who is Brazillian) and groom also planned to fly Varig.

I just found out from the groom that he was able to switch his tickets to UA after much ballyhooing.

Quote:
If you call United and they tell you they're not
honoring Varig tickets, persist and explain that
"L." and I just switched everything over. You'll
find our itinerary below.

(name changed to protect the frustrated)

He gave us his itinerary and confirmation code. However, we still have the problem of RG not flying to Belo Horizonte. Not being fluent in Portugese, trying to price out a ticket on TAM or GOL has been frustrating. I may visit a travel agency tomorrow to see whether I can afford it.

 whiteflag   whiteflag   whiteflag   whiteflag 
Spell check is a false dog
 
PHKLM
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:28 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 4:34 pm

Quoting HangarRat (Reply 20):
Not being fluent in Portugese, trying to price out a ticket on TAM or GOL has been frustrating.
Both www.tam.com.br and www.voegol.com have booking engines in English...
Beware however: GOL flights can only be bought with AMEX credit cards!

To give you an impression:
GRU - CNF on JJ (TAM) out 21 AUG in 24 AUG = 690 BRL round trip tax inc
GRU - CNF on G3 (GOL) out 21 AUG in 24 AUG = 240 BRL round trip tax inc

The GOL flight is very affordable and I would advise you to book this flight ASAP! FYI: 240 BRL = 110 USD

[Edited 2006-08-01 09:46:21]
 
hangarrat
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:24 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:31 pm

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 21):
Both www.tam.com.br and www.voegol.com have booking engines in English...

I'm sorry mate, but there's very little English on the pages you sent me to and they certainly don't make it easy to find from the front page.

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 21):
Beware however: GOL flights can only be bought with AMEX credit cards!

Another reason just to go to the travel agent.

Thanks for the help and information everyone.
Spell check is a false dog
 
PHKLM
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:28 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 10:52 pm

Quoting HangarRat (Reply 22):

Another reason just to go to the travel agent.

GOL is an LCC, they will only be able to buy these tickets via the website.
Your travel agent will be able to book the JJ flights, but you can easily do this only yourself, try Expedia, Kayak or Opodo.
The example I gave above on JJ will cost you 219 USD ex tax on Expedia for example.
 
LipeGIG
Posts: 5050
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 01, 2006 11:48 pm

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 23):
GOL is an LCC, they will only be able to buy these tickets via the website.
Your travel agent will be able to book the JJ flights, but you can easily do this only yourself, try Expedia, Kayak or Opodo.
The example I gave above on JJ will cost you 219 USD ex tax on Expedia for example.

PHKLM, Gol is a LCC but it keeps selling thru Agents. My bank use to buy tickets with agents and we buy both airlines (Gol and TAM). The only problem is that they do not make reservations, you need to buy !

By the way, TAM confirmed the info given by JJMNGR: they are refusing RG endorsements at JFK, CDG and MIA and just advised ANAC (Brazilian DOT).

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
PHKLM
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:28 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:26 am

Quoting LipeGIG (Reply 24):
The only problem is that they do not make reservations, you need to buy

That's what I meant. I was in your lovely country a month ago, trying to book a GIG-EZE flight on GOL. I tried the website, by I use MasterCard and not AMEX. It appeared MC would work, but I kept receiving errors. So I head to a travel agency, and they want me to book with - guess what - AMEX. So I head to SDU while USD 300 gets stolen in the Rio Metro (it's all in the game) I get to the G3 counter and they say "oh yeah, MasterCard, but it needs to be issued in Brazil". So I head to the JJ counter next door, give them my CC, they charge me a whole lot of money but hey, there's no such thing as a free lunch (nor Kaut ) And by flying JJ I got to see POA, well, that surely is worth some reais, isn't it  Wink
Despite all this hassle and all the money I lost in Rio (not only the money that got stolen, but it was rather expensive as well (see my profile)) I had such a wonderful time in Brazil, I definitely plan to come back!

[Edited 2006-08-01 17:31:28]
 
donzilasse
Posts: 206
Joined: Tue Jun 29, 2004 12:06 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 12:38 am

Your best bet might be to find a new low rate through kayak to GIG and then rent a car there. I am going myself on the 11th with AA904/905 and I will also be in both Belo Horizonte as well as in Ipatinga where I have a house. The drive isn't to bad and you will avoid a connection during this difficult time.

I guess after reading all the postings here that I will have to be early at MIA this time!

Lars
 
Wazobia
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:41 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 3:33 am

Hey, I just heard that Wen. , Thur, and Fri. they RG is flying daily flt # 8863 with a combined flight via JFK and Mia. Not sure what time they depart JFK but depart MIA 2pm............... can anyone confirm. Also any one know of the schedule past Friday.
 
PPSMA
Posts: 157
Joined: Wed Aug 24, 2005 9:11 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:17 am

Hi all

I´m a licensed travel agent (and consultant - lol), so if you need help purchasing a ticket on G3 or JJ let me know.

I might even be able to get you a bulk fare ticket on AA but I have to confirm if if can be used ex USA (i.e. NYC/GRU/NYC).

Let me know if you´re interested!

Cheers

Domenico
Aviation is my thing!
 
commavia
Posts: 10076
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2005 2:30 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:28 am

Quoting HangarRat (Thread starter):
What are my chances AA, UA or someone else will honor the tickets?

As others have said, American is no longer accepting VARIG tickets:
http://www.aa.com/content/agency/News/news_jul_2006.jhtml#varig
 
C010T3
Posts: 1646
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:48 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:36 am

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 25):
So I head to SDU while USD 300 gets stolen in the Rio Metro

I'm sorry, how did you manage to get mugged in Rio's subway? I'm not saying it is impossible, but it is rather unusual. You must had been begging to be...
 
lhrmaccoll
Posts: 567
Joined: Wed Apr 27, 2005 6:12 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 5:45 am

Its a really sad situation at RG at the moment. What is the estimated relaunch date? Or has that not been announced yet?
 
PHKLM
Posts: 788
Joined: Mon Dec 26, 2005 7:28 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:00 am

Quoting C010T3 (Reply 30):
I'm sorry, how did you manage to get mugged in Rio's subway? I'm not saying it is impossible, but it is rather unusual. You must had been begging to be...

Well, normally I don't carry 300 USD in cash, but I was gonna pay for the G3 flight at SDU and was on my way from Ipanema to SDU with the metro. At Ipanema I had my wallet, at SDU it was gone. Yes, I should have used a money belt; yes, I shouldn't carry large amounts of cash, yes I have been stupid.
So C010T3 don't feel sorry; I feel it's mainly my own fault; and I've told this to the Rio police as well. When I was there people got there with stories that are far more frightening so I shut up about my 300 USD pretty quickly. In the end I flew JJ which was really nice and I collected AF Flying Blue miles; had a beautiful view over Rio from the plane, didn't have to wake up at ungodly GOL hours and had a tin of Kaut or two.
 
vv701
Posts: 5805
Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 10:54 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 6:01 am

Quoting Wazobia (Reply 27):
Wen. , Thur, and Fri. they RG is flying daily flt # 8863 with a combined flight via JFK and Mia.

And on 28 July I was at LHR and saw MD-11 PP-VTP operating the lunch time flight arrival from Brazil. Is it possible (legally) for an airline to continue to operate (albeit on a significantly reduced scale) and take money from one set of passengers but refuse a full refund to ticket holders on flights it chooses to cancel? If so it hardly seems like natural justice.
 
C010T3
Posts: 1646
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:48 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 8:11 am

Quoting VV701 (Reply 33):
was on my way from Ipanema to SDU with the metro.

Now I get it. There are no metro stations neither in Ipanema nor at SDU. So you took the bus and walked quite a bit... I just wanted to know the circumstances, I wasn't judging you for not being cautious. I'm glad you still could enjoy the view over Rio.
 
Wazobia
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:41 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 1:51 pm

Did Varilog not know they had to pay the employee's when they bought Varig?
See link below.

Varig - Flying Or Not?........... I vote not!!! white 

http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/4087706.html
 
LipeGIG
Posts: 5050
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Wed Aug 02, 2006 10:50 pm

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 32):
Well, normally I don't carry 300 USD in cash, but I was gonna pay for the G3 flight at SDU and was on my way from Ipanema to SDU with the metro. At Ipanema I had my wallet, at SDU it was gone

Hi PHKLM very sad, i'm really sad about this but the Metro use to be a safe place, never saw nothing bad (also it's one of the most clean metro i ever visited). I face this situation in Rome (someone stole my camera but i feel and take the guy at its neck outside the train, thanks god i recover my camera, but in one day i saw 2 situations, one with me). Hope you enjoy Rio!

Quoting VV701 (Reply 33):
And on 28 July I was at LHR and saw MD-11 PP-VTP operating the lunch time flight arrival from Brazil. Is it possible (legally) for an airline to continue to operate (albeit on a significantly reduced scale) and take money from one set of passengers but refuse a full refund to ticket holders on flights it chooses to cancel? If so it hardly seems like natural justice.

Probably they will loose all customers for JJ and BA. Rumors from ANAC that they will fly only to FRA, EZE, LIM, JFK, LHR and MAD*.
CDG and MXP will be granted to TAM, CCS, MEX and BOG to GOL, Ocean Air is trying to get BOG but seems the decision will be made in favor of GOL.

* depends on the negotiations with lessors

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
Wazobia
Posts: 20
Joined: Sat Jul 22, 2006 4:41 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Fri Aug 04, 2006 10:32 am

It looks like flights to the USA are not in the plans for the near future.


http://today.reuters.com/news/articl...-BRAZIL-VARIG.XML&rpc=66&type=qcna
 
hangarrat
Posts: 428
Joined: Wed Jul 06, 2005 12:24 pm

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:25 pm

Quoting HangarRat (Thread starter):
have tickets to travel to Brazil for a friend's wedding from JFK on Aug. 19 and to return on Aug. 25. I purchased them through Orbitz.com back in March before we started hearing anything about the airline's problems. The bride (who is Brazillian) and groom also planned to fly Varig.

We have managed to rebook on DL for only $300 more than we paid for Varig tickets. Traded one airline in bankruptcy protection for another that's still flying.  spin 
Spell check is a false dog
 
LipeGIG
Posts: 5050
Joined: Tue May 03, 2005 7:33 am

RE: Varig - Flying Or Not?

Tue Aug 08, 2006 12:27 pm

Quoting HangarRat (Reply 38):
We have managed to rebook on DL for only $300 more than we paid for Varig tickets. Traded one airline in bankruptcy protection for another that's still flying.

Very good move.
Wish you a nice trip !

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !

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