Right, I agree with OzVirginUk: Don't forget there are good fares from Brazil to Europe with most US airlines. I'd go for American, as they probably still have "More Room Throughout Coach", but I'm not sure. I guess you can check by comparing seatmaps at www.seatguru.com. But they do have PTVs in their 777s.
Delta, Continental and United also come to mind. At least on their 777s they all have PTVs. Air Canada might also offer good fares and you probably don't need a transit visa for Canada. For the United States you do need one however, but that should not be hard to get.
You could fly for example:
GRU-MIA-LHR-AMS on AA/BA
GRU-IAD-AMS on UA
GRU-ATL-AMS on DL
GRU-EWR-AMS on CO
GRU-YYZ-LHR-AMS on AC/BD
A flight from Europe to Brazil on e.g. CO or DL is about 730 Euros return, don't know how much it would be the other way round. That is not much more than a direct flight on a European airline.
Considering a nonstop flight takes about 12 hours, connecting in the US and taking a walk is a good idea I think. A huge plus is that you get a LOT more miles, about 21,000 miles compared to a direct flight to Europe where you'd only get about 13,000 miles. If you're a member of Varig Smiles you should consider UA, that trip alone could get you a free flight.
If you do want to travel direct, I can only tell you that LH has indeed pretty cramped seating, however, they are punctual and efficient. LX seating and service is ok. As for KLM, I like them a lot and think their service is decent, in my opinion it's one of the better airlines in Europe.
Air France is not my favorite, the service is rude and CDG is a mess.
With the others I haven't flown transatlantic yet.
Have a good trip to AMS, hopefully on a US airline
[Edited 2005-01-30 21:31:52]
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