After some time I have decided to test again a RG service. In fact I'm just using some of my FF miles for a business/leisure trip to Fortaleza (FOR).
The e-ticket was issued by phone after a 2 to 3 minutes wait some weeks before the trip. As for July there are no Y seats available for FF usage, i decided to get a C class ticket as a good opportunity to check RG service on Domestic Business Class.
My flight RG2372 is scheduled for take off at 20:45 on Terminal 2.
I get on GRU at about 19:30 as on fridays traffic in Sao Paulo used to be extremely heavy (but as the last July weekend, was not so heavy), I leave my office at about 18:30.
I went direct to RG Business Class Check-in and the first question (and in fact the only one) is: "Can I see your Star Alliance Card ?" , I just answer " It's not the Business Class Area ? ", seems that people using Business Check-In are mainly Star Gold customers ! I wait more than 10 minutes on the row and experienced a lot of people being attended "in groups" which probably means a lot of people without Gold Cards and Biz Tickets! But it's okay, I'm going to the marvelous beaches of Ceara!
I have not marked my seat previously so the lady asked me if I want the 1A or the 2A. As i know RG domestic biz has a lot of space even on first row , so i decided the 1A.
With my boarding pass on Hands, i went to the domestic vip lounge (used by Biz Customers and Star Gold customers). It's better than the one provided by Diners/JJ partnership, with a lot of newspapers available (even at 19 hours), some magazines, and a lot of options of drinks (coke, soda, guarana, juices, water...) and some delicious breads and sweets. Even the coffee machine is very good and better than the service on JJ lounge. The room is also very comfortable with a capacity of more than 50 people. The only problem is that they need more people to clean the place as several people drop rests and cans at all places. But it deserve a 8,5 !
Close to my boarding time i meet some friend going to Rio and went to Gate 17B, in fact a remote position.
Due to some fog on the early morning RG flights experienced on that day a delay (the connections need to wait and it happens in all the country) of about 2 hours. Due to some arrangements our flight was scheduled for take off at about 22:10.
I pass some time talking to another biz pax, a young (and beautiful) lady going to Fortal, an off-season Carnival.
At 22:00 RG called flight 2372 for boarding. At this time i checked that RG seems the same, they respect all the calls (Old persons, People with babies, special disabilities, Biz, Star Gold, Smiles Diamond... ) , but as everyone goes in the same bus for the Remote position, it's not so important.
I boarded PP-VOY (737-300) and verified that the aircraft was very clean and my seat was perfect. The Biz Flight Attendant received us with a big smile and asked us to wait for the coach class pax to board in order that the service can be started.
After all have been boarded (and the flight was full with 8 C and 114 Y), she served the welcome drink (mango, pear or orange juice). Immediately she offer a lot of newspapers (Estado SP, Folha SP, Gazeta Mercantil and Folha) and some magazines (Epoca and other 5 or 6 not so famous).
At exactly 22:23 they asked to turn off cell phones and one minute later started he push back. At 22:25 the cmdt advise us that it obtained approval for flying direct to FOR which recover 15 minutes of flight and predicts a 1:30 landing at FOR.
The plane took off at 22:30
After some minutes the attendant ask me about a coffee (RG domestic 733 fleet on biz should get the same devices used on South America Int'l Routes, a portable MD Player) and just 15 minutes after she asked for the desired dinner which could be fish or steak. I decided for the steak while my new friend asked for a fish.
At that time i realize that RG keeps with a high quality service on Business: Although i have eat some sandwich on Lounge (so not so hungry), the meal was perfect, the steak was great, the salad divines, and also the desert (a very special sweet). Drinks a lot (she presented water, juices, coke, soda, guarana and remember that we can have some alcohol like wines). I decided for some soda. Some minutes later she come back and ask for a new drink as well as ask if i'm satisfied or want something more... just perfect.
With my seat clean, the light has turned off (after a new coffee has ben offered) and i can experience a 2 hour sleep.
At 1:10 the cmdt talked about the landing procedure and about FOR at that time. At 1:25 PP-VOY touch the runway (with some problem at the landing gear as heard from the cmdt while talking to ground staff) and at 1:30 we get into Gate 8.
The only problem: RG do not used a special tag on my baggage, so i lost some time waiting for my bag, but it's not so bad, i'm in Fortaleza!
Resume: RG service on biz keeps strong and very good, but RG needs to improve entertainment on board for domestic routes. Probably they will get more pax into their flights. But the overall quality of RG is also from their employees, and the flight attendant of my flight was just perfect!