TAM LHR-GRU-POA-FLN-GRU-LHR Economy
Due to a previous problem with the server where my photos were stored, I had to delete the previous TR and re-post it now. Hopefully now the photos will be shown without any problems. Sorry for the inconvenience.
Trip: LHR - GRU
Plane: A330-223 PT-MVQ (Brand new - delivered in Dec 2008)
Departure: 24th Dec 09:05 pm
Arrival: 25th Dec 07:00 pm
Reason for this trip: short holiday and visit my family.
Check-in at Heathrow quick, not a big queue and efficient.
Departure on-time and load was 100% all classes.
We were travelling in a party of 4. At the gate 2 of us were upgraded to business class as the flight was full. So, the eldest were upgraded.
We were one of the first to board as all Brazilian airlines always give priority to elderly passengers, children, pregnant women and obviously first and business class passengers. Actually if there is a queue in a bank, shop, etc... in Brazil, priority will always be given to elderly people, parents with small children/babies, pregnant women.
Plane was very clean, seats were quite comfortable, legroom was OK at 32" but I hate that metal foot support. It's good for short people but for the tall ones (like me) it takes some legroom. After a long flight my knees are always hurting because while I sleep I tend to stretch my legs and end up pushing my knees towards the metal bar.
Flight attendants were friendly and food was good although the dinner portion was very small. Also, breakfast was a bit odd: warm tuna sandwich. It tasted great but I'm not used to that for breakfast. lol
IFE was OK. 5 or 6 films to choose from (not really exciting), some TV programs, games, etc. The position map wasn't showing info on time to destination, ETA, distance to destination and distance travelled.
Sorry about the quality of some photos, but we had some constant turbulence (which I like).
Amenity kit (exactly the same for LHR
Dinner: Pasta - good but too small.
Loos were kept clean
Breakfast: warm tuna sandwich. Great!
(Although tasted very good)
Over Sao Paulo
Forward camera: about to land
Arrival in Sao Paulo was fine although the plane was parked at a remote stand, which means we were bussed to the terminal.
Immigration was reasonably quick and soon we could go outside for a cigarette.
Sao Paulo was cloudy but the temperature was OK around 25 degrees Celsius.
Our connecting flight to Porto Alegre would leave only at 12:35 pm. So we had around 4 hours to kill. I don't know why TAM doesn't have a better connecting flight to POA
. They have one at 7:50 am and the next one is only at 12:35 pm and flights from Europe arrive quite early.
Trip: GRU - POA
Plane: A320-232 PT-MZL
Departure: 25th Dec 12:35 pm
Arrival: 25th Dec 02:10 pm
We checked-in for our flight to POA
and it took a while to be completed. They had to remove our luggage labels and re-issue them as I couldn't easily find our luggage receipts (I couldn’t be bothered to look for them in my hand luggage
). At LHR
they were issued till POA
. Anyway, the girl at check-in was really nice and friendly so we had a laugh.
The 1.5 hours flight departed and arrived on time. A warm cheese and ham sandwich was offered with the usual soft/alcoholic drinks. Sorry I forgot to take a photo.
Cabin crew friendly. A320 clean and around 99% full.
In the waiting area... not our plane to POA
Again, we were one of the first ones to board so I could take this pic with no one around
Delta B767 next to us
United B772 at GRU
Taxiing to the runway
AA B772 first to take off
Over Rio Grande do Sul State
Arriving in a hot day in Porto Alegre - around 35 degrees Celsius
Our plane in POA
Gol parked next to us
Trip: POA - FLN
Plane: A320-232 PT-MZP
Departure: 28th Dec 04:05 pm
Arrival: 28th Dec 04:55 pm (Actual 06:10 pm)
After a few days visiting my family it was time to go to Florianopolis. Check-in was a nightmare. Airport was full and even the priority queue was full of 'priorities'. Took us ages to check in. In the end when we arrived at the gate they were already boarding.
Once we boarded the plane, there was a problem with one of the passengers (duplicate seat number). Then when it was sorted out we had to wait for the maintenance crew to fix an outside lid in one of the toilets - it wasn't closing properly. The result was an hour delay (so loads of photos while waiting onboard).
Plane was clean and crew friendly.
Varig parked next to us in POA
Another TAM at POA
Gol at POA
Load was 100%
Ocean Air at POA
Varig at POA
Porto Alegre after take off
and Guaiba river
Over Santa Catarina State
Close to Florianopolis
Over Morro das Pedras beach in FLN
is an international airport it's very small so you always leave the plane using the stairs.
During our stay in FLN
we had 4 days of rain due to a tropical cyclone formed in the Atlantic Ocean. Me nephew needed to return to POA
for one day and it was in one of those rainy days. So, below there are some photos taken at FLN
After and enjoyable short holiday it was time to go back to the UK.
Trip: FLN- GRU
Plane: A320-232 PR-MBS
Departure: 9th Jan 07:50 pm
Arrival: 9th Jan 08:55 pm
We arrived at the airport just 30 minutes before the flight due to traffic jam. Check in was quick and we went straight to the gate.
The weather started to change. It became very windy and dark clouds were approaching.
Plane was clean, crew friendly and a warm cheese sandwich was served with the usual soft and alcoholic drinks. Sandwich was good, maybe a bit dry but I had two anyway.
Gol next to us
Gol taking off
Warm cheese sandwich
Delta at GRU
Our plane parked in a remote stand for a change
Trip: GRU- LHR
Plane: B777-32W/ER PT-MUC (Brand new - delivered in Dec 2008)
Departure: 9th Jan 11:45 pm
Arrival: 10th Jan 01:35 pm (actual arrival time 02:35 pm)
After arriving in Sao Paulo we just needed to go to the gate for our next flight to LHR
as our boarding cards were issued in FLN
. Instead we went outside for a cigarette and also to eat something.
Queues for the security/immigration were huuuuuge but I didn't worry much as I mentioned before, elderly passenger can jump the queue. When we went to the front of the queue the federal police officer told us that just the elderly passengers could jump the queue and we should join the end of it. Well my partner's parents decided they would queue with us.
It took us ages till we got through at it was already 11:45 pm. There was a TAM representative waiting for us. We were taken by mini bus to the plane with a few other passengers as again, the plane was parked in a remote stand.
My partner's parents sat in their seats and we went to ours to find out they were taken. The flight attendant checked our boarding cards and asked us to wait. The plane was packed. No seats left in economy.
After a few minutes the flight attendant came with another ground staff and handed us another boarding card for business. Then we told my partner's parents to go to business class and we took their seats in economy instead.
In the end we took off around 1 hour later than scheduled.
Plane was clean and flight attendants friendly and nice except for one female FA that never smiled. Another female FA was so genuinely friendly and attentive with the passengers that nearly at the end of the flight I went to talk to her to congratulate her and write down her name to write a letter to TAM. She was indeed great.
Seat arrangements in TAM's B777 are awful. 10 abreast can be bearable if at least seat pitch were increased, which is not the case in TAM. It's still 32".
When dinner was served there were 3 options: fish, pasta or beef. I chose beef. It was very good and the portion wasn't that small as compared to the one in our outbound flight. Unfortunately I left my camera in my seat pocket and I just couldn't reach it with my dinner on my tray (no space to move around) and I didn't want to disturb my 'neighbours'. So, no pics of my dinner.
The IFE was showing the same films/TV series as in December, so not really exciting. Also, it was re-started a couple of times before and after take off and again the position map wasn't showing info about time to destination, ETA, distance to destination and distance travelled (like in the outbound A330). Is that a coincidence or it never works? Does anyone know?
Breakfast was really good.
- very cloudy & cold (surprise, surprise!)
TAM Jan 2009 in-flight magazine cover
Immigration clearance was quick using IRIS and luggage didn't take long to arrive.
Overall TAM is very good, planes were clean and crew friendly. I would rate these flights 8 (out of 10). Meals/snacks/drinks with good quality although dinner portion on the outbound flight could have been better.
I didn't find the B777 comfortable as the seat pitch is too tight for a 10 abreast config. I still prefer the A330. IFE could have better film options.
I still prefer TAM's economy than BA. BA's seat pitch is 1 inch worse.
Any feedback is always appreciated.
Click on the link below to see my other trip report:
Royal Brunei Business class LHR-BNE-LHR