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mozart
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 12:21 am

Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Sun Dec 14, 2014 10:45 pm

Lots of people talk about Brazil and how important a hub it is for travel to the rest of South America.

But are the main Brazilian airports really designed to be efficient transfer hubs?

I hear things like:

- immigration can be a nightmare, especially at GRU (but it seems to be much better at GIG)
- security is slow
- even for domestic transfers people need to re-check security i.e. there are no sterile transfer areas

... all of which do not really favour the establishment of hub systems that peope like.

Anyone knows more about how well Brazilian airports are suited for transfer, both domestic and international?
 
pierrelav
Posts: 66
Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2011 12:48 pm

RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:11 pm

The question should read: Are Brazilian airports well designed?
For a world class economy, ranked in the top 10, Brazilian airports are sub-standard.
 
C010T3
Posts: 1956
Joined: Wed Jul 19, 2006 5:48 am

RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Sun Dec 14, 2014 11:31 pm

Quoting mozart (Thread starter):
- even for domestic transfers people need to re-check security i.e. there are no sterile transfer areas

That's not true at all.

Quoting mozart (Thread starter):
for travel to the rest of South America
Quoting mozart (Thread starter):
Anyone knows more about how well Brazilian airports are suited for transfer, both domestic and international?

Transferring between international flights at GRU is a pretty good experience provided that you are already check-in all the way. Most of the time you have to count on the desk at the gate in order to have any issue solved in terms issuing BPs etc. The same applies to GIG, but the airlines have to be in the same terminal, since they are not connected airside. There is no need to go through immigration or customs.

The real problem in Brazil are international-to-domestic connections. Those can be a real pain, since the airports were not designed to split flows. If you're not connecting international-to-international or domestic-to-domestic, you are forced to go outside.
 
VC10er
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RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Mon Dec 15, 2014 12:43 pm

Brazil may be one of the world's largest economies, but some older infrastructure has yet to catch up. And given the enromous size of Brazil, it takes time. But if you were to compare the Brazil of 20 years ago, when I first started going, to today the modernization and first world-ness is very evident. Brazilians should be proud of the renovations...GRU, GIG even SDU and CGH are a 1000 times better than 20 years ago. So, yes, it's fairly easy. IMHO! But I am comparing things to what were dysfunctional eyesores decades ago.

I am also a Brazilfile.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
VC10er
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Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 6:25 am

RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Tue Dec 16, 2014 12:17 am

Brazil may be one of the world's largest economies, but some older infrastructure has yet to catch up. And given the enromous size of Brazil, it takes time. But if you were to compare the Brazil of 20 years ago, when I first started going, to today the modernization and first world-ness is very evident. Brazilians should be proud of the renovations...GRU, GIG even SDU and CGH are a 1000 times better than 20 years ago. So, yes, it's fairly easy. IMHO! But I am comparing things to what were dysfunctional eyesores decades ago.

I am also a Brazilfile.
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.
 
chrisinbrasil
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RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Tue Dec 16, 2014 1:54 am

Brasil is making great strides with their airports. I can not believe Brasilia now. Amazing and getting better. I live here and have lived in Sao Paulo, Aracaju and now Porto Alegre. POA is an okay airport and the gov't is going to build a new airport here.

Transfers international to domestic are a hassle. It's getting better and yeah, from 20 years ago? It's night and dawn.

I've been amazed so much of this wasn't ready for the World Cup.
Southern, Eastern, Delta, Northwest, United, American, Varig, Vasp, TransBrasil, Tam, Gol, British, Lufthansa, KLM, Aero, Brussels, Air Canada
 
tonytifao
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RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:21 am

They are poorly designed in every way you can think. Some international companies are taking over operations and things should improve.

You can think of it as inefficiency at it's best  
 
rg787
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RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:47 am

In the airports I've been on, connections domestic to domestic are hassle free and getting even better. Years ago there was usually a separated area for departure and another for arrivals, so you had to go all the way to a hall where those would meet, but you didn't have to go through security or anything. Nowadays they changed this structure on most airports I've been so that when you leave the plane you are right in the departure room, similar to the way it is overseas.

International to international I don't have an opinion as I am a citizen and don't need this.

International to domestic is similar to overseas, you have to clear immigration and customs just like everywhere in the world, at least where I've been on. The main difference is that in Brazil normally you have to check in again and dispatch your luggage, at least that's my experience. I can't say about overseas because I'm usually too tired to remember of it but I think it is almost the same. In airports with many connections and international flights, they are adding check in counters for connecting passengers next to the arrivals area, which are very convenient and wasn't seen in the past.
 
jetblue1965
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RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Tue Dec 16, 2014 3:53 am

I had the worst transfer experience at GRU None of the ground staff working the arrival area spoke English, redirected me to clear immigration even though I was transiting to EZE (with transit boarding pass in hand), and ended up wasting 30mins running around the dept hall looking for someone to give me a "departure stamp" because my connection TAM boarding pass didn't come with one

Basically , if you can't speak Spanish or Portuguese, it's not really an easy airport to deal with

GIG was slightly better, but the architecture looked so 60s (and GRU looked like KaiTak)
 
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VCEflyboy
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RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Tue Dec 16, 2014 4:06 am

What amazes me is that those premium airlines that are minting mine in Brazil (EK, EY, SQ, TK and possibly LH group + SA) have not invested a dime in the infrastructue at GRU. In contrast, at MXP EK was given the red carpet treatment but in return they invested heavily in the airport infrastructure.

Having said that, I think that by Brazilian airport the OP means GIG and GRU, because both city airport in Rio and SP work like a Swiss watch and I dont think they will ever experience congestion problems except during holiday seasons.
 
rg787
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Joined: Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:28 pm

RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:03 pm

Quoting VCEflyboy (Reply 9):
because both city airport in Rio and SP work like a Swiss watch and I dont think they will ever experience congestion problems except during holiday seasons.

Hope you are being sarcastic sir!   
 
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jsnww81
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RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Tue Dec 16, 2014 5:48 pm

I spent a fair amount of time flying within Brazil and these were my observations:

- Slowest check-in lines in the world. Even if you use a kiosk (and receive one of the HORRIBLE supermarket-receipt-style boarding passes that all the Brazilian carriers issue) you have to wait in a line for bag drop that's as long as the regular check-in.
- Even the newest terminals look like they were designed in the 1980s. Look at Recife and Porto Alegre. This is the country that gave the world Oscar Niemeyer, and the best we can get is everything looking like a shopping mall did in 1987?
- Finding English speakers can be a real challenge, even at the larger international airports. Speaking Spanish was often the only way I could interact with staff.
- Boarding and baggage delivery are still more efficient than in the US. I almost always arrived at the carousel to find my bag waiting for me. I honestly cannot remember the last time that ever happened at a US airport.

Granted, I haven't been to GRU since it was privatized, and the photos of the new terminal there look impressive. The sooner more airports get taken away from Infraero, the better. The terminal building at CNF was wall-to-wall people, and Infraero's solution was to add more remote stands for aircraft. The terminal expansion at Fortaleza is moving at a snail's pace, and poor Vitoria and Goiania have had half-built terminals sitting there with no progress for the better part of a decade.
 
OB1504
Posts: 3993
Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2004 5:10 am

RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Wed Dec 17, 2014 4:34 am

Quoting jsnww81 (Reply 11):
- Slowest check-in lines in the world. Even if you use a kiosk (and receive one of the HORRIBLE supermarket-receipt-style boarding passes that all the Brazilian carriers issue) you have to wait in a line for bag drop that's as long as the regular check-in.

I absolutely loathe these. We get a lot of passengers connecting from TAM who need new boarding passes because their original flimsy ones spontaneously disintegrated during the flight from Brazil.
 
VC10er
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RE: Are Brazilian Airports Well Designed For Transfers

Wed Dec 17, 2014 1:54 pm

It is getting better, albeit slowly. I think GIG will be much better once "Oberfest )(?)" takes over.

So long as Brazil doesn't get rid of "Iris" the voice of Brazilian aviation!

yes, I too HATE those yellow supermarket cash register receipt paper boarding passes. you can't even tell the difference between the boarding pass and the other pieces of paper.

CGH is really horrible on a Friday night when all the Carioca's who work in SP return home, same on early Monday morning at SDU when they return. I don't know if SDU/CGH can handle anything bigger than a 737 or A320 - but if TAM could use their old 767's, they would fill them and make money as the airfare is absolutely astronomical!

The overnight business bus is better!
To Most the Sky is The Limit, For me, the Sky is Home.

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