I booked a flight from Belo Horizonte to Rio de Janeiro (CNF-GIG) on TAM Airlines 3385 (JJ3385) because I had a separate award ticket on US Airways from Rio de Janeiro to Los Angeles via Charlotte (GIG-CLT-LAX). I bought a one-way ticket from Belo Horizonte to Rio on Orbitz.com for $109.53 and it was my first time flying on TAM Airlines.
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I took a public bus in the morning from Centro Belo Horizonte to Belo Horizonte’s Tancredo Neves International Airport (CNF). The journey took approximately 45 minutes because the distance from the city to the airport is 41km. I went to the automated kiosk and printed my boarding pass.
The flight was eventually delayed for two hours because of the weather conditions at Rio de Janeiro’s Galeão International Airport (GIG). Rio’s Galeao airport was completely shut down for departures and arrivals due to heavy fog. This delay caused a large amount of people to congregate in a small space because the airport is so tiny and can only accommodate so many people.
Boarding finally began and a shuttle bus took us to the Airbus A320 aircraft on the tarmac.
The entire Airbus A320 economy class cabin is in a 3-3 configuration.
I was seated in an Espaco+ (Economy plus) seat which is complimentary for American Airlines Executive Platinum elites (oneworld emerald equivalent). Even though it was economy plus seating, I felt like my knees were still up against the seat in front of me.
After the flight reached cruising altitude, the flight attendant offered me a choice of beverage and handed out a bag of chips which were both complimentary (unlike on GOL Airlines where you have to pay for drinks and snacks).
The flight time was only 40 minutes, so it was a quick and short flight before descent into Rio de Janeiro International Airport. I really should have flown into Santos Dumont Airport (SDU) instead because it was closer to Centro Rio de Janeiro. I didn’t really think of that because I automatically think of GIG airport when I associate booking flights to Rio de Janeiro. Next time when I’m flying intra-Brazil, I will think of Santos Dumont Airport since only domestic flights can land there.