Brazil Pt XII: JJ 3687 GIG-GRU

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After more than three weeks in South America, we would head home from Rio. Ethiopian offered the cheapest flight back to Singapore (915.80 USD) and after they canceled the flight between Rio and São Paulo, they put us on a TAM flight.

We bid farewell to our host and headed to the airport after the end of the earlier matches at 3pm. Brazil’s final group match would kick off at 5pm and we were slightly worried about the availability of taxis during that. Luckily we got a taxi pretty easily and the ride there cost 50 BRL.

TAM Check-in counters at Terminal 2

Despite our early arrival, we were able to check in our bag and get our boarding passes. The agent was also able to add our frequent flyer number (Malaysia Airlines Enrich) to our booking.

Havaianas on sale

There would be a live screening on the air-side and we went through the security really early.

Glued to the screen

Brazil beat Cameroon easily and halfway through the match we decided to explore more of the terminal.


Official fan shop with expensive merchandise

Sunset in GIG

Brazilian fans horsing around with accessories

We spent our remaining BRL on some snacks and waited out for our flight. It seemed that domestic gates could be turned into international gates with partitions; while we could visit the official fan shop during the match, we were blocked off later in the evening.

Flight: TAM JJ 3687
Depart: Rio de Janeiro-Galeão (GIG) – 20:45
Arrive: São Paulo–Guarulhos (GRU) – 21:55
Duration: 1h10m
Distance: 209 miles (336 km)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Registration: PR-MBA
Seat: 24F

Boarding was called by zone and we were able to board early.

View from 24F

Welcome World

Loading up the bags

Only service of the flight – pre-departure sweets

On the other side of the aisles, there were TAM GIG-based crew who were positioning to GRU for another (international?) flight. While none of the passengers got meals, the crew were only ones given hot meals during the flight.


Arriving at GRU – I could spot Etihad and United

Our checked bags arrived safely at the luggage claim and then we headed to find the check-in rows for our Ethiopian flight to Addis Ababa.

Kids posing with Fuleco

Heading up to Departures

Found Ethiopian


Brazil Pt IV: JJ 3186 IGU – GIG

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JJ 3186

After bidding farewell to our hosts, we headed to the bus stop. We intended to take bus 120 to the airport but two went pass without stopping as they were too full.

Fearing that we might never get on the bus, we decided to get a taxi. It didn’t take much to convince the two Russian guys at the bus stop to share the taxi with us and we were at the airport 20 minutes later. The 11km taxi ride was 40 BRL, pretty expensive in my opinion.

The terminal felt rather claustrophobic with the low ceilings.

Check-in counters




Shirt selling World Cup merchandise

After getting our boarding passes, we went through the security to reach the holding area. Due to the number of flights departing around the same time, it was heaving with passengers.

TV’s showing football of course

There were a few shops and a cafe selling pão de queijo.

Jewellery shop

Ying and I kept wondering where the strange smell came from.

From pão de queijo of course

We saw our plane arrived and it had a special livery which celebrated 20 years of TAM’s loyalty programme Fidelidade.

Special livery

There was no aerobridge and we could walk from the terminal to the aircraft. We chose to board from the rear door.

Made up of many portraits

20 years of TAM Fidelidade


Flight: TAM JJ 3186
Depart: Foz do Iguaçu/Cataratas International Airport (IGU) – 13:01
Arrive: Rio de Janeiro Galeão (GIG) – 15:00
Duration: 1h59m
Distance: 734 miles (1,181 km)
Aircraft: Airbus A320-200
Registration: PR-MHS
Seat: 21B

Online check-in wasn’t available for TAM and I got a middle seat for the first time in a long while. The plane seemed to be full.



I settled down to my seat and started to rummage through the seat pocket content.

Seat pocket content

Resigned to no window

Safety video played on overhead screen


The crew went around to distribute the snack and drinks after we got to cruising altitude.

Snack pack, TAM-style

In-flight meal and drink

With no window, the primary entertainment was the inflight magazine. It had quite a few interesting articles and kept me engaged for most of the flight.

I didn’t know TAM has a female CEO

World Cup Stats

Cycling cultures around the world

Alcohol in Saudi Arabia? Are you kidding me?

All about coffee

Article on parilla featured La Brigada

Recommendations for Rio

TAM Fleet

Pele selling SIM cards

Neymar Jr selling TVs

TAM ad featuring Thiago Silva, David Luiz and Marcelo

It seemed that we always got some awesome neighbour.

Not the first time

Almost there

We were welcomed to the rainy Rio de Janeiro by a row of Coca Cola ads.

Coca Cola in Korean



While the belt for our plane was a generic one, Ying discovered that there was one with World Cup theme.

Our boring belt

Not in use


I found out that it was possible to collect our World Cup match tickets at GIG from the website and we were keen to do that to avoid wasting time collecting them.

TAM uses Terminal 2 at GIG and World Cup ticket collection kiosks were over at Terminal 1. After getting assistance from a friendly guy at the information counter, we followed the signs to Terminal 1.

GIG Terminal 2

Avian with GOL in the background, taken along the walkway linking T1 and T2

The ticket collection point at GIG Terminal 1 was well-staffed and one volunteer told us that it would be much faster to use the self-service machines.

Self service machines

Needed the card that I used to pay

Fuleco made sure that we got our tickets