Foz de Iguacu, Brazil – Sao Paulo
Departure Time: 6:00 AM
Economy Class Seat 4F
Duration 1 hour, 45 minutes
Out of all of our flights so far, none have allowed us to do online check-in yet and send boarding passes to our mobile phone, until now. And this is ironic, because the last random airport I figured would have mobile boarding pass capability was the tiny outpost of Foz de Iguacu, Brazil. But sure enough, the day before we got an e-mail inviting us to check-in, and when we did we were able to get boarding passes on our phone. This was great since this was a 6AM flight, meaning we had to be up at our Posada in Argentina at 4:00AM, in our pre-arranged taxi at 4:30AM, across the Argentina border, into Brazil, and into the airport by 5AM. The last thing we wanted was to get there sooner to get a boarding pass.
Once we arrived at Foz de Iguacu airport, at around 5AM, it was very crowded. It turns out there was a 5:45AM departure to Curtiba, Brazil, and our 6AM departure on TAM to Sao Paulo. The check-in line was long, but with our mobile boarding passes, we cleared security and were at the gate by 5:10AM.
This flight is our only on the trip of a million lifetimes in which we actually paid out of pocket. We started the open-jaw of our AA Oneworld Explorer Award when getting off the plane at Puerto Iguazu, Argentina (IGR), and pick up with our ANA Award Ticket in Sao Paulo (GRU). In between, we had to get from the Iguazu Falls area to Sao Paulo. We found economy tickets on Expedia on TAM for $59 each from IGU to GRU, so we made it happen.
The airplane to take us to Sao Paulo as seen walking up on the tarmac in the early morning. While we had mobile boarding passes, when entering the jetway they were not scanned, just a visual check from the flight attendant. I thought this was interesting.
On-board we had some badly needed waters, and some snack boxes which included some toast and Brazilian cream cheese and jam spread.
The leg room on this TAM A320 was awful. I don´t know what the seat pitch was, but my knees were literally jammed up to the seat in front of me.
Interestingly, PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC), a global consulting firm, sponsored the headrest covers on this plane.
During the flight, Lady Tocqueville and I discussed how much we were looking forward to resuming Business Class flights as part of our Business Class trip. We had been fortunate to bounce around South America, although many of these flights are economy only. And with 6AM departures, and knees-to-the-seat seat pitch, we are ready to start to hit some of those long-haul flights on premium carriers.
We landed at Sao Paulo without incident, and enjoyed another remote-stand bus ride into the terminal. From there we bought tickets on the Airport Express Bus, where for about $15USD a person we had a comfy seat on a coach bus for our ride into Sao Paulo. It was about an hour´s ride into the city, and by 10:30AM we arrived at the entrance of the Renaissance Hotel in Sao Paulo´s Paulista district.