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Three Days in Rio de Janeiro – Introduction


Azul Brazilian Airlines 6924
Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont (SDU) – Sao Paulo-Guarulhos (GRU)
Embraer E195
21 February 2016

After a gorgeous and way too short weekend in Rio de Janeiro, it was sadly time to leave. As I mentioned, my hotel was located literally next to Santos Dumont Airport and therefore I was able to walk directly to the terminal – which took all of two seconds.

My first flight, back to Sao Paulo, was once again operated by Azul Brazilian Airlines with one of their Embraer E195 aircraft. As previously stated, I booked the Sao Paulo to Rio de Janeiro to Sao Paulo flights and the Rio de Janeiro hotel together on Expedia as a “package” and saved a few hundred dollars than if I were to buy a hotel and flight alone. I was looking into using Avios and flying with TAM.. but nothing was available.

After receiving my boarding pass, I decided to visit the AMEX Centurion Club… which was really, really small. There was a single room with maybe three tables and just enough seats for fifteen or so people and it was super crowded. The snacks were actually more than what I expected, so I was able to enjoy some food before my short flight to Sao Paulo.

Boarding began as scheduled and I was the first one on the aircraft; this time I selected a seat on the right side of the aircraft for better views of Rio de Janeiro after departure.

Azul Brazilian Airlines Embraer

Azul Brazilian Airlines Embraer

There wasn’t much legroom, but for a thirty-minute flight, I guess it was okay. From what I could tell, all of the flights to Sao Paulo were full as there are 20+ flights daily between the two cities.

The crew was once again very friendly and welcoming, and especially very young – which was nice to see.

Azul Brazilian Airlines Economy Class E190

Azul Brazilian Airlines Economy Class E190

Airshow

Airshow

We pushed back plenty early and were once again scheduled to arrive much earlier than expected into Sao Paulo. After a quick taxi to the runway, we departed and were immediately presented with breathtaking views of Rio de Janeiro.

Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont Airport

Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont Airport

Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont Airport

Rio de Janeiro-Santos Dumont Airport

The view was absolutely beautiful and stunning – nothing compares. Perhaps it was a bit cloudy, but still… I spent the duration of the flight looking out into the world below and admiring gorgeous Brazil.

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro

Airshow

Airshow

Once we reached cruising altitude, the flight attendants took drink orders and later returned with drinks and snacks. Their snack basket was very similar to what you would expect in domestic First Class within the U.S.; the drink options were actually quite extensive and consisted of water, juices, etc.

Water and Snack

Water and Snack

We began to descend into Sao Paulo about thirty minutes after we departed from Rio de Janeiro and eventually landed plenty early. I was once again able to spot some awesome aircraft in Sao Paulo that were awaiting their evening departures.. including my United B777.

Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Airport

Sao Paulo-Guarulhos Airport

Azul Brazilian Airlines Embraer

Azul Brazilian Airlines Embraer

My layover in Sao Paulo was about four hours, but this time I was able to experience some of the nice lounges available and not have to wait in the general area of the departures hall like last time.

My experience with Azul was very pleasant and generally I’d say they have a unique situation in that they’re not totally a low-cost airline, but rather a balance between a normal airline and a low-cost one. Their unique partnership with United means that customers have more access to Brazilian cities via Azul’s network – and of course, vice versa. They run a nice airline with friendly employees and a decent product on their aircraft, not to mention all the snacks and drinks available for Economy Class passengers.


Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.