DESTINATIONS air-travel-113


Air Travel

Within a country as big as Brazil, it's especially important to plan your itinerary with care. Book as far in advance as possible, particularly for weekend travel. Planes tend to fill up on Friday, especially to or from popular destinations like Rio, São Paulo, Brasília, or Manaus. For more booking tips and to check prices and make online flight reservations, see individual airline sites listed at

The majority of direct flights to Brazil fly to São Paulo's Guarhulhos International Airport, although with the increased demand created by the 2016 Olympics, many more direct flights run from New York to Rio than in the past. It's still the case though that most flights to Rio stop in Miami. Most flights from Los Angeles go through Miami as well, save a few nonstops to São Paulo, and flight times are about 13 hours, not including layover in Miami. For flights to Brasília, Manaus, and Salvador, you can fly nonstop from Miami. The flying time from New York is 10½ hours to Rio and 10 hours to São Paulo. From Miami it's just under 8 hours to Brasília (the nation’s capital), just under 9 hours to Rio de Janeiro, 8½ hours to São Paulo, and 8 hours to Salvador. Usually the connection time in São Paulo is an hour to 90 minutes.

Reconfirm flights within Brazil, even if you have a ticket and a reservation, as flights tend to operate at full capacity.

When you leave Brazil, be prepared to pay a hefty departure tax, which runs about R$82 ($30) for international flights. A departure tax also applies to flights within Brazil; amounts run as high as R$22 ($8). Although some airports accept credit cards to pay departure taxes, it's wise to have the appropriate amount in reais.

Airline Security Issues

Transportation Security Administration.

Air Travel Resources in Brazil

National Civil Aviation Agency (ANAC). 61/3905–2645; 0800/725–4445;

Transfers Between Airports

In the major hubs, airport transfers are offered between airports: in São Paulo between Guarulhos and Congonhas, and in Rio de Janeiro between Galeão and Santos Dumond. This type of service is not common outside of Rio and São Paulo; most other Brazilian cities have only one commercial airport.


To Brazil

Miami, New York, and Toronto are the major North American gateways for flights to Brazil—typically to São Paulo and Rio, and sometimes Brasília as well. United Airlines flies nonstop from Houston, Newark, and Chicago; American Airlines has direct service from Dallas, Miami, and New York; and Delta offers nonstop service from Atlanta and New York. Air Canada has nonstop service between Toronto and São Paulo.

LATAM Airlines (still known as TAM within Brazil) flies nonstop from Miami to Rio and São Paulo, and from New York to São Paulo with onward service to Rio and many other cities. TAM also offers nonstop service between Miami and Manaus. GOL Linhas Aéreas Intelligentes covers several American cities, including New York, Miami, Atlanta, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Detroit, Austin, and Chicago. The Colombian airline Avianca flies from Washington, D.C., to São Paulo, with a brief stopover in Bogotá.

Airline Contacts

Air Canada. 888/247–2262; 11/3254–6630;

American Airlines. 800/433–7300; 0300/789–7778;

Avianca Airlines. 800/284–2622; 0800/891–8668;

Delta Airlines. 800/241–4141; 0800/881–2121;

GOL Linhas Aéreas Intelligentes. 855/862–9190; 0800/704–0465;

TAM. 888/235–9826; 21/3212–9400; 11/3274–1313;

United Airlines. 800/864–8331; 011/3145–4200; 0800/16–2323;

Within Brazil

There's regular jet service within the country between all major and most medium-size cities. Remote areas are also accessible—as long as you don't mind small planes. Flights can be long, lasting several hours for trips to the Amazon, with stops en route. Domestic airlines include TAM and GOL, a reliable low-cost airline with routes covering most major and medium-size Brazilian cities. Another option is Azul Linhas Aéreas, with service to about 100 domestic destinations.

The flight from Rio to São Paulo or Belo Horizonte is 1 hour; Rio to Brasília is 1½ hours; Rio to Salvador is 2 hours; Rio to Belém is 3½ hours; and Rio to Curitiba is 1½ hours. From São Paulo it's 4 hours to Manaus, 1½ hours to Iguaçu Falls, 2½ hours to Salvador, and just over an hour to Belo Horizonte or Florianópolis.

Domestic Airlines

Azul Linhas Aéreas. 11/4003–1118; 0800/884–4040;

GOL Linhas Aéreas Intelligentes. 855/862–9190; 0800/704–0465;

TAM. 888/235–9826; 0800/570–5700;

Air Passes

If you reside outside Brazil, you’re eligible to purchase air passes from TAM or GOL. If you’re planning four or more flights within the country within 30 days, these passes—available online through Miami-based travel agency and tour operator Brol—can save you hundreds of dollars. Prices start around $530 (plus tax), and you must purchase your pass before you enter Brazil. Passes that include flights between Brazil and other South American countries are also available.

Air Pass Information

Brol. 888/527–2745; 21/3500–6704;


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