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Anonymous27 Jan 2012
I am flying from London to Rio via Sao Paulo. My BA flight arrives in GRU at 630am and then my flight to RIO with a local company is at 850am. It’s a rather early arrival time, I only have hand luggage and will be in Club World so probably among the first to disembark aftet those in First.
Does anybody have some experience of immigration at GRU? Will I have enough time to transit or should I take a later flight to Rio?
I’d rather spend more time on the beach in rio and less time waiting in an airport…
Thanks for your advise.27 Jan 2012
My experience is a year and a half old but I commuted LHR-GRU-LHR every 10 days for 14 months. GRU is a crap shoot. ALl the Europeans and some of the American flights are all scheduled to arrive within a window of an hour or so. If your flight is at the head of the queue you can get through in 35 minutes to an hour. I have spent 2.5 -3 hours there when BA or TAM was delayed or Air France, Lufthansa or KLM was early or late. WHen you are lucky it is OK, when you are unlucky you will be there hours. Also avoid Brazilian Holiday and Sao Paulo local holiday weekends as they can double delays. The only piece of good luck is sometimes connecting flights get separate clearnace. Unfortunately as you flying BA not TAM, I suspect this will not apply to you. I hope your internal flight is TAm as they are in my experience the best of the Brazilian carriers.
Before anyone comments, there are two terminals and certain carriers suppsoed fly to and from 1 or 2, however I have experienced arrivals at the other terminal for my flight and other carriers (great fun getting driver to come ot other terminal.) Echo comments about Brazil being vibrant and exciting but applies more to Rio than Sao Paulo. Sao Paulo is all about making money whereas Rio is about life…
When you fly to Rio make sure you are going to Santos Dumont as Gigondas is a lot further away.27 Jan 2012
I went to Rio with my family on BA (4 of us in total) for New Year via GRU where we arrived on the 30th of December.
We were clear of immigration, had our checked luggage and were outside within 25 minutes of leaving the upper deck of the 747!
The queue management for immigration was fantastic and should be a model to other airports around the world (beats LHR anyday)! In fact everywhere we went (and there were a lot of queues over the holiday period) we commented on how well queue management was handled.
We had been warned about considerable delays and appaling passenger handling at GRU but in our (admittedly one trip) experience there is nothing to worry about – sure the airport is tired and overcrowded but no worse than T3 on a good day.
My one previous entry into Brazil via Recife provided me with a similar experience and anyway Brazil is such a vibrant and fun place and most of the people so friendly you can forgive them much – enjoy!27 Jan 2012