On the only economy class ticket on my mini-RTW (Round the World) trip, we flew on Avianca’s A320 from Sao Paulo to Rio.  Now I don’t have any pictures to share because I was a sweaty mess due to our flight from Johannesburg being 30 minutes late.  This left us with an hour and a half to connect in Sao Paulo.  Now normally this wouldn’t be an issue but as I soon discovered, connecting in Sao Paulo is the equivalent to connecting in the 9th ring of hell.

We had to get from Terminal 2 – Gate 215 to Terminal 1 – Gate 06B.

Now you can’t really tell from the terminal map below but it is a LONG ways from Terminal 2 to Terminal 1 and we had to clear 3 hurdles.  Customs, Immigration and Security.


We made our gate with 5 minutes to spare … way too close for my comfort and probably the worst connection experience in my life.  If you can avoid GRU, do it.  It’s brutal.

Now as far as the flight goes, it was extremely fast (35 minutes in the air) and uneventful.  The Avianca plane felt very new and had some of the best in flight entertainment (IFE) that I have ever seen on a domestic route.  We even got to have a hot sandwich, something that I wasn’t expecting.

Despite the experience connecting in GRU, I was thoroughly impressed with Avianca’s hard product in the limited time that I had to experience it.

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Jayce is the founder of PointsNerd, and avid traveller and a teacher by nature. He prides himself on flattening the learning curve through step-by-step guides because everyone needs to start somewhere.


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