Stranded in Sao Paulo

I´ve done my fair share of traveling, and last night was the first time ever that I missed a flight,

not counting that day in Miami with my friend Gaby when I wanted to spend a day with her after getting off a cruise ship, and I pretended I was sick and the girls at the boarding gate rebooked me for the next night. Bless them for my time with SuperGabs!

Las night was a bit different. When I boarded my first flight in Montevideo, I was told I would get my other boarding passes at the boarding gate. So, I get off the plane, I see a list of departures, I see my destination listed at about the same time my flight was scheduled, the carrier is the one I just flew with, but since it´s a combined flight, I´ve seen this before, same flight with two different numbers because it is shared.

Working at the airport´s VIP room
Working at the airport´s VIP room

Anyways, first I need a toothbrush and I go and ask girls who work at an airport shop. For some reason I talk to them in English; none of them speak English, bad sign. Bottom line, no one told me I had to switch terminals, when they figured it out, my actual plane was taking off. After talking to about 15 people to try to get someone to tell me where I could find a Delta representative, I was able to get rebooked for the next day. I lost 24 hours, in no mood to go see the city and risk being late for my flight for some reason, they didn´t pay for my hotel either.

One of the morals of the story is that it is always worth it to fly a better company, even if tickets are more expensive. The other moral is IF YOU EVER HAVE A CONNECTION IN SAO PAULO, TRIPLE CHECK EVERYTHING, signs are a mess, you never know which terminal you´re at, especially if you don´t speak Portuguese, I say to you Good luck! I was able to survive only because I do. Since my English is better than my Portuguese, I tried it a couple of times, but realized it wouldn´t work.

Image of Liberdade, Sao Paulo´s oriental neighborhood
Image of Liberdade, Sao Paulo´s oriental neighborhood

Some people who have had connecting flights in Sao Paulo tell me it´s always like that, so, I strongly advise against short Sao Paulo connections: by the time you figure out where to go, your plane will most likely be off.

I did like the downtown Garulhos area where my hotel was, and fortunately I am not missing any meetings because of my late arrival in the US. I´m just 100 USD down, which doesn´t seem too bad. Though a normal person who eats three meals a day might have spent much more, as I was in no mood for dinner last night, and I had a late breakfast which made lunch unnecessary.

My friend Ana did recommend I should see the Japanese neighborhood in Sao Paulo, but I guess that will have to be another time.

On my next spot: My 24 hours in Guarulhos, with some minimal stories and a few cool photos.

Featured image by veebruar

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3 comments on “Stranded in Sao Paulo

  1. Reading this story makes me smile as I am right now sitting in starbucks termnlinal 2 after a stressful search to get someone to give me my boarding pass 🙂
    Finally got it all sorted out and can continue to argentina (I hope) but yes, this airport is a mess 🙂

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