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July 20, 2010

Flights to Brazil - Passenger Guide


Flights to Brazil - Passenger Guide

ID Card Presentation

The ID Card (Identification Card) is the most important document in domestic flights. This document is now requested also when the passenger has access to the departure lounge. After presenting your identification at the airline counter, keep the identification card always at hand.

To avoid problems, Infraero has increased its permanent safety staff. More professional are available for checking IDs, so as to avoid the lines from accumulating at departure time. When the passenger keeps his ID Card accessible, waiting time decreases and at the same time this ensures compliance with safety rules.

Flights to Brazil TAM

It is also important to pay attention to the laws that govern the trips of children and teenagers. Children up to 12 incomplete years of age not accompanied must present a judicial authorization to land. If they are accompanied by a person other than the parents (event relatives), they must present their original birth certificate. Unaccompanied teenagers from 12 to 18 need to present their original birth certificate.

Flight Delay

If the flight is cancelled or delayed, the airline must put the passenger in another flight of the same company or another within four hours maximum. If this deadline is not complied with, the user may choose to travel in another flight, ask for an endorsement or refund of the ticket. For those who decide to travel in another flight on the same day or the following day, the company has to offer accommodation, food, transport from and to the airport, in addition to refunding expenses with telephone calls due to the delay.

Hand Baggage

Except for children of up to 2 years of age paying 10% of the tariff, any passenger can take as hand baggage the following:

- A handbag, case or equipment that can be put below the passenger seat, with maximum weight of 5 kg and total dimension not to exceed 115 cm (45 inches).
- A overcoat, shawl or blanket.
- An umbrella or walking stick.
- A small photographic camera and/or binoculars.
- A reasonable amount of reading material for the trip.

Children up to 2 paying 10% of the tariff:

- Baby food for consumption during the trip.
- A basket or equivalent (may also be carried in the aircraft's basement).

Disabled passengers who depend on the following articles:

- Crutches or any other orthopedic equipment.
- Totally collapsible wheelchair. (This item is part of the hand baggage allowance, but it goes in the basement).

These rules are only valid for flights in aircraft with more than 50 seats. The airline has specific rules on the dimensions and weights permitted for hand baggage for aircraft with fewer seats capacity.

Flight Cancellation

If the flight is cancelled by the airline, the passenger is entitled to choose between traveling in another flight, asking for a refund or endorsement of the ticket. If the passenger decides he is no longer going to travel, he must inform the cancellation of his booking at least four hours before the time indicated in the passage. It is important to consult the travel agent or airline, because of the different existing tariffs and the various procedures to be observed in each case.

Loss of Baggage

In domestic flights:

The baggage will be considered as lost if it is not delivered at its destination. When this happens, one must seek the airline counter and fill out the Registration Form of Baggage Irregularity (RIB). The Civil Aviation Inspector of the DAC (Civil Aviation Department), located in the Civil Aviation Sector (SAC) in the main Brazilian airports must be called if problems occur.

Once the loss has been confirmed, the airline has a maximum of 30 days to locate the delivery of the baggage. After this period, the passenger must be indemnified by the airline. As a preventive measure, the passenger may declare the values attributed to the baggage, by paying a supplementary fee stipulated by the airline. In this case, the company is entitled to check the baggage's contents and the indemnification value is the one declared and accepted by the airline.

Valuables such as jewels, negotiable securities or cash must be carried in the hand baggage, the company is not responsible for their loss or damage. In the event of damage to the baggage, the same rules apply. For indemnification purposes, only the objects destroyed or damaged which have been claimed will be considered.

In international flights:

The Warsaw Convention limits the airline's responsibility to US$20 per kilo of lost baggage. The passenger may also choose to dispatch his belongings, protecting himself through a Special Interest Declaration. This document discriminates in detail the case's contents. Only with this declaration is it possible to be fully indemnified, the airline's responsibility on the goods contained therein prevailing.

Bad Service

If the passenger evaluates that he was poorly assisted by the airline or airport staff, he must seek the DAC's Civil Aviation Inspector, in the Civil Aviation Sector (SAC), located in the main Brazilian airports. If he wishes to complain to the DAC, he must fill out the Suggestions or Complaints' Form (ISR). He may also complain by sending a document to the Civil Aviation Regional Services or to the DAC (Rua Santa Luzia, 651 - Castelo Rio de Janeiro - RJ - CEP: 20030-040), or by email to The complaint will be forwarded to the chairman of the airline involved or to the competent Infraero department.


Overbooking occurs when the passenger cannot board the flight on which he had a booking due to an excessive number of passengers. In this case, the airline has to accommodate the user in another flight within a maximum of four hours. If this period is not complied with, the passenger may choose to travel in another flight of the same airline, endorse his ticket or ask for a refund of the ticket. If he chooses to board another flight, the airline has to offer the passenger accommodation, food, communication and transport to the hotel and back to the airport.

The user may choose to be a voluntary passenger, accepting to travel in another flight other than the originally booked one. In this case, the airlines must offer compensation, which may be an upgrade or a credit - which may be used in the payment of excess baggage, purchase of another airline ticket or converted into cash within 30 days maximum. Moreover, the passenger will still preserve the right to use his original ticket. And the airline will be responsible for eventual expenses with food, transport from and to the airport, accommodation and phone calls, resulting from overbooking.

All of these rights will only be valid if the passenger has confirmed the booking of the seat and has attended the airline's check-in at least 30 minutes before domestic flights and one hour before international ones.

Assistance Plan

In the event of an accident with any of its aircraft, all the airlines that operate in Brazil are obliged to present to the families of the passengers boarded. The companies must offer a toll free service for information regarding the accident, personally notify the families of the victims before disclosure by the press of the list of passengers and offer to the family transport to the location where the accident occurred, as well as accommodation, food, health and psychological insurance.

Refund and Endorsement of Ticket

The airline ticket, including the electronic one (purchased on the Internet) is the guarantee of the credit held by the passenger. Therefore, if it is valid, the user will be refunded for the amount effectively paid and updated, based on the tariff practiced on the date the refund was requested. If it is an international ticket, the amount will be calculated based on the foreign currency, at the exchange rate of that day. The refund conditions may vary according to the tariff and form of payment agreed with the airline. The maximum period for payment of the refund is 30 days, counted from the request date.

Endorsement is the right the passenger has to exchange the ticket for a ticket of another airline. The endorsement depends on covenants signed between the airlines.

Transport of Passengers

The airlines shall guarantee priority of service to passengers who are 65 years old or more, sick passengers, the physically and mentally handicapped, pregnant women and passengers accompanied by children who are less than 12 years old (Ordinance 676/GC-5, of 11/13/00 - Article 18).

The passenger's identification at the airline counter before departure is compulsory. The identification shall be made upon presentation of a legally recognized document.

The airline or travel agency undertakes to inform the passenger about this requirement upon acquisition of the airline ticket.

Transport of Animals

Live animals may be transported in non-cargo aircraft in a compartment intended for cargo and baggage. The transport of domestic animals (dogs and cats) in the passenger cabin may be admitted provided that the animals are transported with safety, in appropriate packaging and without causing discomfort to the other passengers. It is also permitted to transport a trained dog to lead a person with a sight or hearing problem in the passenger cabin. The passenger must present the animal's health certificate, supplied by the State Department of Agriculture, by the Post of the Animal Defense Department and a Veterinary doctor.

Travel of Minors

Such trips must comply with the Child and Teenager Statute:

Section III - Authorization to travel

Article 83 - No child may travel outside the judicial district where it resides, not accompanied by her parents or guardian, without express judicial authorization.

§ 1 - The authorization will not be required when:

a) the judicial district is contiguous with that of the child's residence if in the same Federative unit, or included in the same metropolitan region;

b) the child is not accompanied:

1) by a relative or greater collateral, to the third degree, the family relation being evidenced by a document;

2) by a person who is of age, expressly authorized by the father, mother or guardian.

§ 2 - The judiciary authority may, by request of the parents or guardian, grant an authorization valid for two years.

Article 84 - When it is a trip to a foreign country, the authorization can be waived, if the child or teenager:

I - is accompanied by both parents or guardian;

II - travel in the company of one of the parents, authorized expressly by the other by means of an authenticated document.

Article 85 - Without previous and express authorization, no child or teenager born in the national territory may leave the Country in the company of a foreigner or person domiciled abroad.

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