If you are traveling with a group, your tour operator will take care of all flight details. For individuals or small groups making their own arrangements, flights can be purchased up to 12 months in advance (depending on the airline). There are a limited number of flights in and out of South America each day so it is important to be flexible with the dates of travel.
Individuals will almost certainly be issued e-tickets for their overseas flights. Groups connecting to another airline in South America may receive paper tickets.
Groups seats are booked in blocks. Some airlines will assign seats within that block in advance, others will not assign a seat until you arrive at the airport. Groups will have a variety of seats (window, aisle, inside). If you have certain individuals who would prefer one of these, you can play musical seats with your group once onboard. If you are taking preferences from your group prior to departure, we recommend that you only try to accommodate chaperones and leaders, given the limited number of options.
Frequent Flyer Miles
Individuals can use frequent flyer (FF) miles to book flights, but expect very, very few seats available to Rio de Janeiro. Groups cannot use FF miles. Individuals within groups that prefer to use their FF miles should wait until the group is confirmed on particular flights to book their seats on those same flights. Groups can be rebooked by the airlines on different flights, even at the last minute. If this happens, the individual with the FF mile seat will likely be on a different flight.
Each airline has it’s own luggage restrictions (that frequently change). Check your airlines for the up-to-date specifics on what they will allow as carry-on and checked luggage. We recommend you bring no more than 20 pounds of luggage in one carry-on bag. See our suggested packing list for details.
When you arrive at your final destination, you will have to pass through customs and immigration to enter the country. In Brazil, you will be given a piece of paper from the immigration officer that you will be required to present at the time you leave the country.
If you are making a transfer in another South or Central American city before your final destination, you must pass through customs and immigration prior to continuing on to your next flight. For example, if you change planes in Sao Paulo, you will have to show your passport to a Brazilian immigration officer then pick up your luggage to pass through customs. You will then have to either pass through security again or simply put your luggage on another conveyor belt for your connecting flight.
Flight times vary from 7-12 hours, depending on your departure and arrival cities. It is recommended that you drink plenty of water on your flight. Avoid caffeine and sugary drinks if possible (except just prior to landing). If you are concerned about circulation problems, get up and walk around the aircraft when the seatbelt sign is not lit.
If you would like to request a special meal for the flight, contact your airline from 3-5 weeks prior to departure and make the request directly. Your travel company will not likely be able to do this for you.