We know that the Covid-19 pandemic is not over, however air travel is becoming necessary. I recently did three stretches in a week of travel and in this post I tell you what it’s been like to fly through Brazil with Gol during the pandemic.
The flight in question that I will report in this post departed from São Paulo (Guarulhos) to Salvador. A trip of just over 2 hours. I also flew from Salvador to Recife and later from Recife to São Paulo.
In addition to sharing with you how it is to fly in Brazil with Gol, I will also talk about the experience at the airport, inside the plane and, of course, share some safety tips.
However, before getting into this subject, I recommend reading the post where I explain if it is safe to fly during the pandemic.
How is flying through Brazil with Gol
First, let’s understand that a lot has changed, but that all these changes are perfectly adaptable in most cases and very necessary.
Your flight may be canceled or changed
As companies are making a series of adjustments to their networks, be prepared for cancellations and changes. My three flights with Gol were canceled about a month before the trips. Luckily I was able to reschedule through the website.
I was also lucky to get close schedules. Keep this information in mind when buying your tickets, especially if your flight involves a connection with Gol or with another company outside the same locator code.
Companies are encouraging online check-in to avoid queues and crowds at airport counters. Unless you have bags to check, then there’s no way. Due to the slower time to carry out procedures at airports, companies are recommending arriving 3 hours in advance.
I did my check-in through the Gol app, which was showing a series of errors during the procedure. All in all, it took me about 4 hours to complete the procedure.
In the airport
I arrived at Guarulhos International Airport approximately 2 hours before my flight. As I had no luggage to check in, I went straight to security and x-ray.
Inside, people respected the rules of social distancing and despite the airport being very full, it didn’t take me more than 5 minutes to do the procedures.
After entering the departure lounge of Terminal 2 at Guarulhos Airport, I noticed a lot of crowding. Really people were not respecting the minimum rules of social distancing.
At the airport I saw few places with hand sanitizer for passengers, something that, compared to other airports where I passed on this same trip, caught my attention.
Gol’s boarding started punctually, passengers were first called priorities by law and there was no one. Followed by Gold and Diamond members of Gol’s Smiles program and finally by the other passengers.
I was the first to get on the plane, everything was apparently clean. I didn’t see if there was agglomeration in the boarding lines, but I noticed that boarding is slower. The landing also changed and I’ll talk about that later.
Gol has reinforced that the cabins are being cleaned before each trip. I preferred to clean my armchair, armrest, table, seat belt and even the window with antiseptic wipes and alcohol gel. A simple tip that gave me a little more security. In theory, cabin air would not be a concern, as it is refreshed every 3 minutes and HEPA filters remove 99.9% of airborne bacteria and viruses.
Speaking of gel alcohol, it can be taken on board according to some Anac rules, I already explained on the blog how it works. However, liquid alcohol is prohibited.
Changes inside the plane
The masks must also not be removed inside the plane and the crew asks them not to form lines in the restrooms. In fact, on every flight I’ve taken, I’ve noticed that people aren’t going to the restrooms.
To prevent passengers from removing their masks during the flight, the in-flight service has changed, the snack/snack is distributed at the aircraft door during disembarkation and now only for flights with a duration of more than 3 hours. The passenger can ask for water at any time. My tip is to line your stomach well before flying, as no matter how much you carry something to eat in your bag, you can’t risk going without a mask on the plane.
Gol says they provide gel alcohol in the galleys, I didn’t see it. It would be more efficient if sachets with the product were distributed, but we know that this involves more expenses. So take yours.
To my great surprise, the landing is being carried out by ranks and is being respected. At least on the 3 flights I took, no one got up early. However, a flight attendant has been controlling the passengers and opening the luggage racks in the disembarking rows.
This practice is welcome to avoid crowding in the aisles, but in the case of a narrow-body aircraft, that is, with a single aisle like the Boeing 737, there is no way to avoid crowding a little.
Another important point to point out is that disembarkation takes a long time, I was in seat 31A, almost at the end of the plane and it took me between 25 and 30 minutes to get off the aircraft.
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