Welcome to my next trip report, a recount of my recent journey from Sao Paulo, Brazil to Los Angeles…via Florida, Panama City, and San Salvador.
My Long Journey Home From Brazil
The “point” of this trip was to review Azul’s new A330-900neo in business class, which operates sporadically between Viracopos International Airport outside of Sao Paulo and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Azul, which means blue in Portuguese and was founded by JetBlue founder David Neeleman, has been on my wishlist for quite some time and partners with both United Airlines MileagePlus and Air Canada Aeroplan in North America.
I used 69K United miles to book the following itinerary:
- Viracopos – Fort Lauderdale in Azul Business Class
- Fort Lauderdale – Panana City in Copa Business Class
- Panama City – San Salvador in Copa Business Class
- San Salvador – Los Angeles in Avianca Business Class
On the way down from Houston to Sao Paulo, I flew a 777-200 in United Polaris Business Class. I’ve reviewed this product so many times, I’ll just mention that I ate dinner after boarding, fell asleep, and woke up about an hour from Sao Paulo and enjoyed breakfast. That’s all I can report from that flight…it was restful as intended.
I had less than 24 hours in Brazil and was going to get a room at the Grand Hyatt, but no day rates were available. To save some money, I used expiring Orbucks to book a room at the nearby Mercure hotel…not a hotel I would ordinarily stay at, but Azul has no lounge currently open and for $39 (offset to zero by my Orbucks) I had a nice room to spend 12 hours working at. Indeed, it was a productive day. I also chose that hotel because it had a sauna, but sadly I found the sauna was closed (due to COVID-19 they said…yeah right).
You can expect the following reviews in this trip report:
- Mercure São Paulo Nacoes Unidas Hotel
- VCP-FLL in Azul A330-900neo Business Class
- FLL-PTY-SAL in Copa 737-800 Business Class
- Copa Airlines Lounge Panama City (PTY)
- My Failed Effort To Enter El Salvador
- Avianca Lounge San Salvador (SAL)
- SAL-LAX in Avianca A320 Business Class
I’ve already provided my first impressions of these flights and note here I had a wonderful time on Azul…and a not so wonderful time on Copa and Avianca.
This trip to Brazil was not nearly as fun as my last one, in terms of time on the ground. But it allowed me to fly Azul (and sadly experience dismal onboard service on Copa and Avianca). Stay tuned! Thanks for reading.