a VirtualTourist member from Nairobi asked on Mar 24, 2013
My itinerary has changed on my flight from Milwaukee to Curitiba. I now only have 1hr and 20min to change from Delta to GOL at Rio de Janeiro International Airport. I read that both airlines are in Terminal 1, but do I have enough time to clear customs and get my bags on the next flight? Is it better to try being re-routed through either Sao Paulo or Brasilia?
An hour, 20 minutes is cutting it real tight. Whether you could make it depends on two factors: 1) distance of the GOL gate from Customs and 2) time required to clear immigration and customs.
I once had an hour, 45 minutes between landing on my flight from the US and the departure of my flight to Salvador da Bahia. I didn't make it. The TAM airlines gate was on the far side of the terminal and I just didn't have enough time to make the connection.
I've flown in to Rio (GIG international) six times. Once I cleared customs and immigration in less than half an hour. A couple of times it took more than 60 minutes. The difference was the number of flights landing just ahead of mine -- and therefore the number of people lined up at immigration. (Customs is usually quick.)
I can't speak for Brazilia, but clearance in both Rio (GIG) and Sao Paulo (GRU) can be painfully slow. I've cleared a dozen or so times and the average to get through customs and immigration is about an hour and half. But I've made in it as little as 40 minutes and on the other side of the scale more than 2 hours.
Check in on line with Gol to avoid the hassles of going back up to the 2nd floor and checking in after landing. And call Delta to see if they have a baggage agreement with Gol. I doubt they do, but if they do, you should at least tag your luggage with the connecting flight, therefore saving time with dropping your bag off again after customs.
if you have independent tickets don't do it, because it's too little time and you'll very probably lose your connection, otherwise you can take the next flight
Thanks for the advice. As it turned out, Delta completely reissued me a new ticket having me go through Brasilia in both directions insuring I have 2 1/2 hours to connect through Brasilia going to Curitiba. For those who don't know, Delta does have a code-share agreement where you earn award miles on Delta when flying GOL.
Well 80 minutes seems very little time, most of the time it takes around 60 minutes to pass customs and grab your luggage at GIG. (for international flights) and you need to check in at least 30 minutes before the flight departs.