Around the World

Miles flown for stories
2014: 360,327
2013: 330,818

HECK YES! Win a TAM Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER Model

One of two TAM Boeing 777-300ER models you could win - Photo: David Parker Brown

One of two TAM Boeing 777-300ER models you could win — we kind of want to keep them for myself, but we are givers – Photo: David Parker Brown

We have these two awesome, 1:200 scale (aka, about a foot long) 777-300ER models from TAM Airlines that we don’t know what to do with. Why not give them away? That is exactly what AirlineReporter is doing and one of these fine models can be all yours! This is all you need to do:

COMMENT: Leave a comment on this story. Only one comment. If you do it more than one — you are out. Make sure to put in a valid email so that we can reach you (no one else can see it and we will only use it to notify if you are a winner — promise). In your comment you need to give some information…

FAVORITE STORY: List what has been your favorite TAM Airlines’ story that we have done recently:

SOCIAL MEDIA: You need to be following us on at least one of our social media channels. Heck, do all to show your true AvGeek-ness (if you are just someone that does NOT do social media, then just promise us you will email two friends and tell them to read AirlineReporter):

The contest will be open for ten days — from now until December 29, 2014 at 5pm PST. At that time we will use a random number generator to choose two winners. We will verify that you listed your favorite TAM story and you are following one of our social media channels. Once you are verified, we will email you for your address and we will mail you one of the 777-300ER models.

GAME ON and good luck —  thanks for being part of the AirlineReporter family!

Flying 15,000 Miles to Spend One Night in Brazil for a Media Trip – PART 2

Our TAM Airbus A320 at Congonhas-São Paulo Airport

Our TAM Airbus A320 at Congonhas-São Paulo Airport

In Part 1 of my trip I talked about the process of getting to Brazil and went over the first day of the media trip. I had just spent my one and only night in Brazil, and was in the hotel lobby at 4:30am local time to start day two. Bring it!

At this point, I was definitely feeling the lack of sleep. I had used all the coffee packets in my hotel room. The first thing of the day was for us to head to Sao Paulo’s secondary airport, Congonhas-São Paulo Airport (CGH), which was only 15 minutes away from the hotel. Our destination? Leite Lopes Airport (RAO), then about an hour’s drive to TAM’s Museum and Maintenance facility (MRO).

This was exciting for me for a number of reasons. First off, just being able to see the Museum and MRO, of course. But also, this was going to be the first time that I had ever flown on a non-US domestic flight. It seemed weird to me and thinking about it at 5am, I thought that I might had missed a memory, but nope, this was the first time and something to check off the ol’ AvGeek to-do list.

CGH is a small airport. This made it easy to get checked in and to our gate. Originally the flight was to depart from a remote gate, meaning boarding from the tarmac (yay), but at the last minute, it was changed to a real gate (boo). TAM originally had us three journalists (me, Jason Rabinowitz and Cynthia Drescher) seated together. No good. Not that we don’t like each other (we actually get along quite lovely), however we each wanted out own window seats. Luckily the flight was not that booked and we made it happen.

Continue reading Flying 15,000 Miles to Spend One Night in Brazil for a Media Trip – PART 2

Flying 15,000 Miles to Spend One Night in Brazil – PART ONE

Hanging out on a safety slide next to the TAM pool. Lots of funny jokes about pushing me in

Hanging out on a safety slide next to the TAM pool. Lots of funny jokes about pushing me in.

Who flies 15,000 miles to just spend one night in a foreign country? This guy!

I was recently invited to Sao Paulo to take a look a behind the scenes look at TAM Airlines’ operations. When invited, my first thought was, “hell yes,” but once seeing that I would be flying 15,000 miles for one night in Brazil, I felt that there might be some challenges (and lack of sleep). But was it worth it? I wasn’t sure at first. So, I decided to take you behind-the-scenes of the behind-the-scenes trip — what is it like to do a media trip in such a short amount of time.

Lots of miles, lots of things to do, not a lot of sleep - Image: GCMap.com

Lots of miles, lots of things to do, not a lot of sleep – Image: GCMap.com

The media schedule was cram-packed of activities and not too much time to sleep. I would fly from Seattle to New York in economy (well, premium economy on the way home), then take the red-eye on TAM from New York’s JFK to São Paulo–Guarulhos International Airport, and then take another red eye back to the US. With such a short trip, this meant that I needed to do the best I could to rest when possible, keep hydrated, and heck, why not have some fun too.

When I take these media trips, I think most of my friends and family visualize me on the beach or next to a pool with a nice drink (probably one with an umbrella in it) and it is all wine and dine. These media trips are VERY different than that, but it doesn’t mean that I do not love them. Even though there is a lot of fun in doing them, I am on a job and doing work. Sometimes, that means pushing through when all my body wants to do is shut down. This trip put me to the test.

Continue reading Flying 15,000 Miles to Spend One Night in Brazil – PART ONE

Visiting the World’s Largest Airline-Owned Museum – the TAM Museum in Brazil

The TAM Museum has quite the impressive collection. You can go into the TAM Fokker 100.

The TAM Museum has quite the impressive collection. You can go into the TAM Fokker 100.

When I was invited to check out the Museu TAM (aka the TAM Museum, Museu Asas de um Sonho, or the Wings of a Dream Museum), of course I was excited. I was expecting to check out a facility that told the history of TAM Airlines and was mostly focused only the airline. I was surprised to find out that there were parts of the museum that focused on TAM, but really there was also a broader look at Brazilian aviation and aviation in general.

You can see the TAM MRO behind the museum

You can see the TAM MRO behind the museum

If you are a fan of airlines, military aircraft, or old war birds, you will find something of interest. Of course, if you like all those different things, then this is the place for you. The best part — it is open to the public to check out!

Continue reading Visiting the World’s Largest Airline-Owned Museum – the TAM Museum in Brazil

Photo Tour of TAM Airlines’ Flight Attendant Training

TAM Airlines' flight training area - with pool

TAM Airlines’ flight training area – with pool

By now, I have been to a few airline flight attendant training facilities and I am always in awe with what is similar and what is different. What I liked most about TAM’s training facility was they let us get really hands-on with the experience. Not just learn about what their different training devices can do, but we got to experience them first-hand.

The outside of TAM's training facility located in Sao Paulo

The outside of TAM’s training facility, located in Sao Paulo

Although visiting an airline’s training facility can be quite fun for a visitor, there is no question that the facility is designed to train flight attendants on how to save lives.

Everytime I go to one of these facilities, I am reminded how flight attendants have complex  jobs. Many see them as glorified waiters and waitresses, but they are anything but.

My only regret for this trip — I didn’t bring my bathing suit for the pool!

Continue reading Photo Tour of TAM Airlines’ Flight Attendant Training