TAM, the Brazilian flag carrier, like to refer to themselves as being 'the magic red carpet'. Once on board, I watch 'Unknown' and after drinking a ridiculously large glass of Balentine's - hey presto! - I am out for the count and sleep through most of the 12-hour flight, waking up shortly before we begin our descent into Sao Paolo.
Despite blagging my way through 'the diplomatic channel' at Sao Paolo immigration & customs, saving myself an hour of queueing, it is already 7.20am before I make it to check in for my already departed 7am flight to Buenos Aires.
Initially, Aerolineas Argentinas are all up for the idea of me buying a new flight and, additionally, paying the Sao Paolo airport departure tax. It looks like it is going to set me back 3-400 dollars but I am not about to accept that without trying to persuade them otherwise. To cut a long story short, TAM agree to give me a declaration form for the late arrival of their flight, and AA kindly agree to rebook me on the 10.15 without any extra charges or taxes. If it wasn't for the kind efforts of the staff of TAM and AA my London travel agency would have left me with a hefty charge for new flights.
By the time all this is sorted I am only left with an hour to wait before my AA flight departs and leave the controlled chaos of the old school airport behind for some great aerial views of Sao Paolo as we pass directly overhead.
Copa America 2011
A blog from the 2011 Copa America and road trip around Argentina.