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A Brazilian low-cost
Jan 31, 2005 07:25 PM 8233 Views
(Updated Jan 31, 2005 07:25 PM)

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GOL is a Brazilian low-cost airlines that has 37 destinations within Brazil and Buenos Ayres in the nearby Argentina.

Operations started in 2001 with a fleet of Boeing 737/700. During the next few months the fleet will see the arrival of some 737/800 Next Generation.

The aircrafts are with a single layout of economy class with 3+3 seats covered with fabric (the best solutions according to the local weather and humidity; and of course better that the ones leather covered of Varig).

All aircrafts are brand new and the cabin and seats are in pristine conditions. Every two rows a small monitor fall down from the ceiling (on such monitor you can follow-up the route of your flight as well as watch some TV program or short movies).

The cabin crew is kind, efficient and knows how to deal with their job. The only drawback is the language as they speak almost only Portuguese.

Despite the fact that GOL calls itself a low-cost airline most of the services you get are similar to the ones you received from major airlines.

At check-in you get seat allocation. During the flight you get a free snack (its consistency depends from the length of the flight). The check-in luggage is 20 kilos while you can take on board only 10.

To book is very easy. Go to GOL website. Fill in the departure and arrival cities, the day (if there more than one flight per day, you should choose the one you prefer). Then you get a page with total price and conditions. If both satisfy your requirement, you click on ?accept?.

Finally you have two choices: buy immediately or just book. In the first case you must insert your credit card data; if you like just book you have 72 hours to buy the ticket otherwise your booking is cancelled.

GOL is a paperless airline, so you get only a PNR and an e-mail with PNR and flight details. The day if your flight, just go to check-in with PNR and ID or passport.

The modification of your booking is free up to 24 hours before scheduled departure, after there is a 16 ? fee.

If there is a not-show and the booking modification is made after the scheduled departure the fee is 26 ?.

It is possible to require, within one year, the reimbursement unused ticket against a 20% fee.

A personal advice: use always the web site (booking and modification) unless you speak Portuguese as the call-center operators speak only this language (the web site is available in Portuguese, Spanish and English).

I flew four times with GOL on the route Sao Paulo-Joinville (in the past I used Rio Sul Airlines). The ticket was at ? 134 return (unfortunately I was unable to postpone my flight of 5 days otherwise the ticket price was ? 95 only).

Check-in procedure in few minutes. Flight always on-time. My luggage weight was few kilos over the allowed one but the check-in agent didn?t charged me (extra kilos are charged at 0,5% of the ticket price per kilo).

During the 50 minutes flight we got a pack of chips and a cereal/chocolate bar. Soft drinks and local beer.

At some airports GOL offers a free bus shuttle to/from the city.

Definitiely a very good airline with quality and service at low cost.

If you travel within Brazil, GOL must be your choice.

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GOL Airlines