Subject: Re: Gol Brazilian Airlines

My friends, who live in Brazil use Gol all the time. Yes, it's a travel friendly budget airline. It's similiar to our Jet Blue or SouthWest airlines.

When we were in South America in Feb and needed to fly from Rio to Sao Paulo we flew on Varig which is a full service airline. We did check into Gol for info and they had only a few flights during the day while Varig had flights almost every hour.

A ticket on Gol was about $20. less per person than on Varig and you had to book a specific flight. If you missed that flight, you had to pay an additional fee to rebook on the next flight. On Varig, they sold you an open pass and when you showed up at the airport, you were put on the next flight out - since Rio/Sao Paulo is a "commuter flight", there's usually another flight within the hour. Like our budget lines, I don't think Gol serves snything on board (maybe a soft drink?) while Varig served us a hot lunch on the one hour flight. (choice of turkey or cheese empanada - both were delicious)

Also, on Varig, we got miles on our United Airlines accounts.

So all in all we preferred Varig.

This is not to tout Varig as a better option than Gol. I'm just advising people to check all the options. But Gol is a good airline within Brazil and gaining in popularity.

Candice NYC