janzin

Pantanal: carry-on restrictions in Brazil?

14 posts in this topic

I hope some prior Pantanal/Brazil travelers can help with this question.

 

We are heading to the Pantanal in late August for jaguar and birding and then on to Alta Floresta for more birding. I am getting worried because I am reading that the domestic flights only allow 5 kg (11 lbs) carry-on. Of course my camera bag weights much more than that. There is no way I can get it under about 20 lbs, with two bodies, 200-400 lens, etc. My husband carries a similar weight bag. They are within size limits (GuraGear 22L and a Lowepro) but definitely overweight.

 

We are flying on Delta to Sao Paolo, so that's no problem, but then GOL between Sao Paolo-Cuaiba. And then we are on Aero Azul to Alta Floresta. Am I going to have a problem?? I am reading on Flyertalk etc that they are really strict in Brazil with the weight. Starting to panic!

 

We've been to the Pantanal once before but it was back in 2006 and I'm sure there weren't such tight restrictions.

 

Thanks for any advice/reassurance!

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I've been already 8 times to Brazil from 2006 to last year, in September. I also had camera bags of about 8/9 kilos. Never had any problems with the domestic flights. I was flying TAM. I do not know the other companies like GOL,.... but I can hardly imagine that they have different policies than TAM?

 

Enjoy your trip.

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I had four domestic flights in 2013 with way more than 5 kg. No problem then, hand luggage was never weighed. All flights were with TAM, though.

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thanks, this is a bit reassuring. TAM has the same 5 kg "offical" carry-on requirement. I've never had problems being overweight but usually the allowance is at least 8 kg, even on South African Airways, so its easier to fudge a couple of pounds than 9 or 10 lbs difference! I think my D810 + 200-400 is 11 pounds without anything else! There's only so much I could even stuff in a vest...

 

Would still be great to hear from anyone that's flown on GOL...or very recently...

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We flew on GOL (2th August 2014) from Sao Paolo to Campo Grande

Hand luggage wasn't weighed

(We also flew with AZUL and TAM on internal flights and again hand lugage was not weighed)

I think we aimed to keep ours to less than the 5kg but it was not checked

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Thanks, I am starting to feel less panicked :) I'll try to put as much as possible in checked luggage, perhaps more than I usually might (flash, more accessories) to get the weight down as much as possible.

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If you wear the camera or the body like an accessory, is it part of the weight allowed?

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@@janzin how wonderful to be going to the Pantanal this year and India next year, exciting and exotic destinations within 6 months!

 

Do you have time to share the itinerary for the August trip? Are you travelling with Paolo Boute this year?

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@@Atravelynn, the problem is my main wildlife lens weighs 7 lbs, plus the body say about 3 lbs, so right there its 11 lbs and this is a big lens and not one I could "wear" on a plane. I could put the body and a smaller lens on my shoulder, if necessary and technically that shouldn't be counted but seems to me it would just draw more attention and perhaps make them think, hey let's weigh her bag. But it does seem like no one has had their carry-ons weighed, the key may be just looking nonchalant like it doesn't weigh as much as it does. This has always worked traveling to Africa but its just that I have heard they can be strict in Brazil. I did email my friend Paolo Boute (who is not my guide this year) and he has also assured me not to worry, that the airlines don't want to be responsible for expensive camera equipment and they should let it through.

 

So I'll only worry a little ;)

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Posted (edited)

@@Treepol, the India trip is still not a definite, for one thing I have no idea what it will cost, lol. But we are looking into it. This year we didn't take our usual February trip and really regretted it as our area had an awful winter, so I vowed NOT to be here all winter again next year :)

 

We are not traveling with Paulo Boute for this Pantanal trip because he was completely booked up for the month of August, even back when we planned it many months ago! He offered us July but we really wanted to go as late as possible to optimize chances at jaguar. He is leading back-to-back trips for a big photography touring company. We are using Pantanal Jaguar Safaris http://www.pantanaljaguarsafaris.com/ for which we've gotten excellent recommendations, I liked that the guide, Andre Moratelli, is a wildlife biologist, as well as a Mato Grosso native. Since we are not as focused on birds this trip (for the Pantanal section) we didn't feel that we needed a specialty birding guide, although it seems he knows his birds as well.

 

This trip is focused specifically on jaguar although of course we will be birding (always!) So we aren't lingering too much on the way down, but we had to at least make a few stops in hopes of Giant Anteater and whatever else. We will be with Andre throughout the Pantanal; when we go to Alta Floresta (Cristalino Lodge) we will use their guide, but we've hired a private guide for the three full days there (took a bit of finagling as they wanted to make us hire one for five days, but their private guide price is very high, we felt 3 days private guiding was sufficient.)

 

Here's the itinerary:

 

8/24 Arrive Cuiaba, night Curicara lodge

Pouso Alegre lodge (2 nights)

Porto Jofre Hotel: four nights; three full days plus one morning boating for jaguar

Piuval Lodge one night

Back to Cuiaba to get morning flight to Alta Floresta

Four nights Cristalino Lodge in the Amazon

Sept 5 back to Cuiaba, Hits Pantanal Hotel at the airport

Sept 6 fly home

Edited by janzin
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@@janzin what a great Pantanal itinerary - enjoy!

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Just following up on my own question in case it is useful to others. We just returned today from our Brazil trip. We took four domestic flights (2 on Gol and 2 on Azul) and never once did anyone even glance at, much less weigh, the carry-ons. In fact I saw folks with larger bags than mine board with no issue. My bag weighed at least 24 lbs, and my husband's at least 20. So lots of worrying for nothing :)

 

BTW it was a fantastic trip, saw jaguar five out of seven boat trips. Hope to do a report eventually!

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Hi everyone, I want to follow up on this too. Just like @@janzin we also never had our hand luggage checked - not even glanced at. Our internal flights were with TAM.

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Another follow up here. We had a domestic flights on Avianco (Sao Paulo to Cuiaba) and another on Azul (Campo Grande to Sao Paulo). Our carry on luggage wasn't hand checked or weighed. We had two good size backpacks and a medium sized roller bag. So, this was a non issue for us as well.

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