In an attempt to control the chaotic situation in the airports, the Brazilian airport authority, the ANAC (National Agency of Civil Aviation) has forbidden TAM, Brazil’s largest airline, to sell any ticket before it embarks all passengers already holding a pass.
Milton Zuanazzi, ANAC’s president, told reporters during a press conference this morning that his agency will be more careful in order to prevent the airline company from continuing to sell tickets in already overloaded routes.
According to Zuanazzi, the cause of trouble in the airports has been identified: six TAM’s airplanes are in maintenance and the airline isn’t managing to carry its passengers in a timely manner, This in turn has brought chaos to the airports with passengers having to wait as much as 12 hours to get on a plane.
People trying to buy a ticket from TAM this Friday are getting the following message: "no available flights for this date and period or all the flights are sold out." The company’s site on the Internet was down for a short period earlier today.
Flight delays once again forced people to spend the night and the early morning in São Paulo and Rio airports. The military police continued for a second day to maintain the security at the Tom Jobim international airport in Rio. They were called Thursday after angry passengers broke a TAM’s computer and one of the company’s counter.
Congonhas and Guarulhos, the São Paulo airports, are having big lines at the departure counters. In Guarulhos, the International airport, earlier today, about 600 people packed the lounge next to TAM’s check-in counter. The situation was very tense and tempers flared at times.
At the Tom Jobim, passengers were mad because they were not getting any information. After waiting for hours, dozens of people started to scream "We want a plane." The Military Police was called to calm the angry mob. And they didn’t get any plane. Some people were already waiting for more than 10 hours.
Despite ANAC’s prohibition TAM didn’t stop selling tickets, however. A reporter from the site G1 called the company to reserve a flight for this Friday from Congonhas to the Tom Jobim airport, the two airports where the situation is the worst.
The TAM employee only asked for the caller’s credit card number and alerted him that the flight might have a two-hour delay. Inquired about the ANAC’s ban on ticket sales the worker informed that only Internet sales had been forbidden.