Brazilian Airports Latest Headache: Hundreds of Lost Luggage Pieces

Brazil’s ANAC (National Agency of Civil Aviation) promises to conduct an audit today to find out why Brazil’s largest airline company, TAM, was unable to carry all the passengers it sold tickets to. The probe’s goal is to avoid another air traffic collapse on New Year’s Eve.

TAM’s breakdown made the last Friday, December 22, the second most chaotic day in Brazilian aviation history losing only to the so-called black Tuesday, on December 5, when planes just stopped after radio communications malfunctioned in Brazilian capital Brasí­lia.

It’s believed that the most recent problems were caused by overbooking by TAM coupled with the scheduled maintenance of a few airplanes by the airline company. So, the main focus of the ANAC’s investigation should be the number of tickets sold not only by TAM, but also by other airline firms.

Delays have diminished in the airports since Sunday, according to ANAC, but the number of cancelled flight has increased in part due to the smaller number of passengers using planes. Despite the improvement, Christmas day saw 139 flights that suffered delays of one hour or more and 237 of them were just cancelled.

One of the victims of the air chaos was Amanda Pargas, a 12-year-old girl, who was flying from Rio to Miami and ended up spending Christmas night by herself at the Cumbica airport, in Guarulhos, in the Greater São Paulo.

She had been transferred from a TAM aircraft to a Brazilian Air Force (FAB) airplane – the FAB leased eight of their airplanes to help meet the demand –  and got lost in São Paulo, missing the Miami flight.

But while airport authorities and airline companies seem to finally be getting a handle on on-time flights, the new big headache has been the disappearance of luggage. The problem might last at least a few more days. On Christmas day more than 200 suitcases were at the TAM’s lounge in Rio waiting for their owners. Most of them were lost during some connection and came from several states and different countries.

The latest collapse in Brazil’s air traffic is one week old today. It started last Tuesday, December 19, when Congonhas, the São Paulo domestic airport, closed for 50 minutes alleging that bad weather had made landings and take-offs dangerous.

Other factors contributing to what would soon become total chaos were TAM’s computer system, which went down in the Tom Jobim’s Rio airport and the maintenance of six planes from the airline company’s fleet.

The ANAC ended up forbidding TAM from selling more tickets until it accommodated all its passengers already in the airports. When the order to stop the sales came, however, it was already too late and the company only interrupted Internet sales, anyway, continuing to offer tickets by phone. 

In São Paulo and Rio, airport workers ran out of space to store luggage not claimed by their owners. In Congonhas, the room reserved for lost suitcases was full and another one had to be found. In Rio’s Tom Jobim, the misplaced pieces were crammed up in the airport’s lounge.

In order to reestablish some order to its flights TAM has been using the Air Force’s planes as well as those from the competition as OceanAir, Gol, BRA and Varig. According to the ANAC, between Friday and Sunday, FAB’s planes carried 1,676 passengers for TAM in a total of 15 flights.


  • Show Comments (21)

  • andy murphy

    and I might be going to IguaÀƒ§u falls in February.Must be full of water

  • andy murphy

    if you plan to travel to Brazil this winter, I suggest you avoid planes,buses and taxis.Rent a car to to go around.Also make sure to learn how to drive cars with standard gear shift.Dont expect to rent a car with automatic transmission.Have a safe trip.You will find the Brazilians to be fabulous people,the country rugged and beautiful. dont miss IguaÀƒ§u falls

  • bo

    [quote]When are you going to get through your thick stupid immature head what really happened… the two lucky Mickey Mouse pilots were negligent up to their asses. ThereÀ¢€™s no question about that!!![/quote]

    Can you please show us the facts that support your biased idiotic rant……we’re waiting.

    If there would’ve been ANY hard evidence of the pilots being negligent, do you really think the brazilian gov’t. would’ve let them go back to the U.S.? They tried to frame them as much as possible, Pires making idiotic statements such as yours BEFORE an investigation even BEGAN!!! He must’ve been using your crystal ball!

    And, just an FYI, but I did well enough in the U.S. that I live off the interest of investments that I have THERE, in the U.S. and I’m not yet 41.

  • acauã ninja

    Tudo certo, pode soar esnobe brincar com a conotaÀƒ§Àƒ£o pejorativa do termo, embora o mobral nÀƒ£o existe hÀƒ¡ mais de 20 ANOS. Acho HOJE que nenhum brasileiro que o frequentou em dia se sentiria ofendido com isso, diferente dos anos 60! Vindo de Rick, soa atÀƒ© irÀƒ´nico seu comentÀƒ¡rio. Claro que vc pÀƒµe isso sÀƒ³ para me criticar. Sem problema. Tudo para vcs nada para os brasileiros. Vai tomar banho, vai ver se eu to caÀƒ§ando borboleta, tÀƒ¡?.

  • Rick

    Mas, porem…como diz o outro….Mobral fez muita coisa boa e esta referÀƒªncia Àƒ© tÀƒ­pica e Àƒ© um bom exemplo do esnobismo que caracteriza muitos brasileiros chamados de “gente boa”, que realmente Àƒ© outra coisa e continuam desprezando os pobres sem nem notar que expressam atitudes antipÀƒ¡ticas. `TÀƒ£o nem aÀƒ­.

  • acauã ninja

    Cavalgadura mobral, putz, essa doeu de tanto rir. hmhehe

    Processar sÀƒ³ se fosse nos eua, servidor tem que ser brasileiro pra processar aqui. e entÀƒ£o a opiniÀƒ£o do maike faz sentido.

    Cavalgadura mobral, essa foi boa kk

  • jony

    to bo-shitter
    When are you going to get through your thick stupid immature head what really happened… the two lucky Mickey Mouse pilots were negligent up to their asses. ThereÀ¢€™s no question about that!!! For you to be this stupid you must be the proverbial quintessential “cavalgadura mobral” with a gringo twist. Obviously you couldn’t make in your own country and now, at this late stage of the game, you come to realize that you can’t make in Brazil either!!! You always two steps behind, body! I bet your Brazilian wife works very hard to put food on the table while you sit your fat ass in front of the computer to tell us all how you can save this poor country from implosion!!! Get a life you idiot…go back to school and get that high school diploma you always dreamed of and get that job at the local Quick Lube.
    No I donÀ¢€™t have a crystal ball you idiotÀ¢€¦I just know the type!

  • alltheway

    Argentina and Chile have provided immunity to protect their political death squads and leaders. Maybe Brasil wants to be like them when it grows up

  • bo

    [quote]Lins, who denies the charges, was elected to the state legislature earlier this year and enjoys [b]immunity[/b] from prosecution.[/quote]

    Immunity from prosecution…in other words, a [b]LICENSE TO STEAL!![/b] What country on planet earth gives immunity to politicians?? Only those that are as crooked as possible!

  • bo

    [quote]NO CONNECTION WHAT SO EVER!!! [/quote]

    Jony, you stupid ignorant child, the situation in the airports in brazil over the last 3 months has NO CONNECTION to the plane crash that occured several months ago killing hundreds??

    Who’s the idiot here?

    And Jony, BOL with your lawsuit, LMAO!! If you had one legal leg to stand on Americans could sue nearly every news station and newspaper in the world!!!

    The idiocy ceases to amaze!! 😉

  • Maks

    Against Brazzil Magazine for racism? I don’t think so…US law isn’t that lawful…look at in the US refused to turn in the names of paedophiles and racist hate groups to the police…don’t think that just because the US is a developed country that their law and justice system is always better than other nations.

    The US freedom of expression laws protect racists, paedophiles, murderers and other such lowlife…just remember the game “ethnic cleansing” from a few years ago….you go around killing (in a Doom style) black people and Jews and they sound like monkeys….legal in the good old US of A…

  • alltheway

    RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – Brazilian police arrested five of their fellow officers Friday accused of stealing automated teller machines across Rio de Janeiro.

    Three police captains, a sergeant and a private were part of a criminal gang that organized the heists over the past few years, Commander Romulo Correa said.

    “This gang stains the image of our force,” Correa said. Police are looking for other gang members connected with the crimes, he said. Officials also want to prosecute investigators who once arrested the five policemen after one robbery but later set them free and covered up the colleagues.

    During its most notorious robbery, the gang stole five ATMs from the headquarters of Rio’s municipal garbage collecting service in 2004.

    In a high-profile bid to rid the force of corrupt employees, federal police last week arrested 75 Rio state police officers accused of involvement in drug and arms trafficking.

    Separately, police have accused former chief Rio investigator Alvaro Lins of running a ring overseeing illegal slot machines around town.

    Lins, who denies the charges, was elected to the state legislature earlier this year and enjoys immunity from prosecution. Several other officers were arrested this week in connection with the slot-machine case.

    Apart from corruption, human rights groups also accuse Rio police of using brutal tactics such as summarily executing suspects in Rio’s notorious slums. Police in the state kill about 1,000 suspects a year in consequences loosely described as “resistance to arrest,” a number comparable to some war zones.

    Brazil’s second-biggest city, famous for its sandy beaches and its high murder rate, has over 600 slums, where about 1 million people live. Many of the slums are controlled by powerful drug gangs.

  • alltheway

    To Jony ..
    Se o meio de Brasilian nÀƒ£o trabalha, nem sua mensagem quer dizÀƒª-lo pensar que tudo vai maravilhosamente?, por que nÀƒ£o Àƒ© esperto e tenta de aprender do gringos nem qualquer um pode? e.g., homem enviado ÀƒÂ  lua hÀƒ¡ 37 anos, homem tenta de voar atravÀƒ©s de Brasil = muito difÀƒ­cil..

  • Forrest Allen Brown

    that some of that lugage that is missing belongs to the port personal in Santos whom robe ever container thay can get there fingers into
    fedral police and PM whom do the same thing
    and the famileys of the political machine in brasil
    they all have stolen from us hope it happens to them 10 fold

  • Jony

    A proposal to you acauÀƒ£ ninja,
    Hey acauÀƒ£ ninja I think you right!!! Esses imbecis pensam que conseguem ter algum impacto sobre uma nacao com suas opinioes stupidamente inadequadas e nao fundadas. Olha À¢€œacaua ninjaÀ¢€Â Eu estou pensabdo seriamente em comecar um movimento juridico, primeiramente em forma de um thread, contra o Brazzil Magazine por compartilhar, incentivar e amamentar sentimentos indiscutivelmente racistas degredando uma nacao em sua totalidade sem o minimo intuito de objetividade construtiva. Se trata nada mais nada menos de uma corja de canalhas semi analfabetos sem nenhum conhecimento profundo da historia brasileira. Se voce e outros Brasileiros tiverem interessados, por favor deixa um comentario em portugues. Tudo de bom pra voce.

  • acauã ninja

    Anac considers brazilian airports situation normalized!!
    Hey Jony, I think this piece of news will get them depressed! 😉

    Com 23% de atrasos, Anac considera aeroportos normalizados

    BRASÀƒÂLIA/SÀƒƒO PAULO (Reuters) – Apesar de persistirem alguns atrasos, a movimentaÀƒ§Àƒ£o nos aeroportos do paÀƒ­s estava normalizada nesta terÀƒ§a-feira, considerando-se a Àƒ©poca do ano, quando a demanda tradicionalmente aumenta, informou a AgÀƒªncia Nacional de AviaÀƒ§Àƒ£o Civil (Anac).

    A TAM, companhia aÀƒ©rea em que estava sendo registrado o maior nÀƒºmero de atrasos nos Àƒºltimos dias, tambÀƒ©m afirmou, em nota, que a operaÀƒ§Àƒ£o estava “regularizada” e que o atraso mÀƒ©dio era de 50 minutos.

    Nesta terÀƒ§a atÀƒ© ÀƒÂ s 17h, do total de 1.206 vÀƒ´os que decolaram em todo o paÀƒ­s, 281, ou 23 por cento, tiveram atrasos de mais de uma hora, segundo boletim da Anac. Outros 37 foram cancelados. A maioria dos atrasos ocorreu em SÀƒ£o Paulo: no aeroporto de Guarulhos, houve 51 atrasos, ou 41 por cento, e 8 vÀƒ´os foram cancelados.

    No sÀƒ¡bado, antevÀƒ©spera de Natal, chegou a 55 por cento o Àƒ­ndice de vÀƒ´os com mais de uma hora de atraso, apesar de, no dia anterior, o presidente Luiz InÀƒ¡cio Lula da Silva ter ordenado o uso de aviÀƒµes da ForÀƒ§a AÀƒ©rea Brasileira (FAB) no transporte de civis.

    O tumulto verificado no dias que antecederam o Natal tiveram inÀƒ­cio com a manutenÀƒ§Àƒ£o nÀƒ£o-programada em seis aeronaves da TAM na quarta-feira, 20. TambÀƒ©m afetaram os aeroportos naquele dia as fortes chuvas que levaram ao fechamento do aeroporto de Congonhas (SP) por 50 minutos e dificuldades na comunicaÀƒ§Àƒ£o entre os sistemas de dados da TAM e da Infraero no aeroporto Tom Jobim (RJ).

    Os atrasos e cancelamentos daquele dia provocaram o que a Anac chamou de “efeito dominÀƒ³”. Posteriormente, como a situaÀƒ§Àƒ£o se prorrogou por dias, o governo acusou a empresa de estar praticando “overbooking” –venda de mais assentos do que comporta o aviÀƒ£o.

    Por determinaÀƒ§Àƒ£o da agÀƒªncia reguladora, a TAM chegou a suspender a venda de passagens, que sÀƒ³ foi retomada nesta terÀƒ§a. Num movimento incomum que sugere uma resposta ao governo, a maior companhia aÀƒ©rea do paÀƒ­s antecipou nesta tarde balanÀƒ§o da ocupaÀƒ§Àƒ£o dos vÀƒ´os domÀƒ©sticos em dezembro, que estÀƒ¡ em 74 por cento, estÀƒ¡vel em relaÀƒ§Àƒ£o ao ano passado.


    A Anac confirmou ter iniciado nesta terÀƒ§a auditoria na TAM para apurar os motivos dos transtornos registrados na semana passada. A agÀƒªncia sÀƒ³ pretende se pronunciar sobre o assunto ao concluir a investigaÀƒ§Àƒ£o, o que deve ocorrer no final desta semana. A Anac tambÀƒ©m estaria fiscalizando o sistema de reservas das demais companhias aÀƒ©reas do paÀƒ­s.

    A TAM confirmou ter recebido na sede, em SÀƒ£o Paulo, uma equipe da Anac que estÀƒ¡ “efetuando auditoria no sistema de reserva da empresa com acesso total e transparÀƒªncia a todos os sistemas”.

    A empresa informou ainda que espera concluir atÀƒ© o final do dia a restituiÀƒ§Àƒ£o de bagagens aos passageiros. Segundo a TAM, havia nesta tarde 250 volumes nÀƒ£o-restituÀƒ­dos nos aeroportos de Guarulhos e do GaleÀƒ£o (RJ), a maioria sem identificaÀƒ§Àƒ£o.

  • jony


  • alltheway

    Tam claims to have 95 aircraft

  • ch.c.

    Just One More….Contradiction !!!!
    In a recent article, the news was that 44 % of TAM planes were grounded due tp maintenace problems….NOT 6 planes, unless TAM has only 13 planes or so which is quite doubtful !!!!!

    And if only 6 planes had some type of problems, doubtful too that 6 planes would literally stop 2 large airports (SP/RJ) !!!!!

    Therefore….cheating, lying and hiding is just……AS USUAL !!!!!!

  • bo

    truly ridiculous…
    When one sees what has been happening over the last [b]3 months[/b] in the airports around brazil, isn’t it amazing how Pires and many others were so quick to jump and blame the american pilots for the accident that happened??? Truly disgusting, but a textbook opportunity to see exactly how the “system” works in brazil. The refusal to accept responsibility, point fingers, and just hope the problem is either forgotten, or goes away. This situation is [b]CLASSIC[/b] Brazil!

  • Stephen

    Not A Serious Country
    let’s see if the next weekend will be any different? Have my doubts though because as soon as any little thing goes wrong panic sets in and everything then goes to Pizza. Take the Bus, you have a better chance of getting there unless of course the bus driver is blasted on drugs or booze and the odds of crashing over the side of a mountain is a distinct possiblity. Boa Sorte!

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