It's always fun when there's a feature on the plane you're flying on in the in-flight magazine!

My time in Brazil was opened and closed quite nicely by an airplane - a very specific one. Before the tournament, I'd read that famous twin graffiti artists Os Gêmeos had been commissioned to paint the plane on which Brazil's national team would travel. Even so, it came as a total surprise when, boarding my first domestic flight (São Paulo to Natal), that exact plane was sitting at the gate! A lot of passengers were snapping pictures and commenting on the fact that we'd be flying the national team's plane - I was worried that GOL was going to weigh and gate-check my luggage, and hurried on. I figured I'd snap a picture when we arrived in Natal.

When we arrived in Natal, of course, it was dark and raining heavily. I had to content myself with a blurry photo of the Selecao crest. At various points throughout the trip, I mentally kicked myself for not taking a picture when I'd had the opportunity. (Despite GOL, TAM, and LAN's 5 kg weight limit, across 9 flights and 30+ days, not once was my carry-on weighed.)


The final day of my trip involved a Rio-to-São Paulo connection. In typical Brazilian style, though the cities are 260 miles apart, flying from one to the other involved a connection in Belo Horizonte. I was okay with this, as it meant I'd get to see one more city, at least from the air/port. But at the gate in Rio, the thing I'd dreaded finally happened... I was stopped, my bag weighed, and the attendant wrapped a gate-check tag around its handle.

I had a 45 minute layover in Belo Horizonte's airport, which was fine - it's a tiny airport that takes five minutes to walk from one gate to another. As I watched my next plane, waiting to spy my bag being loaded, I saw that familiar yellow paint job taxiing toward the airport. Having only my backpack, I was able to walk down to the other end of the terminal and snap a few pics with ease before boarding the flight to São Paulo.

Read more about this plane at Arrested Motion.


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