Tam Brazil Airpass

Brazil’s national airline Tam offers two airpasses, which allows international travellers discounted domestic flights within Brazil. They’re known as the Tam Brazil Airpass and the Tam South America Airpass, they’re both really good value, but there’s no genuinely useful information about these airpasses online, and having booked it for numerous clients, I though I’d share some flights tips.

To be entitled to the Tam Airpasses, you need to have already purchased an international flight ticket from outside of South America to any South American country, with any airline, except the airline LAN (don’t ask me why). One way flight tickets do count.

Tam Brazil Airpass

Tam Route Map
Tam domestic flights route map

For the Tam Brazil Airpass (I’ll mention Tam’s other airpass later), you need to catch a minimum of four flights in total, and the number of days between the first and last flight cannot be greater than 21 days. Even if you’re catching three Tam flights, it’s almost always cheaper to include another flight (that you don’t actually use) and book all the flights as a Tam airpass.

The cost of the Tam Brazil Airpass is dependent upon the number of flights you take within the set 21 day period (note - if you have flown internationally with Tam to South America, the ticket prices below are approximately 15% less):

1-4 flight coupons: $572

5 flight coupons: $684

6 flight coupons: $804

7 flight coupons: $924

8 flight coupons: $1044

9 flight coupons: $1164.

The above prices are correct for flights booked in 2007, though every year, prices tend to increase. In addition to the above prices, taxes must be added (normally about 5%). If you book the Tam Brazil Airpass through a travel agent, they will normally receive a rate of 7% commission, but they will also charge a booking fee. You’ll find it cheapest to book the airpass directly with Tam (though this will not be the most convenient option I’m sure).

The airpass is valid for all Tam domestic flights within Brazil (no international flights are allowed other than flights to Ciudad del Este in Paraguay). Each flight is now considered as one coupon - so if you have to transfer somewhere like Sao Paulo, it will be considered as two flight coupons. The same city cannot be used as an origin / destination more than once, unless you are in transit. Infant fares cost 10%, but there is no discount for under 12’s. Date changes cost $100, the cancellation fee is also $100 and re-routing of flights is not possible.

Tam South America Airpass

Tam also offers another airpass known as the Tam South America Airpass, which is less frequently booked, but can be very good value if you know when to use it. The price is based on mileage - the further you travel (in miles / kilometres), the greater the cost. You’re allowed 3 domestic Tam flights, plus one international Tam or Pluna flight, in addition to any Pluna domestic flights you might want (the airline Pluna is based in Uruguay). Crucially, you have to take one international flight to be entitled to this airpass. The Tam South America Airpass has a validity of 30 days, and offers extra potential for those wishing to travel around Brazil, then onwards to another South American country afterwards (eg. Tam flies to Uruguay, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Venezuela).

Examples of when the Tam South America Airpass is more appropriate:

1. You want to catch two or three flights in Brazil, then fly on to somewhere like Buenos Aires in Argentina, or Santiago in Chile.

2. You want to catch just three flights in Brazil, but don’t want to pay the full wack for the Tam Brazil Airpass. This works well if the distances you are travelling in Brazil are not great. If you’re catching three short flights in Brazil, book the Tam South America Airpass rather than paying for the 4 coupon Tam Brazil Airpass, plus (CRUCIAL) add a short flight at the end from Montevideo to Buenos Aires (very low mileage) at the end of your itinerary. The Montevideo to Buenos Aires flight is the international flight that you have to book to be entitled to the Tam South America Airpass - you’ll not show up for it of course. Booking three Tam flights in this way is often cheaper than paying for the 4 coupon Tam Brazil Airpass - but only when the distances covered are short. Here’s an example where it works a treat:

- Natal to Fernando de Noronha; Fernando de Noronha to Recife; Recife to Rio;…gap… Montevideo to Buenos Aires. The cost is dirt cheap - about half the price of standard fares.

This is a great little trick that I regularly used for clients when I worked as a South America flights specialist. It’s often overlooked by travel agents - suggest it to them if they don’t suggest it to you (as they invariably won’t have thought of the idea).

So ends this Tam Airpass guide - for more info on airpasses in South America check the South America Airpasses post or see the post on the LAN South America Airpass.  Also check out the article about Gol’s Airpasses - Gol also focuses on Brazil, and their airpasses might be more suitable for you, depending on your itinerary.

To book a Tam airpass, try contacting Tam directly, or alternatively try a Latin America specialist tour operator such as  Journey Latin America (UK) or a similar company in your own country.

28 Responses to “Tam Brazil Airpass”

  1. This is great - valuable information indeed! Now, if someone could only explain the LAN airlines version of this to me…

  2. Hi. Just a quick question… What’s meant by a “flight coupon”? For instance, if I want to go from Rio to Boa Vista, is that one flight coupon or three (if I have to change in Sao Paulo and Manaus)?

    Thanks.

  3. Hi Jon, if you have to change planes somewhere, it’s considered as extra coupons. So what your planning would count as 3 flight coupons with the Tam Brazil airpass. However, it may be better booking what you want as a Tam South America airpass, which is based on mileage. Book the flight Rio to Boa Vista, plus add an extra flight afterwards from sao paulo to montevideo and see if that works out cheaper…

  4. Hi! I wonder how I buy the Brazil Air Pass? Do I have to do it through my international flight booking agency or can I do it myself with my international itinirary or something like that as a reciept?

    Thanks

  5. Kim - you should be able to book the airpass with any travel agency that knows what they’re doing - you’ll just have to provide them with the E-ticket number of your international flights.

  6. Wow! That was very helpful! I am wanting to travel from Sao Paulo to Iguacu, then to Rio then back to Sao Paulo. Do you reccommend I buy the 1-4 flight coupon deal. I understand you mentioned you can only use one city as an origin/ destination. Do you think this would work?

  7. Stephanie - you’ll probably find that the 4 coupon airpass is better value than standard fares….. would work perfectly for you - you can include the same city more than once in the itinerary, what you can’t do is fly the same ROUTE more than once in the same itinerary - no problems in your case… add florianopolis to your flights itinerary perhaps? Won’t cost any extra as it would be the 4th flight….

    Thinking about it a little more, check the price of a Tam South America airpass - this may well be cheapest - try the flights Sao Paulo - Iguacu - Rio - Sao Paulo …… gap….. Buenos Aires to Montevideo…..(don’t take the last flight obviously) - this may well be cheapest

  8. Hi, I am traveling around South America in Feb/March 2010 and am looking to book flights from Buenos Aires - Igausu, Campo Grande - Santa Cruz and Arica - Santiago. Would the South American Airpass work for this?
    Thank you

  9. Mike - you’ll need a Hahn airpass rather than a Tam airpass for your flights - Tam don’t fly BA-Iguasu, nor Arica to Santiago…. see http://bigtravelweb.com/travel/2007/10/21/south-america-airpasses-flights-guide/

  10. Hi!
    Is it possible to buy a Brazilian airpass with an international ID-ticket (staff)?
    I would like to fly IGU-GRU-MAO, transfer time is 1:55. Is that two coupons or can I use one?
    Thanx!

  11. Kassie - not sure I understand what you mean by international ID ticket (staff)???

    There’s little point in getting an airpass if you’re just flying from Iguassu to Manaus - I’m sure it will be cheaper to get a standard ticket… but yes you could get an airpass if you wanted to.

  12. Thanx for the quick reply.
    I work for an airline, so fly on a standby ticket AMS-GRU-AMS.
    I was not sure if you can buy an airpass with it, but I found the answer at the TAM site! I can.
    The whole trip will be: GRU-IGU, IGU-GRU-MAO, MAO-FOR, FOR-RIO.
    So I was wondering if I can but the 1-4 airpass, or I need to get one with 5…

  13. I want to fly Sao Paulo to Iguazzu to Buenos Aires to Mendoza to Manuas to Rio. Sounds like Tam wouldn’t work since several of these flights are in Argentina. What do you suggest?

    Thanks for any suggestions.

  14. Kassie - as you’re taking a total of 5 flights (you’re changing in GRU), you’ll need the 5 coupon airpass.

    Daine - the Tam Brazil airpass won’t work for you. Another problem is flying from Mendoza to Manaus - you’ll probably have to fly via Buenos Aires AND Sao Paulo to get to Manaus from Mendoza. You could look at a LAN airpass for your flights Iguassu-Buenos Aires-Mendoza-Buenos Aires. For the other flights you’ll probably have to book standard tickets, though for Manaus to Rio you could try the All America Airpass (Hahn Airpass). See http://www.bigtravelweb.com/travel/2007/10/21/south-america-airpasses-flights-guide/ .

  15. Paul Beijsens on April 16th, 2010 at 5:18 am

    It looks very interesting. I have 1 question:

    Do I need to fill out my complete flight schedule (including dates) up front when I buy the Air pass or can I just fly on a flight for flight basis? I mean can I buy the next flying ticket whenever I want to wherever I want?

    Thanks for your suggestions.

    Paul

  16. Paul-

    Yes you do need to fill out your complete flight schedule up front - it’s not possible to make up dates or routes as you go along. You have to set a fixed itinerary, though you can make date changes (at a cost) to it later.

  17. Where can you buy a TAM airpass (and is it possible to buy w/o flying into Brazil on a partner airline?)

    In case its impossible- then 2nd option is where can I buy a GOL pass? I cannot find a contact. Thanks.

  18. steve - you can book any of these airpasses I mention either direct with the airline or normally simpler try Journey Latin America (in UK)…… I’m unaware of any company in the USA who books these airpasses…. doesn’t matter which airline you fly to Brazil with - slighter cheaper if you’ve flown with Tam though.

  19. i would appreciate any help, and thanks in advance.

    hi, I have already booked tam tix from paris to rio, then rio to london.

    i’ll start my trip in rio then down to sao paolo (maybe all in bus) from sao paolo maybe fly to iguazu (flight 1-local), then to lima (flight 1-intl),then fly from cuzco/lima back to either fortaleza or sao luis,br (flight 2-intl), then fly from either fortaleza or sao luis back to rio (flight 2 local).

    does it make sense?! sorry, im a crappy planner, and better itinerary? I just want to cover in one month the following: rio, sao paolo, iguazu, lima, cuzco, machu pichu and jericoacoara.

    how many coupons will i need to buy? and can i just buy it when i arrive in rio? if you can suggest a better way. I will be forever grateful. =)

  20. chester you have a rather complicated itinerary there….. A Tam South America airpass might work for certain bits….. The Fortaleza bit is the sticking point….. combining there with Peru will involve lots of changes and lots of extra cost….. you might have to fly via Manaus to get from peru to fortaleza…. from lima Theres flights to Rio with Gol…..to get from iguassu to Peru I believe there’s a routing not via Buenos Aires, see the flights pages of this site www.bigtravelweb.com/flights.htm for some more info…

  21. Hi
    We’re flying to South America in Feb 2011.We have already booked tickets from London to Rio with British Airways.Is there still a possibility to purchase either TAM or LAN South America airpass?
    We’re going for two months and would like to cover as many places as we can i.e Salvador,Buenos,Santiago,Lima,Manaus,Iguasu,Caracas maybe Bogota and La paz if we manage.I’ve no idea how does it work although I’ve read it few times on TAM and LAN websites.Is it possible to book the tickets online(or only trough travel agent) and how can I know how many miles I will be flying from one place to the other if I would like to plann the routes.
    I would be very grateful for any suggestions and ideas.
    Thanks in advance.

  22. Caroline, anything is possible with an airpass…… but you need to come up with a more specific plan/route, only then can you decide how to go about booking the airpass. If you have only a vague plan, best forget the airpasses…..

  23. Hi,
    I live in Poland and I am flying to Brazil in the end of July, none of travel agency here has heard about Brazil Air Pass ant they can not buy it for me, could you please give me an advice how can I buy it from Poland?I was looking for it on Tam website but it is piffling:(
    Thanks in advance

  24. Hello,
    I’d like to know whether one of the existing passes is a good option for my itinerary:
    Santa Cruz (Bolivia) -> Recife (Brazil)
    Recife -> Montevideo (Uruguay)
    (later on)
    Buenos Aires -> Foz do Iguassu (Brazil?Argentina?)
    Do you have any idea about the price?
    Thanks a lot!

  25. Hi this is great information, i am having a look on journey latin America for airpass information and wil ask in my local travel agencies as I can’t find anything on the Tam website regarding airpasses. I have a flight with tam so to qualify for the discount will I need to book with them directly. Have read the thread sorry to be repeating my self but information is not freely available about this.

    I am travelling in Feb 2012. I am starting in Rio and want to go from there to Igaszu Brazilian or Argentinain side for a day then from there to manuas for two nights then back to rio for carnival. Only staying from the 10-20th so very short on time. Each trip would be counted as two coupons so I would need 6 coupons? is there any website forup to date prices of the Brazilain Tam airpasses.

    Please email my personl address as I bet I won’t find this site again :) thanks so much for your help! If I can get one will work out much cheaper than the flights I was looking at theye are extortionate. I am in the Uk by the way and one website says you have to be in the US but I will look a Journey’s site.

    Also how do I book for teh flights with the airpass, is this online with a code?? Confused!!!

  26. Hi, i was hoping for some advice on which airpass to use as am struggling with the online resources to work out which would work out the cheapest! I haven’t yet booked my international flights but am planning to fly uk to Rio in december. From there we would like to fly to iguazu and then fly down to Buenos aires. Then to Mendoza and back to Buenos Aires, although that journey might be better do do via coach. Ideally I would then fly back to UK from Buenos Aires but think it might work out cheaper to fly back to Rio and return home from there.
    Any help would be greatfully received. Thanks

  27. Hello!Excellent information you have provided here. I actually just have a question if you don’t mind helping us out. My friend and I want to fly from Venezuela (caracas) to Quito and then Santa Cruz (Bolivia) to Rio de Janeiro.
    Would this airpass work for us. We have two international flights, instead of one international and a few domestic. Also is there a way to extend the validity of the pass? We would fly out of Venezuela around January 12th and Fly from Santa Cruz around February 14th
    Thanks for you help!

  28. HELP! I have found some great information on this site. However, I am still confused!! The TAM website states we are allowed four flights per pass, but it looks as though we are truly only allowed two. My husband and I are planning a trip to Rio soon and we were planning traveling from RIO to MAO then from MAO to IGU then from IGU back to RIO. Is this considered three flights or six? Because each time I go to purchase a pass it will only allow me to go from RIO to MAO then from MAO to IGU, so to me it is not actually four flights only two. I just find it hard to imagine that they would consider flying from RIO to MAO two flights. Any recent first hand knowledge would be extremely appreciated. :-)

Leave a Comment or Travel Tip (all comments are moderated)