Will you be flying to Rio de Janeiro for the first time? Whether your journey starts in an American airport or in a destination overseas, it is very likely that you will land in Rio Galeão International airport, the main one in Brazil as far as occupied surface is concerned as well as the busiest one if we look at the number of passengers transiting through it every year. It was given the name of Galeão in its beginnings because the first terminal building that was built –today out of use- was situated opposite Galleon Beach. From 2014 onwards and after several remodelling phases were completed, the additional title “AeroportoTom Jobim” was adopted under the management of a new company.
Although Rio-Galeão Tom Jobim International airport has two terminal buildings, Terminal 2 is the only one from which flights are operated, and while some passenger services are offered in the facilities of Terminal 1, all the check-in counters and boarding gates are located in T2.
Flights to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
The airlines listed below are currently operating flights to Rio de Janeiro which can be either seasonal or regular ones. We advise you to check their websites well in advance to find out if the dates available suit your travel plans.
Aerolíneas Argentinas (from Buenos Aires, Córdoba and Rosario), Air France (Paris Charles de Gaulle), Alitalia (Rome Fiumicino), American Airlines (Miami and JFK in New York), Avianca (several destinations across South America), Azul Airlines and Gol (from other Brazilian airports), British Airways (London Heathrow), Copa Airlines (Panamá), Delta (Atlanta), Edelweiss (Zürich), Emirates (Dubai International), Iberia (Madrid), KLM (Amsterdam), LATAM (from destinations across South America), LOT (Warsaw Chopin), Lufthansa (Frankfurt), Royal Air Maroc (Casablanca), Sky Airline (Santiago de Chile), TAAG (Luanda), TAP Air Portugal (Lisbon and Porto) and United (Houston).
Transport from Tom Jobim International airport in Rio de Janeiro
Rio Galeão airport is about 20 kilometres away from Rio de Janeiro city centre and, unless you plan to hire a car upon arrival, we recommend either buses or taxis for an easy and affordable commute to your accommodation in Rio. As long as you head to the specifically signposted bus stands and taxi ranks outside the terminal (Premium Auto Ônibus, Táxi and Táxi Especial) and look for the badges identifying authorised official vehicles, public transportation from the airport to the city is safe and convenient.
To go from Galeão airport to Rio de Janeiro by bus, you will need to choose the route with a stop that is close to your final destination. The fare to be paid for all services departing from Terminal 2 range from 14 to 16 Brazilian reais; the first service picks up passengers as early as 5:30 am and the departure time of the last one varies from line to line. Some lines are the most frequently used by foreign visitors staying in areas of historical and touristic interest; for instance, line 2012 ends in Gávea, stopping at Jardim Botânico and Botafogo along the way, line 2018 goes along the southern coast of the city and routes 2101 and 2145 connect Tom Jobin airport and Santos Dumont with stops at Av. Brasil and Presidente Vargas.
Taxi cabs in Rio de Janeiro are divided into two categories: yellow and red. The red ones are normally headed to the downtown and the south, whereas yellow ones transport passengers to the north and Barra de Tijuca (including the Ayrton Senna Avenue and Avenida de Las Americas). Taxi rides rarely take longer than half an hour and the final fare might, in some cases, be agreed with the driver before setting off.
Transit hotels inside Rio Galeão International airport in Brazil
Staying in a hotel in Rio de Janeiro airport will make your layover or last night in the country easier and totally stress-free. The Rio Aeroporto Hotel, for example, is located inside Terminal 1 –on its third floor to be precise- and provides the same guest services and amenities as any other 4-star hospitality establishment outside the air travel hub. A cheaper option for budget travellers is the Linx Galeão Hotel, within short walking distance of Rio Galeão International. Nevertheless, if the only reason why you will be passing through Tom Jobim airport is to transfer between flights, the Aerotel in Rio de Janeiro by Plaza Premium Group on the boarding concourse of T2 (third level) might be just what you need: you won’t have to exit the transit area and will be able to catch your connecting flight well-rested and refreshed.
Passenger services in Rio de Janeiro International airport
If you are taking a business trip to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, you will surely find the following amenities useful during your transit through the airport premises.
Aside from a wide array of shopping and dining outlets, the facilities of Terminal 2 in Rio Galeão comprise:
-Car Rental offices
-Valet parking and other premium services for executive travellers
Airport lounges in Aeroporto Tom Jobim
Passengers who are members of frequent-flyer loyalty programs, holders of certain credit cards or those who have bought a first-class or business-class plane ticket will be invited into the VIP lounges in Rio de Janeiro airport to spend their waiting time before boarding. In certain instances, as is the case with the public Plaza Premium lounge in Rio Galeão, you will be admitted into the lounge after purchasing an access, regardless of your flyer status. Find the airport lounges at Rio de Janeiro airport along with details referring to their location in the terminal below:
Domestic Plaza Premium Lounge: Terminal 2, 1st floor (both on the landside and the airside).
International Plaza Premium Lounge: Terminal 2, 3rd floor (after security).
Public Plaza Premium Lounge: Terminal 2, 1st floor.
American Airlines VIP lounge: Terminal 2, 3rd floor (airside).
GOL VIP lounge: Terminal 2, 3rd floor (after security).
GOL domestic boarding: Terminal 2, 2nd floor (admits passengers of Delta, Air France, KLM, holders of a Priority Pass card and members of Lounge Pass, Lounge Club, Lounge Key and Diners.
Star Alliance lounge in Rio de Janeiro: Terminal 2, 3rd floor (after security).