When was the last time you flew for less than $30? Not this advertised price, the total price, taxes included? Yeah, never. Same here. Well, we’ve just did and I’m still amazed that we paid so little for the one-hour flight between Recife and Natal.
For the second time in ten days, we flew Azul, a low-cost Brazilian airline. Hi Azul, if you feel like sponsoring this blog, feel free to get in touch, I love you!
That’s right. I’ve just said that I love an airline company. Who says that these days?
We were going to take the bus from Recife to Natal, up north, but at the last minute Feng discovered that flying was cheap and easy. A five-hour bus ride versus a one-hour flight… it was a no-brainer. Yet, when I saw the total price of the tickets, less than $80 for the three of us, I started to think there had to be a trick.
“We are going to get charged $100 per check-in bag!” I predicted. “Or they are going to ask us to fly the plane ourselves.”
We still booked the tickets the night before and on Saturday, we took a taxi to the airport. It was pouring in Recife and considering we were flying one of these small propeller planes, I started to wonder if the flight would be cancelled.
Maybe I’m too negative sometime.
We had some time so we explored the big Aeroporto Internacional do Recife/Guararapes. It was upgraded for the FIFA World Cup and it felt brand new, with plenty of restaurants and a cool observation deck upstairs.
We checked in—no baggage fees.
The flight was scheduled and on time.
Since it was pouring rain, airport employees protected us with umbrellas as we boarded the plane.
We were offered drinks and snacks.
We landed safely… oh wait, not really, we bounced on the tarmac, but that’s the routine landing process in Brazil.
“A $25 flight!” Feng and I were still saying as we stepped out of the airport in Natal. “That’s the price of a taxi ride to any airport! That’s the price of a Coke in an airport lounge! That’s the price of changing a typo in your name on a ticket!”
The Aeroporto Internacional de Natal — Governador Aluízio Alves is also brand new and it’s far from the city. The taxi ride took almost an hour and we drove through fields, spotting horses and cows, then factories (including a Coke factory). We could have been anywhere in Central America in this rural and tropical setting. The atmosphere felt very different from the two metropolis we came from.
Natal is one of Brazil’s favourite beach playgrounds. The coast is famous for its party atmosphere and its sand dunes and we had a hard time finding an affordable hotel that had a room. We booked one close to the beach for the first couple of night. It’s fairly basic and a bit overpriced but I sat outside and ate snacks late at night listening to the waves and breathing the hot and humid air… and that’s pretty awesome.