TAM Airlines is the official airline of Brazil and I have flown many times with them. They have a fairly good track record and in the past 20 years, they’ve had four fatalities. I must add that flying around South America can be really dangerous. Mountains, heavy winds and rain can make flying very difficult. Pilots flying in and around South America on a regular basis know what they are doing.
We have used TAM to fly from Buenos Aires to Rio de Janeiro in May 2012. The flight was comfortable, air staff friendly and the overall experience enjoyable. We didn`t get a meal and no in flight service was available on this flight.
What I didn`t enjoy was the attitude of the ground staff. They had major issues (unfounded) with my paper work. In fact it had nothing to do with TAM if I live in Argentina with a temporary Visa. I had a valid Visa for my final destination and was only in transit through Brazil (I don`t need a Visa for Brazil). The lady made a big issue, delayed my check-in, took my passport and documents to an office and refused to explain why she took it.
I have never had this issue with TAM or any other airline before. In my opinion it is their job to make sure that Visas are in place for the countries that you are going to visit and nothing more. I was not using TAM to fly to Moscow but Air Portugal. This made me furious but there was nothing that I could do about it. If you make a scene they might refuse you boarding the aeroplane. I didn`t want that.
Have you ever experienced something like this?