I will say this, compared to São Paulo's GRU, Rio's GIG airport wins for having a slightly more modern approach to airport design.
Typically, the main thing I look for are check in kiosks where you can auto bypass the luggage check line (this airport has a few although none I can use because of the visa requirement), a clean and modern aesthetic (parts of this airport are beginning to have that), a vast seating area as you await boarding time (check mark on this one), and finally, the holy grail: free wi-fi. GIG offers free wi-fi, but you will have to sign up with your name, DOB, mobile #, etc. That, and the fact that the wi-fi is only a little decent, is the only downside.
Sadly, there aren't many amenities to choose from (shopping/dining/bars/etc), so if you're lucky enough to have lounge access, well, then lucky you are!
You'd think for all the moolah that Brazil put into stadiums, infrastructure, security, and everything else that goes into hosting an event like the World Cup that they'd make a few updates to the airport in the most popular city of their country.
There was 2 TV's in the entire terminal I flew out of and one of them wasn't working. Really!?!?!?! 2 TV's!?!?! It's not like a global event is going on in your country or anything...Needless to say...When your team is playing an hour before your return flight this is more than a bit irritating.
The only positive is the quick security lines, but as an American that just made me more nervous than anything. Oh well...the rest of the country is pretty amazing.
What to say about the airport?
There is a huge potential of being one of the bests airports in the world, if they had more people that were interested to help, other than take advantage of tourists. Other thing that is totally lacking there are English spoken personnel. It is an INTERNATIONAL airport, and not even half of the people that work there speaks mediocre English, and when they do, they are the flight receptionist.
Restaurants and stores are over expensive. I know that things there are supposed to be more expensive, i Get it, but don't over over price it. Business there would make muchhh more money if they were cheaper. If I have to fly from there ill bring food from home,otherwise ill eat terrible food and very expensive.
Terminal 2 Domestic gates dont sell alcohol in main area! Horrible food selection. Shop, eat, and drink before you pass security.
Small airport that was very no frills. Duty free was super crowded and deals were not so great. Also my ticket said my flight was boarding 2 hours earlier than it was supposed to which caused some hassle.
Not bad as far as international airports go -- definitely better than the experiences I had in Sao Paulo's Guarulhos international airport. Galeao actually got me through immigration and customs in record time, much to my surprise, and I made an international arrival, passed through, got my bags, and was out the door within half an hour. Not always the case, I'm sure, but I was still impressed. I've been back to deal with immigration paperwork, and it's really not as bad as it could be, for dealing with all of this at a major airport. It's one of those experiences of not being the most amazing thing ever, but it's not bad -- just okay enough - manageable, if nothing else.
This is the same review as for the "Aeroporto Internacional Antonio Carlos Jobim" - I'm not sure why they have two such listings, but so be it...
First off, let me say how much I love Rio. Always have. On a recent trip there, however, I was stupefied by the inadequacy of this iconic airport I have known for so long. I have always loved this airport before, but it appears to have fallen on difficult times - I'm sure they have everything to do with the preparations for the 2014 World Cup.
On my arrival, all seemed well until I hit the baggage area. Utter chaos! (More so than in days past!) There were FOUR other flights from the US assigned to the baggage carousel that my luggage would eventually arrive on. If you imagine that each flight had somewhere between 200-250 people, that's 800-1000 people congregating around ONE small carousel, looking for their luggage. God only knows how this airport is going to cope with the upcoming World Cup and Olympics! It took at least 70 minutes to GET my bag, and then another hour to weave all over the baggage claim area in a rudimentary "line" to reach the customs area - all the while having to put up with rude people cutting in front and feigning innocence for doing so!
After clearing the bowels of hell in the baggage area, though, I was easily able to arrange for a taxi to take me to my destination - make sure you use the Cootramo, Transcoopass, Coopertramo kiosk right as you go through the main exit doors - they are a bit pricey, but are very safe and friendly.
Upon my departure, the process to leave was more efficient, although the American Airlines "self serve" ticketing kiosk area only had 3 of the 6 available kiosks up and running - another embarrassment to customer service. Their agent at the bag drop off area was friendly and helpful, and did what he could to expedite things as much as possible.
Another gripe - in this hot city, in the middle of summer, why could they not have functional air conditioning? Really? I've been here hundreds of times before, and they always had great air conditioning. Honestly, the place is a disaster, and I hope that they will be able to turn things around and accommodate the throngs of sports fans about to descend upon this marvelous city.
Despite the shoddy state of affairs at this airport, I shall definitely be back to Rio, as it is fantastic! I hope Mr. Jobim's spirit can provide some paranormal motivation to get things back in shape here!
Oh Lord! It pains me to say this because this is one of the best airports in Brazil (so you an imagine the rest!!) in reality if you compare it to Europe or America, well let's just say you can't compare it, yeah it's that bad! I mean what do you expect from a baba republic tho? I seriously feel bad for people having to go there now for the World Cup. Lord have mercy!!
Terminal 2 is brand new, but the rest is kinda dim and depressing. Lots of gift shops though (or rather, one gigantic all-encompassing duty free shop with lines that took forever). VIP lounges aren't very logically laid out, and once boarding starts, there's barely any room to stand and line up.
Looks pretty run down and unclean, spacious, no free wifi and has around 10-15 different places to get fast food, noodles, drinks, etc. Not a fan of this airport.
Ein großer, moderner, sauberer Flughafen, mit guten Einkaufsmöglichkeiten und gutem Duty-Free-Bereich. Manchmal ist er chaotisch, manchmal wirkt er zu groß -- von einem Terminal zu dem Anderen ist ein sehr langer weg und es nervt manchmal. Wenn man in Rio ankommt wird man von Taxifahrer/Taxiunternehmen, Reisebüros und Geldweschler bedrängt. Das nervt noch mehr!
It's a big, modern and clean airport, with good shopping facilities and a nice duty free zone. Sometimes it is chaotic and sometimes it appears to be too big, since it's a long long way from one terminal to another. Besides, when you come to Rio, you are harassed by cab drivers, cab companies, money changer and travel agencies and this does really get on the nerves.
Atmosphere of a sleepy provincial airport, hardly fitting to this city. Absolutely annoying the extremely complicating registration procedures for internet access, a procedure designed to be the maximum nuisance for every user in particular foreigners who have no CEP.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.