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Oct 25th 2010 10:43AM I was flying from MIA and meeting up with travel mates on our Sao Paolo to Buenos Aires connection because they were coming from JFK. My flight was rerouted to Rio instead, but cell phone didn't work so I couldn't call to tell them not to wait for me, counter attendant wouldn't help deliver the message--friends had already boarded in NYC--and couldn't reach family in Miami for help. Random airport health inspector finally got Varig, the airline, to help me. I waited for my friends in Buenos Aires airport, but my baggage never made it. I was transferring to Ushuaia, the world's southernmost city, in the winter. Was in freezing weather without a coat.
On the way home, my flight was canceled to MIA, so I got on friends’ flight to JFK and would go from there back to Miami. My seat was broken on that 7-hour flight. At JFK, someone from Varig was supposed to meet me with a connecting ticket, but no one was there. Apparently Varig had bought a paper ticket, not an e-ticket, so AA wouldn’t let me board. Kept shuttling between terminals but no one would help me; a lady from Thai Airways tried, at least. Only after my father pulled the lawyer card on the national Varig phone line did a ticket materialize. I ran back to AA, nearly missed my flight, and my luggage didn’t get on. Again.
Varig went bankrupt a few weeks later.