American Airlines and Brazilian airlines GOL formed a partnership (again) after Delta dumped GOL and took a stake in LATAM.
This is not the first time American Airlines and GOL have partnered. The airlines introduced limited elite benefits earlier this year, and I took a flight with them last month when I was in Brazil.
Previous GOL & American Airlines coverage:
- American Airlines Elite Benefits On GOL
- GOL Awards Now Available On American’s Website
- American Airlines & GOL Deepens Partnership
- American Airlines AAdvantage & GOL Smiles Reciprocal Earning & Redeem Effective May 7, 2020
- American Airlines & GOL Codeshare Agreement
American Airlines Elite Benefits On GOL:
I both redeemed GOL flights using AAdvantage miles (fantastic value at 7.5K within Brazil) and purchased them.
The award tickets issued using AA miles indicated that these would have been Premium Economy awards in X.
The GOL website is a huge mess with minimal options in English. You may have better luck downloading their app, which is in Portuguese, but easy to guess what each step means.
I could easily select the GOL+ Conforto seats for the CGH-SSA segment (both passengers) for a ticket I purchased on Capital One Travel.
The price was zero on the screen where I selected them and on the confirmation page.
The other ticket was for an SDU-GRU segment, and the seat selection worked on the app.
It was unclear to me what is the situation with the checked bags. GOL’s fares don’t usually include any, and you should purchase them using their website or app. This, however, is impossible unless you have a Brazilian CPF (identification number).
There is no word about checked luggage benefit for being an AAdvantage elite member beyond that you are eligible for “Priority baggage.”
There is a Premium check-in for GOL passengers that doesn’t have a word about American Airlines. It is, however, available for all GOL+ Conforto passengers.
The check-in agent didn’t mention anything about paying to check a bag, which was somewhat surprising.
The boarding pass correctly identified my AAdvantage status and the number.
GOL’s airplanes also prominently display the Air France & KLM logos.
GOL has some regional routes to Buenos Aires, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Suriname. The airline also flies to Punta Cana, Miami, Orlando, and Cancun.
It would be fantastic if checked luggage charges were waived for American Airlines elite members seated in GOL+ Conforto.
Not sure if all AA awards book into GOL+ Conforto as was the award issued from my account even when I was not traveling included this?
No miles were posted from the GOL ticket I had issued using Capital One Travel. I assume it is one of the fare classes that doesn’t earn any.
The main benefit of the GOL+ Conforto seat is a bit better legroom and recline. Also, the flight attendants tend to make sure that other passengers don’t use their overhead bins.
Word of warning. GOL nowadays has a rather strict check-in deadline for domestic flights. I was denied checking in 45 minutes before the scheduled departure at SDU agent, claiming that the flight was closed.
I had no desire to speak with GOL’s customer service; that was the agent’s suggestion of what I should do. I was able to cancel and refund the ticket on AA’s app and booked a flight using United miles on AZUL a couple of hours later.
American Airlines (GOL) and United (Azul) miles have come very handy recently on intra-Brazil flights when some of them have become ridiculously priced.