Advice on 2013 worlds in Porto Alegre: best flights and visas, etc.
Dave Ortman in Seattle has done some research on the WMA world meet next year in Porto Alegre, Brazil. Here is what he found (with a West Coast perspective): “Flights: WMA has managed to select a city that adds significantly to the cost of getting there. Frequent Flyer awards: There are no frequent flyer awards to Porto Alegre, Brazil for either United or Delta.Â Both fly to Sao Paulo, Brazil.Â So you could use FF awards to get to Sao Paulo and then pay an extra $240 RT or so to and fromÂ Porto Alegre. United: I do not believe that United has a carrier connection to Porto Alegre so you would likely need to make separate arrangements with the in-country carrier. Delta: Delta does have a carrier connection to Porto Alegre (but no frequent flyer arrangement).Â The regular Delta RT Seattle-Porto Alegre runs a bit over $1,000 a the moment (although you can’t make actual reservations until mid-Novmeber or so).Â If someone has another carrier consolidator or bucket option, it would be good to know.”
In addition, due to U.S. paranoia, visitors to the U.S. are charged outrageous visa fees, hassled and in some cases banned from entry.Â As a result, other countries retaliate and Brazil charges $180 for a visa (plus, it appears an additional $20 fee).Â A visa can only be obtained from the Brazil Consulate in our region (in our case that means San Francisco).
if you cannot get to the Consulate in person, theÂ application can be submitted in person by a third party, such as a friend, a relative or aÂ visa agency.Â An additional absentee fee is charged if you do not bring your application in person. Such fee is waived if you are applying on behalf of your spouse, father, mother, son, daughter, brother or sister.Â Â
One visa agency I found charges $49 to obtain the visa for you and another $26 to ship.
So the cheapest visa agency option seems to be $255 (perhaps an addition $20 for not appearing in person).Â This is cheaper that flying/driving down to San Francisco, unless you already have other business there.