Q. I have worked for a major U.S. Airline for 22 years and even I am stumped on this one! We are hosting a foreign exchange student from Brazil this coming school year. He will be traveling from Sao Paulo to Atlanta, arriving in July and returning in June '09. I can find many fares to Brazil from the U.S. that are discounted, but I can find none from Brazil. Whether I book one-way or round-trip, it's running $1000.00-$1500.00! Do you know an airline or site I can try for a better deal?
A. As far as we know, there are no established carriers serving Brazil with a simple one-way pricing model similar to those you see in the transatlantic and transpacific markets, so you appear to be stuck with the time-honored tradition of having to pay as much for one-way tickets as you would for return trips.
If the U.S. to Brazil trends are anything to go by, fares hit their peak in mid-to-late July and you might have had a chance at snaring a good deal if you started shopping around early in the year (keep that in mind for future planning). We usually find the best fares to Brazil on TAM Airlines non-stop from Miami and New York JFK through smaller outfits like Lessno and Vayama, and since Atlanta is typically such an expensive destination (or departure point) for international travel, you may be able to shave 10-20% off the total fare by creating your own connection through either of those cities.
At the moment, the best fares we can pin down for July travel, while probably no better than what you yourself have found, are $890 RT from Sao Paolo to Miami with Avianca on Lessno (7/24-8/1), and $1115 RT from Sao Paolo to Atlanta with Aeromexico on Expedia (7/28-8/5). Lower fares may be available directly from these airlines, as well as from Copa Airlines.