Brazil’s President “Surprises” Azul Flight, Gets Booed

Brazil’s President “Surprises” Azul Flight, Gets Booed

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I’m not sure how exactly he was expecting this would play out?

Brazil’s president greets Azul passengers

This incident happened on Azul flight 4655 from Vitoria to Campinas on Friday, June 11, 2021. Brazil’s controversial president, Jair Bolsonaro, was in the southeastern state of Espirito Santo to inaugurate a public works project.

While at the airport, he took a moment to “surprise” passengers on a departing flight. No, he wasn’t actually supposed to take the flight, but he figured he’d say hi to the passengers, I guess. As you can see captured in video of the incident, that wasn’t well received.

Some passengers seemed to be Bolsonaro fans and cheered, while asking for pictures with him. Others weren’t fans, and flicked him off, booed, yelled “get out, Bolsonaro,” and also yelled “genocidal maniac” (in reference to his handling of the pandemic).

In response to the unwelcome reception, Bolsonaro removed his mask and yelled “those people saying ‘get out, Bolsonaro,’ should be traveling by donkey.” For what it’s worth, there are also reports of Bolsonaro removing his mask in the airport, in violation of regulations. His lack of mask wearing isn’t surprising — yesterday he got fined in Sao Paulo for not wearing a mask, in violation of local regulations.

Here’s the video of the incident (it contains bad language and middle fingers, so view at your own discretion):

What exactly was Bolsonaro expecting?

Real talk — is there any other way this could have played out? Aside from countries where leaders are universally “loved” (like in North Korea), I’m not sure how a surprise visit by a polarizing leader in a confined space is in anyone’e best interest?

There are already enough incidents on planes during these times, and when you add in politics and a pandemic, this seems like a recipe for disaster.

Perhaps the strangest part of this is that Bolsonaro seems surprised by the reaction, suggesting that people who aren’t fans of having him on the plane should instead ride a donkey.

Was this a spur of the moment attempt at some good PR? Was Azul in on this? Why did he choose this flight over others?

Bottom line

Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro decided to board an Azul flight on Friday to surprise passengers, though that wasn’t very well received. While there were some fans of his onboard, others flicked him off and told him to leave, which is a reaction he seemed surprised by. In response to that feedback, he told people to instead take donkeys if they don’t like him.

Can anyone make sense of this incident?

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  1. PeteyNice

    I bet he was just looking for those tasty gummy airplanes that Azul has and he was told that they were on the plane.

  2. George

    He is a facist that knows he won't win the next election next year, democratically.
    He is slowly but surely turning a democratic government into an authoritarian one.
    - the justice system: he is trying to turn the highest court in his favour;
    - the media: he is always backed by three big media companies (Record, SBT and RedeTV). But not the biggest one(Globo);
    - the senate: he has a great...

    He is a facist that knows he won't win the next election next year, democratically.
    He is slowly but surely turning a democratic government into an authoritarian one.
    - the justice system: he is trying to turn the highest court in his favour;
    - the media: he is always backed by three big media companies (Record, SBT and RedeTV). But not the biggest one(Globo);
    - the senate: he has a great influence over it
    - the military supports him (he is giving all the benefits you can imagine)
    He is backed by religious and conservatives (mostly hypocrites, as you might know), as well as backed by liberals, which is turning the quality of life of most people just miserable and intolerable.

    He and his family is like an italian mafia one. All criminals but manages to operate above the law...

  3. Colin

    Bolsonaro being called a "Genocidal maniac" is actually likely referring to his genocide of indigenous tribes of the Brazilian Amazon rainforest...

    1. NickTampieri

      That too, but it also refers to his handling of the pandemic. Brazil's had over 2000 Covid deaths each day during the wordt months (jan to may 21) and also over 1000 daily deaths during the first wave, but he and his government didn't do even the bare minimum to avoid tragedy and instead pursued their own political agenda, using the pandemic to do so.

  4. Fatty Bao

    Ah yes, let’s cancel him for daring to breathe by occasionally airing his mask or taking it off for a second during the summer. I bet you wear masks in public outside of planes and airports even though the almighty CDC says we don’t need to just because you fear that people will think you’re a Republican rather than for your own safety.

  5. Dan

    "Conservative Travel Blog" ... about as in demand as "Late Night Conservative Comedy Show"

    And get with the program. Conservatism is dead. Been replaced by whatever it is Trump's been selling.

  6. Helton

    I'm going to miss reading the articles on this website. I come here regularly for travel information. Not a Political agenda. So long!

  7. DrewT

    Is Azul flying RJ's with IFE? Wow! From a quick Google, seems like these are probably E190/195's. Founded by the same person that founded JetBlue, makes sense now.

    Now that LATAM is out of one world they might be my next flight in South America!

    1. NickTampieri

      The Embraer Ejets are the backbone of Azul's domestic fleet and they all have IFE with LiveTV and are also getting wifi =)

  8. Netto C

    It is far from what happened , only few people booed, and he was more than welcome all crew were happy to see him and most of the passengers were nice to the president.

  9. Henry

    All I see in the video is a few people yelling get out Bolsonaro. Everybody else seems to be cheering him.
    I am Brazilian, with many family members and relatives in Brazil. I visit the country a few times a year. What the media paints about him is completely different than the sentiment shown in the streets.
    If you want to be a journalist, then show the facts instead of being in one...

    All I see in the video is a few people yelling get out Bolsonaro. Everybody else seems to be cheering him.
    I am Brazilian, with many family members and relatives in Brazil. I visit the country a few times a year. What the media paints about him is completely different than the sentiment shown in the streets.
    If you want to be a journalist, then show the facts instead of being in one side for whatever reason. I am not saying you should be in favor nor against him. Just show the whole picture. Videos like this https://youtu.be/Crgpg8UL0Y8 shows something very different. This https://youtu.be/mfNOUYiRk74 is how he was received by the public in the same airport.

  10. Kanaka

    Based a few comments on here, some fragile members of the Trump cult are clearly upset about their sister cult leader being booed.

  11. NickTampieri

    The "best" part is that, of all the absurdities and disrespectful things this idiot did regarding the pandemic, this is probably the least bad.

    1. Adriano

      Just for everyone's information, could you please name a few of the wrongs things his government did? Keep in mind that it is a government together that rule a country, not only one person ;)

    2. NickTampieri

      1) Ignoring Pfizer's vaccine offers for months while 1000 Brazilians were dying from coronavirus each day

      2) Systematically not wearing masks and not keeping social distancing in public and telling people to follow his example

      3) Minimizing the pandemic and deaths during public appearences

      4)Firing two health ministers because they didn't follow his wishes and replacing them with an army general with no health background but that followed all of his command.

      5) Encouraging...

      1) Ignoring Pfizer's vaccine offers for months while 1000 Brazilians were dying from coronavirus each day

      2) Systematically not wearing masks and not keeping social distancing in public and telling people to follow his example

      3) Minimizing the pandemic and deaths during public appearences

      4)Firing two health ministers because they didn't follow his wishes and replacing them with an army general with no health background but that followed all of his command.

      5) Encouraging public gatherings and protests against Brazil's democractic institutions

      6) Spending money and resources in producing and acquiring a medication innefective against covid instead of pursuing vaccines

      The list goes on...
      And this is only regarding the pandemic, there are tons of other absurdities he and his government have done in the last years.

  12. VÍTOR SILVA

    Despite all politics involved, that was a major hazard to passengers' security and sanitary safety in pandemic times!
    Let us hope nobody got infected and that the crew gets severely penalised, they were the authorities on board and should by no means allow a stranger to the flight to board in for no reason, regardless of whom it is!
    What if the guy had a knife or tuberculosis??
    The matter must be seen this way, politics aside.

  13. EC2

    At least he wasn’t bitch slapped like Macron.

  14. Dan Nainan

    So interesting, isn't it, that they are doing their president about the virus while being crammed into an airplane!

  15. Joe1293 Schwarze

    So would you rather have Trump, Biden, Clinton, or Bolsonaro?

    Also Lucky have you flown on Azul?

  16. HappyPrime23

    You know, as a young kid, decades ago, I also thought the expression was "flicked him off". But as I got older my friends gave me a hard time because they insisted the expression was "flipped him off" and no one had ever said "flicked". I'm glad someone in the present day is also using "flicked". This validates my entire childhood :)

    1. LovetoFly

      Boogers were flicked, fingers were flipped! :)

  17. Santastico

    Slow news day!!!! Get back to reviewing hotels and flights and stop with now international political BS.

    1. UA-NYC

      As always I look forward to the long overdue Conservative Travel Blog…great white space opportunity for those always telling Lucky what he should be writing about

    2. Adriano

      I agree with Santastico. It is a travel blog. Not a place to post not-well-informed political news of a place that Ben doesn't know really what happens down here.

    3. Santastico

      Ben and you know nothing about Brazil so it is better not to post an article based on the leftist media he found on the internet. You know that only one side of the story is published like here. Thus, better not to post.

  18. KEVIN

    Lol. President of a country retort back to citizens that they should travel by donkeys should tell you a lot about him and people who voted for him…

    1. UA-NYC

      The US smartly dumped their incompetent and corrupt president last year, hopefully Brazil will follow soon

    2. EC2

      We’ll be doing the in 2024 - trust me.

    3. UA-NYC

      Comments brought to you by the party with three historic election losses in a row, kowtowing to the same historic loser - good luck with that!

    4. Adrinao

      As a matter of fact, it happened in 2019, when Lula got arrested by corruption in a sphere that has never happened anywhere else.
      When a president takes over and revokes the privilege of media and other people used to get money from government, this is what happens! ;)
      Even difficult to find something serious to knock down the current government that the media needs to go after the spent on condensed milk.

  19. Adriano

    Hi Ben,
    I am a long time reader of your blog.
    First of all, Brazil is not for amateurs. You are just telling one part of the story.
    Do a search on how was his reception at the airport. And if you see other parts of the video, he was also cheered up.
    I am not telling if he is wrong or right and I disagree with his public comments, specially...

    Hi Ben,
    I am a long time reader of your blog.
    First of all, Brazil is not for amateurs. You are just telling one part of the story.
    Do a search on how was his reception at the airport. And if you see other parts of the video, he was also cheered up.
    I am not telling if he is wrong or right and I disagree with his public comments, specially for someone that is president.
    Let's wait for next election and see what is the real Brazilian opinion. Keep in mind that what you see on media is just one side of the view.
    By the way, vaccination is moving fast in Brazil and economy booming (check Ibovespa Index).

    1. TLS

      Is that the non effective chinese vaccine?

    2. Adriano

      Well, the 50,38% effective Chinese vaccine is one of them. Anvisa Brazilian FDA approved it, and Anvisa reputation in Brazil is high. Pfizer, Astrazeneca and soon Jansen are also being offered. Other vaccines will follow after.
      Anyway, huge effort to vaccine people in a country of this size. I am proud of the health professionals worldwide.

  20. Paras Minhas

    I am guessing the people he keeps close are not telling him the truth in regards to his handling of the pandemic, his popularity, or whether he is doing a “good job” in general.

    Put another way - and I believe this is an accurate description based on previous statements and actions Bolsonaro has committed - “He’s a xenophobic homophobic moron.”

    1. NickTampieri

      That's either one of these two possibilities:

      1) the people surrounding him are also idiots who think they are doing the right thing
      2) people are actually counseling him right, but he doesn't care and does his own business either because he still beleives he's right or because he knows he's wrong but has interestes in doing so.

  21. Citizen Kane

    Yeah, he got booed. By one single lady. Will be on the news next time I boo a president by myself?

Featured Comments Load all 39 comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

Icarus

He’s a xenophobic homophobic moron.

UA-NYC

As always I look forward to the long overdue Conservative Travel Blog…great white space opportunity for those always telling Lucky what he should be writing about

KEVIN

Lol. President of a country retort back to citizens that they should travel by donkeys should tell you a lot about him and people who voted for him…

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