October 10, 2008
GOL Extends SMILES Program to All Customers
SAO PAULO, Brazil, Oct. 10 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. (Bovespa: GOLL4 and NYSE: GOL), Brazil's low-cost airline company, announces that beginning October 16 customers flying on both VARIG and GOL will be able to accumulate miles through the SMILES frequent flyer program.
"Expanding the SMILES program to include GOL flights is a significant step towards our goal of offering our customers additional services to strengthen our relationship with them," said Tarcisio Gargioni, GOL's vice president, marketing and services.
SMILES, VARIG's existing rewards program, is available in 212 countries, has issued one million memberships abroad and is the largest mileage program in Latin America with over 5.9 million enrolled members. Miles are accumulated by purchasing GOL or VARIG airline tickets or purchasing products or services from the program's nearly 115 non-air business partners in Brazil and abroad.
GOL's customers can enroll for free beginning October 16, through the website http://www.smiles.com.br/ or via phone through the SMILES Service Center. Existing program members, whose accumulated miles will not be affected, should also re-register beginning that date.
Beginning November 16, miles can be exchanged for tickets to all GOL and VARIG destinations based on the program's guidelines (available on the website in English and Spanish). As customers accumulate miles they will become eligible for additional benefits and privileges, including membership-level upgrades and bonus miles, exclusive Service Center and check-in counters, extra baggage allowances and access to VIP airport lounges.
SMILES' non-air business partners include hotel chains, car rental companies, restaurants, insurance companies, publishers, educational establishments, banks, telecommunications companies and major banks and credit card companies in Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay.
The Company will also offer customers with Gold and Diamond SMILES cards access to two international VIP lounges, one at Guarulhos (Sao Paulo) and another at Tom Jobim-Galeao (Rio de Janeiro), as well as four domestic VIP lounges, located in Guarulhos, Tom Jobim-Galeao, Salgado Filho (Porto Alegre) and Afonso Pena (Curitiba) terminals.
The international lounge in Guarulhos offers seating for 202 and is approximately 400 square meters, making it the largest VIP lounge in Brazil. The area offers exclusive products and services, including shower-equipped bathrooms with no usage time limits (a common restriction in other lounges at major international airports), massage chairs to improve circulation and relieve fatigue and TV rooms offering 50-inch televisions, individual audio hook-ups and a number of popular cable channels.
"VARIG's VIP lounges are now being converted into SMILES VIP lounges focused on improving our customers' well-being and offering exclusive items aimed at making their trip more comfortable," explains Gargioni.
The lounges also provide a relaxation area, laptop docking stations with wireless Internet connection, computer terminals with Internet access, an extensive selection of reading materials and a special Kids Area with children's books and games. The SMILES Lounge in Guarulhos is also the first in Brazil to offer a bathroom designed specifically for customers with disabilities.
Internationally, SMILES Gold and Diamond members have access to partner airline companies' VIP lounges in Bogota (Colombia), Buenos Aires (Argentina), Caracas (Venezuela) and Santiago (Chile).
About GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A.
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A. , Brazil's low-cost airline, offers nearly 800 daily flights to 49 destinations connecting the most important cities in Brazil and ten major destinations in South America. GOL and VARIG operate the safest and most comfortable aircraft of its class that provides low costs, as well as high aircraft utilization and efficiency ratios. The Company's service is recognized as the best value proposition in the market.
GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes S.A.
CONTACT: IR, +55-11-3169-6800, [email protected]
Web site: http://www.smiles.com.br/http://www.voegol.com.br/ir