I have a bunch of pertinent links on the right sidebar. American Papist will be dishing up links throughout the whole trip.
In reality, there is no “papal plane,” in the sense of a jet owned by the Vatican and used exclusively for papal travel. Instead, a regular commercial jet owned by Alitalia, the national air carrier of Italy, is set aside the day of the pope’s departure. The pilots and crew are all regular Alitalia employees. The next day, the plane returns to running Alitalia’s normal routes, with its passengers presumably unaware that they’re sitting in what was only recently the “papal plane.”
There’s also no special room on the plane for the pope, no Air Force One-esque office with a couch, desk, TV set, and wet-bar. His lone perk is that he gets a seat by himself in the front row. Behind him are the most senior officials from the Secretariat of State, beginning with Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone. (This seating arrangement usually means that when the flight attendants sit down for take-off, they’re directly across from the Holy Father. Watching them try not to stare is a favorite on-board pastime.)
Much more about the press contigent, who normally goes, how much it costs, and what it's like:
There are only a handful of specifically “Catholic” news outlets on the plane, including the Catholic News Service, the news agency of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; the National Catholic Reporter; L’Avvenire, the newspaper of the Italian bishops’ conference; KNA, the German Catholic news agency; and a handful of Catholic TV and radio outlets. In general, the Vatican Press Office has something of a “preferential option” for major secular news agencies, because they offer the largest audience for the pope’s message. In addition, the cost of the trip is prohibitive for most Catholic outlets.
The Pope arrives at 3:30 Eastern. EWTN will broadcast it and all of today's events.
Today, the Pope will arrive in Sao Paulo, meet with the President of Brazil, and address youth gathered in Paulo Machado de Carvalho Stadium.
Update: From the Plane...the Pope has some comments....
..about Mexican bishops threatening to excommunicate those who assist in abortions, on liberation theology and Archbishop Romero.