My gf and I left Schaffhausen at about 8:30, changing at Winterthur for the 10 minute hop to Zurich airport. No direct trains from this town. The checkin que was a bit chaotic, and it took us about 30 minutes to get to the front when there were only 2 or 3 people in front of us due to a very, very slow check in agent. Before we could ask for a window seat, we had been assigned a middle and aisle seat (3-3 configuration). Not feeling in too great a mood we proceeded to the observation deck (which is well worth the two francs). The photos are not brilliant, but here is some activity:
We left the deck at about 11:15, and lo and behold, TAP 921 was delayed by about 30 minutes. It is a standing joke between us that TAP are very, very rarely on time. The reason this time was due to a late arrival from Lisbon.
Anyhoo, we were bussed to the aircraft at about 12:30 and found ourselves sitting by some Portuguese "hillbillies" as my gf calls them. Some Portuguese come to Switzerland to work in manual jobs and send money home. The guy opposite us had a t-shirt with holes in, cut off jeans shorts, and open toed Jesus sandals - I really, really wanted to suggest he should get a wash. Thankfully, the window seat was free so I moved into that leaving my gf to deal with the "hillbillies." Also identifiable by their brand of Portuguese I am told.
Flight time was 2 hours and 25 minutes, and here is the routemap:
Flying into Spain from the North coast and straight to Lisbon. The flight was very smooth and there was clear sky almost everywhere. Food consisted of a cheese roll, a cake and some orange juice. Standard fare for intra European flights and perfectly adequate.
We were warned of turbulence approaching Lisbon, but by the time we got there it was smooth. The Captain kept updating us about the weather and talked a LOT. Not that I mind, but a look out of the window would indicate clear skies and warm temperature as far as you could see.
Landing at Lisbon, the hillbillies clapped (another sign). We deboarded at a gate which is a rare occurrence. I'm used to being bussed from a parking stand. Anyway, we pulled up next to a BA flight to Heathrow and a TAP plane in the new (and IMO better) livery. Our flight was in the old colours.
Through immigration in ten minutes and out into 30 + degree sunshine all week My gf has a flat in Oreias, and we try to go back once or twice a year, with an eventual move back in a couple of years time.
Anyway, the flight back:
Date: 20 July
Aircraft: A319 (old livery)
Time: 3 pm (actual - about 3:20)
Flight time: 2 hours and 15 minutes
Arriving at Lisbon to check in, something had gone wrong with the conveyor belt taking the baggage to be sorted (little did we know what a fiasco this was going to turn into later). Anyway, the flight was showing as on time, so after some time browsing the duty free, we went through. Here is the plane we were to take:
And next to it in the new livery:
The flight was about 70% full. We took off going across the Tagus then turning back. I forget exactly what the Captain said - North then South takeoff? Anyway, here are some photos:
Going into Spain, I looked out of the window and noticed what I thought at first was an isolated (developing) storm. As we approached, it turned out to be a forest fire (we could see it burning from the ground).
Not much to report. The flight was smooth, very pleasant to have a clear view almost all of the way to Zurich. Friendly crew, a talkative Captain. Free of hillbillies this time lol. A few inflight photos:
Despite the weather looking very unsettled as we approached Zurich (flying close to Geneva, roughly where we began our descent) the landing was smooth. We deboarded at gate E53 only 15 minutes late. Thinking we had been lucky to have a TAP flight that was actually ontime and with no hitches, we went to collect our luggage - which had been left behind in Lisbon. Well, something had to go wrong. Anyway, it was delivered today so not too much harm done, and TAP helped us sort everything out quickly enough.
I like flying TAP, and give them an 8 out of 10. More if they were actually ontime. Never had a bad experience with the crew or inflight, just the departure time is rarely what they say - I don't care too much since it's more time to go around the airport, but I can see why some might give them a bad rep.
Next flight on this route may be around Christmas time. Hope you enjoyed
CV990 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 2, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 8 hours ago) and read 3696 times:
Very good report about your trip. I feel really connected because I've been doing this trip ( well actually LIS-ZRH-LIS ) since 1979 and mostly with swiss airlines ( Swissair first and latter SWISS ). I was quite surprised to see TP using the A321 on ZRH route, you were lucky, TP uses more often on FRA, ORY and LHR the A321. I wish you could know the registration, on the way back I could see that you flew TP A319 CS-TTO. Maybe in some of your other pictures you can see the registration, would be nice!
Excelent pictures you took when you LIS Airport, you took-off on the best way to see Lisboa, RN21 is excelent and I noticed that TP 319 did a very wide turn north, so very good to see the capital in bound. That picture you took of a big runway is infact Air Force Base Nr. 6 - Montijo, down south Lisbon and it's a great place to see a nice medley of Portuguese Air Force airplanes and helicopters, actually I could see a few Lockheed P-3P's ( grey ones ) and also based there is the Lockheed C-130's, the SA330 Puma and the brand new EH-101 Merlin.
I'm glad you like it TAP.
Jumbolino From Germany, joined Mar 2001, 490 posts, RR: 16
Reply 4, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 3618 times:
I will fly TAP ZRH-LIS-FAO on 8th of august and back same route 22nd of august, maybe I will write a trip rep too afterwards (first I should upload my pics from the GVA meeting and the flights DUS-ZRH-GVA-ZRH-DUS on Swiss).
Oh nice report keep on and provide us more
hopefully I will like TAP too
Gardermoen From Australia, joined Jul 1999, 1527 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 3591 times:
A very nice report, a shame about the missing bags incident. I have flown this route once before , also with TAP and I must say, the cabin crew have always delivered on service. Genuine, warm, Portugese hospitality.
When I first arrived in LIS, it was such a nice change to get to use the staircase, a rare occurence at most airports these days.
I like your pic of the SQ 744 at Zurich with the upperdeck door being open, I dont think I have ever seen any upperdeck door open. Do you know if they do this for a specific reason perhaps?
Barcode From Switzerland, joined Dec 2001, 678 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (10 years 2 months 3 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 3573 times:
No idea about the door . Sorry.
Thanks for that CV990. Funny, I was insistent it was not the airport. My gf said yes. I mean, the Lisbon airport is close to the city, not the sea, hehe. So thanks for the clarification.
Nopes. Didn't attend anything in Lisbon I'm afraid. A week of lazing about on the beach for me.
I don't know if there is a Portuguese word for hillbillies. My gf says they tend to be immigrants working low skilled jobs elsewhere in Europe. On the plane, she identified them due to their appearance (i.e. unshaved, holes in clothes, smelling ... not nice). One of the group kept leching at us for two hours lol. I suppose the English equivalent would be a "chav" ...