This trip was booked back in April for about 200 euros return. The details:
Time: 12:05 (actual - 12:35)
Date: 13 July
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