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Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

TAP Air Portugal - A319 Business Class: Lisbon to Amsterdam

Sat Apr 29, 2017 12:38 pm

Here's the link to the photos.

I’ve just completed another course in Lisbon. I’ve rather enjoyed myself. The Portuguese really make me laugh. No matter what’s going on they’re just somehow full of life. Of course, it also helped that while back home in Switzerland trees were collapsing under the heavy weight of the falling snow, here in Lisbon it’s t-shorts and flip flops weather.

Because the course is near the airport anyway, I’m staying at the TRYP Hotel Lisbon airport this time. The terminal building is only a 5 minutes walk away. So I think you’re probably fastest walking. However, if you’re travelling with a lot of luggage, there is a shuttle bus to bring you to the airport.

Lisbon airport is a strange place. The city is gradually encroaching on the airport so space is limited. As a result, the design of the facility is dictated by space restrictions rather than practicality or convenience and the terminal building seems a lot like a patchwork of extensions and reconstructions.

I check in online for this flight. The app works well (You paying attention KLM?) and I am able to change my original seat on 1D to the window on 1F.

The security checkpoint is hidden away on the opposite side of the hall from the TAP Air Portugal check-in area. There is a fast track for security, which is very efficient. And while at other airports the security staff can be a nasty and unfriendly lot, this being Portugal everyone is really nice and totally laid back. They’re conscientious about their job but they’re also nice about it and take a lot of patience with the elderly passengers in the queue ahead of me.

Airside there have been quite some changes since my last visit. The transit area has been expanded and modernised. There is now a central atrium with shops and a lot more space to sit. The lounge is accessed via escalators leading up from the atrium.

TAP Air Portugal no longer have their own lounge and instead they share the same common purpose lounge with all the other carriers in the Schengen area, which is operated by the airport authority ANA.

The lounge is rather dark and gloomy and the place is crowded when I get there. Toilets and showers are available in the lounge. There is also free wifi and a good selection of newspapers.

Food and drink options are somewhat limited. In fact, there are only sandwiches available.

But… the view from the lounge is excellent and provides a good vantage point to monitor the proceedings and movements on the apron and the runway.

The flight is departing from gate S26 today, which is one of the few contact stands in the Schengen part of the terminal. Most aircraft are parked on a remote stand. The aircraft on a contact stand come up really close to the building, which means you can take some pretty descent pictures of them.

Boarding starts rather unceremoniously with the gate agent calling out for all Business Class and frequent flyer passengers to board first. You know, you could use a microphone…

There are three rows of Business Class. The configuration is the typical European style layout with the middle seat kept empty. The seat looks rather old fashioned, an effect which I think is partly also produced because of the grey seat covers. However, on my flight down from Amsterdam to Lisbon I was on an A 321 which has been refitted with a newer, more modern style of seat.

Other than that, the seat is fairly basic and there are no power plugs at all in the cabin.

There are two cabin crew working the Business Class cabin and they truly are excellent. They’re friendly and obviously determined to make passengers feel welcome. Their interaction is easy going and professional.

The service begins as soon as the fasten seatbelt sign goes off. The crew pass through the cabin offering prepacked scented towels that have a refreshing lemony smell.

There is no choice for the meal. The breakfast consists of a plate with cold meats and cheese, a bowl of fresh fruit, yoghurt, butter and jam and breads from the breadbasket. To drink I have a coffee and an orange juice.

The crew pass through the cabin with the breadbasket a number of times (You paying attention Lufthansa?) and top up coffee and tea straight away. The cold cuts don’t look too appealing so I don’t try any.

Generally speaking, I think the quality of the food is good and the amount of food on the tray is quite generous.

The flight passes surprisingly quickly. After the meal service one of the crew brings me a Coke Zero and I spend the rest of the flight reading and watching the world go by.

We land in Amsterdam about ten minutes ahead of schedule. By the time we taxi in from the Polderbaan, we’re running slightly behind schedule.

I rather enjoyed this flight, even though I think the food selection on the outbound was better because there was a choice of two hotmeals for the main course. Other than that though, I thought the crew were really very nice on TAP and the aircraft all appeared to be in fairly good condition. The only thing I’d be wary about trying TAP Air Portugal again is that the pitch seems rather tight, even in Business Class, and I’m not so sure what it would be like to have to do a flight of three hours in Economy. But apart from that, I think I’d fly them again without hesitation. Pity they’re in the Star Alliance.
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Joined: Tue Jun 14, 2016 8:15 pm

Re: TAP Air Portugal - A319 Business Class: Lisbon to Amsterdam

Sat Apr 29, 2017 4:38 pm

Great report. It was nice to read about how friendly the entire experience was - from ground to air. But I was particularly impressed with the attentive service during the flight - a shame that there was only one choice of meal in business class, but other than that, it seems like TAP is a fairly solid airline. Thanks for sharing.
Posts: 1203
Joined: Thu Jan 20, 2011 6:16 pm

Re: TAP Air Portugal - A319 Business Class: Lisbon to Amsterdam

Mon May 01, 2017 12:32 am

Interesting report. I flew TAP for the first time last week LHR LIS LHR in Y. I wasn't expecting toour much but was actually quitell impressed with the service. Fresh sandwich roll with a yoghurt drink then coffee and I was offered orange too....BA are you paying attention!! Plus a similar service on the way back too. With BA charging you for everything and it not being that good either, I have a dilemma next time I go to Lisbon. As a OW FF do I take BA or go with TP. I'm tempted to go with TAP again, I've underestimated them.
Topic Author
Posts: 1754
Joined: Fri Nov 25, 2005 10:51 pm

Re: TAP Air Portugal - A319 Business Class: Lisbon to Amsterdam

Mon May 01, 2017 10:25 am

Hi all,

Thanks for commenting. I must say, the last time I flew TAP a few years ago in Business and Economy I hadn't been too impressed. However, it seems to me that they've certainly upped their game since then.

As for BA, I'll be trying them later this week. I'm curious not just a bit apprehensive...


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