Today’s reader review is by Maria, a TAP Business class flight from Lisbon to London.
Check-in and lounge
There were 2 desks open for Check-in, which took only a few minutes.
The lounge was very busy for a while. The food was being constantly replenished and the tables cleared.
The bar service must be one of the best of any airline with the attention to detail. Preparing a G&T takes several minutes with the orange and lemon rind cut fresh.
There were 2 hot dishes on offer. One was vegetarian but there were no mixed salads on offer. There was a pasta with tomato sauce and quiches too.
The self-service wine bottle dispenser with metal pouring spouts, by the food section, also caught my eye. It had a choice of 3 reds and 3 whites. A good idea instead of people having to queue at the bar, which many still did.
TAP Business class Boarding
We were bused to the airplane. I was the only customer in the business section. There was a blanket and pillow at the seat. The flight attendants were very nice and welcoming and the flight departed on time.
TAP Business class Flight
About 30 minutes after takeoff the meal tray was brought to me. Surprisingly, I’d not been approached before by anybody. No drink had been offered or information about the meal given. This is not really acceptable, even less considering that I was the only person sitting in the business class section. However, from then on the service was perfectly attentive and nice. I was asked at every stage whether I wanted something else.
There was no menu or meal options.
I asked for a G&T. The meal tray was taken back into the galley and brought back when I was ready.
It was a nice cold smoked salmon and quail egg meal. Just enough for a mid-afternoon flight.
Wine was served from large bottles with a choice of 2 red or white wines.
They also had miniatures of Port available.
Tea and coffee were offered afterwards.
This was a pleasant flight but training needs to be improved so that flight attendants communicate with the customers at the start of service.
This is where I find the BA crew excels.
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I’ve just completed 4 sectors on TAP, and on the brief Lisbon-Faro, there was just water or orange juice. Between Heathrow and Lisbon return, breakfast and dinner flights, I thought the breakfast was just about adequate as I’d enjoyed fruit and hot food in the Lufthansa lounge earlier. The same was true in the ANA lounge in Lisbon, which has slightly limited though very good offerings. The dinner presentation was poor, but it was quite tasty. All personnel were wonderful.
I flew DUB – LIS – DUB with TAP in Business last weekend.
Outward leg was an old E190, the seat was knackered and creaked any time I moved. Most of the overhead bins in business were blocked for safety equipment and the crew’s bag so only space for 2 cases among 6 pax. Dinner was tasty but I agree with the reviewer not well presented, although we were invited to order in advance online which worked well. Service on the outward leg was poor – the crew member only had 6 pax to look after but was determined to wrap up service as quickly as possible and spent the last hour of the flight reading a magazine.
Return experience was much better, both in terms of the equipment and service. The lounge in Lisbon doesn’t open until 6am and there were around 60 people waiting by this time, mostly sitting on the floor – no real excuse for not opening earlier, especially when there were several TAP flights before the 7am departure. Breakfast food in the lounge was an odd assortment (chickpeas or tuna anyone?) but otherwise was a pleasant enough space.
Thanks for the mini review Simon. Hadn’t realised you could pre-order on short haul.
You can pre-order on short haul, but only on flights operated by Airbus aircraft. As DUB and MAN are exclusively/partly served by Embraers, it’s not usually an option. I have had very bad experiences on TAP’s Embraer aircraft; as per comments above not enough room for passengers in the overhead compartments, meal choices being severely limited due to low numbers of meals being loaded, arbitrary service sequencing which doesn’t follow seat numbers, and of course regular bussing to the plane wherein biz passengers get stuck behind all-comers who have rushed to the plane steps (and then placed items in the overhead compartments towards the front). Still, when the alternative from MAN is Ryanair, what can one do.
Oh, and E190 seating of 2-2 is same in biz and economy. No seats left empty.
Thanks for the very useful review. I use the ANA lounge at LIS, which BA passengers use. The TAP lounge looks much better and I may consider flying TAP for this reason alone when flying out of LIS. Thanks Maria!
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