Review: TAP Portugal Business Class A330-2, Lisbon – London Heathrow
TAP Portugal is known for its reasonably discounted business class fares that can be used to travel across the Atlantic Ocean in reasonable comfort. The fares were often available to be purchased for one way travel, and included a generous 200% earning in Air Canada’s Aeroplan as a Star Alliance Partner. Today’s flight would be the continuation of our North America – Europe ticket that got us over to Europe.
This post is one chapter on our trip to Portugal, the United Kingdom (England and Norther Ireland) and Ireland. This trip was redeemed through American Airlines Advantage and enhanced through Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read more from this trip:
- Introduction: Portugal, the United Kingdom, Ireland via TAP Portugal and British Airways Business Class.
- A Positioning Flight: Air Canada Vancouver – Toronto
- TAP Portugal Business Class: Toronto – Lisbon
- Sheraton Lisboa Hotel and Spa, Lisbon, Portugal
- The First Steps in the Hilly Capital City of Lisbon, Portugal
- Exploring the Turrets of Castelo del São Jorge, Lisbon, Portugal
- The Seaside Town of Belem and the Jerónimos Monastery, Portugal
- The Lisbon Cathedral and Iberico Ham at Time Out Market, Lisbon, Portugal
- TAP Portugal Premium Business Lounge, Lisbon, Portugal
- TAP Portugal Business Class: Lisbon – London Heathrow
- Plaza Premium Arrivals Lounge: London Heathrow Terminal Two
- The Residence Inn by Marriott London Kensington, United Kingdom
- Walking Piccadilly Circus, Regent Street, London, United Kingdom
- Churchill’s War Rooms & Westminster Abbey, London, United Kingdom
- Touring the Tower of London and Tower Bridge, London, United Kingdom
- Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace and St Paul’s Cathedral, London, United Kingdom
- De-Cyphering the Rosetta Stone and Camden Locks, London United Kingdom
- Day Tripping to Stonehenge, Salisbury, United Kingdom
- The Moxy London Heathrow Airport, United Kingdom
- The Plaza Premium Lounge, London Heathrow Terminal Two
- Aer Lingus: London Heathrow – Dublin
- Aloft Dublin City, Dublin, Ireland
- Discovering Temple Bar District, Dublin, Ireland
- Calling on the Guiness Storehouse and Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland
- The Shertaon Athlone Hotel, Athlone, Ireland
- Drinking at Ireland’s Oldest Bar, Athlone, Ireland
- Hiking Along the Cliff’s of Moher, Ireland
- Crystal Springs Bed and Breakfast, Killarney, Ireland
- Circling The Skelling Islands and Driving the Ring of Kerry, Ireland
- Kissing the Blarney Stone at Blarney Castle, Cork, Ireland
- AC Hotel by Marriott, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- Experiencing the Tragedy of the Titanic at the Titanic Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland
- In the Shadows at the Giant’s Causeway, Northern Ireland
- Terminal One T1 Lounge, Dublin Airport, Ireland
- British Airways Club Europe: Dublin – London Heathrow
- Cathay Pacific Business Lounge, London Heathrow
- No1 Lounge, London Heathrow
- British Airways Club World Business Class: London – Vancouver
Review: TAP Portugal Business Class Airbus 330-200, Lisbon Humberto Delgato International Airport – London Heathrow Terminal Two
Today’s flight was the continuation of our discounted business class ticket from North America on TAP Portugal Business Class Toronto – Lisbon. We had a free 4 day stopover with this ticket, before continuing on to London in the United Kingdom.
Getting to the Gate:
We left the TAP Premium Lounge Lisbon at 6:35 AM when the gate information was posted on the monitors. Like many airports in Europe, the gate information was not posted until 60 minutes before the flight.
Once the Gate N43 was posted, we headed down towards the N gates. We passed through the Shengen European Union exit customs, and then down towards the no man’s land of international flights. Aside from some duty free, and the odd lonely restaurant, there wasn’t much down here. If you’re travelling through here, best to stay on the Shengen side until closer to your flight.
I dropped WT73Jr off at the gate so that I could go take a closer look at duty free. When I got back, the boarding call had been announced completely oblivious to WT73Jr who was wrapped up in his headphones watching a YouTube video.
We boarded through the Premium lane and got stuck in a queue on the jet bridge while they loaded those that needed assistance.
TP – 1354 Business Class
LIS – LHR (Lisbon International – London Heathrow Terminal 2)
August 18, 2019
07:35 AM – 10: 00 AM (scheduled)
Booked: Airbus 330-9 neo
Flown: Airbus 330-200
On Board TAP Business Class:
TAP Portugal schedules a wide body aircraft for services from Lisbon to London Heathrow. This means that you often get a proper business class seat when many of it’s European competitors like British Airways or Lufthansa offer a narrow body aircraft on its connecting flights from British Airway’s hub in London Heathrow or Lufthansa’s hubs in Frankfurt or Munich. This simple feature makes the flight much more comfortable than sitting in an economy class seat with a blocked middle seat.
We boarded through door 2 L through single jet bridge boarding and turned left into the older TAP Portugal Airbus 330-200 series. This more common version (for the time) had the dated angle flat seats in a 2 – 2 – 2 configuration set up in four rows of business class.
We located our seats 4H / K in the last row of the business class cabin and settled in for the flight. This is an older aircraft and it easily shows. The outdated angle flat seats are really dated by today’s standards. The in flight video monitors that were smaller than some laptop computers these days.
Pre – Departure Services:
There was no offer of a pre-departure beverage, which was surprisingly odd for business class on wide body flight to be just sitting there while we waited. The flight deck announced a 10 minute departure delay for push back for some unspecified reason.
We eventually got airborne. I gave Jr the window seat so I didn’t get any ground photographs. Instead, I played with the outdated In Flight Entertainment system which was circa the 1990’s era. It reminded me of the current In Flight Entertainment System located on some of the older British Airways jets.
I had a bit of a nap as we climbed to altitude.
The Meal: A European Breakfast
Prior to the meal service, we had a wrapped towel service offered. I personally find the wrapped towelettes more inconvenient than a proper towel as served from a tray.
As we got underway, the breakfast service was provided. It was presented on a tray all at once. It was a typically European offering of cold cuts, yoghurt and breads from the bread basket. Orange juice and a very forgettable drip coffee was also offered. Jr ended up sleeping through breakfast, thanks to the 4 AM wake up.
As we approached Heathrow, we entered into a holding pattern for about 15 minutes and eventually landed with a short taxi into Terminal 2.
We disembarked our flight and wandered to immigration. Canadian’s are now eligible for the passport E-Gates, a change they made in early 2019. Hoping to get a passport stamp for the collection, I almost got hauled out of the line by the Border Force for even trying. I think he gave up after I told him the reason we were there. We ended up getting one “on request” since they don’t offer them anymore unless you are here for “entertainment” purposes.
The Bottom Line: TAP Portugal Business Class
This segment concluded our Tap Portugal Business Class ticket with a free stopover. The ability to be able to get over to Europe so cheaply and the ability to earn 200% miles into Air Canada’s Aeroplan represented a great value. If you’re able to stay on the Airbus 330-900 neo aircraft, it’s much more comfortable than the older Airbus 330 configurations as presented here. At the time of traveling on this report, the older aircraft is still floating around and it shows when you ride it. Recent reports now indicate that most of these aircraft have now been refurbished.
We didn’t experience any challenging issues with re-scheduling or ticketing issues with our tickets, although I understand that TAP has reputation for poor customer service when things go sideways. All to say, our experiences with them were terrific and I am happy to endorse them.