Orly-Lisbon on TAP in Business Class

Just back from Barcelona, it’s time to return to Portugal for ten days, once again the advantages of remote work…

For this stay I will spend some time in Lisbon before going to Cascais then Sintra.

In terms of flights, it gives us the following routing :

And the list of articles to tell you all about it:

#TypeSubject
1FlightParis Orly-Lisbon, TAP, Business Class
2HotelMoxy Lisbon City Center
3RestaurantDown Under by Justin Jennings, Lisbon
4RestaurantElevador, Lisbon
5HotelSheraton Cascais & Resort
6HotelPenha Longa Resort, Sintra
7LoungeTAP Premium Lounge – Lisbon
8FlightLisbon- Porto, TAP, Business Class
9FlightPorto-Paris Orly, TAP, Business Class (Operated by Portugalia)

Booking

TAP’s website turned out to be just as crappy (forgive the rudeness but it is justified by the experience) as on my last trip with them.

It can’t get out the prices and the routing proposed by Google Flight. After several tries I give up and, once again, I go through an OTA (online travel agency) to make my reservation. In addition they will be less expensive!

Once my reservation is done, I go back to the TAP website to choose my seats…after a little while it finally finds my reservation, I can choose my seats, but I get an error message every time I enter my SAS Eurobonus loyalty program number. No problem, I’ll enter it when I check in. I hope so.

In any case, if I made a ranking of the worst websites, no doubt that TAP would be very well ranked.

Check-in and ground experience

It is at the end of the afternoon and under the sun that I arrive at Orly.

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I am early and there is no one at the check-in counter.

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Again because of TAP’s reputation on cabin luggage and since I have time I decide to check my luggage. You will see on the return flight that I will regret it on this occasion.

But there I was rather well inspired because as TAP does not have a lounge at Orly, I was given a 20 euros voucher that I would not have had if I had not gone to the counter. Besides, it was not given to me during my previous flight a few weeks earlier.

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I leave terminal 2 where TAP is checking in to go to terminal 3 where they depart from. Logical…

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The passage to the security checks will be fast.

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And here I am at the food court where I am going to spend, quite easily, the 20 euros voucher. At least, that’s what I think.

There are a number of bars and restaurants in this foodcourt which is on the mezzanine of the shopping area, but not all are eligible for the voucher,

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Well, they are all closed and I have to choose between Paul’s where there are only 4 sandwiches left and the bar where no food is served.

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Well, I’ll go to the bar!

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2 beers, a packet of chips and as I did not consume all my voucher the barman proposes me to take a bottle of water for the flight. Very nice, moreover, this barman.

TAP announces that the gate will close at 6:55 p.m. for a 7:45 p.m. departure. Any seasoned traveler knows that they just want everyone to get to the boarding lounge early and that boarding won’t start until 7:15pm, but this is unnecessarily stressful for most passengers.

The proof is that at 6:33 pm the plane has still not arrived…it will arrive at 6:55 pm, at the time the airline announces the so-called closing of the gate.

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And we are announced a gate change!

When I arrive at the new gate, boarding is starting.

Boarding

As you can see it is a beautiful mess, as usual I must say when it comes to boarding with the Portuguese airline.

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I don’t understand the announcements and the priority lane is not indicated. I end up asking an agent who indicates it to me…I had to overtake and then cut the normal lane to reach a small corner which was not indicated.

Well, one of the terminals seems to have problems.

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One finally allows us to move forward…to stop a few meters further. The disembarkation is not over yet. As always with TAP the boarding is totally lacking in fluidity. It is a sequence of stop and go that seems to last forever. If it happens accidentally once, I don’t mind, but systematically it shows that there is something really wrong with the protocol.

I appreciate the bottle of water bought at the bar…

We remain still stuck 20 good minutes before being able to finally enter the cabin.

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The time that everyone boards we will leave with 20 minutes of delay.

A TAP boarding in short is a plane that arrives on time, passengers that are brought to the gate 50 minutes before departure, a boarding procedure that starts early, passengers that wait standing for 20 to 30 minutes and a plane that leaves with a 20 minutes delay.

It is almost systematic.

The cabin

The cabin of this 321 Neo, which is the same as the one found on all TAP medium-haul aircraft.

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Very nice with its leather seats.

In business class the central seat will be neutralized.

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The legroom is very good.

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The tablet holder is a very good idea…

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USB ports and power outlets are easily accessible.

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The boarding is finally finished… There will be 4 business class rows on this flight for a total of 10 passengers.

The flight and the service

We finally leave Orly.

We say goodbye to the Transavia which was parked beside.

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Then we overtake an A350 of French Bee which was however ahead of us.

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We align on the runway and we can leave.

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Once the cruising altitude is reached, the curtain separating the business class from the economy is drawn and since the seat behind me is empty, I don’t hesitate to recline mine to the maximum.

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The setting sun creates a very peaceful atmosphere in the cabin.

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We are brought the menu.

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The smells that come from the galley are quite pleasant and whet the appetite.

For my part I chose the steak.

The tray will arrive soon enough.

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Quite nice even if the meat sauce is a little less appealing. In any case, taking red meat on a plane is always a certain risk.

The bread is hot.

We are also given a dressing that I wonder what it can be used for with these dishes. This should be the “standard” procedure regardless of the contents of the dishes.

The starter, smoked salmon with a slightly spicy mayonnaise, is fresh and very tasty.

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Now the dish….

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The meat is a little like “chewing gum”but is correct, the gratin is excellent.

The dessert, a chocolate mousse, could have been lighter.

I will finish with a mint tea.

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The advantage of having a tablet holder and the neighboring seat neutralized is that you can really get comfortable.

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Eventually, the memory of my last flight on TAP is confirmed, the seat is really hard after 1 hour of flight, harder than the Lufthansa NEK…

The end of the flight will seem a bit long.

Landing and arrival in Lisbon

After a long descent we will arrive with more than 30 minutes of delay on the normal schedule of the flight.

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The distance to the airport exit is long but at least the wait at the baggage claim is short. This is a change compared to Roissy.

The Crew

Friendly and efficient and more present in the cabin than during my last Orly-Lisbon flight on TAP.

Bottom line

Another mixed flight with TAP: excellent service on board and very good catering, but once again a deplorable boarding and what can I say about the totally catastrophic online experience?

Bertrand Duperrin
Bertrand Duperrinhttp://www.duperrin.com
Compulsive traveler, present in the French #avgeek community since the late 2000s and passionate about (long) travel since his youth, Bertrand Duperrin co-founded Travel Guys with Olivier Delestre in March 2015.
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