TAP Executive, Lisbonne Portela – Boston Logan, Airbus A321 NEO : Disappointing.

After a flight of more than 2 hours from London, it was time for me to board the main flight of this itinerary to Boston.

As a reminder, here is the itinerary followed:

#TypeReview
1DiaryWeekend in Boston
2LoungeLufthansa Senator Lounge, London Heathrow T2
3LoungeUnited Club, London Heathrow T2
4LoungeAir Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, London Heathrow T2
5LoungeSingapore Airlines Silver Kris Lounge, London Heathrow T2
6FlightTAP Executive, London Heathrow – Lisbon Portela, Airbus A321NEO
7FlightTAP Executive, Lisbon Portela – Boston Logan, Airbus A321LR NEO
8HotelThe Langham, Boston
9LoungeAir France Lounge, Boston Logan Terminal E
10FlightTAP Executive, Boston Logan – Lisbon Portela, Airbus A321LR NEO
11LoungeTAP Executive Lounge, Lisbon Portela
12FlightTAP Executive, Lisbon Portela – London Heathrow, Airbus A321NEO
Today’s itinerary

Boarding

The boarding begins in gate 42A. Who says gate with a letter says bus gate in Lisbon… And it will be the case.

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A security check is carried out at the gate. A few questions are asked by an outsourced company regarding my stay in Boston, the vaccine and test are briefly checked, and then I am sent tp the gate without any further checks.

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Several boarding lines are organized: I go to the Premium Boarding line, and I will be the first in this line.

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Several disabled persons will come to cut this queue to board in priority.

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Priority boarding starts a few minutes later, and I will be the first to arrive in… the bus!

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After 25 minutes of waiting, we finally enter the cabin of the 321LR NEO.

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Cabin and reception

The welcome is cordial and I finally discover this TAP Business Class cabin on this A321 NEO.

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It is really compact and beautiful, and what a strange experience to fly on a single aisle with a Full Flat seat across the Atlantic!

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I was able to secure a Throne seat, i.e. totally solo, without any neighbors. It is very comfortable, well designed. A very convenient storage space is available on the aisle side. The tablet is indeed small but very stable.

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The noise-cancelling headphones are of good quality.

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The IFE is of good quality, but the content is weak.

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Two USB sockets and a Universal Power socket are available.

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The comfort kit as well as the pillow and comforter are already present on the seat.

This kit is of good quality and the content is quite interesting.

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The menus are distributed on the ground. However, no welcome drink will be distributed during boarding.

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Service and catering

The service starts about 20 minutes after take-off.

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First service

Despite the indication on the menu, no aperitif will be served.

The service starts with oshibori but not perfumed.

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Then, the tablecloths are distributed and placed on the passengers’ tablets. The dish ordered in advance is confirmed to me.

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Trays are served with the starter and main course on the same tray, and drinks are served at room temperature, but the sparkling wine is excellent. I will not be offered ice or lemon for the sparkling water.

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The smoked salmon will be very good but why so many onions? It ruins the taste of the salmon.

The steak is served extremely overcooked but its taste is perfect. The gratin dauphinois on the side is delicious.

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After the distribution of the trays, a refill of bread and wine will be made by the crew.

The trays are then cleared and the cheese and dessert distributed.

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I am surprised by the cheese selection, which is extremely fragrant for an American audience.

But the fruit soup will be delicious, as well as the mint-chocolate ice cream.

All this will be served with an excellent Tawny port.

I will then take a short nap before returning to work.

Second service

The second service is done 1h30 before the landing. Is it really useful to wake up a Business Class cabin of 20 people for such a small service 1h30 before landing? I don’t think so.

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It will be a very small plate of cold cuts (bad) and a kind of mushroom pie not very tasty, as well as a small dish of fresh fruits which were very good. Really stingy.

Arrival and disembarkation

We arrive about 30 minutes late at the parking lot, probably because of our delayed departure but also because of a very long taxi at Boston.

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I was afraid to arrive after many international flights, but it will not be, the immigration will be deserted and I will be landside in less than 5 minutes, having checked no luggage.

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Bottom line

A poor service and catering, a very solid seat nevertheless.

Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier Delestre-Levai
Olivier has been into airline blogging since 2010. First a major contributor to the FlyerTalk forum, he created the FlyerPlan website in July 2012, and writes articles with a major echo among airline specialists. He now co-runs the TravelGuys blog with Bertrand, focusing on travel experience and loyalty programs.
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