TAP’s Premium Lounge in Lisbon has the merit of existing, but remains as unpleasant as ever at peak times. We’re still trying to find out what its recent renovation has changed.
All good things must come to an end, so it’s time for me to head back to Paris and wait for my flight in the TAP lounge at Lisbon airport. A well-known lounge that we’ve introduced to you several times before, but this is the first time I’ve been back since it closed for renovation.
Location of the lounge
The lounge is located on the mezzanine floor in the central area of the airport, from where all the corridors lead to the boarding gates. Quite well located, therefore, unless you have a non-Schengen flight.
This is the airline’s only lounge in Lisbon, so it caters for Schengen and non-Schengen passengers alike….and if you’re a Schengen passenger, you’ll have to pass through immigration control between the lounge and the gate, which isn’t very convenient.
Access to the lounge
The lounge welcomes business class passengers from TAP and all Star Alliance airlines, silver and gold members of the TAP Miles & Go program, and holders of Star Alliance Gold status.
The lounge is in one piece, but with several distinct zones.
At the far end are the buffets and an area with tables for dining.
Then long benches in rows.
Finally, a bar…
…and another area with tables that is less canteen-like than the first.
A lounge that really feels like a station concourse. It’s all the more crowded because it’s so long, with no isolated areas, and because it welcomes both TAP and Star Alliance passengers, and both Schengen and non-Schengen passengers, it’s really crowded at peak times.
On the plus side, it’s very bright, with large bay windows.
By the way, let’s talk about renovation. Is it successful? I don’t know, I didn’t see any difference with before.
The buffet has two hot dishes, but the staff are slow to restock, so it doesn’t look very good.
Cod and shrimp fritters and cold pasta for salads.
The rest of the cold savoury offer, mainly salads and a few cold cuts, again poorly restocked.
On the sweet side, we have cakes, mousses and fruit.
Drinks include the usual soft drinks, a wide range of wines, fruit juices and a coffee/tea machine.
The same is available at the bar on the other side of the lounge, with the addition of strong spirits and cocktails made to order.
A decent offer for a Schengen lounge (but if you exclude the two hot dishes, cheese and charcuterie, it’s pretty poor), but really insufficient in variety for non-Schengen long-haul customers. It’s a shame, because TAP’s in-flight catering is generally top-notch.
A recurring complaint in this lounge is the time it takes for staff to restock the buffet: it can take ten minutes for a dish to disappear, and more than half an hour for someone to take care of it.
Worse still, just as I was about to help myself to some parmesan, a member of staff took the three-quarter empty container out of my hands and took it back to the kitchen to refill it. He could have waited for me to help myself, but no.
But I’ll manage to cobble together an acceptable plate.
The lounge has toilet and shower facilities.
For most of my stay it was full and very, very noisy. Added to this are the few idiots who make phone calls while walking in the middle of the lounge.
A lounge that’s not as bad as all that, and rather even good for medium-haul customers, but insufficient for the long-haul clientele it also caters for.
What’s more, it’s far too limited in size at peak times, which makes it unpleasant to use at these times.
Articles about this trip to Portugal
|#1||Diary||Preparing my birthday trip to Portugal|
|#2||Flight||Paris Orly-Lisbon – TAP – Business Class – Embraer 195|
|#4||Restaurant||Zunzum Gastrobar, Lisbon|
|#5||Restaurant||Solar Dos Bicos, Lisbon|
|#7||Restaurant||O Frade, Lisbon|
|#8||Restaurant||100 Maneiras, Lisbon|
|#10||Diary||Lisbon day #1: downtown|
|#11||Diary||Lisbon day #2: Belem and beyond|
|#12||Hotel||Four Points by Sheraton Sesimbra|
|#13||Restaurant||O Batel Sesimbra|
|#15||Lounge||TAP Premium lounge Lisbon|
|#16||Flight||Lisbon-Paris Orly, TAP, Business Class, Airbus A330Neo.|
|#17||Diary||Debriefing of the trip to Lisbon and Sesimbra|