I’m heading of for an annual luxury incentive workshop in Sintra at the Ritz Carlton Penga Longa (find review here) where I will catch up with some luxury hotels from around the world.
So I’m traveling TAP for the first time in my life.
TAP Portugal has been kind to let me fly economy from Stockholm to Lisbon in economy and back in business in order to test both classes. Review of business class can be read here.
Check in and boarding
But let’s start from boarding the aircraft.
Flight was delayed by 1 and 30 min hour so I had some extra time for shopping. Stockholm’s airport is small but has some nice shops and quality products. Prices are often better than in the city. Bought the new noise cancellation headsets from Bose QC25…and they work very well using them on the flight as I’m writing this review.
Boarding the aircraft was pleasant as the flight crew welcomed us with a nice smile and not stressed also if the delays do usually cause stress to the staff.
The cabin has a 3-3 configuration. It is a classical European economy cabin at first sight but then….trying to find my seat 9c I see that the numbers under the overhead compartments are not aligned with the sets below….dramatic moment as also one of the flight attendant has difficulties to help me find the correct row.
This means only one thing: they have squeezed in too many extra rows. I’m not a big fan of flying business class on short haul but maybe this is one of those airline companies you would opt for a better seating if you need work done of just don’t want to feel any more claustrophobic than these new aircrafts already are. But also in TAP business on this A320 the situation is not different unless you sit in the first row.
The bathroom are spoil and no amenities provided but they seamed clean and had a good smell.
I have travelled squeezed but this is really a new way of making you feel how airline companies are squeezing in people in their aircraft to maximise cost saving and gaining max revenue from each flight.
So as I write this review my head is literally against the seat in front of me. Luckily I have an iPad. The person in front has reclined the seat completely but believe me I have more or less 15 cm from the seat in front of me to my forehead when I’m leaning back on my seat which is in an upright position. Seat are thick and they do recline quite a bit.
People that need to work with a laptop need to find a empty seat and work diagonally as screen won’t open up! Not even Ryanair has such cramped space! TAP has really a need to improve this., or by limiting the pitch of the seats or put in less seats or thinner seats.
The seat are in leather and ok as comfort as they lack of lumbar support. I’m starting to feel it now after only two hours into flight. Would have been nice with a footrest. Cabin not so clean. I found quite a lot of used paper and plastic tissues left over in the pocket seat.
Flight entertainment is non existing as there are no headphone plugs on seats. They showed a carton version of mister Bean. Just to specify I counted 12 children on a nearly fully booked flight. Would have been better with classic “view of the journey” screen with arrival time etc.
A warm meal was served and for a 4 hour flight it was quite generous. Was served immediately after take off. Mashed potatoes and duck. Small salad, cheese and crackers, and a very sweet dessert with almonds. Tasty but lacking in salt. No salt available onboard. Quite surprised about metal fork and knife when still you can’t bring your nail scissors onboard an aircraft…I just wonder who they really fool with these ridiculous rules. Well I’ll leave that for another discussion.
Second serving with coffee and tea. Coffee tasted terrible more or less like the coffee British Airways serves in business class..black water with no taste. Grab a Starbucks before boarding 😉 Drinks are free including Portuguese wine. It tasted very strong for my personal taste. There are much better wines in Portugal
-Staff has been very kind and polite. Big plus for their positive attitude. Also quite good looking which helps in making the flight more pleasant 😉
-Delayed flight (but sh*t happens)
-Seat are not for human beings! Not a business people friendly cabin.
-Lack of inflight entertainment. A movie in a 4:15 hours flight would have made it faster.
-Lack of salt and pepper for a warm meal
-A flower, some amenities with the vibrant TAP colour in the toilets would have been nice
Overall vote: 5 out of 10.