TP: São Tomé via Accra in an A320 <eek!>

Old Aug 27, 17, 2:54 pm
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TP: São Tomé via Accra in an A320 <eek!>

Thanks to some dodgy cheap business-class fares offered by TAP I'm about to add São Tomé to my PALOP list.

Only now has the horror of a multi-sector long-haul flight in those crappy a320 seats come home to me - the same seats that start getting uncomfortable halfway to Heathrow.

And the return flight is OVERNIGHT

Could it be that TAP has tucked away a dedicated version with business-class seating ? (I think Iberia used one on its Malabo route)
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Old Aug 27, 17, 5:26 pm
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No, they use regular seats on these flights. If it's not a reconfigured plane, then you'll get 2+3 in biz, otherwise it'll be 3+3 with blocked middles. I think all planes are now 3+3.

I've done the RAI-LIS redeye before (an hour shorter than ACC-LIS) and it would've been ok if not for the looooooong time it takes for the crew to do service. Don't expect to get more than 2 hours of sleep on this flight.
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Old Aug 28, 17, 2:40 am
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Originally Posted by Palal View Post

I've done the RAI-LIS redeye before (an hour shorter than ACC-LIS) and it would've been ok if not for the looooooong time it takes for the crew to do service. Don't expect to get more than 2 hours of sleep on this flight.
Yet on the London service they seem so eager to serve, then retire behind their curtain



But they're a funny lot, TAP. Ticket bought, paid for and issued months back. I accepted the condition that I should rock up to check-in with the credit card used to buy the ticket. Fair enough.

Now the bozos want me to scan passport and card and fax it to them: or I won't travel. That's a faff too far, so there could be an interesting time at check-in....
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Old Aug 29, 17, 6:28 am
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Understandably they can't send wide bodies on a direct flight to that destination...it wouldn't make sense for 50 passengers or so!

I'm sure you'll survive the trip . And enjoy amazing and beautiful São Tomé! It's the single most exotic country/island/destination I've ever been to.
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Old Aug 29, 17, 12:47 pm
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oops!

Last edited by IAN-UK; Sep 20, 17 at 4:43 am Reason: sort of a weird duplicate..
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Old Sep 20, 17, 4:38 am
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Originally Posted by Zembla View Post
Understandably they can't send wide bodies on a direct flight to that destination...it wouldn't make sense for 50 passengers or so!

I'm sure you'll survive the trip .

I think that they flew bigger (better?) aircraft there before. And they might think of A320s with dedicated c-class seating for their shorter long-haul routes (Senegal, Guinea Bissau, Cabo Verde, Sao Tome). Difficult I know.

But, tant pis, i can cope Of course I'll survive, and I'm looking forward to discovering paradise.




Thought I should report back on this. The flight out is daytime, and with only four passengers in the shabby forward cabin of the A320 it was fine: lousy legroom, but room to stretch out over three seats. Bacalhau for lunch, nice enough.

The overnight back was wretched: absolute nightmare. Only four business-class passengers out of São Tomé, expecting to lose one in Accra and pick up another two, In fact the business-class cabin slowly filled up at Accra, until all but one of the twenty seats was taken. Then the cabin crew set about switching us around to let families and couples sit together.

Take-off was only after a protracted argument abut passenger numbers between purser and ramp superintendent. Multiple counts, well over an hour passed, raised voices, and finally one of the J passengers un-boards himself with the shout "when you clowns have sorted it out, give me a call".

I was sitting close enough to hear the conversations between crew and airport officials: no satisfactory explanation as to the three extra passengers was reached, but I think an honourable settlement was arrived at.

Cabin crew blamed the high and unexpected number of J-cabin passengers on the company's upgrade for cash policy. Who knows upgrades might be especially cheap in Ghanian cedi.

But whatever the reason, it works to the detriment of those buying business-class tickets. Crew gave priority to us in ordering meals, but at gone midnight, who cares?

Truly, it was a hellish flight. Compounded in Lisbon by an apron transfer: only one bus which filled and filled until absolutely packed: then closed the doors but stayed parked next to the aircraft until a second bus arrived.

I know São Tomé, Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde are competition-free niche destinations for TP. But even so, if I were a first-time user of the airline I'd never even consider using them and the Lisbon hub a second time.

For sentimental reasons I've been a TAP supporter for years, but this experience shook me!

Last edited by IAN-UK; Sep 20, 17 at 4:44 am
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Old Sep 21, 17, 8:00 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Cabin crew blamed the high and unexpected number of J-cabin passengers on the company's upgrade for cash policy. Who knows upgrades might be especially cheap in Ghanian cedi.
Upgrades paid for in Ca$h that weren't recorded on the manifest?

I know São Tomé, Guinea Bissau and Cabo Verde are competition-free niche destinations for TP. But even so, if I were a first-time user of the airline I'd never even consider using them and the Lisbon hub a second time.

For sentimental reasons I've been a TAP supporter for years, but this experience shook me!
Let them know that
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Old Jan 25, 18, 5:54 pm
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How was Sao Tome? Considering it.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 5:33 am
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
How was Sao Tome? Considering it.

São Tomé is a delight. It's just the getting there and back that's unpleasant.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 7:36 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
São Tomé is a delight. It's just the getting there and back that's unpleasant.
Was looking at a roundtrip award: JNB-ACC(Stopover)-TMS-ACC-JNB-CPT. Doesn't seem like it'd be too bad, all the flights on SA and TP.
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Old Jan 30, 18, 7:49 am
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
Was looking at a roundtrip award: JNB-ACC(Stopover)-TMS-ACC-JNB-CPT. Doesn't seem like it'd be too bad, all the flights on SA and TP.
Yes, my comments were aimed at the all-TP service via LIS - it's just about the only practical way of getting there from Europe.


Your itinerary includes only the short TP sectors between São Tomé and Ghana. I'm sure it will be fine!
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Old Jan 30, 18, 8:02 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Yes, my comments were aimed at the all-TP service via LIS - it's just about the only practical way of getting there from Europe.


Your itinerary includes only the short TP sectors between São Tomé and Ghana. I'm sure it will be fine!
How many days would you recommend for Accra and how many for Sao Tome?
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Old Feb 1, 18, 3:56 am
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Originally Posted by GetSetJetSet View Post
How many days would you recommend for Accra and how many for Sao Tome?

It's piece of string question - the answer rather depends on your wallet and your interests ... and how quickly you get bored by beaches and luscious green mountains. Both places have great beaches nearby, São Tomé has stunning scenery and Accra has become quite a trendy destination in its own right.

I'd give 3/5 days in each as a minimum for getting the flavour, perhaps favouring ST with the bulk of my stay, simply because it is so charming and so unique.
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