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TAP cancels access to contract lounges for Star Gold

TAP cancels access to contract lounges for Star Gold

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Old May 2, 19, 12:16 pm
  #16  
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
https://onemileatatime.com/cheap-tap...s-class-fares/



Seems pretty cheap to me. Picked one up today. The miles I'll earn on a DUB-LIS-SFO routing are easily worth $150-175 to me in future flights by themselves. It would seem you're not exactly dealing with an airline that's going to be driving you to your plane in a Porsche from a special terminal dedicated to premium class passengers.
You're right. That is cheap. Although that price seems more like desperation. Those prices have been around a while. You can get a return to a number of US cities from under $1300 and have a free stopover in LIS too. Good luck getting into the DUB lounge on that fare though. (If it's a contract and not a *G lounge).
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Old May 2, 19, 4:45 pm
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Originally Posted by Tafflyer View Post
You're right. That is cheap. Although that price seems more like desperation. Those prices have been around a while. You can get a return to a number of US cities from under $1300 and have a free stopover in LIS too. Good luck getting into the DUB lounge on that fare though. (If it's a contract and not a *G lounge).
Nope, no lounge at all in DUB (all *A lounges are contract lounges in DUB, TP hasn't opted to contract with one). I am actually flying into DUB that day from LHR (I'll get BA lounge access via AS MVPG status) , so it will be drop my carryon at the left luggage place, go into town for lunch and check out Temple Bar, come back and try to have a minimal amount of cooling my heels at the gate. I do an overnight in LIS at a nice hotel in Oriente... then home.
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Old May 11, 19, 6:18 am
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No longer a question of whether or not *G are admitted to TAP-contracted lounges.

TAP has cancelled/not renewed (or is in the process of doing so) all lounge contracts. That at least is what they told me yesterday: but it's TAP, so expect some gap between what they say and what they do.

So Dublin is a lounge free zone for this *A carrier. It was joined a couple of weeks' back by Manchester, with it's two daily Lisbon flights, and where the contract with the lounge supplier has been pulled.

Seems to me incredibly misguided cheapness, even for a carrier focussed on becoming an LCC-manqué. The on-board service in narrow-body buiness-class is totally unimpressive, so I'm guessing those few passengers prepared to pay for premium class will start to drift away even faster.
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Old May 13, 19, 5:12 am
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Make my own contract lounge access: Priority Pass.

The upside and downside of the “make my own lounge access” approach is that I’m perhaps more willing to fly more carriers than I otherwise would.

And after seeing an American Airlines plane positioned right next to a Ryanair plane, their real life juxtaposition brought to mind that maybe it’s the legacy majors which are leading the LCCs when it comes to cutting and making things worse for passengers in the main. Perhaps Ryanair’s worst plane lavatories aren’t as wretched as the worst American Airline plane lavatories? And perhaps Ryanair doesn’t even have contract lounge access costs as an item to cut?
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Old May 13, 19, 5:47 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Seems to me incredibly misguided cheapness, even for a carrier focussed on becoming an LCC-manqué.
I guess that there is a chicken-and-egg situation here: did business class cease to pay for itself because the offering was too cheap or did the offering become cheap because business class could not pay for itself? Making business class sustainable is, I would have thought, more complicated for an airline like TP than it is for an airline like LH or BA.
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Old May 13, 19, 2:59 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
I guess that there is a chicken-and-egg situation here: did business class cease to pay for itself because the offering was too cheap or did the offering become cheap because business class could not pay for itself? Making business class sustainable is, I would have thought, more complicated for an airline like TP than it is for an airline like LH or BA.

In the free for all of a deregulated aviation market, a second/third tier airline with a limited home base lives or dies by it's ability to capture traffic between third countries. Think KLM, and in particular higher yield traffic. TP has an ambitious intercontinental network involving Brasil and some niche destinations in (particularly) lusophone Africa. In theory it should be the airline of first choice to carry passenger from Manchester and other non-hub European cities to the dozen or so places it serves in Brasil: and to that end it has had major campaigns touting its connection through Lisbon to Sao Paulo and other business cities.

Until this year the airline offered accommodation to business-class passengers in Lisbon, when a connection demanded an overnight stay. That has been scrapped.

They have now scrapped lounge provision in airports where Star Alliance lounges do not exist; although they remain obliged to pay for the lounge access of premium (and Star Gold) passengers at airports where there are *A facilities. At the major hubs such as Heathrow, Frankfurt et al, where there are *A lounges, and therefore TP passengers are looked after, TAP is simply outgunned by competition offering direct non-stop services to Brasil. Which leaves the smaller European cities as the principle feeder markets for business-class cabins on TP long-haul services



Losing lounges might make some sense if they followed the lead of other carriers, by giving premium passengers a voucher to buy refreshments. That way the airline ould not be paying the variable, per capita, fee for lounge use while avoiding whatever fixed cost the lounge provider levies.

As it is, the airline risks alienating a fickle market which expects to be looked after, especially during TP's endemic delays.
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Last edited by IAN-UK; May 13, 19 at 3:04 pm
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Old May 13, 19, 7:01 pm
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Seems to me incredibly misguided cheapness, even for a carrier focussed on becoming an LCC-manqué. The on-board service in narrow-body buiness-class is totally unimpressive, so I'm guessing those few passengers prepared to pay for premium class will start to drift away even faster.
Are the contract lounges in places like DUB or MAN really that nice, such that one would actually want to end up at an airport early to use them? Or is it just a case of "slightly better than a shabby airport"?

Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
As it is, the airline risks alienating a fickle market which expects to be looked after, especially during TP's endemic delays.
Ah. I have zero expectation of being looked after gratis in a lounge most of the time, as an American who isn't about to pay for lounge access (and rarely pays for F/J, only on occasion when it makes sense), though I imagine it's different in Europe. Mostly I want them for connections; on a simple O/D journey I'd just as soon get to the airport later than kill time in a lounge.
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Old May 14, 19, 1:21 am
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Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Are the contract lounges in places like DUB or MAN really that nice, such that one would actually want to end up at an airport early to use them? Or is it just a case of "slightly better than a shabby airport"?
The contract lounge at those airports (and others) do a pretty good job of sheltering and nurturing. OK, they provide snacks and drinks and somewhere to sit in relative comfort. Though compared with what's outside, they are havens of sophistication

Originally Posted by eponymous_coward View Post
Ah. I have zero expectation of being looked after gratis in a lounge most of the time, as an American who isn't about to pay for lounge access (and rarely pays for F/J, only on occasion when it makes sense), though I imagine it's different in Europe. Mostly I want them for connections; on a simple O/D journey I'd just as soon get to the airport later than kill time in a lounge.
It is different in Europe, and it's even different in the US for European travellers who have clawed their ways up frequent flyer status trees (and of course for US travellers who have opted for the Lufthansa programme rather than United's, BA rather than AA etc etc).

And while you are admirably stoic, those who are fortunate enough to have a travel budget that allows them business-class from, say, Dublin to Maputo, Rio or Sao Tome will expect to be looked after.
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Old May 14, 19, 3:23 am
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Originally Posted by IAN-UK View Post
Think KLM, and in particular higher yield traffic.
Are you not proving my point here when one considers how awful KL's catering is in its own lounges (and despite a rather more substantial high yield O&D demand that at LIS plus the benefit in terms of J clientele that the pairing with AF entails)?
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Old May 14, 19, 5:51 am
  #25  
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TAP has a great position in Brazil and I have taken them to GRU/CNF. In GRU they use the *A lounge and in CNF there is no lounge. In MUC I was in the LH lounge. the lounge situation for *A in MAN or DUB is already dire, I'm sure most carriers there would prefer to get value for their money. TAP is very well aware of their market dominance to Brazil or Angola and has no problems using the oldest A343 still flying to GIG/REC/LAD etc just because they can. Forget lounges, people would have voted with their wallets long back if there was an alternative to flying the TP A343.
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Old May 14, 19, 10:56 pm
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Originally Posted by NickB View Post
Are you not proving my point here when one considers how awful KL's catering is in its own lounges (and despite a rather more substantial high yield O&D demand that at LIS plus the benefit in terms of J clientele that the pairing with AF entails)?
Well, no. For me, lounges offer some level of sanctuary from what's outside. That'll be relative peace and quiet, and a coffee. OK, there are exceptions, but though Amsterdam may be short on Michelin stars I've never had a problem finding a quiet(ish) corner.

Manchester can get so awful that even the Aspire (sic) lounges offer respite. And that's even after withdrawing their culinary high of bacon butties...


In essence, I'm suggesting TAP should be offering incentives to prise premium passengers away from more conventional carriers, rather than stripping away the expected comforts and frills. A bean-counter might earn Employee of the Month status for savings at out-stations. But longer term, the cost to revenues will likely outweigh those benefits. Saving an average of £10 or so per premium passenger is quickly wiped out by the loss of just a couple of business-class tickets each month: the switch of a £2K journey from MAN LIS GRU to MAN FRA GRU is a no-nonsense £2K loss to TAP.
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Old May 17, 19, 8:29 am
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
TAP is very well aware of their market dominance to Brazil or Angola and has no problems using the oldest A343 still flying to GIG/REC/LAD etc just because they can.
That sounds like a criticism, so I am curious: If you were the God of TAP, what routes would you put your oldest A343s on?
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Old May 17, 19, 11:12 am
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Keeping a sub fleet of 4 decrepid A343 that are unreliable is non sense. I would retire them and save costs.
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Old May 17, 19, 10:22 pm
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Originally Posted by oliver2002 View Post
Keeping a sub fleet of 4 decrepid A343 that are unreliable is non sense. I would retire them and save costs.
AFAIK they are quite overstretched as it is because their A339 order is late. We could talk about why the orders weren't made earlier but discussing the national politics that starved TP from private capital for decades is out of the scope of this thread.

If the passengers don't run away, it's probably best to keep the old plane than scrapping it and spend money leasing something else for the interim.

About contract lounges, I must say that I was annoyed when I realized at the airport that I wouldn't have any lounge access at JFK.
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Old May 20, 19, 1:39 am
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Originally Posted by mmff View Post
AFAIK they are quite overstretched as it is because their A339 order is late.
They leased the 4 ex SQ A330 from AirCastle in 2017 to cover for that (and Airbus probably paid part that), those are going away already even though the A339 have not all come yet.
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