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TAP LGW-FNC-LGW business class

TAP LGW-FNC-LGW business class

Old Mar 23, 10, 4:53 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Mar 2010
Programs: BA Silver
Posts: 110
TAP LGW-FNC-LGW business class

This was my first trip on TAP. The experience ranged from the best in flight business class short haul service I have had (much better than BA Club Europe), to probably the worst and to complete chaos.

I took TP349 from LGW to Funchal on 19 March in business class. I purchased the ticket via the TAP website about 4 months in advances. It was a good fare – only GBP140 return more than the lowest economy at that time. Check in was OK. Had to wait for it to open and my bag wasn’t priority tagged. Proceeded through fast track security to the Service Air lounge. It was very basic but quiet and comfortable. There was priority boarding for business class. Seat configuration on the A320 was 2-3 in rows 1-4 and I sat in 3A. Seat pitch was poor but there were only 4 pax. Newspapers were offered before take off, but no drinks. We pushed back 10 mins ahead of the scheduled 13.00 departure time.

Once in the air, service started about 20 mins after take off with hot towels. Drinks were offered individually, not from a trolley and the Purser and another flight attended looked after us. We were handed a menu with a wine list. There were 3 whites and 2 reds. Wine was served from the bottle at our seat. Lunch was four courses, all served together on a tray. I opted for pork tenderloin as the main (fish was the alternative). There was a salmon salad to start, crème brule for dessert and some cheese. Hot roles were offered twice and the crew were constantly back to offer more drinks as well as the tea and coffee. After the trays were cleared more drinks were offered. So it was a very pleasant flight and as we started our descent and that’s where it descended into chaos.

The pilot aborted the landing after the wheels had been lowered. They announced we were going around due to poor visibility and would land in 20 mins. We did land but not in Funchal, we were in Porto Santo. Drinks were offered while we waited information. We were told that we would not be going to Funchal but to Lisbon where we should “contact the transfer counter”. Drinks were served but of course no food during the 1.5 hour flight. Apparently the crew were near the edge of their flying hours and didn’t have time to take us to Funchal and then back to their base in Lisbon. So we all had to go to Lisbon with them.

On arrival we were told to go to baggage reclaim where we remained for two hours. My bag and a very few others arrived. Staff didn’t know where the other bags were and insisted several times they were on the belt which they were not. By process of Chinese whispers I discovered that we were all rebooked onto a domestic flight at 22.45. So I asked if I should make my way to the other terminal, check in and go to the lounge. No – I had to stay and wait with the others for their luggage so we could go together. Eventually at 22.00 people were advised that their luggage had been transferred and we were escorted by bus to the other terminal, checked in and boarded the flight in time for a 22.45 departure. During this process a number of people had their duty free from LGW confiscated. They couldn’t check it in because they had no luggage and TAP said they couldn’t help.

We sat on TP1689 for an hour, due to a catering delay. Once we took off there was a reasonable three course hot meal of chicken served in business class and we finally landed at 01.15. My bag which had been priority tagged in Lisbon was first off 20 mins after landing.

So, when I went to the airport on 22 March for TP348 to LGW I was wondering if it would get me back on time, but was expecting a good in flight experience. They got me home on time, but the in flight service was terrible.

I arrived at Funchal airport at 13.00 for the 16.00 departure and proceeded to the TAP priority counter. I was told (quite rudely I thought) that I was too early and to go back at 14.00 which I did. I proceeded quickly through security. The lounge was very hard to find and it was very poor. Tiny and overcrowded with only about 20 people there. Tiny drinks selection, you had to ask for wine and no food other than nuts.

Boarding was on time but no priority as it was by bus. Aircraft was a similar but not the same A320 with the same configuration in rows 1-4 but this time it was full in business class and they used the middle seats. Newspapers were offered and we departed just a few mins late but had a flight time of only 3hrs 5 mins.

Once airborne service started after 30 mins with the hot towel and drinks orders were taken individually as before. This time however there was no menu and no wine list. Meal trays were handed out and we were given no choice. The tray contained a plate of pineapple chuncks, a toasted cheese sandwich and a small cake. That was it.. I complained to the Purser as did the people in front, but he just shook his head and said this is the service. The trays were cleared and the crew didn’t come back unless the call button was used, which they did respond to promptly. For a three plus hour business class flight I thought this was very poor and extremely disappointing given the experience on the outbound flight.

We landed at LGW 30 mins early and my back was amongst the first off after a short wait. So, overall I think this trip has put me off flying business class (or maybe economy too) on TAP again.
leisureflyer1234 is offline  
Old Mar 23, 10, 6:52 pm
Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: LIS
Programs: FB LTPE, TP Gold
Posts: 888
Happy to read the first part, very sorry to know the rest of the story. Ground services in LIS in case of any anomalies (and generally baggage services upon arrival) are unfortunately disastrous. Please do submit a complaint to TP's customer service (you can do it online here). There should be a way of making these people accountable.

As for the catering in the return leg, as you were not flying during lunch or dinner time, you got a snack. You have a menu and choice of meal during lunch or dinner time, whereas for breakfast and other times of day you don't have a choice.
tff is offline  
Old Mar 23, 10, 10:36 pm
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: TSV, Australia
Posts: 2,363
Wow, what an awful experience. Thanks for posting.
camsean is offline  
Old Mar 23, 10, 11:15 pm
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Thank you for posting. If this is the C experience, I'm really not looking forward to my BCN-LIS-BCN trip in Y next month
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Old Mar 24, 10, 11:24 am
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Egads. Fun all round there.

Welcome to Flyertalk leisureflyer1234!
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Old Mar 27, 10, 11:14 am
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Quite the horrific experience! Thanks for sharing
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Old Mar 27, 10, 12:26 pm
Join Date: Mar 2005
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Sorry to hear about the bad experience, welcome to FT!
sobore is offline  
Old Mar 27, 10, 12:54 pm
Join Date: Sep 2009
Posts: 114
TAP can be very hit and miss .Had an evening flight from LHR to LIS a few months ago and thought the service in Biz class was fine.Smiling concerned service,Menu[rare on european flights],reasonable food and comfortable 2x3 seating.I thought the return flight a few days later would be just as good---not at all!!!.I was the last person to board and for a few minutes sat alone in the Biz'cabin' in splendid isolation. The doors close,and then 5 people appear from economy and make themselves comfortable in the forward section.My mood darkens.We take off and the'service '--what little there is of it--- is extremely poor.For most of the flight 2 of the 5 upgraded spent time in the forward galley --off duty crew?--chatting loudly with a couple of female FA's who clearly didnt think that smiling concerned service was part of their agenda.Lousy flight.So as i say-----very hit and miss.

Last edited by handsomestpete; Mar 30, 10 at 5:13 am
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