I went to Azores on a business trip, between 24 and 28 FEB, with 2 tickets including 6 flights: FNC-LIS-HOR-TER-PDL-OPO-FNC, 2 of them operated by SATA Internacional, LIS-HOR and PDL-OPO.
As I have some SATA Imagine miles my intention was to spend them on the S4 legs and to experience the C class service of SATA again. However, as I was travelling with a TAP 047 ticket for the FNC-LIS-HOR/PDL-OPO-FNC legs, this become a big issue when trying to upgrade the S4 operating legs, or, to be more clear, the LIS-HOR leg. It seems that, when you have a TAP ticket with S4 operating flights (marketed under TP flight number) you can only do an upgrade with SATA Imagine miles at the airport ticket office, from 24h00 to 1h00 before the departure time, and in person. Well, as I was flying FNC-LIS-HOR on the 24 FEB morning with just 1h10 transfer time at LIS FNC-LIS TP1670 5h10 - 6h50 and LIS-HOR S4151 8h00 - 9h40, I could not take the risk to exit the transfer area in order to ask for an upgrade which was not guaranteed. Therefore, despite having a balance of 16412 miles at my SATA Imagine account I was unable to make use of it on the outbound leg. I called SATA call-center in advance explaining my case and even at Lisbon Airport Blue lounge I asked for help, they tried to contact the flight supervisor but no one could find a solution for my desired upgrade…
On the return leg PDL-OPO things were different. I arrived at PDL airport 1h45 before departure and went straight to the SATA desk asking for the upgrade on the S4174. It took about 5-10 min to have my C class boarding class, after the debit of 6000 miles of my account.
Then I proceeded to SATA lounge, which is very poor in terms of catering, with only some drinks and cookies there. However, I could find lots of newspapers and magazines. Not so bad…
Boarding on the A320 CS-TKP "São Jorge" started early at 17h20 for a 18h00 departure time. The flight would be almost full, with 6 pax in C class cabin. Still on the ground the cabin purser, which was not so friendly, offered some local newspapers. The aircraft was airborne 10 min before schedule for an estimated flight time of 2h10.
Just after take-off, heading east, we could have great views of Ponta Delgada. Some 15 min into the flight the cabin purser came along with refeshing towels and, then, offering some pre meal drinks. No pretzels were offered. The hot meal (dinner) was cod fish with same potatoes and vegetables. As starter they offered a cold snack (not tasty at all) and for the dessert a fresh juice plate was presented. Small portions and not so tasty… Bread were offered just once (I asked for a secong roll not to be hungry).
After the meal it would be another hour or so until arrival at OPO airport.
I have travelled C class with SATA before and this time the service was not so good, still far from other european airlines standard and even from TAP.
Ponta Delgada - PDL
Porto - OPO
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