Wait, wait, wait…. Why am I reporting a TAP Portugal flight to Prague if that's a Brussels Airilines trip? To add a little bit of mess to our great 10 days stay in Portugal, SN decided to send us a message on the evening before our flight back when we were having a good bye coffee with pasteis de nata at the fameous "A Brasileira" cafe
The message said that the airiline is very sorry to cancel our flight but we will shortly receive an e-mail with a new booking so there is nothing to worry about and we can continue enjoying our evening in Lisbon. It was around 19:00 when the SMS arrived and as no e-mail with new booking arrived till midnight, I spent almost an hour waiting to be connected with the airline's call center to find out we've been given the following option for the trip back home:
It was quite alright as I've never flown TAP before, the connection time before flights was short (1,5 hours) and comparing to SN fully paid service TAP offers a complimentary meal/snack + beverages. The only thing to complain was there was no information given by SN as promised by e-mail and the whole adventure with call center took too much time and was unpleasant as the person I spoke too seemed tired and unhappy to be there.
Before describing my unexpected TAP experience I'd like to share with you a tourist bonus with some pics from the beautiful Lisbon.
Bonus : Click here displayhide
I've been always driming to come to Lisbon one day as everyone who got there said it's definitely one of the most unique European cities. We spent 3,5 days disovering the portuguese capital and it still wasn't enough.
The first thing I saw while coming out from the underground station in the city center were the fameous yellow trams that as we found out later are always full so they never stop to take new passengers (we managed to take a tram trip once for 3 or 4 attempts and only beacuse it was already very late at night)
Lisbon is also known for its elevators as it is situated on numerous hills (in fact only one of them - Santa Justa - is a typical elevator, while the others look more like small trams)
Santa Justa is also a great view point the same during the day and at night
Next to the upper entrance to the Santa Justa elevator is one of the most picturesque spots in Lisbon - Convento do Carmo that has never been fully rebuilt after the great earthquake that destroyed the city in 1755.
You can not miss Lisbon's most iconic square - Praca do Comercio loacted at the bank of Tagus river
A great viewing point is also the medieval Castelo Sao Jorge - there may be not much too see there but there is a lot to see from there, so it's worth the effort
A trip to Mosteiro dos Jeronimos In Belem district is also a must as it shows the significance of the great geographical discoveries, the wealth and power the gave to Portugal.
The tomb of Vasco da Gama who discovered the route to India
Belem is also known for it's fameous pastry shop serving from the 19th century the one and only original "pasteis de Belem" that in other places are known as "pasteis de nata" (cream pastries). I totally fell in love with them, especially the warm ones, served with cinammon and good coffee.
More iconic places are to be found in Belem district that is close to the ocean and used to be in the past the place where the ships to "the new world" used to depart.
The great geographical discoveries monument
and Torre de Belem that used to control all the ships coming from India and America
Once you come back from Belem to the city center and already miss the "pasteis", you can eat them almost everywhere. One of the oldest places in the city is "A Brasileira" with great brasilian coffee and nice interior
I have a sweet tooth so after just a couple of days I could easily work as a guide to the best sweet spots in the city ;) You may find very good pasteis de nata and something that I remebered being called "pudding of saint Bernard" (made of egg yolks and sugar) in "Alcoa".
LIS has one great adventage: it's located in the city and you can reach it by the underground within 25 minutes from the centre of the city paying only 1,45 for the ticket. The access from the underground station to the Terminal 1 (the terminal 2 is used only by the LCC) is direct.
As we were rebooked for the flight to Prague by SN, we couldn't check in online and therefore needed a traditional check in desk. After some explanations, checking, discussions with her colleague, a friendly girl gave us our boarding passes and requested the confirmation for the checked-in luggage that we bought separetely and weren't really sure of how TP is going to behave. Finally it all ended up well and we could proceed to the security check.
I will remeber LIS as chaotic. Our gate was changed three times with no information given unless you check frequently the FIDS. Boarding was supposed to be done by bus as the terminal (and whole airport) seems far to small for the current traffic.
There where some very nice spotting opportunities provided
Finally we made it to the A320 that was supposed to take us to PRG
A typical welcome from a rather idifferent crew and a quite nice and modern cabin of this classic A320
The seat is nice and comfortable with decent legroom
The cabin with no curtain between the business and economy
The safety card
and some fleet and routes facts from the inflight magazine
There are good spotting faciclities as we taxi to the runway
Finally it's time to go up
and see Lisbon from above as we depart south-westwards
After a short stay over the ocean we make a deep turn left and come back to see once more the panoramic view of the city with the huge bay created by the Tagus river
Not long after reaching our cruising altitude, the inflight service begins. I've read the night before that unfortunalety PRG is the most distant city in european network of TAP where a "cold snack" is served. If we were on a direct flight to Warsaw, we would receive lunch/dinner instead. A small sandwich and juice is not much for a 3 hours flight, but at least there's a wide choice of beverages and when I take wine, I'm immiditely asked if I would like some water, when I say "yes, please", a cup of tea/coffee is offered too. Pity there is only one beverage service (Aegean for example on WAW-ATH route makes two beverage services but TAP is definitely not in Aegean's league).
The flight is quite smooth and boring as we pass Spain, France, Switzerland and Germany before reaching the Czech Republic.
The city of Munich and MUC airport
Descent begins as we enter Czech airspace
We overfly Prague and that offers some very nice views of the city and the airport
Welcome to PRG, it's nice to be here after many years and so unexpectedly
Cabin during deboarding
And the TAP bird that brought us here
That's all for now. Many thanks for reading. The last part of the series will follow soon.
TAP Air Portugal
Lisbon - LIS
Prague - PRG
What a surprise and an opportunity to fly TAP! Well, it was owerall a very nice experience, nothing exceptional yet still a new airline with traditional service in economy. The cabin was fresh and comfy, the FAs polite but not too enthousiastic about their work. LIS is too small, chaotic and the terminal in many places looks simply used. In my opinion the city needs a new airport even if it won't be located as close to the city as this one.
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