Greetings and welcome to another flight report! After arriving off a flight from TLS I headed straight for the TAP Premium Lounge. To gain access, I presented my United Club membership card.
I was quickly admitted and to immediately noticed how crowded the lounge was. It was so full I had trouble finding a seat. The whole setup of the lounge is just odd if you ask me. There isn't really any lounge style seating. It’s almost all dining tables and padded benches.
I was enough to find one of the only armchair style seats. I placed my bags there and headed to the buffet for some food. The food consisted of soup, pasta, pre-made salads, and cold cuts. For dessert, there was fruit, chocolate mousse, and pastries. I found the overall food quality to be pretty decent and filling. For the good stuff, there was wine, beer on tap, and a well-stocked bar (which I had a refreshing mojito from).
I spent a couple hours catching up on work with the free WiFi provided.
There was a nap area with seats and ottomans, which I would’ve happily used, though it was full for the duration of my stay. One thing to note was that the coffee was downright awful. It was bitter, burnt and way too strong. Before leaving I requested a shower from the reception desk. There was one available immediately so I was directed down a hall to my shower room. The shower rooms were quite nice and were stocked with a relatively comfortable “Premium Lounge” branded towel, nice smelling individual bottles of shampoo and conditioner, a comb, and shaving kit. The water pressure was good and the temperature easy to control.
I couldn’t help but think that the lounge prioritized style over substance as it’s design wasn’t practical at all. On the way to the gate, I had to clear passport control, which had a 15 minute line. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time as the lines can be quite long. When I first experienced it, I almost missed my flight as I wasn’t expecting the passport control checkpoint. On the way to my gate, I saw a Cabo Verde Airlines 757 and an Orbest A330.
There is also individual an security check at US bound gates. After waiting in the sterile gate area for 10 minutes, lines were created for respective boarding groups. A
fter another 15 mins, I was onboard the A330-200. While decently old, it had been recently retrofitted with a quite modern cabin. The economy seats had USB ports built into the IFE screen but no AC power outlets. The pitch was quite tight for me and I felt a bit cramped. A nice touch was the built in cup holder on the seat back.
On a random note: I actually used one of the coat hooks for once! I thought that day would never come ;-). Anyways, a pillow, blanket, and headphones were left on the seats.
Before long, boarding was complete and the safety video screened.
After a 15 minute taxi, we were airborne.
As we took off, I browsed the entertainment system, which was mediocre at best.
Drinks and meals were offered once we leveled off. I had pre-ordered the Asian vegetarian meal, which was served first before the other meals. It tasted pretty ok and the presentation wasn’t bad.
Coffee and tea were offered to conclude the meal service.
I checked out one of the lavatories, which was very basic. It was stocked with moist towelettes. It also had a metal pump fixed to the sink counter rather than a bottle filled with soap.
After, I settled down and watched some TV episodes. Around two hours prior to landing, the pre-landing service commenced. There were sandwiches on offer in addition to drinks.
Soon after the cabin was prepared for landing.
Before I knew it we had landed at IAD.
I proceeded to the immigration checkpoint, which had incredibly long lines and took over an hour. After that, I headed straight to the exit.
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This flight was slightly above average. One thing to note was that the crew was inattentive and kind of rude at times. Despite that, I wouldn't hesitate to fly TAP again.