The airline with the best average rating is KLM with 7.4/10.
The average flight time is 3 hours and 10 minutes.More information
While Europe has been in a lockdown for quite some time and making it almost impossible for us to travel within Europe or outside, I decided to book myself a flight as soon as possible when Europe announced that borders are opening within the Schengen countries to promote tourism as well.
While Portugal opened it's borders on the first of July for tourists and the Dutch authorities considered Portugal to be a ''yellow'' country (Yellow translates to caution, but generally safe) , I decided to book a short trip to Porto on the 4th of July to return to my country the day after. A few days ahead of my departure, the Dutch government without explanation changed the Lisbon and Porto districts to ''Orange'', which means that it is only advised to go there for essential travel and all insurances will not cover your expenses if needed.
After this change I investigated it a bit of myself and verified other information/advisory travel to Portugal with neighbouring countries like Germany and Belgium and decided that I'm willing to take a chance and go ahead with my travel, so the itinerary I booked is as followed.
While arriving in Lisbon by TAP's flight from Porto, we were dropped off by bus straight into the terminal and no security check was fortunately needed. The terminal seemed to be a lot busier than Porto with more shops being open and a very busy dinner section in which 3 a 4 of the 6 restaurants or so were opened.
As I didn't have any breakfast nor lunch, I decided to grab a bite from Versailles pastry, which seemed to be the place to go if you didn't fancy McDonalds like me. Ate a sandwich with a Portuguese beer.
Eventually made my way to the gate when I saw this line up of A330s of TAP being parked and awaiting for better times. I wonder how long it will take for the aviation to recover again and see those birds fully operational suited to their purpose.
Boarding was announced ahead of time with our aircraft being ready for departure. Zones were respected and I did board as one of the lasts in the que. While my previous two flights were full, it was quickly apparent that this flight would not be full at all and would operate to Amsterdam with a 50% capacity.
During my boarding I saw this KLM Boeing 737-700 (PH-BGW) who just arrived from Amsterdam as KL1695 a few minutes before.
And here is our aircraft for today's flight. CS-TPR, a 8.9 year old Embraer E-190LR named after the city of Leiria. The aircraft was firstly delivered to TRIP as PP-PJP on the 29th of August 2011. About three years later, the aircraft was taken over by Azul as TRIP was merged into Azul. In July 2016 it eventually joined PGA Portugalia / TAP Express and has been flying with them ever since.
TAP Air Portugal does not allow you during check-in to change your seats free of charge and was tied to seat 16D, which I didn't mind too much as it comes with an excellent view over the wing. Changing seats would have costed me 14 euros.
The legroom I had on my previous flight was definitely more generous, however it was sufficient for a 2.5 hour flight and did not become an issue during the flight either. Also note that there is no in-flight magazine available once again, but I'm not sure if that is done intentional with the current pandemic or TAP simply doesn't have one.
Upon boarding we also received a small packaged sanitizing wipe which was a much appreciated gesture, though I don't think it would do much as there was little alcohol in to actually kill any bacteria.
Flight crew checked in with us about 10 minutes before our departure time that we were ready to start our journey to Amsterdam and that the flight would take approximately 2 hours and 20 minutes and that we would arrive by about 30 minutes ahead of schedule. Pushback and the inflight safety demonstration were quickly done by both flight attendants. From the three flight attendants on board, only the purser seemed to be interested and enjoying his job.
Two boeing 767s of Euro Atlantic being parked and waiting for travel to be picked up.
With no traffic before us, we were quickly departing from runway 03 in northeasterly direction with a splendid view over the river and the well-known bridge of Lisbon.
A complimentary drink service was provided and consisted out of water, tea or coffee and I opted for a cup of coffee, however I really don't understand the policy of TAP Air Portugal's services. At the moment of booking this flight about four days before the actual flight happening, TAP Air Portugal clearly stated that this fight would serve us a complimentary snack and beverage service, but did inform us a day before departure that it would be limited to coffee, tea and water to minimize contact between flight attendants and passengers. The day of the actual flight on board, the purser announced indeed that coffee, tea and water was complimentary due to covid-19 and that you could buy some food if you fancied it.
I understand that TAP Air Portugal is trying to minimize contact between passengers and flight attendants, however changing it into a buy on board service is something I don't understand as this would result in more interaction between certain passengers when someone opted to buy some food. It felt to me that TAP is simply trying to earn as much money as possible to stay afloat, but used the reason of Covid-19 to justify their change.
Though I loved the decoration of the cups with famous sights of Lisbon. The coffee tasted decent too and was freshly brewed.
By the time I received my cup of coffee, we were already in cruise flying between two layers of clouds.
A shot of the cabin during flight which was clean and did have personal air vents too.
Around 6 PM (GM+2) the captain checked in with us and informed us that we were already descending towards Amsterdam and would land in approximately 20 minutes and thanked us for flying with TAP. It also meant that we would be arriving about 30 minutes ahead of schedule like the captain previously said.
And to my surprise Runway 27 was being used for landings today, which will probably give you the best view of any landing in Amsterdam and those on the right sides like me will have a sight of Amsterdam and the IJsselmeer.
The landing was quite turbulent due to the wind and the landing was an absolutely smacker with hard braking. Schiphol seemed to be a bit busier compared to yesterday when I left with a Turkish A321 prepping for it's flight to Istanbul and a KLM B77W (Skyteam livery) for it's flight to Sao Paulo.
All remaining 747s of KLM have been phased out from passenger duties due to Covid-19, however a few weeks after KLM changed that plan for four 747s and put them back in service as they reached an agreement with Philips to use them as cargo planes for a temporary period of time. I believe only those two are still active of the four as the temporary agreement is nearing it's end.
At the moment of docking, flight attendants requested us to remain seated in the cabin till doors were opened and received green light by the flight attendants, however everyone just stood up to be the first to exit the aircraft the moment the doors were opened and ignoring any input from flight attendants…. Sometimes it feels like flight attendants are running a kindergarten.A
A Boeing 737-800 of Transavia Holland standing idle at it's gate.
Pretty normal flight to get you from A to B. Aircraft's cabin was good and legroom was sufficient. Cabin crew wasn't the best, but they weren't rude and did what you asked of them. Meal Service was limited to coffee/tea and water and I did not understand the reasoning of changed a complimentary snack service into a BoB service to minimize contact between passengers and flight attendants.