Review of TAP Air Portugal flight Warsaw Lisbon in Economy

Airline TAP Air Portugal
Flight TP1207
Class Economy
Seat 12D
Aircraft Airbus A320neo
Flight time 04:05
Take-off 04 Apr 21, 19:10
Arrival at 04 Apr 21, 22:15
TP   #50 out of 99 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 226 reviews
Matthevv
By GOLD 808
Published on 9th April 2021

Welcome


Welcome everyone!

I am delighted to be writing this short series of 4 flight reports with TAP Air Portugal with whom I flew to Madeira Island (as I am writing this, I am still on Madeira, in my room, with a beautiful Sea view). The reports will cover flights WAW-LIS-FNC-LIS-WAW on 3 different types of aircrafts: A20N, A21N and 320. I will also make some remarks on travelling to Portugal during the COVID-19 pandemic and I will try to include some pics from Madeira in one of the reports too (spoiler alert: it's amazing in here).


Routing

  • Warsaw to Lisbon; TP1207; TAP Portugal A320neo Economy You are here
  • Lisbon to Funchal; TP1699; TAP Portugal A321neo ACF Economy Coming soon
  • Funchal to Lisbon; TP1690; TAP Portugal A320 Economy Coming soon
  • Lisbon to Warsaw; TP1208; TAP Portugal A320neo Economy Coming soon

The return ticket to Madeira from Warsaw was around 250 Euros which I think is quite a good price. We only bought the tickets 2 weeks before departure and picked TAP Discount fare, which is the cheapest one, only including a hand luggage.


Flight details:
Flight number TP1207
Route Warsaw Chopin - Lisbon Portela
Flight date 4th April 2021, 1910-2215 (actual 1912-2251)
Scheduled flight time 4:15 (actual 3:40)
Aircraft model Airbus A320neo
Aircraft registration CS-TVH
Seating configuration CY174
Aircraft age (at the time of flight) 0.8 years
Seat number 12D
Departure gate 28 (jet bridge)
Arrival gate Bus gate in Lisbon
Load factor (approx.) 23%


At Warsaw Airport


My journey begins at home, a few kilometres from Warsaw. Lightly packed and after the Easter lunch, I am ready to begin an adventure. Warsaw Chopin Airport is just a 15 mins ride from my home.


photo img_1179

I arrived at WAW about 2 hours before departure to meet my friend Asia with whom I was flying with to Madeira. We had separate reservations and so we did not check in online to get seats together at the airport.


photo img_1180

Departure board when we arrived at the airport. Quite empty :( Pay attention to the TK1766, as it'll be mentioned later in the report!


There weren't too many people at TAP's check in and there were 4 counters open but there seemed to be a problem with every single customer checking in in front of us and so we ended up waiting about 30 mins… even though we were second in the queue… But at least our check in went smoothly. We asked for seats together and there was no problem with that but the agent could only give us seats at the back (behind the exit row) because the front seats are extra paid. He said there will be only 40 pax on the plane though so we can always ask the cabin crew to change the seats.

By the way, no one checked our luggage weight or size. They only checked our COVID PCR tests.


photo img_1181

TAP always uses the same check in desks at WAW. (Yes, this is the number of people in front of us in the queue and yes, we waited 30 mins!)


After that lengthy check in, we proceeded through security which was quick (only 2 lanes open but only 2 flights departing within the next 2 hours). We made a visit to the Baltona Duty free shop and then strolled through the veeeery empty airport (see photos below). Then we sat down to fill in the locator form, because you can only do that after you've checked in.


photo img_1182photo img_1183

Meanwhile, our Neo has arrived, incoming passengers quickly disembarked and we were allowed in well before scheduled departure. Boarding was done by groups: premium pax and then back to front, by the jet bridge, at gate 28.


photo img_1189photo img_1190

Looks like we will have a lovely departure in the sunset!


photo img_1191

I absolutely love TAP's livery, the colours fit together perfectly and it's also modern and well-designed, in my opinion.


The flight


As we stepped on board the aircraft, we were welcomed by the crew who also handed out refreshing tissues. They seemed happy and cheerful. But that wasn't the only great thing, the smell of the aircraft was so nice and fresh, literally as if it has only just left the factory! Have a look at the pictures - impeccable condition and cleanliness throughout the cabin.


photo img_1192

TAP business class, 6 rows on this flight but only 4 seats were taken. I love these grey framings of the windows, they give that extra zing.


photo img_1193

And TAP business on the other side of the row.


photo img_1195

And here's a sample Economy Xtra seat row (the "red" zone). These seats feature 34" legroom and are charged extra (or included in more expensive fares).


photo img_1194

Behind the exit rows, the aircraft is equipped with Recaro slimline seats in other colour - the "green" zone. They feature 28" legroom and are assigned to pax in lower fares (including us). But as we boarded I asked the crew if we could take a seat in one of the unoccupied exit rows and they said "yes of course", so we could try out the better seats for free!


Okay, here's the time for my digression on the interior design of TAP's aircrafts. I have wanted to try it out since they've done the retrofit a few years ago. Now was the time. And Oh My God, someone did such a good job with the aircraft design! It's superb head-to-toe, including every single little detail.


photo img_1197

That's us, still at the gate and ready for departure but waiting for our departure time.


I also managed to check out the lavatory before departure. It was very fresh and new and clean. Refreshing tissues and spray were also provided, as amenities - nice. Now the best thing - TAP doesn't use the SpaceFlex configuration which means you get 2 normally-sized lavatories!!! (If you read my previous reports, you'll be aware that this is the main thing I hate in new A320s from LH, BA, W6 and other airlines).


photo img_1198photo img_1199photo img_1200-34555

And here's the refreshing tissue, the same as you get during boarding.



A picturesque departure in the sunset. I don't know if in the first picture you can see flashing lights of the ambulances and the fire engines but if you don't, I can tell you, we saw them. The story behind them is below…


Whilst we were taxiing to the runway edge, my friend Asia told me: "Look there, do you see these flashing lights? It must be a fire or something" and I replied "Yeah, it must be fire engines… doing a training or something". It turned out neither of us were right. The answer for these flashing lights is TK1765 arriving from Istanbul which declared a bomb threat on board and after landing was directed to a very remote stand with the assist of ambulances and fire engines. Passengers were kept in the aircraft and then in an airport building for a long time before being let to leave the airport… But everything turned out ok and safe, and the bomb threat was fake. You can read about the situation here.


But coming back to our flight, the departure from RWY 29 was very quick due to our light load and also very smooth without any turbulence whatsoever. It took however about 25 mins for the seatbelts sign to be switched off, I'm curious why because the conditions were really very smooth. As we were still seated, I took a few photos to show you the features of the seats in the "red" = Economy Xtra zone.


photo img_1214

Here's the legroom in Economy Xtra, this is the Exit Row, however legroom is the same throughout the red cabin, so up to row 12 (including row 12). I'm 1.87m, so the legroom is veeeery good.


photo img_1215

The seat back includes 2 bigger pockets and a smaller pocket on the right (I don't know what it is for?), a tablet/smartphone holder plus a literature pocket, which is a nice set of features I think.


photo img_1216

2 power ports with USB and universal power outlets are located within every 3 seats. There are no outlets in the "green" zone at the back.


photo img_1217-86168

And here's the content of the seat pocket: air sickness bag and a safety card. "Up magazine" is not included due to COVID but it can be downloaded for free ahead of flight.


To summarise, the Xtra seats are really nice with lots of useful features, however the comfort of the seat itself could be better. They don't feature too much padding, so the back of the seat is quite hard. The moveable headrests are, of course, a great feature, but are very hard and quite uncomfortable too plus not sturdy enough.


photo img_1218

One more look at the cabin and you can also see how someone made a nice use of the tablet holder.


About 50 mins into the flight, the crew started on board sales. TAP used to offer a hot meal and choice of drinks from the bar on that route but post-COVID it has been replaced with Buy on Board only, like on most routes within Europe which I think is a huge shame :( Even a small snack would be nice. At least TAP sends you a text message before departure saying that meals will be charged and payment is only by card which I think is useful to know before departure.

I searched the menu prior to departure and chose a sandwich that I wanted to try… but it wasn't available. In fact no sandwich was available on the flight. They only had a few options left.


photo img_1219

Here's the menu card but like I said, many options were unavailable.


I finally opted for a lasagne to share with my friend, a waffle and a black tea. The cabin crew members that were serving us were great, helpful and had a little aviation chat with me too. I think they deserve some praise.



Here's the meal. I think it was decent quality and a good value for money.


photo img_1224-28046

After the meal we were offered an extra dessert from the lovely steward, it was a nice touch.
It's quite sad that he said, this was his first flight after 4 months of not flying, plus it was only a there-and-back… 


photo img_1225

After the meal, I managed to take this nice pic of the empty Neo cabin from backwards.


The rest of the flight was very uneventful, without any major turbulence. We spent it watching "Green Book" on my laptop. It's an interesting and thought-provoking film. I definitely recommend watching if you haven't already.

Unfortunately, TAP does not really provide any entertainment: no overhead monitors and no WiFi. But as I said, power outlets are available and each passenger can also download one newspaper prior to the flight (excluding the "Up magazine", this can be downloaded additionally).


photo img_1228

After 3:10 hours of flying, we started our descent into Lisbon, and the crew immediately started preparing the cabin for landing, which means the last 30 mins of the flight we had to be seated. The approach was picturesque with lots of lights in the dark Lisbon. Very smooth too. But unfortunately it was hard to take any good pictures.


photo img_1229

We landed well ahead of schedule and parked at a bus gate, but just next to a jet bridge… ehh. Disembarking was quick because there were only 40 people on board. I managed to take 2 more pics of the seat details: headrest and the little TAP logo. And a must-have fuselage photo of our CS-TVH A320neo.


after landing



We were taken to the terminal by bus, the ride was quick. But then, the immigration experience was very confusing. We were having a night stop in Lisbon to continue to Funchal next morning, so we were transit passengers only (those are excepted from quarantine in continental Portugal). However, the immigration guard said we had to fill in the "quarantine form" where you give the address for self-isolation anyway. Well, we did so, being quite stressed but no one called or checked us afterwards, so I don't know why they need that form to be filled out.

PS. Madeira has different rules to continental Portugal and you don't need to self-isolate after arrival, you only need a PCR test. 


photo img_1234

Here's the immigration area, around 20 mins wait for the control.


photo img_1235

After the control, we left the airport and took Uber to our hotel, Holiday Inn Lisbon Airport to have some sleep before the flight to Funchal next morning.

Thank you for reading through and see you in the next report, which covers the flight from Lisbon To Funchal on TAP Portugal's A321neo ACF and where I will also post some pictures of the amazing hotel we stayed at in Funchal.

Matthevv

PS. Any comments are appreciated :) 

See more

Verdict

TAP Air Portugal

8.2/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Meal/catering7.0

Warsaw - WAW

7.2/10
Efficiency4.0
Access8.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Lisbon - LIS

6.0/10
Efficiency6.0
Access6.5
Services4.0
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

My first flight with TAP Air Portugal and a really nice surprise! A great flight with fresh, clean and quite comfortable cabin; perfect, kind, relaxed and cheerful crew; reasonably good entertainment and tasty, yet chargeable meals. The only distressing feature was a disorganised and uninformed immigration in Lisbon.

I would definitely choose TAP in the future.

Related

10 Comments

  • Comment 573067 by
    airberlin GOLD 953 Comments

    A very good report on a very good flight. I love as well the new TAP cabins. A small but very decent airline. I hope they find a stable investor in the future to sustain. See you.

    • Comment 573116 by
      Matthevv GOLD AUTHOR 92 Comments

      Hello Airberlin and thanks a lot for your comment!
      I'm keeping my fingers crossed for TAP too. I hope they sustain their rapid expansion, especially in these difficult times. They have a great potential for an airline with connecting flights through Lisbon, if only Lisbon Airport was a better airport...
      Take care,
      Mateusz.

  • Comment 573080 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5399 Comments

    Hey Matthevv, awesome report as always! Seems like Portugal and Spain are the places to go during the pandemic if you're stuck in EU with more relaxed rules and more pleasant weather for outdoor dining. It seems like half of France has escaped to Spain just to be able to sit on a terrace and have a drink, haha.

    I find TAPs new cabins very nice aesthetically, but I'm really not a fan of this new trend of crappier seats behind the exit rows for the "cheap" fares, because of course there's no way to really ensure only the cheap fares are back there. So you could buy an expensive, last minute ticket and end up in the green zone if that's all that's available. BA have done the same with the 320/321neo, as you know, and with the same exact Recaro ironing boards haha. Congrats on being able to score exit row seats!

    The BOB menu seems pretty decent with good value for money, but I remember not so long ago TAP were offering free meals in Y, even on short flights. However, considering that TAP consistently have some of the lowest fares of any of the legacy carriers in Europe, their product is really very competitive.

    Thanks for sharing and enjoy Madeira! 🌴⛱

    • Comment 573134 by
      Matthevv GOLD AUTHOR 92 Comments

      Hey Kevin!

      And thank you for appreciating my report! I just came back from Madeira and it was superb.

      It seems like half of France has escaped to Spain just to be able to sit on a terrace and have a drink, haha.

      Quite a lot of French on Madeira too! Together with Germans/Swiss and Poles :)

      I'm really not a fan of this new trend of crappier seats behind the exit rows for the "cheap" fares, because of course there's no way to really ensure only the cheap fares are back there.

      I absolutely get your point here, I hate that too. But with TAP, actually, I think they decreased their fares substantially after that cabin transformation. At least on the routes that I searched. And yes, we got Exit rows on all 4 flights, they always remained unoccupied :)

      I remember not so long ago TAP were offering free meals in Y, even on short flights.

      Indeed, it's really a shame they don't do a free service anymore. I think they used to have a hot dinner together with drinks on that particular flight from WAW to LIS... And, like I said the buy on board offer was quite limited on my flight.

      Thanks again for your comment Kevin!
      Stay safe,
      Mateusz.

  • Comment 573081 by
    ISTFlyer GOLD 325 Comments

    Hi Mathevv and thanks for sharing this FR,

    It's nice to see that TAP has a great hard product but the devaluation of the soft product and the extras that are charged ( baggage fees, front row seats, meals, etc... ) means that they are now a hybrid carrier like BA. Although, the BoB looks reasonable and it's a nice gesture that the crew allowed you to move to an exit row for free.

    Power outlets and USB ports are also a nice touch for an intra-EU flight but no entertainment is a bit annoying in the 2020s.

    Actually I was going to fly TAP in the summer but they decided not to honor the cheap fares that they published by error so I have no idea when I would fly them; although, they seem like a decent choice in the EU.

    Hope to see you in the next parts of this series.
    Best,

    • Comment 573135 by
      Matthevv GOLD AUTHOR 92 Comments

      Hi ISTFlyer,

      Thank you so much for reading and for your comment. I hope you are alright. It's true, TAP became really similar to BA, regarding their product, even including the 2 zones in the cabin, like Kevin mentioned above. And seems like LH group is going in a similar direction with their new BoB.

      it's a nice gesture that the crew allowed you to move to an exit row for free.

      Yes, it was absolutely very nice of them. They had to ask a few more passengers to take the other exit rows later on and I have to say, they struggled to find volunteers in this empty aircraft hahah.

      Power outlets and USB ports are also a nice touch for an intra-EU flight but no entertainment is a bit annoying in the 2020s.

      Just bear in mind the power outlets are only in "the red zone" or Economy Xtra/Business. Nothing in the back of the aircraft. And yes, the lack of overhead monitors or even WiFi to check the moveable map/aircraft position is quite annoying on longer flights like the one to Lisbon.

      Actually I was going to fly TAP in the summer but they decided not to honor the cheap fares that they published by error

      That's really a shame! Did they refund you the money? I hear they have problems with refunds... I hope you have an opportunity to try TAP soon.

      Looking forward to hearing from you,
      Mateusz.

      • Comment 573138 by
        ISTFlyer GOLD 325 Comments

        Thanks for the reply,

        They had to ask a few more passengers to take the other exit rows later on and I have to say, they struggled to find volunteers in this empty aircraft hahah.

        Oh yes, in Europe, they need volunteers to fill out those exit row seats just in case of an emergency. In some other parts of the world, they don't even care ( a.k.a. USA )
        Just bear in mind the power outlets are only in "the red zone" or Economy Xtra/Business. Nothing in the back of the aircraft. And yes, the lack of overhead monitors or even WiFi to check the moveable map/aircraft position is quite annoying on longer flights like the one to Lisbon.

        - Nice to know this. I'll be prepared for my next potential flight with TAP
        That's really a shame! Did they refund you the money? I hear they have problems with refunds...

        - No, they didn't refund the money but I initiated a charge-back process with my bank stating EC261/2004; TAP didn't respond in the time given so I got my money back in the end.

        Once again, hope to see you around.

  • Comment 573100 by
    Plainfreak 22 Comments

    Hi Mateusz,

    Once again a very nice report. Hope you are having a great time in Madeira.

    250 euros for a roundtrip ticket is quite good value. Although disappointing to see TAP has BOB nowadays for Y-class.

    Cabin looks immaculate and stylized. Seats can still be uncomfortable as you mention ;-)
    Curious for your other TAP-flights.

    Best, Daniel

    • Comment 573137 by
      Matthevv GOLD AUTHOR 92 Comments

      Hey Daniel,

      I hope you're staying safe and in a good mood. Thank you very much for your comment on my report. Like you say, it seemed a great value for money, especially that FNC is 3800 km from WAW but I'd appreciate a small snack included in the ticket, and maybe a glass of water... :-)

      Cabin looks immaculate and stylized.

      Well said! I totally agree, the fresh smell once we stepped on board is indescribable.

      I hope next TAP reports will be out soon.
      Take care,
      Mateusz :)

Login to post a comment.