TAP Portugal, the flag carrier of Portugal, is in the midst of growth and the time and energy they’ve recently put into their on-board customer experience shines. The airline, which now offers direct links to Lisbon and Oporto from Newark Liberty International Airport, as well as Miami (direct to Lisbon), will begin serving Boston Logan International Airport on June 11, 2016 and New York’s JFK Airport on July 1, 2016.
TAP is retrofitting their A330 fleet beginning next year, but, for now, customers can expect an incredible ride in their current Executive Class cabin. On a recent flight to Lisbon, TAP impressed with a beautiful business class, fit for those who are interested in both comfort and Portuguese hospitality. From the moment you arrive at the airport and check-in to through the speedy business class counter, you are invited to relax pre-flight in the SAS Lounge, open to Star Alliance airline members and their VIP guests.
Boarding the plane in Newark is pleasant, as you’re a priority in the executive cabin. I was seated immediately and offered champagne or a glass of Port wine. Shortly before takeoff, I was handed a menu, which offered delicious dinner options curated by chefs Vitor Sobral and Danio Braga (who also implemented the wine selection on-board). Dinner is served promptly after takeoff, with an elegant and courteous service performed by the friendly crew. I opted for a delicious tomato soup with garnishes, roasted partridge and marinated shrimp. For dessert, I opted for a delicious pastel de nata – a traditional Portuguese custard tart, which was outstanding.
TAP has done an excellent job of delving into their country’s numerous vineyards to find the best in wines. Whites, reds, port and sparkling varieties are all on offer. Shortly before landing in Lisbon, breakfast was served. I was so impressed by the flight attendant and their courteous efforts not to disturb my sleep. I asked one of them to wake me just 30 minutes prior to touch down for a rapid breakfast, and that’s exactly what they did.
With TAP expanding their routes in the United States, I am excited to see their growth and investment make a statement in the industry and in the markets they serve. Portugal is pure magic and is also a very strategic stopping point for those looking to connect to other destinations in Europe or further afield. With TAP’s reentering JFK, it is an exciting time for them and for all the travelers looking for something different in the air. It’s not often you find an airline who can successfully fuse their country’s culture into the flying experience, while simultaneously providing a world-class in-air environment. TAP does this well.