Airline Review: TAP Portugal

TAP Portugal is a full service scheduled airline with the bulk of its intercontinental routes being to Africa and South America. It also serves many European destinations. It is a member of the Star Alliance.

TAP Portugal
TAP Portugal aircraft at Lisbon Airport

Route: London Heathrow – Lisbon. Aircraft: Airbus A320-200

TAP Portugal have a very easy to navigate and very responsive website making booking very easy. Check-in was done online 24 hours ahead of departure with the option to change your assigned seat. There are four options available for getting your boarding pass. I chose to have it sent to my iPhone and store it in the Passbook app. It was there almost instantly.

TAP Portugal 01
TAP Portugal Airbus
© Wo st 01/Wikipedia

At the airport

The machines that issue the baggage tags were not working properly so I had to resort to a human being. I am sure that it is quicker with a human than a machine.


TAP Portugal seemed to be using part of Terminal 2 at Heathrow even though check-in was in Terminal 1. The departure lounge was light and airy and cool enough to be comfortable. Although boarding was supposed to be 13:15 for a 13:45 departure we still had not started boarding by 13:37. Boarding finally got under way; we were some 25 minutes late departing.

Tail fin of TAP Portugal
Tail fin of TAP Portugal

The flight
The seats, in grey/blue leather, were exceptionally comfortable for me. I realise that the same will not always apply to each individual but there was plenty of support in the lumbar and shoulder region and a comfortable seat that did not put pressure on the backs of the thighs. In front there was plenty of room for my legs – not once did I find my knees jammed against the seat in front. Even when the person in front reclined I did not feel claustrophobic.

Interior of the Airbus A320-200 from London - Lisbon
Interior of the Airbus A320-200 from London – Lisbon

Soon after takeoff drinks and food were served. On short haul flights I never expect to get anything gourmet. However a decent snack can be served (BA have done it – see my review here). The snack was a disappointing dry roll filed with tomato, rocket and pressed turkey slice. It was tasteless.

The cabin crew were welcoming, always ready when needed but for the most part were unobtrusive. Requests were dealt with swiftly on a flight that was about 90% full.

Apart from the necessary announcements and one informative one from the pilot there was little to disturb passengers on the flight. Drop down TV screens for the safety video remained down and showed pictures of Portugal and some of TAP Portugal’s African and South American destinations.

The aircraft on the return flight was an Airbus A319 © RHL Images
The aircraft on the return flight was an Airbus A319
© RHL Images – source:

Short haul on TAP Portugal is nothing remarkable. Equally there is nothing too negative about the service. Certainly I would consider them again and would be interested to try out the long haul offering. Service on board and comfort are the two aspects I would highlight as being above average. The snack let them down though.

The return flight was on an Airbus 319-100; a smaller aircraft. The seats were a few inches closer so there was less legroom. They were the same comfortable design. The snack was a much better and tasted a great deal better

Rank 7/10

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