Flying TAP Air Portugal on Its Newest Airbus Products
2020 Jan 13 By CheapTripz 0 comment

A Portuguese Flying Adventure: Flying TAP Air Portugal on Its Newest Airbus Products

Out of all of the airways in Western Europe, TAP Air Portugal is arguably probably the most bold. Though in existence for 75 years this March, the airline has only in the near past embarked on a revitalization and rebranding marketing campaign to raised set up itself within the highly-competitive European market.

Entering the 2010s as of the few remaining state-owned airways in Europe, TAP turned to the personal sector to assist convey it again to life. Selling a majority stake within the firm to a consortium lead by Brazilian-American airline maverick David Neeleman in 2015, which was quickly after diminished to a 45 % stake, the airline started its quest and has since been on a gradual rise upward.

While already expert in connecting Brazil with Portugal, two international locations linked by a shared heritage and language, with connections to better Europe, the airline set its sights on North America. Following Neeleman’s entrance, companies to the East Coast cities of New York and Boston have been upgraded to each day frequencies and given the airline’s latest plane on the time, the Airbus A330-200.

Soon after the arrival of Neeleman, TAP embarked on a fleet renewal to develop and modernize its fleet each with widebodies and narrowbodies. Sticking with Airbus, the primary two plane the airline ordered have been a few of the producer’s latest: the Airbus A330-900neo and A320neo.

In what was thought to be the rebirth of the airline, TAP Air Portugal turned the launch operator of the Airbus A330-900neo when it took delivery of the aircraft just over a year ago at Airbus’ facility in Toulouse, France. The plane was revolutionary for the airline on quite a few fronts because it supplied clients with a recent, fashionable product in every class and the airline with a fuel-efficient plane that provided decrease working prices and better buyer satisfaction.

The airline has since grow to be the world’s solely operator of each Neo variant at the moment flying additionally including the Airbus A321neo and Airbus A321neoLR to its fleet beginning in 2018. The former primarily serves intra-European routes to high-demand locations together with London, Rome, Zurich and Geneva, whereas the latter operates on transatlantic routes to North and South America.

Each of TAP’s plane, new and outdated, are additionally that includes new merchandise, particularly in enterprise class. The Airbus A330-900neo launched a brand new seat sort in enterprise class, the Recaro 6710, whereas its present technology Airbus A330-200 plane function Thompson Aero Vantage seats, shifting away from the paired configuration that after dominated TAP’s widebody fleet.

On the Airbus A321neoLR fleet, the airline selected the Thompson Aero Vantage for the 16-seat enterprise class cabin as effectively. The seats function a mix of paired and solo seats versus a high-density paired configuration discovered within the enterprise class cabins of different Airbus A321 plane.

With TAP flying its latest long-haul plane on routes
between Portugal and the New York space, in addition to between Lisbon and Rome,
AirlineGeeks determined to present all of them a strive on one journey in enterprise class.

New York to Lisbon: Airbus A330-900neo

The first flight of the 5-leg itinerary can be on one in all TAP Air Portugal’s hottest North American routes, New York to Lisbon.  One of the primary North American locations to see each day service following the semi-privatization of the airline in 2015, New York has since grown right into a dependable TAP stronghold with the airline providing three flights a day between town’s space airports and Portugal.

Shortly after taking supply of the plane and debuting it on the Lisbon-Sao Paolo route, New York turned a recipient of the Airbus A330-900neo with TAP being the primary airline to convey it to town. The plane changed the Airbus A330-300 on the route, with the plane since being retired by TAP as a part of the fleet modernization and consolidation.

A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330-900neo on the gate in New York. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The each day service between Lisbon and New York departs from
the Portuguese capital at 5:00 p.m. as TP209 and arrives in New York at 8:00
p.m. The return service that may be bringing me to Lisbon then departs New
York at 11:30 p.m. as TP208 and arrives in Lisbon at 11:05 a.m.


One of solely two carriers serving Europe to take action, TAP makes use of Terminal 5 at JFK Airport. The terminal is primarily utilized by JetBlue Airways, coincidentally based by David Neeleman, and TAP is one in all 5 airways that operates from it, making it very best when departing for Europe.

TAP Air Portugal makes use of Terminal 5 at New York’s JFK Airport alongside JetBlue Airways. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The terminal, not too long ago upgraded with a world wing that homes a federal inspection station and Airbus A330-capable gates, is generally quiet on the time of TAP’s departure to Lisbon, save for a couple of late-night JetBlue worldwide departures, permitting for a largely hassle-free check-in course of. I arrived at TAP’s check-in desk, situated on the first door of the terminal, just below two hours earlier than departure and was greeted with no traces and pleasant check-in brokers.

TAP Air Portugal is one in all two airways in Terminal 5 to serve Europe at current. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The check-in space is split into two traces, one for economic system class and the opposite for premium class. After a fast take a look at my passport and inquiry on my remaining vacation spot, I used to be off with boarding cross in hand. Although in enterprise class, my carry-on bag nonetheless wanted to be weighed to make sure it didn’t exceed the airline’s restrictions of 70 kilos. 

TAP Air Portugal’s check-in desk is split into two traces: premium passengers and economic system class passengers. TAP Air Portugal is one in all two airways in Terminal 5 to serve Europe at current. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

To scale back bills and paper utilization, TAP combines boarding
passes on connecting itineraries right into a single boarding cross. The airline additionally
provides on-line check-in with the choice to have boarding passes emailed, SMS messaged
or added to the telephone’s pockets.

With my passes to Lisbon and Rome in hand, I headed to the safety checkpoint situated close to adjoining to TAP’s check-in desk. As the airline participates within the Transportation Security Administration’s PreCheck program, I used to be airside in lower than 10 minutes from check-in. As few different flights function at the moment, although, regular safety wouldn’t have taken for much longer.

Lounge Access

While the usual process for a enterprise class passenger after going via the safety checkpoint can be to move to the lounge, the check-in agent made some extent of mentioning that TAP doesn’t provide a enterprise class lounge at Terminal 5. As a Star Alliance member, which the airline doesn’t allow you to overlook, one may use the lounge of a Star Alliance associate at JFK Airport, together with the SWISS Business Class Lounge in Terminal Four or the Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Terminal.

Those lounges, nonetheless, are in different terminals with no airside connections. The solely choices for a pre-flight meal are in Terminal 5’s eating places or the recently-opened TWA Hotel which immediately connects to the terminal and incorporates a bar located inside a restored Lockheed Constellation, restaurant and a rooftop pool deck with a bar and restaurant.

The TWA Hotel at JFK Airport is the one on-airport lodge that has turned a well-liked haunt spot for vacationers and aviation fans alike. (Photo: Shaquille Khan)

While the lounges are a luxurious that comes with flying enterprise class, the lounge serves a unique objective for brief transatlantic flights just like the one from New York to Lisbon. The brief 6-hour period of the flight signifies that passengers should select between staying up for the meal service or getting ample relaxation.

Most enterprise vacationers will say they eat a meal within the lounge to allow them to skip the meal on the aircraft. With TAP not providing a lounge in New York, or perhaps a meal voucher for eating places within the terminal, enterprise class passengers are left to their very own gadgets on this space.

If the lounge entry is a should, the airline’s flight to Lisbon from Newark Liberty International Airport, the place there are a number of Star Alliance lounges, can be extra very best.

The Gate and Boarding

Once airside, it was a brief stroll to Gate 30, used completely by TAP within the night as it’s the solely A330-capable gate within the small worldwide wing of Terminal 5. Normally that part of the terminal can be empty however a couple of delayed JetBlue flights but to depart imply it was barely extra crowded than ordinary.

All TAP flights depart from Gate 30 at Terminal 5 as it’s the solely A330-capable gate within the worldwide wing of Terminal 5. TAP Air Portugal is one in all two airways in Terminal 5 to serve Europe at current. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
Lisbon is one in all three mainland European locations served from Terminal 5. TAP Air Portugal is one in all two airways in Terminal 5 to serve Europe at current. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The boarding gate was organized in sections with traces for
premium boarding, passengers with no carry-on baggage, group A and group B.
Preboarding would even be provided to those that wanted.

TAP Air Portugal boards all flights through 4 teams: premium boarding, passengers with no carry-on baggage, group A and group B. TAP Air Portugal is one in all two airways in Terminal 5 to serve Europe at current. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Boarding started at 10:45 p.m., 45 minutes earlier than departure on
what can be a quite full flight. Preboarding was provided to households and
these needing further time earlier than premium boarding started for enterprise class
passengers, these with elite standing and choose others after which lastly economic system
class passengers.

The Aircraft

Our plane can be CS-TUC, an 11-month-old Airbus
A330-900neo delivered from Toulouse in January 2019 and named after Nuno
Goncalves. Before working our flight, the plane had visited such locales
as Rio de Janeiro, Chicago and Luanda.

Our plane was TAP Air Portugal’s third Airbus A330-900neo delivered in January 2019. TAP Air Portugal is one in all two airways in Terminal 5 to serve Europe at current. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Configured in a two-class configuration, TAP’s Airbus A330-900neo plane options 298 seats throughout enterprise class and economic system class. In enterprise class, the 34-seat cabin stretches 9 rows with seats in a staggered configuration.

Business class onboard TAP Air Portugal’s Airbus A330-900neo options 34 seats. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
The enterprise class cabin options 4 totally different set sorts. relying on passenger choice. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The Recaro 6710 seats are organized in a 1-2-1 format with every seat providing direct aisle entry. The middle aisle seats provide a mixture of paired honeymoon seats and angled-aisle seats, relying on the row. The honeymoon seats are perfect for {couples} or companions touring collectively, although a partition is on the market ought to that not be the case, whereas the latter are perfect for solo vacationers. 

In the middle aisle, a mixture of paired honeymoon seats and particular person aisle seats are provided. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Along the cabin wall, alternating window and aisle seats may be discovered. While each provide unobstructed window views and direct aisle entry, the window seats provide better privateness as they’re nearer to the cabin wall and have the seat’s counter as a divider between the seat and the aisle.

Seats alongside the cabin wall are single and very best for solo vacationers. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The economic system class cabin options the remaining 268 seats configured within the Airbus A330’s normal 2-4-2 configuration. The cabin is split into two sections, common economic system and the extra-legroom EconomyXtra part.

The economic system class cabin onboard TAP Air Portugal’s Airbus A330-900neo. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Jose Payet)

TAP is likely one of the few remaining European long-haul airways
with out a premium economic system part, a selection made to assist maximize seat rely on
the plane. EconomyXtra is the airline’s reply to these wanting extra from
their economic system class ticket because the seats are the identical simply with out further

The colours on the plane consist primarily of inexperienced and gray. In enterprise class, the gray seats function touches of inexperienced whereas within the rear of the plane, Economy Xtra is delineated by gray headrests whereas common economic system function inexperienced headrests.

The enterprise class cabin incorporates a principally gray inside according to the remainder of the plane. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Seats in EconomyXtra function 34 inches of pitch in comparison with
the 31 inches in normal economic system. Seats in each sections function 17.72 inches
of width, in response to SeatGuru, and normal facilities together with high-definition
in-flight leisure programs, adjustable headrests, 110v AC energy shops,
USB charging ports, and foldable tray tables.

The Seat

For the flight, I selected seat 7K, a cabin wall-facing window
seat that provides a large amount of privateness. Traveling alone and all the time having fun with
the views from the window, the seat was very best and provided an intimate
expertise that wouldn’t have been present in one of many aisle seats.

Seat 7K is a window seat that provides quite a lot of privateness as a result of its location away from the aisle. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The lie-flat seat featured such facilities as a big high-definition in-flight leisure touchscreen additionally managed by a tethered distant, immovable studying gentle, adjustable tray desk, USB charging port, 110v AC energy outlet, adjustable headrest coat hanger and storage compartments. At every seat, a pillow and blanket, amenity equipment and noise-canceling headphones have been left for passengers to make the most of throughout the flight.

The Recaro 6710 seat incorporates a slew of facilities from a private studying lamp to a coat hook. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The amenity equipment contained the usual facilities together with a
comb, eye masks, socks, toothbrush and toothpaste, bookmark, lip balm, face
cream, fragrance and pen.

Each enterprise class passenger will get a normal amenity equipment stuffed with TAP-branded merchandise. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Both the in-flight leisure display and tray desk have been
located within the ahead seatback and could possibly be adjusted to passenger choice.
The standout of the seat was the quantity of counter and cupboard space obtainable
and it appeared that almost all the obtainable area within the seat was put to make use of.

The Recaro 6710 seat options further cupboard space for smaller gadgets. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The seat additionally featured fashionable touches equivalent to wooden laminate
and silver-colored panels. The fundamental storage space of the seat discovered on the
adjoining counter additionally incorporates a silver-plated sliding door to hide its

The Flight

The enterprise class service started throughout boarding as flight attendants got here round with pre-departure drinks. Water, orange juice and champagne have been provided in glasses, which have been promptly collected earlier than pushback, and bottles of water have been additionally distributed.

Pre-departure beverage choices consisted of champagne, water and orange juice. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Boarding was accomplished early and we pushed again from our
gate a couple of minutes earlier than our scheduled departure time. Another benefit of
departing from Terminal 5 at such a late hour is the dearth of different plane
blocking taxiways. Gate 30’s location on the finish of the terminal permits for a
fast departure for the plane onto close by Taxiway A as soon as the engines are

Following a fast taxi to Runway 4L, we have been quickly off to Lisbon and the six-hour countdown to touchdown had begun. Instantly noticeable was the low noise degree of the cabin because of the quiet Trent 7000 engines that energy the Airbus A330-900neo, even at takeoff thrust.

As we reached cruising altitude, the cabin crew rapidly
jumped into motion as time was not on their facet. The cabin moonlighting additionally
initiated with inexperienced gentle glowing adopted by orange during the
meal service.

The temper lighting was turned on shortly after takeoff, beginning with inexperienced lighting alongside the cabin partitions. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Menus for the meal service have been positioned on every seat earlier than the primary individual boarded as an alternative of distributed by flight attendants as soon as all have been on board, giving ample time to choose. Orders have been taken shortly after takeoff and meals and drinks have been distributed through trolleys.

The meal service for the flight was performed through a trolley for velocity. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The meal choice consisted of a beef, hen and pasta dish, provided with a starter of mushroom soup and dessert of recent fruit and Godiva chocolate. The meal was served as an alternative of individually to account for the brief flight time, with all dishes being served on one tray. On longer flights, I used to be instructed, the service is extra drawn out.

I selected the hen dish which consisted of a seasoned
hen breast, mashed potatoes and inexperienced beans with a mushroom sauce. Fresh
dinner rolls and bread have been additionally provided, and drinks have been served as effectively, with
a wholesome choice of Portuguese wines obtainable to select from.

The fundamental course for the night was a hen dish served with a soup and dessert. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

All the dishes have been fairly tasty and regardless that I’m not a
fan of mushrooms, I couldn’t assist however eat the complete meal together with the
mushroom soup. After the principle service was accomplished, flight attendants got here
round to supply Godiva candies. All in all, the service was completed simply
over an hour, which was appreciated as I did need to get some sleep.

A Godiva chocolate is the ultimate piece of each fundamental meal service on TAP Air Portugal flights. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Throughout everything of the service, the flight attendants have been very proactive and inquired a number of instances if the rest was wanted to make the flight extra fulfilling. Even little issues as guaranteeing trash was promptly collected and asking if I wished to be awoken for the breakfast service.

During the service, I explored the in-flight leisure
system to see what was on faucet. The system featured a big choice of 110
films starting from classics to new releases. Other leisure choices
included music alternatives, favoring Portuguese alternatives but in addition that includes a
good choice of American pop music, in addition to tv exhibits, information exhibits
and video games.

TAP Air Portugal’s long-haul plane function a brand-new in-flight leisure system with all kinds of choices together with films, music, video games and tv exhibits. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The system was in good high-definition and even featured good touches equivalent to a technique to join your reserving to the system. Noise-canceling headphones have been additionally provided and although largely unneeded as a result of already quiet cabin, they made the viewing session an much more immersive expertise.

Passengers can join their reserving to the in-flight leisure system through a code on the boarding cross for a customized expertise. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
Noise-canceling headsets are normal at each seat, connecting to the in-flight leisure system. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

I additionally was very stunned by the gaming choices provided. While normal video games equivalent to solitaire and battleship have been provided, extra superior video games equivalent to Angry Birds have been provided and added some extra leisure to the flight.

Another highly-appreciated function was the shifting map.
Although widespread on most fashionable airliners, the map gave real-time flight
info and provided perception on our distinctive routing throughout the Atlantic.

The shifting map function on the in-flight leisure system provides real-time flight information throughout the flight. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

WiFi was obtainable for buy for the flight at affordable
charges, in addition to texting and messaging via Aeromobile. The charges for
Aeromobile, nonetheless, made it unappealing, particularly on the late hour once I
wouldn’t be utilizing it sufficient to make it price it.

Settling on The Man from U.N.C.L.E., as our journey would convey
us to Rome the place components of the movie have been shot, I descended into lie-flat mode
and ready my mattress for what would quantity to a nap as I wished to be woken up
for breakfast. While there was no bedding provided, the pillow and blanket proved
to be very comfy and gave me no points when falling asleep.

Our route would take us south of the North Atlantic Tracks
on a customized route almost direct to Lisbon. It was the primary time I flew to
Europe through which we headed south after departing from New York.

Before I knew it, we have been an hour and a half out from Lisbon
and it was time for breakfast. The flight attendant gently woke me, inquired
about my sleep, knowledgeable me that we have been going to be arriving quickly and requested if
I nonetheless wished breakfast, which I did.

Only a single-option was provided, a chilly breakfast tray
consisting of chilly cuts, cheeses, fruits, yogurt and heat breakfast breads.
Despite an absence of sizzling choices, the meal was fairly intensive. The fruits,
cheeses and chilly cuts have been recent and the breads have been completely heat and attractive.
As a reminder, be sure you poke the lid of the yogurt earlier than opening because the
pressurization will make it splatter in all places when you don’t.

Breakfast was served 90 minutes from touchdown in Lisbon and consisted of a single chilly possibility. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Soon after, the shores of Portugal got here into view and we
descended into Lisbon. As the Trent 7000 engines idled, you possibly can hear a pin
drop within the cabin.

The Trent 7000 engines provide a better degree of gasoline effectivity in comparison with older technology Airbus A330s. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

As we flew over Lisbon’s ports, it jogged my memory of Portugal’s
nice historical past of exploration and maritime navigation. While Portugal’s ships
as soon as dominated the seas, its airline was now making an attempt the principles the skies.

Lisbon is the westernmost capital of mainland Europe and one of many closest cities from mainland Europe to New York. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Landing and Deplaning

Similarly to Brazil’s Congonhas Airport, Lisbon Airport is
situated immediately subsequent to town, making the strategy enjoyable to look at from the
window.  After flying over the Ponte 25
de Abril, we descended decrease and decrease into town with condo buildings
getting nearer and nearer earlier than lastly touching down on Runway Three at Lisbon’s
Humberto Delgado Airport.

The window seat provides expansive views of Lisbon when touchdown from the south. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

As we taxied off the runway, we had a full view of the
terminal and distant stands. Judging from what I noticed from the window, it was
clear that TAP Air Portugal had efficiently built-in the Airbus A330-900neo
into its operation.

A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330-900neo awaiting takeoff in Lisbon. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

While the plane was as soon as solely assigned to distant gates,
the plane stood facet by facet on the terminal’s jet bridge-equipped gates
with its present technology siblings. After seeing the operation in individual, it
was clear that TAP was the undisputed chief in working the A330neo.

A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330-900neo departing from Lisbon. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Once deplaned, it was a fast stroll to passport management the place
the traces have been rising however I used to be in a position to make it via in lower than 15
minutes. While there was a devoted safety checkpoint for connecting
flights, I selected to exit the airport to get some recent air.

Connecting in Lisbon

After taking in some crisp Portuguese air, a pleasant reprieve
from the tough New York winter, it was time to move again inside for the remainder of
my layover earlier than heading to Rome. Despite it being an up-and-coming main
European hub and connecting airport, Terminal 1 is kind of small and quaint,
making it simple to navigate.

TAP Air Portugal is the first operator at Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Upon strolling into the principle lobby, I headed for the self-check-in kiosk to get my boarding cross after which to safety. As a enterprise class passenger, I used to be ready to make use of the quick monitor safety checkpoint the place there have been no traces to talk of. Like most European airports, the luggage x-ray system was largely automated, and I used to be via in minutes.

The terminal post-security is centered round an oval
mall-like purchasing and seating space, above that are the airline lounges. As
the airport’s main service, TAP Air Portugal has its personal lounge, the TAP Air
Portugal Premium Lounge, open to enterprise class passengers, Star Alliance
elites and different choose passengers.

TAP Air Portugal’s Premium Lounge is open to enterprise class passengers touring on sure flights in addition to although touring in premium cabins on Star Alliance member flights and Star Alliance elite passengers. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Though not the biggest lounge, it provides the usual facilities included cold and warm meals choices, a bar, showers, a quiet space, a enterprise middle, a wine faucet station.

The TAP Air Portugal lounge is one in all two lounges in Lisbon’s Terminal 1. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
Though not the biggest lounge, the TAP Air Portugal Premium Lounge is the airline’s flagship lounge. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The facility additionally provides near-unobstructed views of the adjoining ramp, making it good for aircraft recognizing.

The lounge is situated immediately above the principle concourse with nice views of the ramp. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

About 45 minutes earlier than boarding, it was time to move to
Rome. As I used to be unfamiliar with Lisbon Airport, I gave myself further time, but it surely
wasn’t wanted because the terminal is compact to the purpose the place most gates are solely
a brief stroll from the principle seating space.

Lisbon to Rome: Airbus A320

Rome is likely one of the high locations for TAP from Lisbon with
the airways providing quite a few each day companies at totally different hours of the day. I
selected the vacation spot as TAP was scheduled to fly the Airbus A320neo however, at
the final minute, was swapped to a normal Airbus A320.

Luckily, the A320 working our flight had been refurbished
to function the identical cabin inside as its Neo sibling. From the inside, it
can be unimaginable to inform the distinction between the 2.

The Gate and Boarding

The flight wasn’t off to an ideal begin with the plane
swap, which continued with a short 15-minute delay and concluded with boarding
through a distant gate. Boarding was achieved at Gate S20 and was achieved in 4 teams:
premium boarding, passengers with no baggage, Group A and Group B.

Gate 20 is one in all many distant boarding gates at Lisbon. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The boarding group didn’t matter ultimately, nonetheless, as all of us shuffled onto two busses to move us to the opposite facet of the airport for boarding. Upon arrival on the plane, it was nonetheless a 10-minute wait to board because the cleansing crew was nonetheless ending up.

A line of TAP Air Portugal Airbus A330 plane in Lisbon. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

On the best way to the aircraft, I noticed an outdated pal, CS-TUB,
TAP’s first Airbus A330neo who I met on the supply ceremony the 12 months prior.
TUB was in upkeep on the time, but it surely was good to see an outdated pal, if
just for a passing second.

The Aircraft and Seat

A tried and true operator of the Airbus A320 household, the
plane are the spine of TAP’s European route community and function the
majority of its brief and medium-haul flights. While our flight wouldn’t be
operated by the A320neo, the inside of our plane had been refurbished to
function the identical seating model and configuration.

A TAP Air Portugal Airbus A320 at a distant stand in Lisbon. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Executive Class consisted of 4 rows within the “EuroBiz”
configuration of 3-Three with the center seat blocked from task. While most
carriers however a desk within the center seat to bodily block it off, TAP leaves
the center seat open which permits for elevating the armrests and provides extra room
to stretch out.

Business class on the Airbus A320 consisted of 4 rows of EconomyXtra model seats. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Each EconomyXtra seat options primary facilities together with
adjustable headrests, 110v AC energy shops, USB charging ports and system
holders whereas common economic system seats don’t function any facilities. No in-flight
leisure or WiFi is obtainable on TAP’s A320 household fleet, however the airline is
testing out an onboard leisure system that streams to gadgets through a
self-contained WiFi system, just like what Sun Country Airlines is
implementing on its fleet.

The EuroBiz configuration signifies that enterprise class seats are not any totally different than economic system seats, simply providing further legroom and enhanced facilities. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

According to the airline, Executive Class seats are EconomyXtra seats that function 33 inches of pitch, Four inches of recline and are delineated by a red-lined headrest. Standard economic system seats within the rear of the aircraft, by comparability, function 28 inches of pitch with no recline.  

Business class seats on TAP Air Portugal’s intra-European plane function further legroom as much as 33 inches of pitch. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Though a normal intra-European seat, I discovered it to be
comfy for the brief flight and appreciated the adjustable headrest and
in-seat energy as I’d be making use of each throughout the flight. The lack of
leisure didn’t hassle me an excessive amount of as our routing can be taking us over
a few of Europe’s most scenic areas.

110v AC energy shops and USB charging ports are provided at enterprise class and EconomyXtra seats. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The Executive Class cabin is extendable and retractable with
the variety of rows relying on the a great deal of every flight. Our flight would function
4 rows of the cabin, consisting of 16 seats with almost each one in all them crammed
for the 3-hour flight to the Italian capital.

The Flight

Once boarding through the airstairs was full, we rapidly pushed again and taxied to Runway Three for departure.

No pre-departure beverage was provided to enterprise class passengers however the meal service started promptly after takeoff. The service started with a pre-packaged chilly towelette being distributed to passengers.

The service started with a pre-packaged moist towelette. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

As this flight was in between lunch and dinner, all passengers have been provided the identical “snack of brunch” and served through a trolley. Served chilly, the meal consisted of chilly meats with a salad, recent fruits and a conventional Portuguese custard tart, and was very fulfilling.

For the 3-hour flight, just one possibility was provided, a chilly meal consisting of meats, fruit and a dessert. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Along with the meal, flight attendants additionally distributed drinks and totally different breads. Following the service, tea and occasional have been provided, concluding the meal service during the flight. All in all, the ultimate tray was collected earlier than an hour had handed from departure.

The meal service was equally performed through a trolley. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The remainder of the flight, the cabin crew got here round each so
usually to verify on passengers and inquire if the rest was wanted. Our route
would take us over Spain and finally over the Mediterranean Sea flying over
Palma de Mallorca and Sardinia earlier than crossing the Italian shoreline.

As I used to be drained from the brief quantity of sleep from the night time
prior, I took the chance to catch up on some sleep. Before touchdown, I
watched a TV exhibits on my telephone, which was aided by the system holder and USB
charging port that ensured my telephone didn’t die earlier than touchdown.

Landing and Deplaning

After touching down on Fiumicino Airport’s Runway 16L, our flight got here to an unceremonious finish as we taxied to Terminal 1, the place most European Star Alliance airways may be discovered. After a fast deplaning through jetbridge, it was off to Rome through the Leonardo Express.

Rome is likely one of the hottest locations from Lisbon with a number of each day companies. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Overall, the fast intra-European hop was uneventful however
nonetheless a really nice expertise. As I used to be desperate to get some sleep, I
appreciated the velocity of the service and likewise the attentiveness of the flight
attendants. The seat was additionally a lot comfy for the three hours and, although
onboard leisure was missing, it didn’t negatively have an effect on the flight.

Rome to Lisbon: Airbus A321

After a couple of days in Rome, it was time to move residence, the lengthy
means. In order to get to Newark, I’d must fly again to Lisbon from Rome and
then as much as Porto.

While TAP providing a number of each day companies between Rome and Lisbon, I selected the 11:40 a.m. flight, TP831, because it was operated by the intra-European Airbus A321neo. At check-in, nonetheless, I noticed it was swapped to a normal Airbus A321, although with the upgraded cabin discovered on the Airbus A321.

Check-In, Lounge and Boarding

Along with its fellow Star Alliance carriers, TAP operates out of Terminal 1 at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. Dominated by SkyTeam and its Italian member, flag service Alitalia, TAP and its compatriots are in international territory in comparison with Star Alliance-dominated Lisbon.

TAP Air Portugal makes use of Terminal 1 in Rome. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
Terminal 1 additionally homes fellow Star Alliance carriers equivalent to Lufthansa and SWISS. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

At check-in, TAP has round three devoted desks on the far finish of the terminal. Two traces have been fashioned, one for premium passengers and the opposite for these in economic system class.

TAP Air Portugal has three verify in desks in Rome. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
The check-in space was divided into two lanes, one for premium passengers and the opposite for economic system class passengers. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Check-in was easy and I used to be in a position to obtain boarding passes for all three flights on one ticket. Following check-in, it was time to undergo safety, the place premium passengers may use the quick monitor lane.

Business class and premium passengers flying on TAP Air Portugal have entry to the quick monitor lane at safety in Rome. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The unique lane was empty and safety took a matter of seconds. Following the formalities, it was off to the shared Star Alliance lounge, open to premium passengers flying on the airline alliance’s member airways.

The Star Alliance Lounge is open to premium passengers on flying on Star Alliance airways. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The lounge was fairly empty for the time of day as solely a handful of Star Alliance flights have been departing on the time. The normal lounge facilities have been provided together with a sizzling meals buffet and bar.

The lounge was spacious with ample seating areas and views of the ramp. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
A small cold and warm meals buffet was obtainable to passengers. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Around 45 minutes earlier than departure, I headed right down to get in line for the flight and was stunned to see that just about everything of the aircraft was already lined up. Though there appeared to be no set order, boarding was performed in the identical trend through teams with premium passengers boarding first.

Our flight to Lisbon boarded through a shared-use gate in Terminal 1. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
Passengers have been lined up on the gate greater than 45 minutes earlier than boarding began. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

As the inbound plane was barely delayed, our boarding was delayed as effectively. However, it was just a few minutes and we have been on the aircraft very quickly.

The Aircraft and Seat

As the chief within the medium-haul fleet, the A321 is deployed to TAP’s high European locations because it boasts a capability of 206 seats in a two-class configuration. Similarly to the A320, the plane options an economic system class and enterprise class with the latter being extendable to as much as seven rows, in response to SeatGuru.

The Airbus A321 is the biggest narrowbody Airbus plane in TAP Air Portugal’s fleet. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Executive Class seats, once more, are EconomyXtra seats that function 33 inches of pitch, Four inches of recline and are delineated by a red-lined headrest. Standard economic system seats within the rear of the aircraft, by comparability, function 28 inches of pitch with no recline.

The enterprise class cabin on the Airbus A321 consists of EconomyXtra seats providing further legroom and enhanced facilities. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Seat width in Economy Xtra is 17.5 inches and barely much less
in common economic system, coming in at 17.Three inches, in response to the airline. Amenities
at every EconomyXtra seat have been additionally the identical as on the A320 together with a tool
holder, 110vAC energy outlet, USB charging port and adjustable headrests.

The seat facilities embrace an adjustable headrest, 110v AC energy outlet, USB charging port and system holder. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

In enterprise class, the identical EuroBiz configuration may be discovered because the one on the A320 although nonetheless with out the bodily desk blocking the center seat. The remainder of economic system featured the usual 3-Three configuration.

Set throughout 35 rows, the plane is in a high-density
configuration and has no center galley or toilet. Standing within the first row
of Executive Class, one can see straight again to the final row with no

Overall, the product was precisely the identical as the best way out on
the A320. While a unique plane, I used to be glad to see a constant product as
it permits passengers to know what to anticipate once they fly. Neo or not Neo, the
product was fashionable, fashionable and cozy.

The Flight

After a barely delayed boarding and pushback, we have been quickly off to Lisbon following a brief taxi to Rome’s Runway 25. As we handed the Italian shoreline headed almost direct to Portugal, the principle service started.

Though no pre-departure beverage can be provided, the
service rapidly started round 20 minutes into the flight with flight attendants
distributing menus for the flight together with a packaged towelette. The galley
curtains and curtains dividing enterprise class and economic system class have been additionally
closed to present the cabin a extra unique really feel.

The meal service started with flight attendants distributing towelettes and menus. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The menu was fairly intensive for a day flight and I
was fairly stunned on the choices in comparison with that on the flight to Rome. On
provide was an appetizer, fundamental course and dessert adopted by espresso and

Our menu for the flight to Lisbon featured two selections for the principle course accompanied by an appetizer and dessert. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The appetizer possibility was a tuna escabeche with ardour fruit whereas the principle course was both a sirloin steak of spinach inexperienced grantortellone adopted by a conventional egg and almond pudding for dessert. Having had pasta the night time earlier than, I selected the steak which got here with roasted potatoes and inexperienced asparagus.

The fundamental meal service for our flight from Rome to Lisbon. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The meal, once more, was served all on one tray however not through a trolley and was accompanied by a heat bread choice. During the service, the flight attendants got here round a number of instances refilling drinks, providing further bread and inquiring in regards to the meal.

Though I skipped the tuna, the steak was properly seasoned and
although tough to chop with the cutlery supplied, proved to be very fulfilling
with the asparagus and potatoes. The pudding was additionally a pleasant technique to finish the
meal with Portugal persevering with to show it has a few of the greatest desserts in
Europe, alongside Italy.

Tea and occasional are provided following the principle meal service. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Following the meal service, espresso and tea have been provided and regardless that I loved a cup of espresso, I couldn’t assist however take a fast nap with the assistance of the pillow and blanket left on the seat once we boarded.

Landing and Deplaning

After a fast 2 extra hours of flight, it was time to descend into Lisbon. The window seat had as soon as once more proved to be the appropriate selection as we have been handled to spectacular views of the Portuguese shoreline and Lisbon cityscape. Having now sat on each side of the plane when approaching from the south, I can say my favourite was sitting on the appropriate facet as there have been extra views of town’s landmarks and bridges.

Both sides of the plane provide views of Lisbon when arriving from the south however the appropriate facet offers one of the best views. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Landing once more on Runway 3, it was a fast flip to the appropriate off of the runway and brief taxi to our distant stand. While boarding through distant stand was very inefficient on the best way to Rome, the busses have been rapidly crammed following our deplaning. Instead of dropping us on the first nearest gate, nonetheless, we have been taken all the best way to the alternative finish of the terminal to be let inside.

Once inside, nonetheless, no safety checks have been required for
connecting passengers and we have been let proper into the middle of the terminal,
immediately subsequent to the lounge entrance.

Overall, the flight was fulfilling, and the service stunned
me in comparison with what was provided on the best way to Rome. The flight attendants
continued to show themselves a key a part of the service via their
attentiveness and friendliness.

Lisbon to Porto: Embraer E190

In order to catch my Airbus A321neoLR flight to Newark, I wanted to reposition to the northern Portuguese metropolis of Porto. The two largest cities in Portugal, Lisbon and Porto are related through varied means together with air, bus and rail, with the market extremely aggressive.

To fight TAP’s opponents on the route, David Neeleman applied a shuttle service often called the Ponte Aerea, or air bridge, which might function enhanced companies. Similar to shuttle companies within the U.S. between New York, Boston and Washington, the Ponte Aerea options hourly flights between the 2 cities on devoted plane.

Such advantages for passengers on the air bridge flights
embrace devoted check-in desks, gates and baggage declare carousels, quick monitor
use at safety, use of gates with jet bridges and flying on the Embraer E190
which is devoid of center seats. Business class passengers on the service can
additionally make use of the lounge, take pleasure in a drink and meal service and earn extra

The thought right here, with as much as 13 hourly flights per day, is to
maximize velocity and comfort with the intention to draw from its opponents. While
touring by air on brief such routes is usually not definitely worth the problem, the additional
facilities and conveniences are geared toward bringing folks to the airport quite
than the bus terminal or practice station.

The Gate and Boarding

Heading down from the lounge 45 minutes from departure, it was a fast stroll to Gate S14, the devoted Ponte Aerea gate.

Gate S14 is the devoted gate for Ponte Aerea service to Porto. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

For this flight, I didn’t have to have a look at my ticket or the departure boards to know that was my gate because the terminal’s signage prominently displayed “Ponte Aerea” and “Porto” with arrows pointing to the gate.

Terminal signage directs passengers to the gate for Ponte Aerea flights to Porto. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
Flights between Lisbon and Porto function on an hourly foundation most days. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The boarding gate was organized in the identical trend with
traces for premium boarding, passengers with no baggage, group A and group B.
Boarding started on time with preboarding passengers first then premium
passengers and so on.

Boarding for Ponte Aerea flights is similar as some other flight. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Boarding commenced on-time with pre-boarding adopted by premium passengers and so on.

The Aircraft, Cabin and Service

It was solely a fast stroll down the glass jetway to our
plane, an Embraer E190 operated by TAP Air Portugal subsidiary Portugalia
Airlines. The plane options 106 seats throughout 27 rows in a two-class
configuration consisting of economic system class and enterprise class.

Ponte Aerea service is primarily provided with Embraer E190/195 plane. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Despite the 2 totally different lessons of service, the seats are
precisely identical in each, with enterprise class taking over the primary two rows and
economic system the remaining 25. The first row on all sides options further legroom
whereas the second row, solely discovered on one facet, options 31-32 inches of pitch,
in response to SeatGuru.

The complete enterprise class cabin on the Embraer E190/E195 plane consists of solely 6 seats. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The seats are primary with no facilities past a tray desk.
Nor WiFi, in-flight leisure and even in-seat energy is obtainable, although we
wouldn’t make a lot use for it on the 30-minute hop up north.

My seat, 2A, was a bulkhead seat that provided bounds of legroom. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

In enterprise class, no pre-departure beverage can be
provided as we pushed again from the gate on-time and headed in direction of the runway.
While generally this flight may be delayed as a result of air visitors management
restrictions, widespread on brief routings, I used to be glad to see we’d be proper on
time as my layover in Porto was solely 55 minutes.

After departing from Lisbon, we made our solely actual flip for
the flight and headed in direction of Lisbon. Though a brief flight, we nonetheless climbed
to an altitude of 22,00zero ft, although we wouldn’t keep lengthy.

Once settled into the climb, flight attendants rapidly jumped into motion as time wasn’t on their facet. The nearly-full flight wanted to be fed they usually had lower than 20 minutes to do it.

The enterprise class service was extra casual than the opposite flights I’d flown on with flight attendants skipping the conventional formalities and as an alternative, going straight to serving a small plate of sandwiches accompanied by a beverage, in addition to a pre-packaged towelette. All in all, it took about 2 minutes to serve all three passengers, together with me.

A small sandwich tray was served because the meal service on the fast flight from Lisbon to Porto. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

After the snack, we have been left on our personal gadgets for leisure the remainder of the flight, however fortunately, the home windows supplied ample leisure. As we flew straight north, we confronted the Atlantic Ocean on one facet and the Portuguese countryside on the opposite at sundown.

The Atlantic Ocean was our fixed companion as we headed straight north. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Before we knew it, it was time to descend into Porto. Passengers on the left-hand facet have been handled to views of Porto whereas the alternative facet may solely see the seashores, ports and ocean.

As we landed at Porto Airport, it was solely a fast taxi to the extremely-modern terminal the place we deplaned through a jet bridge. Now, it was time to move to Newark on the ultimate flight of this journey.

Porto to Newark: Airbus A321neoLR

The remaining leg for the journey can be Porto to Newark on TAP’s
latest long-haul plane, the Airbus A321neoLR. The plane replaces the
Airbus A330-200 that previously related the 2 cities on the route.

Though now flying a narrowbody as an alternative of a widebody, the
plane options TAP’s latest merchandise in each enterprise class and economic system
class, in addition to options together with temper lighting that aren’t discovered on the
bigger plane.

The Gate and Boarding

Having arrived recent from Lisbon at Porto’s fundamental terminal, I
was anticipated to be let proper into the airside of the terminal and head to the
gate after a fast cease in passport management for my exit stamp. However, all
connecting passengers off of the Ponte Aerea flight needed to undergo a
safety checkpoint, regardless of being off a home flight from a significant
Portuguese airport.

Connecting flights in Porto even require going via a further safety screening. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

While the method was fast and painless, it did constrain
what was already a brief layover in Porto and I discovered it odd since I had simply
gotten off a flight from Italy in Lisbon with none secondary checks. Once
clear, nonetheless, it was solely a fast escalator experience as much as the principle terminal
the place I headed to the gate.

The non-Schengen gates in Porto are situated on the excessive
south finish of the terminal the place passport management can be situated. Walking
via the terminal, I used to be impressed at how fashionable, open and brilliant the
concourse was in comparison with Lisbon which was vastly smaller, and wished to remain

The terminal at Porto Airport could be very fashionable and was opened in 2006. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Though solely boasting round 9 jet bridge-equipped gates,
the airport options greater than double that variety of distant normal accessible
through bus. As TAP’s secondary hub, the airline is prominently featured and provides
a lounge for its premium passengers, although I didn’t have time to cease in.

Passport management consisted of just a few desks and automatic
gates for European Union passport holders. Despite solely two desks for non-E.U.
passports, I used to be via in minutes with not even a query requested.

The terminal is split into two sections: Schengen and non-Schengen certain flights. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

As our flight to Newark was one of many few non-Schengen
flights for the night time, with the airport primarily serving European locations,
this part of the terminal was largely empty. TAP is the one airline to
join Porto and the U.S. this time of 12 months, with fellow Star Alliance member
United Airlines competing on the route throughout the busy summer time season.

Assigned to Gate 10, passengers have been instructed to move to the
gate simply over an hour earlier than departure. With the Schengen part that includes
extra facilities than the non-Schengen part of the terminal, there’s no want
to move straight to the gate when attending to the terminal.

Before getting into the gate space, airport workers reviewed
passengers’ passports and requested questions in regards to the objective of their journey to
the U.S. The verify wasn’t too invasive however some passengers, principally non-U.S.
residents, have been introduced for secondary screening.

Once the checks have been over, TAP workers scanned our
boarding passes and allow us to into the boarding space. Gate 10 is the final
gate and the gate space spans from wall to wall, providing bounds of seats.

Gate 10 is the final gate within the non-Schengen part of the terminal. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
Gate 10 options bounds of seats as a result of its place on the finish of the terminal. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Though there have been no delineated boarding traces, placards
with arrows confirmed the place every part ought to line up. The sections have been the
identical because the earlier flights with traces for premium passengers, passengers with
no carry-on baggage, group A and group B.

Boarding traces at Gate 10 have been much less formal since boarding brokers had already scanned boarding passes. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

30 minutes earlier than departure, a TAP worker came visiting and started the boarding course of, with premium passengers first to move right down to the aircraft. The all-glass jetway allowed for one final take a look at the brand new plane earlier than we’d head inside for the 8-hour journey forward.

CS-TXA is one in all 4 Airbus A321neoLRs TAP Air Portugal has in its fleet to date. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Our plane can be CS-TXA, the primary Airbus A321neoLR delivered to TAP Air Portugal in April 2019.

The Aircraft

TAP joined the unique record of airways working the
plane when it first took supply of it in April 2019. Already working the
Airbus A321neo primarily on intra-European routes, the brand new plane enhances
the present fleet and offers single-aisle Airbus pilots extra routes to fly and
increase into long-haul flying.

Though not the launch operator for the plane, TAP Air Portugal is likely one of the largest operators of the Airbus A321neoLR, a long-range variant of the Airbus A321neo. While the Airbus A321neo featured an already better vary than the Airbus A321, with some airways flying the Airbus A321neo on 9 plus hour flights, the long-range model provides much more vary.

TAP plans to deploy the narrowbody on flights to North
America past Newark together with Montreal and is the primary European airline to
join Continental Europe and South America with the plane. Thanks to its
vary and the advantageous coastal positioning of Lisbon on Europe’s western
edge, David Neeleman has dubbed the plane, the Airbus A321neo “Lisbon

Arranged in a two-class configuration, the plane options 171 seats throughout enterprise class and economic system class cabins. The enterprise class cabin homes 16 seats whereas the economic system cabin options 155 seats with 113 common economic system and 42 Economy Xtra seats throughout 25 rows starting in row 6.

The enterprise class cabin occupies 16 seats throughout 5 rows in an alternating 2-2 and 1-1 configuration. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

In enterprise class, the airline selected the Thompson Aero Vantage seat, the identical discovered on the Airbus A330-200 plane and likewise utilized by European airways on the A321 together with British Airways. The configuration is a high-density alternating 2-2 and 1-1 configuration that includes a mixture of throne and paired seats.

Business class on TAP Air Portugal’s Airbus A321neoLR consists of 16 Thompson Aero Vantage seats. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

For solo vacationers, the throne seat is probably the most very best because it
permits for direct aisle entry, probably the most privateness and further storage and counter
area. While paired seats do function a quasi-partition, the counter and storage
area is minimal in comparison with the throne seat.

The throne seat is probably the most wanted for solo vacationers because it offers the best quantity of privateness. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

In economic system class, the cabin was the exact opposite of the
Airbus A321 I had flown earlier within the day from Rome to Lisbon. Featuring the
identical seats on the Airbus A330-900neo, the seats function facilities equivalent to further
cushioning and in-flight leisure touchscreens, which intra-European A321s
wouldn’t have, geared toward making the prolonged journeys extra comfy on the

Divided between common economic system and further legroom
EconomyXtra, seats in common economic system function 31 inches of pitch and 17.72
inches of width and seats in EconomyXtra function 32-33 inches of pitch,
relying on seat location, and the identical quantity of width. Regular economic system seats
additionally provide Four inches of recline whereas EconomyXtra seats provide 5 inches of recline.

The economic system class cabin on the Airbus A321neoLR options seats with extra cushioning to account for the longer period of the flights the plane operates. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Arranged within the Airbus Cabin Flex configuration, the
plane solely has one ahead boarding door and two emergency exits on every
facet of the plane. The configuration permits for extra rows on the
plane, rising the potential income for the airline.

The plane additionally provides 4 bathrooms with one within the
entrance for enterprise class, and three within the economic system class cabin. In economic system, one
toilet is situated on the border between enterprise and economic system whereas the
remaining two are situated within the rear of the plane.

The Seat

Though the enterprise class cabin was full, I used to be fortunate sufficient
to attain seat 2A, one in all solely 4 throne seats within the cabin. Having flown on
quite a few Airbus A321 flights on long-haul journeys, together with between Paris and
Newark and New York and Guayaquil, I used to be excited to be sitting in a correct
enterprise class seat.

My seat, Seat 2A, was one in all 4 throne seats in the complete cabin. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The seats featured the identical shade schemes because the Airbus
A330-900 and the facilities left on the seat have been precisely the identical. The quantity
of counter and cupboard space, nonetheless, was tremendously elevated.

The throne seat options giant quantities of counter area on each facet of the facet. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
There are two compartments for storage on the throne seat, one subsequent to the seat and the opposite beneath the in-flight leisure display. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

The throne seat was additionally simpler to get into than on the A330neo and the additional area enable for someplace to place the pillow and blanket in addition to my coat with out having to take up overhead bin area. Overall, it was a lot simpler to get settled on this seat which made for a smoother boarding expertise.

Sitting down within the seat, the extent of privateness is
instantly seen because the seat’s partitions and partitions give it an intimate
expertise. The exclusivity of the seat would additionally show useful when it got here
time to go to sleep for the transatlantic crossing.

The excessive partitions of the throne seat enable for better privateness. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

At the seat, the facilities included a big, excessive definition in-flight leisure touchscreen with a tethered distant, noise-canceling headphones, coat hook, adjustable headrest, private studying lamp, stable tray desk, USB charging port and 110v AC energy outlet. A pillow and blanket, water bottle and amenity equipment have been additionally left at every seat.

Storage and counter area is the biggest advantage of the throne seat on the Airbus A321neoLR. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
The seat featured all the identical facilities as these discovered on the Airbus A330neo. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Each throne seat can be allotted two home windows with no obstructions. While the counter means you’ll be able to’t press your head in opposition to it, it does come in useful for sunsets over the Atlantic.

The throne seat comes with two devoted home windows. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Even the footwell and under-screen space are additionally put to make use of providing extra cupboard space. The pouch can be utilized to carry smaller gadgets equivalent to a pockets or passport.

The footwell of the throne seat additionally provides extra cupboard space through an under-screen pouch. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Perhaps the best amenity, nonetheless, was the private air vent situated immediately above the seat. Though a bonus of the plane quite than the seat, the air vent does make an enormous distinction and is a advantage of flying on the A321 versus a narrowbody.

The Flight

The enterprise class cabin had two devoted flight attendants servicing the cabin and the service started with them distributing menus and a sizzling towel shortly after boarding. The service consisted of two components, a fundamental service and a smaller earlier than touchdown meal.

Menus for the meal service have been distributed shortly after takeoff. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)
Hot towels have been distributed versus the pre-packaged towelettes provided on earlier flights. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

While no pre-departure beverage was served, the flight attendants rapidly started the service after takeoff as we turned west in direction of Newark and the solar was setting over the Atlantic Ocean.

Beverages and a small snack of path combine have been served earlier than the principle course. This was the primary pre-packaged snack I had out of all my flights on TAP on this journey.

The meal service started with a snack of path combine and beverage. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Continuing the custom, the meal service was provided through the trolley with flight attendants taking meal orders beforehand.

There have been solely two fundamental course choices for this flight that consisted of veal tenderloin or radicchio tortellini pasta. Both have been accompanied by a shrimp cocktail starter, cream of carrot soup and dessert of both ice cream, a cheese plate or recent fruit.

Two choices have been provided for the principle course accompanied by a starter, soup and dessert. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

With greater than sufficient time to spare on the two,900-nautical mile flight to Newark, the service was considerably extra drawn out. The starter and soup have been served first adopted by the principle course.

The first tray consisted of the starter and soup. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

While the veal was the favourite, I went for the pasta, which had additionally been provided in TAP’s lounge in Lisbon. The dish was a big portion of raddichio tortellini pasta with roasted hazelnuts, pesto and rocket sauce served with heat bread.

The fundamental course was served on its personal after the soup and starter because it wouldn’t have match on the tray. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

For dessert, the choices embrace recent fruit, ice cream or cheese. Choosing the cheese possibility, flight attendants served a small bundle of cheese with some crackers.

Three choices have been provided for dessert together with fruit, ice cream and cheese. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Up so far, the meals I’ve had on TAP hadn’t disillusioned me but and this flight was no exception, every dish was very recent and attractive, and the service had ended with espresso or tea and a Godiva chocolate to high it off. 

A small Godiva chocolate ends the principle meal service. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

In honor of the departure metropolis, I selected a port wine to accompany
my meal. After having two glasses and with out having to ask, the purser took
the freedom of pouring my a glass of a port that she thought I’d like higher
and leaving it at my seat following the meal service, a lot to my delight.

While having fun with the meal, I scrolled via the in-flight
leisure system to see what was obtainable. Unsurprisingly, the system was
precisely the identical as that on the Airbus A330neo with almost the identical variety of
films and tv exhibits.

The in-flight leisure programs on the Airbus A330-900neo and Airbus A321neoLR are near-identical. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

As the display was additional away than the one on the A330neo,
the tethered distant got here in useful right here and proved helpful. While in-flight WiFi
was obtainable for buy, I selected to not use it and benefit from the peaceable
isolation that solely an extended Atlantic crossing in a throne seat may present.

The welcome web page of the in-flight leisure system options a wide range of choices. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

After the service was over, the lights within the cabin dimmed for the remainder of the crossing to permit drained passengers to sleep. Sinking down into lie-flat mode, it wasn’t laborious in any respect to get a couple of hours of shut-eye with the supplied pillow, blanket and eye masks.

An hour and a half earlier than touchdown, it was time for the earlier than touchdown service. The providing consisted of a chilly tray consisting of a chilly meat, cheese and vegetable platter and choice of recent fruit accompanied, once more, with heat bread. Though nonetheless content material from the meal earlier, I stayed away from the principle dish however the fruit was very recent and scrumptious, an effective way to finish the service.

The earlier than touchdown meal was served 90 minutes earlier than touchdown in Newark. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

Shortly earlier than touchdown, I went again to the shifting map to see
the place precisely we have been. Though the performance of the system labored simply advantageous,
the map itself had gone blurry and no period of time would get it again to its
regular decision. While not a significant hindrance to utilizing the system, it did
nearly defeat the aim of the shifting map as you couldn’t inform precisely the place
you have been.

The shifting map was having decision points as we approached Newark. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

As we approached Newark, nonetheless, the shifting map turned
out of date as I used to be in a position to determine landmarks identified solely via an extended historical past
of flying out and in of the New York space. Landing on Runway 4R, town
skyline and New Jersey Turnpike have been off our proper facet whereas our terminal was
on our left.

My second time arriving in Newark on a transatlantic Airbus
A321neo flight, I knew precisely what to anticipate. TAP Air Portugal makes use of Terminal B
at Newark Liberty International Airport, the shared worldwide arrivals
terminal, and narrowbody plane sometimes get a gate task closest to
the federal inspection station.

Arriving in Newark on an Airbus A321neoLR has the benefit of utilizing a gate near the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Federal Inspection Station. (Photo: AirlineGeeks | Tom Pallini)

While our gate was the closest, it was, nonetheless, a tow-in
gate. Only taking a couple of minutes to hook up and tug over to Gate 60, we have been
deplaned and off to customs briefly order. Giving my Global Entry ticket to
the customs agent and strolling out of the ability beneath the large banner that
reads “U.S. Customs and Border Protection Welcomes You to the United States,”
to the My Portuguese flying journey had come to an finish.

Final Thoughts on TAP Air Portugal’s Newest Airbus Products

Before attending the supply ceremony of TAP Air Portugal’s
Airbus A330-900neo, the airline was not on my radar as a significant European participant.
With its fast development and modernization over the previous few years, although, it’s
been unimaginable to keep away from.

Now, having traveled on a few of the airline’s latest
plane and in its latest merchandise, I can rely myself impressed with how far
the airline has come. Despite some hiccups together with an absence of in-flight
leisure or WiFi on intra-European routes and the predominance of distant
stands in Lisbon, each flight I flew on TAP was fulfilling and checked off
quite a few packing containers in what I’m on the lookout for in a premium product.

While the service spoke for itself when it comes to meals high quality
and style, the service supplied by the flight attendants is what actually made
the flights fulfilling. Each flight attendant I handled supplied an unmatched
degree of care and dedication that tremendously added to the service. Whether it’s
proactively coming across the cabin to supply a refill or recommending a greater
wine, the service is what took the cake on these flights.

Even on the brief, 30-minute Ponte Aerea flight, the service
supplied on what is actually a puddle leap was no totally different than that on the
long-haul flights when it comes to passenger automobile and high quality of service.  As representatives of not solely their airline
however of their nation as workers of a flag service, TAP’s flight attendants do
an ideal job.

On the long-haul flights, the brand new Recaro and Thompson Aero seats on the Airbus A330neo and Airbus A321neoLR, respectively, tremendously enhance the onboard expertise and make flying throughout the Atlantic a pleasure to do. Each seat tremendously complemented the plane they have been fitted on and proved to be nice selections by TAP when it comes to modernity, performance and privateness.

Both the window seat on the A330neo and the throne seat on
the A321neoLR provided nice quantities of privateness and cupboard space, that are
a few of the most essential options of a seat. Despite the prolonged period of
the journey on a narrowbody plane, the Thompson Aero Vantage seats made it
really feel like some other plane and the Airbus Airspace cabin with temper lighting
mimicked that of the A330neo, additional aiding in passenger consolation.

While the brand new plane, merchandise and onboard expertise are
themselves indicative of a brand new, higher TAP beneath Neeleman and Neves’ steering,
the numbers additionally present the identical. November 2019 noticed TAP carry 1.25 million passengers,
its highest month-to-month quantity, with income passengers per kilometers, obtainable
seat per kilometer and cargo elements all rose as effectively.

With older plane such because the Airbus A330-300 and A340-300,
each outdated merchandise, retired and new planes such because the Airbus A330-900neo
and Airbus A321neoLR getting into the fleet, the airline has one of many world’s
most fashionable long-haul fleets. As extra plane be part of the fleet, the common age
of the fleet can be coming down, tremendously benefiting passengers.

If TAP stays on this course and continues its development of modernity and enhancing the passenger expertise, the service is about to finish its turnaround as a significant participant within the European market.

AirlineGeeks was a visitor of TAP Air Portugal.

Thomas Pallini

Tom has been flying for so long as he can bear in mind. His first flight reminiscence was on a Song Airlines 757 flying from LaGuardia to Orlando. Back then, he was afraid to fly as a result of he thought you wanted to leap off the aircraft with the intention to get off. Some years later, Tom is now a seasoned traveler, usually flying to locations only for the enjoyable of it. Most of the time, he’ll by no means depart the airport on his journeys. If he is not at residence or at work as a Line Service Technician at Long Island MacArthur Airport, he is off flying someplace, however just for the day.

Thomas Pallini

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