TAP Portugal is the national airline of Portugal. According the 2011 JACDEC Airliner Safety Report, it’s the safest airline in Western Europe: and the fourth safest airline in the world. TAP Portugal is a member of Star Alliance, and has a frequent flyer program called Victoria.
TAP benefits from a central hub at Lisbon’s Portela Airport, which sits at the crossroads of Europe, Africa, North America, and South America. Over the years, TAP has won a range of awards at the World Travel Awards: including World’s Leading Airline to South America and World’s Leading Airline to Africa.
Unlike many modern airlines, TAP Portugal remains 100% state owned. The airline was due to be sold in 2011 as part of Portugal’s EU bailout conditions, however negotiations have stalled.
How to Check In
TAP offers five check-in options. Passengers can check-in the old fashioned way at the airport’s TAP desk, or use the four modern methods. Online check-in is available between 72 and 90 minutes before departure on most flights, although on routes to and from the USA check in is only available 24 hours in advance. You can also check in online with the FlyTAP app, which has the same opening times as web check-in. Mobile check in is only available at select airports (Amsterdam, Barcelona, Bilbao, Bologna, Bordeaux, Brussels, Bucharest, Copenhagen, Stockholm, Faro, Funchal, Helsinki, Horta, Lisbon, London Heathrow and Gatwick, Lyon, Luxembourg, Madrid, Malaga, Manchester, Marseilles, Milan Linate and Malpensa, Moscow, Nice, Oslo, Paris, Pico, Ponta Delgada, Porto, Porto Santo, Prague, Rome, Sao Paulo (Guarulhos), Seville, Terceira, Toulouse, Turin, Valencia, Warsaw and Venice.) Self check-in is also available via the automated kiosks which can be found in the lobby of select airports. At the moment the kiosks are available in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo Guarulhos), Copenhagen, Helsinki, Amsterdam, Rome Fiumicino, Oslo, Portugal (Lisbon, Porto, Funchal, and Porto Santo) and London Heathrow. Travellers flying from Lisbon can also choose the home check in option. A SKYBAGS employee will visit your home, hotel, or office to check your travel documents and pick up your luggage. Pick up your boarding card at the TAP desk up to an hour before departure and you’re ready to go.
Baggage Allowance and Fees
Hand baggage should measure no more than 55cm x 40cm x 20cm. Economy passengers can bring one piece weighing up to 8kg, while business class passengers can bring two pieces weighing a total of 16kg. The amount of checked baggage varies depending on destination. Most European routes include a free baggage allowance of at least 23kg, while transcontinental travellers benefit from at least two pieces of luggage. You can check the baggage allowance for your route before booking on TAP’s website.
Seating – Leg Room, Choosing Seats
On long-haul flights economy passengers have a seat pitch of 32”-34”, offering a fairly generous amount of legroom. Business passengers benefit from 60” on the Airbus A330-200, and 54” on the Airbus A340-300. The legroom is still fairly decent on short haul flights, with 30” seat pitch on economy and between 32” to 34” in Business Class. Seats are assigned on check-in.
Credit cards and payments via PayPal are subject to a £4 fee.
Meals, Snacks, Drinks
TAP offers complimentary meals and drinks in both economy and business class.
TAP flights are fairly punctual, with 76% of flights arriving and departing at their scheduled time.