Earlier this year we reported that Tap Air Portugal was one of the most hated airlines in the world, according to a survey of tweets mentioning airlines.
But what was the reality for me when I flew with Tap – part of the Star Alliance network – on an A320 from London Gatwick to Lisbon, Portugal’s striking capital and the airline’s hub?
Find out here in a mystery shopper review that covers the in-flight experience, from seat to service, with footage I filmed to capture the event for posterity…
To get in
Boarding at Gate No. 1, South Terminal, was smooth and hassle-free, with the crew providing a warm and friendly welcome.
Experience on board from seat to service
MailOnline travel editor Ted Thornhill takes a Tap Air Portugal flight from London Gatwick to Lisbon for a mystery shopper review
Earlier this year we reported that Tap Air Portugal was one of the most hated airlines in the world, according to a study of tweets mentioning airlines
Ted boarded an A320 from London Gatwick to Lisbon, Portugal’s striking capital and the airline’s hub
The first noticeable aspect of the flight was the astonishing amount of legroom. I’m 6 feet tall, but even someone over 6 feet tall would be happy with the room to maneuver provided.
I also really liked the chair itself. It was designed by Recaro and had a headrest with folding wings, so you could sleep without head movements.
The seat also had two pockets and two sets of electrical outlets and USB ports between the three berths.
The interior of the cabin was quite simple, with the color palette consisting mainly of white and gray. However, with red accents on the headrests, the whole thing felt quietly dynamic and refined.
Was it clean? Absolutely spotless.
Ted (above) writes: ‘The first noticeable aspect of the flight was the astonishing amount of legroom’
Regarding the legroom (above), Ted says: ‘Even someone over 6 feet tall would be happy with the room to maneuver provided’
The seat had two pockets and two sets of electrical outlets and USB ports between the three berths
The image on the left shows one of the menu options on Ted’s flight. The photo on the right shows how the chair had two storage compartments
And the crew was smart as well, with sharply tailored uniforms fit for the fanciest cocktail bars.
Mid-flight service came with a smile. I ordered a coffee with creamer instead of milk, which felt a bit vending machine-like but was fine for a hot drink mid-flight.
There was no word from the flight crew before takeoff, but the captain made up for this halfway through with a very informative and friendly PA announcement.
Ted was impressed overall and mentioned positives including a spotless cabin and reasonable prices. Above: a stock photo of a Tap A320
Given the number of negative tweets we reported, I expected a sub-par experience, but I thoroughly enjoyed my flight with Tap Air Portugal.
The plane was spotless, the seat – for economy – impressive, and the crew professional and friendly. And with prices for London to Lisbon from £97, including checked luggage up to 23kg, costs are reasonable.
Rating out of five: 4.5.
To come: a full review of Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon.