Earlier this year, we reported that Tap Air Portugal was one of the world’s most disliked airlines, according to a study of tweets that mention 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 eye-catching capital and the carrier’s hub?
Find out here in a mystery-shopper review that covers the in-flight experience from seat to service, with footage I filmed recording the event for posterity…
Boarding at gate No.1, South Terminal, was smooth and hitch-free, with the crew offering a warm and friendly welcome.
Inflight experience 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 world’s most disliked airlines, according to a study of tweets that mention airlines
Ted boarded an A320 from London Gatwick to Lisbon, Portugal’s eye-catching capital and the carrier’s hub
The first notable aspect of the flight was the astonishing amount of legroom. I’m 5ft 10in, but even someone well over 6ft in height would be satisfied with the room for manoeuvre on offer.
I really liked the seat itself, too. Designed by Recaro, it featured a headrest with foldable winglets for sleep free of head-lolling.
The seat also featured two pockets and two sets of plug sockets and USB ports between the three berths.
The cabin décor was fairly plain, with the colour palette mainly comprising white and grey. However, with splashes of red on the headrests, quietly dynamic and sophisticated was the overall feel.
Was it clean? Absolutely spotless.
Ted (above) writes: ‘The first notable aspect of the flight was the astonishing amount of legroom’
Regarding the leg space (above), Ted declares: ‘Even someone well over 6ft in height would be satisfied with the room for manoeuvre on offer’
The seat featured two pockets and two sets of plug sockets and USB ports between the three berths
The picture on the left shows one of the menu options on Ted’s flight. With the picture on the right showing how the seat had two storage compartments
And the crew were similarly smart, with sharply tailored uniforms fit for the swankiest of cocktail bars.
Mid-flight service came with a smile. I ordered a coffee that came with creamer instead of milk, which felt a bit vending-maching-esque, but was perfectly fine for a mid-flight hot beverage.
There was no word from the flight crew before take-off, but the captain made up for it with a very informative and friendly PA announcement mid-way.
Ted was impressed overall, citing positives that included a spotless cabin and reasonable prices. Above – a stock image of a Tap A320
Given the volume of negative tweets we reported, I was expecting a sub-par experience – but I thoroughly enjoyed my Tap Air Portugal flight.
The plane was spotless, the seat – for economy – impressive, and the crew professional and friendly. And with prices for London to Lisbon starting from £97, including a checked bag up to 23kg, the cost is reasonable.
Rating out of five: 4.5.
To come: A full review of Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon.