We flew TAP Air Portugal from Prague, Czech Republic to Lisbon, Portugal, stayed a few nights, then flew to Ponta Delgada, The Azores. You may think it extravagant to fly two short-haul flights in business, but it is actually very good value.
TAP Business Class includes: two pieces of checked luggage, business check-in counter, fast-track security, lounge access, first-to-board, free seat assignment (with middle seat kept empty), plus on-board food and drinks.
Stopovers are free, so for the price of a ticket from Prague to Ponta Delgada, you receive all the above benefits twice.
The cost of an economy ticket is about half that of business. But if you want any of the benefits offered by business class, such as choosing a seat or having food, then you’ll need to pay extra. These extras add up and you’ll likely still be sitting in a row of six people instead of four.
Prague 12.30 – Lisbon 15.10 (- 1 hour)
Fast track security works nicely in Terminal 2 of Prague airport. The lounge isn’t amazing, but will save you having to purchase a beer, for three times the usual price, in the airport bar.
We were first to board (A320 Neo) and had plenty of overhead locker space. The middle seat is kept empty.
No hot towels were offered, although wipes were included on the meal tray.
There was a choice of two Portuguese red wines, neither of which I was familiar with. The flight attendant was happy to provide a glass of each so we could choose.
The menu promised a good meal.
And delivered on that promise – good by short-haul airline standards.
The cabin crew were friendly and refilled our glasses regularly.
There isn’t any in-flight entertainment, but the just over three-hour flight passed quite quickly. We didn’t check any bags and as both the Czech Republic and Portugal are in the Schengen Area – we were quickly out of the airport and on the 20-minute metro ride to the Hilton DoubleTree Lisbon.
Lisbon 17.05 – Ponta Delgada 18.30 (-1 hour)
Fast track security at Lisbon did save us time queueing. Sadly, the TAP lounge was closed for refurbishment and we were each provided with €10 vouchers to spend in the airport restaurants. That’s a pretty miserly amount to compensate for the loss of the lounge.
We were first to board (A321 Neo) and had plenty of overhead locker space. The middle seat is kept empty.
There was no menu for this 2.5-hour flight. The cold plate wasn’t bad.
Business Class was empty, although the service wasn’t as good as the previous flight.
There isn’t any in-flight entertainment. We didn’t check any bags and as the Azores is part of Portugal, we were quickly out of the airport and in a taxi to the Grand Hotel Açores Atlântico, Ponta Delgada.
TAP offer a pretty good short-haul service from Prague to Lisbon. Lisbon is an easy place to stopover as the metro takes just 20 minutes into town. And if you plan to connect or stopover, consider the business class fare.