TAP new lounge policy

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    I’m Star Alliance Gold member and last 10th June, I was travelling TP1201 DME-LIS in business class and found out that no lounge was available for any TAP passengers at DME airport.

    At check-in I was informed that TAP, at the end of April, ceased agreement with Contract Lounges at DME and other 38 airports: ALC, BEL, CNF, BIO, BLQ, BOD, BUD, CCS, CMN, DUB, FAO, FLR, FOR, LPA, LUX, LYS, AGP, MAN, RAK, MRS, DME, NTE, NAP, NAT, JFK, NCE, PDL, POA, RAI, REC, SID, SSA, SVQ, TNG, TER, TLS, VLC, VCE.

    Besides, lounge access in the airports BCN, MAD, ORY, TLV, ABJ is only granted for C class passengers, not Gold members.

    In my case I had no choice to get a seat in front of the Austrian Lounge at DME, watching all other Star Alliance airlines eligible passengers entering the lounge… All Star Alliance airlines flying to DME has Contract Lounge for their passengers, except TAP.

    If this new TAP policy is to continue, I will choose alternative Star Alliance airlines for future flights.


    It looks like TAP have followed where fellow Star Alliance member SAS led.

    Last year SAS dramatically cut all their contract lounge access, so that SAS status/premium passengers only have access to SAS Lounges and to lounges operated by other Star Alliance carriers (or, indeed, are Star Alliance-branded).

    TAP now seems to have gone in that direction, though it has retained some contract lounges (mostly in longhaul destinations) and, as you say, in certain locations seems to offer the contract lounge to its premium customers but not those with frequent flyer status.

    Slightly bizarrely, your experience in Moscow DME seems to have arisen because both the Swiss and Austrian Lounges there are technically classed as contract lounges (as per the Star Alliance website).

    It would be disappointing if this were to become a trend; on the other hand, both SAS and TAP are repositioning themselves as budget-hybrid carriers, so I don’t necessarily see others following suit. BA started cutting corners on its lounge access at new destinations but must have found this was losing it passengers (I was certainly less likely to use BA on those routes) and now seems to have gone back on that approach.

    So, yes, I agree, the best you can do in response to the policy is take your custom elsewhere.

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