The most unfriendly airline is TAP

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  • limasalv

    The Portuguese carrier staff since years (20+} has worsened its onboard services.While other airlines are improving their services TAP is decreasing the quality.
    Flight TP016 from REC to LIS (2 hours of delay) on 13.01.2023 in business class. No one aspect of the whole service can be claimed as business service. The REC-LIS route is the only direct service from Recife to Europe. TAP is a monopolistic carrier. If you want to fly to REC with other airlines you need to go through GIG or GRU. The flight then becomes very long. When you fly to REC with TAP they do not care at all. No competition no service improvement.
    – [ ] No welcome drink once a board
    – [ ] Very poor menu. The breakfast is even worst than the dinner. A tiny small of fruit salad and a small plate with two slices of cheese and one of Brie type of cheese.Half slice of very low quality ham (not edible at all) and one slice of salami. I asked for a coffee with milk and they tried to give me powder milk. After a complaint the “normal” milk appeared and was served directly from the box. Bread selection out of any comment
    – Unfriendly and rude staff. The staff is always in a rush when they have to serve the meals. After the fast services they start chitchatting behind the curtains. They don’t smile at all. It looks they are going to a funeral.
    – The toilettes do not show any difference with the Economy one. No hand cream, nor refreshing towel or other little amenities.
    – The internet connection was not available
    – The only positive thing that cannot offset the whole bad service is the lie-flat bed. That’s all!

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    Sounds like Iberia.


    We spent New Year in Sao Tome which meant we relied on the TAP service from Accra to Sao Tome to get there. My previous experiences with TAP were not good but, as it is only a 90 minute flight (and Hobson’s choice anyway) I thought it worth the risk.

    On the way out, it was an old A320 – no IFE at all and all we were offered was a glass of water and a small bag iof dried banana chips. The flight was around 30% full, largely consisting of an extended family of around a dozen, with four kids between around 3 and 6 I think. They spent the whole flight using the aisle as a racetrack for their cars, footballs and themselves. No one, at any stage, tried to get them to calm down.

    On the way back it was a much newer A321 with decent IFE and the meal was a small sandwich and a piece of cake. Not great, but an improvement on the outward leg. And no noiceably unruly children on a half-full flight.

    As I said, its only 90 minutes so anything was survivable, and I suppose it could have been worse. We were offered the chance to bid for an upgrade, with bids starting at 100 dollars per person. However there were only a handful of people checking in, there is no lounge at Sao Tome, we did not need extra bags and even the business class food is only a snack. So it would have been a very expensive glass of wine if I had gone for it, as that seemed to be the only material benefit of an upgrade.


    I’ve only flown them short haul, but thought the service, food and drinks in Business Class were pretty good. But then my expectations have been lowered by regular flights in BA Club Europe!

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    Disappointed to read this. I usually fly KLM to GRU / GIG but have taken the decision next time to go with TAP via Lisbon. I’ve watched a couple of YouTubes and now this review not instilling me with confidence.

    On the plus side it is only one-way from France – Portugal – Sao Paulo so if it is as bad as it sounds I’ll know not to do it again.

    Thanks for the report, regular route for me.

    FYI, AF have refurbished their 777 out of GIG to have 1-2-1 seating (not before time, was a museum piece flying before) so you might want to GOL from Recife to Rio then AF to CDG….know it is a much longer way to travel but AF / KLM I find very good on-board.


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    Unfortunately the route LIS-GRU (flown last month by my wife) is shameful too.
    The whole airline concept of customer service is crap.
    Probably LIS-GRU or LIS-GIG compared to other direct routes (were they are monopolist) are slightly better.
    Just try and let me know.
    Keep your expectations very low


    Took a few trips to Cabo Verde on TAP and in most cases I was rather happy with what I got. Certainly better food and friendlier crew than LH, my usual point of reference.


    I have flown TP business in Europe very many times and would say that staff are generally very friendly but the onboard offering is very variable.

    The problem with the attendants is that many of the older ones, and a few young ones, have a sense of entitlement. They hark back to the old glory days when it was originally State owned, and the benefits that they had were significant, like other legacy carriers 20 years ago. An example is that, a few years ago, TAP refitted their A321 to have 206 seats, an increase of ~ 20 seats. TAP Union rules stated that if capacity is 200 or less only 5 flight attendants are needed, above 200 then 6 are needed. This is capacity, not actual PAX numbers. During that time I flew FCO to LIS in business, and although load factor < 160 PAX the crew refused to serve anything other than water, as there were only 5 crew. To be fair, the water served in business was in a glass, not a plastic beaker.

    The Government has sunk €3.2 billion into the airline in the last 2 years to keep it afloat. With a population of 8 million that is €400 per person! Average monthly earnings in Portugal €1,200.TAP flight attendants are currently striking for profit sharing, and 2022 profits are estimated to be €100 million, but no interest is paid on the €3.2 billion, which would wipe out any profit. The Government is trying to persuade the EU to allow it to capitalise the €3.2 billion as they know there is no chance of it ever being repaid. They are also trying to get IAG or AF/KLM to buy TAP.

    Later this week I am going to GIG but am flying BA to LON then on to GIG as BA business class is significantly cheaper than flying TP via LIS.

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    This piece is dated July 2022.

    Describes some of the issues facing TAP.

    TAP CEO admits: “We are not offering quality service”


    They should not offer a business class service. Just economy would be enough


    Sad to read this. Perhaps on routes where they do hold a monopoly they are a little more indifferent. I flew TAP LHR – LIS – GRU – LIS – MAD in BIZ and I was very impressed.

    Particularly the short haul sectors I found the catering and inflight staff FAR superior than what I have experienced with BA/LH/KL/AF.

    The lounge in LIS was perfectly fine, again I found it superior to what BA/LH offers their J pax.

    Inflight on the longhaul sectors the strong points for me were the seat itself and the catering which I found very good.

    The inflight staff were a bit of a mixed bag but in no ways any better or worse than i’ve experienced on the other euro legacy carriers.

    I recently flew LATAM GRU – LHR and I found everything about their Business Class woeful, apart from the actual seat which is incredible. The inflight staff were shocking, there was a lack of anything premium about the service (no starter with the meal for example) and the catering was a shocker. I guess with Brazil being TAP’s biggest longhaul market the competition from the Brazillian side is definitely not strong and from the european side pretty much on par from my experiences.

    Bearing in mind TAP also regularly offers very good value fares in Business they would absolutely be towards the top of choice for me when flying europe to Brazil.

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