We'll have a full TAP Air Portugal A330-900 Business Class Review later, but in the meantime, having just flown the product, here are the pros and cons we experienced on our flight from San Francisco SFO to Lisbon LIS.
TAP Air Portugal Business Class Pros
1. Access to the United Polaris Lounge San Francisco
TAP Air Portugal doesn't have its own lounge in SFO, so passengers have access to the excellent United Polaris Lounge SFO, which we've previously reviewed. This time we took advantage of one of the quiet rooms, which is more a cubicle with a lounge chair and pillow (blanket can be requested), but there are also shower rooms available for those who want to refresh prior to their flight.
2. Good Privacy of Window Seats
On the A330-900 neo, the best seats for solo passengers are odd numbered A and K seats: 3A, 3K, 5A, 5K, 7A, 7K (we'd avoid row 9 as these are near the galley).
3. Convenient Storage Compartments for Small Items
We liked the convenient storage compartments for small items, both the one housing the bottled water, headphones and amenity kit, and the small triangular one right by the seat, good for placing a mobile device while charging. Both of them have covers, keeping items from falling out during take-off and landing.
4. Two Bottles of Water by Seat
We were happy to see two small bottles of water already in the storage compartment. While we still had to ask for more water during the flight, it's good when there's already bottled water by the seat.
5. Decent Flat Bed with Large Pillow
While we didn't sleep well, the bed itself was fairly comfortable, especially when using the provided blanket as a mattress pad. We liked that the pillow was larger than normal for business class.
TAP Air Portugal Business Class Cons
1. No Pre-Flight Drinks
Somewhat surprisingly, there were no pre-flight drinks offered. Most international business class flights do offer a pre-flight drink.
2. Narrow Access to Seat
Access to the seat is quite narrow. Given that I found it awkward, chances are it would be downright inconvenient for larger passengers.
3. Awkward Placement of Power Outlets
The power outlet is by the seat, but it's below knee level, making it awkward to access. We much prefer when the power outlet is closer to chest or shoulder level and thus more visible without having to bend over.
4. Indifferent Service
Perhaps part of the service level was due to it being a completely full business class cabin, but the service level ranged from indifferent to bordering on rude, as when one of the cabin crew roughly yanked my charger out of the power outlet before take-off, nearly damaging the cord, rather than asking me to remove it.
5. No Wine List
While this wasn't of concern for me, since I wanted to get some rest and didn't have any alcohol, there's no wine list for the flight. Oenophiles will be disappointed.
6. No TAP Air Portugal Lounge or Alternative in Lisbon
Ostensibly this is a temporary problem, as the sign indicates that the upgraded lounge will be available starting on December 18, 2022, but it was shocking that in TAP Air Portugal's home hub of Lisbon no lounge alternative was provided. Extremely poor experience for transiting passengers.
If you've flown TAP Air Portugal A330-900 Business Class, what was your experience?
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