I was going to fly to India this week, but Avianca’s LifeMiles program is a disaster. An absolute, freaking disaster. I was trying to book Air India first class from Chicago to Delhi using LifeMiles, but their website kept erroring out, and after combined efforts of over seven hours on the phone with them, gave up.
In looking at where I could otherwise go, I eventually decided on flying TAP Portugal business class to Lisbon. They had plenty of award space from Miami to Lisbon, which is operated by their A330, featuring their newer (compared to the A340), though still not fully flat, business class product.
I’m always looking to try new premium cabin products, so I figured the opportunity to fly TAP and visit a new city that I’ve heard good things about was a good opportunity. Also, while hotels in most European cities are outrageously expensive this time of year due to the number of tourists, the rate at several Lisbon hotels I was looking at were quite reasonable.
So it might not be the most glamorous product in the world, but I am excited to try a new airline, visit a new city, and review a new hotel. Besides, I did say back in May that I’d try to review TAP Portugal business class… it just took a bit longer than I was expecting.
As far as the booking process goes, originally I was going to redeem 52,500 LifeMiles for the ticket, though again had issues with their website, and the call center was totally useless. Instead I redeemed 45,000 Aeroplan miles, transferred from American Express Membership Rewards. There were mild fuel surcharges of ~$100 one-way, which seemed reasonable enough, especially since Aeroplan charges 7,500 fewer miles than LifeMiles.
If you’ve flown TAP or been to Lisbon before, any tips? Would love any recommendations you guys might have!
After Lisbon I’m hoping to finally make it to some of my other “bucket list” destinations in Europe, like Stockholm, Longyearbyen, and/or Reykjavik.