TAP Portugal’s New A330 Business Class In 10 Pictures

Hello from Newark! I just flew TAP Portugal’s A330 business class across the Atlantic for the eight hour flight from Lisbon, and in this post wanted to share my initial thoughts. I lucked out in the sense that my flight featured TAP’s new business class product, even though Newark isn’t one of the destinations to which they consistently offer the new cabins. The seatmap when I booked the flight showed the new seats, and fortunately that stuck.

TAP has 25 business class seats on their new A330s, and they’re in a staggered configuration. The product is virtually identical to what Aer Lingus has on their A330s, Rows alternate between being in a 1-2-1 configuration and being in a 1-2-2 configuration, and I managed to reserve one of the two “throne” seats in the cabin, which are seats 3J and 5J. These are such private seats with great storage, and they’re much better than the other seats in the cabin. I will say that TAP chose fairly generic finishes for their cabins, though that didn’t bother me much.

In terms of the food & drinks, I have mixed feelings. For the main meal, service began with a canapé consisting of nuts and roast beef with pepper jam.

That was followed by an appetizer of partridge confit escabeche and a tomato soup with cottage cheese. The soup was good, though personally I didn’t love the appetizer.

For the main course I ordered the shrimp with sweet potato sauce, almond milk, farofa, and rice. It was awful. The dish consisted of just three shrimp that had no taste. They were soft, and the whole dish was flavorless.

Then for dessert there was ice cream, served in a plastic container. While the presentation wasn’t great, the ice cream was very good.

Portugal is known for their wine so I was looking forward to their selection. The drink list looked great, with two whites and two reds, though they only loaded one of each, and I didn’t particularly care for the white wine on offer. Speaking of drinks, is this the smallest serving of a pre-departure sparkling wine ever, or what?

The crew on this flight was one of the worse crews I’ve had in a long time. It’s not that they were trying to be rude, but it was just clear they didn’t care. For example, when I was offered a pre-departure beverage the flight attendant just held out the tray and looked at me as if I personally offended her. No “welcome aboard,” or “would you like a drink?”

To give another example, the guy across from me didn’t take out his tray fast enough for the meal service, because he didn’t know he was supposed to. The flight attendant just stood there looking at him, then she huffed and skipped him.

As far as the amenities go, TAP offers a large blanket in business class, which is fairly good, though not especially soft or cuddly. Then there’s a pillow, which is on the small side.

Amenity kits were offered on boarding, and consisted of little sardine tins. While I thought the design was cute, it was really impractical. Once I opened the tin I couldn’t close it back up.

The plane didn’t have wifi, though the entertainment selection was surprisingly extensive, with a big selection of movies.

To sum it up, TAP’s new business class product is a great improvement over the old one. A fully flat staggered configuration is definitely in the top half of transatlantic business class hard products, and business class is all about the seat. Other than that, the product is acceptable. The food was okay, the amenities were okay, and the service was… not great, but I guess okay (which is more than I can say about the service on my previous TAP Portugal flight).

TAP Portugal pretty consistently has the lowest transatlantic fares of just about any non-ultra low cost transatlantic carrier, in both economy and business class, so given that, I think they’re an excellent choice. We sometimes see $1,200 roundtrip business class fares on them, so getting that kind of a fare for a fully flat business class seat like this represents an exceptional value.

If you’ve flown TAP Portugal’s new business class, what was your experience like?


  1. You opened a tin of sardines and are complaining that you couldn’t close it again?

    Thank you for this. My eyes are watering from laughing so hard.

    You do know how these tins work, right?

  2. You must’ve been doing something wrong, as I’ve never had a problem closing the amenity kit tin after opening it. You just press it.

  3. Basically fly United instead ? (Delta flyies Lisbonbut seasonally?) As a New Yorker who lives on the Lower East SIde getting to EWR can takes forever given you can wait easily an hour to get into the tunnel and the train to the monorail is such a hassel and can also essy take nearly 2 hours at peak hours for me JFK is almost always a better option. Which brings me to my question: does TAP fly the new A330 consistently out of JFK? If I could get a $1200 fare I’d be happy to put up with bad food and service!

  4. I flew this back in October on the LIS-JFK route. I agree the amenity kits are cute but not all that practical. Mine wasn’t even shut when I received it. It doesn’t close unless it’s almost empty. Their fares are good enough that for a trans-atlantic flight I was perfectly happy with the seat, especially since I was in the throne seat!

    I thought it was interesting on my flight all the FA were male and friendly enough. I sometimes like to walk to the back of the cabin just to stretch my legs and one joked with me asking if I came back to see all poor people. 😉

  5. @Lucky:

    All my drinks in KE F were that small. To the point that I had to continually ask the FAs to keep pouring. At least they keep you from getting drunk, I guess. But yeah, I’ve definitely seen stingier pours on an airline.

  6. If it’s any consolation, at least you get up to 200% miles if you credit TAP to Aeroplan, which most carriers in the program only earn up to 150%, including AC.

  7. Here’s a few questions:
    1) I was toying with the idea of booking TAP out of YYZ but it’s impossible to tell what fare class you’re booking during the process. They have two possible options, and the question is whether either or both belong to the Aeroplan ‘C,D,Z,J’ fares that are good for accrual…or whether there’s some other weird Business class fare that will get you nothing. Did you buy the cheapest? What fare class did you end up in?
    2) I see that Google seems to list ‘angled flat’ and ‘lie flat’ differences between flights on certain days…did they seem to get that right in your case?

  8. I’ve been toying flying their business class to Europe since the fares are sometimes very good. Until the new business class seats are a guarantee on the routes out of the east coast it’s too risky for me. Would hate to get stuck with an old business class seat.

  9. I flew the routing OSL-LIS-JFK return in late October 2017.
    I was very disappointed – the meal service was a disaster.

    Upon the return from Kennedy to Lisbon, there is no lounge facility. Once onboard the red-eye flight from JFK-LIS, every single seat in C-class was filled with staff-passengers, and they even got priority in mail-choices. I hold a SK-Diamond (Star Gold), and ended up with a dry fish dish. I have some pictures that I could upload, but I have not even bothered writing out my own review, as it is one of the worst flight taken since 2011.

  10. It is sad that TAP stands for TakeAnotherPlane… and Portuguese aren’t known for their service so yeah..

  11. You have the name of the airline wrong. It is Tap Air Portugal.

    I flew them in May from JFK. JFK-LIS was disappointing. No lounge, except a tiny third-party lounge in the Jet Blue terminal. A bad, senior crew with little fluency in English or little willingness to speak English. The return flight was totally different — an excellent crew. The only bad experience was landing in the Jet Blue arrivals area. The wait for bags was horrible, as was the line at U.S. Customs and Immigration.

    For what it’s worth, TAP is coming out with fleet-wide new seats for all long-haul aircraft that are different than these.

  12. @FNT Delta Diamond

    Actually this plane in particular has the new seats already. They retrofitted the business class and gave a face lift to the economy seats.

    TAP has over 50 planes on order (both narrow and wide bodies) and as soon as it starts to receive the new A330 neos (first one coming later this year), these older planes will be leaving gradually. Since TAP’s fleet in arround 80 planes, give or take, a big part of the fleet will be renewed in the coming years.

  13. Are the throne seats that much better than the true window seats on the other side of the cabin?

    Aren’t these throne seats the same as the ones Brussels Airlines has on their A330’s?

    I like the privacy but I also like being closer to the window.

    Both throne seats are available on my LIS-JFK flight in early April. What seat should I go with? The seat map is now updated to the configuration of this flight that Lucky was on.

  14. Just checked my April EWR-LIS flight and found that the seat map has updated to the new configuration. Hope it sticks. Now if only the return flight on United would get a Polaris update!

  15. “@Lucky So the crew may not care, but were they hot?”

    If there are cute guys working on the plane, Lucky will sometimes mention it in his TRs…

    No complaints about this throne seat being too tight and narrow like the one on Swiss?

  16. As someone else said the airline’s actual name is Tap Air Portugal. New York-Lisbon is such a short flight that I don’t know if I would paid more than $2,000 for business-class. You could save money and buy a row of economy-class seats.

  17. @Ever: +1, exactly what i thought. Looks just like the BRU J seats. The foot space of the throne seats is crazy small.

  18. “It’s not that they were trying to be rude…”

    “To give another example, the guy across from me didn’t take out his tray fast enough for the meal service, because he didn’t know he was supposed to. The flight attendant just stood there looking at him, then she huffed and skipped him.”

    Actually, I would file that under “Trying to be rude.”

  19. Maybe it is just me but it looks like this summer TAP fairs have gone from regularly the cheapest out of EWR to middle/top of the pack. Wonder why that is

  20. We had a wonderful time last year when , for a change, I was traveling more for pleasure than work and we flew on TAP through Portugal to GVA in biz class. Both flights from/to JFK were staffed with excellent crews. On the return our really fabulous FA gave us a full wine tasting before our meal and was attentive the entire flight. The food was good and my only complaint is that the transfer at LIS was hideously slow due to a massive line at immigration.

    We also flew to and from GVA with “understaffed” A321s with no service but on the return the very nice purser brought us champagne under-cover.

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