Our TAAG Adventure Is Off To A Rough Start — “NO PHOTOS!”

Hello from Lisbon, where we’re about to fly TAAG Angola to Luanda. I can’t even describe how excited I am about this flight. As an airline product geek I love not knowing what to expect, and I truly have no clue what to expect. None whatsoever. I don’t think I’ve ever boarded a flight with fewer expectations than this, since there are no TAAG first class reviews out there, as far as I know.

Our TAAG adventure started before we even got to the airport. Our Uber driver to the airport was Angolan, and he was in disbelief when he found out we were flying to Angola. As he bid us farewell he said “you will have an amazing time in my country… be careful.” That’s reassuring. ­čśë

My concern going into this flight was if they had issues with picture taking, since not being allowed to take pictures would largely diminish the value of this review. I ran into this issue on Uzbekistan Airways last year.

Well, we’re off to a rough start on that front.

As we approached the TAAG Angola check-in counter at Lisbon Airport, a security officer approached us:

“Where is your ticket?”
“It’s an electronic ticket.”
“Let me see it.”
“It’s electronic.”
“I need to see a copy of it.”

Okay, fine. We pulled up our e-tickets, and he seemed happy with that.

Of course we were so excited to be flying TAAG and wanted to take a picture of their signage. I love their branding. After snapping a single picture, the same guy barked no “no photo” at us. One of my friends I’m traveling with is perhaps a bit more persistent than I am, and he responded:

“Just of the sign, come on.”
“No, no photo.”
“Just of the sign? Why not?”
“For security.”
“What is the security risk with taking a picture of the sign?”
“You can’t take it.”
“Please? Can we take a selfie in front of it?”

At that point he motioned that we could take that photo.

If the photo situation on the ground is this, ahem, exciting, I can’t even imagine what the onboard experience will be like…

On the plus side, TAAG has the coolest first class luggage tags ever. You can bet I’m never removing this one from my bag.

Stay tuned!

Comments

  1. Yay, I’m so excited to learn how this pans out! Have a great trip, Ben!

    Was the security officer employed by TAAG or by Lisbon Airport? If the latter, it might have nothing to do with your onboard experience.

  2. Flew TAAG F about 15 years ago LAD-JNB, and was the only passenger in the nose cabin of their only 747 at the time. Arriving connecting flight was very late, so transferred ON THE FLIGHTLINE/TARMAC after deplaning – just ran over to the crowd walking towards the 747. Spoke to the DT station manager who was walking over, showed her my F ticket, and explained I needed to make this flight. It was easier for her to take me than try to get me a visa for the night, so (still out on the noisy tarmac, at the bottom of the stairs) she said “Sure.” Then she hesitated: “We didn’t cater for you, though. Are you OK to eat the regular economy meal?” (as if I would change my mind and attempt to overnight in Angola without a visa, rather than miss out on the ‘world famous’ DT LAD F catering?). I agreed and she let me board. After that, certainly an unremarkable short flight experience – normal old recliner seats – hot Y main course brought forward in aluminum and dumped on a plate. Completely disinterested crew lounging about… . Looking forward to a proper review of their F product in today’s world, after Angola has been awash in oil money for 15 years. From ground experience, to new aircraft, to long-haul overnight, to LAD security – I can’t wait for Lucky’s writeup of the updated DT F experience. Go Lucky!

  3. The asshole is on a power trip or one of those religious nut cases that will guard the door of the house with no walls because he has been told that’s his job.

  4. Just another kleptocracy, with repulsive snouts at the trough of oil, in which the vast majority of people live on less than $2 per day. Among the lowest life expectancy and highest infant mortality rates in the world.

  5. Woah, is that really Charles Veley commenting?! @Lucky you need to take some travel advice from him, not the other way around!

    But in all seriousness, very cool to see.

  6. I just flew them today for the tenth time or so. Let’s just say I’m not in a rush to proceed to round 11.

  7. Boa sorte e bom voo pra Angola! Voce ja decidiu se vai voar de Azul ou Avianca de Sao Paulo pros EUA?

    Good luck and safe flight to Angola! Have you decided yet if you’re flying Azul or Avianca from Sao Paulo to the US?

    =you can practice your Portuguese with me, ill help! ­čśë

  8. Is the photo that of a Boeing 777-300ER? But look at the nose wheel. Is it parked at the 767-400ER line and not the 772 or 773 line?

  9. When I flew TAAG from CPT to LAD late last year, I took a photo of my meal served onboard. A crew member saw me and she and the purser made me delete the photo from my phone. They told me the flightflight would divert to WDH if I refused!

  10. For those who want to take pics on flights where photos are “not allowed,” take the pictures, and then immediately go into your email client and SEND the photos. Even if you’re not connected in the air, the photo goes to your pending box. When the (ridiculous) flight attendant(s) make you delete the photo from your photo album/gallery, you still have the photo in your email to retrieve later, and they’re none the wiser.

    And then we get to see the photos! ­čÖé

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