TAP Air Portugal has a nice worldwide business class sale going on right now. But I’m staying far away from it…
I Am Very Reluctant To Do Business With TAP Air Portugal
I had a love-hate relationship with TAP Air Portugal. It’s a nice airline to fly: I had a lovely flight from Lisbon to Boston. But I don’t view the airline as very ethical.
Last time TAP had a fare sale, I booked business class tickets for the entire family to Switzerland for this summer. But a day later, TAP cancelled the tickets, citing a booking error (despite offering fares in that range in the past). Then, it dragged its feet two weeks before issuing a refund.
We had a trip to Spain planned as well from Washington Dulles on TAP via Lisbon. TAP cancelled the flights. No refund yet. Still waiting…a month later. My bandwidth to deal with issues like this is very limited right now, but TAP has been totally unreasonable in its customer service.
Which leads us to today’s sale.
New Europe Sale: Business Class R/T From USA to Europe For 999USD+ on TAP Air Portugal
The current sale is objectively attractive…if you can find the space.
From $999 you can travel between the USA and the following countries:
- Czech Republic
- United Kingdom
Just for kicks I checked round-trip travel from San Francisco for my travel dates to both Germany and Switzerland and saw nothing under $2800 r/t.
TAP allows one free change on your tickets, but normal prices are at least double this, so “free” is only free in the sense that you will not pay an additional fee, just any difference in fare. These tickets are non-refundable.
I’m passing on today’s sale, which runs through May 5th. As I mentioned yesterday, with so much uncertainty over travel to Europe this summer, this is exactly the type of situation I want to avoid (tying money up on tickets that cannot be used).
> Read More: European Summer Travel? It’s Way Too Early To Tell…
I’m right there with you, Matthew. I got burned once before by TAP so no thanks. I coughed up $2200 for IAH-MUC r/t for a seat in J. I have a second residence in Germany so not worried about being allowed in but rather all the red tape with testing etc. I don’t need a cancelled ticket to be an added stressor.
@Matthew if it’s already been a month, just do a dispute. I had the same situation with TAP, asked AMEX to dispute the charge since TAP refused to issue the refund in a timely manner, and they did so quickly. I’m not usually a disputer, either, but TAP was, as you have said, egregious in its refusal to issue refunds.
Have no comment on the refund situation.
But cmon, you knew that was an error fare from the jump, and it’s unserious to suggest $250 RT J to Europe is anything but. The “tell” is that you claim TAP has offered those prices before, but then the post that you link to claims that it’s a great deal for one way $1200 J to SFO. But you paid $750 RT with this error fare….?
It’s great when airlines honor error fares, but complaining when they don’t as if we who take advantage of them are some virtuous, innocent folk…..
My $750 r/t was an “error” in an unprecedented era of empty flights but $999 r/t isn’t? I’m not playing that game. Airlines should be forced to honor what they sell.
What is the “uncertainty over travel to Europe this summer”? I thought the EU travel restrictions didn’t apply to you because of your wife’s German citizenship.
I was speaking more to the general, US-centric audience. Indeed, the travel restrictions do not apply to me.
It may be worth checking their flexible fares. I bagged a fully flexible LON-GRU return for £760 a couple of months ago. Better still, they have since cancelled one of the flights, which means that I should be able to move the ticket to more expensive dates at no additional cost.
Mathew I totally agree with you and I personally never want to fly Tap again. It took me 7 months to get a refund for a flight. It was just ridiculous and they wanted me to call them at 1am PT. Crazy!
Not bad in the air, hopeless on the ground, reflecting much of what’s wrong with the pathetic Star Alliance ( certainly the most abysmal excuse for an alliance in the history of commerce, reaching as it does the very depths of cluelessness in respect of the passenger experience). Chaos, confusion, inconsistency are the hallmarks…but” Hey, let’s open a hub office in Singapore and do sweet F-all at huge expense and zero return”
Add me to the no column on this. Got burned on $1200 J ticket SFO-LIS. TAP canceled my flight but was still selling same flight/dates later that day for $500 more. Submitted refund request but after a week, no response. Disputed the charge with CapOne and said bye bye to TAP for good. F*ck that crap.
I see some availability from ORD for less than 1k…. Rome. It doesnt show in google flights until you click on the departing date.
Why would anyone want to fly TAP Portugal? It’s one of the worst airlines in the world. If anything goes wrong you are completely lost as the staff seem to compete for “most incompetent employee of the month”. I am booked for Air France La Premiere LAX-CDG and back and am really looking forward to it despite the closed P lounge in CDG.
I agree that TAP isn’t the most sophisticated airline when it comes to customer service- though I don’t think it could quite match the mayhem I encountered five years ago when a snowstorm hit Ataturk and disrupted TK’s operations for days, for example they were rebooking people with reservations to the USA on flights to Canada without making onward connection arrangements (thankfully, I was only going as far as LHR, got away with a 3-hour delay and even got an op-up thrown in!).
However, I think that the points around ethics and vows to not fly them again are disproportionate. TP is not a ‘national champion’ in the style of LH/AF, it is not a well-oiled lobbying machine like the US carriers, and it most definitely isn’t a bottomless pit of taxpayer money like Etihad or even Alitalia. When the pandemic hit, it struggled to cope and it is still having issues with refunds and so on, and that’s clearly not a good place for a business to be. The point that everyone seems to be missing is that TAP’s competitors were being showered with billions of cash freshly harvested from the magic money tree while it had to beg the Portuguese government for comparatively tiny amounts in order to stay afloat (it did get something in the end, thus avoiding the faith of CSA). I am rather surprised that otherwise rational people are intending to make future purchasing decisions on the basis of the ability of an ostensibly private-sector service provider to access taxpayer money.
You make reasonable points. However, I still think they are unethical in the way they manage refunds. That said, I praised their onboard product in my story and would be happy to fly them again…under the right circumstances.