Lisbon-based TAP Portugal offers the best business class fares across the Atlantic using some of the most modern aircraft available. What’s the experience like? Is it worth the price?
Let’s dive deep into TAP business class, and some tips for saving when booking it.
TAP Business Class Seats and Aircraft
TAP Portugal currently operates three types of aircraft on long-haul flights to the U.S.A: the Airbus A321neo and A330 200, respectively.
Even though you don’t know much about aviation, it’s worth paying attention to the type of aircraft you fly. The TAP business class experience is different from one plane to another.
The good news is that TAP Portugal’s business class seats are flat on all three types of aircraft. This means that you will have a flat bed on the Atlantic, unlike other business-class options like Icelandair ).
TAP Portugal’s business class seats do not have direct aisle access. Book a flight on the Airbus A330neo if you don’t mind climbing over your neighbor or having your neighbor climb over you.
The seating arrangement is a staggered 1-2-1 layout. This means that there is one seat per side of the aisle and two seats in the middle.
TAP Portugal’s Airbus A330 200 is the next-best aircraft type. It sounds similar but it offers a completely different experience. TAP’s A330-200 business class seats have aisle access for almost all. Only three windows seats are paired on the unique aircraft configuration.
TAP Air Portugal offers five seating options on its Airbus A321 aircraft. TAP Portugal’s “A321 Long Range” aircraft has lie-flat business-class seating. It is used for long-haul Atlantic flights.
TAP business class rows can have either two or one seat per side on this aircraft. The two-seat pair is ideal for couples, while the “throne” seats are great for solo travelers.
TAP business class has a standard recliner for all other aircraft types. TAP Portugal uses economy seating on most regional routes. It also has a middle empty seat for its business class.
Business Class Fare Types: Executive vs. TOP Executive
TAP Portugal offers two types business class fares: Executive & Top Executive.
Both fares offer similar perks. Only the change fees, refundability, and mileage earned are the only differences.
No fees can be charged for top Executive fares. Executive fares are also available for change and refund, although the cost will vary depending on the route.
TAP Portugal has yet to adopt unbundled business class tickets — where certain perks, such as lounges, aren’t part of the cheapest fares.
All TAP Portugal business-class fares offer the following perks.
Two carry-on bags.
Two checked bags of up to 70 pounds (32 kg) each.
Select your seat at any time.
Fast track at selected airports.
Priority check in.
Priority baggage handling.
Premium Customer Call Center.
Booking TAP business-class flights with points and mileage
Thinking of booking TAP business class via travel portals?
TAP Portugal business class cash fares are quite affordable. It’s worth looking at the cost of booking a flight through a portal such as Chase Ultimate Rewards before you search for TAP business-class award availability.
Booking through a portal to book TAP Portugal business classes can be the most cost-effective way to travel depending on where you are going. You don’t need to worry about award availability, unlike booking through TAP Portugal and its partners.
Nevertheless, there are some sweet spots for partners that you should consider.
LifeMiles (including an Award Pricing Quirk)
Sixty-three thousand miles is the average cost of Avianca LifeMiles award between the United States, Europe and most other countries. TAP Portugal Business Class is available from New York-John F. Kennedy and Lisbon at 35,000 LifeMiles each way.
This is significantly less than the standard award price, making it a better option for booking TAP business class.
This pricing peculiarity is only applicable to one nonstop route. Standard pricing applies if you have to connect within the U.S.A or Europe. You will pay the 63,000 LifeMiles standard price for the route from Lisbon to New York.
LifeMiles remains one of the best ways for TAP Portugal business class to be booked. It’s also easy to earn LifeMiles by transferring points earned from major transferable points programs, such as American Express Membership Rewards and Capital One miles, Citi ThankYou Points, Marriott Bonvoy, and Citi ThankYou points.
Air Canada Aeroplan
Flying between North America and Europe can be as cheap as 60,000 Aeroplan Points per way in TAP Portugal Business Class. This pricing applies to routes between North America and Europe that exceed 4,000 miles, such as Washington, D.C., to Lisbon.
Connecting routes over 4,001 to 6,600 miles cost 70,000 Aeroplan Points each way. This is enough to cover the entire route from San Francisco to Lisbon.
TAP business classes, recapped
TAP Air Portugal is a full-service airline that offers low prices for flights across the Atlantic. You can rest assured that you will get a TAP Business Class seat in lie-flat business class, lounge access, priority throughout airports, two checked bags, and free seat selection.
This seat selection is useful when you fly on aircraft with different seating.
(Top Photo courtesy TAP Air Portugal)
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