Passengers faced a nightmare flight experience when a trip from Lisbon to the Azores stretched to over 15 hours, leading them back to Lisbon twice before finally reaching their destination, Terceira Island, after 36 hours.
On 25 November, TAP Air Portugal flight TP1823 (Airbus A321neo reg. CS-TJJ) left Lisbon 26 minutes late at 09:46 local time (UTC). After a vain attempt to land at Lajes on Terceira Island, it returned to Lisbon where it refuelled while passengers were being served a meal. At 17:30, a new attempt to fly to Terceira resulted in the plane circling near the island before diverting to Ponta Delgada, on another island in the Azores archipelago. At 20:21 (UTC-1), the plane took off to Lajes and circled Terceira a few times before returning to Lisbon again, where it landed after midnight. It was only late the next day, on 26 November, that the flight took off again to Lajes, only to land again at Ponta Delgada before finally being able to reach Lajes at 19:34 local time (UTC-1), 33 and a half hours after schedule.
TAP Air Portugal, the flight operator, attributed the ordeal to unexpected and deteriorating weather conditions, forcing diversions and circling in the air to burn fuel for safety. The airline emphasised its commitment to passenger safety and explained the diversions were due to weather constraints.
Ultimately, after multiple attempts and hours of travel, passengers landed on Terceira Island after what should have been a much shorter journey.