[Trip report] A disappointing business class experience on my TAP Air Portugal flight between Boston and Lisbon


For a business trip to and from the United States, I considered a direct SWISS flight between Zurich and Boston. I opted for TAP Air Portugal as the ticket price for a business class trip was 30% lower than on other legacy carriers and I didn’t mind a stop-over in Lisbon.

Flight: TP218
Date: 7 February 2019
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200 (CS-TOW)
From-To: Boston – Lisbon (BOS-LIS) (later connecting flight to ZRH)
Seat: 3F
Scheduled/Effective Time of Departure: 18:40/19:16
Scheduled/Effective Time of Arrival: 06:00/05:57

Disappointing look of the cabin

The only thing I appreciated on the flight was the entertainment system, but for the rest  everything looked worn out in the cabin. Duct tape was required to hold items together, a rather unprofessional look. My seat belt unravelled from the side. The integrated lid on my armrest didn’t close softly but was fixed with some quickly cut out tube which served as a sound stopper when the lid falls. Unfortunately, I couldn’t properly close the lid: this tends to happen when you stuff material in between 😐

The seats looked very outdated, but with some imagination and marketing creativity, you could call this a lie-flat seat. The seat looked more like a slide from a child’s playground, I was virtually grabbing something to avoid sliding down. The design of the seat doesn’t allow proper space for your feet.

Uninterested cabin crew

The crew was unable to crack a smile, they even forgot to serve one of the courses that were mentioned in the menu. Worse, one of the flight attendants bent over in front of my entertainment system to serve the passenger next to me. She could perfectly use the other aisle to serve him. While I do understand the workload of the cabin crew, in other scenarios, I would perfectly cope with these situations but I lacked sleep due to my vertigo business class seat.


My overall experience on TAP Air Portugal isn’t very positive. Next time, I will fly business but not anymore on TAP Air Portugal. I will pay an additional 30% and fly with another airline. Being able to sleep is well worth it.

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