✅ Verified Review
| London to Rio de Janeiro via Lisbon. Outbound first sector on A319 fine. Good meal with well-cooked grouper as a main. Pretty impressive for short haul. Unfortunately this was as good as it got. Discovered that no lounge airside after passport control in Lisbon, so had nearly two hours to wait in main terminal building. Boarding somewhat chaotic - aircraft to Rio an ageing A340. Cabin crew not very welcoming and the leather gloves the females wear make them appear as if they are about to strangle someone rather than provide a service of hospitality. Seat format is 2-2-2. I had chosen a central seat several weeks before in order to have as much sleep as possible and neither disturb a neighbour, nor be disturbed by one. Having settled into my seat, I was staggered when the purser called at me across the aisle to ask if I spoke English, and pressured me to move, asking loudly in front of a couple who wanted to sit together - one of them in my seat. (If somebody had a medical need, it would be a different matter. Similarly if there was a genuine requirement on the part of the operating crew. That was not the case here. They had simply not organised themselves in time.) I was therefore obliged to sit in a seat I did not wish to be in throughout the flight. My fear of being disturbed by the new seating arrangement was realised. A member of the cabin crew leant over me throughout dinner service to serve my neighbour- constantly bashing the side of my seat and speaking extremely loudly over the top of me as I tried to rest. Once the dinner service was over, managed to get some sleep; served a cold breakfast of cold cuts and cheese shortly before landing. Return on a more modern A330. First appearances can be deceptive. Although newer, this is about the least passenger- friendly business class I've flown in for at least five years. The cabin is extremely open, giving virtually no privacy - the screen between neighbours provides no barrier at all. The seat pods are very low, with tv screens at knee height - not comfortable to watch a film. There's nowhere to stow belongings. On an overnight flight this is particularly frustrating. The seat does not fully recline, meaning I spent the entire flight slipping down towards the footwell. At the end of a 10 hour flight there was no hot breakfast - especially poor given many pax will skip dinner on a 2300 take off. The cold meats were OK but one slab of cheese and one chunk of mango is not great catering. IFE was turned off fully 35 minutes before landing. Quite staggering when so many other airlines allow you to watch/listen virtually until the doors are open. And especially frustrating when having selected a film to watch knowing it would finish 20 minutes before landing, and being deprived of the end. Having learnt my lesson on the outbound, went through passport control so I could access the lounge for my 3 hour layover. Discovered it was not run by TAP (no lounge in their own capital city - very poor) and had to pay €15 for a shower. Distinctly unimpressed on a flight costing more than €4000. No hot food in the lounge either. Final sector to London on A319. Mid afternoon so no hot food there. Result - 18 hours in TAP's "care" as a business passenger with only cold cuts and sandwiches on offer. Cabin crew on both return sectors were OK. All sectors on time. Flight was chosen, booked and paid for by a client – would certainly not choose TAP myself.