The A330neo is Airbus’s newest addition and TAP Air Portugal was the first company to take delivery of this model. For the first commercial route TAP chose the city of São Paulo and started flying the A330neo as of December 15 with aircraft CS-TUB.
The aircraft is configured with a total of 298 seats. That breaks down into
|Cabin||Executive Business Class||Economy Extra||Economy|
|# of Seats||34||96||168|
I recently had the opportunity to try the product, here are my thoughts:
Lisbon (LIS) – São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU)
Depart: 23:20 PM
Arrive: 7:20 AM (+1 day)
Aircraft: A330neo (CS-TUC)
Seat: 8C (Business Class)
São Paulo Guarulhos (GRU) – Lisbon (LIS)
Depart: 17:45 PM
Arrive: 5:35 AM (+1 day)
Aircraft: A330neo (CS-TUB)
Seat: 3A (Business Class)
In order to avoid wasting time at the airport, I checked in online. I had no suitcase to check so when I got to the airport I went straight to security. As I had a Business seat I was entitled to Fast Track which is quite useful for Lisbon airport as security can take a while (with wait times up to 1 hour during busy times).
After passing border control I went to the TAP Air Portugal Lounge. To enter here is necessary to have a business ticket or hold the following cards:
The lounge is spacious, with a futuristic decor and has several services such as a bar with a huge variety of Portuguese wines, a children’s play area, a rest area and a workspace where it is possible to use the available computers and even the printer.
Wi-fi is free and super fast, there is also a shower for those who need to relax before the flight. My flight was scheduled to leave at 11 pm, so the lounge was not very crowded. The buffet features a wide variety of food from sweets, cereals, hot dishes as well as coffee and juice. There are power ports everywhere, even on the couches.
Boarding is possibly the most chaotic part of the trip! 300 people standing, sometimes in the wrong queues and full of luggage. But with premium boarding the process the been simplified, as you are the first to get into the aircraft.
In the business class of this aircraft there are 4 types of seats:
- Window seats are on the odd-numbered rows
- Aisle seats are on the even-numbered rows.
- Middle seats closer to the aisle
- Honeymoon middle seats
- The seats are closer together, ideal for couples or those traveling together. The seats may, however, be divided if privacy is needed.
Upon boarding the aircraft you can observe that each seat has the menu for the flight, a headphone, an amenity kit, a pillow, and a blanket already waiting at each seat.
My seat was the 8C. As you can see in the image above the chair is facing the aisle in contrast to what happens in odd rows, with seats against the window. Each place has a screen of 16 “and it is possible to adjust according to the desire of each person. The seat also features a hanger, several storages areas, USB ports, universal charging dock, and an adjustable headrest.
Namely to the chair, it reclines totally converting itself in bed. The seat can also be adjusted to more individual positions that can be more comfortable to watch a movie or to eat.
While the screen displays a “Welcome on board”, the crew passed in the aisle to offer a drink that can be orange juice, water or champagne. After this, the journey began!
For the return flight, I traveled in a true Window seat.
This seat, in my opinion, offers more privacy since it is not so exposed to distractions like the movement of people and observations. It’s also easier to see through the window!
We departed a little behind schedule at 11:38 P.M. and the route we took is shown in the image below. Pretty direct.
The flight lasted 10h19 and we arrived in Sao Paulo at 07:57 A.M the next day. The flight was completely full on the departure. It is worth noting that TAP Air Portugal flies 3 flights daily between Lisbon and Sao Paulo!
The only period of turbulence occurred over Cabo Verde and on arrival in Brazilian territory.
Between meals, the crew reduced the lights to the minimum in order to help the passengers to sleep.
Normally, I have trouble sleeping on airplanes and on this trip I slept around 6 hours! The fact that the seat stays a bed is a big help as well as the fact that the aircraft is super silent due to its new engine. Don’t believe me? Listen below!
Food & Drinks
Lisbon to São Paulo
As for food, 2 meals were served, the first being after the take off, the supper and before landing they served breakfast.
For the supper, all Business Class passengers had the opportunity to choose their meal among several options. I chose the prawns accompanied with rice and soup with curd.
As far as alcoholic drinks were concerned, there were a variety of Portuguese wines as well as beers. For those who do not drink alcohol, there was water and three types of juice: orange, tomato, and apple.
7 hours into the 10 hour flight, it was time to have breakfast.
The breakfast consisted of a plate of cheese and several types of ham, natural yogurt with strawberry pulp and finally a plate of fruit. To drink, was possible to choose between tea, coffee, milk or juices.
One both meals a tray was provided to choose the desired bread. It could be from croissant, bread of form or seeds, etc …
São Paulo to Lisbon
On the return flight, again dinner and breakfast were served.
The dinner consisted of 4 dishes!
- An appetizer of walnuts, almonds, and almonds
- A light meal with carrot soup, a plate of grilled pineapple, cheese and ham, and bread.
- The main dish was chicken breast with regular and sweet potato baked accompanied with asparagus and carrot
- Lastly a chocolate cheesecake
The breakfast was very similar to the first flight by changing only the intrusion of the yogurt and the muffin.
TAP has some of the most original kits. The brand “Castelbel” joined TAP in the branding of these kits to give a sense of different places in Portugal to which they gave the name “Olá Portugal” (means Hello Portugal). The basic idea is put a little of Portugal in each bag through aroma and representative design. This is intended to be a perfect postcard for foreigners visiting Portugal.
Thus, the Oporto kit smells of camellias, from Lisbon to manjerico, from the Algarve the sea salts and orange, from Sintra to ivy, from Madeira to fennel, the Azores has an aroma associated with milk and Coimbra the old leather.
This kit contains: a comb, eye shade, socks, ear plugs, dental kit, pen, cream and a lipstick.
TAP offers free Wi-Fi for texting in WhatsApp or Facebook Messenger. There are Wi-Fi plans available for email and full browsing for an added fee.
On the first flight, the Wi-Fi worked perfectly well! Unfortunately, on the return flight, there was no Wi-Fi …. the message “the satellite is unstable” always appeared when trying to connect.
As for the films: in total there are 102 with classics like Casablanca or Ocean Eleven. They also had all James Bond 007 movies as well as my favorite Harry Potter…
Music: there is a large number of CDs, most of which are Portuguese and Brazilian
Games: more than 30, from solitary to Angry Birds
TV series: No big series of renowned and the best known of the great public is This Is Us and The Big Bang Theory. There are also several live concerts.
On both flights, the whole crew was super friendly from the first to the last moment! Thank you for making this trip even more unforgettable.
TAP Air Portugal has a spectacular service in the Business, from meals through to the crew always attentive to the needs of the people.
The introduction of the A330neo in the company’s fleet was undoubtedly an achievement! Compared with the older generation of the A330 and A340 (aircraft that also serves this route) all passengers refer to the innovations present in the NEO as the super silent engines, the lights that help reduce jetlag, and the comfort of the seats even in economy.
To get an idea, when the aircraft arrived in Brazil or when in Lisbon the staff informed that the flight would be carried out with the NEO there was an authentic “fight” for an upgrade to the few seats that were left in Business.
Fascinated with this situation, I asked a Brazilian man why this situation to which he replied “You know the Business Class of the NEO is super spoken among us! We did not choose before because it can happen to come an A340 and the business is very old …. then we see the plane that makes the flight and if it is the NEO we try our luck to see if there are free places in Business! “