While it’s probably not the world’s most aspirational business class product, TAP Air Portugal has just opened the floodgates for transatlantic business class award space for this upcoming winter and spring. Given how hard it can be to book transatlantic business class awards nowadays (especially in advance), I figure this is worth being aware of, as I just booked an award myself…
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TAP Air Portugal’s transatlantic award space
TAP Air Portugal has just opened a lot of award seats for travel between now and May 2024. Outside from peak holiday dates, I’m seeing business class award space on a majority of dates across routes. We’re not just talking about one or two seats, but rather I’m seeing four or more business class award seats per flight.
TAP primarily flies out of its Lisbon (LIS) hub, with destinations in the United States including Boston (BOS), Chicago (ORD), Miami (MIA), New York (JFK), Newark (EWR), San Francisco (SFO), and Washington (IAD).
TAP’s two most common aircraft for long haul routes are the Airbus A330-900neos and Airbus A321neos:
- A330-900neos feature fully flat staggered seats in business class, with direct aisle access; seats are in a 1-2-1 configuration
- A321neos feature fully flat staggered seats in business class, though not all seats have direct aisle access; seats alternate between being in a 1-1 and 2-2 layout
TAP has a solid hard product, though definitely manage your expectations when it comes to the soft product, which isn’t the best in the world (to put it mildly). But still, with one-stop routings between the United States and many points in Europe, this is a great opportunity for premium travel.
As far as award prices go, your best bets are Avianca LifeMiles (which charges 63,000 miles for a US to Europe business class award) or Air Canada Aeroplan (which charges 70,000 points for a US to Europe award covering a distance of 4,001-6,000 miles, and you can add a stopover to the award for 5,000 points).
I just used this opportunity to book a TAP award for travel late this winter, when I saw no other good award options across the Atlantic nonstop out of Miami. I’m excited I’ll finally have the chance to review the carrier’s A330-900neo, as I haven’t had the chance to fly it yet.
TAP Air Portugal is usually weird with award availability
TAP Air Portugal takes an unconventional approach with award space. When it comes to revenue fares, TAP is generally by far the cheapest Star Alliance carrier across the Atlantic. Often the carrier’s economy pricing is more in line with what you’d expect from a low cost carrier.
Yet at the same time, the airline is really stingy with transatlantic award space, even in situations where the cabin has lots of availability in the days leading up to departure. I’d be fascinated to know why the airline takes this approach.
Regardless, this is all the more reason to take advantage of this opportunity. I don’t remember the last time that I saw nonstop TAP business class award seats from Miami or San Francisco to Lisbon, while we’re currently seeing four or more seats on many flights.
TAP Air Portugal is being generous with award availability, for once. The airline has a lot of business class award space across the Atlantic for travel this winter and spring, so if you have any transatlantic travel plans you want to lock in, this is a great opportunity to do so.
Do you plan on booking any TAP award space?