TAP Air Portugal Launching Flights To Chicago

Yesterday TAP Air Portugal announced that they’ll begin offering 5x weekly flights to Washington Dulles as of June 16, 2019, and today they’re announcing yet another new US route. This is part of TAP’s plan to double operations in North America over the coming years.

In June the airline announced that they’d start flying to San Francisco in 2019, though no schedule has been published for that year.

So let’s look at their next US route.

TAP Air Portugal will fly to Chicago

TAP Air Portugal will begin flying 5x weekly between Lisbon and Chicago as of June 1, 2019. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

TP229 Lisbon to Chicago departing 1:05PM arriving 4:05PM
TP228 Chicago to Lisbon departing 6:05PM arriving 7:50AM (+1 day)

The flight will operate in both directions on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The flight will cover a distance of 4,009 miles, and is blocked at 9hr westbound and 7hr45min eastbound.

What plane will TAP Air Portugal use for their Chicago route?

As of now the flight is scheduled to be operated by an Airbus A330-200, featuring 269 seats. This includes 25 business class seats and 244 economy seats. Business class seats are in a staggered configuration, and are all fully flat.

The configuration scheduled for this flight is exactly the same one that I reviewed from Lisbon to Newark earlier in the year.

However, TAP Air Portugal is also in the process of taking delivery of 20 A330-900neo aircraft. So I think it’s highly likely we’ll see some changes there, as some routes are probably switched around to reflect the new aircraft.

This flight has tons of award availability & good fares

If you’re interested in taking this flight, there’s some great news. There’s tons of award availability on the flight in both business class and economy. As of now I see availability on virtually every date in both cabins.

If you want to redeem miles for business class, the best programs to consider are as follows (costs are one-way, and there are no carrier imposed surcharges):

  • Air Canada Aeroplan — 55,000 miles
  • Avianca LifeMiles — 63,000 miles
  • United MileagePlus — 70,000 miles

Similarly, paid fares are excellent. What makes TAP unique is that they often have cheap one-way fares, which most airlines otherwise don’t offer on transatlantic flights. So this is valuable if you want to redeem miles in one direction and pay in the other.

On most paid fares, TAP even allows stopovers in Lisbon on one-way tickets, which is a fun way to visit Portugal for a couple of days enroute to your final destination.

Bottom line

While TAP Air Portugal isn’t the highest quality airline in the world, they consistently have excellent fares and wide open award availability. Furthermore, with their new A330-900neo aircraft joining the fleet, they also have an excellent new business class hard product (even if the soft product leaves a bit to be desired).

With new flights to Chicago and Washington, and more new routes on the way, this is a great option for crossing the Atlantic.

What do you make of TAP Air Portugal’s new flight to Chicago?

Comments

  1. When visiting beautiful Washington Dulles, be sure to check out the Willis tower, shop in Michigan Avenue, and take a dip in Lake Michigan…

  2. I see this as a potential to impact the rising C fares in a good way. TAP is very competitive with Business pricing and it should bring others down as well. With that, they would be my last choice unless an amazing bargain as the few times I have flown them has resulted in misconnects and having to overnight in LIS. Not so much with their Intl. flights which seem to be pretty reliable but the European flights seem to come with regular delays. At the very least if you do book them leave a LOT of time to connect.

  3. “Yesterday TAP Air Portugal announced that they’ll begin offering 5x weekly flights to Washington Dulles”

    Last time I checked, Washington Dulles airport was located in Virginia, not Chicago

  4. Interestingly those A321 NEO LR will have the same business class configuration as JetBlue Mint and Aer Lingus A321 NEO too. Four throne seats intermingling with three rows of four abreast seating.

  5. Plan on leaving the plane via stairs to a waiting at bus.
    Yes, even at TAP’s home airport.
    What fun after a long flight.

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