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.
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?