TAP Air Portugal’s SFO Flight Now Bookable (Great Fares & Award Seats)

TAP Air Portugal’s US expansion continues, with their third new route announcement in a matter of weeks. So far we’ve already learned that:

About six months ago TAP Air Portugal first announced that they’ll begin flying to San Francisco as of 2019, and that route is now official. This is part of TAP’s plan to double operations in North America over the coming years.

TAP Air Portugal will fly to San Francisco

TAP Air Portugal will begin flying 5x weekly between Lisbon and San Francisco as of June 10, 2019. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

TP237 Lisbon to San Francisco departing 10:00AM arriving 2:40PM
TP236 San Francisco to Lisbon departing 4:10PM arriving 11:25AM (+1 day)

The flight will operate in both directions on Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. The flight will cover a distance of 5,681 miles, and is blocked at 12hr40min westbound and 11hr15min eastbound

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

TAP Air Portugal will use one of their brand new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft for the route. The airline has 20 of these planes on order, and they just took delivery of their first one.

The A330-900neo will be their first TAP plane with fully flat business class seats that features aisle access from every seat.


TAP Air Portugal’s new business class seat

TAP has chosen the Recaro CL6710 seat for their business class, which is the same seat that EL AL has on their new 787-9s (though TAP is customizing the seats somewhat).


EL AL’s new business class seat


EL AL’s new business class seat

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. While TAP has long had great fares to the East Coast, it’s awesome to see them finally expand to the West Coast, given how much more expensive fares typically are from there.

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’s expansion to Chicago and Washington is useful, this is by far the most exciting new route from them, in my opinion. That’s because the airline didn’t previously fly to the West Coast, and typically business class fares from the West Coast to Europe (and vice versa) are much higher than from the East Coast.

So it’s nice to have an airline that has great business class fares and plenty of award availability fly to SFO. On top of that, the route will be operated by the A330-900neo, featuring fully flat business class seats with direct aisle access.

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

Comments

  1. Looks like phantom availability on Aeroplan for now – “We’re sorry, but due to real-time availability, the itinerary you requested is no longer available.” Don’t see any availability on United.

  2. “……….The A330-900neo will be their first TAP plane with fully flat business class seats that features aisle access from every seat.”

    Lucky, are you sure. Your picture with seat extended, doesn’t look so.
    Person in window seat still must climb over.

    ???

  3. yes, all seats will have aisle access.
    I am probably one of the few people who does not like that – because for couples travelling with kids it is actually good they can’t access the aisle, so I am pretty sure their A339 will all have direct aisle access!

  4. I tried to book the non-stop from Lisbon to ORD. Initially UA site was showing availability in both bus and econ. Then availability disappeared. I went to Aeroplan, where availability was still showing and I was able to book with no problem. Not sure what’s the deal with UA’s website.

  5. Tap, please consider a flight from Seattle. San Francisco Sacramento has Portuguese, but Seattle has cold Portuguese and other Portuguese. I go to Portugal, Algarve to get the Sun. There is a huge population in Washington who will not go to California for any reason, including the sun or even for a connecting flight. I always fly TAP Business from Newark, a change would be appreciated.

  6. “On most paid fares, TAP even allows stopovers in Lisbon on one-way tickets…” well that sounds like an incomplete thought.

    Please define “most” – most that you’ve looked at? Is there some actual, you know, criteria they apply, or is this just random?

    How about stopovers on award tickets? Is it just that the booking carrier’s (eg TAP, United, Aeroplan) rule for stopovers is applied, or is there something more in play?

  7. @Mark3: You are correct (and @Hugo is wrong). While some of the rows are 1-2-1, some of the other rows are 2-2-1 and the seat near the window doesn’t have direct access. But TAP is not an airline used by business travellers at all, except for Africa, for the Americas it’s leisure, leisure, leisure, so Hugo is probably right that it would be better for them to have more double seats for couples travelling together than non-existent business people traveling for work.

  8. @David I’ve lived in Seattle for many years and I’ve never met someone here who wouldn’t go to California for any reason…who are these people?

  9. @ RUI- You are wrong. TAP’s current A332 have some rows which are 1-2-1 and others 2-2-1. TAP’s new A339 (this is what this post is all about) will have ALL seats with direct aisle access.

  10. So if I see the plane type as 339, that’s the 330-9NEO? There’s not a “plain” 330-9 that I need to differentiate?

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