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:
- TAP Air Portugal will fly 5x weekly to Chicago as of June 1, 2019
- TAP Air Portugal will fly 5x weekly to Washington Dulles as of June 16, 2019
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.
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?