TAP Air Portugal Launching Flights To Washington Dulles

TAP Air Portugal is a useful airline for anyone looking to fly transatlantic. The airline consistently has reasonable fares (both in economy and business class, and also both roundtrip and one-way), and on most tickets they allow a free stopover in Lisbon enroute to your final destination, which is cool.

We’ve known that the airline is planning significant US expansion in the coming years. For example, in June the airline announced they’d start flying to San Francisco in 2019, though no schedule has been published for that year.

Today the airline has formally announced their next US route.

TAP Air Portugal will fly to Washington Dulles

TAP Air Portugal will begin flying 5x weekly between Lisbon and Washington Dulles as of June 16, 2019. The flight will operate with the following schedule:

TP231 Lisbon to Washington departing 4:30PM arriving 7:40PM
TP232 Washington to Lisbon departing 10:40PM arriving 10:50AM (+1 day)

The flight will operate in both directions on Sundays, Mondays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays. The flight will cover a distance of 3,592 miles, and is blocked at 8hr10min westbound and 7hr10min eastbound.

What plane will TAP Air Portugal use for their Washington Dulles 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, USA Today reports that the route will be operated by the A330-900neo. Like I said, the schedule doesn’t reflect that yet, though it’s very possible that will happen.

The airline has a total of 20 A330-900neo aircraft on order, and they just took delivery of their first one. So presumably that plane will gradually be used for many routes currently operated by other versions of the A330.

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.

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.

United also flies the route

United also flies between Washington and Lisbon. Presumably part of TAP’s motivation for flying to Washington Dulles is that it’s a United hub, so they’ll have the potential to pick up some connecting passengers.

However, the relationship between TAP and United isn’t close, as TAP isn’t part of the Star Alliance transatlantic joint venture, which includes Air Canada, Austrian, Lufthansa, Swiss, and United.

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).

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

Comments

  1. Lisbon certainly has an excellent argument for the most pleasant city in Europe for a stopover (and the best food), but its not exactly an easy place to connect, as its a near certainty that your incoming and outgoing flight will require being bussed to and from a remote stand.

  2. I am DCA based so this is good news for me.

    Any recommendations regarding which airline has the best miles to book this flight? 140K UA is pretty steep for a short TATL route

  3. @HoKo,

    While not easy to accumulate but Asiana Club charges only 80,000 miles RT for business class to or from Europe.

  4. It’s good that this leaves later in the evening from IAD. Less competition in the Senator Lounge or the Turkish Lounge, as only the MUC and IST flights leave at that hour.

  5. I believe it would be 63k Avianca Lifemiles to book one way flight in business class from IAD to LIS on the TAP metal.

  6. @TAKHLIQ KHAN

    Thanks, Asiana would pass along fuel surcharges though right?

    @Jason Z

    Yeah Lifemiles isn’t too shabby but IMO 126k is good, but not great

  7. @Mishas, TP has a decent mid day departures bank at LIS. The beauty of the late arrival at LIS is that it avoids the long lines at immigration that are typical of the early morning.

  8. LIS is a shambles to arrive at! As already mentioned, arriving at a (very) remote stand is a near certainty, with a slow and ponderous bus trip to the terminal. Most times of the day and night the Immigration lines are a horror story, especially if you are mixed in with third-world arriving pax, who seem to all have time-consuming issues with the surly Immig. agents.
    Such a contrast to the smaller but slick OPO airport in the north.

  9. @AJ

    Yeah…it’s a pain but it’s not possible to avoid long immigration lines in over saturated airports. In LIS case, the airport is way above its operational limit and it shows. Until they open the second airport in Lisbon in a few years, things will probably get worse. And even then, I don’t know if moving the LCCs to that new airport will be enough to make things work well at LIS.

  10. I used UA miles to fly MSY-EWR-LIS; AMS-IAD-MSY and it cost me about 60K total. The EWR to Lisbon was operated by TAP and it was overall a decent airline. The flight time was 6hrs and overall the legroom and the service were decent (not great, but an improvement over UA which I flew from AMS-IAD; half of the plane was empty and still the FA’s couldn’t be bothered). You can check out my full review of TAP here: https://0504traveller.blogspot.com/2017/02/a-trip-report-tap-portugal-newark-to.html

  11. Portugal, despite being a EU country, is still relatively poor. This is obvious to the average visitor experiencing it’s outdated infrastructure, like airports, roads, treacherous footpaths/sidewalks etc. No idea of the state of their schools, health services and public service though. Judging by the grumpiness of their airport-based officials, I would say not good. After decades of authoritarianism, a good service culture is yet to emerge countrywide, even in the private sector.

  12. Hi gleen,
    I guess you are talking of 70s Portugal. Despite not being a rich country, Portugal is one of the country with best infrastructures in Europe. Transports, roads, communications,.. That is one of the reason why Its a prefered country for big events, as the web summit. The airport is not good as it’s a quite small for 27 million passengers, the construction of a new airport is about to start but only be ready in about 4 years.
    Cheers

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