On my quick hop to Frankfurt this week, I’ll be in TAP Airlines Business Class aboard one of their newer A330-300 aircraft (unless there’s a last-minute equipment change). To get there, we used the TAP airlines “Plusgrade” system that allows you to bid for a one-cabin upgrade. If accepted, you’ll be moved up anytime after the cutoff (in our case 96 hours for the JFK-LIS portion) up to check-in.
*Photos and video contained in this post are of AZUL’s Business Class. TAP Airlines has yet to produce images of these cabins modified for their use.
Is it Worth It? Maybe.
From all we’ve gathered from online reviews, TAP Airlines older angle-flat seats are NOT worth a substantial bid. Earlier TAP A330 cabins are reported to be not very competitive on trans-Atlantic routes. But I’m scheduled on a newer plane that not long ago flew for sister Azul Airlines and offers fully-flat seats and better in-flight entertainment. All seats in “Executive Class” also come with aisle access in addition to the expected enhanced cabin service. On the surface, this is an upgrade far more worthy of your upgrade funds.
Hey TAP. Where’s the Hype?
There’s not much official information about these new A330 TAP Airlines Business Class seats other than a blurb on their website. The plane we’re flying is technically leased from Azul with nothing more than a few branding changes in Executive class. Here’s a peek:
Follow Jake for part 2 of #mileburn2016 as he flies from New York JFK to Frankfurt via Lisbon aboard TAP Portugal starting Wednesday July 20, 2016 – then from Frankfurt to New York in Singapore Suites aboard the Singapore Airlines A380 late Thursday July 21, 2016. @modhop on Twitter/Instagram, modhop on Snapchat.
JSB on July 19, 2016
I’m in the process of submitting a bid. What do you think is a reasonable bid that might be sufficient?
modhop on July 19, 2016
On this route (JFK-LIS) we’ve seen and read about success in the low $300 range. I’m sure it’s based on what’s available and the route so just keep that in mind too.
JSB on July 19, 2016
Jorge on July 19, 2016
Do you know how well the miles from plusgrade itineraries credit to other star airlines? I know they credit at the original rate to TAP’s own program, but always wondered what fare class you’d be put it and what issues might arise.
mallthus on July 20, 2016
They’re always “supposed” to credit based on class purchased, with both operational and paid upgrades crediting as original paid class. I have, however, seen upgrades get “converted” to paid B and F, due to things as little as seat changes. If you get the bonus, smile and don’t count on it being there, as there can be claw backs. Once the miles have been in your account for 6 months or so, they’re probably not going anywhere.
m1ndstorm on July 20, 2016
That’s good the hear, thanks! I’ve been avoiding Plusgrade fearing that they wouldn’t credit at all to partner programs; it’s good to hear that’s not the case.
Falcon Ruan on July 21, 2016
Had choice of TAP 330 or AIC 787 both biz from EWR to Europe. Finally got AIC in fear of the angled flat… Didn’t know they have Azul’s plane but chances are I can still get angled flat… What would you choose if you were me…
modhop on July 22, 2016
Personally, I’d go with whatever has the better shot at being a flat-bed. With TAP flying the different configs there’s always a chance of substitution.
Falcon Ruan on July 22, 2016
OK… it seems the market is agreeing with both of us… The AIC’s flight is sold out but the TAP’s is still available right now.