Friday, November 20, 2009

Lisbon to London on TAP Portugal

LONDON - Portugal's leading carrier, TAP Portugal, brought me to London, the second-from-last stop on my round-the-world journey on Star Alliance member airlines. It was a happily undramatic trip. Departure and arrival on time, staff courteous and professional - all to the good.

Two things distinguished my trip on TAP from most flights I have taken:

First, the carrier presents a nice array of three Portuguese white wines and three reds in business class - not just the country's justly celebrated port wine. The wines aren't as well known as they deserve to be outside Portugal, so this could help raise their profile a bit.

Second, TAP has a seating feature I like: Namely, a space, bordered by armrests and at seat-level, located between the window and aisle seats in business-class. This gives passengers more room to spread out. I liked this a lot, especially given that I was seated in a bulkhead row - thus, there was no place under the seat in front of me for storage. No problem, though; I sat my briefcase into the space between seats, and had ready access to notebooks, magazines and other items I wanted to use during the flight, which lasted just under three hours before touching down at London Heathrow's terminal 1. The English wind was strong as we landed, but otherwise, it was a smooth ride all the way.

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