Star Alliance member TAP Air Portugal tries to uphold its dominance on flights between Southern Europe and Brazil during the crises. The airlines sells business class tickets between Madrid, Barcelona, London, Milan and São Paulo as low as €698. This fare is available for flights leaving Europe all the way through May 2021. You can add a stopover in Lisbon up to five days without increasing the total.
If you add a stopover in Lisbon, prices with departure from London-Heathrow drop to €533.
Worldwide travel restrictions are in place to slow the spread of Covid-19. We strongly recommend gathering detailed information about the travel and quarantine restrictions that apply to your desired origin and destination.
A good start is the International Air Transport Association (IATA) website. It provides current updates on a country’s immigration policies. Even better, the Covid-19 Travel Regulations Map is one of the most useful tools you can find.
TAP operates up to three daily flights between Lisbon and Sao Paulo. Most of them are operated by Airbus A330-900 NEO aircraft. These planes feature TAP’s new Business Class product, featuring lie flat seats in a 1-2-1 seating pattern. You can read a comprehensive review here.
Search & Book
The fare rules give an expiration date of February 11, 2021. A minimum stay of seven days applies. Travel dates at the lowest fare can be found almost daily in March, April and May 2021.
To find suiting flight dates, we recommend using Google Flights. Their calendar will help you find the lowest fares (instructions), which you can put to use in our flight search to find the cheapest fare available via an online travel agency. Booking directly at TAP’s website may increase the price by up to €100, but gives you much better customer service in case anything goes wrong. Since this has become more likely, we advise going this way.
Why is booking with an airline better than with an online travel agency?
More often than not, online travel agencies offer lower fares than airlines do. We still recommend booking with the airlines directly. There are three main reasons for that:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic
During the worldwide outbreak of Covid-19, planning international travel got more and more risky because of ever-changing restrictions. In contrast to many online travel agencies, most airlines modified their terms & conditions to become more customer friendly. Rebooking conditions are eased, change fees are waived and cancellations are much easier when there is no third party involved.
Further, by adding an OTA to your plans, you increase the risk of one service provider involved going bankrupt. Now, the airline and the online travel agency involved could vanish along with your money.
- Better Customer Service
In case any problems like delays, cancellations or missed connections arise, you can communicate directly with the airline. The airlines has to take care of you because you have a contract with them.
If a travel agency issues your ticket, you may have to reach out to them first. You also depend on your OTA to forward you information like flight changes instead receiving them directly from the airline. You may get a prime exhibition of responsibility shifting rather than problem solving.
This especially applies for premium tickets. You don’t want to spend more than €1,000 to wind up with some budget OTA’s telephone hotline in case anything goes wrong.
- Baggage Fees
Economy fares not including hold luggage are more and more common. In most cases, travel agencies charge much higher baggage fees than the airlines themselves. If bags are not included in your fare, airlines are often the cheaper alternative.
Adding a Stopover in Lisbon or Porto
If you book directly on TAP’s website, a pop-up window will automatically open. Its user-friendly interface asks you if and how long you’d like to stay in Portugal. This is by far the easiest way to make the most out of a trip with TAP to any destination of your choice. A stopover in Porto can be added the same way. The best thing – the price of your flight remains the same!
You can use an even longer stopover to your advantage by booking the flight to Lisbon in May, but the transfer to Brazil in November or December 2021. You would need to fly to Lisbon earlier this year to keep the ticket’s validity. But you can enjoy the long haul trip in late 2021, when travel restrictions might be eased up.
TAP issues the tickets in question in booking class J. Even without tier bonuses, most Star Alliance frequent flyer programs will credit up to 200% of your travel distance! You can expect a harvest looking like this:
- 20,630 on Air China PhoenixMiles
- 19,720 on SAS EuroBonus
- 19,720 on Ethiopian ShebaMiles
- 19,720 on Avianca LifeMiles
- 19,720 on Copa ConnectMiles
- 19,720 on Air India Flying Returns
- 19,720 on EgyptAir Plus
- 19,720 on Aegean Miles+Bonus
- 19,720 on Air Canada Aeroplan
- 19,720 on Miles & More
- 16,760 on Azul TudoAzul
- 14,790 on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
- 14,790 on Emirates Skywards
- 12,810 on GOL Aéreos Smiles
- 12,320 on Asiana Club
- 12,320 on Singapore KrisFlyer
- 12,320 on Thai Royal Orchid Plus
- 12,320 on EVA Infinity MileageLands
- 12,320 on ANA Mileage Club
- 12,320 on United MileagePlus
Thanks to our source Luxury Flight Club!
Cover Picture: ©Thiago - stock.adobe.com