San Francisco: TAP Flights From Six European Cities Starting At €229 (Checked Bags Add €100)

San Francisco Painted Ladies

Star Alliance member TAP is once again running a great sale to the USA. The most interesting of these deals is definitely the flight to San Francisco. You can depart from various European cities and fly from September 2021 until April 2022. Luggage is not included, but even if you pay the €100 surcharge, you’d still be getting a great price.

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TAP does not offer any specific refund or change policies for these fares, except waiving the fee for your first date change if your flight takes place in 2021. You’d still need to pay the fare difference. Even worse, the airline is infamous for delaying reimbursements or straight out refusing to refund passengers.

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.

We have been able to confirm 2022 flight dates for less than €250 from:

Other departure cities still offer a bargain or are at least available in 2021.

TP MAD SFO 221

You would always first fly to Lisbon, from where you’d fly on to San Francisco on an Airbus A330-900neo. You can also stay up to five days in Lisbon if you want to.

Search & Book

The fare rules barely state any restrictions – the only major one being the minimum stay requirement of 3 days (or a Sunday). On Google Flights, we could observe that the availability is best in March and April 2022. You can then book the flights directly on TAP’s website.

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.

Mileage

The tickets are issued in booking class O, which (from Madrid) results in you roughly getting:

  • 3,084 Miles on Miles&More
  • 1,198 Miles on EgyptAir Plus
  • 1,198 Miles on Asiana Club
  • 1,198 Miles on Air Canada Aeroplan
  • 1,198 Miles on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles
  • 598 Miles on Azul TudoAzul
Data provided by wheretocredit.com. Without guarantee on correctness.

As you can see, mileage-wise, this deal won’t get you much.

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!

TAP Stopover offer
Top notch service – TAP’s stopover pop-up window.

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