Exclusive: An Emerging Pattern With TAP Air Portugal’s Bad Customer Service

Photo Credit: Joris Wendt/AviationSource

LISBONAviationSource has been approached by a passenger traveling onboard TAP Air Portugal to discuss their bad experience with the airline.

The passenger in question has requested that they remain anonymous amid fears that their future flights with the airline could be canceled.

AviationSource has also been given copies of their tickets to corroborate the story and has approached TAP Air Portugal for a comment on this particular incident.

The Bad Experience in Question…

The passenger in question has given AviationSource an account of the experience they have received:

“I bought a Heathrow-Lisbon flight (13/9, 18:45, TP1357) with return (22/9, 20:15, TP1366). Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the first flight and had to buy another one to get me to Lisbon.”

“On the 19th of September, I went to the TAP app and thought it was weird that my return flight was not there. I went to the airport to the airline customer service and waited for about 1 hr until someone came to me and asked me what I was waiting for; I explained the situation, and the lady took me with her to another counter.”

“At this counter, the lady said she couldn’t find my booking or anything with my name on it and that I had to wait until I was called from the other counters where I was previously waiting.”

“I waited for two hours (had to pay 40€ in parking) for them to finally call me and tell me there was nothing they could do, that since I didn’t board the first flight, TAP automatically canceled my return flight and that if I was interested, I’d have to buy a new one.”

“The flight I had previously bought a ticket for, still had tickets for sale, and it still went ahead, but if I wanted to buy a new ticket, it would be around 300€ when the one I got was £145 Heathrow-Lisbon and return.”

“Flights back home to London were then between 300-450€. If TAP had told me, they canceled my flight before; I could’ve bought it earlier and cheaper.”

“With this issue happening, I was only able to get a flight back on the 27/9 for an extra 215€ and had to miss one day of work.

“I’ve been flying with TAP pretty regularly for about 5 years (2-3 times per year) since I first moved to London.”

“This entire situation made me feel like they don’t appreciate their regular customers and that they don’t even try to resolve the customers’ issues.”

“I will be making a formal complaint with the airline as I don’t believe this was fair and brought me a lot of financial constraints.”

An Emerging Pattern Arising…

It’s clear that an emerging pattern is arising with TAP Air Portugal, with this being the third incident in around six weeks that AviationSource has observed.

On two trip reports published by AviationSource writer Joris Wendt, the customer service stems from onboard, all of the ways down to when you are on the ground.

In one of the trip reports, for example, it was noted that TAP falsely advertises lounge access, despite the lounges not actually being open at all, with some other issues highlighted in that particular trip report.

With the other trip report, Joris experienced multiple cancellations, resulting in an increased cost of 400 EUR for a night’s stay in a hotel, which the airline hasn’t refunded up to this point.

As mentioned at the top of this story, AviationSource has approached TAP Air Portugal for a comment on the anonymous passenger’s experience as well as Joris’ trips.

At the time of publication, the airline hasn’t responded to our queries.


It remains clear that TAP Air Portugal does have a lot to work on in order to restore itself to the glory of satisfactory customer service as a legacy carrier.

Looking ahead, it will be interesting to see what TAP Air Portugal is going to put in place in order to ensure things like this do not happen again.

But for now, it seems that more of these incidents may continue, and all eyes will be on CEO Christine Ourmières-Widener to address these problems.

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