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While it’s relatively simple to find good (sometimes great) Business Class fares for transatlantic travel originating in Europe, it’s noticeably more challenging to find equally good Business Class fares originating in the US. That’s a big reason why this TAP Air Portugal Business Class fare for travel between New York and Lisbon is so interesting.
Headline Fare Rules
- Travel 22 Jan – 8 April or 19 July -18 August 2020
- Reservations for all sectors required at least 28 days before departure
- A Friday night stay is required
- Tickets must be issued on/before 31 March 2020*
*Note: the fare may be pulled before this date so do not assume that you have until the end of March to book this fare.
The fare is available for travel between New York and Lisbon with both Newark (EWR) and JFK airports available as starting/ending points for the trips.
Be aware that on some days the best fare is only available out of one of these two airports.
It’s hard to call availability for this fare anything better than “limited” but there are still enough dates on which the $1,996 roundtrip fare is available to mean that this is well worth considering as an economical way to get to/from Europe in a great deal of comfort.
At the time of writing, there’s only one date in February on which the good fare is available…
…but availability in March looks considerably better.
April has disappointingly low availability…
…and then the fare goes on hiatus until the summer (as per the fare rules)
There’s a good range of date options available for anyone who can travel in the last two weeks of July…
…or the first two weeks in August but, after that, the fare disappears entirely.
TAP Air Portugal mostly operates its New York – Lisbon routes with new Airbus A330-900neo aircraft complete with the airline’s latest Business Class cabin.
As Business Class cabins go this is a pretty good one – it offers true lie-flat seats and direct aisle access for all passengers.
A little care may be needed when selecting flights as I’ve noticed that TAP occasionally operates a narrow-body A321 between New York and Lisbon and that aircraft will not offer anywhere near as good a Business Class experience as the A330-900neo.
Finding & Booking Flights
You can use either the Matrix search tool or Google Flights to find these fares but, from personal experience, Matrix appears to offer more options.
Here’s an example set of parameters that would work for anyone looking to book a trip in March:
You can’t physically book the flights through the Matrix tool so, once you’ve found flights/dates that work for you I suggest heading over to the TAP Air Portugal website which, as you can see from the screenshot below, prices up the fare with ease.
…and if you’re going to use the Matrix search these are the parameters I suggest you use (if you don’t want to eliminate overnight layovers):
Make sure you get the best deal out of this fare by using a credit card that gives you a good return on your travel spending and, preferably, one that also comes with good travel protections.
The Platinum Card from American Express ad the Business Platinum Card from American Express both earn 5 points/dollar for spending made directly with airlines (so make sure you book through the TAP Air Portugal site and not a 3rd party site) while the Chase Sapphire Reserve earns 3 points/dollar for just about all travel spending and all three cards offer good trip delay/interruption/cancellation protections.
The Amex Green Card earns 3 points/dollar for just about all travel spending but doesn’t offer the same level of protection as the Platinum Card or the Sapphire Reserve, and although the Citi Prestige Card matches the Platinum Card with its earnings of 5 points/dollar on spending made directly with airlines, the fact that it offers no travel protections at all makes it a less appealing option.
Also, bear in mind that even though TAP Air Portugal may not be part of the oneworld alliance (the preferred alliance of a lot of this blog’s readership) you can credit your TAP Air Portugal flights to a multitude of Star Alliance programs (like Aeroplan, United MileagePlus or Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer) and still get great value from the miles you earn.
This may not be an “amazing” or “fantastic” transatlantic Business Class fare but it’s still well worth considering.
The TAP A330-900neo’s Business Class cabin offers a very good product and, even if you don’t really want to visit Lisbon, you can use this fare to get to Europe in a lot of comfort before connecting on (on a separate ticket) to whatever other European destination(s) you’d like to explore.