State of TAP Portugal short/medium retrofit: it can’t be so much progressed

Due to my family and business setup I am a frequent visitor to Portugal and usually fly multiple times every year into Lisbon. Being based in Asia I am struck with very limited options to get into Portugal, in fact there is no direct flight at all and the only carrier with a good product that flies one stop is Emirates. Sure you could fly BA or Lufthansa, but frequencies are limited and it is by far not as comfortable as Emirates, simply by having one leg on a short haul plane and one long flight on a sub-par long haul configuration.

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Emirates Business Class Lounge Dubai Concourse B

As part of my recent short trip I had another visit at the Emirates Business class lounge in Dubai, while having flown Emirates countless of times from and to Dubai I have never actually reviewed their lounge yet.

As my flight to Kuala Lumpur was scheduled with a Boing777-300ER aircraft the gate and lounge for this departure were located in concourse B of Emirates and Qantas exclusive terminal 3.

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Review The Emirates Lounge Kuala Lumpur

Prior to my flight to Dubai on Emirates A380 I had the chance to check on The Emirates lounge Kuala Lumpur, which is one of the last lounges I haven’t yet reviewed in KUL.

The lounge is located on the upper level of the satellite terminal, that hosts the C-gates from which Emirates flights as well as most long-haul services depart. Since security is at each gate individually one just has to pass immigration and customs to take a quick ride on the aerotrain to the satellite building.

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Review Emirates Boing 777 Business Dubai to Kuala Lumpur

After my rather unsatisfying flight to Dubai I wasn’t specifically looking forward to the return flight on Emirates Boing 777-300ER, since the business class product does not even feature direct aisle access on every seat.

Maybe it was due to my low expectations, the really nice time in the Emirates lounge in Dubais Terminal 3 at DXB or the fact this this 777 was equipped with the updated business class seat, but I ended up enjoying this flight a lot more than the A380 trip.

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Review Emirates Business Class A380 Kuala Lumpur to Dubai

After my very pleasant stay in The Emirates Lounge Kuala Lumpur I headed to the gate for my flight to Dubai (DXB) shortly after boarding was announced in the lounge. Kuala Lumpur (KUL) has one A380 gate in the satellite building, which is used by Emirates. The boarding process was chaotic as usual in KUL, security was amazingly slow and when the flight went to final call there were still around 200 people to clear.

The A380 gate has a dedicated Business/First lane for security, which was of course not staffed. When they realised they wouldn’t manage to finish on time they opened it, but rather than using it as it is dedicated they just shuffled everyone to there, no matter of class ticketed.

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Review Premier lounge Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali

After spending a long weekend in Bali, Indonesia I took a flight back to Kuala Lumpur with Malaysia Airlines in business class, as I reviewed the product before I won’t do so again and instead focus on the airport experience.

Ngurah Rai International Airport Bali (DPS) seems to have been undergoing recent renovation, from what I gathered online it was a dump before that and as far as I experienced the renovation seems to have been a missed chance to change that.

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Atlantic lounge Munich

On my flight back to Muscat on Oman Air I was invited to the Atlantic lounge, which is a contract lounge, prior to departure. Oman Air, as most non star alliance airlines in Munich, operates out of Terminal 1, which is a bit dated and has quite small gate areas.

After a quick check-in and some unpleasant discussion with German customs as usual (they just don’t like that you are entitled to VAT refund as a German living abroad…) I had a quick security check thanks to the fast track. It was an extremely cold day in Munich with lots of snows so I was looking forward to my departure, the Atlantic lounge certainly did not give me solid reasons to stay as well.

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Oman Air business class lounge Muscat

On my recent flights from Kuala Lumpur (KUL) to Munich (MUC) and back via Muscat (MUC) on Oman Air I was invited twice to the Oman Air business class lounge in Muscat, while I had some time to explore the lounge and it’s features during my first stay it was too crowded to take pictures, thankfully the second trip allowed for a few snapshots.

In general Muscat airport is somewhat in a transition state as the old terminal has only remote gates and is quite outdated. It was built some decades ago back in the mid 20th century and the passenger capacity is long exceeded, as well as the facilities can’t really match todays expectations at an airport. While it isn’t the worst airport the experience for transiting in MCT is anything but seamless.

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ANA lounge Lisbon – one of Europes worst lounges

I know I said I wouldn’t be flying TAP Portugal in business so soon again after my last, rather unsatisfying, experience with them. But TAP runs a upgrade program through plusgrade, which I was aware of before but never used it. This time I thought I just give it a try and bid the minimum amount of EUR100 to be able to review their ground service at Lisbon airport – it looks like there weren’t too many other people bidding so I got upgraded.

Knowing that TAP operates one of Europes oldest fleets and does virtually nothing to provide a competitive product on most routes to Portugal, where they basically have a monopoly, I went into this not exactly thrilled, but little did I know what I was about to endure.

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