Written on: 14/06/2013
Checked in for a scheduled flight from Miami to Lisbon and on to Manchester, UK. Flying Executive (Business) with departure scheduled for 16:30 Monday 3rd June. Waited with no information in lounge until 21:00 when TAP's agency staff arrived to tell us to collect our bags as we were going to be taken to a hotel for the night as the plane had a fault which required a part only available in Europe. Provided with adequate accommodation and dinner and breakfast.
Taken back to airport at 12:00 noon when were rechecked onto the supposedly repaired aircraft and a connection from Lisbon to Manchester. Scheduled take off 15:00. At 14:25 asked the lounge staff to confirm if we needed to go to the gate as the Departures board had not changed. They had no information and could not get a reply by telephone from TAP so we were advised to go straight to the Gate. No TAP staff there and very few passengers.
Then went back with other passengers to the Check-in Desks which were simply chaotic. The part, when fitted, had not solved the fault and so the flight was again delayed and 4 staff were attempting to rebook the 241 passenger (Roberto's figures and apparently not a problem for a 239 seat aircraft - vertical seatbelt perhaps). There was no one in charge until finally and rather magically after I had told the passengers of their EU rights to delay compensation Roberto arrived. Totally useless and ineffective by this time as passengers refused to believe what he was saying.
We were offered seats on an alternative flight by BA but warned by other passengers that BA were not honouring TAPs tickets. This was because of the difference in value and even after wasting an hour walking round the airport with a TAP staff member the best we could get was an economy ticket in exchange for our TAP Club equivalent. Ended up paying 650$ extra for World Traveller Plus upgrade so we could at least sit together on what was a full flight. Finally departed 28+ hours late. Claim going in to TAP.
Whilst the outbound flight was on time TAP's idea of Executive Class is a joke. It is comparable with BA's WT Plus or may just about get to Economy on Emirates A380. Waste of money and will neither use or recommend. Oh and finally they have not replied, after 9 days, to the email I sent from Miami Airport. Customer service must not be in their Corporate Ethics Manual.