• Elena

TAP Lounge Lisbon Airport Review

Updated: May 9, 2020

Due to a cancelled flight, I was able to use the facilities of TAP lounge Lisbon not once but twice, which somewhat sweetened the bitter pill of not being able to get to my destination on time. This TAP Premium lounge review will describe my experience at different times of the day.

Escalator to airport lounges Lisbon

The TAP Portugal lounge is located in the Schengen area of terminal 1, so you enter from the main shopping area after passing through the security screening. In this Lisbon airport lounge access is free for business class passengers of TAP Portugal and other Star Alliance airlines plus Star Alliance Gold members.

There is an escalator that takes you up to the premium lounge floor, with the same hallway used by TAP premium lounge and the ANA lounge (to me it looked more like ZNZ because of the odd font), which is open to the general public for a fee.

TAP Portugal Lisbon lounge entrance

The lounge opening hours are from 5am to midnight as of April 2019 - in case this changes, check the latest opening hours as well as the available facilities on TAP's website. To enter the lounge, you must present the receptionist with your boarding pass, which gets scanned, and in you go.

My first visit was in the afternoon and the lounge was on the busy side. That being said, it didn't feel overcrowded and I still managed to bag a table right by the window with a nice view towards the planes, albeit somewhat obscured by the metal contraptions outside - not quite sure why they are there, possibly to stop the sun shining in too bright, so kind of permanent blinds maybe? Whatever their purpose, they do get in the way when looking out the window and taking photos:

TAP lounge Lisbon window seat view

The TAP Premium lounge has a few different types of seating areas: a cafeteria area, a sofa area with some TV screens attached to the ceiling, and an armchair area. Everything is modern and new - and no wonder, as the lounge was renovated in 2017. There are charging points built into the sofas in case you need to plug in your phone or laptop.

TAP lounge Lisbon airport cafeteria area

TAP Lisbon lounge sofa seating area

TAP Portugal lounge Lisbon armchair seating area

You might be wondering about the colour scheme, but it all becomes pretty obvious when you look at TAP's logo - green is a dominant colour there, so it's not surprising to see it present in their premium lounge.

The toilets are as modern as the rest of the lounge and there is a shower available for those who need it. I didn't use the shower, so can't comment on how well it works.

TAP Portugal lounge Lisbon toilet and shower

Magazines and newspapers can be picked up from a stand by reception.

TAP Lisbon lounge magazine stand

There is also a bar, but as I don't drink alcohol, I didn't stick around to find out what the offering and service is like and headed to the hot and cold beverage section in the cafeteria area, where I got some water and green tea (other tea types, coffee and soft drinks also available).

TAP Premium lounge Lisbon bar

For me, the main benefit of airport lounges is the option to consume as much food as I want from the self-serve buffet. By the time I get to the airport, I am inevitably hungry and want to sit down and have a snack. The restaurants on the main concourse are usually crowded plus if it's a table service restaurant rather than fast food, I always feel stressed about timings - will I be able to get my food, eat and pay the bill before boarding is called?

The all-you-can-eat buffet at airport lounges is the perfect alternative. In fact, for short to mid-haul flights, being able to relax and have a snack in the lounge is the main reason for me to pick a business class flight over economy. So what I pay most attention to in any lounge is the choice of hot and cold snacks as well as the dessert options. And the TAP Lisbon lounge certainly delivered.

It's not fancy, but everything I tried was tasty and you do have a relatively large selection to choose from:

TAP lounge Lisbon food selection

My favourite was the dessert board which, amongst other things, offered pasteis de nata, Portuguese traditional custard tarts. I LOVE custard tarts and can't get enough of them, so being faced with an unlimited supply was like finding hidden treasure and after consuming way too many (although, in my opinion, you can never have too many pasteis de nata), it is with great sadness that I discovered it was time to go.

My choice of food - check out those pasteis de nata!

My flight from Lisbon was to London, which departed from the non-Schengen area, separated from the Schengen area by passport control. Why does this matter? Well, I left the lounge to board my flight, but due to a technical issue we had to disembark the plane and were taken back to the gate, where we were given food vouchers and told to come back in an hour and a half for further updates. The restaurant selection as well as the available power outlets in the non-Schengen area were scarce, so I asked if I could go back to the lounge to wait there.

However, due to the fact that this gate area is tucked away behind passport control, I would have had to clear it in both directions to access the lounge again and come back to the gate (and if I understood correctly, I would have also had to clear security again too), and the staff strongly advised against it due to time constraints. So if you are travelling from the non-Schengen zone and there is an unexpected delay to your flight when you have arrived at the gate, you're a bit stuffed.

My second visit to the TAP Portugal Lisbon lounge was early the next morning, right when it opened at 5am. The lounge was super quiet and finding a seat couldn't be easier, so, from that point of view, it's a great time to get in if you want some peace and quiet.

TAP Premium lounge at 5am

However, there is also a drawback to arriving this early... Unfortunately, being open doesn't mean that the food stand has been fully stocked with all the options, so on arrival I was greeted with a display that looked a bit sad compared to the lovely selection the day before and - shock, horror - there were no pasteis de nata!

TAP Lisbon lounge food selection at 5am

I did have some time to kill before boarding, and as the minutes ticked by, the selection of things available for consumption grew and I was able to enjoy a pastel de nata with my morning cup of tea. But if you are only coming in for a quick stop before heading on to boarding, be prepared for a smaller selection of food.

Breakfast in the lounge

So what's the verdict? I liked it! I mean, in terms of décor, it's not the epitome of luxury by any stretch of imagination, but the design is modern and clean and the food is yummy - and that's really all I'm after. If the price is right, I believe it's certainly worth paying a bit more to start your trip in a relaxing way at this TAP Portugal lounge.

If you're heading to Lisbon, you might also like my posts about things to do in the area:

Lisbon city guide

One Day Sintra Itinerary

#airtravel #loungereview #portugal

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