The things we look for in an airline are usually comfort, good service, and good value – but a recent travel ranking also put the attractiveness of the crew at the top of the list.
Monocle’s Travel Top 50 – an annual list selected by the magazine’s editors – awarded Portugal’s TAP (Transportes Aéreos Portugueses) airline the accolade of “most handsome crew.”
In the December/January edition of the magazine, Monocle wrote: “It feels a bit 1950s to be talking about attractive flight crew but let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy being served by a handsome fella with a nice smile and a twinkle in his eye?”
Scroll down for a look at what it’s like to fly on TAP, which apparently has the most handsome crew in the world.
This is TAP Air Portugal, the airline that was recently given the accolade of “most handsome crew” by Monocle.
Monocle’s Travel Top 50 – an annual list selected by the magazine’s editors of their “favourite fifty finds from the fast-moving world of travel” across 50 categories – awarded Portugal’s TAP airline the accolade in the December/January edition of the magazine.
Founded in 1945, TAP — which has its hub in Lisbon — is Portugal’s national airline, and it flies to numerous European and international destinations.
It’s the only airline to connect London City Airport and Lisbon.
According to Monocle, the airline employs more than 2,800 people across its routes.
Its crew members — including its pilots — certainly seem to enjoy their jobs …
… and the odd selfie is pretty common.
But there’s more to the airline than its attractive crew. Here’s what it’s really like to take a trip on TAP.
There are six different fare levels — Discount, Basic, Classic, Plus, Executive, or Top Executive. Among other things, those in Plus and above get priority check-in and fast-track boarding.
Prices are competitive – fares for a flight from London to Toronto (via Lisbon) start at £173, and to New York it’s £207 one-way. Flights directly to Lisbon are about £42.
The Discount fare is for hand luggage only, but Basic and above include at least one 23-kilogram checked bag (50.6 pounds), with two bags for Executive and above.
If you fly Executive or Top Executive, you’ll get free access to an exclusive lounge. At Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport, the 850-square-metre facility features rest zones, showers, a business centre, a restaurant and bar, and a children’s area.
The Top Executive fare, which is fully refundable, also includes valet/car parking.
Here’s a look inside the lounge.
The food-and-drink offering looks pretty appealing.
TAP’s A330 aircraft — used for long-haul flights — have been refurbished, and the airline is modernising its short-haul A319s, A320s, and A321s as well. There will be new Portuguese-designed seats in all classes, and a new class (Plus) between economy and executive with more legroom and “better reclining.”
By March, the A320s will have the new seats with green shades for economy and red for economy Plus.
The in-flight entertainment system on long-haul flights offers award-winning movies, TV programmes, and box sets, games, and documentaries.
Passengers also have access to a selection of newspapers, TAP’s in-flight Up Magazine, music, and, on some A330 and A340 aircraft, 12 TAP radio stations.
Economy and Executive passengers will also find support for tablets, with power and USB sockets that will enable them to enjoy their favourite entertainment.
Here’s what the new Executive class — with new reclining lie-flat bed seats, USB sockets, noise-cancelling headphones, and private storage — looks like on the A330.
Executive passengers will enjoy their in-flight entertainment on bigger, more modern HD screens.
In-flight meals are included in all classes, even on a Discount fare. The menu focuses on Portuguese products and traditional desserts.
Depending on the length of the flight, economy meals can include hot or cold dishes or sandwiches.
In business class, chefs prepare dishes including a breakfast of bread, cold cuts, cheese, fruit, and yogurt. Lunch, dinner, and supper are a choice of meat, fish, or pasta — traditional Portuguese fare.
Executive passengers can even preorder meals on some flights.
This passenger said: “I would like to thank TAP airlines for the lovely meal during my flight to Portugal…Salmon Soufflé, Chicken Salad, Cheesecake and Wine from the Douro Valley…it was delicious and much needed!”
There are even vegan and veggie options.
And, of course, there’s a wine list.
To top it all off, the crew does sound pretty great.
“It feels a bit 1950s to be talking about attractive flight crew but let’s be honest, who doesn’t enjoy being served by a handsome fella with a nice smile and a twinkle in his eye?” Monocle wrote.
“The largely Portuguese crew embody many of the nation’s best traits: they’re friendly, welcoming and multilingual (they must speak Portuguese, English and a third language),” the magazine went on.
“On our travels we’ve always found them to be polite but never obsequious — and did we mention handsome too?”