Ed’s note: I am currently in Cascais and will write my review once I am back in Porto. It was a personal visit, starting with celebrating my daughters 29th birthday and going on to being a guest at her fiance’s brothers wedding. I was fortunate to be invited to drive and fetch family members from the farms in the north, giving me a tour of the northern parts. I am now near Lisbon in Cascais hoping to see more of this beautiful country.
My visit started with using TAAG Airlines – Cost ZAR6044 return to Porto via Luanda, Angola
Departure from Johannesburg was smooth and despite my issues with reservation, over the costs ie R4300 vs R7000 and no one could assist, the checkin was uneventful. There were also emails about Yellow fever injections that could not be resolved but in the end, I did not need it. Very confusing emails and should be resolved.
I called the airline and spoke to the admin department as the other lines were busy and asked that as I was travelling as a full paying passenger, could they advise me as a member of the media, what I should focus on and if they had contacts in Portugal that I could contact to make the most of my trip and advertise TAAG. Nothing. Nada. Not a word.
The aircraft was relatively empty on our departure, no surprises there since advertising of any kind was minimal and online they do not advertise that they have the best seats, the nicest spacious airlines. I asked for an emergency exit which I was fortunate enough to secure. The flight had about 40 people so was very empty going to Angola.
The aircrew was very disinterested and the announcements were in broken English and fluent Portuguese. I get that its a Portuguese airline, but it could be better when translated into English. At no time did the crew tell me to take my items off my seat during take off and landing and that is key to most emergency exits. They didn’t check to see if the seats were in the upright position or tray tables stowed. Both are safety hazards as far as I know. So people were left to their own devices to do pretty much whatever they wanted.
Landing in Luanda again uneventful and once in the airport no one had any clue as to what was happening. Which gate our connection would leave from, what time etc. At the back of my ticket it says, Check the information boards regarding connection times. One of my fellow passengers went to check with the desk what time and where we should be and were told the flight was leaving in 5 minutes and we were late! He said but we were watching the boards. They replied – Oh you mean the broken ones. Now bearing that in mind, should we not at least be treated to that knowledge on arrival?
Departure on a very full flight to Porto we were treated to the same disinterested crew that we had on the way to Luanda. After service I asked for coffee with milk and was told there was no milk. I said, no milk at all on the flight, and was assured, no milk on the flight. The young lady on our side told passengers boarding with luggage that she was not there to lift their luggage into the rack, it was their responsibility to do so. When I asked for my bag so I could get my headphones, she looked at me as if I had lost my mind, then nudge nudge wink wink with the passenger next to me who spoke both English and Portuguese and translated for me. She sighed told him to get the bag and give it to me, then told him to put it bag, sighed again.
My TV stopped working but she shrugged and said something in Portuguese and walked off. No sign of them after service. None at all. Food not too bad but mostly inedible.
Morning arrived and food just couldn’t be eaten. Cold and congealed most of us gave the tray back with all the food still evident. What a waste. A real waste. I got up to go to the bathroom and it was time to serve coffee. I asked the crew on the next aisle if milk was available and was told that it was indeed available. My question to the rude young lady was “Where did you stop to get milk as there is milk on this flight”. At which point she pretended that she didn’t understand me. Seriously???
I was saddened by the fact that the plane has great wide seats and space is better than any other airline I have travelled over recent years. The movies may be old but they are still watchable and after all you really only get to watch one or two before sleeping.
I am so disappointed that this airline that has so much to offer, can be such a let down. For more details their website is listed below. I am not looking forward to my return journey except for the wide seats and great pitch. Safety is just not their concern.