Portuguese airline TAP is not only one of the worst airlines in the world (9th), but is by far the most complained about airline in the first half of the year, with 1,530 complaints made between January and June 2021. Almost twice the number when compared to the second most complained about airline, Air India, which registered 842 complaints.
This data, which is the result of a study by Bounce, analysed passenger experiences, taking into account factors such as staff service, meals, seat comfort, inflight entertainment and maximum baggage allowance, in order to reveal the best and worst airlines in the world, according to a note sent to The Portugal News.
Even worse is the low-cost airline Viva Air Colombia, which was named the worst airline in the world. This airline scores one in five in all study criteria due to the fact that few amenities are offered to customers for free. However, this airline received the lowest number of complaints, according to the study.
Next, VivaAerobus ranks second, scoring one out of five in the index for both inflight entertainment and meals and two out of five for staff service. “This could be due to its buy-on-board programme where food and drink have to be purchased”, reads the note.
Then, it is Volaris Airlines that is ranked in third place, “mainly due to the airline discontinuing inflight entertainment in 2019, it has one of the lowest scores in our index, and with a low maximum baggage weight allowance of 10kg, this carrier ranks as the third-worst airline”. Volaris Airlines is followed by Ryanair (4th), Interjet (5th), Vueling (6th), EasyJet (7th), Ukraine International Airlines (8th), TAP (9th) and Gol Airlines (10th).
On the other hand, the study also revealed the five best international airlines around the world with Ana All Nippon Airways named as the best airline in the world.
Ana All Nippon Airways “is the largest airline in Japan by both revenue and passenger numbers. It ranks the highest in customer-rated staff service, the only airline in our list to score full marks in our airline index for this factor”. In addition, this airline only received 34 complaints, a low number comparing to the competing companies.
The Japanese airline is followed by Singapore Airlines in the second place and Korean Airlines in third. Please, have a look at the full research here.
TAP is terrible. Terrible staff service, terrible airports just terrible at every level. It should be shut down instead of sucking up EU funds. Such a small , corrupt and inefficient country as Portugal does not need TAP. It's not exactly as if Lisbon or even Faro are major hubs (other for summer tourism). Many other airlines do a much better service. End that parasitic TAP asap. Apply the money in other more necessary areas (e.g. health care, good urbanisation, heating in schools etc)
By K from Algarve on 30 Nov 2021, 14:15
I profoundly disagree. I've flown more than 1.000.000 miles, averaging around 80 per year. TAP Lounge in Lisbon is amazing great . They have good choices in wined and food. Far superior to any lounges in the USA. Free texting on the newest planes, great flight attendants... Business class has really good choices...
By Wayne MacDonald from Lisbon on 30 Nov 2021, 19:16
The saying ‘Champagne taste on a beer budget’ comes to mind.
By Ian from Lisbon on 01 Dec 2021, 08:00
My daughter and I flew from SFO to Lisbon in October 2021 on TAP. The flights left and arrived on time, the staff was very friendly, the food was better than most airline food I’ve had, and the price was very reasonable. Our experience with TAP was great. I would fly them again.
By Joanne White from USA on 01 Dec 2021, 15:02
I am not surprised That this article came out sooner. The amount of emails I have sent to TAP is enough to publish as a book.
They do not answer phone calls, don't reply to emails. I have 5 issues unsolved with them and all I get is promotional crap. The saddest part of is that TAP is part of most important tools of marketing the country and it is a shame that what should be the country's pride, turns out to be the shame of a nation. Who ever who ever is the Head customer after sales and marketing should come and spend a day with me and I will teach them the basic 101 of not only retaining clients but building them
By Johannes Izak Els from Lisbon on 01 Dec 2021, 15:57
Absolutely deserves the poor rating that TAP received, used this airline a few times over the years and have always been very unhappy with it.
By rick cunningham from Algarve on 01 Dec 2021, 16:41
I don’t understand why TAP is always on the spotlight as being the worst airline. First of all , TAP is one of the safest airline in the world. As far as air disasters since the day it open its doors, TAP only had one fatal crash. It is an airline with the best reputation when it comes to maintenance of their aircrafts, with nothing but the best mechanics that takes of the fleet as if it was their own cars.
From the USA, it offers today an incredible network of gateways to Lisbon where you can connect to just anywhere you want in Europe and Africa.
It has a very new fleet and was the first to acquire the A330-900 NEO.
I fly TAP all the time from Miami to Lisbon, and I have never encountered any staff that would be unpleasant. From the ground staff to the inflight crews, TAP has always met my expectations.
By Paulo Pinto da Silva from USA on 01 Dec 2021, 17:35
TAP is of course the worst .TAP canceled my flight on July 17th due to a ground force strike in Portugal. They proposed me another flight with a 9 day stay in Portugal before reaching my destination. I did not take it . No refunds at all
By Elhadji S Mbaye from USA on 01 Dec 2021, 21:25
I have flown TAP for many years and the service, staff and experience has always been pretty good. Clean, modern aircraft, on board service reasonable, friendly crew. However, the covid crisis really tested customer service both online and by telecommunications and this is where TAP really failed. I had emailed what seemed daily for months and months having NO response to my legal request for a refund on my flights. What I did eventually do in order to get a reaction from TAP was to resort to using social media and publicly message them of their failings in customer service. They soon responded and I finally got all my money back. It did leave a bad taste in my mouth, having had to work so hard to get a response and my money back, hence why I can completely understand that they received so many compIaints. I think once all this world drama settles back down, I'll feel confident enough to use TAP once more.
By Edison from UK on 02 Dec 2021, 11:58
I totally disagree with this study. My experience of flying TAP many times is that the plane is clean and comfortable, the food is superior to other airlines, the staff are very kind--as are most Portuguese people. Yeah sometimes flights get rearranged and sometimes things don't go smoothly, which is true for every airline. Basically TAP my first choice whenever possible. Who paid for this study, Ryan Air?
By SusanL from Porto on 02 Dec 2021, 12:22
I don't agree with the Tap criticism I have used Tap many times and been well impressed with the services
By Josephine from Madeira on 02 Dec 2021, 14:02
We have flown at least 7 times with TAP for vacation from the Netherlands to Lisbon. And all of the 7 times we had severe delay. Not half an hour, not 1 hour, much more than that. Once a whole day. In the morning even the staff did not turn up. And the personnel of Schiphol Airport was not informed where they were. After hours they showed up.
Last September we had a fligth to Lisbon. Weeks before TAP send a mail that we had to contact them. We have been calling several times, but time after time the line was occupied. Then we filled up a form with a request to call us. After days somebody called. Fine! But that was for a short time. The TAP lady asked: do you speak Portugese? My answer: no sorry. And then she disconnected!!!
At last we drove to Amsterdam what was going on with our ticket.
Because in Amsterdam is no TAP desk, we had to go to a desk who representates TAP in the Netherlands. But they did nit know what the problem was. Nothing wrong with the ticket. And the lady told that even they could not reach TAP offices.
So, if it is possible we do not fly with TAP again! Sorry, people of TAP!
By Trudy from Other on 02 Dec 2021, 15:22
Never had any problems at all with TAP. Better then most other airlines I use on innereuropean flights.
By Ana F. Arantan from Lisbon on 02 Dec 2021, 15:34
I've flown between SF/NY/DC to Lisbon several times on TAP. The planes are new and even in economy class the seats are reasonably comfortable, although I always fly in economy xtra. The flight attendants are ALWAYS pleasant and more appealing than any US airline. I've also flown to Lisbon on United, which is much worse.
HOWEVER, apart from the experience on the plane, TAP does need help. I've had to call for refunds or to reschedule flights and the average wait time on the phone is around 2-3 hours. They were very slow with processing a refund from last year. I also have Star Alliance Gold Status, but this doesn't make much difference when it comes to customer service. This being said, I have to cut TAP a break because covid really caused a lot of problems for them. Almost all of their flights are international... unless one is flying to the Açores, Madeira, Porto or Faro. International flights were the most impacted by Covid. Before Covid I had a more positive experience with TAP, but once onboard, TAP is superior to any US airline and flies to an adequate number of US cities. United is worse and only flies to DC/NY. United does have much better customer service for Gold Status members though. I will always continue to fly on TAP and expect the customer service situation to slowly improve once the pandemic subsides.
By Robert from Lisbon on 03 Dec 2021, 01:11
TERRIBLE airline. A disgrace and embarrassment for the Portuguese people. Cabin crew lacks fundamental service skills, and probably the same when it comes to actual emergency and safety skills. The pilots doesn´t care either - it´s clearly hear on their mundane briefings. Close down the crap and get someone else to come in. One of the worlds few 1 star airlines.
By Chuck Yeager from Lisbon on 03 Dec 2021, 12:24
Nothing could be as bad as RYANAIR SURELY, DRUNKEN ABUSIVE PASSENGERS ON MOST FLIGHTS, AND NO ONE STOPS IT. DISGRACEFUL.
By J from Lisbon on 03 Dec 2021, 13:48
We can be without TAP. There are enough flights anyhow. I agree with the economical view. Do not use tax money to support TAP. Use them for health care instead
By Gustav from Algarve on 03 Dec 2021, 15:29
From my experience, TAP is poorly run. I avoid it whenever I can. I wish that it would be taken over by Lufthansa or even British or Iberia. If Ethiopia can have a well-run airline, so can Portugal. And the amount of money that it drains from all of our other needs (healthcare, education, a new airport!) is obscene.
By Tom Sont from Lisbon on 03 Dec 2021, 16:15
I have been a frequent flyer with TAP and I have found it an excellent airline with superb service and extremely pleasant cabin staff. Top class
By Erik Johansson from Beiras on 03 Dec 2021, 16:15
TAP. Take Another Plane.
By Tony B from USA on 03 Dec 2021, 19:49
All the comments are very interesting. As a frequent flyer, i can honestly tell you that TAP is a very good airline. Of course, they are not perfect, but being frequent flyer with SWISS and BA or Air France, I honestly say that TAP in terms of service, friendliness of staff is certainly up there. For instance, the customer service with Swiss and Lufthansa is beyond awful.
It is hard for me to believe that some of those airlines like Air India are better…
Greetings from snowy Switzerland
By Sebastien Graeff from Other on 04 Dec 2021, 07:16
So there are actually 8 airplane companies that are even worse than TAP? Really? What fresh hell is this?
TAP is already beyond every acceptable level. Their customer service is non-existing. They cancell your flight but you cannot contact them. The telephone numbers on their site are non-existinjg numbers. They never answer emails, tweets or FB-messages. And for a reimboursement of a flight they cancelled, you have to wait for...not months, but years!
By Stijn from Other on 06 Dec 2021, 14:31
My family and I have trusted TAP for several years. I just recently traveled to Portugal in November. All the staff from ground crew to in flight crew were kind, helpful and courteous. The food was ok, the airplanes were clean and new!
Flights were on time and luggage was quickly received.
COVID has presented many business with new challenges... We must be patient and understanding.
Thank you TAP!!!!
TAP is doing a great job!!!
By Victoria Francesca Giacobbe from USA on 07 Dec 2021, 02:38
We were on the last flight from Lisbon to Toronto in March of 2020 before Tap shut down. We have nothing but good to say about Tap Air. Hope to get back to Portugal via Tap in the near future.
By Mike MacLean from Other on 11 Dec 2021, 18:57
We booked 7 set tickets from 6 airlines before the pandemic, all flights were cancelled, and we received refunds from all other airlines, but not from TAP, the vouchers from TAP will expire soon. TAP is representing a country, should not be money-driven only.
By Louis from Other on 05 Jan 2022, 15:48
We have flown with TAP for the last 10 years with no complaints.
However having booked a return flight to London from Lisbon the outward flight was missed due to a road accident on the A1 approaching Lisbon airport Not our or the airlines fault.
After a lengthy wait at the TAP ticket office in Lisbon airport they appear unable to book my wife on a later flight that same day. They were salsa told not to cancel the return flight as other people were booked on the same flight.
A later flight was booked and paid through the internet on the same day to London, not by TAP operatives.
After a week in London we have been informed that TAP cancelled my wife's return flight!
It seems TAP need to look at basic organisation.
Of course I expect to hear that the return ticket is one ticket so missing the first part cancels the rest and is in their terms and conditions.
I wonder what happens if the plane crashes on the way out so does not reach the destination does this also cancel all return flights with no compensation?
By William Atkin from Alentejo on 28 Jun 2022, 08:32
TAP are disgraceful. I recently had to book a flight with them to return from Lisbon to Dublin. After going to baggage drop off and leaving a small roller bag to go in the hold, I later returned to the gate to board the flight. The security staff made me wait while everyone else went through, and then informed me the gate had closed and walked away. I wasn't told where my bag was, and when I eventually found a TAP employee, she told me there was nothing she could do and I would just have to stay in Lisbon until I could book another flight. I eventually got home with another airline, but still no bag returned and TAP customer service have not answered my calls or responded to my online enquiries or emails. Totally uncaring and unprofessional. They just want to take your money and then leave you to fend for yourself
By MR STEVEN KEATING from UK on 16 Aug 2022, 05:34