TAP letting down customers

in News · 26-06-2020 01:00:00 · 32 Comments
TAP letting down customers

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, airline carrier TAP Air Portugal have cancelled thousands of flights since March, which caused many customers to either be stranded in foreign countries, see their holiday plans go down the drain or even have their luggage lost for several months.

Many customers have reported that they struggle to get in contact with TAP Air Portugal in order to get a refund for their cancelled flights, or even just get their belongings back. Some of those customers have been in contact with The Portugal News. “I have been in Brazil for the past ten weeks, despite being due to fly back to London on 31 March” says Jonathan Schroder, a customer that had to get in contact with the Portuguese Air Authority “following more than seven weeks of fruitless contact with the TAP Air Portugal customer contact centre and refunds team.”
“Luckily I do have somewhere to stay and, at the moment, it is not possible to fly back from (...) where I currently am. However, this is beside the point. TAP should have provided a refund or voucher weeks ago and are refusing to do so. Not just for me but for hundreds of other customers” adds Jonathan Schroder, who has observed that he is not the only one with this struggle after visiting TAP Air Portugal’s Twitter page and a facebook group called “TAP Air Portugal – UNSATISFIED CUSTOMERS”.
José Arocho has found himself in a similar situation, when on 17 March, he, his wife and their children were left stranded in Spain. “We had to incur over $520 [€462.38] on a last minute, one-way rental car, drive over 5 hours, and cross the border into Portugal so that we could make it back home here in the U.S. because TAP cancelled our flight and failed to notify us.”
After three months, many phone calls, emails and wasted efforts to get in contact with the airline, José and his family are still waiting for a refund. “When they do respond, they just ask for our ticket numbers and flight information that I have already provided them several times. After I give them the information again, I don’t hear back from them.”
“Also, they have removed all records of our cancelled flight from their website, so when I log in, it says that we haven’t taken any flights in the last 12 months. Fortunately, I have the screenshots that I took before they deleted this information” says Jose Arocho, calling his experience with TAP an “ordeal” and a “nightmare”.

Margot Jill Wright and her family booked their first ever family trip to Europe, and chose Portugal because of its “beautiful scenery, good food, and the opportunity to relax after a very difficult couple of years.” In August of 2018, Margot lost her 27-year-old son and used the money that was left to her to book a trip “to celebrate, and to have time together to refresh and remember our son in a happy way.”
As the pandemic began to unfold, it became apparent that the family trip, booked with TAP Air Portugal, was going to be cancelled. “Thankfully, I had put our travel plans in an app CheckMyTrip – that was how I received notification that the flights were cancelled.”
Since early May, Margot has contacted TAP through Twitter and Facebook, “the responses have been vague, directed me to a page to request a refund that turns out to be a voucher, told me to contact my travel agent, and lately that my information has been routed to the ‘correct department’...but there will be a delay due to high volume of processing. I feel that I am no closer to getting my money, nearly $6000 [€5.339,52], back than I was nearly six weeks ago.”
The experience with TAP Air Portugal has made Margot and her family “hesitant to consider any future visit to Portugal” calling it “disappointing and disheartening”. Though TAP exceeded the refund period, on 20 June, 7 weeks after cancellation, Margot was refunded.
Another unsatisfied customer is Madison Olson, who flew with TAP into Paris from Miami on 16 March, but upon arrival was told that TAP had misplaced her baggage. “I immediately filed a claim and they said they would deliver it to my address in the South of France in a couple of days” says Madison.
But also her efforts to get into contact with the airline were unsuccessful and after calling every day, sending emails, facebook messages and instagram messages for more than three months, her luggage has still not been returned to her. “I spent the entire quarantine with minimal clothing because nothing was open. Also, I cannot file my taxes or finish other paperwork because it is all in the bag. They do not answer the phone or blatantly hang up on me. The last person I was able to talk to told me that now it has been so long that it is not their problem anymore.”
Michael Mazzaschi, who also contacted The Portugal News, had experienced a situation similar to that of many others, when his TAP Air Portugal flights were cancelled and instead of a refund, only a voucher was offered. After two months though, he did receive a refund and then decided to help others who have found themselves in the same predicament.
“We wrote up how to do it in an article [https://www.apathtolunch.com/2020/05/get-refund-for-cancelled-flight-ticket.html] on our website as we learned lots. I kept the article generic in order to help the most people, but the enemy throughout is TAP” says Michael in an email.
The Portugal News has contacted TAP Air Portugal for a comment but has not received a response.


TAP refused our refund for return flights from London to the Gambia via Lisbon.
After going backwards and forwards on numerous occasions, we took out a court summons.
Once this was issued they settled, including court costs.

by Guy Barry from UK on 02-07-2020 09:48:00

Y flight from Toronto to Amsterdam via Lisbon from 21st of April 2020 was canceled. I received an email 29th of April for a voucher plus 20% of the paid fare, ore 100% cash. I rang on the 30th of April and told them I wanted the cas refund. Now 2 months later and several phonecalls I am still waiting for my money.

by Cor van der Want from Other on 01-07-2020 09:28:00

We flew on TAP on the 23rd December to Luxembourg via Lisbon, to be with our son, his wife and our two grandchildren for Christmas. We checked in a hold suitcase which was filled with Christmas presents, stocking fillers, a whole Spanish ham, washing gear, toiletries, etc. plus my ipad.

The flight was nearly 2 hours late departing from Malaga and by the time we reached Lisbon, there was just enough time to make the connection after we insisted the captain radioed ahead. We arrived in Luxembourg to find our case missing (we waited nearly an hour at the carousel to ensure it was not in the bowels of the airport somewhere) and so we filed a missing bag claim.

The days went by without our suitcase and frankly our Christmas was wrecked without us being able to give our family their presents, especially the grandchildren and, of course, it was very embarrassing. Not to say that we had no toiletries, which we had to borrow from the family. Christmas Day came and went and we departed on the 26th December. At the airport, we met an elderly couple with whom we had flown out and they had also lost their luggage. They were informed they had been bumped off their connecting flight to Malaga in Lisbon, so they had to stay the night there (thankfully we weren’t). I am only including this to show the chaotic way in which TAP operate and manage their passengers and flights. It was obvious that TAP combined two flights together and because we had booked earlier than them (?), we were allowed on?!

They are totally incompetent. Because they wouldn’t give us an email address, we called them on a number we got on the internet (I have a recording of the conversation).We submitted a claim for personal items we need for the time we are without our suitcase for €755.37. We could have claimed for more. The maximum allowed is around €1200 (1000 SDR).

The bottom line is that we still have not received reimbursement for what we spent at Luxembourg airport on the way back, 6 months later. In February they eventually paid up by bank transfer. It never arrived as they used incorrect transfer instructions which my bank has confirmed. This resulted in it being returned. Despite this they would not correctly transfer it again. One naturally speculates whether they did this deliberately to avoid paying.

They have broken the contract – we contracted them to fly a suitcase to Luxembourg and back. In both directions, they have failed. TAP gave us a wrecked family Christmas. We have received absolutely no reimbursement. Simple .

by Charles Hutchinson from Other on 30-06-2020 10:42:00

tap really disappointed me too..I asked for my refund and they told me refunding cloud take up to 3months... am really bankrupt to afford some airlines which are operating in Senegal... am tap asking a rescue otherwise they will my life to risk... they making losses myself. am confused

by kebba from Other on 30-06-2020 10:11:00

Just adding another note to this list, I doubt TAP is reading this. But they are lying and the worse airline I have dealt with ever. It is a shame, because Portugal is an amazing country and many of the flights are on TAP that are direct, its not even a matter of price. The tourism board of Portugal should work with another airline to provide service as TAP makes it such a pain to get to such an amazing place.

by David from USA on 29-06-2020 06:59:00

I am not looking forward to dealing with this airline. I have a flight booked for August but with the virus situation will not be going. I also lost money on my Airbnb. The woman refused to refund my money. I really am rethinking Portugal. Take your money and screw you.

by Debra Rose from USA on 29-06-2020 04:55:00

I will never book again with TAP. Still waiting for a refund for my cancelled flight, they said they will only give me a voucher.

by Andrea Barbato from Other on 29-06-2020 03:12:00

I'm un unsatisfied Tap customer too. My flight Naples-Boston has been cancelled but the company refuses to refund me. Instead, my flight Boston-Naples with Norwegian has been refunded in few days!

by Anna Andreozzi from Other on 29-06-2020 03:04:00

I was told by customer service on 3/31/20 that I would receive a refund on my CC by mid April. Then I was told mid May. I have a case # but they do not respond. I'm sure there are thousands who were left hanging by this airline and there must be a lawyer willing to file a class action suit.

by PHIL BAILEY from USA on 29-06-2020 12:33:00

TAP cancelled my flight from the US to the UK in June. Then tried the charge me double to reschedule the flight one month later. Then cancelled that flight. Now they are selling g flights that don't exist and they have no intention of fulfilling.

by Mark from UK on 29-06-2020 01:36:00

Tap needs a total change in management

by Paul from Lisbon on 28-06-2020 02:53:00

Yes I have the same experience of them canceling the flight and no helpful communication to simply point to third party agency. Eu law directly confirms the responsibility is the airline! More to complain but already done by others.

by Riccardo Gaudino from Porto on 28-06-2020 02:33:00

TAP is the worst airline for customer service and aftercare. I flew from TLV to London via Lisbon and it arrived 5 hours late due to engine issues. Under EU law I should have received a 300 euros compensation but 8 months later they hadn't done it. I will never fly TAP. Take Another Plane.

by Noah feizpour from UK on 28-06-2020 12:05:00

This week, I found out that it was not actually TAP who issued a refund ..it is a temporary credit from my credit card company as they dispute with TAP for failure to provide service. It will not be considered permanent until the issue is resolved with TAP. ~Margot Wright

by Margot Wright from USA on 27-06-2020 11:29:00

My US flight to Dublin via Lisbon was cancelled. I repeatedly asked for a refund and said I did not want a voucher. After repeated complaints, I was directed to link labelled "refund". OK I clicked on the link and was sent a stinking voucher accompanied by a statement that I had agreed to accept a voucher in lieu of a refund--which absolutely infuriated me. So I wrote back to complaints and they sent me a response that the complaint department did not handle requests for refunds. They directed me to a phone number that did not work.

I ended up filing a complaint with Visa & they gave me a provisional credit.

In the meantime I aired the problem on facebook. They asked me to put it in instant messaging to protect my privacy. I refused to do that as that would only protect the airline. I put all the information up on facebook in public and said I wanted the cash refund posted to my credit card account within 5 days. Ha!

TAP Air Portugal is either totally disorganized or run by thieves. I would never use them again.

On a happier note, my request for a refund from Air Lingus took 5 minutes and was a totally pleasant experience. The phone number worked.

by Lauren Kahn from USA on 27-06-2020 06:24:00

TAP AIR Portugal has deceived all of their customers around the world. This is not simply an issue in Portugal yet I hope Portugal does something about this airline. I also hope this article circulates around the globe and creates bigger noise over TAP’s decisions to defraud their customers. I am one of thousands of people TAP AIR Portugal has refused to provide a cash refund to after canceling my flight due to Covid-19 and trying to stick a voucher down my throat. I’m absolutely disgusted with their business ethics and lack of customer service (no customer service at all). Truly deceiving and disgustingly terrifying.

by Nina from USA on 27-06-2020 06:18:00

Our flights were canceled by TAP months ago. They confirmed numerous times they would refund the thousands they owed us. We were supposed to be refunded by April 24th. Each time we call, they say it is still processing and will be a little longer with the back up. This was a trip to celebrate our daughter’s college graduation. Now, she gets nothing...not even hope...thanks to their deception. They are refunding no one based on the comments on their web page and the forums I follow. Shameful.

by Christi Day from USA on 27-06-2020 04:58:00

I only got TAP to agree to refund me the money for 2 first class tickets after I got the US Department of Transportation involved. That was back in April, and I still haven't actually seen the money. Nor have I been able to get through to an actual human to try to get any resolution.

by Gayle Ehrenman from USA on 27-06-2020 03:42:00

TAP is disgraceful. Cancelled flights ( I understand that), but then zero communication about cancellations, refund, voucher - nothing. I’m now getting the runaround with TAP - if they had better customer service, I might have been OK with a voucher- now I am super motivated to get a full refund and never use the airline again.

by Rich from USA on 27-06-2020 03:00:00

TAP are an awful airline, they are badly organised, constantly late and the whole experience is far more stressful than necessary.

At one point I had 12 future flights booked with them and yet again I got delayed for the 13th flight in a row. I complained (nicely I might add) and got nothing, I emailed, nothing. I had dinner with the lady in charge of marketing for TAP at Heathrow as she was also delayed, nothing.

All I got was an email (after three months) of contact saying “I hope this email satisfies your need for a reply”.

I cancelled all of my flights and moved to another airline.

For several years I have flown between Lisbon and London for business, I never even look at TAP (take another plane) any more.

by James from Lisbon on 27-06-2020 11:45:00

Had an excellent experience with TAP. Flight cancelled from Gatwick due to COVID-19 so I contacted them telephonically without difficulty and was given a new return flight for the same date in August from Heathrow as well as a voucher for another flight that I could no longer make use of. They offered a refund but I chose a voucher instead which I can use during 2021 as long as I make the reservation before the end of March 2021

by Marilia Guerreiro from Algarve on 27-06-2020 09:25:00

We had the same issue with TAP. Our tickets were canceled by the airline in April and we were not able to get our refund since then. TAP offers us a voucher but our visas are expired and we do not have holidays and plans to go to Italy. We tried to contact TAP as well as Gotogate (the agency) through phone multiple times but both just try to hang us there without solving the problem. We also left them messages on FB but no reply. We had to file the complaint to the US DOT. Let’s see what will happen. We are really disappointed with TAP.

by Yuan Zhou from USA on 27-06-2020 12:27:00

tap lost my luggage on the 23rd of December.2019. had to fill a form at Gatwick Norwegian handers for TAP ,was told the bag would be returned to me,am still waiting .I put in a claim Feb 2020.it will be resolved by next week every time I call,they don't reply to emails only phone calls.

by ken nti asomani from UK on 26-06-2020 11:44:00

I am a travel agent who booked 5 customers on TAP back in February from Miami to Lisbon for travel on September 9th. They were scheduled to join a religious tour but due to the virus the group postponed the trip to next September 2021. I've written TAP twice since April for a waiver so I can rebook them for next year understanding there will be a $300 change fee. The TAP res agent advised me their tickets are only valid for 1 year from date of issue. Unfortunately, the new dates would not qualify under these terms. Most of the other carriers are allowing a 2 year travel time frame to rebook. Under the current circumstances I am hoping that TAP will do the same. I am not asking for a refund just a date change. I was told only if TAP cancels their flight will they qualify for a voucher for future travel. I'm hoping TAP will finally see my emails, allow for the change and make 5 new customers very happy.

by Mylene Martin from USA on 26-06-2020 09:42:00

I have flying with Tap Many times in my life and I have been very satisfied with the time check and departure.
But the rest results TAP is a disgraceful company to deal with. The trying to robe people and any way they can.
I hope this company goes dawn for GOOD.

by FELIX Gomez cachaldora from UK on 26-06-2020 09:42:00

I did receive vouchers for my trip that was starting today, tickets that I bought October last year.
I am very disappointed with TAP beucase the vouchers that they give us came with a 20% reduction for the original amount paid by us. They did not ask you if you accept or not to accept a voucher with this reduction, you will see it when you are receiving the vouchers.
They are the ones that cancell my trip from Chicago to Madrid ( I do have a print screen saying that my trip was cancelled)
I know that not body was expecting to have this pandemic but this is a very bad beginning for TAP to started to fly last year with a direct fly from Chicago to Lisbon.
I have a friend that book his flight with American airlines and after all flights were cancelled to Europe American airline call him and offer him to give him a voucher for 120% of the value of the original ticket if he accepted the voucher or 100% refund for the ticket.
That is the way that TAP should manage this situation...
Shame on you TAP.

by Jorge DaSilva from USA on 26-06-2020 08:21:00

I am another one of these upset customers. TAP cancelled $6000 worth of flights for my family and has refused to refund us. I'll never fly TAP again.

by Jim Baxa from USA on 26-06-2020 05:48:00

Those who have had good experiences with TAP, I’m pleased for you. Unfortunately from my own experience and from many hundreds of others I have spoken to on social media, that does not appear to be the norm. I’ve now been waiting nearly 100 days for my refund or vouchers and have been told so many different things by different departments. Living in hope!

by Johnathan Schroder from Other on 26-06-2020 03:50:00

Where is the Portuguese government? Yes, they are talking about giving TAP money.

Politicians are like diapers , change them often

by Roy from Algarve on 26-06-2020 02:58:00

I had some flights from UK to Portugal booked with TAP. Of course due to Corvid19 it was not possible to travel. I called them about the cancelled flights and got through quickly. Tried that with Easyjet and Jet2 for other reservations i had and gave up, they take ages to reply to an email too.
TAP gave me vouchers for future travel plus 20%, I'm impressed with their promptness. I find TAP a good airline to use.

by Carl Spurling from UK on 26-06-2020 02:25:00

On the 06th June I received an email from TAP cancelling my nieces return ticket to Fortaleza Brazil. I visited their covid 19 we page and searched for flights. It stated that there will only be one flight per week in July and two in August. I immediately called TAP, got through to reservations quite quickly. Asked them if my niece could have a seat on that weekly flight. All was confirmed, now she is travelling 4 days later. I was well impressed as I had flights in April with Easyjet and they never replied, got my refund back 45 days later in full.

by Colin Anstey from UK on 26-06-2020 09:39:00

I guess by now everybody should be warned about TAP. This company deserves to go down and even the Portuguese should reject its rescue ecause it was bankrupt before Corona. Portugal doesn't need a national carrier.

I received my vouchers for cancelled flights, but always only after I sent in follow up requests. I am really feeling with people that had expensive flights and are being betrayed by TAP.

by John Dough from Lisbon on 26-06-2020 08:22:00
Interactive Topics, send us your comments/opinion on this article.

Please note that The Portugal News may use selected comments in the printed edition of the newspaper.