In May my husband and I will be traveling on an open jaw trip to Portugal, and then to Amsterdam for a few days on our way home to the US. I am looking into flying TAP airlines to Amsterdam from Porto. I keep hearing bad things about the small regional airlines. Is it really as bad as it sounds to fly TAP or Vueling, etc? I am not a fussy traveler, but I keep reading bad things from travelers who have flown on these small regional airlines. I would appreciate any input from those who have experience on these small airlines.
TAP is an international, and indeed intercontinental, carrier. Vueling is a budget-oriented Europe carrier (owned by the same company as Iberia, British Airways, and Aer Lingus.) The need to compete with the cost-cutters forces the traditional long-distance carriers to keep both prices and services down for these shorter routes. In fact a TAP subsidiary operates the daily flights. It has one non-stop. Vueling's schedule is more varied, depending on the day chosen, sometimes cheaper and sometimes more expensive, and some require changing planes. I'd choose the most convenient itinerary first, then think about prices.
With a little effort you can dig up negative comments about almost all airlines.
TAP is Portugal's major international carrier. You could fly to Portugal from US on TAP if you want from EWR.
Flew TAP from Porto to Barcelona. No complaints whatsoever. No checked luggage charges. They even fed us on that short haul. I would not hesitate flying with them again.
TAP isn't a small regional airline, it's Portugal's national carrier.
I took 12 flights within Europe on holiday last year, always flying Easyjet or Norwegian and didn't have any delays of more than 30 minutes (most were on time or early). My brother flew Etihad, one of the world's leading airlines, at Christmas and had a 4 hour delay on the tarmac due to a technical fault.
I usually find that TAP are not the cheapest airline. If I had a choice of Easyjet or TAP, I would go Easyjet, but I would use TAP. Few airlines offer any meals on short haul European flights these days, so there isn't much to differentiate the airlines.
Thanks everone for your input. I feel more confident about flying on TAP now.
We flew TAP r/t from London to Lisbon last June and had no problems. I would fly them again.
Another airline that is well worth considering for flying from Porto or Lisbon to Amsterdam would be Transavia (a budget airline affiliated with KLM). They have at least one, sometimes two, flights daily to and from Amsterdam to Lisbon, Porto or Faro. The prices are generally quite inexpensive, as well.
Flew TAP from Lisbon to Barcelona last June. We would use them again, flight was on time, plane clean and comfortable, no charge for checked bags.
Took Vueling in 2015 from Granada to Barcelona got great price and was very impressed with service and new planes. I wouldn't hesitate using them in the future. As far as TAP I booked a flight in early June from Lisbon to Seville which is oprtsyed by White Airways.