We learned a hard lesson on our inbound journey out of Portugal and back to the US – and that was: DO NOT FLY TAP!
We had a split ticketing itinerary from LIS-EWR on TAP and then the final leg of our United flight from EWR-DEN. We experienced a 3 hour delay out of Lisbon (after we already got to the airport early in the morning and boarded the flight, of course) on flight TP201 with no explanation of the issue by the TAP staff. Pockets of flight attendants went around informing individuals, but there was no official message. Then, we were told to disembark with no explanation or instructions of what to do from there. It turns out, there was a significant medical emergency on the flight which caused the delay, but we only found out after sitting there for 2 hours.
There was absolutely no attempt to try and get us to our final destination (DEN), stating that it was essentially not their problem because we had booked a split ticket. I even tried to use my 1K United status to no avail. They were some of the least helpful and compassionate airline employees I have ever dealt with. Since there were literally no options and they refused to help us find new transportation options so that we could make our fight from EWR to DEN, our only option was to re-board the place when it was ready to go again. We were already starting to learn the message – do not fly TAP!
On top of that, the agents at the desk said they would give us free WiFi, but that the new plane didn’t have WiFi. That was a lie, the new plane did have WiFi. When back on the plane, the flight attendants would not give us free WiFi when we asked so that we could look for alternative flight options on our final leg, which we were going to miss. The flight attendants continued to give us the runaround and either ignored us when we asked for help and had questions, or flat out lied to us. For example, the flight attendant said she would check with the captain about having a representative for our next flight waiting at the gate upon arrival, but she never did, and never came back to speak with us to close the loop. There were no United reps to help upon disembarking.
We ultimately made it to EWR, and would have missed our next flight had it not been for a delay on the United side (which we were quite grateful for). We did a lot of running, scrambling, cutting in line, and yelling at each other, but we ultimately made it through customs, back through security, re-checked our bag, and got to our gate with even a little time to spare to make the flight from EWR to DEN. The entire experience was handled so poorly by TAP, we vowed to never fly them again (so far this has been true). We also fought them through AirHelp to ultimately get around $400 for our trouble on our final leg, coupled of course with the screw ups they made on our flight out, costing us $300.
DO NOT FLY TAP!