TAP airplane
Portugal's flagship airline

TAP justifies nightmare flight with “unexpected worsening of weather conditions”

Passengers spent 15 hours going nowhere

The joys of flying to the Azores in winter were perfectly illustrated over the weekend when passengers spent more than 15 hours going absolutely nowhere.

During that time, the unfortunate group boarded a plane in Lisbon, flew towards their destination, suffered a diversion for refueling, took flight once again – only to land back in Lisbon in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Explain reports, flight operator TAP justified the whirlygig with “an unexpected worsening of weather conditions during the day”, in which the flight essentially burned fuel flying in circles.

In a statement sent to Expresso, the country’s flagship airline stressed that it always does everything to “take its passengers to their destination in maximum security”.

Thus, the first sortie, destination Terceira island, saw the plane turn back when weather conditions dictated, depositing passengers once again in Lisbon where they were offered a meal.

The second attempt saw them re-routing for Lajes airstrip (on the same island), but again, being thwarted by the worsening weather picture, they were forced to land instead in Ponta Delgada (where there may have been another meal, we are not told).

From Ponta Delgada – which is after all, in the Azores, just not on Terceira island – the plane once again took to the air, only to land, eventually, back in Lisbon, very early on Sunday morning.

The good news is that the passengers are now all on Terceira island. They landed finally at 9.20pm last night. They had effectively spent 36 hours travelling – hopefully none with the intention of a weekend break. ND