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We’ve mentioned TAP Portugal’s fantastic transatlantic fares before, but I was looking at some dates recently and was reminded just how spectacular they are.
That said, with BA, Virgin and Norwegian all offering excellent fares on direct flights these days (from ~£260 return), it’s basically impossible for TAP to compete purely on price, no matter how low they go – what they can do though, is offer free stopovers in Lisbon or Porto!
Specifically, I was looking at one ways from New York and Boston to the UK and it was easy to find fares for ~£100 with TAP. Norwegian charges similar amounts direct to London, so if you want a direct one way, they are usually your best bet. Where TAP adds value is by making it really easy to build in a stopover of up to 5 nights in Lisbon or Porto.
Both cities are well worth visiting in their own right and accommodation tends to be reasonably priced (TAP even claim to be able to offer special discounted hotel rates too, though I have no direct experience of that), so squeezing in an extra few days to your holiday can be a great way to see a new city for very little extra cash.
The TAP website is easy to use and adding a stopover is quite intuitive – as you can see below, it only requires a few extra clicks on the main search page:
You might be wondering what the point of a one way flight is, regardless of whether it has a stopover attached. Returns are available too of course, though tend not to be such good value. Like many InsideFlyer readers, I like one way flights because I might want to use points/miles to fly Business or First Class in the other direction but don’t have enough to fly both ways. Or, I might want to use the one way as part of a bigger trip – eg. flying one way to the West Coast of the USA, visiting a few different cities, and then coming back to Europe from the East Coast. If I can fit in a couple of days in Porto or Lisbon on the way back, great!
If you want to explore even more places on the same trip, it’s well worth having look at TAP’s fares to other parts of Europe too. For example, you could fly from New York to Lisbon, stay for a couple of nights, then fly on to Madrid for ~£90.
Then, stay however long you want in Madrid and just get a cheap flight home on a low cost carrier, or use Avios on BA/Iberia. TAP has an extensive European network, so you could choose from a wide range of potential options, though Madrid and Paris were the cheapest I happened to see.
I’m still frequently amazed at how cheap transatlantic fares have become in recent years, but being able to see another beautiful city for the same price makes the deals even sweeter!