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Can I claim anything from TAP Air Portugal?

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In December, I flew from LGW to SSA (Salvador, Brazil) via LIS, all with TAP. I had a huge list of problems with the flight, and as of yet, have been refused any kind of compensation by TAP. I´ll summarise below, but this was only an overview of what went on:


Flight was 2 hours late departing LGW. My stopover at LIS to SSA was on a tight timeline and I advised the TAP crew of this (There were about 40 people on the flight who were connecting to Brazil on short connection times). They did not know whether we would make our connection, and just before landing, informed me that someone would inform us of what to do as soon as we got off the plane.


We landed, no priority was given to connecting passengers, and we were simply told to get on the bus with everyone else, i.e. no one cared that we all had short connections, the bus then sat there for several minutes before leaving for the terminal... When we got to the terminal, despite being the first off the bus and running through passport control, x-ray, to the gate my flight was at (Almost killing myself in the process, as it was a LONG way), was denied boarding to my SSA flight. (It was still sat at the gate with the air bridge connected, door open, and ground power unit still connected). One guy appealed to the staff in Portuguese and was told it was too late to board. I watched it push back and depart 5 minutes later. We could have easily gotten on.


After being left with no instructions on what to do next and frankly quite abrupt and unsympatheic TAP staff, we finally found the TAP desk in the check- in area. 45 minutes of queueing later, I was rebooked on a flight to GIG (Rio) and a connection with TAM to SSA. (She could not offer me a ticket for this second flight and said I had to collect from the desk at GIG but was assured the 3 hr gap between arriving and departing GIG would be fine) I was told my suitcase was on the baggage belt in arrivals at LIS and would be transfered to the Rio flight. I asked for it back to I could check it in myself, as I am a frequent traveller and know what happens to luggage in these situations 90% of the time. Despite asking a number of times, the woman said no. I was simply to take my luggage reciept over to a check-in attendant to be scanned and that would be it. I asked if TAP would offer an upgrade or lounge access as compensation for the 8 hr wait I now faced in LIS, and was told no on both counts. I did get a 15 Euro food voucher though.


I also gave up a decent window seat near the front of my SSA flight (As I had checked in early online to get something decent) for a middle asile- row seat 2 rows from the back.


I took my baggage reciept over to the check- in desk, and despite asking, was not given a new baggage reciept for GIG... strange I thought.


8 hrs and one measly meal later, I discovered my flight to GIG was delayed by 90 minutes. Boarding then started approx. 10 minutes before the delayed departure time, so clearly we were not going to get away anything like the advertised delayed time. When the gate opened, I asked once again if I might be able to get a better seat given all the waiting I had endured and was very rudely told "NO!". The flight left over an hour later than it's delayed EDT (so over 2 1/2 hrs late).


In Rio (30th December 2009), more confusion... No ticket for my onward journey, no bags, and no clue as to what to do. Was told to wait for my bags, they didn't show... this caused me to miss my next flight, which no one from TAP actually knew was booked for me, as I had no tickets for it.


Went up to TAP ticket desk, told no flights available that day (All full) and would have to wait until NYE. I went mad at this point, and they eventually managed to get me a seat on a flight with another airline (Gol) which incidentally was certainly not full, as I had 3 seats to myself. Had a very long exchange with the TAP staff about what had happened, and was eventually given a lunch voucher but refused any other compensation such as a lounge (As it was 9AM and I had to wait until around 3-4PM for my flight).


Flight was delayed by 2 hrs due to bad weather and caused me and my GF (Who was in Salvador waiting for me) to miss our booked bus to Aracaju.


Got to Salvador at 7PM with no suitcase and spent £350 on 2 single flights to Aracaju. Plus wasted £50 on bus tickets.


TAP had no idea where bags were and after much arguing gave me R$ 150 compensation for delayed baggage


Bags were found 2 days later and apparently had never left Lisbon. It took TAP 2 more days to get them to Aracaju. They refused to deliver them to my address. We went to the airport to pick them up, (At midnight) flight was delayed by 1 hr, and by 2 AM all bags were collected and mine was not there. Went back angry, then got a call that they had come in on a different flight. Went back to the airport and got home at around 3:30 AM with bag.


Despite wasting £350 and a day of paid holiday from work, TAP are not willing to compensate me at all at this stage. What do you think I should be asking for in the way of compensation for this? Does the above count as denied boarding to my LIS-SSA flight? (or is this only specifically for overbooked flights?) which I think would give me 600 Euros under EU legislation?



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