Wow: TAP Air Portugal Launches Unlimited Europe Flight Pass

TAP Air Portugal recently launched its ‘Europe Flight Pass.’ This novel ticket type allows the holder to fly an unlimited amount between European destinations and the cities of Lisbon and Porto. But what exactly are the conditions attached to this seemingly boundless ticket?

TAP Air Portugal has launched a pass offering unlimited European flights. Photo: Getty Images

Conditions of the Europe Flight Pass

At face value, the Europe Flight Pass sounds like an exciting prospect. However, as with any airline ticket, it is still subject to various terms and conditions. The Portuguese flag carrier states, for example, that “Europe Flight Pass can be used on direct TAP flights between several European cities and Lisbon or Porto.” This means that the ticket does not cover domestic flights within Portugal. As such, it is only really suitable for passengers looking to travel to and from the country’s two largest cities.

Users of TAP‘s unlimited pass can use it to book their sectors up to three days in advance. Changes or cancellations are permitted up to an hour before a flight’s scheduled departure time.

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The product is not set to be a long term addition to the airline’s range of ticket types. Indeed, the current validity period is October 1st-December 15th. TAP does, however, have permanent annual passes on certain domestic routes. One example is Lisbon Humberto Delgado (LIS) – Porto Francisco Sá Carneiro (OPO). On this route, passengers can buy an annual pass for €1,000, which entitles them to 20 flights over a 12-month period.

TAP Air Portugal planes grounded
One can choose to have TAP’s Europe Flight Pass in either economy or business class, for one or two months. Photo: Getty Images

How much does it cost?

With this ticket, the passenger is not only paying for unlimited flights, but also the booking flexibility that it offers. As such, it does represent a fairly significant financial investment, particularly compared to TAP’s (admittedly more restricted) domestic passes. The prices for the Europe Flight Pass are as follows:

  • 1 month – €2,399 (economy) or €3,399 (business)
  • 2 months – €3,399 (economy) or €5,399 (business).

For the one-month option, this represents a daily average cost of just under €80 in economy, or around €110 in business. The two-month option uses economies of scale, and represents a better-value product. The daily averages for this option come to around €55 in economy, or just under €90 in business.

However, it seems unlikely that a passenger would be using the ticket every day for one or two months straight. As such, the actual cost per day would most likely work out to be somewhat higher.

Not the first example of such a ticket

Despite the apparent novelty of the idea, TAP was, in fact, not the only European airline to sell a ticket that functions as an unlimited pass. Indeed, Norway’s third-largest airline and regional carrier Widerøe has also offered a similar product in years gone by.

Widerøe previously offered a similar product within Norway. Photo: Getty Images

The airline’s ‘Explore Norway’ ticket used to be available for the equivalent of just under $600. For this price, users were entitled to unlimited travel on Widerøe’s domestic flights over a two-week period. The carrier operates several multi-leg ‘milk run‘ flights, and, as such, passengers could squeeze an incredible amount of value out of this ticket.

The ticket was not available this summer due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. However, Simple Flying did manage to review it in the summer of 2019. This proved an enchanting experience for our correspondent, at a time of year when northern Norway experiences the wonders of the midnight sun.

It remains to be seen whether TAP’s Europe Flight Pass will prove successful. While its flexibility is certainly an appealing feature, its high cost may prove offputting for prospective customers. Nonetheless, one has to commend the airline’s bravery in launching such a product when passenger numbers are so much lower than usual.