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My Experience Upgrading My TAP Portugal Economy Class Ticket to Business Class

We’re heading to Europe at the end of August, and we’re going to be stopping in Venice, Santorini, Sorrento and Lisbon.

With Lisbon being the last leg of our trip. So to get home, we need to fly TAP Portugal, since it’s the best option for direct flights back to New York.

In research TAP Portugal, the first thing I realized is there’s no way to transfer points into TAP Victoria, their frequent flyer program.

So my only other option was to pay cash. I could use points as cash, similar to what Amex Travel or Chase Membership Rewards Travel offers.

So my initial strategy was this:

Here’s how this broke down:

  • Economy tickets: $500 each
  • Minimum auction: $640 each
  • Total Price: $1140 for a chance to get a Business Class ticket

The way the auction works is you find out 36 hours before the flight departs if you won the auction.

When I checked the seat map, there was a high chance of us getting an upgrade. (I counted 16/20 Business Class seats available).

The thing is, the cost of a Business Class ticket is $1,400.

I would say $260 per person, if I were to use the auction.

That’s normally a great deal I would jump on. But the thing is, if we don’t win the auction, and have to fly home in Economy, we won’t get a good nights sleep. And the day we return, we have a full day ahead of us.

So in my case, the auction is not worth it.

For everyone else, YMMV, but this is my advice on using TAP Portugal PlusGrade.

I ended up booking my flight using AmexTravel. I paid 288,572 points.

Thanks to the Amex Platinum, I get 35% of those points back.

So my total for 2 Business Class tickets is 187,571 points or 93,785 per flight.

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