We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

“Business Class on new Azores Airlines A321 to Toronto leaves much to be desired!”
Review of SATA - Azores Airlines


Reviewed 14 January 2019

My husband and I have visited Toronto on SATA business class various times in the past and were quite satisfied with the level of comfort for a 6.5 hour flight over and 5.5 hour return. The new planes being used now, leave much to be desired in terms of comfort!

I will start with the positive aspects of our latest experience on Dec 21, 2018:
- Check in was quick and easy.
- The flight had a one hour delay (no big deal considering the time of year)
- boarding went smoothly and quickly, full plane boarded in less than 30 minutes.
- Crew was excellent! Attentive, polite, pleasant and professional.
- Once business was all seated the crew proceeded to distribute the blankets and pillows as well as serve a drink and snacks.
- Each seat is equipped with usb ports so you can charge your phone, tablet or laptop

CONS:
- Although the business class seats on the "new planes" A321 do offer more room than economy seats - a 2 - 2 configuration as opposed to the 3-3 in economy, the seats DO NOT fully recline as the seats on the older planes ! They recline about as much as an economy seat which is clearly insufficient for a 6.5 hour flight at business class rates! They do have a foot rest that doesn't offer much rest for your legs at all.
- There is NO, NONE, ZERO on board entertainment! No music, no movies...Nothing! Before your flight you have to download their app SATA Onboard which you can only open once your on board but when you do, it requests a plug-in that you can't download because the wi fi is strictly on board. Although one of the crew members was kind enough to override that for me, it was still useless because the movies and music offered in that app were older than SATA itself :(
- On our previous business class trips we received complimentary pouches with toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, lip balm, socks and eye mask...Those amenities are now "gone with the wind"...but that wind has also upped the cost of flying business.

On our return flight of January 4, 2019, we had all of the above "cons" with the added displeasure of a crew that seemed to want to be anywhere else but there! I cannot say they were rude, but they certainly were not pleasant or very welcoming or even very professional!
Boarding was chaotic! Over 1 hour to board with passengers standing in the aisle for quite a long time, waiting to be seated and the crew seemed like they didn't have a clue as to how to get everyone settled in.
No welcome drink or snack for business class on this flight! No pleasant smiles, mostly sour faces and a very bumpy flight for the better part of the 5.5 hours.

Based on a very bad past flight experience that has made me become overly anxious with turbulence, we normally opt to fly business on this route as well as to Boston. Usually the extra space, fully reclining seats and being in the front, seems to lessen my anxiety. NOT on this plane! The lack of fully reclining seats makes a big difference in comfort.
You pay twice as much as economy for the benefit of sitting in the front of the plane, a bit more seating space, having your meals served in dishes, and extra luggage weight allowance. That's it.
I suppose you can call it a MINIMUM FRILLS business class at high end business class prices. Disappointing and expensive.

Date of travel: December 2018
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
2  Thank AH-Terceira
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (1,152)
Traveller rating
Traveller type
Time of year
Language
  • More languages

13 - 17 of 1,152 reviews

Reviewed 12 January 2019

The flight itself was fine, but this airline is notorious for delayed flights and lack of communication, and my first flight with SATA exhibited both of these traits. The flight was initially delayed by 30 minutes, and they "boarded" every one about 30 minutes behind schedule, as expected. By "boarding", I mean they boarded everyone in the standard order (elderly, young families, business class, then economy). However, all they did was scan the boarding passes then make everyone wait in a different waiting area. When it came time to actually walk outside and board the plane via stairs, it was a free-for-all. There was no point in boarding in any particular order.

Once we got into the new waiting area, there was no communication by the gate agents. People were forming lines near the doors to go outside, but they didn't let us board the plane for about another hour or so. There were no announcements regarding the status, and when I went up to the gate agent to ask what was going on, she basically threw up her hands and said they they didn't know what was happening, and guessed that maybe they were still cleaning the plane. Isn't it their job to know what is happening? They could have easily found out what was going on, tell the passengers to sit down until they were actually ready to board, and not have everyone anxiously standing around near the door for an hour. Even when they started allowing everyone out, there was no announcement. They just opened the doors.

Luckily I had a 1 day layover and the late arrival didn't affect me too much. For people with connections, I highly doubt they were helped or compensated.

The flight itself was pleasant enough, with good service. The onboard entertainment (via onboard wi-fi and your own computer/tablet) wasn't very good, with only 4 or 5 out of date movies available to watch.

Date of travel: January 2019
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank 717derrickl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 January 2019

Azores Airlines (SATA) flies across the Atlantic with the Airbus 321NEO, a very modern and relatively comfortable plane. We managed to have exit seats, which have ample legroom. However, service is quite bad and food is terrible. For entertainment, SATA has an app to install on your smartphone, but it did not work.
Punctuality so-so. Overall, the good thing is that the Atlantic crossing is short (5-6 hours).

Date of travel: December 2018
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank Luca_Giove
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2019

the flight over to the Azores went as scheduled; the return trip was delayed by almost two hours. It was nice to go back in time and be served a meal! The comfort during the trip is always dependent upon the size of the passenger next to you- since more and more passengers are larger than the seats, it would be great if the airlines could take this into account when building new planes. And needing to show our passports several times after going through security makes no sense.

Date of travel: December 2018
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
Thank DVorahK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 6 January 2019 via mobile

Taken on new year day, and pleasantly surprised with the smoothness of the experience. Aircraft was tiny but flight was just over 30 minutes. Perfect company for short haul flight between islands. Hope to use again

Date of travel: January 2019
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
Thank skivaz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC