SATA Azores Airlines is a Portuguese airline based in Ponta Delgada. Given the location of the Azores Islands in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, it’s little surprise that the airline is focused on flying between the Azores, mainland Europe and North America. The airline has a small fleet of Airbus A320s and A321s, and many of its flights operate between the larger islands of the Azores and mainland Portugal. Inter-island Dash 8 flights within the Azores are operated by SATA Air Açores.
I recently flew with SATA Azores Airlines on a domestic flight from the Portuguese capital of Lisbon to Horta, on the island of Faial. This review looks at the SATA Azores Airlines A320 Economy class experience…
|Flight number||S4 151|
|Route||Lisbon (LIS) to Horta (HOR)|
|Aircraft type||Airbus A320|
|Class of travel||Economy|
|On-time performance||The flight ran 20 minutes late|
I paid $82 to fly from Lisbon to Horta, and onwards to Ponta Delgada on a connecting SATA Air Açores flight. I thought this was a very reasonable price as all SATA tickets include 23kg of checked baggage. For the flight from Lisbon to Horta, snacks, drinks and seat selection were also included at no charge. (On the short hop from Horta to Ponta Delgada, no catering was provided and seats were not allocated.)
There was no queue to check in at Lisbon and the airport staff were very friendly. There was a long queue for security and I didn’t have any lounge access, but Lisbon Airport is a pleasant enough place to wait around.
Boarding for this flight was via a remote bay, which meant a long bus ride to the aircraft.
The day before the flight, I received a notification from the airline that the flight was rescheduled and would depart 5 minutes earlier. Despite this, we left 15 minutes later than scheduled. There was no apparent reason for the delay as our aircraft had been parked overnight in Lisbon.
The Hard Product
The aircraft was an older Airbus A320 in an all-Economy configuration. The SATA Azores Airlines seats were comfortable and well-padded, and there was a normal amount of legroom.
On this aircraft, the seats with the most legroom were 1A-C & 2D-F (bulkhead seats) and the exit row seats.
There was no in-flight entertainment, other than drop-down overhead screens which displayed a moving map. Some passengers had an in-flight magazine in their seat pockets, but my seat didn’t have one.
The Soft Product
Considering the cost of my ticket, I was quite impressed that snacks and drinks were served to all passengers free of charge. Not many European airlines serve free food in Economy class on short-haul flights. Unfortunately, it wasn’t anything to get too excited about. We were served a rather boring, dry sandwich and some biscuits, along with a choice of cold drinks, tea and coffee.
The cabin crew did their job, but I honestly didn’t find them overly friendly. One of them chewed gum for much of the flight.
Not to worry… while most of the flight was over the Atlantic Ocean, I enjoyed some great views of the Azores Islands on our approach to Horta Airport.
This was the Horta township from the air:
If you haven’t been to the Azores Islands, you should absolutely consider a trip once the travel restrictions are lifted. The history, beautiful nature, great surfing and laid-back lifestyle make for a great escape.
SATA Azores Airlines A320 Economy Class
While the in-flight experience was not remarkable, SATA Azores Airlines provided a pleasant and reliable service for an affordable price.