As part of a recent business trip, I had to make a trip to the Azores. There are a limited number of options for getting out to the island chain in the central Atlantic. As I was coming from Lisbon, I had the option of either taking the low-cost route of Ryanair/easyJet, or full-service options of TAP or SATA (Sociedade AÃ§oriana de Transportes AÃ©reos).
What sealed the deal to take SATA over TAP was the fact that my desired flight was to be operated by an Airbus A310 aircraft, (affectionally known as “the football”),Â a classic airliner that is disappearing from active commercial service. I had never flown on an A310, nor on SATA, so I was looking forward to this trip.
Departure in Lisbon was from Terminal 1. Online check-in is possible with SATA, however as I had a bag to drop off and I wanted a “souvenir” paper boarding pass (something harder to come by these days), I used the classic counter check-in. As myÂ flight was was continuing on to Boston, from Ponta Delgada, the departure was from the non-schengen area of the terminal. This necessitated passing through passport control, and was hassle-free as my boarding pass clearly stated I was disembarking in the Azores and I only needed my ID card.
When ready to board, we boarded a bus and headedÂ out on the ramp. No complaints from me, since I enjoyed the experience of the A310 up-close-and-personal.