The Best Airlines To Fly Into Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon Portugal

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Lisbon has been rising in the ranks of popular travel destinations and it’s easy to see why – the capital city of Portugal is home to historical sites, colorfully tiled maze like alleys, and of course great food. We’ve visited a few times and have always had a great time in the city.

The city is one of the most attractive for digital nomads with many making it home for its easy going lifestyle and relative affordability (compared to major US cities).

Lisbon receives a mix of business and leisure travelers, also serving as a major layover point for onwards flight to other European countries.

The flag airline carrier of the country is TAP Air Portugal, a Star Alliance carrier that offers routes to 90 destinations in 34 countries worldwide.

Lisbon Airport serves as the main hub for TAP but also receive flights from many major US carriers. If you are planning a trip to Lisbon or just laying over, we will break down the best airlines to fly.

Airports Near Lisbon

Lisbon is primary served by one international airport, Lisbon Airport, that is also the 12th largest airport in Europe.

AirportTaxi To CenterEst Taxi Price
Lisbon Airport (LIS)25 minutes$30

The airport is located close to the city center and has plenty of transport options by both car and public transit. Given the airports size, there are also many restaurants, lounges, duty free shops that you can visit on arrival or layover.

It shouldn’t take you more than 25 minutes to get from the airport into the city center. Note during rush hour there will be traffic in the city and it might be faster to take the metro that is connected directly to the airport.

Airlines Flying To Lisbon

If you are departing from the US, there are a good amount of options if you want to fly direct to Lisbon.

The airlines that offer service mainly include the flag carrier TAP Air Portugal but Delta, United, and American also offer service. The benefit of having all the major US airlines is it makes it easier to do codeshares when booking from another partner airline.

Not every major city in the US offers nonstop service to Lisbon. The major airlines only offer nonstop service from New York, Boston, Philadelphia, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Washington DC.

If you are planning to depart from the US you will most likely need to connect in one of these cities before a flight into Lisbon.

Airfare to Lisbon

Ticket prices to Lisbon can vary depending on season but given the amount of airlines offering service you can expect $350 – $500 roundtrip in economy. During peak season of summer this can go up pretty significantly to around $500 – $900. We like using Skyscanner to find the best deal and their compare page makes it easy.

Here is a breakdown of average round trip prices by month. Note we pulled the data towards the end of February, which is why that appears so high.

Skyscanner Lisbon Flights by Month

There is also a tool that can run a compare of various cities if you have set dates or months in mind. All you need to do is enter a timeframe for departure and Skyscanner does the rest.

Skyscanner Cheapest Flights to Lisbon

You can find all Skyscanner tools on this page here and utilize this info to find the best flight deal.

Best First Class

It feels like barely any airlines offer First Class anymore and that is definitely the case on this route. No carriers offer a traditional First class from the US to Lisbon currently and we don’t expect that to change with many airlines focusing on business class.

If you were set on first class experience it is possible via a layover in London with British Airways, or Frankfurt with Lufthansa, but we wouldn’t think its worth it just for the added comfort.

We’ll skip this and look right into business class.

Best Business Class

Not all business class are made equal so if you are willing to pay a premium for comfort (or shell out some points) it can definitely be worth it. Business class cabins on this route can be almost as luxurious as first but are limited to just major US carriers and TAP Portugal.

However there are still some great options and we will break down what we think is best.

1. United Airlines 767 Polaris Business Class

United Polaris Business Class is one of the most comfortable hard product of the major US airlines to fly to Lisbon. We’ve flown it multiple times from Newark to Frankfurt and indulged in the amazing Polaris lounge prior to takeoff. United flyings the 767 nonstop to Lisbon from a few different cities and has plenty of premium space aboard these aircrafts. You can expect a unique 1-1-1 layout but still giving each seat its own aisle access but don’t count on much when it comes to United food. If you happen to be on a 787 the seat will be exactly the same just in a 1-2-1 cabin.

2. Delta One 767 Business Class

Even with so much competition on this route we still feel the signature Delta One is one of the best business class to fly. You’ll want to make sure your flight has the redesigned cabin since it’s a huge upgrade to the old A330 design we flew from Paris to New York in 2019. In our opinion these seats are unmatched against any US airlines business class (even United Polaris) and if you can snag a seat on this route you won’t regret it. The reason we rank it below United is because it only operates from New York and is one of the most expensive options to fly to Lisbon. Note, points redemptions don’t come cheap on this route so the only downside is finding a reasonably priced ticket.

3. TAP Air Portugal Business Class

We couldn’t have the best business class to fly without TAP making the list. Not traditionally known as a luxury airline they are making strides by offering their best business class on routes from the US. Onboard you can find modern herringbone seats laid out in a 1-2-1 configuration. What we like best about TAP is they offer service to all the major cities in the US making it easy to find a flight. The business class is also often priced a bit cheaper than the major US carriers and they also offer one stop service to many other European cities.

Best Economy Class

There usually isn’t a major difference in economy class hard product but there may be items some airlines do better than others. However, many airlines are now offering Premium Economy, which is certainly a step above a standard seat. While many premium economy seats are similar, we especially like those offering comfortable seats and reasonable food to make us pick one over the other.

1. United 767 Premium Economy

United also started offering Premium Economy on many of their long haul aircraft and is very similar to Delta’s. The good about United is they make it much easier to upgrade into with either points, cash, or plus points. If you are booked in Economy you can expect to pay about 20,000 points to upgrade to this seat or 20 plus points. In our mind its worth it especially for a red eye to get a more comfortable seat to cross the pond.

2. Delta 767 Premium Economy

We have to give it to Delta again flying their new premium economy seats on a nonstop flight to Lisbon. While the unfortunate news is these seats are not cheap and do not offer complimentary upgrades from main cabin, they are still the most comfortable way to fly outside of business. You can expect a larger seat, foot rest, and upgraded food, which will certainly feel like an upgrade from standard economy. Given the length of the flight, if you don’t want to spring for business class this is a great next option.

3. United 767 Economy

United Economy Cabin
United 767Economy Cabin

United is a standout with the plane flying to Lisbon looking to have the most comfortable economy class. The layout is a 2-3-2 while most others offer a 2-4-2 layout. Again this won’t make a major difference, especially if you are able to snag one of the 2 seat sections on any of the other airlines. We’ve taken this flight many times including from London to Chicago. However, on a full flight you will definitely notice a roomier cabin even if the plane is a bit smaller compared to an American 787.

Getting To Lisbon On Points

Airline miles and credit card points are some of the best way to get a cheap if not entirely free ticket to Lisbon. If you are unfamiliar with this process read our guide on credit card points and miles.

The fastest way to get airline miles and also the biggest benefit to credit card points is the ability to transfer them to airline partners. If you are looking to increase your balance for a flight to Lisbon see the latest offers in our guide to the best credit cards for every traveler.

There are multiple airline partners that fly to Lisbon but not all are created equal. If you are planning a trip you will want to consider booking through:

  • Air Canada Aeroplan: Booking options on TAP and United. Points can be transferred from Chase, American Express, and Capital One.
  • United Airlines MileagePlus: Booking options on TAP and United. Points can be transferred from Chase.

While there are only a few more programs that offer points bookings to Lisbon, the above programs typically are the easiest and cheapest way to book.

Summary & Takeaways

Lisbon as a travel destination is one popular with business travelers and plenty of visitors each and every year. While we would like to recommend the flag carrier TAP Portugal, there are better choices with US airlines on this route.

Given Lisbons popularity, you have plenty of options on this route and if you go premium certainly won’t be let down.

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