TAP to Portugal
Would I fly with them again?
I’m pretty lukewarm about it, but yeah, I would.
To get to the Marrakesh airport, I decided to take a city bus. I allocated a ton of time to prepare for the worst, but it was actually pretty easy. I found the bus stop for line 11 just north of the Koutoubia Mosque.
After waiting ten minutes, a bus pulled up, and I paid the driver 4 Dh for a ticket. I confirmed with him that the bus does go to airport. We passed by the large parks just east of the airport along the way. As we approached, I gestured to him if a stop was the one. He wagged his finger no and motioned that the next one would be better. When we arrived, he also indicated that I should walk straight ahead and turn right. Very helpful! The entire trip took 15 minutes. I could’ve waited for Snack Amir to open to get some lunch. It took about ten minutes to walk from the bus stop to the airport entrance, at which point you have to wait in line to run your bags through security to enter the departures area.
The information screens said the check-in desks for my flight were five and six, but it turned out not to reflect reality because they were checking in people going to the Canary Islands. I spent 30 minutes exploring the departures area, which involved getting some Moroccan pastries and filling out a boarding form that is required before going through security check. When I looked at the screen again, it said 5, 6, 30 and 31, but only 30 and 31 were for my flight. It took five minutes to wait in line and to get my boarding pass. The staff didn’t weigh my backpack or ask for a seat preference, but I was assigned seat 1B.
Coming prepared with the filled-out boarding form allowed me to go through the faster security line and not have through the full body scan. I did have to take out my liquids and tablet. After walking through the metal detector, a female officer patted me down very thoroughly. Then passport control took a total of ten minutes. My passport was checked again immediately after passport control, which seemed extraneous.
My gate hadn’t been assigned when I arrived at the waiting area, so I walked around to survey the food options. Everything beyond security has prices in euros, and everything is even more expensive than the deli in the departures area. There’s only one place that serves hot food, and their tagines are 120-160 Dh! Instead, I ate all of my Moroccan sweets that I got in the departures area. At least there’s a free wifi in the waiting area.
Only 30 minutes before departure did the gate assignment come out. About 15 minutes later, we boarded a shuttle bus to reach the plane. The entrance is in the back of the plane, so I had to walk all the way to the front to reach my seat. Additionally, I was in an emergency row, so I had to put all my stuff in an overhead bin in the row behind me.
We took off five minutes after our scheduled departure time. About 30 minutes after take-off, the stewardesses started passing out half sandwiches of cheese and lettuce and drinks. Thank goodness I held out and didn’t succumb to being scammed by the airport restaurants.
There were no entertainment options or power outlets, but given that the flight was only two hours, I was okay with that. We landed 15 minutes late, and another 15 minutes went by before we got off the plane and onto another shuttle. There was no line at passport control, and everything went smoothly. The officer asked if this was my first time in Europe. I don’t think he looked inside my passport before he asked that silly question.