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Lisbon Airport Mini Guide (LIS)
Lisbon Airport In Brief
Lisbon Airport is known as Portela and had nearly 15m passengers going through the terminal last year; a record. Many of them are visiting the Portuguese capital of Lisbon, but the airport does plenty of international and domestic flights so passengers are often in transit.
One of the largest airports in southern Europe, Portela has two main runways which can accommodate large Boeing 747 aircraft. The Portuguese airline TAP Portugal has its base at Lisbon Airport but there are many other airlines which use it. These include Aer Lingus, easyJet and British Airways.
Recent development projects include a second, new terminal which has modern lighting along with baggage claim refurbishment, all of which were completed on time. Work is continuing with the new cargo facilities, fuel storage, north pier, boarding lounge, north bus gate, baggage claim, enlargement of express cargo facilities, electrical refurbishments, expansion of south pier, departure lounge refurbishments and underground station and other terminal improvements still to be finished.
Lisbon Airport handles nearly 15m passengers a year. It is fast outgrowing its capacity and will be replaced by a bigger airport in 2017. There’s plenty of parking on site but areas P1 and P2 are for short term parking only. The longer stay car parks are a little distance from the terminal but a free shuttle bus operates regularly, taking passengers and their luggage from their cars to the main building.
Nearly fifty airlines, mostly scheduled, operate routes to Lisbon including the main European carriers and several budget airlines including easyJet.
Getting to Your Destination After you Land
There are no trains from the airport although plans are in place to join the airport to Lisbon’s Metro system. It’s only four miles from the city centre and a variety of buses run from the airport including the Carris Aerobus. The No 91 will take you to the city centre in under 20 minutes. Alternatively several city buses make stops at the airport from various locations around the city. Check the timetable and routes posted near the information desk and also by the bus stops outside the airport. Finally, for those holidaying in Estoril
, the Scotturb airport shuttle can get you there. The tickets can be purchased on the bus itself.
Taxis are also available from the rank outside the airport. For those collecting a hire car from the airport, the companies’ desks are a little out of the way. Come out of customs control into the arrivals hall then turn right and head to the furthest point of the airport. It’s probably worth sending the driver on ahead whilst the rest of the party waits for the luggage as queues can develop. The airport is on the 2A circular route with easy access to the city centre and suburbs which are all clearly signposted.
Make sure you get the correct check-in desks as they are in groups, sometimes far apart.
An airport information desk can be found in the arrivals and departures public areas together with a tourist information desk. Make sure you go to the relevant desk as waiting at the wrong desk will waste your time.
Facilities, Shopping and Refreshments
There are a number of banks and bureaux de change in the public area and again beyond security. ATMs can be found across the airport site although be aware that there is a charge for this service. Lisbon Airport has an excellent range of eateries, the best of which are La Pausa and a particularly good sushi bar. These are found before security whilst a wide range of bars and cafes serving snack and fast food can be found around the departure lounge.
Shopping at Lisbon Airport is excellent, both before and after security. A variety of shops including jewellers and gift shops are complemented with an outlet of Harrods and fashion stores including Lune Bleu and Lacoste. The Divers book shop and Alegré gift shop are worth a visit too. The airport has its own first aid room as you exit customs. They can deal with minor ailments and injuries there should help be needed. Wi-Fi is available in three of the departure lounge areas.
Assistance is available for disabled travellers but it is recommended that you inform your airline before travelling so that necessary steps can be taken to assist you. The airport conforms to EU law on disability provision.
– A fuel pump breakdown left tourists stranded at Lisbon airport a few weeks ago. Service has since returned to normal with some customers offered compensation for the delays they experienced.
- Many new routes are being introduced in 2012 including several by the national carrier TAP. New Spanish airline Volotea also has a route from Ibiza.
- Lisbon's expansion plans this year will include new flights to Bilbao and Valencia with easyJet and several new routes to Scandinavia with Norwegian Air Shuttle and Scandinavian.