Turkish Airlines » Economy » User reviews
Class rating 7.5
- Boarding 7.1
- Seat for sitting 7.5
- Seat for sleeping 3.5
- Service 6.5
- Entertainment 6.2
- Food & drink 8.9
- Punctuality 8.4
- Baggage 5.4
- Of course, your ratings vary widely for different classes. Choose one below for full details.
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A 737-900ER turned up at Edinburgh, unexpectedly replacing the usual A319 on the flight down to Istanbul. I had pre-selected seat 8A.
Check-in was well managed with three queues - business class/star alliance gold, bag drop and full check in. I had not checked in online, so joined the short queue and was served within a few minutes at the empty business class desk. My bags were checked through to Antalya.
I don't have any status on Star Alliance, so I took the opportunity to grab some lunch in one of the restaurants in the airport and headed down to gate 3 for boarding, which was underway when I got there. There was a fast track style channel for Business Class passengers and I saw several people being turned away, so it was enforced.
Boarding was quick and efficient. The first things you notice on entering the 737 are the superb looking business class seats. Unfortunately, there was no promotional upgrade fare to Antalya but if you are flying to Istanbul, you can upgrade most tickets for around £150 each way. Be cautious to check it isn't an A319 first though - these have adjustable seats and I don't think it would be worth it. The cabin also had pleasant lighting and 777 style baggage lockers, which gave a spacious feel.
My seat was leather with an adjustable headrest and plenty of leg room (it felt like 34" but I'm going to guess 32" and a thin seat) but a tad on the firm side for my liking. Soon after take off, my neighbour in 8B spotted an empty row ahead and moved. Good result :-)
The AVOD was excellent with a good choice of films. I settled back to watch one when lunch arrived. I had Salmon on a bed of potato mixed with yoghurt followed by beef and some kind of cous cous finishing with cheesecake. I would say the food is on a par with BA's WTP and was very impressive, tasty and enough to keep me going until dinner.
The crew offered a drink with dinner and came back with tea and coffee but that was it. I have heard lots of people say that Turkish Airlines crews are not great at handing out drinks and this seemed to be the case but otherwise the crew seemed happy and friendly and service was with a smile.
We arrived into Istanbul on schedule. It was a bit of a task working out where to go to transfer to my domestic flight but I got there in the end.
One final note on the 737 - I noted that seat 7A appears to have no window, whilst 7F does.
Check-in: I checked in online (on my iPhone, using the Turkish Airlines app) 24 hours before my flight(s) which were operating from Ankara via Istanbul, back to London. Online check-in was simple and easy to follow and I was easily able to change my seat, although because I used the app, I couldn’t print out my boarding pass, although I did have the option of receiving a mobile version. I opted to collect my passes from check-in at Ankara and managed to change my seat on the Ankara-Istanbul flight to an exit row, but this was not possible for the Istanbul-London leg. Check-in at the airport was swift and efficient and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
Boarding: Ankara airport is a quiet provincial airport which is quite surprising considering Ankara is the capital of the country. The airport is modern and spacious and boarding was fast and efficient. Istanbul was a different matter however and as our flight from Ankara arrived late, I had to race across the airport from the Domestic Terminal through Passport control and security, to the International Terminal and just managed to reach the London flight as they started boarding. This was a little less organised and apart from announcing business class first, the rest was a bit of a free-for-all.
Seat(s): Both aircraft were arranged 3-3 in economy and on the Ankara-Istanbul leg I had managed to get an exit row seat. This was very comfortable and gave me enough space to stretch my legs out, albeit was a short 1hr flight. It was a different matter on the Istanbul-London leg however as the A321 aircraft that Turkish tend to use on this leg are the most cramped, unspacious and uncomfortable aircraft I have ever had the misfortune of flying in. I have taken a number of flights with Turkish in the last few weeks both from the UK and internally within Turkey itself and I have found that the seat pitch and comfort on the internal flights were much better than that on the UK-Turkey route, with the exception of the A330 they use on the mid-morning flight out of Heathrow.
Flight(s): Both the Ankara-Istanbul and Istanbul-London flights were late, each by 30 minutes. This meant a very tight connection at Istanbul and our flight not arriving back into London until 22:45hrs. Information provided by the flight crew was limited and difficult to understand.
Food & Drink: The Ankara-Istanbul route is so short that you only get a drink and a sandwich, which is sufficient. On the Istanbul-London leg menus were provided shortly after take-off with a choice of two mains. Service is quick and efficient and they offer global and Turkish wines; the food is good and there is plenty of it too.
Entertainment: The only entertainment is either a globally available moving map or on the Istanbul-London flights they often show a film, however on this late night flight no entertainment was provided, probably because most people wanted to sleep a little.
Arrival: A gusty cross-wind at London made for a heavy landing and sharp braking to make the next exit was a little disconcerting. Thankfully Terminal 3 was quiet at that time of night and I was in the car within 30minutes of landing.
Overall: Having flown a number of flights with Turkish Airlines in the last month I have come to conclusion that if you can get on their A330 you will get a comfortable flight, however, every other aircraft they use on the UK routes are cramped and uncomfortable.
I have experienced varying levels of service from the crew, varying timeliness of flights and I’m currently struggling to understand how they managed the accolade of Europe’s Best Airline from Skytrax when compared to other operators such as KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways. I only fly Turkish because I currently have to, to get to Ankara, however if there is any way that I can find to avoid them, I will!
My experience with Turkish Airlines was on short-haul domestic flights. Beside of the new 738 and 320s, Turkish Airlines use three 20 y.o. 737-400. Nevertheless, the condition of these aicrafts is very good.
Boarding is quick, but usually the big amount of people stand at the gate and it is a problem to use your boarding priority right. Seats in 737-400 similar to 737-800, and quite narrow so you feel a little bit tight. As usual service and meal during short fligths is very good. Especially I like the way they pack the meal in individual carton box with white ropes.
All flights are usually landed on time, but in Istanbul airport you may wait qute long time before take-off because of traffic.
Generally, Turkish Airlines are very attractive not only on international routes, but also when you fly to domestic destinations.
A much prized medium haul feeder from Edinburgh EDI, launched last month (July 2012) this is a mixed-market route dependent on tourism at present, so a full load was reassuring for the future of the sector, but the A319 was taxed to capacity.
The crew coped admirably with the various demands of the mixed load, with seemingly equal proportions of turkish and scottish travellers. So a cosmopolitan crowd, lots of babies and probably a high proportion paying their own way, so maximising the service demands and enjoying the superior offering to the lowcost competitors.
Checkin was excellent, with the under-utilised 'business' desk calling the economy queue forward without prompt or hint. Possible the 'route-launch crew' is still in place, al the same full marks. Nice banter with the THY boys about getting Lufty Miles&More rather than the TY in-house Smiles, hopefully he message will get upstairs that if THY grow the route they'll see more usage of the IST hub, which is the eastern most now served from EDI.
Early inbound arrival and pretty smooth loading (esp considering the high proportion of holidaymakers) and apparent tolerance of enormous hand luggage.
Minor ATC delay driven by lateruning competitor flights and bad weather up north giving FlyBe cancellations and out-of sequence, and the inevitable delayed BA from LHR compressing the turnarounds.
TK1344 had no trouble making up the deficit and getting down early at IST for a reasonable visa/passport process (maybe 25 minutes) and nice hotel checkin with time for unrushed dinner.
Onboard the limitations of the A319 show - 5h is quite a haul for a wee plane and the seats really aren't comfy enough for much more. Legroom is minimised, but these are the prices we suffer for a point-to-point flight. It'll be interesting to see how the route sustains its loadings, whether increased capacity on the launch 1246 schedule, which would surely be justified if full loads routinely checkin, are met by aircraft size increase or frequency increase
The IFE really isn't that great, clearly showing the normal allocation on internal turkish flights, but these days with music on everyone's personal device, this cannot be a 'killer'. But I would guess that a better international selection could be provided which may be appreciated by the turkish market too.
Food/wine nothing short of excellent. Tea with fresh lemon as would be expected from such a tea-drinker's heaven.
So lets hope the bodies continue to hit the seats for THY at Edinburgh.
I have been on almost ten Turkish Airlines flights in the past two years and I am starting to see a pattern and that coroberated by the comments here and on other travel review sites, that is most TK flights are good, even excellent, but some go wrong, real wrong, and the flight attendants don't know how to handle the resulting situation.
I have come to prefer TK out of the many European carriers because they genuinely attempt to provide a clean plane with a human environment for travel--all while still trying to have good food. That is more than I get from most other airlines and WAY more than I get from any U.S.-based carrier.
So I sound like an advocate, right? Well, in a way I am until the flight noted here. The following is the feedback I sent to TK about the flight:
I was on flight 607 from IST to NBO on June 13-14 in seat 12D. The flight was extremely hot. Some of the passengers in rows and seats around me sought relief by moving to the few open seats in the back of the plane where it was less hot.
I asked the flight attendants four times to reduce the temperature and they assured me they were doing what they could. I have an application on my phone that tells me the ambient temperature. It was above 103 degrees fahrenheit for over half of the flight. This is completely unacceptable!
This made the red-eye flight into a night with no rest and requiring me to fan myself with the 737 safety guide. You really need to make this right for me and my fellow passengers in rows 10-14 where it was exceptionally hot.
Despite the flight attendants saying they were doing something to fix the situation, there was no noticable improvement. Worse yet, they appeared to have little concern for the needs of the passengers who where dripping with sweat. Never once did they following up on the complaints or offer alternative solutions.
I attempted to contact a gate agent in NBO but since we arrived at 2:25am there were none available. I am writing to you about this matter in hopes that you will redress this issue.
I expect to hear from you about this before I fly again on June 21.
As of the writing this (Jun 25th) I have yet to hear from Turkish Airlines. I have pictures documenting the experience if they choose to question my account of the events. I hope that they care enough to follow up on my customer service request. This experience has me questioning future flights on TK airlines.
We have used Turkish Airlines from Istanbul to London and it was amazing. I would like to thank to all team and I can not tell how I was honoured with its service as a Turk.
Riyadh to Istanbul Economy 737-800
Reservation and Ticketing: Was made online about 4 months in advance. Prices would change sometimes on daily basis. Final price (flexible ticket) was slightly cheaper than the completion for this route (LH or AF).
Website was acceptable but not close to being special. E-ticket issued and emailed separately which at first was a bit confusing. Online check was not available for flights from Riyadh, but it was for my second leg to Toronto.
Check-in: as usual in RUH not organized took about 15 minutes all in all with only two customers ahead of me in line. Online check in was only available for the second leg of my trip (IST-YYZ). As usual 2 bags allowed each no more than 23Kg.
Boarding: About 15 minutes behind schedule. Not organized nor prioritized.
Greetings: Standard smiles.
Cabin, seating and Entertainment: standard 737-800 cabin, dark leather seats (show their age) with standard width and seat pitch. No PTV. Shared TV’s would slide down (not very clear).
No programming for the flight except for a loop of Turkish advertisements. Inflight magazine and saftycards in place. I noticed that the cabin temperature was not as cool as I would like it.
Meal: Menus were passed a selection of two main courses available. The meal on this flight was breakfast which for economy class standards is the best I have tasted since my childhood with a harty portion. Standard and alcoholic beverages available.
Timing: Departed about 20minutes late and arrived about 5 minutes behind schedual.
Arrival: Smooth disembarkation. Early morning forced smiles. Our aircraft had parked at a non gated position there was confusion and lack of busses once we were on the tarmac. Ultimately all the passengers were bused in two cramped busses.
Two short videos of this flight is available on my personal YT channel
VERDICT: Would recommend TK (as part of a second leg journey) provided one can cope with the suboptimal layover in IST (although not terrible) and the warm cabin in flight. Keep scouting their site for prices (they change frequently).
I have been impressed by the strategic changes made at Turkish in recent years but I've not had the chance to travel with them until yesterday...and what a great experience it turned out to be.
A clean, new A321 with all leather seats. One of the slickest economoy cabins I have seen. Seats recline and slide and they have a wrap-worund headrest that has a great travel range. As with most airlines the seat is good for sitting but not necessairly for sleeeping. The icing on the cake was the IFE with video on demand (VOD) with an extensive choice of movies.
Cabin crew were efficient although not engaging and the food was excellent. A comprehensive tray set up included a nice smoked salmon starter and a pannacotta dessert with cheese and crackers to follow. The entree was simple but very tasty and the choice of complimentary drinks was good.
On a 4 hour flight, this was one of the best services I have ever had.
Efficiently boarded in good time for an on-time departure.
TXL to IST
Berlin's Tegel airport is from around the 1960's and it is showing it's age, but the efficient Berliners have kept it clean and in working order. Due to the lack of space in this compact terminal once you enter through passport control you are forced to wait in a small waiting area at the gate with only a drink vending machine and a tiny last minute duty free shop to break the boredom. Luckily there are floor to ceiling windows giving waiting passengers a view of the tarmac and runway.
Once on board the A321 this aircraft starts to show it's age with seating of aqua and tan leather that has seen better days. Probably the worst combination of colours you could put together. However the seats in economy were remarkably comfortable for the 2hr 45min flight. Given that the flight only about 20% full most passengers had a row to themselves. Business seats were of similar pitch but with the middle seat folding down to make a table space, arm rest between the window and aisle as well as a fold down foot rest on the seat in front.
After takeoff headsets were handed out along with a packet of Turkish hazelnuts and menus for lunch. About 20 mins later a tasty hot lunch was served with for Do&Co catering who handle all of Turkish airlines catering now. No second drink round was offered.
Entertainment included a movie viewed from drop-down screens from under the overhead lockers as well as various Turkish pop music and classical channels on the armrest control.
A pity the crew didn't smile or go out of their way to be friendly. They were robotic in nature and once the lunch service was distributed they sat down the back and chatted for the rest of the flight. Overall a quality product in this age of budget airlines and cutbacks. The only aspect to spoil this great flight was the surly crew. As I later discovered almost all Turkish crew and ground staff seemed to be this way, such a pity for an airline trying to improve.