Turkish Airlines » B737-800 » User reviews
Seatplan rating 7.3
- Boarding 6.8
- Seat for sitting 6.0
- Seat for sleeping 1.8
- Service 8.5
- Entertainment 4.8
- Food & drink 8.8
- Punctuality 7.8
- Baggage 7.0
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Sarajevo - Istanbul in C class where I connected to Erbil on an Airbus 321.
Check in was a little confused due to poor queue management and the priority line not being enforced as it should be but there were not huge numbers so it could have been a lot worse. I was given a pass to the tiny lounge and preceded there via passport control (quite a slow moving queue here) and security which was efficient enough. The lounge which is a shared facility is very small and had a limited range of drinks and even more limited range of snacks but was not unduly buys.
We went to board as soon as the flight was called as Turkish tend to board early and so it was with a semblance of priority booking enforced. I had only hand luggage and had adequate space to store this before accepting a welcome drink - the recent policy of the airline (at least for short - medium haul) seems to be that this is one of a range of 4 non-alcoholic cocktails offered in lieu of champagne. I find a couple of these quite tasty. Hot towels are also offered.
Seating only differs from the economy cabin by virtue of the middle seat being blocked off but at least Turkish have sought to make use of this space by fitting a tray to hold drinks for both passengers.
Departure was on time and the meal service commenced quite quickly. Disappointingly I noted that there was only one food offering on the printed menu and the main was not something I could eat – I had wrongly expected a choice so did not request a special meal. I therefore took the tray without the main, mostly for the cheese and bread. There were drop down screens that either did not work or were not turned on so after availing myself of a drink (champagne served in tiny portions from a mini bottle most airlines would hand out) and in the absence of any entertainment I slept most of the journey.
Arriving early in Istanbul I headed for the lounge, an epic hike from the gate we arrived at. When I arrived it was packed solid and I struggled to find a locker to store my baggage in. All hot food had been consumed (though this was later replenished and I had a nice plate of pasta) and it was quite a struggle to find somewhere that I could sit with the two colleagues I had linked up with there.
Boarding for the Airbus 321 was a little chaotic as seems often to be the case in Istanbul but once on the business cabin is blessed with larger seats in a 2-2 configuration. There are blessed with a fold up individual video player for which a decent set of headphones are provided and a fairly decent range of on demand viewing and listening is available. Same scenario with the welcome drinks as for the first leg then we were on our way. Unlike some other airlines that depart in the early hours Turkey serves a full meal the quality of which is usually at least adequate and sometimes very good indeed. This comprises a starter, a choice of 2 mains (on some occasions there are three selections), a desert and cheese plate was more than satisfying for my needs having had a bite in the lounge. Champagne was again served in careful measure and given the tendency of the Turkish crew to vanish once the meal has been served I opted to switch to red wine (a reasonable Turkish) which was given out by the bottle.
I was able to watch an entire film during the duration and we landed with quite a bump in Erbil in quite thick fog. Bags for my colleagues came out within about 20 minutes of arrival and we were soon out of the impressive Erbil airport and on our way.
Turkish Airlines is introducing a new fleet of Boeing 737-900ER aircraft for longish 'thin' routes, such as West Africa.
Having worked for a week in Accra, Ghana, I needed to go to Istanbul for the next week and chose TK630, as the 2035 departure slot allowed me to work a full day. take a shower and then make the flight.
Check-in on Friday night was busy in the small Kotoka airport, but not chaotic due to good queue marshalling by ground staff. Although the TK queue was quite long (only 2 desks servicing the 739), I was guided to the front of the document security check and check in only took a few minutes, with a pleasant agent.
After that, I cleared immigration and security painlessly and went to the Akwaaba lounge, which is decorated anachronistically, but is comfortable enough, with a good range of drinks - there was something to eat, but I did not partake, since TK has a reputation for good in flight ctering.
Boarding started a little late and involved walking across the ramp, during which a BA 777 arrived and parked about 40 metres away from me - quite impressively large at close range.
On the 739, I settled into a dark great leather armchair with a seat pitch I would estimate as being 45-50".
I took a glass of champagne before departure (brand unknown, but it tasted okay) and we left about 30 minutes late, heading out to sea, before flying along the coast with a good view of Accra, then turning on track to the NNE.
Dinner had Turkish mezze to start, followed by a choice of chicken satay, beef kofte or veggie ravioli. Once again, I had a glass of champagne and then reclined the seat fully (about 110 degrees, for a guess) and decided to rest, as we were approaching the lower end of the Sahara........ 4 hours later, I awoke as we passed south abeam of Malta (my home) with about 80 minutes left of the journey. So I would rate the seat as comfortable for sleeping.
The cabin crew were efficient and professional, but not particularly pro-active, e.g. they did not provide water wothout being asked in the morning, which I thought was poor on a longish hop.
Surprisingly, there was no breakfast and we arrived at Attaturk International around 0645, being bussed to the terminal, with no dedicated coach for business and the apparent intent of the ground staff to cram everyone from the 739 onto one bus - this was unpleasant and not appreciated after a 6h45 sector.
Then there was the usual b*ggering about of having to apply for a visa on entry, before queueing for entry - no immigration fast track for business class passengers was provided, although the terminal was quiet and the wait was very short.
One of the best aspects of the ground experience was that the priority tagged bags did hit the carousel first (after quite a wait) and mine were in the first ten.
From this point on the rest of the arrival was fast and painless, out through the customs area and straight into the Merc waiting for me, with a short transfer to the Radisson Blu hotel, which has a beautiful view of the Bosporous and is in a busy area, with lots of local restaurants.
All in all, not a bad flight, but the arrival was poorly handled.
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 am living in Basel and I know TK sending always small and old planes to BSL.
This time I Purchased my Business Ticket from Zurich to Istanbul, because of Business amenities has more availability in ZRH. But main purpose was the Plane, ZRH is a business hub and TK sending always new planes! The plane was not what I expected, same as BSL.
The Business Seat were Broken, I called Stewardess and she offered to move another seat.
The Question is here; are they not controlling Business Seats before flight?
The second opinion is; why are they sending all the children just behind the Business? If a Baby who needs special wall mount bedding it is OK, but can you imagine you pay lots of money and just behind you many children crying during all flight.
There is no inflight Duty Free with TK flights. I thought I can buy something during flight.
Lastly; I have priority badge on my Luggage, but arrived the last and latest!
It was the same IST and ZRH Airports.
When they change their Seats I think TK would be the Best!
ISTANBUL Airport Security Issues, Horrible, I never seen any Airport that controls you and your luggage before entry to the Airport. Wait and wait. But this trip I surprised because there was a privat Business Entry!