- The New Star Alliance Lounge at LAX
- Turkish Airlines Business Class Review, LAX-IST on TK10
- Doubletree by Hilton Istanbul – Old Town
- Some of My Activities in Istanbul
- The Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge in Istanbul
I’m finishing this series late but thankfully I take good notes on all my trips!
I got to the gate a bit early so I could make sure to take good pictures of the cabin. Boarding started a bit early and I was able to get a few good pics:
As you can see, Business Class on Turkish Airlines’ long-haul 777 aircraft is in a 2-3-2 configuration, which is not that great. Many premium cabin seats now offer direct aisle access, so this configuration means that people will have to be disturbed if the window seats or middle seat passengers need to get up.
It also means that Turkish is able to cram in a lot more seats into the Business Class cabin. As I’ll explain later in the post, this definitely has a noticeable impact on the service. Otherwise the seat was comfortable but a bit narrow. I liked that the foot rest area was the full width of the seat rather than being cramped like some other airlines like United’s 787. The TVs were small but had a good selection. And clearly there’s no privacy at all with this seat.
After boarding, everyone was offered a welcome drink, ta Crabtree & Evelyn amenity kit, a Turkish delight, and Godiva chocolate. I thought these pre-flight goodies were great. The food and drink were all good, although I waited until after dinner to have the chocolate.
We also received the menus. The flight departed LAX in the evening so we were served dinner first and breakfast before landing. I hadn’t flown Turkish in a long time so I was looking forward to the food at it’s said to be some of the best in the skies now.
You can tell this meal service was going to be different just by looking at the menus. There were several more options available for appetizers and desserts when compared to many other Business Classes.
First up was my Diet coke and (cold) mixed nuts. No complaints with either.
Next came the place setting and bread. The place setting comes with a “candle” (really one of those fake candle-lights), and I thought it was great. It really creates an ambiance that you don’t get in other Business Class cabins.
Next up were the appetizers. The way it works is they bring all the options on a cart and ask what you want, then plate it for you. You can select as many or few options as you’d like. I didn’t get a good picture of the cart on either meal so I didn’t include it here, but I thought this was a great way to do the appetizers. It allows people to see the food before they make a selection, something I think a lot of people would like to do. I picked a couple of options.
The selection of appetizers includes some cold and some hot options. Some of the options were average, but the eggplant one was very good. It was a good start to the meal and perfectly sized.
The main course was up next. I chose the Filet of Beef.
After a good start with the appetizers, I was slightly disappointed by the main course. It wasn’t bad, but I’d give it an average grade compared to the others that I’ve had in Business Class. My expectations were high so I definitely hoped for and expected more. Still, the veggies were pretty good. I was hoping dessert would bring this meal back to an “exceptional” level.
Desserts came around on a cart as well, so I selected a few options in order to try each.
I went with the Strawberry ice cream, baklava, and a cream puff (in the glass behind the plate). The cream puff wasn’t that great, and it was actually pretty hard to get out of that glass. The strawberry ice cream was very good, though a little awkward to eat in the plate instead of a bowl, and I thought the baklava actually was unbelievably good. I realize the airplane food isn’t supposed to compare to “sea-level” food, but I swear this might have been the best baklava I’ve ever had (and I’m including some that I had in Istanbul). I fully expect to be flamed for that comment!
The meal was excellent overall. I really can’t complain much because I set high expectations for the meal. What I can complain about is the service. I mentioned earlier how many people Turkish has crammed into the Business Class cabin, and it really showed during the meal service. The flight attendants were always busy during the meal service. Whether they were preparing the next course or physically handing out food from the carts, they didn’t have any time to ask if we needed anything. Additionally, I had to ask for a refill on my diet coke 3 times before one of them remembered to bring it to me – and it was after I finished the meal. The gentleman sitting next to me in the middle seat had a similar experience as he had to ask twice as well. Besides that, service wasn’t exactly given with a smile either. Again…this was probably because of how rushed they were more than anything else.
I decided to get some sleep after dinner was cleared. The seat controls were easy to use and the seat folded flat without issue. The blankets and pillow were already on the seat when we boarded so I didn’t need to ask the flight attendant for anything. The seat and bed itself are comfortable, but my only complaint is how narrow the seat is. Again, this is a direct result of how many seats they cram in. Still, I was able to sleep relatively comfortably for several hours…until I was woken up by a guy laughing extremely loudly at the window seat. And not just once…the guy was laughing out loud frequently for a good 30 minutes. I peeked over to see what he was watching and it looked like he was watching “The Internship.”
Now that I was up, I grabbed my phone and connected to the free WiFi that’s offered on many of Turkish’s 77W aircraft. You’ll only know if your plane has internet after you board, and it will have a WiFi symbol at the front of the cabin. It’s free for everyone to use, so this is a huge benefit in my eyes. Unfortunately it’s very slow (probably because so many people use it), but I was able to use it for basic things like Whatsapp and Twitter (but wasn’t able to upload any images).
Later on, the guy in the seat next to me started laughing out loud also. This was surprising – usually people in premium cabins are considerate enough to not disturb others but two people laughing so loudly while others were sleeping was very surprising. I checked to see what he was watching and it was none other than “The Internship” again. At this point I took a mental note to watch this movie later on!
Soon enough it was time for breakfast. The cabin lighting only turned on half-way so the pics aren’t great, but hopefully you can get the gist of the images.
I was still pretty full from the last meal so I wasn’t looking to have too much more. I went straight to the mushroom omelette and then moved on to the fruit.
It’s hard to be impressed by an omelette or fruit, so I can’t say these blew me away. They were good, and they were what I’d expect on other Business Class cabins.
The plane started its descent into Istanbul shortly after breakfast. All in all, this flight was good. Although I hate the number of seats and lack of privacy, the seats and bed were comfortable. The food was very good, even if the service was sub par. Still, Istanbul was my final destination and the ability to get the nonstop flight from LAX was worth it. I would recommend taking this flight if you’re going to Turkey (or neighboring countries), or perhaps on your way to Africa since options are slim to get there, but I wouldn’t fly it to get to the Middle East since there are better airlines that fly there.