October 27, 2016

Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Budapest


Trip To Panama Flying in Turkish Airlines Business Class

Last month, Mike and I traveled to Panama for the first time where we stayed four nights in the beautiful capital, Panama City. We flew with Turkish Airlines in business class although we had to originate from Budapest instead of Stockholm since the fare was much cheaper starting from the Hungarian capital. Between Stockholm and Budapest, we took the direct flight on Norwegian. Since I have Diamond status with Hilton, we stayed at the Hilton Panama and Waldorf Astoria Panama where we got upgraded to a Master Suite during our stay at the Hilton Panama. We also had a chance to stay at the Radisson Decapolis Hotel which was also a nice hotel, although not as nice as the two Hilton properties we stayed at. When in Panama, you should never miss doing the Panama Canal Tour as it was definitely the highlight of our trip. Take note that they don't have tours everyday so make sure you check the availability beforehand. Our trip to Panama was one of the best trips we've had and having flown in Turkish Airlines business class, it couldn't have been better!



Review: Platinum Lounge, Terminal 2B Non-Schengen Budapest (BUD)
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Budapest to Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Panama via Bogota
Review: Hilton Panama
Review: Radisson Decapolis Hotel, Panama City
Review: Waldorf Astoria Panama
Top Attractions in Panama
Review: Copa Club, Panama Tocumen Airport (PTY)
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Panama to Istanbul
Photoreview: Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul Arrival (IST)
Review: Radisson BLU Conference & Airport Hotel, Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Budapest

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 "Bestepe", Boeings 6000th Next Generation 737

Flight: TK 1035
Departure time in Istanbul (IST): 7:00
Arrival time in Budapest (BUD): 7:55
Aircraft: Boeing 737-800 (Boeing's 6000th Next Generation 737)
Seat: 2A
Duration: 1h 55m
Date of flight: September 27, 2016
*Revenue Ticket, Business Class flight #115

Check-in

We took the shuttle bus from the Radisson BLU Conference & Airport Hotel Istanbul at 5am and reached the airport around 5:05am. We already had our boarding passes issued in Panama so we headed directly to the security controls which went smoothly.

Lounge

Media Wall, Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul

Then, we headed to the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge where we had a quick breakfast. The departure gate was a bit far from the lounge so we left the lounge around 5:45am to make sure we had enough time.

Boarding, gate 303

Boarding started at 6:05am with business class passengers and those with status getting priority boarding. The aircraft was in a remote stand so we had to take a bus although they did not have a separate bus for the business class passengers.

Aircraft

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 "Bestepe"

Interestingly, this is Boeing's 6000th Next Generation 737 and was delivered to Turkish Airlines by Boeing in July 28 this year which means this aircraft is only 2 months old!

While boarding, I caught sight of this Turkish Airlines A321 with the "Turkey Discover the Potential" livery.

Seat

My seat 2A was a window seat.

Coat hook and literature seat pocket.

Spacious legroom

The seat controls are located to the left of the seat.

Beside the seat controls is the IFE controls.

There are also reading lamps between the seats.

IFE magazines, duty free catalogue and safety instructions card

Turkish Airlines business class blanket

Under the left armrest is the foldable tray.

Turkish Airlines business class headphones

IFE controls and headphones

Under the right armrest, you will find the personal TV screen.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 business class personal TV screen

Air vents and reading lamps

A few moments after settling in, we were offered something to drink and I chose the raspberry drink. The flight attendant also offered to hang my jacket although I declined. The business class cabin has a 2-2 configuration in 4 rows with a total of 16 seats, 11 of which were occupied.

View of the cabin from my seat.

TV screen in front of seats 1A and 1B

Around 6:50, an announcement was made that boarding was completed. A couple of minutes later, the captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard and advise us of our flight time of 1 hour and 45 minutes. It was followed by the safety instruction demo, and a few more minutes we started our pushback. We were also offered some newspapers but we declined. Take off went smoothly and moments later, we were airborne. It was noticeable that it was very silent in the cabin which is very good.

View of Istanbul after take off.

Dining

As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off, the female flight attendant started preparing for the service. First we were offered a hot towel. Moments later, she distributed the menu card and beverage list. The menu read as follows:

Turkish Airlines business class menu

Turkish Airlines business class menu

Turkish Airlines beverage menu (champagne, Vodka, cognacs, etc.)

Moments later, the flight attendant took our drinks order and I chose a glass of apple juice.

The meal consisting of appetizer, fruits, butter and salad was served in a tray and was followed by my apple juice. Bread was also offered afterwards.

Main course, coffee and tea trolley

Cheese and Tomato Omelette

The other choice was Grilled Flat Pastry Stuffed with Cheese. Both the appetizers and the main course were excellent, which is a sign that DO&CO is doing a great job!

To end the meal service, we were offered a hot towel.

Lavatory & Toilet

As usual, the lavatory had the cologne and hand lotion by Eyup Sabri Tuncer.

Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-800 business class toilet

Landing in Budapest Airport

We landed in Budapest Airport around 7:50am, 5 minutes ahead of schedule. Since we had about 6 hours before our flight to Stockholm, we decided to go to the city.

Weather in Budapest was not very sunny but it was okay and we were able to visit a few interesting places even for a few hours.

CONCLUSION

Nothing beats flying on an aircraft that's only two months old! The seat was very new and the personal TV screen worked perfectly. It was also very silent in the cabin. As for the food, it was excellent for a short flight so kudos to Turkish Airlines and to DO&CO for doing such a great job. The flight attendant and the purser did an excellent job with the meal service as it was both efficient and friendly. Overall, a very nice flight. To all the crew on this flight, "Teşekkürler!" Until next time!


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