November 28, 2016

Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Bangkok-Istanbul

Trip to Guangzhou in Turkish Airlines Business Class & Guangzhou to Mumbai in Qatar Airways & Etihad A380 First Class

A few months ago, I came across some tips on Flyertalk about a cheap business class fare from Vilnius to Toronto on Turkish Airlines and since I wanted to earn Elite status in the airlines' Miles & Smiles program by the end of this year, I did not hesitate and booked the flight. Unfortunately, a schedule change forced me to cancel the flight and look for another option. I had some miles left on my American Airlines Advantage account so I thought I could redeem them flying from Guangzhou to Mumbai in first class. Flying from Mumbai to Bangkok was easy since Air India flies direct between these two cities. After thoroughly planning the trip, I ended up buying an open jaw ticket in Turkish Airlines business class, from Stockholm to Guangzhou and back from Bangkok to Stockholm. It actually turned out perfectly well as I was able to fly Qatar Airways A380 first class from Guangzhou to Doha and then to Abu Dhabi. In Abu Dhabi, I was able to visit the newly opened Etihad First Class Lounge & Spa and from Abu Dhabi, I flew on Etihad's A380 to Mumbai. It was 8 flights in 6 days which was really tiring but who cares when you're flying in first and business class ๐Ÿ˜‰


Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Stockholm to Istanbul
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24 hours in Guangzhou, China
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Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Guangzhou to Doha
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Review: Etihad Airways A380 First Apartment, Abu Dhabi to Mumbai
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Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Bangkok to Istanbul
Tour Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Stockholm

Turkish Airlines Business Class appetizer, Bangkok-Istanbul

Flight: TK 69
Date of flight: November 5, 2016
Departure time in Bangkok (BKK): 23:30
Arrival time in Istanbul (IST): 6:25 (+1)
Aircraft: A330-300
Seat: 1K
Duration: 10h 55min
*Revenue Ticket, Business Class flight #119

Transiting in Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

My flight on Air India from Mumbai landed early morning in Bangkok while my flight on Turkish Airlines to Istanbul was scheduled at 11:30pm so I had basically more than 12 hours lay over. I didn't want to go to the city since I had just visited Bangkok back in June. Also, I was not able to sleep well on the flight and thought I could sleep for a few hours in one of the THAI lounges that offer slumber rooms and at the same time I could review two THAI lounges which I haven't visited yet. As I didn't have my boarding pass yet to Istanbul, I decided to go directly to the transit counter. There was an earlier flight on Turkish Airlines to Istanbul so the transit desk was still open although I was informed by the agent that my flight is not until 11:30pm and that I had to wait when they open again at 7pm. After explaining to her that I actually wanted to use the lounge, she called her supervisor after which she was given a go signal to print my boarding pass ๐Ÿ‘

EVA Air Lounge, Concourse F

My first stop was the EVA Air Lounge since I wanted to take a shower (their shower suite is one of the nicest in Bangkok Airport) and have a good breakfast.

THAI Royal Silk Lounge, Concourse C West

After taking a shower and having a really nice breakfast in the EVA Air Lounge, I then walked my way to Concourse C where one of the two THAI Royal Silk Lounges has slumber rooms, specifically the West. They are also the two lounges which I haven't been to in the past so it was perfect.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport

Boarding, gate F6

I decided to wait in the EVA Air Lounge in Concourse F since my departure gate was actually in the same concourse. I thought I still had 2 hours before departure until I saw from the departure screen that my flight was already boarding. It was only then I realized that I still had the Mumbai time on my iPhone ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Fortunately, the lounge was not that long from the departure gate (and that I was already in the right concourse). My boarding pass was scanned during preboarding although I was still asked by the agent to present my boarding pass on Air India from Mumbai. Boarding started around 11:05pm with priority boarding given to those flying in business class.

Aircraft, A330-300

Turkish Airlines Airbus A330-300 "Diyarbakir"

Cabin

Turkish Airlines A330-300 has a total of 28 flat bed seats in a 2-2-2 configuration. There are 5 rows on both sides and 4 in the middle, thus the total of 28 seats. Turkish Airlines normally uses a Boeing 777-300 on their flights to Bangkok so this aircraft is not that common I guess.

Seat, 3B

My original seat was 3B (in the picture) but since a grandson seated in 1K was traveling with his grandad who was seated beside me in 3A, I was asked by the grandson if I could take his seat instead which was not a problem for me.

My new seat 1K was a window and bulk seat. Already waiting for me at my seat (ottoman) was a blanket and a pair of slippers.

Turkish Airlines business class bulkhead TV

A few moments after settling in, one of the flight attendants came to offer some predeparture drinks and I chose a glass of limonata.

Turkish Airlines A330-300 forward down camera

Planet Magazine, and safety on board card

Among the new movies on board were Tarzan, Ghost Busters, The Secret Life of Pets and Ice Age.

Around 11:24pm, the captain came on the PA to welcome us on board and to give us some flight info including our flight time of 10 hours and 5 minutes. The cabin chief also came to our seats to welcome us.

Then, it was time to offer some newspapers, amenity kit and DENON headsets.

The new DENON headsets is definitely a big improvement to their old headsets.

The business class amenity kit in a Cerruti 1881 bag consisted of a 30 ml Shea Hydrating Cream and a lip balm from Institut Karite, Signal toothpaste and toothbrush, a pair of socks, comb, shoe horn and ear plugs.

Inflight Safety Video

A few moments after, the inflight safety video played featuring Zach King, the king of visual illusions, and which I think is one of the coolest inflight safety videos by an airline so kudos to Turkish Airlines for this ๐Ÿ‘ If you haven't seen the video yet, I recommend checking it out on YouTube ๐Ÿ˜‰

Airshow

Airshow enroute to Istanbul

Take off went smoothly and within a few seconds, we were airborne.

Turndown Service

As a standard in Turkish Airlines flights, a turndown service was offered and which I was glad to accept.

Dining

To start the meal service, hot towels were offered. The one thing that comes to my mind when airlines offer hot towels (oshibori) is Qatar Airways since I think they are one of few airlines (if not the only one) in business class offering hot towels presented on a wooden stand. And they also ask if you would prefer hot or cold towel. Why can't Turkish Airlines and other airlines do this ๐Ÿ˜‰

Moments after, I was presented the menu card including the breakfast card where I had to tick my choice of breakfast. I then told the flight attendant that I was originally seated in 3B so as not to confuse them in case the guy who swapped with me had ordered a special meal.

Menu card with the "Antalya Open" cover

Moments later, Jasmine the flight attendant working in our aisle presented herself and took my drink order. The inflight chef also came to take my main course order and I settled for the fillet of beef.

The champagne on board was the French Gosset Brut Grande Reserve.

White wines included the Turkish Prestige Narince 2015 and the French Chablis Premier Cru Les Joyaux 2015 while the red wines included the Turkish Doluca Karma Merlot Bogaskere 2014 and the French Chateau Lamothe Pontac 2014.


Menu

Grilled Prawns and Pomelo and Coconut Salad or
Grilled Chicken Breast with Avocado and Aubergine Salad and/or
Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup


Main Course

Fillet of Beef
Grilled Chicken
Eggplant & Zucchini Linguine


Desserts

Potpourri of Traditional Turkish Desserts
Orange Marmalade Cake
Mango Panna Cotta
Mango Ice Cream
Assorted Cheese & Fresh Fruits

Breakfast menu card

Moments later, Jasmine came to set my table and afterwards, a glass of apple juice and mixed nuts were served.

It was followed by some canapes which were very good.

Then, it was time to set up the table for the dinner service which included bread and butter, olive oil, cutlery and the candle light ๐Ÿ˜‰

For my appetizer, I chose the Grilled Prawns and Pomelo and Coconut Salad with roast cashew nuts which was very tasty ๐Ÿ˜‹

As for my main course, I had the Fillet of Beef with roasted red peppers, sauteรฉd broccoli, fried rice and rosemary jus which was also very good ๐Ÿ˜‹ Dessert was also offered and I ordered the mango panna cotta served with some sliced fruits. Cheese was also offered but I declined.

Coffee and tea trolley

Green tea served with a small chocolate cake. I ๐Ÿ’— the teapot!

To end the meal service, a bottle of Sirma mineral water was offered together with a hot towel.

There was a snack bar before I went to sleep but when I woke up (about 2 hours before landing) it was already cleared. Of course, I was glad I slept well as a seat that turns into a fully flat bed was really nice specially on night flights like this ๐Ÿ˜‰

The breakfast service began with a choice of orange juice or water.

My breakfast meal was served on a tray which consisted of sliced fruits, banana and mango smoothie, yogurt, smoked chicken breast and beef bresola.

Hot chocolate

Mozzarella and tomato omelette, parsley potato and sauteed mushroom

To end the meal service, hot towels were offered. Around 45 minutes before landing, an announcement was made that they would collect the DENON headsets.

Toilet & Lavatory

There are two lavatories behind the business class cabin and one behind the cockpit. As usual, the lavatory offered the Eyup Sabri Tuncer cologne and hand cream. I love the lemon scent and there's nothing wrong with it although I hope that in the future, they would offer better brand like what THAI and Qatar Airways are offering in their business class lavatories ๐Ÿ˜‰

Turkish Airlines business class toilet

Landing at Istanbul Ataturk Airport

We landed around 5:47am although we parked in a remote stand. The new International Airport in Istanbul is scheduled to open late next year so until then, I guess we would have to expect departing/arriving in a remote stand every now and then. The good thing though is that we had a separate bus (for business class passengers) to the terminal.

Business class ride to the terminal

As a business class passenger, I was able to make use of the Business Class Transfer Fast Track.

I had qualified to Turkish Airlines Elite status after my flight to Guangzhou a few days ago so I decided to have my new Turkish Airlines card printed with the Batman VSuperman design ๐Ÿ˜‰

Turkish Airlines Lounge, Istanbul

Since I had a few hours left before the Tour Istanbul, I stayed in the Turkish Airlines Lounge in the meantime.

CONCLUSION

Again, another great flight on Turkish Airlines in business class. I was really glad that I was able to have my boarding pass printed in the transit desk since I guess I wouldn't have been able to access the lounge earlier than 7pm. The food was great and the comfortable seat that turns fully flat allowed me to sleep like a baby although I still wish they could offer a mattress pad like Qatar Airways ๐Ÿ˜‰ Also, I think we could have enjoyed some free wifi had it been the Boeing 777 operating this flight but I guess aircraft changes are really normal nowadays. The DENON headsets are definitely an upgrade to their old ones. I love the amenity kit (although I had hoped for another Batman VSuperman) and maybe a better content with Bulgari lotion and perfume like that of Emirates ๐Ÿ˜‰ Of course, I also loved their signature "Candle light dinner high above the cloud". The service may not be the best but I guess it's getting better and better. Overall, this was a very nice flight and now that I have elite status on Turkish Airlines, I guess I will be flying with them more often specially on paid flights. To all the crew on this flight specially to Jasmine who took care of us, "TeลŸekkรผrler!" ๐Ÿ˜Š


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