November 29, 2016

Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul-Stockholm

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 πŸ˜‰



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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 meal, Istanbul to Stockholm

Flight: TK 1795
Date of flight: November 6, 2016
Departure time in Istanbul (IST): 14:35
Arrival time in Stockholm (ARN): 16:20
Aircraft: Airbus 321-200
Seat: 2D
Duration: 3h 45min
*Revenue Ticket, Business Class flight #120

Istanbul Ataturk Airport

After enjoying the complimentary Tour Istanbul, we were back at the airport at exactly 11am for my 2:35pm flight to Stockholm.

Turkish Airlines offers a dedicated lane for their business class and elite passengers from E2 and since I haven't tried it before, I decided I would take this special lane this time.

The passport control queue was very short compared to the normal lane and it went smoothly but unfortunately there was only one security check for everybody so in the end, it was still a long queue. πŸ‘Ž

Turkish Airlines Lounge

Since I still had some time before boarding, I waited in the Turkish Airlines Lounge which I think is one of the best business class lounges offering great food and amenities πŸ˜‰πŸ˜Š

Boarding, gate 309

I left the lounge a bit early since our departure gate was from gate 309 which is about at least 10 minutes walk from the lounge. As usual, the aircraft was in a remote stand so we had to take a bus. Unfortunately, there was no priority boarding offered so it was a bit of chaos during the boarding process (when taking the bus) πŸ‘Ž

Aircraft

The good thing about boarding from a remote stand is that you get to take nice pictures of the plane πŸ˜‰ This flight was operated by an Airbus A321-200.

Cabin

Turkish Airlines business class cabin on the A321 has a total of 12 seats from rows 1-3 in a 2-2 configuration with the middle seat being blocked.

Seat

My seat 2D was an aisle, although I thought I'd take a picture of the window seat. Already waiting at my seat was a blanket and a pillow.

Unlike the spacious legroom in the outbound flight which I took days before, there is not much legroom here as you can see in the picture.

Inside the seat pocket are the IFE magazines and the old headphones. Apparently, they only offer the new DENON headphones on their long haul flights.

Turkish Airlines overhead monitors

A few minutes after settling in, the inflight chef came to take my drinks order and I had my usual Limonata. Around 2:25pm, the captain came on the PA to welcome us and give us some flight info.

Moments later, one of the flight attendants came to offer some newspapers and I took a copy of the Wall Street Journal with its headline about the Brexit.

Skylife magazine and safety onboard card

Moments later, the new inflight safety video started to play starring Zach King πŸ˜‰

Take off went smoothly and moments later, we were airborne.

As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off, the flight attendants started distributing Samsung Galaxy S2 tablets. They said they are now offering them on aircraft without rear seat screens. Cool πŸ‘

Unfortunately, their business class headphones can't be used on these tablets so the flight attendants distributed the economy class earphones instead.

Dining

Moments later, the inflight chef came to offer hot towels which was then followed by the menu card and beverage list, addressing each one of us by our names as she handed the menu cards πŸ‘

The menu read as follows:

Appetizer

Mozzarella & tomato salad
Curry chicken & pineapple
Smoked wheat salad with pomegranate

Main Course

Poached fillet of sea bass with chard
Turkish style grilled minced beef
Rigatoni with aubergine

Dessert

Chocolate bar

Bread

Ovenfresh bread selection

Beverages

Juices, softdrinks, hot drinks

Champagne, Turkish & International wines, spirits, beers, liqueur and cognacs

The salad, appetizer and dessert were served in a tray together with my choice of drink, apple juice.

Then, it was time for my main course, the sea bass which tasted perfect πŸ˜‹

To end the meal, tea, coffee and liquor (Cointreau, Courvoisier, etc) were offered.

I had a cup of green tea, as usual. Hot towels were also offered to end the meal service.

Airshow

Airshow enroute to Stockholm

Toilet & Lavatory

The lavatory amenities included the usual cologne and hand & body lotion from Eyup Sabri Tuncer.

Turkish Airlines business class toilet

About 30 minutes before landing, the captain came on the PA to give us updated flight info including the weather in Stockholm which was -2 degrees. Moments later, the flight attendants came to collect the Samsung tablets. We landed at Stockholm Arlanda Airport at 4:11pm, a few minutes ahead of schedule.

CONCLUSION

This was another great flight in Turkish Airlines business class: the food was great specially the sea bass, the Samsung tablets that were offered to compensate for the lack of rear seat screens was a big plus and the crew were nice and friendly addressing us by names. It was sad that the legroom was not that spacious as the seats were basically economy seats with the middle seats being blocked. Overall, I enjoyed my flight with Turkish Airlines and I'm looking forward to my trip with them again this Christmas. To all the crew on this flight, "TeşekkΓΌrler!" 😊


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