November 8, 2016

Review: Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class, Istanbul to Guangzhou

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 😉



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Review: Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class, Istanbul to Guangzhou
Review: Hilton Guangzhou Baiyun
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Review: Premium Lounge, Guangzhou Airport (CAN)
Review: Qatar Airways A380 First Class, Guangzhou to Doha
Review: Qatar Airways First Class, Doha to Abu Dhabi
Review: Etihad Airways First Class Lounge & Spa
Review: Etihad Airways A380 First Apartment, Abu Dhabi to Mumbai
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Review: Thai Royal Silk Lounge Concourse C East, Bangkok (BKK)
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Bangkok to Istanbul
Tour Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Stockholm

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 business class cabin

Flight: TK 72
Departure time in Istanbul (IST): 2:15
Arrival time in Guangzhou (CAN): 16:55
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300 ER (Rumeli)
Seat: 3B then transferred to 3A
Duration: 9h 40min
Date of flight: November 2, 2016
*Revenue Ticket, Business Class flight #117

Turkish Airlines Business Lounge, Istanbul Airport

I had about 4 hours lay over in Istanbul Airport and decided I'd book one of the Suite Rooms in the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge. I have been to this lounge a lot of times but have never seen their suite rooms so I was really glad when the lady in the concierge told me there was an available room. Unfortunately, the wooden floor made a lot of noise specially with all the people walking in the hallway so even if I wanted a short nap, it was not possible. Of course, the bed was very comfortable and if one is not so sensitive with the noises around, I'm sure it wouldn't be so difficult to fall asleep. I left the lounge around 1am and was at the gate after a few minutes.

Boarding, gate 219

There was also another passport control by the gate with an agent asking for a copy of the visa or ticket for the onward connecting flight. After showing her the copy of my flight on Qatar Airways, I was then allowed to proceed. Boarding started at 1:30am with those traveling in business class as well as those with elite status getting priority boarding.

Cabin

The business class cabin on Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300 has a 2-3-2 configuration with the main business class cabin having a total of 28 seats from rows 1-4 and the smaller cabin behind the galley from rows 5-7 with 21 seats, thus a total of 49 seats, all of which turn into a fully flat bed. In the main business class cabin where I was seated, 18 of the 28 seats were occupied.

Seat

My seat 3B was an aisle seat. I would eventually transfer to seat 3A minutes later since it was free. Already waiting at my seat was a blanket ...

... and a pair of slippers on the ottoman.

Very spacious legroom.

Seat controls

IFE Controls

Reading lamps between the two seats

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER safety instruction card

Inflight magazines, duty free catalogue and Skylife Planet magazine

There was also wifi connectivity on this Boeing 777 which was very good since when we flew to Panama in September, they used an Airbus which did not offer wifi connectivity.

Wifi access is complimentary for business class passengers, and just recently to Elite and Elite Plus members flying in economy class.

Under the armrest, you'll find USB port and headphone socket ...


... as well as IFE controls and a power outlet.

A few moments after settling in, I was offered some drinks and took the usual lemon mint.

From the movie selection, I enjoyed watching Independence Day and Star Trek Beyond.

By this time, the captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard and give us some flight info including our flight time of 9 hours and 10 minutes. A little later, the flight attendants came with a trolley offering newspapers, magazines, Denon headphones and the Jaguar amenity kit.

The new DENON headsets was a very good upgrade to their old headsets so kudos to Turkish Airlines for this. Of course, we were reminded by the crew that they would collect them before landing.

The amenity kit consisted of a Jaguar pouch bag, Jaguar hand lotion and lip balm together with the usual socks, eye shades, earplugs, toothbrush, toothpaste and hairbrush.

About a quarter past 2am, the flight safety video started to play. Turkish Airlines has recently made a new safety video featuring Zach King, the king of visual illusions and which they posted on their Facebook account a few days before this flight so I was really expecting to see it but I guess they hadn't loaded it yet as they still showed the old version. Take off around 2:45am went smoothly and soon, we were airborne.

From the TV screen, they showed a video of the procedure to Chinese Immigration Inspection.

Samy, the flight attendant taking care of our side of the cabin came to introduce himself and offered to make my bed. He was working with some 3 or 4 guys, 2 ladies and the inflight chef together in the business class cabin.

He left the blanket and pillow on seat 3B so I could just grab it later when I go to sleep.

A hot towel was offered followed by the Immigration forms.

Dining

To start the meal service, the menu card and wine list was offered. I was also given a pen so I could tick the boxes for my breakfast choices as they would collect the breakfast menu card before the passengers go to sleep. A little later, drinks order were taken and I chose a glass of apple juice. The inflight chef also came to ask for my choice of main course, and as a seafood lover, I chose the seafood meal.

Turkish Airlines Business Class menu card

APPETIZER

Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad or
Smoked Salmon with Daikon and/or
Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea soup

MAIN COURSE

Potpourri of Grilled Seafood or 
Traditional Dolma Varieties or
Spicy Chicken Skewer

DESSERT

Potpourri of Traditional Turkish Dessert
Raspberry Tart
Dark & White Chocolate Mousse
Chocolate Ball with Mango

ASSORTED CHEESE AND FRESH FRUITS

Apple juice, nuts and canapes

Smoked Salmon with Daikon, White Cheese Tabbouleh, Stuffed Sundried Red Pepper

Roasted Pumpkin and Chickpea Soup

Potpourri of Grilled Seafood, Cauliflower Mousseline, Sauteéd Spinach & Roasted Red Pepper

Fresh Fruits, Dark and White Chocolate Mousse

The seafood meal was very good specially the fish. I was also offered some cheese to go with my dessert although I declined since I was already full. Tea was also offered but I declined as well. To end the meal service, bottles of mineral water were offered. I continued watching the movie Independence Day for half an hour or so and then went to sleep. I woke up with just 3 hours left before landing and decided to watch Star Trek Beyond.

Breakfast

With about 2 hours and 20 minutes left before landing, I was offered a hot towel which was followed by something to drink with a choice of water or orange juice.

Moments later, I was served a tray consisting of:

Fresh fruit salad
Yogurt with dried figs and apricots
Acuka (Anatolian style spicy pepper & tomato spread)
Regional Mihalic cheese & Ezine, marinated Turkish olives
Fresh carrot juice and hot chocolate

Gözleme Flat Pastry with Cheese and Leaf Spinach, Sauteéd Potatoes
Fresh carrot juice
Anatolian Style spicy pepper and tomato spread
Comb honey from Erzincan & kaymak

I was also offered more bread but I declined.

I was also offered a refill of hot chocolate but decided to have a cup of green tea instead. To end the meal service, hot towels were offered.

On the way to the lavatory located between the two cabins, there's the Turkish Airlines logo on the wall.

Toilet & Lavatory

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 business class lavatory

There were 3 lavatories in the business class cabin, although the two lavatories located between the bigger and smaller cabin were normally being used by the passengers.

The lavatory had the usual Eyup Sabri Tuncer cologne and hand cream.

Toilet

About 40 minutes before landing, the captain came on the PA to give us updated flight info including the weather in Guangzhou which was 23 degrees. A few minutes later, the crew started collecting the DENON headsets. I remember Qatar Airways used to collect their headsets too (a few years ago) although they stopped doing it eventually. Maybe, it would also be the case with Turkish Airlines.

View

View before landing in Guangzhou Airport

Arrival in Guangzhou Airport

We landed in Guangzhou Airport around 4:52pm. As we taxiid to the gate, we caught sight of this China Southern Airbus A321. Guangzhou is actually China Southern's hub airport so we saw lots of their aircraft.

We reached the gate by 5:08pm (which was a long taxi) and parked beside an Ethiopian Boeing 777-300.

As a business class passenger, I was one of the first ones to disembark. From the gate, I took a picture of the aircraft that flew us here, the Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER named Rumeli.

Guangzhou Airport

From the airport, I took the metro to the Hilton Guangzhou Baiyun where I stayed for a night.

CONCLUSION

Although I've flown recently in Turkish Airlines business class, I was still excited to take this flight as it was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER. I loved the fact that the seat turns into a fully flat bed and that I was able to have a good sleep. Also, the complimentary wifi was fast and definitely a big plus since only a few airlines offer free wifi to their business class passengers. The meal was perfect specially the seafood meal that I ordered although I wish they would serve the meals individually just like what Qatar Airways is doing, pretty much like 5 star service. Of course, Lufthansa is serving meals from the trolley even in first class so I guess it's a matter of how passengers see it. The staff were actually friendly but unfortunately not so engaging as the crew on other airlines like Qatar Airways so I guess there's still a room for improvement on that. Overall, it was a very nice flight. To all the crew on this flight, "Teşekkürler!"


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