March 10, 2017

Review: Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 Business Class, Hong Kong-Istanbul

Trip To Osaka and Hong Kong Flying Thai Airways First Class & Turkish Airlines Business Class

Since I knew Mike would be in Australia and New Zealand with his Singelresor group in February, I needed to travel somewhere for a few days and thought I'd book a flight from Europe to Japan and back from Hong Kong using my Turkish Airlines miles. So last November, I redeemed 67,500 miles for a first class award flying from Frankfurt to Osaka via Bangkok in Thai Airways First Class. The taxes was just about 800 SEK which was very reasonable. On the flight back from Hong Kong to Stockholm, I redeemed (I actually borrowed miles from Mike) 45,000 miles to fly Turkish Airlines in Business Class. I've been to both Osaka and Hong Kong a few times in the past so my plan was not really to explore them but rather to just see a few sights during this period. I have to admit, to be able to fly on one of my favorite airlines in first class (thanks to their Rimowa amenity kit and excellent first class lounge in Bangkok among others) and visit two amazing cities is just awesome 😉



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Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Hong Kong to Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Stockholm

Turkish Airlines business class appetizer, Hong Kong to Istanbul

Flight: TK 071
Departure time in Hong Kong (HKG): 23:15
Arrival time in Istanbul (IST): 6:10 (+1)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 3K, later transferred to 4G
Duration: 11h 55m
Date of flight: February 21, 2017
*This is an award travel, Business Class flight #128

Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1

Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1

Hong Kong International Airport Terminal 1

I arrived around 6pm at the airport for my 11:15pm flight which was too early but since I did not have any luggage to check in, I decided I'd use one of the check-in kiosks. Unfortunately, I was directed to the check-in desk which would open at 8pm.

Check-in, Desk D2

Finally, around 8pm, the check-in desks open and I was one of the first passengers to be helped.

Check-in desks D1 and D2 were for business class passengers.

A friendly agent helped me with the check-in process and after a few minutes, I was given my boarding passes as well as an invitation card to the Plaza Premium Lounge.

Plaza Premium Lounge

I wonder why Turkish Airlines is using the Plaza Premium Lounge when in fact there are three Star Alliance lounges here. Well, I guess it's another new lounge for me to visit 😉

United Club

After enjoying some tasty fish soup at the Plaza Premium Lounge, I decided I'd go to the nearby United Club and from there, wait until it's time for boarding.

On the way to the departure gate, Gate 210.

A few minutes before boarding started, I left the United Club.

Boarding, Gate 210

Boarding had already started when I came around 10:25pm.

A separate passenger bridge for business class passengers 👍

Cabin

The business class cabin on Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 is composed of the forward cabin from rows 1-4 and the smaller rear cabin from rows 5-7, in a 2-3-2 configuration with a total of 49 seats.

Seat, 3K

The night before this flight, I chose seat 3K for myself.

My seat 3K, was a window seat.

Ottoman

Seat controls

The IFE controls had the latest design 👍

Privacy divider (between 4E and 4G)

Inflight magazines, Safety instructions card and slippers

Just like all the other Boeing 777s of Turkish Airlines, this one is equipped with wifi connection 👍

Wifi connection from my mobile

By this time, the man seating beside me came (so I thought I would have problem getting to the lavatory later with out bothering him).

A few minutes after settling in, I was offered some welcome drinks and I took a glass of water.

The inflight chef (who I recognized as he was the same chef working in the Arrivals Lounge in Istanbul during our visit last year) came later to distribute the menu card and a Turkish Airlines pen.

Menu card, wine list and pen

Then it was time to distribute the Denon headphones and the Cerruti 1881 amenity kit. Again, we were reminded that they would collect the headphones before landing.

From the movie selection, I watched "Everest" which I thought was a very nice film.

Parked to our right was a Lufthansa Airbus A380 😉

Moments later, the inflight chef (Chef Orhan) came to take our meal order and I ordered the salmon for my appetizer and the beef ribs for my main course.

Inflight Safety Video

At 23:20, the inflight safety video started to play.

I then asked one of the flight attendants if the cabin was full so I could transfer in one of their aisle seats. Fortunately, the load was less than 50 % so I transferred later to 4G.

After the safety video, another ad featuring Morgan Freeman was shown.

A few minutes later, the captain came on the PA to welcome us and to give us flight infos including our flight time of 11 hours and 5 minutes.

Take off went smoothly around 11:38pm.

Turn down Service

As soon as the seat belt sign was turned off, I transferred to my new seat, 4G. I was then asked if I wanted to have my bed made and said yes.

Rear Business Class Cabin

While my bed was being made, I had a look of the rear business class cabin which was empty.

Dining

The menu read as follows:



The champagne was Taittinger Brut Reserve

Wines

Breakfast menu

Moments later, hot towels were offered which was followed by Shery taking the drinks order. She also informed me that she would be the one taking care of this side of the cabin.

The meal service started with some nuts which was served with my apple juice.

Moments later, I was asked if I wanted to have salmon for my appetizer and I said yes. It seemed to me that they lack coordination since the chef already took my order.

The Smoked Salmon and Fennel Salad was fantastic 😋

Again, Shery came to my seat to ask for my main course order which is a big 👎 Some of the flight attendants would come to the cabin with trays of food only to return to the galley since the food was wrong. I was not sure if they were new or something but they certainly did lack coordination.

The Beef Ribs with Chu Hou sauce was also spectacular 😋

Mango Sago Pudding and cheese plate

I actually asked the name of the dessert and the flight attendant didn't know it and had to ask the inflight chef in the galley. She then came back saying it was Mango Panna Cotta although I was sure it was Mango Sago Pudding.

To end my dinner, I ordered a cup of green tea. A bottle of mineral water and a hot towel was also offered afterwards.

Airshow

Airshow enroute to Istanbul.

Toilet & Lavatory

One thing I love about Turkish Airlines lavatory is that it is more spacious compared to other airlines' lavatories 👍

Toilet

Interestingly, Turkish Airlines have switched to a better brand, Molton Brown for their hand wash and lotion which reminded me of the lavatory amenities of Qatar Airways a few years ago. I guess it's goodbye to Eyup Sabri Tuncer.

Self-serve Bar

In between the dinner and breakfast service, one could get some snacks from the self serve bar located between the forward and rear cabin.

For my midnight snacks, I had some Pringles and Wasa sandwich although it took time before some one came to offer me something to drink.

Second Serving

Fresh fruits

Cheddar Cheese Omelette with Green Asparagus

I chose the Chicken and Vegetables with Mushroom (as you can see from the menu above) but I was instead served the Cheddar Cheese Omelette with Green Asparagus with no apologies or explanation. 👎

Around 5am, the captain came on the PA to give us updated flight infos and that we would be landing in 35 minutes. The flight attendants started collecting the Denon headphones and offered the old ones to those who wanted to continue watching movies.

Around 5:33am, we landed smoothly at Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

Transiting at Istanbul Ataturk Airport

Coming from a long haul flight, I decided I'd take a shower and luckily the queue was not that long and I was able to take a shower about 15 minutes after arriving in the lounge.

CONCLUSION

There were a lot of things I loved about this flight. I loved the fact that the food, both the salmon and the beef ribs were phenomenal 😋 The complimentary wifi was very useful since I was able to use Viber from time to time. The upgrade of their lavatory amenities to Molton Brown was also very good.

On the other hand, I thought that the crew lacked coordination as they had to ask for my appetizer and main course order when the chef had already taken them. It could be because I changed my seat but I actually informed the crew where I was originally seated and that they should have noted that. The dessert and breakfast issue was also not so nice.

Overall, I still enjoyed flying with Turkish Airlines on this flight as the meal was perfect, the wifi was useful and that I was able to sleep for a few hours.


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