January 4, 2018

Review: Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class, Istanbul-Panama via Bogota

Turkish Airlines Business Class meal, Istanbul to Panama

In September 2016, I was able to take this same flight for the first time and it went pretty well so I was excited about taking this flight again. I was worried we would get an old aircraft that did not have fully flat bed and no wifi but much to my surprise, it was a newer version with wifi and comfortable seats.


Christmas & New Year in Panama Flying Turkish Airlines Business Class


Flight: TK 800
Departure time in Istanbul (IST): 2:10
Arrival time in Panama (PTY): 11:30 (+1)
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Seat: 2K
Duration: 16h 20m including 1h 30m in Bogota Airport
Date of flight: December 22, 2017
*Revenue Ticket, Business Class flight #142

Video Review


Connecting at Istanbul Ataturk Airport

We knew that we were illegible for the free hotel that Turkish Airlines is providing to its business class passengers (as we had more than 7 hours transit time) so we headed directly to the passport control and used the special lane for business class and status members 👍

Then we headed to the Hotel Desk located in front of the Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge and after waiting for 15 minutes, our names were called and we were driven to the Renaissance Polat Istanbul Hotel where we spent a few hours.

Istanbul Ataturk Airport

We were fetched at the hotel at 12midnight and without traffic, we were back at the airport quickly.

The passport control located immediately outside the lounge was closed so we used the regular one.

Turkish Airlines Business Lounge


Whenever I am visiting this lounge (and whenever available), I always make sure I get a taste of their delicious pizzas 😋

Boarding, Gate 228A

We left the lounge about 10 minutes before boarding time and had to wait about 10 minutes more before boarding started. Business class passengers and those with status got priority boarding as usual.

Aircraft, Airbus A330 named Kayseri

Delivered in 2006, I am glad that they have eventually installed wifi and fully flat seats on this aircraft.

Business Class Cabin

The cabin has a 2-2-2 configuration from rows 1-3 with a total of 18 seats all of which were taken. It was interesting that three pairs who were supposed to seat together (including us) got all mixed up although we were able to sort it out in the end.

Two middle seats in row 3

Business class cabin as seen from my seat

Seat, 2K

My seat 2K was a window

Personal screen

Minutes after settling in, we were offered welcome drinks.

I had the raspberry juice while Mike had the lemon mint.

The IFE controls is located to the left of the seat, close to the privacy divider.

Above the IFE controls was the reading lamp.

Under the middle armrest were the power ports and headphones socket.

Inflight magazines, safety instruction card, waste bag

Tray table

Waiting at my seat are the blanket and slippers. This is actually a new design for the slippers since the ones they had before were of blue-grayish color.

Around 1:53am, the captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard and to give us some flight information.

A few minutes later, the flight attendants started offering newspapers, amenity kits and headphones.

The amenity kit on this flight consisted of a Furla bag, a 30ml Shea hydrating cream and lip balm from Institut Karite, toothbrush and Signal toothpaste, shoe horn, comb, ear plugs and socks.

As usual, they had Denon headphones and we were reminded by the flight attendants that they would collect them before landing.

From the movie selection, I ended up watching Transformers.

It's nice that Turkish Airlines is using real modern IFE controls on this aircraft 👍

Wifi is installed and one can also watch Live TV.

Wifi is complimentary for business class passengers and those with status while using it for 24 hours costs 14.99 USD.

CNN from the Live TV section

Inflight Safety Video

Around 2:15am, the safety video was played on the screen.

We started our push back at 2:12am and after about 20 minutes, we had a smooth take off.

Turndown Service

Moments after the seat belt sign was turned off, the flight attendants offered to do the turn down service.

Dining

Menu card

Beverage list

Wine list

The dinner service started with the flight attendants offering hot towels. They also distributed the immigration forms for those getting off in Bogota.

Then, drinks order were taken and I had a glass of apple juice which was served with some mixed nuts.

The inflight chef came after wards to take our appetizer and main course order.

For appetizer, Mike had the Creamy Roasted Red Pepper Soup which he said was delicious 😋

I on the other hand chose the Potpourri of Seafood which was also very good 😋

For our main course, Mike and I both had the Potpourri of Grilled Seafood which was phenomenal 😋

After enjoying our main course, dessert and coffee/tea were offered.

Dessert

Green tea

To end the meal service, bottles of water were offered as well as hot towels.

Air Show

Air show en route to Bogota

Lavatory

There are two lavatories, both of which are located in the back of the cabin, one the left and the other on the right. The amenities were from Molton Brown 😉

Self-serve Bar

The bar was fully stocked when the bar was set up although it was almost empty when I took this picture 😉

Breakfast

About two and a half hours before landing, hot towels were offered to signal the start of breakfast service.

Breakfast

Mike had his usual omelette

And I had the Turkish option

View

View

View before landing

Landing at Bogota International Airport

We landed at El Dorado International Airport around 7:54am

And reached our gate five minutes later.

Bogota to Panama

Flight: TK 800
Departure time in Bogota (BOG): 9:30
Arrival time in Panama (PTY): 11:20
Aircraft: Airbus A330-200
Seat: 2K
Duration: 1h 50m

Minutes after landing, an announcement came on the PA informing us that according to Colombian Law, transiting passengers should stay on the aircraft. The flight attendants also checked which hand luggage belonged to who. Then, passport control was done and moments later, the "cleaning" was done.

Eight of us from Istanbul stayed while seven new passengers boarded the aircraft.

Personal screen

Boarding was completed around 9:05am and about 15 minutes later, welcome drinks were offered.

The captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard (again) and give us some flight informations including our flight time of 1 hour 50 minutes.

Moments later, immigration forms to Panama were distributed.

We started our pushback at 9:45am but it was not until 10:12am that we took off.

Moments after the seat belt sign was turned off, headphones were distributed.

Dining

To start the meal service, hot towels were offered. Then, the flight attendants took our drinks order.

Just like the last time I flew on this route, the meal which consisted of 2 open sandwiches and a biscuit was served but it took a long time to receive the drinks.

My apple juice arrived just before I finished my snacks 👎

Around 10:50am, the captain came on the PA to give us updated flight information including the temperature in Panama which is 31 degrees and that we would be landing in 30 minutes.

View before landing

We landed in Panama Tocumen Airport at 11:20am and reached our gate three minutes later.

CONCLUSION

The last time I flew to Panama on Turkish Airlines, we flew on an aircraft with old seats and with no wifi so I was a little worried we would get the same aircraft. Fortunately, they have installed wifi on this plane and the seats were fully flat 👍 The dining experience was spectacular, as always with DO&CO. The flight attendants were friendly and (almost) always addressed my by my name. The movie selection was extensive and the Live TV was a plus. If there are two things I wish they would do, it is that they offer pyjamas on long haul flights (like this) and offer Bulgari or Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kits the way they do on Emirates and Qatar Airways 😍 Overall, it was a very nice flight and for the price we paid, it was definitely worth it.