March 31, 2018

Review: Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class Stockholm-Istanbul

Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class meal

After having my Cairo-Honolulu reservations ticketed, I immediately booked my positioning flights and ended up booking with Turkish Airlines with a stop-over in Istanbul, where I also got to celebrate my 44th birthday. I had planned to visit the Pyramids of Giza so booked a flight from Istanbul that would give me a full day in Cairo. The trip from Cairo to Honolulu and back was a long trip but definitely one of the best I've had since I was able to see the pyramids and visit Hawaii as well 😍


Cairo to Honolulu Run with the Pyramids of Giza and Pearl Harbor Tour

Review: Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class, Stockholm-Istanbul
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Flight: TK1794
Departure time in Stockholm (ARN): 11:30 Terminal 5
Arrival time in Istanbul (IST): 15:55
Aircraft: Airbus A330-300
Seat: 16A to 3A
Duration: 3h 25m
Date of flight: March 30, 2018
*This is a revenue ticket (upgraded to business class) Business Class flight #152

SAS Gold Lounge

We arrived at Stockholm Arlanda Airport around 9:15am and since we already had our mobile boarding passes and with no luggage to check in, we headed directly to security control then to the SAS Gold Lounge. It was actually very quiet in the lounge, apparently due to it being a holiday in Sweden.

Aircraft, A333 (TC-LOB)

Turkish Airlines A330 which is about 4.2 years old.

One thing I noticed about this aircraft is that it was missing the Turkish name which is normally found near the nose of the plane. After some googling, I found out that this A330 was first used by the Japanese airline Skymark Airlines in March 2014 before being delivered to Turkish Airlines in May 2017.

Boarding, Gate 18

We were at the gate around 10:50am and during the pre-boarding, my boarding pass was scanned giving a strange sound. And voila, I was upgraded to business class as well as Mike 😍 At 11am, boarding started beginning with business class passengers and those with status.

As usual, there was a newspaper trolley before entering the aircraft.

Cabin

The business class cabin has a 2-2-2 configuration with a total of 38 seats, 23 of which were taken.

One of several middle seats

Turkish Airlines A330 business class cabin

The monitors on both sides were pretty new perhaps due to it's Japanese origin 😉

As with most A330s, this one is also equipped with wifi 👍



Complimentary wifi is always a big plus 😍

Seat, 3A

My seat 3A, window seat

Seat pocket

Seat controls

The seat does not fully recline to a fully flat bed but for a short haul flight, it was fine.

Entertainment controller

There's also a USB outlet below the headphone jack.

Inflight magazines, safety instruction card, duty free magazines, etc.

Moments after settling in, a flight attendant came to offer some predeparture beverage.

Mike had the usual limonata while I settled for a glass of water.

Around 11:22, boarding was completed and five minutes later, newspapers and headphones were offered.

Philips headphones

Personal screen

Airshow

Movie selection

From the movie selection, I ended up watching Coco which I thought was a very nice film 😉

Around 11:30am, the captain came on the PA with his usual welcome greeting and some flight information. Moments later, the menu card were distributed. We were also offered some packaged roasted hazelnut.


Packaged roasted hazelnut

At 11.34am, the inflight safety video was played and 5 minutes later, we started our pushback.

While taxiing, we caught sight of this Airbus A321 operated by Ukraine's Wind Rose Aviation 😉

We took off at 11:48am and moments later, we were airborne.

View after take off.

Dining

Seven minutes after take off, hot towels were offered signalling the start of lunch service.

Business Class menu card and beverage list

Best of Turkish Meze
Shepherd's Salad

Karniyarik (Stuffed Aubergine with Minced Beef Buttered Rice)
Sea Bass en Papilotte
Rigatoni with Homemade Parmesan Tomato Sauce

Mascarpone Passion Fruit Tart

Turkish Meze, Shepherd's salad, Mascarpone Passion Fruit Tart

The appetizer and dessert were served on a tray, followed by the flight attendant offering bread and drinks. While serving the appetizer, I was addressed by my name which is a plus 👍

For his main course, Mike had the Aubergine stuffed with minced beef which according to him was very good 😋

I on the other hand had the sea bass which was also very tasty 😋

Bread and drinks were continuously offered.

Moments after clearing our trays, the flight attendants came with a trolley and offered coffee and tea as well as some liquor.

I had the usual green tea. To end the meal service, hot towels were offered.

Lavatory

The lavatory had the usual Molton Brown liquid soap and lotion.

One could also ask for a dental kit for those who wish to have it.

Turkish Airlines A330 business class lavatory

Landing at Istanbul Ataturk Airport

About 15 minutes before landing, the captain was back on the PA to give us some updated flight information including the weather in Istanbul which is 12 degrees and that we expect to land at 3:45pm.

View before landing

View before landing

Due to heavy traffic in Istanbul, we had to wait for a few minutes and eventually landed at 3:53pm. We reached our "remote stand" after 2 minutes where a designated bus for business class passengers was waiting.

Designated bus for business class passengers

The nice thing about taking the bus from the remote stand to the terminal is you get to see airplanes in a much closer angle, like this Libyan Airlines aircraft.

CONCLUSION

It was definitely a pleasant surprise to be upgraded to business class, especially as it was my birthday 😍 I loved the fact that the flight attendants were very friendly and addressed me by my name. They were also very proactive and offered refill of drinks and asked if everything was okay. The seats were comfortable and the movie selection was also good. Lastly, the food was very good especially my sea bass. Overall, it was another enjoyable flight with Turkish Airlines made more meaningful with this upgrade on my birthday 😍