This report includes the first part of my trip to Lebanon. ME266 Istanbul Atatürk - Beirut ( you are here ) ME267 Beirut - Istanbul Atatürk ( will be posted )
There are 4 carriers who flies this route directly. Turkish Airlines, Pegasus Airlines, Borajet and Middle Eastern Airlines for Summer 2016. MEA was cheaper than all other carriers and they use Atatürk Airport instead of Sabiha Gökçen. AtlasGlobal ended their BEY service this year.
Online check-in served almost nothing because I had chosen my seats when booking the ticket and it didn't let you have a mobile boarding pass. MEA didn't had an online check-in desk at IST. And they ask to fill your passport information.
Entering the airport:
Entering the airport was fast and the first security checkpoint was empty so 2 minutes of waiting time.
People were starting to que up at 08:30 but the desks opened at 09:00. Some people tried to enter the queue from the middle or entered Sky Priority line even they were Economy. I have also seen passengers booked for the next day flight and in the line waiting to check-in. There were 2 Sky Priority and 2 Economy Class desks. When I was checking in, the ground agent checked my passport if I had an Israel stamp due to security reasons.
Spotting in the outbound flight while waiting the flight.
Passport and Security Checkpoint:
Today's wait was 15 minutes in the regular line.
Waiting for the Flight:
Today's choice was Starbucks Coffee at the mezzazine floor. It's the same as usual Starbucks in Turkey but it was crowded and difficult to find a seat.
Our aircraft from the gate area 222. Today's aircraft was OD-MRO.
Mahan Air A310 departing to IKA from the gate next to ours
An AtlasGlobal A319 ( TC-ATD ) heading to the runway for its flight to CPH
TK A320 just arrived from TLV and parked at gate 221.
Firstly business class passengers were invited to board and after that all remaining passengers were invited. Boarding was on time.
The seat was a regular economy seat for this flight. Every passenger had it's PTV for the flight. The seat had a footrest and the seat pitch was above average economy class seats.
The in flight safety video was shown and the cabin crew checked the cabin for almost 5 times. Every time someone was told to close their mobile phones for takeoff.
So, A triple seven to Chicago
Another 777 to San Francisco
Air Astana A320 to Aytrau
Turkish A330-300 to Boston
TC-JSI to Lisbon ( A321 )
Another USA flight. TK7 to Washington.
Turkish A321s to Rome and Munich
TK1985 to LHR would be operated by a 777-300ER
TC-JSE parked at gate 207 waiting for it's departure to Zürich.
Two TK 738's both just arrived from Thessaloniki ( TC-JVV ) & Batumi ( TC-JHD ).
Last photo before takeoff; TC-JRG departing to AYT at the runway and AC 788 waiting for it's turn
Last view of IST
After a short while there was a brief video about Lebanon on our PTV's.
15 July Martyrs ( Bosphorus ) Bridge & The Golden Horn
Kadıköy District from the sky
There was PTV's at every seat but the entertainment system opened for 1 minutes after the video of Lebanon. The system was deactivated for the rest of the flight. Another point is that overhead monitors were showing the flight map but the monitor over us wasn't working.
There was two magazines. Cedar Wings magazine and the duty free catalogue. In flight duty free was avalible for this flight.
Firstly the cabin crew handed us the tray that had mini sandwiches, chocolate yoghurt, an orange juice and a small water. Another fact is that no beverages were served and cabin crew was asking everyone if they wanted tea or coffee. Before landing they served a Lebanese cake with pistachios.
The only problem was when the crew was distributing immigration cards I tried to stop her but she hadn't so I pressed the crew button to call her. After 2 minutes they have turned off the signal from the front. After that I repressed the button and it was the same thing, they had turned the sign from the system so I've got my form just before leaving the aircraft.
Another point about the crew was that one of the exit row passengers started to touch the window-door just for looking and they strictly warned the passenger not to touch the door instead of an emergency situation.
Arrival was on time. Immigration was quick and fast even I had to fill my form at the airport. Baggages arrived at carousel 2 after 15 minutes of waiting for them.
Middle East Airlines
Istanbul - IST
Beirut - BEY
MEA was better than I have expected. It was the cheapest option and why should'nt I fly them again if it's possible. I don't know anything about connecting flights in Beirut but it can be useful one day. Once again thanks for reading the report and sorry for some photo errors.
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