Review of Turkish Airlines flight London Istanbul in Business

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK1980
Class Business
Seat --
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 03:50
Take-off 10 Apr 15, 11:25
Arrival at 10 Apr 15, 17:15
TK   #20 out of 67 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 647 reviews
socalnow
By 7221
Published on 11th May 2015
Hi everyone. This is the continuation of a brief RTW trip in April of 2015. The trip started out with a desire to sample Turkish Airlines and visit the city of Istanbul. And it grew from there. The final product came in the form of: SNA-DEN-FRA-LHR-IST-PVG-SEA-LAX. For this journey I utilized Southwest Airlines, Lufthansa, Turkish Airlines, Delta Air Lines, and Alaska Airlines.

I will break the journey down as follows:
Planning and LH DEN-FRA http://flight-report.com/en/report-10178.html
FCT and LH FRA-LHR http://flight-report.com/en/report-10216.html
LHR Lounges and TK LHR-IST (This Report)
TK Lounge, Istanbul, and TK IST - PVG (coming soon)
DL PVG - SEA (coming soon)
AS SEA - LAX (coming soon)

I was excited for my first ever visit to London's Heathrow Ariport. So much so that I arrived about 3 hours prior to departure to take in the sights. Also, I was staying at the dismal Sheraton Heathrow Hotel so getting out of there was a top priority.

Flying Start Alliance I was departing out of Terminal 2: The Queen's Terminal. How magnanimous of her to share it with this great horde of travelers. Upon entering the terminal It was quite apparent that it was either new, or had undergone a recent refresh/remodel.

Although I had checked in online I sought out the Turkish counters as I was curious to know what lounge they use at LHR. The check in positions were all closed but I was able to speak with a TK staff at the sales desk. I was informed that it would be the United Club. Somewhat apprehensive about another United Club I oped to use the Priority Pass Lounge initially.

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The Plaza Premium Lounge was a dimly lit dungeon so i oped for a stroll around the terminal and visit to the United Club.

Main rotunda.

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SQ A380 waiting for the return to SIN

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Pleasantly surprising United Club. It far exceeds the Plaza Premium Lounge

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After some nibbles and a bloody mary with United I decided to have a walk to the gate and view the 777-300ER that would be taking me to IST.

Equipment swap! No matter, same hard product.

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Boarding was a disorganized mess as I would later learn is trademark of TK. After a +/-30 minute delay with no announcements we were on board.

Business class seat.

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Cabin perspective from 2A.

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IFE screen and they really do have chefs on board!.

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Refreshing Lemon beverage before takeoff.

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Adjacent to the front left lav I spied a crew rest seat.

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Images of traffic as we taxied for takeoff.

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What a handsome group of airplanes.

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Airborne.

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The service began with the starter tray and a beverage of choice.

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I opted for the seafood over the mezze. I felt like I was going to have ample opportunity to experience mezze type dishes at the TK lounge. This was a pleasant course paired with some champagne.

Next the main.

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Lamb wrapped in eggplant. It was moist and flavorful.

After lunch I enjoyed some Turkish coffee and still water.

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I spent the remainder of the flight window gazing and dozing off. I couldn't figure out how to operate the flight map on the IFE, if there is one. There has to be, but I couldn't find it.

Overflying the Sea Of Marmara East of Silivri.

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Some shots of the final approach into Ataturk (IST).

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After a smooth touchdown on a beautiful day we were docked at a remote stand. This is usually my preference as I really enjoy viewing the aircraft from ground level.

Cabin on arrival.

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Our trusty steed.

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We boarded a bus to immigration/customs. I had not done my visa online but thankfully there was no line to do ti upon arrival. That, coupled with the Business Class queues for immigration made for a quick and painless entry into Turkey.













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Verdict

Turkish Airlines

7.4/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew7.0
Entertainment/wifi7.5
Meal/catering7.5

United Club - 2

7.2/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services7.0

London - LHR

8.0/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Istanbul - ISL

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access5.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness5.0

Conclusion

My first impression of Turkish Airlines was mixed.

- The lounge at LHR was unremarkable.
- The boarding process was disorganized and information was not dispensed to the waiting passengers.
- The on board crew was efficient but cold.
- The seats are certainly better than most inter-Europe business class but are not world class for long haul (as I would learn early next morning).
- The catering was above average and suited my palate.

Thank you for reading and please stay tuned for the next installment.

Information on the route London (LHR) Istanbul (ISL)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 2 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Istanbul (ISL).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Turkish Airlines with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 52 minutes.

  More information

6 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 136520 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 5766 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this next report in your RTW trip! It's always funny how US airline lounges are way better outside the US, than they are at home. The new United Club at T2 looks really nice from your pictures. BTW, I added it to the database for you if you want to add it to your report. From the looks of it, the overall experience with TK is well above average on an intra-European flight. Flat-bed seat and long-haul style catering. TK is known for not handling irregular operations very well and your report is just more evidence of that. Seems like deplaning on remote stands is very common in IST, but the good thing is you get a nice view of your aircraft and you definitely got a great shot of your A330. Thanks for posting!

  • Comment 136536 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this report with us.

    The Plaza Premium Lounge was a dimly lit dungeon
    - Ah yes, it has all the feels of seedy night club.

    Pleasantly surprising United Club.
    - The foreign soil UA Lounges are generally better, there were also good reviews recently on the one in BKK too.

    Aircraft swap, was not for the better. But that's just my opinion because I love 77Ws, but who is going to argue with a flatbed seat on a regional flight? That said, where TK fails in boarding protocols, they make up with catering. The seafood starter looks very good. Presentation on the main could be better, never a fan of ramekins, but this is a common serving style for regional flights. No dessert course?

    Beautiful approach shot into IST coming in off the water.

    I love remote stands, the tarmac rides on the bus are great for spotting. And it isn't until you are standing on the tarmac next to your plane that you can really appreciate what pieces of art (and how big) they are.

  • Comment 136671 by
    jetsetpanda 2294 Comments

    Welcome and thank you for sharing this FR.

    Good call on the seafood appetizer. It looks appetizing and well presented.

    Beautiful arrival pics into IST.

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