After spending the night at Holiday Inn Express near the airport I took the hotel transfer to IST at 8h00 to allow plenty of time at the TK lounge, a must, well known by the frequent travelers. As my bags were already checked-in to OPO I headed direct to the security at the lounge entrance, so in about 3 min I was inside the lounge, spending there more than 2h00.
It was time to explore all the areas of the lounge, and the breakfast plates and snacks. The lower floor of the lounge was more empty, as usual, so I could have a good resting time there. I noticed that the suites are now only available for connecting flight passengers, with some specific rules, such as the obligation of one of the flights to be longer than 8h00 and no more than 7h00 of connecting time between flights.
At 10h45 I went to the gate and the B737-900 ER TC-JYI was already there. This aircraft was delivered to TK August 2012. The Y class would be full but only 2 C class passengers.
Very good occupation in a new route, started last 30th April. Boarding started a bit late, and plenty of space in a 4 row C class cabin.
Welcome drinks, newspapers and magazines were offered by the cabin purser.
Doors were closed at 11h40 and after lining up for the departure runway we were airborne at 11h50, 25 min after schedule for a 4h15 expected flying time to Porto.
Just after take-off it was possible to see the Black Sea and then, turning left heading west towards OPO. Shortly after hot towels and the menus were handed over. Then it was time for pre meal drinks and nuts before the meal. About 45 min into the flight it came the large tray with the appetizers and cheese plate.
The appetizers consisted of potpourri of meze, wild salmon and avocado, smoked eggplant salad, minted white cheese and watermelon can carrot humus. Several types of bread were offered from a basket. Sometime after the appetizer plate was removed giving way to the main course plate. My choice was grilled swordfish brochette, with black olive mousseline and sautéed Mediterranean vegetables. For dessert a homemade apple meringue tart with vanilla sauce.
All the meal service took about 1h00 so still plenty of time to relax inflight. The flight path was interesting overflying Venice and Genoa with clear skies during all the flight.
Descend to OPO started around 13h50 with very nice views over the Douro river before overflying the city of Porto. It would be a normal landing, but, at the very last end, seconds from the touch down, the landing was cancelled due to a “runway incursion”. Full power and up again flying north to Póvoa de Varzim and turning left into the Atlantic ocean. It would take another 20 min to land again at the same runway.
A good flight experience with TK, as usual and with standard service.
Turkish Airlines Lounge
Istanbul - ISL
Porto - OPO
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