Hello everyone, happy new year to you all! Welcome to the third part of this short series covering my quick trip to Istanbul, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest back in OCT/NOV 2016. This FR should have been online a while ago but I accidentally killed my laptop's battery which delayed part 3 and 4. I am sorry about that! Here is part 3 about the first leg of the return from Vienna to Stockholm, namely flight TK1890 from Vienna to Istanbul.
On one random day in September my dad noticed he needed to stay 3 additional nights at a hotel before the end of 2016 in order to upgrade his membership level. Staying at one of their hotels in Stockholm was feasible but not too interesting for my dad. He asked me to look out for cheap fares to Europe in late-October/early-November when I had a week of holidays. I did what he asked for.
A few days pass and I come across an interesting fare from Stockholm to Vienna, a fare involving TK, two early-morning departures and a stopover at IST. Dates were 30 October - 02 November. The fare was at $110 R/T per person and I know a piece of checked baggage and food is included with TK. The other carriers (LH, OS, ET) etc were ranging from $170-250 R/T per person, the fare with TK was definitely the cheapest. I immediately told my dad about this, he seemed skeptical and was not pleased with the flight timings, 06:35 departure from ARN and 07:00 departure from Vienna. There were other flights but those ones were too expensive.
Anyways, after a few discussions we booked the tickets despite the timings and just went with it. Both of us had never been in Austria before us so it would be a new country for both. However, upon further inspection we obviously realised we had a 6 hour layover at IST, the thought about visiting the city popped up (country number 2 for the trip). I also forgot how close Slovakia was to Vienna, I had a thought about renting a car in VIE and then driving to Bratislava, Slovakia. Dad thought it was a good idea and agreed to it, that was the 3rd country for the trip. That was not all though, afterwards I saw Budapest was just a 200km drive away from Bratislava and told my father about it. Dad immediately agreed to it and a 4th country was added to the trip. The original plan was just to visit Austria but now it expanded to Turkey, Slovakia and Hungary. From one to four countries in a period of three days. All of this required extensive amount of planning but in the end I was still skeptical about it ever materializing, I told myself not to be disappointed if we only managed to visit Austria as that was the original plan.
NOTE: Pictures used in this report were taken with my camera and my phone.
Itinerary: Part 1 - ARN-IST, TK1792, Turkish Airlines, Airbus A320-200, TC-JPR - Here Part 2 - IST-VIE, TK1887, Turkish Airlines, Airbus A321-200, TC-JSV - Here Part 3 - VIE-IST, TK1890, Turkish Airlines, Airbus A321-200, TC-JRH - You are here Part 4 - IST-ARN, TK1795, Turkish Airlines, Airbus A321-200, TC-JSA - Here
04:10 AM local time. Vienna, Austria on 02 November 2016. It was time to head back home to Stockholm, Sweden. Me and dad woke up at around 4 AM, did our final checks and left the hotel at around 04:30 AM.
A horrendously blurry picture of our ride to the airport, the plan was to arrive at 05:00 AM.
Driving out of the city center.
On the motorway/freeway towards the airport. Our driver was of Turkish origin, he was happy to know we were flying with TK today. My dad and the driver were having quite a few conversations about various things in life throughout the ride.
Arriving at the airport, a little bit too early. It was just 04:45 AM, the drive lasted for just 15 minutes. I don't think me and my dad thought about the fact that roads are pretty sparsely populated at this time…
TK departs from the D gates at Terminal 1, luckily our driver dropped us off at the entrance closest to the TK check-in counters.
TK check-in desks. A friendly agent got us checked-in for the flight. We had one medium-sized bag to drop off.
FIDS. Our flight to Istanbul scheduled to leave at 07:00 AM. There was also a flight heading to Stockholm at 06:50 AM, a much more convenient way of going home.
We went airside after the quick FIDS check, there was not much to do.
Quick automated BP control.
Duty-free shopping, nothing of interest for us momentarily.
It was only 5 in the morning and boarding wouldn't start until 06:10. This is when we realized we should have booked the cab at 05:00 instead of 04:30.
Passing the empty passport control.
The majority of this area was empty at this time, we were definitely early. Dad suggested to have some breakfast, mostly just to waste time.
A light breakfast at 05:10 AM. Most of the remaining time was spent here browsing through our phones.
You may have noticed that I never talked about a security check, that is because there hadn't been one earlier :). The security check was done before entering the gate area, gate D21 for our flight. The entrance opened at around 05:55 AM. There also seemed to be more people around this place at that time.
The gate area, waiting for boarding to commence.
Airline: Turkish Airlines
Flight no & route: TK1890 VIE-IST
Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A321-200
Scheduled time of departure (actual): 07:00 AM (07:00 AM), UTC +1
Scheduled time of arrival (actual): 11:25 AM (10:38 AM), UTC +3
Scheduled flight time (actual): 2h 25 min (1h 38 min)
TC-JRH, An A321 delivered to TK in January 2008.
Boarding for passengers in Y started at 06:23 AM local time, it was time to enter. I noticed a very small amount of passengers in the waiting room at this time.
Walking through the jetbridge.
An FA greeted passengers upon boarding.
Walking through the cabin of this A321. This flight was originally scheduled to be operated by an A320, then A321, then A320, then A321 Sharklets (if you count it) and finally back to a regular A321. All of that happened in a timespan of 30 days.
This plane features an older cabin, unlike the last A321.
Made it to row 27.
Seat pitch seemed to be normal, the legroom was alright for me. I am 179cm tall (5ft 10,5in). I am not a big fan of these older seats though, they are not made with the most comfortable materials IMO. Although It is okay for a flight of this length.
The plane did not feature any kind of personal IFE system but it did have these overhead screens installed.
Niki A319 painted in AB livery.
Boarding was completed by 06:32 AM, it seems like we are having a really light load today.
This resulted in a free middle seat for me and my dad, it definitely made things much more bearable.
FAs closing the overhead bins.
Headphones were distributed by the crew before pushback.
The safety video popped up at 06:50 AM.
Pushback commenced at the same time.
Taxiing to the active runway for departures at VIE.
And there is the ET 788 heading out to Stockholm ARN.
Rolling down on runway 29, a 3500m-long runway.
Climbing out, goodbye Vienna!
There was not too much going on after departure until the inflight service. The cabin was quiet, a good chunk of the few passengers onboard were sleeping once we took off.
The tray table.
Charging my phone using my powerbank, it is also time for some breakfast roughly 40 minutes after departure.
The breakfast was similar if not almost identical to the meal I had on TK1792 ARN-IST. The main consisted of spinach, something I don't know the name of and a small toast with turkey. I felt like it was of high quality, the main was very tasty as expected. The meal also consisted of a small bowl with cheese and some vegetables, an almond cake, a bun and some water. Strawberry jam, butter and a wet towel were also found on the tray. OJ was my drink of choice. The bun was your typical kind of bun from the grocery store and the cake was slightly dry but not too bad. Overall the meal was tasty and quite filling, TK is definitely ahead of most of the competition when it comes to catering. It feels even more impressive when I think of the fact that this flight only lasts for around 2 hours.
The FAs on this flight were decent, they just did their jobs rather efficiently. That is however expected with a light load.
The remainder of the flight was spent relaxing for the most part.
Safety card of this A321.
Inflight shopping magazine.
A coffee/tea service was made 1h 12 min after departure, 26 minutes before arrival or 30 minutes after the meal service.
Lavatory visit 22 minutes before landing at Istanbul.
I counted the amount of passengers on the way back to the seat as I was up anyway. There seemed to be around 50-55 passengers onboard today which would yield a 26-28% LF in this 194-seater. The flight was very calm, pretty appreciative at this in the morning.
Back to seat 27F, descent for IST was minutes away.
Tekirdağ Çorlu Airport, a military and public airport in Çorlu. TK (AnadoluJet) operates flights here from ESB in case you are interested.
Lining up with runway 05.
Landed at 10:38 AM local time (08:38 in VIE) on this 2580m-long runway.. Our scheduled time of arrival was 11:25 AM, we were early by 47 minutes in other words.
Vacated 05, taxiing to our gate. My guess was a bus gate.
I was wrong, we would be docked at a jetbridge today!
Final stop for TK1890 at 10:47 AM local time.
Leaving TC-JRH two minutes later at 10:49.
A last look at the ride from VIE.
Interestingly we were dropped at the departures level. This meant there would be no security at all. We could have probably made it with a connection of 30 min, even though the minimum connection time for internationals to internationals is 60 minutes (I believe). Now we had 3,5h to kill before taking flight TK1795 to Stockholm-Arlanda.
Speaking about 30 minutes, this AtlasGlobal flight leaving for Stockholm at 11:30 wouldn't have faired bad. Unfortunately for us we didn't have any tickets for that flight, a shame indeed. Anyway, I'll leave it there where we begin our now 3,5h connection in Istanbul before heading back on TK1795 to Stockholm. Thank you very much for taking your time to read this FR :). Have a good one!
Vienna - VIE
Istanbul - IST
This was a pretty good flight with TK, decent service, excellent on-time performance and great catering. The cabin comfort was definitely not the best in this older A321 but does the trick for a quickie. We also had a free middle seat thanks to the minimal load, increasing the overall cabin comfort despite of the rather uncomfortable seats.
Cabin - Should have been a 6,5. Increased to 7 because of the free middle seat.
Cabin crew - A standard cabin crew that did their job efficiently, expected with a LF of 26-28%.
Entertainment - Window view.
Meal/catering - High quality meal with TK as always, excellent in most parts. Impressive for a short flight.
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