Review of Turkish Airlines flight Istanbul Stockholm in Economy

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK1795
Class Economy
Seat 28A
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 03:45
Take-off 02 Nov 16, 14:35
Arrival at 02 Nov 16, 16:20
TK   #15 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 778 reviews
Rl 777
By 2040
Published on 2nd February 2017
Hello everyone and welcome to the fourth and last part of this short series covering my trip to Istanbul, Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest back in October/November 2016. This part concludes the series, with the last flight from Istanbul IST to Stockholm ARN.






NOTE: Pictures used in this report were taken with my camera and my phone.
Full background can be found in part 1 with slightly alternated versions in part 2 and 3.



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 - Here
Part 4 - IST-ARN, TK1795, Turkish Airlines, Airbus A321-200, TC-JSA - You are here






As mentioned on the previous part, there was no security after disembarkation as a result of being dropped at the departures area instantly. It was around 11:00 AM local time (scheduled time of arrival was 11:25) and the TK flight to Stockholm wouldn't depart until 14:35 (boarding at 13:35). We had roughly 3,5 hours to kill before getting on the next flight, we were also dry of ideas at this time.
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IST airside.
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Gate information for TK1795 was not available yet, still too early.
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A few minutes pass and we just decide to walk around the place and enter a few stores to kill some time until further notice.
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Food court.
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Eventually after some wandering around my dad realized he had some Turkish lira on him, that he would have no use for once we boarded the flight. We went inside a duty-free store and purchased some sweets for the family back home with dad's last amount of Turkish lira.
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My father went to a random gate to relax at before going to our actual gate later on, I followed him to see which gate it was. This was also when my Wi-Fi connection ended, Wi-Fi at IST is available for 2 hours a week (or for two weeks, I don't remember). However, there are other hotspots around the airport like the TK lounge, Starbucks etc. The password for the Wi-Fi at the TK lounge can be found on the web.
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This picture was taken to remember where my dad was at. It was time to see what kind of spotting I could do at IST today.
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Bad spotting shots today. IA 738.
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SV A333.
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Too bright.
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A little bit better.


Turkish Ground Services.


ATA Airlines, an airline based in Iran. Seen her doing flight I35402 to Tabriz.


I went back to gate 214 after roughly 10 minutes of spotting, my phone was in a good need for a recharge. Local time: 12:17 PM.
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It is difficult to see on this picture but our flight was finally assigned to a gate, gate 311. I remember seeing signs for those gate while doing spotting and I am pretty sure 311 was a bus gate.
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Heading to the gate.
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We are heading downstairs and that's pretty much a confirmation of a bus gate.
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Gate 311, it was 12:46 PM in Istanbul at this time.
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55 minutes fly by and it is almost time for boarding.
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Boarding begins a handful of minutes later, me and my father were assigned to boarding group A which meant we were quick to board the bus.
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Inside the bus (Cobus 3000).
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This flight was scheduled to be operated by an A321 with Sharklets but we ended up on TC-JSA, a regular A321. Some may consider this an equipment change while others may not.
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Flight information:

Airline: Turkish Airlines

Flight no & route: TK1795 IST-ARN

Aircraft: Airbus Industrie A321-200

Scheduled time of departure (actual): 14:35 (14:58), UTC +3

Scheduled time of arrival (actual): 16:20 (16:04), UTC +1

Scheduled flight time (actual): 3h 45 min (3h 6 min)

TC-JSA, a 4,7 year-old A321 delivered to TK back in May 2012.
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SQ B772.
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Entering the aircraft.
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The usual "Hello" interactions with the FAs were made while walking to seat 28A and 28B.
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Row 28.
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The seat pitch seemed to be okay as a first impression. Comfort wasn't as good as in the newer A321s but definitely better than the comfort in their A320s.
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This A321 featured a personal IFE system unlike the A321 on the previous VIE-IST leg. It wasn't the newest IFE system but it still featured one. I got to experience three "generations" of TK 321s on this itinerary. Thanks to NGO85 for pointing out the covered cutouts on the seatback. USB ports and other ports are normally located here but they were covered in this aircraft, I believe there were no USB ports behind the seats but I could have missed it.
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Still boarding at 14:17 local time. Departure scheduled at 14:35.
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Wing view.
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Overhead bins.
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A portion of the languages offered in TK's IFE software.
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Coat hook.
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Boarding was completed by 14:26 and we were given a nice gift from TK, an empty middle seat. The unoccupied seats on this flight were located on the back of the aircraft, choosing seats back here turned out to be a decent idea.
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The safety video was playing on the PTVs once pushback commenced. 14:39.
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Swiftair Boeing 737-300(SF). This little guy has operated for around 14 other carriers in its lifetime.
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Taxiing to runway 35L.


320.
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Thanks for tracking Martin1405!
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333 with a lot of ground vehicles.
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332 with few ground vehicles.
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343.
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Lined up with runway 35L.
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Rolling down.
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Climbing out of IST at 14:58 local time.
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Banking towards Stockholm.
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Leveling out.
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Earbuds were handed out 9 minutes after takeoff, the quality was awful but still better than nothing. I used my own earbuds and I would recommend you to use your own equipment too if possible.
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The regular safety card.
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Skylife magazine with Zanzibar being the highlight.
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Conakry is not included on this map but is now a TK destination (as of 02FEB17).
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Havana and Caracas are now also a part of TK's network, not visible on this picture. This FR has been severely delayed which explains the absence of these destinations, I did this flight back in November 2016.”
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The other basics.
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The flight was around 90% full today, the front of the plane was full with a dozen unoccupied seats in the back.
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Lavatory.
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Cruising.
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The hardware wasn't the latest, although the software seems to be up-to-date with the newest IFE system. Content seemed to be pretty similar as well, the moving map didn't work this time either… Responsiveness of the screen was lousy at its best.
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The meal service commenced 40 minutes after departure. The choices were chicken or pasta, like on the IST-VIE flight (part 2). I went with chicken last time and wanted to check the other option out, I basically ended up with pasta. The main consisted of pasta rigatoni in some kind of sauce, that was about it. It was a bland meal in comparison with the chicken option but still good for a short haul flight. It would have been classed as a pretty bad entrée if this had been a long-haul flight. My father went with chicken which was identical to the chicken option on TK1887 IST-VIE. The chocolate mousse was good with a sufficient amount of chocolate taste and the bowl to the left was just a small side with an olive, cucumber slices, tomato slices etc. A bun was also handed out.
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Turkish Lokum and menu cards are not handed out anymore (at least on most short-haul flights), a part of TK's recent cost-cutting plan.
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Wet wipe.
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We are suddenly flying through some clouds.
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A tea/coffee service was done 40 minutes after the meal service, or 80 minutes after departure.
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The remainder of the flight was spent charging my phone, listening to music, looking out of the window and just generally thinking about life.


Announcement about our descent to Stockholm.
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Descending.
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Some of the Eastern parts of Stockholm can be seen on this picture, Nacka, Sickla etc. Motorway 222 runs through these parts connecting Eastern STO with downtown STO, barely visible.
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And now to some of the Southern areas and suburbs. Globen (The Globe), Hammarby, Björkhagen, Kärrtorp, Enskede, Bagarmossen, Skarpnäck, Sockenplan etc.
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Lined up with runway 01R.
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The weather is miserable in Stockholm today, as always. One reason why 30% (just a wild guess, probably an exaggeration but it feels like it) of the population goes abroad as soon as we have holidays. More than 30% of my friends go away to places like Spain, Thailand, the U.S., to their parents' country etc during most holidays.
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Landing on 01R at 16:04 local time.
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Slowing down.
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Taxiing to terminal 5.
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Luxair B738.
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The regular SAS 737s.


Docked at the gate.
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We left the plane at 16:19 local time.
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A last look at our ride.
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Walking to passport control.
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We were through in a few minutes and continued to the baggage claim area.
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This is the first time I have seen any signs for transfers at ARN.
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Belt number 2 for flight TK1795.
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Our bag arrived in roughly five minutes, now it was time to take the shuttle bus to the Beta long-term parking lot.
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Waiting for the bus at the arrivals level.
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A yellow Volvo bus with "BETA" as the destination approached us after 1,5 minutes of waiting time.
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I had taken a picture of the correct bus stop in part 1, bus stop K. Finding the car was a breeze thanks to the picture, we've always forgotten where our car has been in the past.
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Inside the car, we are ready to go home.
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Driving out of the parking lot.
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On the E4 freeway/motorway towards the city centre.
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I live in the Northern suburbs of Stockholm and the airport is located in the Northern outskirts. The airport is only situated +-30km away from my home as a result. The central station is located around 45km from ARN.
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Thank you for taking your time to read this FR :). Have a good one and see you later!
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See more

Verdict

Turkish Airlines

7.8/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew7.5
Entertainment/wifi7.0
Meal/catering8.5

Istanbul - ISL

8.4/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness10.0

Stockholm - ARN

7.6/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

I have had a great experience with TK this time around, a stark contrast to my experiences in 2011/2012. All flights were on-time if not early. Catering is top-notch, the crew was decent and the overall seat comfort was alright.

Cabin comfort - Decent amount of legroom, decent pitch. Did the job for a 3-hour flight.

Cabin crew - An alright crew, they did their job efficiently with a few smiles.

Entertainment - PTVs onboard this A321. Moving map didn't work but the system was still good. Responsiveness was really bad though but there was a handset. The moving map is one of the most important features IMO, would have been a 9 on entertainment if it was functioning.

Meal/catering - Full meal on this short flight, good quality but the pasta dish was bland. Still not bad for a short-haul flight in the end.

Related

8 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 384326 by
    NGO85 SILVER 1972 Comments
    Thanks for sharing the conclusion of this series with us RI777!

    "The password for the Wi-Fi at the TK lounge can be found on the web.”
    - That’s a clever way to circumvent the WiFi time limit^^ LAX only offers 45 minutes of free WiFi so there are worse airports out there.

    Nice spotting at IST, I wonder why KK chose a tail livery so close to TK’s in appearance.

    “I got to experience three "generations" of TK 321s on this itinerary.”
    - A big issue to have that large of cabin variances in your fleet. The cabin on this A321 looks fine for a regional flight and the PTVs on the long IST-ARN sector were probably much appreciated. I wonder why they left all those cutouts on the seatbacks where various outlets should be. Do these seats have USB ports?

    “Earbuds were handed out 9 minutes after takeoff”
    - Didn’t they used to be black?

    “Havana and Caracas are now also a part of TK's network, not visible on this picture.”
    - Interesting that they do BOG-PTY as a 5th freedom, I remember them advertising TK’s arrival at PTY, but assumed it would have been a direct flight.

    “The meal service commenced 40 minutes after departure”
    - The pasta does look very basic, but probably still a decent meal and the best catering in Europe. Even better than the meal service on my AA report.

    All in all, TK still offers the best product in Europe, Even with some evident cuts in their product, they are still above all their competitors that are also making cuts. See you next time!
    • Comment 384410 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      Thank you for your very nice comment :).

      True, some airports don't have free Wi-Fi at all. Speaking about LAX, I believe various Wi-Fi codes for LAX can be found on the web as well.

      http://www.thisisinsider.com/free-wi-fi-password-at-airports-around-the-world-2016-10

      Good point, you just made me think of other similarities with airline tails. A lot of people say CX's and TK's tails look very similar, especially KA's and TK's.

      True, the same is evident with their 738s. Some have no IFE with newer seats, others feature older seats without IFE, some feature a slightly older IFE system while a few has the latest IFE with the latest seats. Thank you very much for noticing the cutouts, I never put much thought into that. Now when I think about it, I strongly believe there were no USB ports.

      “Didn’t they used to be black?”
      - They were grey on the earlier IST-VIE leg but I have no idea what colour they were before haha.

      I presume they wanted to play with safe with a triangular routing operating at a frequency of 3x flights/week. However, the PTY-IST leg is non-stop :).

      “The pasta does look very basic, but probably still a decent meal and the best catering in Europe.”
      - That is a very good summary.

      Thank you very much for your comments and for stopping by.

      Have a good one, see you!
  • Comment 384380 by
    jetsetpanda 2283 Comments
    Hi RI 777 and thank you for sharing another interesting FR with great spotting and aerial shots.

    The updated livery of IA looks nice. I read that it is expected to receive 787's in 2019. Time will tell. I will agree with NGO85 that KK has a very similar livery to TK. It seems that their fares are pretty competitive.

    "the front of the plane was full with a dozen unoccupied seats in the back."
    - I know it's not a guarantee, but I always try to sit as far back as possible in the hopes of getting an empty seat next to me.

    "The meal service commenced 40 minutes after departure."
    - Cost cutting is evident and it's rare to see salad as an appetizer on TK, but still this is the best meal for an intra-European flight in Y.

    "Conakry is not included on this map but is now a TK destination (as of 30JAN17)."
    - I'm sure this along with CCS and HAV will be corrected in future editions. Speaking of updates, I think that the new safety video with Zach King is fantastic and deserve an "A+" for creativity. I has over 4 million views so far!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9NqSg4dSBvI

    See you soon.
    • Comment 384411 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      Thank you very much for your nice comment :).

      “The updated livery of IA looks nice.”
      - I strongly agree.

      You are right. There has been some skeptical thoughts concerning IA's 789s but as you said, we will have to wait and see.

      KK's fares have indeed been pretty competitive at times, I have found ARN-IST-ARN fares for roughly USD 43.

      “I know it's not a guarantee, but I always try to sit as far back as possible in the hopes of getting an empty seat next to me.”
      - It is always good to give it a try :).

      “Cost cutting is evident”
      - Absolutely, you have shown us lots of examples from various carriers on your reports. It almost seems like cost-cutting is the "future" in this world of increasingly fierce competition.

      “I'm sure this along with CCS and HAV will be corrected in future editions.”
      - Indeed, it has probably already been updated. I was pretty late with this FR.

      Already 4 million views? Damn, that was quick. I agree, I love that safety video and have watched it several times just for the sake of it haha.

      Thanks for stopping by. Have a good one, see you!
  • Comment 384575 by
    martin1405 36 Comments
    Merhaba och tack så mycket för din amazing FR! :)

    Great spotting shots!

    "Bad spotting shots today. IA 738."
    Nooo, that's absolutely not true! They're great!! I hope you liked the view with many TK planes, haha.

    Nice and clean cabin!

    "This flight was scheduled to be operated by an A321 with Sharklets but we ended up on TC-JSA, a regular A321. "
    Aww, this was so sad. I hoped you would get an A32B....

    It's great that you got IFE! Unfortunately, I have never been on a flight with IFE.

    "Thanks for tracking Martin1405!"
    My pleasure!

    "The flight was around 90% full today"
    Ingen vill att flyga till Arlanda

    Amazing lavatory

    The meal on your flight made me hungry. I hope you enjoyed it!

    "Widen Your World" on the wet wipe, haha.

    "Some of the Eastern parts of Stockholm can be seen on this picture, Nacka, Sickla etc. Motorway"
    No Norsborg....

    "The weather is miserable in Stockholm today, as always"
    The weather was great when I visited you actually!!!

    Baggage claims at T5.... I was so excited when I was waiting for the luggage!!!

    Thanks for you great FR again and I can't wait to read your next FRs! :)

    See you!!
    • Comment 386319 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      Thank you for your very nice comment :).

      Thank you very much for your positive feedback, I appreciate it all.

      “I hoped you would get an A32B....”
      - Was hoping it wouldn't change too but changes happen. At least it was a 321 with IFE, unlike the 321 on the VIE-IST flight.

      “Ingen vill att flyga till Arlanda“
      - Haha

      “No Norsborg....“
      - No Southwestern Stockholm this time, sadly.

      “The weather was great when I visited you“
      - You were probably very lucky, rarely happens.

      Thanks very much for stopping by.

      Have a good one, see you!
  • Comment 388734 by
    marathon GOLD 10126 Comments
    A 2 hour limit on the wifi is irritating when your connection is look or the next flight delayed (I experienced the nuisance of the 3 hour limit in ARN in the latter case)

    A non-functional moving map removes at least 80% of the interest of an IFE system, IMO.

    Thanks for sharing !
    • Comment 388767 by
      Rl 777 AUTHOR 802 Comments
      Thank you for your very nice comment :).

      The limit is irritating indeed, I believe the limit at IST was for one week (2 hours a week or something similar). The 3-hour limit at ARN is stupid IMO, really stupid.

      “A non-functional moving map removes at least 80% of the interest of an IFE system, IMO.“
      - I agree, even though I did not really show that. The moving map is the most important thing to an IFE system IMO but I didn't react that much as this was a relatively short flight. Usually I do not have any IFE systems at all on shorter European flights. It would have been much worse to me if it had been a long-haul flight with TK and the moving was was out of function. Still, I deducted some more points of of entertainment, the moving map is important! (Especially when there is an IFE system). Same goes for the IST-VIE flight.

      Thank you for stopping by, appreciated.

      Have a good one, see you!

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