Review of Turkish Airlines flight Bangkok Istanbul in Economy

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK65
Class Economy
Seat 6K
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 10:35
Take-off 15 Mar 17, 11:50
Arrival at 15 Mar 17, 18:25
TK   #13 out of 72 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 673 reviews
thejetflyer
By 7972
Published on 7th April 2017
photo tk65photo myistanbul


My Itinerary for this trip - A Star Alliance Dream !

  1. Manchester MAN ✈ IST Istanbul Ataturk |Turkish Airlines, A321-200, Economy
  2. IST Istanbul Ataturk ✈ LHE Lahore Allama Iqbal |Turkish Airlines, B737-800, Economy
  3. LHE Lahore Allama Iqbal ✈ BKK Bangkok Suvarnabhumi |Thai Airways, A330-300, Economy
  4. BKK Bangkok Suvarnabhumi ✈ IST Istanbul Ataturk |Turkish Airlines, A321-200, Economy
  5. IST Istanbul Ataturk ✈ Manchester MAN |Turkish Airlines, A321-200, Economy

Arriving at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport



Check In


And here we have the entrance for Turkish Airlines Checkin !
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The boss airline of Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport….even the trolleys grace Thai Airways branding !
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I arrived at Bangkok Suvarnabhumi just before 0900am and checked in by 0910am. A gentlemen came round and gave all TK passengers a TK logo sticker to put on their tops/jackets. I asked him why this was and despite his best attempts to advise, I still was none the wiser ! But hey ho, who am I to complain ; it shows my love for TK !
Very nice lady who checked me in and I was again delighted my baggage allowance was 29kg of the 30kg allowed !

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Turkish Airlines Checkin Bangkok…Istanbul is connected to Bangkok with two flights a day !

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Return of the permanent bag tag ! I would only receive this for 1 of 4 flights however.
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My first ever longhaul Turkish Airlines Boarding Pass !
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After checkin I headed upstairs to to Departures on the upper level and had to go through security . The security was very thorough again just like Manchester.
After security there is Passport Control. On your inbound flight into Thailand you are given an Arrivals and Departures card. Fill these out onboard the aircraft to save yourself time. But in case you haven't filled these out,there are desks and pens to do so ! But do you really want to add stress to your day ?!

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Thai Cultural lesson in the midst of a Shopping Heaven and International Global Gateway !
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A range of boutique style shops made the walk to Gate F6 interesting !

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Free mints and WiFi Instructions from the Airport of Smiles….staff certainly were very happy everywhere today as opposed to my arrival on Sunday ! Maybe Bangkok Suvarnabhumi staff don't like Sundays ?!!

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Time for spotting in the heart of Asia !

Always nice to see a British Airways aircraft,reminds me of my British roots !
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The new Kuwait Airways A330
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Norwegian 787 just landed and Gulf Air A330 at the gate
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The last time I was so close to an A330 of Gulf Air was in 2002/3 whilst flying London Heathrow to Abu Dhabi and back ! This is however the first time I have seen this livery so close as my flights were in the Golden Falcon livery ( which I miss ) :(

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Shenzhen Airlines 737 with some Asian cousins in the background !
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Myanmar National Airlines….a lovely livery !
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And here in her usual form !
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I was sat upstairs in the Gate area but suddenly a lady came by from some promotions company and told us to head downstairs. The lady came to me and asked what language I speak and then said she couldn’t tell if I was passenger or crew (!) and gave me a card to enter a comp for 2 long haul tickets. I guess I was mistaken for crew because I was sat near the Cabin Crew who were waiting to board !

TK65 FastFacts
TK65 codeshare with Thai Airways as TG7543

Aircraft
A330-300 Sharklets airborne December 2013
Registration
TC-JNZ. How odd that TC-JNZ is the final aircraft in the registration series TC-JN* and reminds of the word Janaza,the Urdu word for funeral. Random fact !
Name Kartalkaya ; after a Turkish Ski Resort
Previous flight Tel Aviv - Istanbul Ataturk
Today TK65 Bangkok Suvarnabhumi - Istanbul Ataturk
Next flight Mauritius and Antananarivo
STD 1130AM / ATD 1150AM
STA 1815PM / STD 1827PM

Airports I have seen Turkish in or have flown with Turkish from/to

LHR/IST/AMS/LHE/JFK/BKK/KWI/JFK


The gate for TK65 to Istanbul Ataturk
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And there she is !
Our ride to Istanbul Ataturk !

Named "Kartalkaya" after a Ski Resort in Turkey and registered TC-JNZ, she became part of the Turkish Airlines fleet in December 2013 and still has the Economy Interior of Preistmangoode where seat headrests are meant to resemble the spices in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul ! ermmmmm ok I've never seen blue spices…but ok !

TC-JNZ sure is a busy workhorse !

In the week before flying to Bangkok to bring me to Istanbul, previous flights from and to Istanbul Ataturk were ,in order JFK,Washington,Jeddah,Algiers,Tokyo Narita,Tel Aviv then my Bangkok flight.

Next up Mauritius,Antananarivo. At the end of March 2017 latest to oldest ; Jeddah( from both Istanbul Ataturk and Ankara Esenboga ), Tashkent,Tehran,Johannesburg,Maputo,Heathrow.

Talk about being worked to your maximum !

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TC-JNZ flew an extra 2 hours when bringing me back from Bangkok to Istanbul as opposed to her ISTBKK flight !
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Mobile charging points
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Time to head downstairs into the waiting area..strange to see the Cockpit Crew discussing their flight plan in the vicinity of passengers
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And we wait
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Kartalkaya waiting to welcome us onboard !
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Boarding



Boarding began at 1050am for Business Class and the Upper levels of Star Alliance. I said Gunaydin ( Turkish for Good Morning) to the Cabin Chief and Steward who were welcoming passengers onboard and was directed to my seat. It is incredible why people travel with mini suitcases which they class as handluggage. I mean how inconvenient and space consuming. The Boarding Music still sounded awesome after 3 flights !

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First Impression of boarding the aircraft ( although photos were taken later in the flight !

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Look left…..one day maybe I will sink into sumptuous Business Class seats if my pocket allows it or I have enough miles or….if Turkish Airlines recognises me for blogging with all my heart and finally upgrades me !
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The Seat



On my seat, a pillow was nicely placed on the seat but the blanket and earphones looked like they had been tossed on to the seat in a hurry. Cabin Presentation especially on longhaul flights does not escape the eyes of TheWindowSeat.

My very tight seatpocket only had a Skylife ; my Estonian neighbour’s seatpocket had SkyLife and Shop & Miles magazines. I had nice room to stretch out being seated on the bulkhead row. The seatbelt however was very tight and traytable just about far enough from my stomach to be comfortable during meal service.

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This aircraft had been on the ground almost 90 minutes before boarding started which was ample time to ensure decent Cabin Presentation.

That said, a refresher towel wrapper was found in the safety card and a long standing stain on the oak floor leading to the galley could be seen from my seat.

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I asked one of the Cabin Chiefs if she can hang up my suit jacket and she did this so kindly. Boarding was completed by 1128am and doors closed and announcement done for doors to arm and crosscheck.

After pushback at 1136am, main screen tv’s on bulkhead walls and all seatback video screens then showed the new Zach King safety video in Turkish and English then the Star Alliance Gold video….
and then the Morgan Freeman “ Delight in our differences” advertwhich has been a global superhit at the Superbowl and online and discreetly salutes Turkish Airlines !

Skylife Magazine article on the Morgan Freeman advert…maybe one day your very own TheWindowSeat will be the new posterboy of Turkish Airlines ?…I live in hope !
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The "magical"safety video of Turkish Airlines
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I visited the washroom whilst on the ground and was amazed to see no toiletries in the toilet yet a middle lavatory which had spray and lotion ! More on this later !
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In case you really need reminding when flying in 2017….
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There was then an announcement that the Crew today also speak German and Spanish ( but no mention of Turkish and English !); this will mean a lot as you read on ! The Senior Cabin Chief also introduced herself after the Captain’s flight plan announcement., The Captain’s announcement was barely audible.

After some taxying at BKK ,at 1150am,TC-JNZ revved up her engines and began her departure roll from BKK offering some stunning views of Bangkok below.

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I dare anyone to look at my overhead panel and not see a cute dog !!
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Amenities


As the aircraft levelled out,an Airhostess came round with amenity kits by Institut Karite,,the French skincare specialist !
There were various colours and I got given an Olive Green amenity kit but then asked for a SkyBlue ; the Airhostess smilingly said “ They are all the same”.
I advised I know this but wanted a SkyBlue one.
After all, to diehard airline fans like me, amenity kits are exclusive collectibles !

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Yes,slippers in Economy Class…in an amenity kit ! Relax above the clouds !

I always wondered from promotional videos and reviews, why Turkish Airlines has a lip balm in the amenity kits. Upon arrival in Istanbul and out of nowhere overnight, my bottom lip became chapped and sore so the lip balm really came in useful ! Never say never !

And so the premium touches continued as the charming and lovely Steward in our section came round with hot scented towels. It must be at least 30 years since I last received a hot scented towel in Economy Class !
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Inflight Catering



After the towel service,came that much sought after item,no longer available on Turkish Airlines shorthaul flights ; The Menucard !

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The meal choice looked amazing although I would later learn there is no in between snack service in Economy Class anymore *WindowSeat exclusive coming up .

Complimentary drinks remain on offer all flight long. I noted a Steward who had been boarding the flight, going round with children’s activity packs to offer to the small amount of children onboard today’s service.

Prior to the meal service commencing, passengers were offered a packet of hazelnuts and a drink. I asked for a Coke and was surprised to get a long can all to myself ! I wasn’t really thirsty so I only had a few sips and kept the rest for my main meal although was offered more during the meal service.

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Again no Turkish Delight ( Lokum ) but hey…..anoher WindowSeat exclusive on it's way !

The cutlery pack again doesn’t wish you to “ Enjoy Your Meal / Afiyet Olsun”. Does it really cost Turkish Airlines a lot more to print a few simple words on a cutlery packet ? The cutlery packet is beautiful and intricately designed with Turkish Airlines "Seljuk" design inspired by the Ottoman era.

However in Business Class, you are encouraged to enjoy your meal !
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And so we got to meal time. I chose the Ling Fish option. Although the photos don’t show the meal to be very attractive the food was,as usual,delicious ! The cream on the Chocolate Mousse Cake was berrylicious !

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In my Bangkok hotel on the morning of the flight, I had had some Imperial butter to spread on my toast and it tastes heavenly. I wondered when I would see Imperial Butter again.
Imagine my surprise when I saw Imperial Butter on my meal tray. I am unsure if crackers and cream cheese were previously offered and had perhaps vanished due to costcutting ?

Once the meal was completed and crew came through the cabin to collect trays, the tea/coffee service also began. I find it a real waste for TK to have separate packaging for a plastic spoon,sugar and serviette for the tea/coffee service. Surely the sugar,spoon and serviette can be included in the cutlery pack ? I also don’t like that tea/coffee is served whilst meal trays are being collected. Not very hygienic but seems to be the norm on Turkish Airlines. I always wipe my tea/coffee cup when I get it as you can't guarantee the level of hygiene of other passengers.

Once the tea/coffee service was completed and waste cleared ,individual bottles of Sirma Water were offered to each passenger; a caring and thoughtful touch.
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Cabin Crew



The Cabin Crew all looked immaculate as ever and spoke fluent English,were exceptionally polite and hospitable and I felt at ease with them.
The 10.5 hour flight passed in an eyeblink thanks to the lovely Cabin Crew. I met the overall Cabin Chief ( there were 3 Cabin Chiefs onboard) and she was lovely as was her Deputy. One crewmember told me their next flight was to Johannesburg which means a 6 day layover !

The Flying Chef even invited me to try a Business Class Mango Panna Cotta adorned with Mango Jelly and fresh cream and garnished with a sprig of mint. How lucky was I ?!

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Upon requesting, I also got some nice giveaways and treats from the crew who were happy hear of my passion for THY.

The treats included sandwiches , only offered as an optional snack in Economy class on ultra longhaul flights and also Turkish Delight !

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I felt on top of the world literally ! I felt like a Star ! On that note

A look back at Turkish Airlines Corporate Slogans from 1997 to the current day ;



New Horizons in Comfort
Welcome To Our Home
Your Magical Gateway To The World
Beyond Your Expectations
Feel Like A Star (after joining Star Alliancein (2008)
Globally Yours
Widen Your World
Temporary in 2016 ) Meet Europe's Best - Best Airline in Europe and UEFA 2016 sponsorship

Inflight Entertainment



Boarding and Landing Music



Turkish Airlines splendid new Boarding and Landing Music for you to enjoy ! ; although the video is not shown,it would be a great visual during boarding !

Boarding Music

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=V7gOpNLG5HE

Landing Music

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=tnL4Ogvbsp0

Handset
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The poor quality earphones just about worked so I didn't need to ask for a new set.

However, as is the norm,the next TK flight is always better and this appeared on TK's Twitter page at the end of March 2017 !

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Here is an exvlusive look at the new rather nifty Economy Class Headsets. Wow !photo turkish-airlines-economy-class-review-777-300-24-610x458photo turkish-airlines-economy-class-review-777-300-25-610x458

Latest blockbuster movies and extensive Audio Video On Demand was on offer…but no Roxette documentary ( see TK1994 of 28Feb17 report ! )

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Muziki !
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Some Skylife magazines came in a transparent cover, others didn't.
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The big news at the time of travelling in March 2017 was Turkey and Holland's spat…I had to really chuckle at this crazy story on the inflight news…
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Skylife Magazine March 2017 Highlights



Cover
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Fleet At a Glance
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A330 stats
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Free Istanbul Transit Tour
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Istanbul Transit Guide
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Europe's best from East to West
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Turkish Airlines World Map
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IFE listings
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Non Transferable - a movie by Turkish Airlines and the Turkish Ministry of Tourism
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As we had the WC in front of me, soon the smell of….well you get my drift,started to really annoy me. I pressed the call button and made a Steward aware of this and to please spray the cabin. Moments later a beautiful smell of what can only be described as Strawberries wafted towards me. The Steward came by to check all is ok and I said yes and he smiled.

Which Washroom Will We Wash In ?!



A tongue twister which takes a light hearted look at the different types of washrooms onboard ( 3 counted by me alone just in Economy ! )

During the flight whilst most WCs were busy I tried the forward lavatory on the left. Imagine my surprise then when I saw these !!!! ( Molton Brown)

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I feel that all toilets should have the same amount of toiletries ; although toilets were maintained very well through the flight,the differing contents mean different passengers would have different impressions of customer care from Turkish Airlines if only the one WC was used.

But the Toilet fun doesn't stop there…a visit to a middle lavatory revealed this ! The Lemon Spray was lovely and very refreshing !

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The IFE was ok but nothing to get excited about. The earphones were of very poor quality and only worked if in a very certain position. My song of this flight has to be Layla by Murat Dalkilic !

The outside camera didn’t work ; I asked a Steward and he told me sometimes it doesn’t work ! Oh great and oh well !
At one point my tv screen froze and the same Steward kindly went away and rebooted it from scratch and came to ask me if all is ok. It took 3 crew members to fix my neighbours seat issues ( 6J ) as it was jammed and would not recline on one touch ! I could not find a USB port but all other seats had one ; I didn’t need one anyway so didn't ask, so I am sure there is one somewhere,just not clearly visible !

A quick check of the route !

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There was an announcement after takeoff that WiFi was available ; I switched on my smartphone and was happy to see Turkcell WiFi….then nothing. A Steward showed my neighbour how to bring up the WiFi connection screen……….then advised credit card details are needed ! The announcement did implied the WiFi was free.

Imagine my surprise when days after this flight and due to new security legislation, all Turkish Airlines flights from Istanbul to the US would mean laptops and devices bigger than smartphones would be banned onboard .At the time of writing on 26th March 2017, Turkish Airlines is poised to offer free wifi on all flights to/from the USA.


I spoke to the Steward in my section to let me know when the inflight shopping would begin. I was amazed to learn that onboard shopping is no longer offered and that Shop&Miles,the TK duty free service is only available online. In which case, TK can save weight onboard and have around 10 pages showing the best of top selling items instead of a separate brochure ? I presume that the Shop&Miles brochure will make it’s way into SkyLife magazine just as Planet magazine has. I would like to see a Turkish/English phrases guide in Skylife but other than that find the magazine a very enjoyable read.

I wonder if I will ever get this Turkish Tile design travel pillow ? The Miles&Smiles website is useless as are the Contact Centre ( a 3rd party company) who even promised to deliver to my hotel once in Istanbul but then didn't reply to any emails that I had arrived. Not impressed with Shop&Miles at all.
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I then had some rest ; the blanket and pillow were comfy and the temperature was nice and pleasant. A lot cooler than Bangkok for sure ! Note my stored goodies in the very tight seatpocket ! The blanket,once removed from it's packaging,smelt beautiful ; the detergent used is really nice and pleasant !
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I chatted some more to the crew and entertained other passengers with tales of my ethnicity( Parents from Pakistan) ,where I live )Manchester) and where I have just travelled from ! Some passengers were so amazed that I live in Manchester ! Maybe I should become a tour guide and show people the best of Manchester ?!

At one point,I was chatting to our friendly Steward and suddenly many many passengers started invading the galley for drinks. I joked to the Steward that he was now a barman and that this was a party in the sky !

Come fly over Iran !
I look forward to flying IranAir to this beautiful country one day…and of course to do a Flight Report for you lovely readers !



I took more rest and could hear two German speaking women a few rows behind giggling loudly. I was enjoying my flight so much I didn’t pay too much attention. Then somewhere over Iran I suddenly heard a man shouting in German saying he is trying to sleep and that “this is unacceptable”. The gentleman was so loud that many passengers in the surrounding seats suddenly got up to see what the commotion was. From observing conversations in German and English, it turns out these two ladies had been kicking this man’s seat and he had grown tired of it. Several passengers advised the crew. One Steward spoke entirely in German to the ladies and eventually the man and his wife were moved away to get some peace.

Whilst heading towards the Iranian/Turkish border, we got our

Second Meal



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TK1933 - The brand scent of Turkish Airlines - Available now in a refresher towelette !
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Again after the meal,tea/coffee was offered but I declined.

Before taking my seat at the top of descent, I heard a European lady asking a Cabin Chief if,upon landing in Istanbul Ataturk, there would be enough time to transfer to London ( most likely the TK1983 departing to Istanbul at 1945pm). For your information, if you have your onward Boarding Pass,you can proceed straight to Departures. If you don't have the onward Boarding Pass,you have to visit the Transfer Desk. I only hope you encounter friendly staff as it is hit and miss at IST who is nice and who isn't !

The Cabin View



just for you !
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During the cabin secure check, our lovely Steward brought me my jacket and wished me a nice landing, this was nice and personal to end the flight. I really felt like I had been flying with friends.

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We have entered Turkey ! Well the skies at least !
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At 1810pm we began our descent into Istanbul ; we spent what seemed a very long time in clouds and the engine power was being used to the maximum.

CloudPower !
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I thought we would never land .Then we came out of the cloud and I could see ships and moments later we landed at IST at 1827pm.
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The lovely new landing music played and I looked forward to seeing Istanbul again
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After more taxying,we parked up at at a remote stand next to our sistership “Antalya”.
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After most of the passengers had disembarked, I wanted some nice cabin shots

In the top left is the new look longhaul Economy cabins with the Blue Seljuk rear Bulkhead walls and new standard colour leather headrest covers in Navy and Red
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Closer look at new standardised headrests although these seem black ?
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and took a photo of the cabin and my overhead locker which housed just my hand baggage !

My Hand Luggage - exclusively in it's own locker !
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As soon as I took this picture I suddenly heard “ Sir Sir”.

I looked and the Steward who had freshened the toilet said “ Sir it is forbidden to photograph inside the aircraft”.

Just as I was about to ask if he was serious, another of his colleagues rushed over and said something in Turkish. This Steward then said “ Oh,it’s ok”.
The colleague who had eased the situation told me that said Steward didn’t know I am a TK fan.
I was a touch annoyed but let it go and left the aircraft after bidding farewell to the number 2 Cabin Chief.
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I went down the stairs and took some more pics (very daringly , this is Istanbul after all !) of Kartalkaya after our 10.5 hour flight from Bangkok.

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TC-JYF "Çırağan"pronounced Jirayan ( after a former Ottoman Palace ) seen here after landing from London Gatwick and being prepared for her next flight to Douala !
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Welcome to Istanbul / Hosgeldiniz !
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The Transfer Desk of Turkish Airlines if you ever need it !
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The bad news if you are arriving around this time in Istanbul when the wave of most flights come in. Immigration will be very busy ! The queue moves slowly but surely ; I felt like I wanted to scream after being in the queue for 1 hour. Upon reaching the counter I was processed in around 20 seconds !

The good news for Istanbul is that hundreds upon hundreds of tourists still want to visit this majestic city. I just wish there were counters with staff to fastrak those who have got their visa online. Actually I will rephrase that by saying I wish there was enough staff to cover all the pasengers arriving from flight after flight all at the same time…

Reunited with my baggage however by the time I got to my case, someone had "removed" my bag tag…so annoying as I wanted it as memorabilia ! But hey, I have the ticket receipt !
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See more

Verdict

Turkish Airlines

7.3/10
Cabin5.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment/wifi6.0
Meal/catering8.0

Bangkok - BKK

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Istanbul - ISL

5.0/10
Efficiency5.0
Access10.0
Services5.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

Amazing Crew,lovely food,great seats...unbelievable that this was a 10.5 hour flight.
Cabin Crew deserve special recognition as does Mr Flying Chef for making me feel so valued and treating me with so much respect and kindness !

Information on the route Bangkok (BKK) Istanbul (ISL)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Bangkok (BKK) → Istanbul (ISL).


Useful

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

The average flight time is 11 hours and 26 minutes.

  More information

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