Review of Turkish Airlines flight Cairo Istanbul in Business

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK 695
Class Business
Seat 2C
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 02:20
Take-off 31 May 17, 21:00
Arrival at 01 Jun 17, 00:20
TK   #17 out of 123 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 494 reviews
jetsetpanda
By SILVER 1387
Published on 20th July 2017
Welcome to the return portion of my trip with a quick summary of my flights below.

SFO-SIN on UA Y - click here.
SIN-DOH on QR J - click here
DOh-CAI on QR J - click here
CAI-IST on TK J - you are here.
IST-JFK on TK J - click here
JFK-IAD on UA Y - click here
IAD-SFO on UA Y - will not report


I recall Geoffrey Chaucer's words "All good things must come to and end" on my last day in Cairo with resigned acceptance after spending a few memorable days in this fascinating city. Cairo is a city of superlatives - geographically and historically. Being the largest city in Africa and the Arab world it is also the repository of magnificent treasures from one of the greatest civilizations in the world as we all know, but one thing is to know and another thing is to experience it with all your senses.

My first introduction was marked by chaos and an adrenaline induced drive from the airport to the Ramses Hilton. i will never forget the words from the person who met me for my arranged pick up. After a warm welcome he confided to me that in Cairo there are traffic laws, but people usually don't follow them. Yet despite this dire warning, there is an underlying sense of order that is not discernible at first. The car honking has its secret codes and drivers/pedestrians have an intuitive sixth sense as to when to stop or charge ahead. But I digress since we are here for the flight report and let's get to the point. For those who are interested, I will provide a bonus at the end with snapshots of my experiences.

i leave the hotel by 5p through a van that I have arranged with the concierge the previous day. As I pass through the city I am fascinated by the contrast of the intense afternoon light against some of the buildings and get my pocket camera out to shoot the passing scenes from my moving vehicle.



My last glimpse of Cairo is the Baron Empain Palace - an Indian styled mansion in Heliopolis reputed to be one of the most haunted places in the city. Baron Empain's company - Compagnie Generale de Traction won a bid in 1897 to build the Paris Metro.

photo dsc09973 - copy

I was deposited at T3 and proceeded to security where everybody's bags had to be scanned. A guy expedited me through the line and helped me place the bag in the x-ray machine. I gave him a good tip at the other end. One aspect about Egypt that some travelers might find annoying is the culture of "baksheesh" or tipping which is prevalent and expected everywhere you go. It's a voluntary act, but if at the end of the day it makes your life easier, then why not spread some "generosity".

The TK check-in counter is right after security and it was fairly empty. I understand that in Cairo you can check in as early as 3 hrs before the flight, not sooner. The agent was pleasant and issued the boarding passes quickly. I then went through Immigration followed by last minute shopping at Duty Free.

There was a food court behind the shops with views to the tarmac. A couple of MS planes were at the gates with their beautiful livery. MS might not be regarded as one of the top airlines in the world, but its logo and livery is one of the most beautiful in my book.

photo tk 695 cai-ist 3 - copyphoto tk 695 cai-ist 1 - copy

MS operates several lounges at T3 so I went to the Gienah one first and the agent politely told me to use the one at the other side of the terminal closest to my departure gate. I explained that I had plenty of time and wanted to check this particular one, but he was firm and advised me that all the lounges are the same with the exact offerings, so I left to the other side.

I then stumbled upon the Kochab one and the agent informed me that this was a smoking lounge and kindly referred me further down. I arrived at the Almesian where I was finally allowed to enter.

MS Almesian Lounge


The entrance was decorated with Ramadan motifs which gave the lounge a welcoming impression. I thought that the round windows were unusual and they reminded me of the ones found in a submarine. There were several partitioned areas and a buffet with snacks and limited hot food which consisted of beef stew, rice and savory pastries. The WC inside the lounge was convenient but basic.



Publications.

photo ms almeisan lounge 3 - copyphoto ms almeisan lounge 15 - copy

Seating areas.



WC's.



Computers.

photo ms almeisan lounge 16 - copy


Buffet.



I guess the lounge encourages pax to take hot drinks outside, but where are the lids?. :P

photo ms almeisan lounge 23 - copy


A smaller buffet with hot soup and seating area in the back of the lounge.



My snacks.



The lounge never became crowded which was nice. I guess there are enough lounges to distribute the number of visitors who have access to them. The gate was located a few steps from the lounge and I was surprised to find another security checkpoint there. The staff was friendly and made the process more bearable. Once I was on the other side I walked towards the gate where a special corner was set for *A Gold pax.



When all the pax from the incoming flight disembarked, it was time to board the plane starting with pax in wheelchairs and families traveling with children followed by J and elite pax. A smiling FA greeted people as they stepped inside the A320 which had a typical intra European configuration in J with the middle seat blocked.

Row 2.

photo tk 695 cai-ist 10 - copyphoto tk 695 cai-ist 13 - copy

I noticed that the bulkhead row on the right side was unoccupied so after the door closed I asked the FA if I could move there. She gave me the OK and I settled on 1F - a window seat. Pre-dept. drinks were offered followed immediately by the distribution of menus. I had a glass of orange juice.

photo tk 695 cai-ist 16 - copy

Menu.



Take off.



The meal service began with hot towels followed by the appetizer tray with your drink of choice. I accompanied it with a glass of ayran. A small salad, cheese and dessert were already on the tray set up.



Then the main dish was brought out. The sea bass en papilotte was one of the best fish dishes that I have ever tasted in an airplane. When fish is offered inside an airplane there is the risk of drying it out through overcooking but not on today's flight. I was presented with a firm piece that was moist and cooked perfectly. My first bite was a flavorful revelation that validated TK's catering as one of the best. The sweetness of the julienne vegetables complemented the delicate saltiness of the fish beautifully.



Finally the Mascarpone passionfruit dessert was the perfect ending to this exquisite meal. It was a contrast in layered textures that was brilliantly conceived with a crunchy bottom placed under the creamy cheese which in turn was topped by a smooth and thin layer of passionfruit.

photo tk 695 cai-ist 40 - copy

Arriving in IST.



We parked in a remote area where a dedicated bus for J pax took us back to the terminal.



Bonus : Click here to display
See more

Verdict

Turkish Airlines

9.0/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew10.0
Entertainment8.0
Meal/catering10.0

MS Gienah Lounge T3

7.5/10
Comfort8.5
Meal/catering8.0
Entertainment7.5
Services6.0

Cairo - CAI

7.9/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.5
Services7.0
Cleanliness9.0

Istanbul - IST

8.6/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

Cairo T3 was a perfectly acceptable terminal and the MS lounges were fine. For some reason I was under the impression that food was limited to snacks so I was pleasantly surprised when I found hot food, although this was limited. Perhaps during dinner time they offer a bit more food.

TK used an intra-European J cabin on this route which is understandable due to the flight length and market. Catering excelled as always and the fish that I had was one of the best seafood dishes that I have had in an airplane. Service aboard was polite and efficient.

Related

8 Comments

  • Comment 404891 by
    socalnow GOLD 735 Comments

    Thanks for the fantastic read Jetsetpanda. The catering on TK never seems to be a let down. It doesn't matter what route or time of departure, it always looks exceptional. The pictures of Cairo are stunning. What an enriching experience this must have been. Thank you very much for taking us along. Happy flying.

  • Comment 404894 by
    Razza_Pr 203 Comments

    Greetings, Jetsetpanda, and thank you for this FR.

    "MS might not be regarded as one of the top airlines in the world, but its logo and livery is one of the most beautiful in my book."
    -I concur. I especially like it on their A330 and 777.

    The bonus section of your FR is laid bare instead of being wrapped up in a drop down menu. Might want to do a little bit of editing there?

    TK's soft product (especially the onboard catering) is more often than not inviting. If only they offer better hard product in J..

    Thanks again for this FR. Cheers!

  • Comment 405103 by
    indianocean SILVER 6022 Comments

    Thank you Adan for sharing your trip in Cairo.

    I'm sure you spent wonderful days in the capital.

    I concur that MS livery is very nice and original . Too bad inflight service is not that nice.

    I really like TK catering in Business. As I know you, I trust you when you write that the meals you had were good.
    Was there a chef onboard?

    Bonus pictures are not just great, they are excellent.

    • Comment 405116 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Salut mon ami.

      "Too bad inflight service is not that nice."
      - Even on long haul flts, the catering is very shortened and not as elaborate from what I have read. They sometimes have very good J fares from CAI-Asia eg. BKK, but I have to think hard about it. ;)

      "Was there a chef onboard?"
      - I did not see one. Perhaps the flt length does not warrant one?

      Glad that you enjoyed the pics and thank you as always for your support and comments.

  • Comment 407040 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    The comprehensive introduction is a feature that makes it even more enjoyable to read this nice FR.

    Nice shots while traveling to the airport.

    Interesting with circular windows.

    Excellent pictures at night.

    TK manager to deliver in the catering department, once again.

    Wonderful bonus pictures, and hat a view from your hotel room.

    Have a good one, see you!

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