Review of Turkish Airlines flight Istanbul New York in Business

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK 3
Class Business
Seat 5J
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 11:00
Take-off 01 Jun 17, 06:45
Arrival at 01 Jun 17, 10:45
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 2683
Published on 22nd July 2017
Here's a summary of my itinerary:

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 - click here
IST-JFK on TK J - you are here
JFK-IAD on UA Y - click here
IAD-SFO on UA Y - will not report


After getting off the bus that took me from my previous flight to the terminal, I followed the connecting sign that brought me to a security area where i was screened and my bag x-rayed again. Thankfully it was empty when I arrived and I breezed through the inspection. Back at the terminal, I headed to the TK CIP lounge for some rest before my connecting flight to JFK. I bought a one way CAI-JFK in J in order to take advantage of the 4X miles promotion that I received from TK some time ago. The one way ticket was USD 757.86 (EUR 649.90) total.

TK CIP Lounge


Considered by many to be the best business class lounge in the world, travelers have sung its praises "ad nauseum" in this website and other travel forums. The lounge gets empty past midnight and food choices become limited.

Empty lounge.



Liquor was available during Ramadan at this lounge.

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Featured destination dish was Chinese.



I went to the desk on the second floor and requested a sleeping room. In order to qualify for its use, you need to be a J, *A Gold or TK Elite/Elite + pax AND connect to a TK long haul flt of 8+ hours with a transit time of more than 4 but less than 7 hrs.

The rooms are located in front of the showers in a hallway. Upon entering I thought that the space was adequate and I found the bed to be comfortable. In addition there was a radio/alarm clock, TV, telephone and two bottles of water on the desk.

Hallway.

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Sleeping room.



I went outside and asked the attendant how busy it would be to grab a shower in the morning by 5-6A. She informed me that at that time it gets very busy so I decided to take a shower before I went to bed. I was invited to step into a shower room right away.

Shower.



TK must be the only airline that provides a bathrobe in a business lounge shower room.

photo dsc00148 - copy


i must have slept between 1-2 hrs. and then woke up and readied myself to go to the gate.

Some breakfast paninis and pastries were available but I did not have anything since I knew that I was going to have a decent breakfast aboard.

photo dsc00161 - copyphoto dsc00162 - copy

I arrived at the gate and there was a line for people to check in their electronics before proceeding to the waiting area. I turned in my camera and laptop and was provided with two receipts to claim them during my arrival at JFK. The process was efficient although a bit time consuming due to the volume of pax turning their gadgets.

At this point I was separated from my camera and all subsequent pics were taken with my mobile phone so the quality of the pics might be a bit inconsistent. I've been asked what type of camera I use when I travel and usually I bring my compact "point and shoot" Sony RX100. I sometimes use my mobile Motorola phone but most of the time I rely on my Sony. I hate carrying DSLR's because of their bulky shape and weight.

I lined up by my priority line at the gate and a few minutes later an announcement was made for boarding.

Gate area.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 1 - copyphoto tk 3 ist-jfk 2 - copy


Boarding.

Two FA's were doing some last minute preparations in the galley when the pax entered so they were caught by surprise. One of them immediately greeted us and positioned himself by the door.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 3 - gate copy

Cabin.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 7 - copyphoto tk 3 ist-jfk 6 - copy

Pre-dept. drinks offered promptly after sitting down.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 13 - copy


Onboad chef handing out menus and a pen for the "a la card" breakfast card.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 14 - copyphoto tk 3 ist-jfk 16 - copy

Distribution of reading materials, headphones and amenity kits followed.



Menu

As lovely as it looks, isn't it time to change the design?



Beverage menu.



One of the most entertaining safety videos out there with Zach King. I applaud TK for its originality.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 35 - copy

And here's the video in case you haven't seen it or can't get enough of it. ;)



Take off. Bye IST. I was in an aisle seat so I quickly snapped these shots while my seatmate was dozing off..

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 36 - copyphoto tk 3 ist-jfk 37 - copy

Once we reached cruising altitude, an attentive FA went by each pax offering to put the padding on the seat. I did not see a pillow menu for this flight. Maybe it's only for overnight flights or it has been discontinued due to costs?

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 39 - copy

WC.

I thought hat the layout of the WC's in the J cabin was a slight issue. There is one located in the front by the cockpit and then 2 on each aisle behind the galley. These two are separated by the curtains to Y and at first I thought that they were designed for J because of the Molton Brown toiletries but later i noticed that there was a stream of Y pax using them as well. If that's the case so there is actually 1 dedicated WC for 28 pax in the front. Not good.

The "jungle" theme is the latest decor inside the WC's.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 41 - copy

But the toiletries are a great improvement. The aromatic sticks are kind of impractical, perhaps a facial spray would have been more useful.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 42 - copy

At one point I used the WC in the front and there is a small note there. My theory about the sharing of the two WC's in the back with Y pax was confirmed since this note was not found in the WC's behind the J cabin.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 61 - copy

Back to my seat for the breakfast service with delivery of hot towel.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 45 - copy


Upon delivery of my tray the FA notices something with the cup and goes back to the galley. She returns and sets the tray on my table. As usual presentation is excellent and I love that there is a proper appetizer course for breakfast before the main dish is brought out. It feels very premium, even for a simple breakfast and other airlines should learn from TK.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 46 - copyphoto tk 3 ist-jfk 47 - copy

Condiments and side dishes.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 48 - copyphoto tk 3 ist-jfk 49 - copy

Utensils.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 51 - copy

More breads.

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Traditional Black Sea (Trabzon) omelette.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 53 - copy

My tea was top off by the chef.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 54 - copy

Another round of hot towels at the end of breakfast.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 55 - copy

Bottles of water were distributed and the cabin became dark.

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My seat in the bed position.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 59 - copy


I watched a film named "Ertugrul", which was a Japanese-Turkish production based on historical events. Pretty good in my humble opinion.



Snacks were located in the front credenza and galley.



Nice curtain design.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 66 - copy


At one point as we got closer to our destination the lunch service started with hot towels and a bowl of nuts accompanied by drink of choice.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 67 - copy

The candlelight is a charming feature.

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Set up.

photo tk 3 ist-jfk 70 - copyphoto tk 3 ist-jfk 71 - copy


Appetizer cart.

There were 2 pre-plated choices - Turkish meze OR smoked salmon with celeriac salad AND/OR sweet pea soup.



For the main dish I selected the grilled lamb chops with ratatouille, rosemary jus, bulgur pilav and cucumber yogurt. This has been one of the most satisfying dishes that I have tried aboard a plane. It was perfectly cooked with a hint of pink in the middle and the chops were tender and flavorful. It was heavenly.



Dessert.

The dessert and hot drinks service are now combined into one cart service. However, by the time that it got to me, some items like the passion fruit panna cotta were not replenished. I did not ask so I requested what was available on the cart.

Chocolate fondant, semolina dessert and fresh fruit will do for me.



We arrived shortly after the meal service concluded. At JKF there was a desk set up by the baggage claim belt to pick up the electronics. There was a slight delay for these coming out and the agents advised the pax of this.
See more

Verdict

Turkish Airlines

9.1/10
Cabin8.5
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment10.0
Meal/catering10.0

Turkish Airlines Lounge

9.3/10
Comfort10.0
Meal/catering9.0
Entertainment9.0
Services9.0

Istanbul - IST

9.0/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.5
Services8.5
Cleanliness9.0

New York - JFK

8.8/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services9.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

The TK CIP Lounge was empty by the time that I arrived past midnight and as expected the food choices were limited. This was the perfect time for the cleaning crew to tidy up the lounge. i was glad that I had access to the sleep room. A ensuite WC would have been nice, but this is a J lounge after all and not a F one. The only inconvenience is asking the agent to open the door for you if you have to step out, so make sure you do all your necessities before staying in the room.

The situation with the WC is not ideal, although bearable. At the minimum there should be at least 2 dedicated WC's for J cabin.

This was a good flight with TK and the catering is top notch as expected. The crew was professional but not engaging which is typical of TK. The few times that I had an approachable and smiling crew it was a joy to ride making the flight a joy.

Informations on the route Istanbul (IST) New York (JFK)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 5 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Istanbul (IST) → New York (JFK).


Useful

The airline with the best average grade is with /10.

The average flight time is 10.0 hours and 59.0 minutes.

  More informations

25 Comments

  • Comment 405117 by
    Numero_2 SILVER 8149 Comments

    Thanks Adan !

    "The lounge gets empty past midnight and food choices become limited." -> I would say it gets empty from 2am...

    Having don a MNL-IST recently I can say that the pillow menu is not available anymore…

    And even it was a night flight departing after 9pm we had a full service in J, which was appreciated.

    This IST-JFK flight is also impressive, with two full services of breakfast and lunch.

    • Comment 405132 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Clement.

      " I would say it gets empty from 2am..."
      - Perhaps, but I think that due to political instability and the ban on electronics, the number of people transiting through IST might not be the same as before.

      Catering is one of TK's strengths and it's nice to see that it is consistent. Glad to read that you had a good flight from MNL.

      Thanks for your comments as always. See you around. ;)

  • Comment 405129 by
    STAR-ALLIANCE-FLYER 37 Comments

    Which website did you use when purchase TK ticket, it is highly impossible to book ONE WAY BUSINESS Ticket for just 650 Euro.....

    Please specify, in my case i live in Vancouver, where TK has to codeshare with AC sometimes, how can i get cheaper TK business deals?

    • Comment 405133 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Tickets out of CAI tend to be cheaper especially due to the devaluation of the Egyptian pound in recent times. I purchased my ticket through Priceline but the fare was also available through TK website directly.

      I've heard that sometimes fares out of Toronto tend to be very good so you might want to check that out. Good luck.

  • Comment 405158 by
    Razza_Pr 203 Comments

    Greetings, Jetsetpanda, and thank you for this FR.

    "...travelers have sung its praises "ad nauseum" in this website and other travel forums."
    -Is that the American spelling of Ad Nauseam? ;)

    "Featured destination dish was Chinese."
    -Heh. Upon reading Biber I thought the featured destination sounded more Canadian.. and then I realised that it was the Turkish description. Oops

    "She informed me that at that time it gets very busy so I decided to take a shower before I went to bed."
    -Always a good feeling to go to bed clean.

    "As lovely as it looks, isn't it time to change the design?"
    -Perhaps they're following the philosophy of "if there's nothing wrong with it, don't change it"? Also, cost savings

    "I was in an aisle seat so I quickly snapped these shots while my seatmate was dozing off.."
    -Was J class full? I tend to get nauseous if I don't get a window seat on a flight so I'd have done anything in my power to get one..

    "The only inconvenience is asking the agent to open the door for you if you have to step out..."
    -Is this for them to monitor when guests enter/leave? Not exactly the most efficient allocation of staff methinks..

    Look at all that food. Even the presentation of fresh fruits. So much respect for the ingredients. Top marks for TK's catering team!

    What a read, this was. Thanks again for this FR. Cheers!

    • Comment 405165 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Razza.

      "s that the American spelling of Ad Nauseam? ;)"
      - I appreciate your reminder that perfection is not a destination but a constant journey. :P

      "and then I realised that it was the Turkish description. Oops "
      - The problem with ethnic cuisine is that it can be subjected to "local" interpretations. ;)

      "Always a good feeling to go to bed clean."
      - Especially a clean conscience. :P

      "Perhaps they're following the philosophy of "if there's nothing wrong with it, don't change it"? Also, cost savings"
      - I thought that innovation was part of TK. ;)

      "Was J class full? "
      - Pretty much. I only saw one empty seat. I normally prefer aisle seats. I think Dramamine might be effective in your situation. :P

      "Is this for them to monitor when guests enter/leave?"
      - You might be right. After all you don't want to turn the facility into a "love" motel. :P

      "So much respect for the ingredients. Top marks for TK's catering team!"
      - That is the impression that one gets when looking at TK's catering.

      Thank you Razza for stopping by as always.

  • Comment 405185 by
    STAR-ALLIANCE-FLYER 37 Comments

    Wait, CAI ? Please specify!

    You are quite right, since Toronto departure is quite attractive. But I usually leave in Vancouver, any ways to avoid AC monopoly inside Canada?

  • Comment 405208 by
    757Fan 461 Comments

    Wow, Turkish Airlines looks amazing. They serve so much food on board it's making me hungry seeing these photos! I definitely would love to fly them sometime - what an incredible business class product it looks like they offer.

    Thank you for sharing!

  • Comment 405223 by
    jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

    Hi Matthew.

    Impressive catering indeed. I find that TK provides great meals in all classes, not just the front. Hope you can try them sometime in the future.

    Thanks for your comments.

  • Comment 405239 by
    TheWindowSeat 96 Comments

    Excellent Flight Report and amazing pics ! Thanks for this. I am glad to have reconfirmation that TK's Customer Relations Department and the cerw of my TK1995 flight in March( see report) do not have the first idea about photography onboard and that TK fans can indeed take photos onboard. Thanks for your lovely report :) Hope to see many more !

  • Comment 405314 by
    indianocean SILVER 6022 Comments

    Well, when you get in the CIP lounge, it seems that you have to choose:
    - plenty of food and crowded lounge
    - empty lounge and limited food choices

    First time (oh maybe I don't remember) I see sleeping rooms in the lounge. Hope the first picture was AFTER you slept in (LOL)
    Very nice facility

    I really like the bog bowl of soup brought from the galley to cabin. Very impressive TK service

    Thank you Adan

    • Comment 405337 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Bernard.

      "First time (oh maybe I don't remember) I see sleeping rooms in the lounge."
      - I'm not the first one to post about the sleeping rooms. A certain secret agent who has a weakness for apple strudel has posted it before. Voir ici:

      http://flight-report.com/fr/report/6547/Turkish_Airlines_TK0070_Istanbul_IST_Hong_Kong_HKG

      "Hope the first picture was AFTER you slept in (LOL) Very nice facility"
      - Actually I requested a room that was just occupied so that I can sniff the scent of the previous occupant. :P Of course not. I wanted to show a pic. of the door from the inside and that was the only pic. that I had. A bit out of order. :)

      "I really like the bog bowl of soup brought from the galley to cabin. Very impressive TK service"
      - Maybe I should have asked for the entire bowl. After all I was the last one to be served and nobody else would have been offered. :P It's mine, all MINE!

      Thanks my friend. See you later.

  • Comment 405318 by
    TravelTipsnTricks 3 Comments

    Check out my trip report on Turkish Economy: https://traveltipsntricksblog.wordpress.com/2017/07/24/airline-review-turkish-airlines/

  • Comment 405323 by
    nico83et13 SILVER 1565 Comments

    Thank you for the FR. Very beautiful FR.
    TK is fantastic with the service for eat.

    • Comment 405339 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Salut nico83et13.

      We all know TK has one of the best (if not the best) catering in the industry. I'm glad that you liked this FR and hope to read more comments from a well traveled contributor like you. Merci.

  • Comment 405396 by
    hometoyyz SILVER 311 Comments

    Hi JSP! Thanks for sharing a very nice trip report.

    Neat to pretty much have the TK lounge to yourself overnight, and it was nice to see the sleeper rooms, as I've not had the opportunity to avail myself of them. I like the lounge, but I don't really find it very exciting, probably because it's mostly been quite crowded before my flights out of IST.... and like you, the last thing I want to do if fill up on food before a longhaul flight on TK, where seat may be only okay, but you know you're getting a treat catering-wise.

    You certainly make the "electronics ban" check sound like no biggie.

    I feel like every TK review I have has a different amenity kit.

    My goodness, that's quite the ivy in the lav. A few more flights, and it'll take over the place all for itself!

    As always, the plating and presentation of the meals looks great on TK. Food looks great, too, as ever. And I love love love the table "candle." I'm surprised other airlines haven't found a way to "innovate" something similar. The "bread cozy" on the side plate always makes me laugh a little.

    I've had some great lamb on TK as well. Such a treat! I shouldn't be reading this trip report before lunch. My humble sammich is just going to seem like such a letdown....

    Thanks again for sharing!

    • Comment 405444 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi hometoyyz.

      " I like the lounge, but I don't really find it very exciting, probably because it's mostly been quite crowded before my flights out of IST."
      -That is certainly a factor that influences your enjoyment. Have you tried going to the lower floor? During every visit I have always found it to be less crowded.

      "and like you, the last thing I want to do if fill up on food before a longhaul flight on TK"
      - When you look forward to your meal aboard then you know that this airline is serious about food.

      "A few more flights, and it'll take over the place all for itself!"
      - Sounds like a line from the movie "Little Shop of Horros". :P

      "And I love love love the table "candle."
      - They should make it a trademark. ;)

      " I've had some great lamb on TK as well. Such a treat!"
      -I can tell you are a man of great tastes. ;)

      Thank you so much for commenting.

  • Comment 405406 by
    socalnow GOLD 735 Comments

    Thank you for the very thorough and interesting FR, Adan.

    I think TK and QR J products are sort of in a class of their own at this point. Well beyond anything from the USA or Europe (traditional). The amenities in the lounge and on board are next level.

    The catering is stunning. I was curious to see a Turkish Narince on the wine list. I'm not familiar with this grape.

    The price on the ex. CAI ticket is about as good of a value as there is.

    Thanks again and happy flying.

    • Comment 405448 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi Christian.

      "I think TK and QR J products are sort of in a class of their own at this point."
      - Especially with the introduction of the Q suite from QR.

      "I was curious to see a Turkish Narince on the wine list. I'm not familiar with this grape. "
      - Here is some information just for you ;)

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narince_(grape)

      "The price on the ex. CAI ticket is about as good of a value as there is."
      - For sure. Another good value is CAI-BKK. I once saw a fare with KU in J for about USD 300+ which was a bargain but I did not take it because of the useless miles. That fare is no longer available.

      Thanks for your visit and see you around.

  • Comment 407042 by
    Rl 777 812 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this FR with us!

    Dreadful connecting times, although it is not unusual when connecting with TK, EK, QR etc. Good to know you managed to get some sleep before the morning departure.

    Great window shots (especially the shot of the city), despoter being seated at an aisle seat.

    Impressive catering as expected, it made me more hungry than what I had imagined.

    Have a good one, see you!

    • Comment 407584 by
      jetsetpanda SILVER AUTHOR 2277 Comments

      Hi RI 777,

      "Dreadful connecting times, although it is not unusual when connecting with TK, EK, QR etc."
      - Having access to a sleep room makes the connection more "tolerable". ;)

      TK catering almost never disappoints.

      Thanks for visiting and see you later.

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