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.
Liquor was available during Ramadan at this lounge.
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.
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.
TK must be the only airline that provides a bathrobe in a business lounge shower room.
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.
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.
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.
Pre-dept. drinks offered promptly after sitting down.
Onboad chef handing out menus and a pen for the "a la card" breakfast card.
Distribution of reading materials, headphones and amenity kits followed.
As lovely as it looks, isn't it time to change the design?
One of the most entertaining safety videos out there with Zach King. I applaud TK for its originality.
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..
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?
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.
But the toiletries are a great improvement. The aromatic sticks are kind of impractical, perhaps a facial spray would have been more useful.
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.
Back to my seat for the breakfast service with delivery of hot towel.
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.
Condiments and side dishes.
Traditional Black Sea (Trabzon) omelette.
My tea was top off by the chef.
Another round of hot towels at the end of breakfast.
Bottles of water were distributed and the cabin became dark.
My seat in the bed position.
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.
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.
The candlelight is a charming feature.
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.
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.
Turkish Airlines Lounge
Istanbul - IST
New York - JFK
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.
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