Review of Turkish Airlines flight San Francisco Istanbul in Business

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK80
Class Business
Seat 4G
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 15:05
Take-off 20 Oct 17, 16:10
Arrival at 20 Oct 17, 17:15
TK   #14 out of 94 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 778 reviews
Published on 21st December 2017
This is my first trip report so be easy on me!

Vacation time had finally rolled around and I would be heading off to Italy for 8 days. I was excited to be taking my first flight on Turkish Airlines and was able to get business class tickets during a fare sale. I missed the laptop ban thankfully but the newly imposed visa restrictions on U.S. visitors travelling to Turkey had fallen into place a few weeks before.

SFO - IST in Business on Turkish Airlines - YOU ARE HERE
IST - FCO in Business on Turkish Airlines - Here
FCO - IST in Business on Turkish Airlines - Didn't take pics!
IST - SFO in Business on Turkish Airlines - Here

Check-in was very quick at SFO (as usual) and I was plane side in about 10 minutes thanks to Precheck.

TK uses the United Club lounge but since it was closed for remodeling into a new Polaris lounge we were directed to the United Global First lounge which normally would be alright but it was packed with Polaris and other *A elites and business class passengers. I did a walk through, and was surprised to see they kept the catering in the First lounge. I ended up using the bathroom and left since it was crowded.

Boarding today would be out of the International Terminal G gates at G99. The G gates are the main gates for Star Alliance. As gate 99 was at the end of the concourse it didn't make for any great planespotting when at the gate. This was the only picture I managed to get.

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Boarding started right at 5:30 PM and I was onboard.

The first thing that struck me was how regal the cabin looked with the dark blacks, the Turkish inspired patterns and the touches of red which were a great highlighting color.
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The next thing I thought of was that these looked like the pre-merger United Business Class seats given that they are a 2-3-2 configuration and pre-merger UA was in a 2-4-2 configuration on the 777-200 (I know, I know, these weren't as tight nor had rear and forward facing seats). However, after settling in these were definitely more spacious than the United sardine cans. I also loved the little ottomen that had a top that flipped up so you could store a small backpack and your shoes. At my seat were a little lumbar pillow, slippers and a blanket.

I would be seated in seat 4G which is in the first business cabin right ahead of the galley. I was initially worried about the light and noise pollution from the galley but it was not an issue at all at the end of the flight.

The seat controls were a bit hard to master (I know, it doesn't look complicated). I don't know if I wasn't pushing hard enough but it felt like the seat wouldn't respond until I was putting all my weight on them #firstworldproblem.
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I also started praying that no one would be sitting in the middle seat next to me. Sadly, someone sat down but later moved to an aisle… success! Here is my crap dumped into the seat. :)
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If you fly Turkish enough you'll notice from the pictures that this aircraft I was flying on wasn't the latest version of the business class seats (which I would experience on my return from IST).

Once seated I was offered my choice of three beverages (all without alcohol). If I recall there was a lemon, a mint and a raspberry lemonade type drink. I got the raspberry, strangely, it had a strawberry in it.
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A chef (with hat and uniform) distributed our menus and pens, I was a bit taken back since I had heard about the onboard chef and the amazing Do&Co catering but it was exciting to see a real chef (or what looked like an FA in a costume) on board. I didn't get a picture of the chef but found this one on the Internet.
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I perused the extensive menu and placed my order for breakfast with the pen provided which was great. (Contrasting to my recent experience on United where the FA suggested we ask a neighbor for a pen… although this was economy.) Look at all the teas to sample! I went for the fried eggs since who wouldn't want fried eggs on a plane?!?! As for the rest of my order, I was only asked for my main selection. Since I hate chicken breast and I WAS heading to Italy I thought the fish. I asked the "chef" for her recommendation and she said the fish was her favorite. Fish it is!

At this point, I noticed we were past our departure time and still sitting at the gate. Unfortunately, I couldn't really understand what the cause of the delay was through the pilot's accent. Fine with me, I wasn't in a rush and I was enjoying the experience. I looked over and saw this guy sitting on the ottoman (even though it mentioned not sitting on it).
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At this point I decided to check-out the bathroom and was amazed it was stocked with Molton Brown products and air freshener. There was no window in the bathroom but I did notice that it was slightly larger than normal. Also - there were thicker napkins in the bathroom, not "real" but not cheapy paper towels either.
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Denon headphones were soon distributed that I didn't use since my ears get hot with those over the ear headphones.
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The amenity kits were distributed next and these were Bentley branded (as in the car company). I was hoping to smell what a Bentley fragrance was but there was no sample. :( I had heard that Turkish had these strange amenity kits that had nothing to do with the airline and it didn't fail this time lol.
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The IFE seemed well stocked, I liked the three various cameras, although since we were still at the gate, the view wasn't much to look at lol.
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The IFE map mentioned a flight time of only 12 hours which was great and not the 14 I was expecting.
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We finally pushed back after a 90-minute delay and the cabin was dimmed. The safety video was annoying the first time through in Turkish and even more annoying the second time in English.
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Here we are lined up on 26R for the initial climb out and heading northeast to Istanbul. I managed to get this picture from the nosewheel came before beginning our departure roll.
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Once we were in the air warm nuts were distributed along with a beverage of my choice.
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The crew came around setting up for the meal service via a cart and I saw the famous votives. Cabin lights were also turned down to simulate sunset I'm guessing.
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Here is the set-up for the meal. The salt and pepper shakers were adorable and were held in place with little magnets.

I decided to have my own little buffet in the sky and got all the starters except for salad (cause it's boring). Prawn Caesar salad, Turkish mezze and zucchini soup in a golden bowl.
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Thankfully the main was a smaller portion but it was the best fish that I've ever had in the air, so flavorful and cooked just right.
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At this point, I was just going through the motions and eating for the sake of reporting ;). The dessert cart rolled down the aisle and I got my own little mini assortment (lava cake, weld berry marscapone cream and nougat cheesecake.)
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I forgot what time the meal service ended cause I could barely see or walk. I was then asked if I'd like my bed made… OF COURSE. The FA reclined the seat, threw on a mattress bad, and pulled a new pillow and thicker blanket for me to use.
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I managed to get a solid 5 hours of sleep. I got up and checked out the offerings in the snack bar midflight (I didn't have anything).
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About 2 hours from landing the cabin lights were raised, and breakfast started. It was nothing as fancy as dinner but fruit was first brought out on a tray and then our main. The eggs weren't really "fried" but more like poached in butter. I don't mind runny eggs but if you do, you might want to avoid this choice.
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We touched down in IST about 45 minutes late which wasn't a big deal since I had 4 hours to my flight to FCO.
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We taxied to a remote stand and I snapped this funny picture of the crew guiding the plane.
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Here is the only picture I managed to get of the plane from the bus that took us to the terminal. I liked how Business Class got our own bus from the rest of the plane and they made sure to dispatch before they overfilled.
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See more


Turkish Airlines

Cabin crew8.5

United First International Lounge


San Francisco - SFO


Istanbul - ISL



- Lounge situation in SFO is lacking especially with everyone crammed into the United Global First lounge (also the SQ and EVA lounges are offline since they're all combining the space).
- Loved my first experience on TK.
- Flight crew were nice but not super overbearing and not cold.
- Food was amazing and a highlight! Bravo Do&Co.
- Amenity kit didn't really make sense to me - I'd prefer something Turkish.
- Hard product was great allowing me solid sleep but minus points for not being more private. Thankfully the middle seat was not occupied or they'd have to climb over me.
- I was REALLY nervous about the cabin temperature and I'm happy to say it was kept cool and I didn't overheat at all.



If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 423680 by
    dreamweaver888 77 Comments
    Wonderful report --- loved all the details and photos! Turkish's J product seems really great, especially the catering! The main course seems a bit too small but then again, why have a big main course when there are so many delicious appetizers!

    One thing however, supposedly Turkish is not going to use DO & Co catering when they move to the new Istanbul airport...
    • Comment 423793 by
      HI_flyer_SFO AUTHOR 5 Comments
      Thank you! I thought so too when I saw how tiny it was but I think they aim to fill you up with so many starters. I was surprised because in past reviews I read they portioned out the servings for the starters and these were preplated and served from the cart. I'm sad to hear they're switching off of Do&Co, I wonder why?
    • Comment 423794 by
      HI_flyer_SFO AUTHOR 5 Comments
      Thank you! I thought so too when I saw how tiny it was but I think they aim to fill you up with so many starters. I was surprised because in past reviews I read they portioned out the servings for the starters and these were preplated and served from the cart. I'm sad to hear they're switching off of Do&Co, I wonder why?
    • Comment 423795 by
      HI_flyer_SFO AUTHOR 5 Comments
      Thank you! I thought so too when I saw how tiny it was but I think they aim to fill you up with so many starters. I was surprised because in past reviews I read they portioned out the servings for the starters and these were preplated and served from the cart. I'm sad to hear they're switching off of Do&Co, I wonder why?
  • Comment 423709 by
    thejetflyer BRONZE 149 Comments
    Superb report ! I love the visuals but it hurts that Turkish ( after 8 blogs here 0 have told me that Photography is forbidden onboard their flights. Thanks for a great report !

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