Hello! I'm back with reports and this is a series of several flights because this is my round-trip between Jakarta and Istanbul using Singapore Airlines. In case you haven't read the reviews from the previous outbound sector:
Flight Number: SQ391 Origin Airport: Atatürk International Airport - Istanbul, Turkey (IATA: IST/ICAO: LTBA), International Terminal Destination Airport: Changi International Airport - Singapore (IATA: SIN/ICAO: WSSS), Terminal 3
Departure time information are given in Further-Eastern European Time (UTC+03.00) Standard Time of Departure: 1425 hrs Actual Time of Departure: 1449 hrs Departure time information are given in Singapore Standard Time (UTC+08.00) Standard Time of Arrival: 0545 hrs Actual Time of Arrival: 0515 hrs Flying Distance: 8671 km Flight Duration: 9hr 26min
Aircraft Registration Number: 9V-SVG (MSN 30872) Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-212 (ER) Aircraft Age: 15 years (delivered April 2002)
So, this review covers my inbound flights after a 10-day trip in Turkey. I apologize because I remembered to document the airport just when I already cleared all the check-in, immigration, and security screening processes. But there are still some pics of the airport, I hope it will give the best depiction and I will try my best to give clear verbal description. Well, Istanbul Atatürk International Airport is not a new airport for me. I've travelled twice with TK on flights to Europe, which means I've been here before twice even though it's just a mere few hours layover before the next flight to Europe departs. Easy to say, even though the airport is not the most aesthetically pleasing or lavish in nature but it has what it has to offer to the passengers there, and it's very adequate. Like I've said in the review of the previous flight, the best term to describe Atatürk Airport for me is simplicity at its best. Some people may find it boring, but the stuff there are pretty much going to help you to fullfill all your travelling credentials without any fuss at all.
Atatürk International Airport is the main airport serving Istanbul and the international hub of the flag carrier Turkish Airlines. Turkish Airlines also happens to be the airline with the most number of destinations and countries in the world, all of them served from this very Atatürk International Airport. Given that figure, it is easy to imagine the number of movements the airport handles everyday, yet the airport still maintains a very simple and convenient layout without having to confuse the travellers inside. It also only has 2 terminals which is simply the domestic and international terminals, respectively. After clearing the immigration and security checks you will reach the long main concourse which has the food court on one edge and the Turkish Airlines lounge on the opposing edge. Other duty-free shopping options are available to traverse in between these two points. In the middle, there is a path that goes down to the boarding gates where the instructions and signages are very clearly legible and highly understandable.
Simplicity at its best.
This the view outside from a section of the long concourse that leads to the gates. It's a fine sunny day in Istanbul and the temperature is a warm 8 degrees Celsius.
This is TC-LJI, a 1-year old Boeing 777-300ER that's departing this afternoon as TK77 bound for Miami International Airport in Miami, Florida, USA (KMIA/MIA)
Sitting lounge availability is adequate
Based on the information obtained from the FIDS, my flight was assigned to gate 711 which requires to go down to the ground level where it is directly on par with the apron, so from that gate a electric sliding door opens and the bus is already waiting there to carry us to the remote parking stand.
Boarding is perfectly on time. Damn, I'm going back to the tropics. Even after 19 years born and raised, and living my whole life in a country with a tropical climate I never seemed to like it. All the humidity makes outdoor activities bothersome because you will sweat a lot. I prefer to live in places with cold and drier climates, and Istanbul in the winter perfectly resembles that
Inside the bus already.
Here, TC-LJI is already pushing back for its departure to Miami
What a coincidence, this Airbus A321-231 with the codename Arnavutköy, registration number TC-JSC was the one that took me from Istanbul to Venice back in August 2014. Now it's getting ready to operate TK1674 to Köln in Germany.
This is TC-JOM, an Airbus A330-300 fitted with General Electric CF6 engines with the codename Efes (Ephesus). It just arrived from King Abdul Aziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia (OEJN/JED) as TK97 this morning and this afternoon, is getting ready to operate TK1723 to Berlin Tegel International Airport (EDDT/TXL)
9V-SVG for today
The plus side of doing the boarding process the old-fashioned way
So at first, I was assigned to seat number 37H which was somewhere in the middle of my sector and H means it was on the right side of the aircraft, by the aisle. My whole family of 7 people are all sitting in different seats, separated from each other. My mother was concerned about my youngest sibling because she was only 10 years old and thought she might be a bit uncomfortable sitting next to strangers. So some modification was done, that's why I moved to 31J which was a bulkhead with extra legroom, sitting next to my 17-year old little brother.
Unfortunately, this particular aircraft is still fitted with the older generation cabin which means smaller IFE with less sharp resolution as well. Well, I guess today's not my lucky day. At least the seating is still comfortable and accomodates me well for this sector. The generous legroom
Row 37 where I was initially sitting
Christmas festivities cabin decorations were still here
Old-fashioned IFE screen and cable-attached remote control
Even though the interface is outdated, they managed to update the new safety video into the system! Personally I think this is the best safety video in terms of content. Many airlines has executed new safety videos with the same concept like this one where the video is some sort of a journey throughout the country where the carrier is based but I do think SQ nailed it the best. Some people may find it quite lengthy, but what's so bad about lengthy if it's entertaining and the music is just so soothing as well!
The older generation flight plan menu on the IFE
Take-off is only a few minutes off the schedule and the seatbelt signs has been switched off
Soon afterwards, I moved to the bulkhead row of 31J. I always liked a personal IFE like this because it has a more personal feel to it.
You also have that big screen directly above you that displays the flight information program
After-departure light snacks
And my preferred beverage of apple juice, obviously
I utilized the perks of being close to an aisle to sneak into the lavatory, nothing special but hygiene levels are well-maintained. Availability of tissues and the amenity kit is also adequate.
This particular lavatory is at the end of my sector, some rows behind my seat
Nice view from the emergency door just by the lavatory. Smoothly cruising over the Anatolian Plateau heading southeast.
More or less an hour into the flight, lunch service is distributed. No printed menus for this flight as well. I guess this is a Turkish-style chicken kebap with steamed rice. Full course meal with bread and prawn salad included as well.
Before take-off the captain also made the usual address informing matters regarding today's flight. The captain said that today's flight to Singapore will be completed in 9 hours and 30 minutes which is 1.5 hours faster than the outbound trip. This is possible by creating a flight path that traverses jet streams to create a strong tailwind. Now we're flying at exactly 1000 km/h.
Speed increases as we head further east leaving the Turkish airspace
140 km/h tailwinds, sheesh
Completed my meal
Seeing everyone already completed their meals, the crew gave this treat to top-off the lunch service! My mother said that back in Indonesia we also have these ice creams but she claims that the ones sold in Turkey like this one is much more tasty! (Easter egg: tailwind is now 161 km/h)
And as we head eastwards the sun is starting to set. It's winter so the sun sets really early.
At its peak, the speed reached figures of 1115 km/h and the tailwinds are around 200 km/h.
The cabin lights are now reduced to enter the sleeping mode. I did sleep for a few good hours. I woke up because I sensed movements around me and it happens that the cabin crew were distributing light snacks. I opted for the chicken sandwich. It's very hearty and filling indeed.
Having regained full consciousness, I reluctantly updated my position and right now the aircraft is already over the Andaman Sea, above the Indian territory of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
There are no more tailwinds to assist the flight by now, so the ground speed has returned to what a typical jetliner usually flies in. We're getting closer to Singapore and is predicted to arrive earlier than schedule.
And at this point, it's breakfast time
I'm really happy because what they promised to serve but wasn't available on the outbound sector, was served now without any notice! Turkish pastry for breakfast! Assorted sliced fruits and a warm nice bread to complete the start of your day as well. Very satisfied with the overall breakfast experience.
The aircraft is entering Malaysian airspace
This is the final moments before the lights are dimmed out in preparation for landing
Descent went well and without any major issue
Welcome to Singapore!
Disembarked quickly as I'm sitting in the front part of the economy class cabin
Took the Skytrain service because the connecting flight to Jakarta was from T2.
Well, I know I've said this often enough but seriously, Changi Airport has always been the best of the best on my airports list, and you do everything here with so much ease and convenience so there it goes without saying.
That concludes this flight report.
Bonus : Click here displayhide
This is my statement regarding the current condition of airports in my home country, Indonesia. Travelling to a lot of countries opens your horizon. It gives you a whole new perspective towards all sorts of things from various aspects. As a person who is keen towards aviation, I take comparisons between airports in the countries I've been to to the ones in my country pretty seriously. While you get to see all of the world-class airports like SIN, DXB, MUC, and so on, it's different from airports in Indonesia like Soekarno-Hatta's T3 which may some people find attractive-looking but actually it's still trash because it lacks efficiency and still fails to provide some key aspects like access and layout of the parking garage, stupid and inefficient drop-off area, integration with other terminals and other airports as well as connections to the rapid transit system in Jakarta. Not to mention T1 and T2 you also get a lot of scams from the illegal, overpriced, taxis that are wandering about the arrival area to trap you into using their service while they will overcharge you for mere transfer to an area. And to make things worse, the security and the airport authority seems to protect the ongoing scams over there while backing off the official metered taxi and other credible means like GrabCar and Uber because they will diminish the scams profit from tricking foreign travellers. And guess what? This does not happen in CGK only but also in other airports in Indonesia. I recommend that you take extra precaution before going to Indonesia or just simply refrain from going because as a foreigner you are very prone to be trapped in these misconduct. I admit that even under the current administration airports in Indonesia are getting better in terms of physical structure and appearace, as well as the facilities but if the government doesn't even think of eradicating these issues then boosting numbers in tourism will be as hard as moving a mountain. Airports in Indonesia are most likely to resemble a person who tries and studies the hardest during exams yet he/she still fails the test anyway. Not because he/she aren't trying hard enough, simply because he/she does the studying the wrong way or inefficiently. I'm very sorry for this very long intro but this is just an intermezzo and I feel I have to share it with all the fellow users of flight-report.com here because this rant has been in my mind forever.
Istanbul - ISL
Singapore - SIN
Overall, a solid experience by SQ despite the aging fleet used in this sector, I really enjoyed my breakfast. Really made my day and was the highlight of the flight as well. Istanbul Airport is also the type of airport of my liking, very compact and practical when it comes to having a connection there.
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