Review of British Airways flight Istanbul London in Business

Airline British Airways
Flight BA675
Class Business
Seat 01F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 04:15
Take-off 20 Aug 18, 08:45
Arrival at 20 Aug 18, 11:00
BA   #53 out of 122 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 596 reviews
eryorulmaz
Published on 14th September 2018

Welcome to my first Business Class report on flight-report.com, this trip includes these flights,

BA 675 Istanbul-IST to London-LHR ( Club Europe/Business ) Airbus A320-200, Codeshare: AA 6612
BA 229 London-LHR to Baltimore ( Club World/Business ) Boeing 787-8, Codeshare: AA 6174, AY 5429, EI 8929, IB 4649

As these flights are reported you would be able to click on the sector to see the FR. Not reported flights would be written in italic.



Trip Overview:

As I would go to Washington, DC this August, I consulted all the connection options and found this smart BA deal for $1500 ( IST-WAS in J, WAS-IST in Y ) which equaled to the price of a TK Y round trip ticket. Also, I was going to achieve a Executive Club Silver membership ( Oneworld Sapphire ) after the first two sectors of this trip so I chose British Airways for this trip. I would also like to make a note that premium economy on the way to DC was expensive than Club World, and the difference between World Traveller and Club World for the first leg was slightly less than $300. Also BWI was $400 cheaper than flying to IAD so BWI was my final destination. So I'll hope you would enjoy this report series.

Route Overview ( IST-LHR ):

Bonus : Click here to display


Pax for this flight

The flight was fully booked except one seat (3D) at the Club Europe cabin.

Club Europe: 11/12 passengers ( %90-95 )
Euro Traveller: 150/150 passengers ( %100 )




ONLINE CHECK-IN



Last november when I flew IST-LHR-MIA due to my visa status, I wasn't able to check-in online for my flight so I called the call center to arrange me a seat for both flights. This time, the online check-in process was completed without any issues.

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My original seat for this flight was 2F but later on due to my EXEC Bronze (OW Ruby) status, I was able to choose the first row for free at online check-in. As a 30' pitch for a Business Class is not acceptable, the seat 1F wasn't that bad and it was alright.

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I haven't changed my seat for the LHR-BWI section, which I've chosen 7 days before my flight. As they don't offer First on this route, the aircraft type of this flight had a chance to change to a 789 with F seats so I kept my seat which was 1A.

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Before the confirming my seats. 1F was considered as a middle seat for A320, that's pretty interesting.

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I was able to issue a boarding pass for both of my flights but I was requested to see a representative at the airport for visa checks as also the BA staff at Istanbul doesn't prefer mobile boarding passes.

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Later on, online check-in was completed.

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Also the hand baggage restrictions ( laptop ban ) was posted at ba.com

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Probably it would be my last flight departing from Atatürk Airport as the new airport would open in October, 2018.

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ISTANBUL ATATÜRK AIRPORT - IST



Entering the airport:

I have entered the airport from gate C today which I was in the building within 5 minutes. There were not so much people at that time.

Check-in:

Normally BA has 4 check-in desks for their flights but most of the passengers were checked-in at that time so two of the desks were open at that time. Due to the electronic ban, a aviation security officer asked me to present all my electronic devices and he told me that powerbanks were not accepted onboard in any circumstances, by the way there was no explanation at the hand luggage restriction article that powerbanks ( portable battery devices ) weren't allowed at checked luggage. Luckily, I had one of my friends which dropped me to the airport so I have handed my powerbank to him so he can hand it back at a future date.

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Also, there was a problem with the passport scanner at the desk so the check-in process took longer than usual. I was handed both of my boarding passes, a lounge card, and a fast track barcode which was sticked to the rear of my IST-LHR boarding pass.

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Passport Control & Security:

This barcode was sticked to back of my IST-LHR BP in order to use the Primeclass fast-track lane. There was no-one in front of me so I was in airside within 5 minutes.

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After the security check, I didn't have much time, so I went to the Millennium Lounge for some bites.

LOUNGE - MILLENIUM LOUNGE ISTANBUL



After BA closed their Terraces Lounge at Istanbul, they contract Millennium Lounge for their passengers. Since my visit there a quality decrease was visible. The seating areas wasn't that comfortable as the furniture was old. There was a kid zone at the lounge and also TV's which monitored CNN International.

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The Lounge Invitation. As I entered the lounge the attendant reminded me that my flight was boarding at that time ( 1h05 min before scheduled departure ). As I knew that call is for that passengers go the gate earlier than usual so the additional security processes can be cleared earlier than usual, I used the lounge for a while.

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There was some fruits&vegetables, cookies and packed sandwiches at that time. In addition bread, butter, jam was also present. The buffet contained less food since my last visit which was before a LH flight 3 or 4 years ago. Just a quick note that LH contracted this lounge before sending passengers to the TK lounge.

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Tea&coffee bar

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Cold drinks available. Some Turkish & International newspapers were present.

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I have left the lounge 45-50 minutes before scheduled departure and started heading to gate 504.
While I was walking to the gate I saw G-EUYE waiting for me at a remote stand.

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Boarding Pass:

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GATE AREA & BOARDING



Today our boarding gate would be gate 504 which is the fixed gate for BA675.
The escalators which takes passengers to gates 501-504 had an AtlasGlobal ad.

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As I arrived to the gate 35 minutes before departure, boarding had already started and the last call was being made at that time. There was a hand search for electronic devices and there were many powerbanks that were confiscated as I saw. After the search, I boarded the bus which would take me to the aircraft.

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Just a quick note that due it was a bus gate, boarding wasn't made by group numbers. Also, the ground staff asked me to keep my boarding pass visible while boarding to the aircraft.

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A baggage vehicle was waiting there so people could check their hand luggage in case they forgotten their electronic device.

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While on the bus, TC-LOD arrived from Beirut.

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And then I saw our aircraft which was parked at remote stand T12.

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*
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BA 675 ISTANBUL-IST to LONDON-LHR



I was welcomed onboard by the crew and headed to my seat 1F

Seat:

Actually, this seat is a standard economy seat instead it has more legroom than other rows so I was asked to put my belongings to the overhead compartment.

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Legroom was quite good at row 1. By the way, pillows & blankets were provided

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ULS Cargo A310, TC-LER was parked

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The overhead panel

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TC-LOA, arriving from Amman as TK813

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This time an A321 arriving from Baku as TK337

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Libyan Airlines A330 heading to the runway

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Our route today

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The safety video was shown before pushing-back.

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TC-JSY was parked at stand T11

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Two KK aircraft and a TK 737-900ER which would operate TK4948 to Dalaman as an additional flight due to high demand.

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TC-LJE would also fly to Heathrow

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A KK A330 getting ready for his flight to Arbil

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9V-SVN waiting for his flight to Singapore.

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TC-JOY parked at the apron and TC-JIZ at the runway line getting ready to fly to Helsinki

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TC-JIZ & another TK A330 ( TC-JOJ ) which would serve TK2508 to BJV today.

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TK 662 to Tunis would be served with this A321

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The runway queue, TC-JHM which would serve TK1879 to Naples at front.

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TK2468 to Adana would be operated by this 738 aircraft TC-JVN

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TC-JMK would fly to NUE today

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TC-JOI getting ready for his flight to Dalaman as TK2554

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A TK 737-900ER preparing for takeoff as TK1365 to Marseille

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TK 653 to Algiers would be operated by this 737-800

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Another 737-900ER, this time to Toulouse

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Then, it was our turn to takeoff

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Final view of IST

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The Bosphorus

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Bağcılar area

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İSTOÇ industrial area

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Başakşehir Fatih Terim stadium

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The new airport surrounded by clouds



After the seat belt signs has been turned off, the cabin crew provided hot towels for J passengers, and menus were distributed.

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This menu is only available at this flight BA675.

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BREAKFAST - BA 675 ISTANBUL-IST to LONDON-LHR



Breakfast was served 10 minutes after the seatbelt sign has been switched off. I chose the omelette option. In addition to the photo, there were more bread and pastry selections that I haven't took.

Mozarella and basil omelette with grilled tomato, sautéed king oyster mushrooms and rösti potato

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Route map as breakfast was served. By the way, no pre-departure drink was offered but drink refills were offered during the meal service.

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A quick visit to the toilets. Which were clean earn I visited.

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A photo of London was present at the toilet.

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IFE - BA 675 ISTANBUL-IST to LONDON-LHR



No personal screens, no tablets, laptops, e-book readers allowed onboard and also no movies on the overhead screens as they used to show one last year. But, there was the route map on the overhead monitors.

Instead, there were lots of content to read at the seat pocket.
Let's start with the M&S onboard menu which didn't concern J class passengers

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The safety card

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The High Life Magazine, The Business Life Magazine and The High Life Shop catalogue. Inflight duty-free shopping was available during this flight

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BA Europe Route Map

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Some short haul destinations and their flight time

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It's interesting that BA doesn't offer priority baggage handling for OWS and OWE members when they fly Y or Y+

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The Flying Start envelope was also present

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Crew:

Both of the cabin crews serving the Club Europe cabin was nice to passengers and did their work professionally. One of the crews was shocked when she figured it that I could drink black tea without any milk or cream.

Before landing:

I have woken up when the outside view was like this

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And, the route map was like this

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Then we started our descend to Heathrow. Some photos of London before landing



We were almost there at Heathrow

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The first visible aircraft was a DL 330 which arrived from JFK at that time

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As we taxied, BA aircrafts became visible,
G-RAES which arrived from Boston this morning

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G-ZBJH, arrived from Baltimore as BA228

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BA 175 was delayed that day so G-CIVX remained parked at Terminal 5C

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BA296 from Chicago was operated by this A388

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Another A380-800, which would operate BA213 to Boston

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G-ZBJJ getting ready for his flight to Chennai as BA35

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G-YMMG parked at the remote stand after arriving from Houston as BA194

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BA Hangar

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Two AA aircraft in sight, the one on the left had arrived from Miami as AA56

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And a 747 with the OW livery (G-CIVK) had also arrived from MIA.

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As we parked to a remote position we were transferred to the terminal by bus.

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A final look at the aircraft

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Buses waiting for passengers to leave the aircraft

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So we were transferred to Terminal 5A arrivals and then I followed the purple signs for transfer.
Thanks for reading
See more

Verdict

British Airways

6.9/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew9.0
Entertainment4.0
Meal/catering8.5

Millenium Lounge

4.5/10
Comfort6.0
Meal/catering4.0
Entertainment4.0
Services4.0

Istanbul - IST

7.5/10
Efficiency8.0
Access7.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness8.0

London - LHR

8.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness9.0

Conclusion

IST
(+) Fast immigration & security process
(-) At check-in, my passport could be scanned after several attempts because the device at that counter had issues
(-) Strictly no powerbank rule which was applied ( it is not indicated at the BA website or UK travel website )
(-) Hand search for electronic devices at the gate, instead baggages could be searched by an X-Ray device
Millenium Lounge
(+) Quiet and not crowded
(+) Soft drink selections
(-) Old and not updated furniture
(-) No hot selections for breakfast
(-) Sandwiches and breads are served with the plastic bag
BA675
(+) Breakfast tasted very good and the dish was well prepared
(+) The crew was professional
(-) No welcome drink and aperitif service before the meal for J class passengers
(-) Middle blocked economy seats for a 4 hour flight. ( Compared to TK )
(-) No movies were shown from the overhead monitors, ba.com indicates that a movie from their selection would be monitored.
(-) BA insists to have a personal electronic ban on this route ( lifted at 3/9/2018)
LHR
(+) Arrival buses didn't wait until the bus is full

In my opinion, this flight experience was good and I was satisfied and happy with what they offer but I need to be realistic and objective when reviewing this flight so I compared this flight to other 3-4 hour ranged Business Class flights. The electronic ban which BA applied was one of the worst factors for this trip and in addition, one of my baggages was dented when I picked it up at BWI ( More information on the next report ). Also, in this time period almost all airlines (except some European carriers) has changed their J seats on an A320 to a 2-2 configuration except a 3-3 middle blocked configuration. The IFE wasn't that surprising as only the route map and some magazines were available. I have read a news article on an aviation website that BA waited permission to function onboard Wi-Fi on their narrow body aircraft, which the onboard Wi-Fi would definitely make the flight experience better. Also no USB ports or power supply is served on BA shorthaul flights. On the other hand, the meal was fantastic and it was nice that they have two selections for breakfast as TK shorthaul J product only offers one selection for breakfast meals. The reason that I dropped points from the meal section is that neither an aperitif service nor a pre-takeoff drink was offered. Also, I would like to thank the crew because they were fantastic. And, when it comes to talk about the lounge, I would advise to use the lounge if you have an invitation ( it won't satisfy the passenger expectations ) but avoid paying money to use the lounge.

Once again, thanks for reading and hope to see you at the next report which would be a report of BA 229 LHR-BWI in J class with a review of the Terminal 5A south lounge, the Terminal 5B lounge and the Terminal 5B Elemis Spa facility. And also, I would also post "flashback reports" which includes flights that are operated several years ago and have limited content and photos.

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4 Comments

  • Comment 465249 by
    STAR-ALLIANCE-FLYER 32 Comments

    Crappy, Breakfast, PERIOD.

    Europe does not have many good airlines, although there are a lot! Airlines uschas Lufthansa, or British Airway, no idea where they got their reputation from.....
    Same to Emirates/Cathay, at least for Business Class, the quality goes down SHARPLY!!
    Well at least EK and CX are good at lounge services, that is give you good FIRST IMPRESSION, but nothing after!!

    Turkish airline, along with ANA, EVA AIR, and Singapore Airlines, are my favorite airlines!! Quality, service, nothing to complain!

    Avoid NORTH AMERICAN carriers as well, such as United and Air Canada, even worse than BA.

    Good Report

    • Comment 465292 by
      eryorulmaz AUTHOR 16 Comments

      First, I would like to thank you for your comment,
      Even though the breakfast which was served had a bad presentation, the taste was good. But, I can agree that they can do better if they want to. For example, the yoghurt can be served in a porcelain plate, instead of a packaged one. As I haven't flown EK for a long time and never flown CX since today, thanks to the other members of flight-report.com, the quality decrease in these airlines are obvious. I have neither flown NH nor BR but you are right with the point of Singapore Airlines which has nothing to complain in all service products. When it comes to Turkish Airlines, I would like to say that they had a significant quality decrease in most short & medium haul routes when traveling Economy class. Even though, there was a service decrease their Business Class product, it was not significant as small facts (such the removal of pillow menu, the decrease of quality of snacks (sandwiches usually) offered at the galley, ... ) was only affected. Probably this service decrease in TK J would just continue for several months as they would introduce their new J product on their 787/350 aircraft next year. When it comes to North American carriers, you are right about the point. Once, I was upgraded to First on a AA flight from MIA to BNA and the only thing they offered me was a choice of drink in a plastic cup & pretzels.
      Take care and have a great weekend.

  • Comment 465323 by
    KL651 TEAM 3999 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Great spotting, both at IST and LHR.
    TATL J fares are so much cheaper in the summer!
    While the breakfast service is decent, a pre landing snack would be welcome on that 4h flight.
    Shame about the entertainment, if it's there might as well use it for a movie.

    • Comment 465324 by
      eryorulmaz AUTHOR 16 Comments

      First, thank you for your visit at this report,
      - Thank you for appreciating my spotting even though I used an iPhone 6 for this report.
      - It my first time flying J with a self paid ticket on a TATL flight so I can't comment on seasonal price rates.
      - I agree to the point that the breakfast service is decent. I wasn't expecting a second snack service as this flight is marketed as Club Europe but it would be perfect if they served something like nuts.
      - As I heard, BA intends to remove overhead monitors from their A320 series aircraft. BA website indicates that there would be a movie and a short TV program, but there was no earphone plug at seats so that was another minus for the IFE system.
      I would also like to thank you for your comment and I hope you have a great evening and weekend.

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