A very warm welcome to all Flight-Report members and visitors for this exclusive series of Flight-Report's which was an easy way having a Star Alliance Gold status. In addition, in this series I had the chance to experience the brand new Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge at Istanbul Airport on the first day of its operation. This exclusive series would include 15 flights ( 14 on Turkish Airlines & 1 on SunExpress ) and 13 of these reports are flights to/from Istanbul Airport in Business Class. The other two flights are also domestic flights which are on Economy Class and they are not reports from/to Istanbul Airport. More details could be found in the routing section.
The first report would be a short flight to Antalya on one of the brand new Boeing 737-800 aircraft that TK has in its fleet. Turkish Airlines offered promotional Business class fares ( low as €39 - one way ) and give 5000 status miles per flight so I decided to do this mileage run based on Business Class. On this report, I would give a brief detail of the Turkish Airlines Lounge Corner which was available until the brand new lounge had opened. The lounge would be covered in the upcoming reports in this serie.
The routing would look like this. All reports except #2 would include lounge reviews as well.
Pax for this flight
Business Class: %100
Economy Class: %80-85
I have completed my online check-in 24 hours before takeoff.
My seat was already reserved when I've booked my flight and there were no other available seats so I haven't changed my seat.
The morning of my flight, I have used one of the Havaist shuttles to reach the airport. These shuttles are convenient and they have shuttles for all flights departing from ISL and they have 5 different lines that serve different areas of the city.
Interior of these buses
While onboard the Havaist bus, I have spotted the incoming flight from Antalya. Today it would be TC-JVM which would take me to Antalya.
Photos of the airport from the highway
Entrance - Police checkpoint
Massive carpark that hasn't been opened yet
Only the top level of one of the carparks is open at the moment. The carpark is free until the 28th of February.
The Havaist bus which took me here
Now, it's time to enter the building
The arrivals level hasn't been opened yet
A view of the check-in hall
At that moment, there were two check-in desks open and no special desk for Business Class; one of the employees helped me printing my boarding passes from the self check-in machines.
TK Ticket office
The international departures area - Passport check. Until the grand movement, all international passengers clear security at the domestic departures area and proceed to the temporary passport booths to access the international departures area.
The domestic departures area. Security was a breeze as no one was in front of me.
There are still stores that hasn't been opened yet. The photos of the open stores are available in the first ISL report which I've posted in the last months.
International area, quiet at this time
And, the domestic area
That day, the Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge wasn't opened yet; so Turkish Airlines contracted a café for the needs of their priority passengers. They have named the temporary lounge area " Turkish Airlines Corner "
The brand of the café could sound similar to some of you who have flown from TAV Airports. Seferi is one of the brands of BTA ( TAV group ) and has several cafés at Atatürk Airport as well. The café is located at the ground level which remote gates G1 are located.
Turkish Airlines offered a sandwich/salad, a soft drink, a bottle of water and unlimited tea/coffee to their passengers having lounge access. The sandwiches could be also heated by the café employees upon request.
My selection for the day
Newspapers were also available at that time
I have taken my coffee in a plastic cup as I would continue to enjoy it while wandering around.
After finishing my sandwich and my ice tea and taking my coffee from the corner, I have headed back to the first level to reach my gate.
The elevators to the lounge. For those interested, I would cover the brand new Turkish Airlines Lounge Domestic in reports #4, #6, #8, #10, #12 & #14 in this serie.
FIDS - Like most airports Istanbul Airport would be one of the airports that announce the flight gates several minutes before boarding.
The wheels of our aircraft could be seen from this photo. Gate G10 hasn't got a good angle from the terminal.
The waiting area near gates G8, G9, G10 & G11.
Our gate for the day.
Boarding had started 35 minutes before boarding. Priority passengers boarded the aircraft from the center lane, while Economy class passengers boarded the aircraft from the lane that was located on the left side of the gate.
Our aircraft from the jetbridge.
After being welcomed by the cabin crew, I have headed to my seat. I have also taken a pillow from the overhead bins.
The seats are the usual TK short/mid haul Business Class seats. They are comfortable and they are perfectly suitable for short journey like this one.
As this aircraft ( TC-JVM ) was equipped with the new Thales IFE system, the seats also had power supplies. However, the IFE was shut down for this flight and the personal screens didn't function.
The construction of the airport mosque was visible from our parking stand.
After boarding was completed, the cabin crew handed welcome drinks for Business Class passengers.
And when the doors were closed, nuts were distributed alongside with the menus.
The menu for todays flight
When we started to push back
The safety video was screened at the common screen located at row 1.
Later on, Star Alliance videos were shown as well.
Also, the commercial of Turkish Airlines featuring Dr. Oz
And, the last video: Istanbul Airport advertisement
Now, it's time to take some shots of the apron. Starting with one of the ground control towers.
The ATC tower is visible
Some gates at concourse B still needs some work
And, we are on the other side of the terminal
Turkish Technic hangar
Some construction going on
Turkish Do&Co catering facility
Çelebi ground handling facility
We are almost at the runway after a long taxi
Entering runway 16R
Massive ATC tower
And here we go
The roads leading to Istanbul Airport
A last shot of the terminal
Industrial area near Lake Büyükçekmece
Guess which airport is this?
Shortly after takeoff, drink orders were taken by the cabin crew and meals were started to be distributed.
Potpourri of Seafood
Grilled Lamb Chops
Bread was distributed while I enjoyed my meal.
Today's drink: Homemade ayran
When I've finished my meal, I've asked for a tea from the cabin crew.
Seat pocket content - I would review the seat pocket content in one of the future report in this serie.
Photos before landing
First view of AYT; Terminal 1
We had landed on time.
Antalya ATC; not impressive like ISL
Red Wings A321
SunExpress, Freebird, Corendon aircrafts. These three airlines dominates the operation here in AYT
Terminal 1 - Mostly filled with SunExpress aircrafts
Later on we have parked to gate 5 and the first flight of my mileage run had came to an end.
Baggage claim area at AYT Terminal 3.
Later on, I have left the airport and the first report of this serie had came to an end.
There would be no coming up sections for the first 14 reports of this series as the upcoming flight could be seen from the routing section at the beginning of the report.
Although, there is no special thing to mention on this short flight, the only thing that annoyed me was that the IFE system was shut down for this flight even though Mr. Bilal Ekşi ( CEO of TK ) had announced that the Planet IFE system would be turned on on all TK flights including domestic ones. Otherwise the meal and the seat was perfect and the crew did their job in the regular way.
As I want to expedite the process of writing this serie, there would be no +'s or -'s for reports in this serie. However, there could be some exceptions.