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 second report of this serie would be a short domestic flight onboard SunExpress Boeing 737-800 from Antalya to Izmir. I had need to book a flight on this route because I had a surface sector on my mileage run ticket and this flight was cheap as ₺53,99 ( less than €10 ). By the way, after Pegasus stopped to operate this route; SunExpress is the only carrier that operates this route. Overall, this report would contain a short review of Sun Express's domestic product.
The routing would look like this. All reports except #2 would include lounge reviews as well.
Pax for this flight
Economy Class: %80-85
As SunExpress doesn't have mobile applications, I have completed my online check-in at their webpage.
As SunExpress is a low cost carrier and they don't allow free seat selection; I have auto-assigned a seat. Luckily, the seat was in the front of the cabin. Seat 5A. I have also generated a mobile boarding pass for this flight.
The day of the flight, I was at downtown Antalya and noticed the delay which was caused because of the late arrival of the incoming aircraft from MUC so I have left downtown around 22:00 which is 5 minutes earlier than the scheduled departure time.
I have arrived to the airport at 22:25 and immediately proceeded to the security checkpoint which took less than 5 minutes.
A view of the airside of the domestic terminal ( Terminal 3 ).
I was around the gate at 22:30 and boarding wasn't started at that time. Our aircraft ( TC-SED ) was parked at gate 7.
At 22:35, boarding started with passengers seated at rows 15 and above, the ground staff asked passengers in rows 1-14 to take a seat and didn't let them to board until their row had been announced.
Later on, all passengers were invited onboard.
The seats were the old XQ seats which are thicker and less comfortable than the newer ones.
As the seats are thick, the legroom wasn't that perfect but it was OK for a 45 minutes flight on a LCC.
Onurair A321 which would head to Istanbul Atatürk
After the doors were closed, I have spotted an empty row and asked if I could pass there. The answer was yes so I have seated at seat 4F and seats 4D and 4E were mine either.
As I mentioned in the previous report, XQ dominates operations from Antalya.
Another two XQ Boeing 737-800 aircraft
Freebird Airlines is also an airline based in Antalya
And it was time to takeoff
Last view of Antalya Airport
Let's quickly jump to the seat pocket content.
Safety card, SunTimes magazine, SunShop catalogue, SunCafe Menu for international flights and SunCafe Menu for domestic flights
XQ Domestic route map
XQ Fleet - 36 of 73 aircraft in the fleet operate for SunExpress Turkey, the others operate for Sun Express Germany, AnadoluJet and Eurowings
The expensive BoB menu for this flight.
Later on, I have slept for the rest of the flight until our arrival at Izmir.
A view of Izmir from the air
We had landed to Adnan Menderes Airport, 50 minutes later than our scheduled arrival time.
Pegasus 737-800 in Ada E. livery
TC-JVA which would take me to Istanbul Airport the next morning
And, we had parked to a remote stand next to our sibling which also served SunExpress. SunExpress also dominates operations from Izmir.
While deboarding the aircraft by stairs, another SunExpress 737-800 was visible as well.
This time it's our aircraft.
And the last view of our aircraft
Arrivals FIDS - Almost all flights were delayed that day
After arriving to the airport, I have went to my hotel and spend the night there as the next day I will have three mileage run flights. These would be reports #3, #4, #5 in this serie.
Thanks for reading this report and hope to see you in another one
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.
As I mentioned in the top part of this report, this was a regular domestic flight on SunExpress which is a low cost carrier so there is not much to expect.
(+) Reasonable waiting times for security screening
(+) Organized boarding ( By seat rows )
(+) Found an available empty row ( +1.0 from cabin section )
(-) Thick seats with narrow legroom ( -2.5 from cabin section )
(-) Expensive BoB menu ( -1.5 from meal section )
(-) No real IFE, only magazines
(+) Efficient airport
(-) Access restricted to buses or taxi because of the İZBAN ( suburban rail ) strike at that time
Hello, Eryorulmaz, and thanks for sharing this look at different and unexpected airline. I have to admit at first glance at the airline name, I thought of Sun Country, and expected a charter or LCC running MSP to Florida or something like that. Nope, quite different.
Front of cabin and window? You won the auto-assigned lottery! And then you upgrade to poor-man’s lay-flat! That’s a serious win on an LCC.
Good to know Freebird is based an Antalya. I’ve seen their planes a few times elsewhere, and it always makes me chuckle. “PLAY FREEEEEBIIIIRRRRRRDDDDDDD!!!!!”
Flight looks about what one expects, with some good spotting opportunities on both ends.
Thanks for sharing this, and looking forward to continuing the series.
Thanks again for stopping by,
"thanks for sharing this look at different and unexpected airline. I have to admit at first glance at the airline name, I thought of Sun Country, and expected a charter or LCC running MSP to Florida or something like that. Nope, quite different."
- It's rare to see this airline on scheduled flights as they are usually a holiday airline. I have never flown SunCountry so I wouldn't be able to compare with them. But, I could tell you that they are better from Spirit.
"Front of cabin and window? You won the auto-assigned lottery! And then you upgrade to poor-man’s lay-flat! That’s a serious win on an LCC."
- I'm a member of their FF program "SunPoints"; that's why I think they generally assign me window or aisle seats. Same on PC; I'm a member of their FF program and I always get window or aisle seats. As XQ sells seats with money, even while on board for X-Leg seats, they don't assign the first four rows automatically, so they were empty as usual, unless someone bought a ticket with free seat selection. But, most of the XQ flights are departing/arriving from a remote stand so it doesn't really matter where you're seated.
"Good to know Freebird is based an Antalya. I’ve seen their planes a few times elsewhere, and it always makes me chuckle. “PLAY FREEEEEBIIIIRRRRRRDDDDDDD!!!!!”
"Flight looks about what one expects, with some good spotting opportunities on both ends."
- Yes it's what would you expect. Reasonable for the price quite low as €9.
Thanks again and hope to see you in another report.
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