Review of British Airways flight London Istanbul in Economy

Airline British Airways
Flight BA680
Class Economy
Seat 12A
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 03:55
Take-off 20 Dec 18, 16:35
Arrival at 20 Dec 18, 23:30
BA   #59 out of 131 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 695 reviews
ISTFlyer
By GOLD 727
Published on 6th February 2019

Welcome to this new series of Flight-Reports which is actually a combination of three flights in two different itineraries. The first itinerary would only include a transcontinental flight onboard American Airlines 737-8MAX aircraft and the second one would include two flights with British Airways onboard their A380-800 aircraft and their A320 aircraft.


The third and the last part of the series would be on my shuttle flight which is between London Heathrow and Istanbul, but this time on the evening flight that I haven't reported before. The service on this flight is the regular British Airways Euro Traveller product and has nothing special to mention. This report would also include a short review of the British Airways Galleries Club Lounge in Terminal 5A South.


Routing


Pax for this flight
Club Europe: %100 [ Club Europe until row 6 ]
Euro Traveller: %95-100


London Heathrow AIRPORT - LHR


After seeing the sign "Go to A gates" on the FIDS, I have decided to take the transit from C gates but the transit which recently arrived was packed and there were also lots of people waiting at the other side for the next one so I have decided to have a walk to Terminal 5A.


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Just after arriving to LHR from my previous flight, I have learnt that my flight was delayed for 35 minutes so I was in no rush. ( Screenshot taken while we were taxiing to the gate on my previous flight from LAX )


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And, I realized ( while walking at the underground tunnel ) that the incoming flight from Dublin hasn't arrived yet.


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But, I still walked in a faster pace to have an early dinner at the lounge as there would are no complimentary meals served on Istanbul flights. Unlike like the Moscow route ( which takes around 3 hours and 30 minutes ) which has the World Traveller service, the Istanbul route ( which takes around 4 hours ) has the Euro Traveller service and the BoB menu.


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Shortly arriving to the main building, I have used the fast track lane and waited 10-15 minutes to clear security. There were passengers connecting to Istanbul at the queue that tried to skip passengers as they weren't informed about the delay. I've noticed them and told them the flight was delayed. They took a deep breath and their panic of missing their connection had came to an end.


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Since I had time and the boarding gate has announced as A23, I had done some duty-free shopping and then proceeded to the South Lounge to have a quick bite.


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British Airways GALLERIES LOUNGE TERMINAL 5A SOUTH - London Heathrow AIRPORT


Because of the holiday season, half of the people in the lounge were trying to find seats and they were standing. There were people eating and drinking food at the business corners and even inside the children play area. Luckily, I have found a seat in the Northern part of the lounge which had a small table next to it. So, I've grabbed a glass, a bottle of water (to not go back and forth every time) and some food and eat it quickly as there were people waiting to seat and boarding for my flight would start soon.


Around 16:50, the lunch offering was still available as they would be shortly replaced with the afternoon tea offering. Since my last visit, the sauce of the pasta had chanced. The other main options rested the same.


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Vegetarian snacks that I've seen for the first time


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As well as these small cupcakes that I noticed for the first time.


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I haven't got time to take photos of the other food options and the beverage options that day. On the other hand, I couldn't imagine how the North Lounge would be crowded as the South Lounge was extremely crowded.


GATE AREA & BOARDING


I have arrived to the gate around 16:50, the boarding hasn't been started yet.


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There was a priority lane for the document check and for boarding


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Around 17:00, boarding started with groups 1&2&3 at the same time and I was one of the first ones to board the aircraft


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Like most of the boarding gates at Heathrow, newspapers were offered for all passengers. The main focus that day was the drone incident at Gatwick


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Boarding pass


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BA 680 LONDON HEATHROW AIRPORT TO ISTANBUL ATATÜRK AIRPORT


After being welcomed by the crew, I have headed to my seat which was 12A in the second emergency exit row.


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As the seat is in the emergency exit row it lacks an armrest and the seat has much more legroom than the usual seats


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Overhead panel


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A shot from the window


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We started our pushback around 17:30 after the doors were closed. That day, the safety demo was done manually by the crew.


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DL A330 heading to NY for that evening


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EK A380 parked at Terminal 3, getting ready for its flight to Dubai


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Two SAS aircraft and one OU aircraft at T2


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Terminal 2


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One of the BA Queen of the Skies heading to Miami


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D-AEWN which would head to Hamburg that afternoon


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The same Queen of the Skies as before would depart before us because that bird was usually scheduled to takeoff before us


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Aeroflot A321 and Air Astana A321 which would join the runway queue from Terminal 4


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Shortly later we had took off for a 3 hours 10 minute flight to Istanbul. It usually takes longer but the winds made the journey faster than usual.


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T4


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While when we left Heathrow


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Photos after takeoff



Shortly after takeoff, the overhead monitors were opened for the route map. The monitor near us didn't work. As BA is planning to remove overhead screens on their narrow body fleet, they are no more screening a movie on longer European flights and the new seats doesn't have earphone plugs.


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Shortly after the seatbelt signs were turned off, I have visited the lavatory which was clean at that time


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While I was in the back galley, I had requested for a glass of tank water which is the only complimentary food/beverage item on BA's Euro Traveller product.


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Today the seatbelt pocket also included the Business Life magazine as on some occasions, the divider between the Club Europe cabin and the Euro Traveller cabin could be all the way back between rows 12&13. The High Life magazine and The High Life Shop catalogue was the same as my previous flight and inflight shopping was offered on this flight. The context of the M&S menu could be found here in one of my previous report.


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BA Europe route map


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And destinations ( excluding those one which start with an A )


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Safety card


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IST before our arrival


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Photos before arriving to IST


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We're almost there - Ataköy Plus shopping center


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And we had landed 25 minutes later than the scheduled arrival time.


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TK 777-300ER at a remote stand


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Another TK 77W


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TK A321 & 8Q A320


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And we have parked next to this AtlasGlobal A320


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And this Onurair A320


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As the stairs arrive to the aircraft. The later evening British Airways flight to Istanbul always receives a remote stand and passengers are transferred to the terminal by buses.


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Istanbul Atatürk AIRPORT - IST


Last shots of our aircraft at the bus


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And a shot of TC-JOL ( TK A333 )


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Later on, I have headed to the passport check which was a breeze at that time which didn't take more than 5 minutes. After the passport check I have headed to carousel 1 and priority bags were already on the carousel but mine was not there.


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Then I saw my name on this orange luggage and understood that my baggage didn't make the connection. As I went to the Havaş ( ground service ) office, my document was ready and the only thing that they needed was my address and a photocopy of my luggage tags.


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Then they have gave me this form and I have left the airport


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The next day the ground services office called me that my baggages was in Istanbul and it would arrive to my address after midnight. The next day after my flight, my bags were been brought to my address at 23:00 which was not that bad.


This report has now came to an end. Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.

See more

Verdict

British Airways

7.1/10
Cabin8.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering7.5

British Airways (South) Galleries Club - 5A

7.8/10
Comfort6.5
Meal/catering8.5
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services8.0

London - LHR

8.4/10
Efficiency8.0
Access8.5
Services9.0
Cleanliness8.0

Istanbul - ISX

8.2/10
Efficiency8.0
Access9.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

After a long walk from Terminal 5C to 5A and clearing security, it was nice to have time to have an early dinner in the lounge but the lounge was over the capacity and there were almost no seats available at that time. Also, the cleaning staff was occupied with replacing the food all the time, as the people traffic at the lounge was very high, they had difficulties cleaning all the tables at the same time. However, the gate area was organized ( probably because it was the gate at the southern edge of the terminal ). Priorities were respected while boarding as well. Seating in an exit row seat was pretty nice for a short flight like this but it's a bit strange that BA doesn't offer any food on this premium route that they compete with Turkish Airlines. As I mentioned in a previous report, their competitors on this route is Pegasus Airlines which flies to Stansted instead of Heathrow. Also the lack of IFE ( even a movie would be great ) is also annoying and people without paid entertainment site memberships ( Netflix, Hulu, PrimeVideos... ) could only entertain theirselves with the seat pocket magazines on a legacy carrier such as British Airways. I hope they would improve their services with their upcoming mobile IFE system and with their new A320neo's and A321neo's on this route. On the other hand, the experience at IST was great including immigration wait times and the way that they inform people about their mishandled baggages but it's so weird that the cargo company that delivers baggages to adresses, only work during 22:00 and 06:00 to avoid traffic jams. That's so annoying and people shouldn't be waking up after midnight for their mishandled baggages. Luckily my baggages arrived around 23:00 which I was not sleeping at that point. Once, when flying with Qatar, the same cargo company bought my baggages around 01:45 in the morning. Otherwise, the ground staff at the lost and found office were professional to prepare documents for passengers in Business class or passengers holding status.

LHR
(+) Reasonable wait time for security
(+) Organized gate area
(+) Priorities respected while boarding
(-) Crowded transit (AirTrain) which intervals are not short enough
BA Galleries Club T5A South
(+) Lunch was still available at 16:45
(-) Overcrowded and difficult to find seats
BA680
(+) Comfortable exit row seat and enough legroom
(+) Lavatories were clean while I've visited
(+) Route map available
(+) Reasonable BoB options
(-) The overhead monitor nearby was not working
(-) The fact that BA stopped screening a movie on this route
(-) The fact that BA doesn't consider this route as World Traveller and sticks to Euro Traveller
IST
(+) Nice touch to inform passengers that their baggage wasn't there
(+) Passport check wait time
(-) Stupid rule of the cargo company that transfers bags overnight

Information on the route London (LHR) Istanbul (ISX)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 7 reviews of 2 airlines on the route London (LHR) → Istanbul (ISX).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Turkish Airlines with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 3 hours and 52 minutes.

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