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 twelfth report of this series would be the first flight of a short vacation to Gaziantep. As TK had €39 J class fares available and the price difference between J and Y were less than €15 per way, I have bought these tickets in J class as well. This report would feature a visit to the brand new domestic lounge in Istanbul Airport that I have covered before in this series and it would be a longer domestic flight compared to the other flights in this series.
The routing would look like this. All reports except #2 would include lounge reviews as well.
Pax for this flight
Business Class: %30-35
Economy Class: %65-70
I had done my online check-in around 22 hours before departure as I was onboard flight #10 while it opened. It's also strange that TK doesn't refer to the M&S status while flying, they refer to the M&S status while booking the ticket. That's why I was marked Classic on this journey. The Elite passenger would be my companion for today's flight.
Check-in was simply done by the TK mobile app
It was my first time arriving to this airport without public transportation. That day, I arrived to the airport with my travel companions car.
The terminal from the carpark. The carpark is free of charge until the 28th February 2019.
The massive ISL terminal
Later on, as the check-in desks were full, I have printed my boarding pass at one of the self-service kiosks and proceeded to the security checkpoint.
Security was cleared within minutes and my usual shot from the domestic terminal.
I can never imagine seeing this airport this empty. Probably we would see people lying on seats at gate seating areas near the security checkpoint because ISL would be one of the airports that announce the departure gates just before boarding.
The lounge is located at the ground floor [strike]not 1st floor[/strike], and the only access from the terminal to these lounges is to use the elevator. There is a separate entrance for the lounge outside the terminal that has a special parking area that didn't permit walking from the arrivals level at that time so we had to park our car to the regular carpark.
I won't review the lounge in detail in this report as I was not alone that day. However, the offering could be seen in reports #4 and #8 in this series.
Boarding pass - I was M&S Elite at that time but it marked CLSC which I was during the time that I booked the ticket.
Later on, boarding had begun from the CIP gate. Our aircraft was visible from the lounge area. Today I was going to fly with TC-JVN which I've flown flights #10 and #11.
While boarding the aircraft, the crew noticed me and they made the joke "we were waiting for you". It was the crew that served me in all of the flights the previous day. They were shocked to see a hand luggage in my hand as they thought I would have a same flight return. But this flight wasn't booked on the purpose of a mileage run.
As it was the first time that my companion flied from ISL, he asked for the window seat and I sat at the aisle seat 2B. Pillows were available in the overhead lockers.
Shortly after boarding was completed, pre-departure drinks were offered. That day, I opted for a raspberry juice.
Later on, nuts and menus were distributed.
And then the safety video was played alongside with the Star Alliance videos and the Dr. Oz commercial.
Before takeoff, the crew came for drink orders. Even though, I've swapped seats with my companion, the crew noticed that and addressed me with my real name even though he looked at the list.
During, this flight IFE was active
And, I chose to look at the route map. As ISL wasn't inserted to the route map program, the departure point was shown as undefined.
Also, I have read information about Gaziantep on the IFE system but not all of the Treasures of Turkey videos were available on the Thales IFE system. They were available on the Panasonic IFE system. Unfortunately, TK doesn't match content in two different IFE systems that TK uses in different aircrafts.
Shortly after the seatbelt signs had turned off, the meal service had begun. That day I had the same meal as flight #8, in this series. Although, it was perfect.
Mozarella & Grilled Vegetables
Turkish Style Minced Beef with Ratatouille Couscous and Grilled Zucchini
Later on, I've opted for a tea.
We had landed to GZT on time. As the new terminal with jetbridges are in construction, we had used the old terminal which required a short walk from the aircraft to the arrivals hall.
Sorry for the finger here, that ruined this perfect last photo of our aircraft
And, welcome to Gaziantep
I would just like to make the note that, the next report would contain a tourism bonus from Gaziantep as well.
This report has came to an end, thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.
It was a great flight with a perfect crew that I've flown for the fourth time which also had real J seats and an over expected service for a domestic flight.
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.