Review of Lufthansa flight Istanbul Frankfurt in Economy

Airline Lufthansa
Flight LH1305
Class Economy
Seat 11F
Aircraft Airbus A321
Flight time 03:15
Take-off 17 Mar 19, 07:15
Arrival at 17 Mar 19, 08:30
LH   #70 out of 116 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 1176 reviews
By GOLD 983
Published on 6th April 2019

Report No: 2019-308E

Ladies and Gentleman,

Welcome to another series that would include 2 transatlantic flights on Lufthansa Premium Economy on the newest version of the Queen of the Skies and 2 Frankfurt-Istanbul flights again on Lufthansa and one American Airlines regional flight. All 5 reports would include lounge reviews of their respective airports.

In normal conditions, I always share Flight-Report's in the sequential order but this time it's different. From now on an end has came for my home airport and it's closed anymore. So, I have prioritized writing this report before the domestic United series that I planned to write before and before the first two flights of this series. This is the report of my last flight from Atatürk Airport and my last visit to the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Atatürk Airport. This flight would be a Lufthansa flight onboard their A321 from Istanbul Atatürk Airport to Frankfurt on the Economy cabin with a review of the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Atatürk Airport.  

The routing for this series would look like this

Trip Overview:

As I was going to head back to Istanbul for a week and needed miles to earn on Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles as I'm really close to achieve Elite Plus status, I have preferred to use Lufthansa Premium Economy for this trip. For the first leg to Istanbul there was availability for the promotional N fare-class which is significantly the same price as most airlines' semi-flexible Economy tickets, however, on the way back the IAD flight didn't have availability in the premium economy saver fare and for my specific travel date only JFK and Tampa had this special fare. First I've opted for Tampa but then I realized that the TPA-WAS flight were around $300 so I have decided to fly to JFK and take the American Airlines Shuttle from LGA to DCA. For my specific travel date American had a $257 fare for their JFK-DCA flights and Delta had a $237 fare which I had to pay extra checked baggage. Due to my OWS status, I decided to fly American from LGA and paid $132 for Regular Economy on the short flight including two checked baggages. An Uber from JFK to LGA would definitely be cheaper than $120.

Pax for this flight:

Business Class: %90-95 [ Business Class until row 7 ]
Economy Class: %85-90


I have completed the online check-in process 23 hours before departure. Lufthansa is one of the best carriers that knows passenger preferences and I was automatically given seat 12F for the first leg which is the second emergency exit row of an A320. However, later on that day, I had a notification that my seat was changed due to an aircraft change. I was given seat 11F on an A321. Then I've checked if there were any better seats but seat 11A was occupied and I didn't want to sit at 26A ( the second emergency exit on A321's ) as that row is missing a window and it would be my last flight from Atatürk Airport I definitely wanted a window.

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I have generated a mobile boarding pass, however a paper one was given to me at the airport

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It's sad to tell but this would be my last flight from Atatürk Airport.

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Istanbul Atatürk AIRPORT - IST

I have used the E2 entrance which is reserved for Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus passengers and Business Class passengers flying on TK. After showing my card to the agent over there I was welcomed. The first checkpoint took around 5 minutes.

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Then I have headed to the Lufthansa check-in counters. There was no-one in front of me at the First/Business Class lane so my documents were checked by the aviation security officers and then I was immediately helped by the first agent. As I've entered by APIS details online, he just printed baggage tags and boarding passes and stick the fast track barcode behind my boarding pass. As the flight is going to be a nearly full flight he asked me if I would like to check my carry on, several times but I have rejected. The story with the carry on would continue soon.

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Boarding pass for my last departure from Atatürk Airport

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And the fast track barcode

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A last view of the check-in hall before heading to the airside.

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As the regular checkpoint was crowded, I have used the TAV passport fast track with the barcode behind my boarding pass. There was nobody in front of me and I have cleared immigration and security within 5 minutes.

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FIDS from the airside

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A photo of the airside

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Turkish Airlines LOUNGE - Istanbul Atatürk AIRPORT

At the first plan, I was intending to do some lounge hopping between the Primeclass Lounge and the Turkish Airlines Lounge but at check-in, I have learned that Primeclass lounge vouchers are only given for LH Business Class passengers, HON Circle members and Senator's. That's why the Turkish Airlines Lounge was my only stop that day.

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As usual, I have preferred seating at the lower level as it is less crowded.

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Let's start to show the offerings with the fruit options

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The coffee bar and tea bar

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The cake bar with some fresh juices and lemonades

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Some strudels and tarts that were available

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Tea selection

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Bread and croissant selection alongside with Danish pastries

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This month was the India month and Chicken Tikka Masala was the featured dish however, due it was early morning cheese toasts were served at the dedicated Indian food bar.

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The gözleme station

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Trabzon countryside butter and simit

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The section where the chef prepares a personalized omelette with the ingredients of your choice.

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The TV section and alcoholic beverages

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The racing game and PlayStation devices.

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And before leaving the lounge, the pool table at the first floor.

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Later on, I have headed to my gate which was 203. I would definitely miss these corridors for sure. However, they are too narrow and when it's crowded it's impossible to walk in a fast pace.

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I have arrived to gate 203, 30 minutes before scheduled departure time. After my visa for my final destination was checked I was admitted to the gate area.

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Shortly after, boarding begun with priorities being respected and I was one of the first ones to board. Our aircraft from the terminal

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After being welcomed by the crew, I have took my seat 11F. Despite the popular bad comments about this seats, I find them comfortable and the legroom was also OK for a 3 hour flight. Due to theoretical seating that LH does, seat 11E was empty throughout the flight.

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While boarding was still going on, I had the chance to look at the seat pocket content.

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This aircraft was equipped with FlyNet, however, it didn't work throughout the flight. Mobile IFE streaming didn't work as well.

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Fleet section in the Lufthansa Magazin

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LH Europe route map. Istanbul is the only all-year Turkish destination. Flights to Izmir, Bodrum and Antalya are seasonal.

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FRA Airport map

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And the information page for FlyNet that didn't work.

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Later on, we had started our push back on time and the first visible aircraft was this Turkish Airlines A330.

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As well as this A321, TC-JSD

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After a short taxi to the runway

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And after arriving to runway 35L

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We were ready to takeoff.

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I know it's difficult to say goodbye to a home airport 

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But, I had to and we had started to gain altitude.

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Yenibosna district

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A scenic view of Istanbul from the west

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Habibler district

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Göktürk district

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And before passing near Istanbul Airport, we were above the clouds.

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Shortly after the seatbelt signs had been switched off, inflight shopping catalogues were distributed by the cabin crew. Inflight shopping was available throughout the flight.

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Shortly after a passenger needed medical assistance so the crew went next to him with the health kit onboard and gave him oxygen. However, he was fine after a bit and the meal service had begun after that passenger felt OK.

The tray contained a main course, a strawberry yoghurt, bread, strawberry jam and butter.

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The main course was an omelette with cheese and tomato alongside with a Turkish style pastry "Su Böreği". The meal was delicious and I really enjoyed it. The main course was tastier than the classic breakfast of Turkish Airlines.

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Shortly after I finished my meal, I have went to the lavatories. They were kept clean throughout the flight

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Then I have had a short sleep and woke up above Germany.

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Some photos before our arrival

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City of Frankfurt

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Commerzbank Arena

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Some facilities and hotels around the airport

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And we had landed to Frankfurt safely, on time.

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Then we had started our taxi to our parking position.

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Lufthansa A319

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Lufthansa A321 sisters, one in the old, one in the new livery

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LH A320neo and LH A321

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Another photo of the A321

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And we started to turn right to park at gate A28 which is a Schengen gate. This meant that we would be transferred to the non-Schengen area by bus.

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Another LH A321

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And as we parked our neighbor was this Lufthansa A320neo.

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Later on, the crew announced that doors 2L and 4L would be used for disembarkation. As usual, the border police would do visa checks at the stairway, so I had prepared my passport and put took my backpack. At that moment, the cabin crew at door asked Economy passengers to wait until Business Class passengers have left the aircraft. After a small wait and saying thank you to the cabin crew, I have left the aircraft. The Schengen visa page on my passport was ready and the officer said thank you, 3 seconds after he saw the visa. Then it was time to head to the bus.

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Guess what happened, my last flight from Atatürk Airport was the first time during my entire life that I have left my carry-on onboard. I have realized this at the bus. In the past, once I have left a bag of duty free items after a Swiss flight from Zurich to Istanbul and after reporting to the baggage office, my duty free bag was handed just after I claimed by bags at the carousel but this one was different. At least I didn't have "must" stuff in that carry-on bag, and all important belongings were at my backpack.

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After coming to Terminal 1B, I have contacted the transfer desk and they have gave the e-mail of the respective department. Then, the adventurous connection in Frankfurt had started.

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Unfortunately, I would continue to report the rest in the LH 400 Frankfurt - JFK report, which would be posted soon.
For the moment this report has came to an end and I would like to thank you all for joining the report of my last flight from Atatürk Airport.
I wish you to see you all in another report.

See more



Cabin crew8.5

Turkish Airlines Lounge


Istanbul - ISL


Frankfurt - FRA



As this was my last time in Atatürk Airport, I was a bit sorrowful that day as one of my home airports is now closing. I tried to arrive early to make a tour of the airport beforehand; however, I managed to arrive 1h30mins before departure. Check-in was really efficient and made by a friendly agent. After clearing the passport control and security check from the fast-track which saved me 15-20 minutes, I headed to the Turkish Airlines Lounge. As I have also visited the old version of the lounge years ago, visiting this lounge for the last time would be really upsetting however I enjoyed the food in the lounge once last time. However, the TK lounges in the new airport would be better than this so I wasn't that sad. I wasn't able to say goodbye to the Millennium Lounge which I visited more than twice than I did to the TK Lounge, however, I didn't paid €25 to enter there. I usually had airline vouchers to that lounge or up to 2016, I had the option to visit that lounge by one of my credit cards. After walking through the narrow corridors of Atatürk Airport, I have reached gate 203. Boarding was made on time and priorities were respected. After I have boarded the aircraft, I had took my seat which was a Recaro seat that I find comfortable and the legroom was decent. After taking off on time and probably seeing Atatürk Airport operational for the last time, the meal service had started with a really delicious dish which had no similarity to the old LSG Sky Chefs Spinach omelette which was the regular dish for this route. However, nowadays Lufthansa caters from Sancak Catering instead of LSG Sky Chefs in Turkish airports. That day, the FlyNet service wasn't working as well as the mobile entertainment system so the only thing to spend time was to read the seatback literature or to sleep. After arriving to Frankfurt, we had arrived to a Schengen gate so that meant that we were going to be transferred to the Non-Schengen area by bus. I prepared my passport with the Schengen page open ready for inspection as all flights from Turkey to Germany has a passport check by the border police just after leaving the aircraft. I have took my backpack but not my carry-on bag. I have realized that after the bus took off and we were almost arriving the drop off point. So that meant that, this flight experience had become more adventurous. At least, there was nothing important in that carry-on and all my essentials ( laptop, passport, money, credit cards, etc.. ) was in my backpack. The adventure would continue in the fourth report of the series, however, I won't be able to present you any more Atatürk Airport reports as unfortunately it's closed.

(+) Security and passport check wait times
(+) Quick and efficient check-in process
(+) Priorities respected throughout the boarding process
Turkish Airlines Lounge
(+) Food options
(+) Personalized omelette service during breakfast hours
(+) Comfortable seating
(+) Was not crowded during my visit
(+) Entertainment options
LH 1305
(+) Comfortable seats and a decent legroom
(+) Empty middle seat due to theoretical seating
(+) Delicious meal
(+) Friendly crew
(+) Toilets were kept clean throughout the flight
(-) Broken FlyNet and PED system
Nothing special to mention

Information on the route Istanbul (ISL) Frankfurt (FRA)


  • Comment 496366 by
    sotto_Deactivated 83 Comments

    Great flight report! Incredible! In Economy at a 3:25 hrs flight there was a better on-board service than with American airlines in first class (there are only Prezels and you get even drinks in plastic cups). Personally, I can not say clearly who I prefer on this track. I think it depends on the departure time. Sometimes I love TK and sometimes LH.

    • Comment 496440 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 282 Comments

      Hi sotto and thanks for stopping by.

      In Economy at a 3:25 hrs flight there was a better on-board service than with American airlines in first class (there are only Prezels and you get even drinks in plastic cups).

      - That's the reality that all of us know.
      Personally, I can not say clearly who I prefer on this track. I think it depends on the departure time. Sometimes I love TK and sometimes LH.

      - For Frankfurt trips, it's the departure time and price; for transatlantic/African peninsula/Far East flights, it would be the price that matters. Both TK and LH have different positive points when flying them. For example, LH has Euro-J Business on their IST-FRA route while TK mostly has lie flats or recliners. On the other hand, the on time performance of LH on this route is much more better.

      Thanks once again for your comment and hope to see you in another report.

    • Comment 497134 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5331 Comments

      Sotto, your legendary hatred of U.S. airlines shines through once again, but you are very wrong with this statement...

      In Economy at a 3:25 hrs flight there was a better on-board service than with American airlines in first class (there are only Prezels and you get even drinks in plastic cups).

      This Y service on a 3 hr LH flight is not even close to the level of service in Domestic First on a U.S. carrier as you purport. I have many reports in domestic F on flights around 3 hours and you will notice glassware is used in flight and a hot meal is served on china. So you are very wrong.

      Prime example, WAS - DFW is under two hours:

  • Comment 496599 by
    KL651 TEAM 4501 Comments

    Thanks for this FR.
    Really nice breakfast offering from LH. It's not often I congratulate this airline on its catering.
    Hope you got your carry on returned without too much trouble.

    • Comment 496627 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 282 Comments

      Hi KL651 and welcome to this report,

      Really nice breakfast offering from LH. It's not often I congratulate this airline on its catering.

      - When I first got the meal, I didn't believe it was really good as LH usually had an under average spinach omelette for morning flights from IST that they served for years. This tray is a huge improvement and probably one of the signs that LH really cares about regaining their old customers in Turkey which they lost to TK.
      Hope you got your carry on returned without too much trouble.

      - I hope the same thing. At least it's found. That's the tip.

      Thanks once again for your comment and hope to see you in another report.

  • Comment 497137 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5331 Comments

    Hi ISTFlyer, I can imagine that this was an emotional last visit to your hometown airport of Ataturk! And the wonderful Turkish lounge will surely be missed. Thankfully, as you mentioned, the lounges at the new IST airport are even better!

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 497141 by
      ISTFlyer GOLD AUTHOR 282 Comments

      Hi Kévin and welcome to this report,

      I can imagine that this was an emotional last visit to your hometown airport of Ataturk! And the wonderful Turkish lounge will surely be missed.

      - Yes it was my last flight from Atatürk, I am already missing the whole airport, including the lounges. However, if I have the chance, I would visit aviation fairs and expos at Atatürk Airport if I would be in Istanbul at the respective dates.
      Thankfully, as you mentioned, the lounges at the new IST airport are even better!

      - Yes, even though the lounges that opened with the movement are similar to the old lounge in Atatürk; people think that the lounges in the new airport is a huge improvement. I will be able to visit the Miles&Smiles Lounge in May so I would have more information and thoughts about the new lounge(s).

      Thanks for your comment and hope to see you in another report.

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