Each year, I go with my mother to Jordan. This year we decided to give TK a try but from FRA, as the prices from BSL were 50% higher. We took the ICE from Basel to Frankfurt.
A few facts about this train ride:
- Between Basel and Frankfurt the train is not high speed and runs at a max of 200 km/h on limited portions only. Thus the journey takes a solid 3H.
- The cabin is not that comfortable, the seats are hard and recline is not electric. The TGV high speed train in France has much more comfortable seats with an electric recline.
- The good thing is that you have seat service. Of course not free but you don't have to go to the bar to pick up your food or drinks.
Two pictures of the service on board:
The room and the hotel are pretty basic but if you have airport views rooms you might spend lots of time at the window :)
TG 388, Etihad 787 and a Condor 763 tail:
321 Neo LH:
LX A220 and ANA 773:
LH 321 NEO again:
Re Condor 763:
748 KE,the livery is very bold:
MD11 LH Cargo:
388 bound for PVG:
Air Namibia, also 332:
A nice 736 TU:
Air Baltic special livery:
Another LH 388:
Oman Air 333:
My favorite plane, LH 346:
SQ bound for SIN 388:
That's it for the spotting :)
After a good night's sleep we head to the airport. It goes super fast as the hotel is linked to the airport:
From the mezzanine:
So old school:
3H before departure the LH counters are over crowded but nobody at the business counters.
Our seats have been changed from 2AC to 2JK and on the next flight our 2AC became 3DF. Not a big deal, we kept windows seats on the first flight and the second flight is a fully night flight.
We then went to security checks.
What a mess. There is a priority lane but to access it you first need to clear a pre-check and it took us 15 minutes to reach the pre–check.
After that we had 10 people in front of us and it took … 45 minutes!!
It was a big joke: there was only a small table before the belt where only one bag can be put at a time. That means each passenger needs to wait that the preceding passenger clears it to be able to open his bag and remove liquids and/or electronics.
But worse, in FRA you also need to put your cameras, cameras objectives, cables and absolutely everything that has electronics like razors. To add to this, only one lighter is allowed per passenger or couple!
All liquid bags are opened and the agent checks almost each liquid to see if it is above 100ml. At least the agents were friendly but the controls took exactly 1H which is far too much.
At least there was nobody at the police control :)
We decided to go to the AC lounge that had better reviews:
We are welcomed by this beautiful Dreamliner:
We were also welcome warmly and in French. A communal table greets us:
Sofas along the windows. The lounge was a bit too hot for our liking:
Nice view over the apron:
The buffet is still in breakfast mode:
Donuts & co:
Jam and toaster:
The lavatories are very clean:
Outside the lounge there is a nice terrace:
Really nice but hot!!
Boarding hasn't started yet, I went to see what was around with this beautiful A320 in a retro livery:
Boarding through jetbridge:
We entered the plane and the least I could stay is that it didn't started well. A part from a ground technician in the galley there wasn't anyone to great the passengers. The crew was chatting in the middle galley and despite seeing the first passengers board, they continued to chat and no one bothered coming at the door. After a dozen of business class passengers boarded they decided to take their boarding position.
The second bad surprise was the cabin. I was expecting lie flat or full flat seats on all TK wide bodies but no. This bird had recliners. While fully ok compared to the other european airlines, it wasn't a good surprise :(
Some pictures of the 2AC seats were I first went still thinking about the seats I had selected but moved to the other side after realizing my mistake.
This time our good seats :)
And fully reclined. Very nice but … I was expecting lie flat at least :)
To be fully honest, it was still very comfortable!
The main problem was that the seat controls were fully manual and very hard to use. My mother always had a hard time to move her seat and I had to help her with the seat back each time she wanted to recline or to make it upright.
There was, in complement to the crew, a kitchen chef on board. More on her later.
The seat pitch is great:
More to read:
We were offered a choice between water, champagne, orange juice, lemonade or raspberry lemonade
The onbaord chef handed out the menus:
Looked very nice. I liked that they offered "Karniyarik" a typical turkish dish that I love. That will be my choice.
The drink menu is extensive but there are no mention about what brand is being served. More on that also later.
The boarding takes lots of time. And to make things worse, it begins to be really hot in the cabin. There are no individual vents in this aircraft making the things worse. We were supposed to take off at 11H40 but at 11H40 we were still at the gate with nobody boarding since at least 10 minutes.
I went to the toilets to freshen a bit. They are really clean:
Aircraft door. Note that the whole crew disappeared again in the middle galley. Nobody upfront.
20 minutes after STD, the captain takes the microphone and informs us that the APU is out of order and this is why it is so hot in the cabin. Without APU the aircraft needs to be started with a ground equipment that just break down. FRA airport is looking for a replacement, we didn't have to worry for that because they had, but it would take another 30' of waiting … in the heat!
In the meantime hazelnuts are offered from the Do & Co chef. At this point she was the only one working: she handed the drinks over, the menus and now the snacks.
And even the headsets!
Condor is still here:
As we are!
Condor was the first to go :)
The IFE was really nice, lots of movies and easy to use:
An hour after the STD we finally push back and the air conditionning is eventually turned on!
Condor … again!
LH is queen here!
Iran Air 330:
And our turn to go!
Service starts with a hot towel, our first interaction with the regular crew. But without any smile.
The tray is served still without smile but at least, what is on it looks very good!
The onboard chef offers the drinks and at least, she is smilling and nice. I took some Turkish white wine together with sour cherry juice:
Salt and pepper:
It was really, really good! For the entree my mother took the sea bass papillote that one certainly one of the best dish she had in a plane, she said.
I took the turkish speciality:
It was perfect. Lots of flavor, I loved it.
As the trays are collected, hot drinks and digestive drinks are offered. I asked for a baileys with my coffee.
It had the color and the odor of the Bailey's but it wasn't. I ask to see the bottle and in fact it wasn't. It was a cheap whisky liquor that was really bad. At least the dessert was good!
The service concluded with a second hot towel:
And the flight is already ending:
Closer to Istanbul:
The old Atatürk airport:
I felt a bit sad for a moment, I have so many memories at that airport, but at the end, it was just so overcrowded that it wasn't fun anymore to fly from there.
A sharp left turn to reach the new IST!
As we get closer, there are fewer houses:
Only new buildings:
The airport is really huge. It took us a good 15 minutes to reach our gate.
We parked next to this 773:
We were barely greeting upon exited the plane, and I begin to be a bit excited for my first time here !
It isn't easy to give a rating to this cabin. It is far better than Eurobusiness, still it is nowhere what I was expecting from a TK widebody.
The crew was a disaster but the Do & Co chef was lovely. Given that she is not part of the crew nor a TK employee I decided to only rate the TK and add a point for the chef. So 0 + 1 :)
The food was excellent so was the IFE.
FRA is messy, disorganized, old and dark. I hated it.
As usual, a big thank you for reading, next part will be online pretty soon!