The airline with the best average rating is Turkish Airlines with 8.0/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 30 minutes.More information
Report No: 2020-305E
Ladies and Gentleman,
Welcome to this very interesting and thrilling Flight-Report series as the COVID-19 situation in the world affected my travel plans, however, not this time as I was able to return back to Europe as planned with some minor changes. This series would contain 2 parts, with 5 flights all on Economy Class, covering 3 different airlines, 6 different airports, 5 different lounges and 5 different aircraft types.
In the final part of this series, after a long break in ATH, I have taken a Turkish Airlines flight from ATH to IST and luckily, it was on board the Boeing 787-9. The reason that I've decided to take a longer layover was that I was scared to fell asleep at my layover at ATH as I'm a deep sleeper.
On this review, I would provide you a report of the Aegean Business Lounge in Athens and the flight report itself with a brief review of the Turkish Airlines 787-9.
Pax for this flight
Business Class: No idea
Economy Class: %80-85
After a long night at the Sofitel Athens Airport, it was time to leave the hotel at 17:00.
FIDS from the hotel
Before heading to the terminal, I decided to have a drink and a late lunch at the restaurant at the hotel. The food here tasted super good, however, it was a bit expensive compared to Greek standards.
After my late lunch, I had checked out from the hotel, and headed to the terminal.
Athens Airport has only one terminal
As I already had my boarding pass and my bags were checked through, I didn't stopped by the check-in desks.
So, I headed to
Passport control and security was a breeze with no wait; after the checks, there is a mandatory duty-free and a construction passage.
This part of the airport is new which I haven't seen before.
Turkish Airlines contracts the Goldair Lounge at Athens Airport, but I have decided to use the Aegean Business Lounge
The lounge was empty and there were only 4-5 passengers at that time.
The lounge has a food buffet which has many choices
Mini sandwiches, bagels, cakes, poultry, cheese, veggies
Cookies and halva
Soup and Mediterranean style pastry
Main dishes and salads; plus freshly squeezed juices and smoothies
And adult drinks which were placed into an aircraft trolley
While at the lounge, I have noticed that TC-LLB would be one taking me to Istanbul.
I have headed to the gate about an hour before scheduled departure time. About a few minutes later, my name was announced and the agents wanted to see verify baggage tags as my transfer time was 20h+.
Also my LH stock boarding pass was replaced with this TK stock boarding pass
And, 45 minutes before scheduled departure, boarding started with the respect of priorities and I was the second passenger to board the aircraft.
After being welcomed by the crew, I had headed to my original seat 11K.
In general, the TK 787-9 Economy Class seats are a huge improvement regarding the old TK wide-body seats; these seats are much more comfortable and has better legroom than the older TK 787-9.
A view from the window at that time
Due to the COVID-19 measures, no literature was present; the seat pocket contained the safety card and an air sickness bag. Later in the flight, the crew made an announcement apologizing that there was no onboard literature.
An earphone was present at every seat
And every seat in Economy Class has a personal screen which also has an USB port. Compared to older A330 and 777 aircraft of Turkish Airlines, there is no power outlets onboard the Economy cabin of the Turkish Airlines 787-9.
Which also has live TV in it.
And the route map. Our flight time would be 52 minutes.
The IFE system also has aircraft cameras available for viewing
The aircraft also had Wi-Fi and cellular signal equipped.
However, Wi-Fi is not available from gate to gate like some other carriers.
While boarding was still going on, I have visited one of the lavatories which was clean at that time
The toilet also had some interesting features.
When I returned to my seat, this Aegean A320 has parked next to us.
A few minutes later, after the boarding was complete, I have moved to the bulkhead row, seat 9A as it was empty. A view from the left side of the aircraft. The crew helped me move my belongings from the right side of the aircraft to the overhead bins at the left side of the aircraft.
The legroom at the exit row is much more generous.
And, the safety video was played.
At that time, the seat-belt signs were turned on.
Later on, the new Turkish Airlines TV ad was played on the IFE screens and common monitors.
That video was followed by an informative video about the zero-waste project.
And, the last video monitored was related to coronavirus
And, we had pushed back on schedule, at that time this MEA A320 had arrived from Beirut.
And finally it was time to take off.
And we're in the air
Just after the seat-belt signs have been turned off, the cabin crew has distributed health forms to everyone. This form was needed to be filled for everyone who was going to enter Turkey. The form also had an English version. The crew distributed pens for those who haven't had one.
At that time, the Wi-Fi system was activated.
Miles&Smiles Classic & Classic Plus members have 10MB, Elite & Elite Plus members have 400 MB and Business Class passengers have 1 GB of data available for the flight. Passengers exceeding these limits are asked to pay for one of the packages available for sale.
The login page
As an Elite Plus member, I had 400MB of data which is highly enough for a 52 minute flight.
At that time, meals were distributed. Compared to Aegean Airlines on the same route, the offerings of TK is much more better.
Tuna fish sandwich
Mozarella & Tomato
Homemade Vanilla Chocolate Cake
Flightradar24 screenshot at that time
I have also opened the route map on the IFE screen
And we've started our descent to Istanbul
And the airport is visible
The presidential terminal
And we've landed on time
Turkish Airlines hangar
And the magnificent IST tower
A Silkway Airlines Boeing 747
At that time, I noticed that our bags would be distributed from baggage carousel 17.
The terminal which mainly had Turkish Airlines aircraft
After a 20 minute taxi, we've parked to gate A7 next to this Boeing 777-300ER
The view from the front camera of the aircraft
After saying thank you to the crew, I have left the aircraft and entered the terminal
A last shot of our aircraft
The walkway to passport control
There was no wait at the passport control for Turkish citizens; about a minute later, I was in the baggage claim hall.
3 flights arriving at the same time had the same baggage carousel.
The baggage claim hall
A list of Havaist buses from the airport, which is not valid anymore, because it had discontinued routes.
After a 3-4 minute wait at the carousel, my bags have arrived with other priority bags from the ATH flight and it was time to leave the baggage claim hall.
And, as someone was going to pick me up, I have headed up to the departures level, where that person would pick me up.
Arrival FIDS - There were many flights canceled that day
And the departures level
After my friend came to pick me up, it was time to end this Flight-Report
And, the last Flight-Report of this series has ended.
Unfortunately, as I don't know when I would travel in the future, I am unable to give clues about my future reports, however, I might share Flight-Reports from 2019 which I still haven't shared.
Take care and stay tuned with Flight-Report.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you on another report.
In the end, the entire trip was a pleasant journey back to IST. With comfortable and really good 5 flights I am back home in IST. The experience in ATH was really good, due to the emptiness of the Non-Schengen concourse, there was no wait at the passport control and security check. The Aegean Lounge was good, had decent food including Mediterranean specialties and a wide selection of both soft and alcoholic drinks. The most important thing was that the lounge was cleaned and disinfected every hour with solutions. By the way, the lounge Wi-Fi was perfect and fast. The gate area was a bit crowded as there were a significant amount of people rerouted from other flights to ours. The two gate agents were efficient and provided the necessary help in a very good manner. Priorities were respected throughout the boarding process. The flight experience was also good. The TK 787-9 Y seats are super comfortable and the regular rows have decent legroom and the bulkhead has super-good legroom. The IFE system and entertainment options available for this flight were extraordinarily good. Because of my frequent flyer status, I had free Wi-Fi throughout the flight; plus Live TV and an IFE system with recent movie selections were available. The cabin crew was also helpful and smiling throughout the flight, they did their best to handle all passenger requests. The meal onboard this flight was also decent as the competitor, Aegean, only serves a sandwich or a chocolate bar onboard this same route while TK serves a decent selection. We have landed in IST ahead of our scheduled time, however, the long taxi of 20 minutes was a bit bothering; as IST being my home airport, I'm already used to it. However, the efficiency in the passport control booths and the wait time for baggage claim eliminates the disadvantage of a long taxi. To complete this conclusion, I could tell that flying on a wide-body onboard this short flight with great amenities was a pleasure, and after this flight, I realized that these small perks of TK ( meals, Wi-Fi, live TV ) could significantly change the experience.
(+) Passport control and security wait time
(+) Gate agents were efficient providing assistance for transfer pax
(+) Boarding was made with the respect of priorities
Aegean Business Lounge
(+) Food and beverage offerings, including the healthy-ish stuff
(+) Lounge was being disinfected every hour including a detailed cleaning at the toilets
(+) Friendly lounge staff
(+) Comfortable seats and decent legroom ( both for regular row and bulkhead row )
(+) IFE system and Live TV onboard this flight
(+) The onboard Wi-Fi
(+) Appropriate meal for this flight
(+) Fast and efficient passport control
(+) Reasonable wait for baggages
(-) Long taxiing from the runway to the gate