The airline with the best average rating is Turkish Airlines with 8.1/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 27 minutes.More information
Report No: 2020-603E
Ladies and Gentlemen,
After not flying for 2.5 months due to the COVID-19 pandemic; on Saturday, 30 May 2020, I've read the news that domestic flights in Turkey would resume on Monday, 1 June 2020. With this occasion, I decided to take the special flight to Ankara which would be the first scheduled flight in Turkey after the flight restrictions have lifted. That day, I was going to take 3 different flights in order to be back in the air.
The third and last report of this series would be a flight onboard the Turkish Airlines A330-300 from Izmir to Istanbul. On this report, I would give you more information about the hygiene measures in the air and some exclusive news for those who're planning to fly Turkish Airlines in the near future.
Here is the routing
Loads for this flight
Business Class: No idea
Economy Class: %40-45
After arriving from my previous flight, I have started to explore the airport. Most landside cafés and restaurants were closed
And the international terminal was deserted.
If we return back to the domestic terminal, the sales offices were closed. Currently, carriers in Turkey are only accepting bookings through online channels.
And the check-in desks, social distancing was enforced at this point
There was no wait for the security check and social distancing was also enforced for passengers behind me.
Most airside cafés and restaurants are also closed. However, some food stands were open.
As you might notice, the advertisement boards were also closed.
The Primeclass Lounge was closed
As well as the Turkish Airlines Lounge in Izmir
At that time, I realized that TC-LND would be the one taking me back to Istanbul.
As I didn't have anything to do, I sticked around the gate area for the remaining time here in Izmir.
Each one of adjacent seats were blocked and signs were indicating passengers not to sit next to each other.
The smoking terrace near gate 242 was locked, however, the one near gate 238 was open.
The gate podium had a glass barrier in order to protect the gate agents during boarding
And I was lucky to see the incoming aircraft arriving.
And, TC-LND is approaching to our gate.
And the jetbridge was docked.
Boarding has started on time with the respect of seat rows. Priority boarding for Business Class & elites was not offered.
Social distancing was enforced throughout the boarding process. Also a supervisor was present at the jetbridge checking hand baggages as carry-on baggages that could not fit under the seat are not permitted onboard TK flights. Instead they are checked on hold for free, in additional to the baggage allowance.
When boarding, the hygiene expert of the flight has handed my hygiene kit which contains a replacement mask and an antiseptic wipe.
I wasn't able to take a photo of my seat but here is the seat behind me.
The legroom is decent for a domestic flight. For today's flight, the IFE system was closed throughout the entire flight. Also, no announcements regarding the free usage of Pressreader was made on this flight.
Also no onboard magazines were present in the seat pocket. The only content available in the seat pocket was the disposal bag and the safety card.
Boarding has completed on time.
The view from the window. Grounded Pegasus and SunExpress aircraft were visible.
Shortly after the aircraft door closed, the safety video was played
And, we've started our pushback
While taxiing to the runway, more SunExpress and Pegasus aircraft were visible.
At that time, an information video regarding Coronavirus was played on the personal screens.
And we have taken off on time towards the South
And after a turn, we've started heading northwards to Istanbul
Bornova in the bottom, Karşıyaka and Mavişehir in the top
Çiğli area and Çiğli Air Base
And we're over the clouds
As you've noticed in the previous reports, only water was served onboard this flight. Normally, TK offers a hot sandwich and a full range of non-alcoholic drinks on these kinds of routes.
As you might have noticed, TK has hygiene expert crews on all flights which are only responsible for the hygiene of the lavatories. These kind of crew are not responsible for any kind of meal service. To test how they perform and for personal needs, I decided to visit the lavatory.
It looked clean during my visit
Normal Morton Brown amenities were present
Such as the Atelier Rebul cologne, however, there was something additional available in the lavatory. A hand disinfectant was also present.
After my visit to the lavatory, the hygiene expert crew which had a large disinfectant in his hand went to the lavatory to clean it before another passenger visits the lavatory.
And we've started our descend.
TÜYAP congress center and Hadımköy area
Esenkent area, Akbatı shopping center and Koza Tennis Park
And the airport tollway
And we have landed ahead of schedule
The magnificent IST tower
While taxiing some interesting aircraft was visible, such as this Onurair A330 leased for Saudia
TK widebodies which are not surprising
And Qatari Air Force military jets alongside with a Turkish Air Force jet
And here are two photos from the new 3rd runway which would open on the 18th of June.
The control tower near the domestic pier and the third runway
And we have parked to gate G4.
Our neighbor was this A321-200.
While deboarding the crew asked passengers to sit at their seats until their row number has been announced. As you might have realized on the previous reports, on TK flights disembarkation is made according to seat rows. However, social distancing was not enforced by some passengers inside the jetbridge.
From the jetbridge
It's nice to see IST this empty
However, this would not last that much as the number of flights per day are already gradually increasing
The last photo of TC-LND. Thanks for the ride.
Heading down to the arrivals hall
The domestic to international checkpoint was closed. Passengers were asked to use the landside route instead. I have no idea when it would re-open.
There were representatives available at the transfer desk, also the domestic to domestic transfer boarding pass control was open.
On my way to the baggage claim hall, I have noticed this hygiene vending machine. Masks, gloves, disinfectants, wet wipes, etc… were available in this machine.
The baggage claim hall of IST
There was a military charter from Şırnak and our flight from Izmir arriving at that time. I didn't understand the logic why both flight had adjacent baggage belts. Also, there were announcements being made in order to ensure social distancing at the belts.
Also at the arrivals hall, I've seen this very interesting news. Maybe some of you noticed it in the first report of the series ( it's hidden in that report ).
According to this signage, TK would contract the IGA Lounge for international passengers for a while rather than re-open their own lounges. I personally have never reported the IGA Lounge here in Flight-Report and I expect to report it soon.
And as I didn't have any checked baggage, I headed to the exit.
The arrivals hall was deserted, like the first days of Istanbul Airport
And the remaining of the arrivals level was closed to the public
And now it's time to go down to the transportation level.
Here are the new updated estimated taxi prices to/from the airport. Also I would like to mention that there was an high demand for taxis that day, upstairs in the taxi rank.
And the updated public transportation options. Several Havaist buses and municipality buses H-2 and H-9 were running that day.
And it was time to leave the airport.
This report has came to an end.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you on another report.
The flight itself was similar to the previous two flights, only was water served, comfortable seats, but this time the IFE system did not work. It's not a big deal but it's always nice to see the moving map or the flight cameras while onboard. Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport also had similar precautions like IST and ESB but with fewer vendors open. The arrival experience at IST was also smooth, however, there were some people who didn't enforce social distancing and those people were warned. Plus, the hygiene automat was a nice touch and gives the convenience for the passengers to get necessary supplies whenever they want.
To conclude this series, I could tell you that the precautions for COVID-19 in Turkish airports are good enough. If we return to Turkish Airlines, I could tell you that with the cost-cutting of removing the meal, not allowing carry-on bags, plus with closed lounges and no online seat-selection they are at the same point with Pegasus Airlines and they do offer the exact same things with PC except that TK gives a small bottle of water to each passenger. For the short term, I would not pay TK extra in order to fly them compared to PC. I would mostly choose the cheapest airline for a while unless TK decides to improve something and returns to a level where their offerings are superior to Pegasus.
(+) No wait at security control
(+) Boarding was made efficiently according to social distancing measures with respect to seat rows
(-) Most cafés and restaurants were closed.
(+) Comfortable seats and decent legroom
(+) Toilets were kept clean and were individually cleaned after every usage
(-) IFE system was closed
(-) Understandable but nothing was offered except water
(+) The nice touch of hygiene automat
(+) Public transportation options