Ladies and Gentlemen,
Welcome to this new domestic series onboard Turkey that would contain 3 Flight-Report's in 2 different airlines. The first report of this series would be on the Pegasus Airlines Boeing 737-800 from Istanbul Sabiha Gökçen Airport to Antalya.
Here is the routing for this trip
Loads for this flight
Economy Class: 80-85%
Before starting this report, I would like to mention that a few hours before the flight, I was able to change my flight from 11:40 to 08:00 for only ₺7 which is about €0,80. This change was done via the Pegasus website without any issues.
After arriving at the airport by taxi, I have realized that SAW is crowded as usual.
It's always better to use the east entrance as the central and the west entrances are usually much more crowded. While entering the terminal, passengers are required to show their booking confirmation. People except passengers and staff are not allowed inside the terminal.
The entrance security was empty and I was in the check-in hall within 2-3 minutes. The airport was crowded that morning, mostly with domestic passengers.
Most landside vendors were open.
As Pegasus has changed their check-in system to kiosks, rather than manual check-in desks, passengers should go to the kiosk and print their baggage tags over there. After scanning a Turkish ID or drivers licence to the kiosks, the reservation details automatically pop-up from the screen.
Passengers with a Turkish ID and drivers licence are not required to carry a boarding pass throughout the journey. Showing or scanning your ID is enough when requested. People traveling with passports must use a boarding pass obtained by the kiosks or by the Pegasus mobile app.
As carry-on's are not allowed on all flights from/to Turkey, the 8 kg cabin baggage allowance is added to the checked baggage allowance.
The kiosk weighs your checked baggage
And prints your baggage tag.
Later on, it's necessary to head to the ExpressBagaj drop-off points where machines scan your baggage tag and drop your baggage.
After dropping my bags, I received this SMS which replaces the physical baggage receipt, the machines printed physical baggage receipts for those who don't have their phone numbers registered on the system.
Also, I would like to mention that for those passengers who wish to use the ancient check-in model, there were physical check-in desks but there were only 5-6 agents and the wait looked like 10-15 minutes. Despite that, there were no wait for the kiosks and there were Pegasus employees helping passengers for those who needed.
After that, it was time to head to security. At that time, I realized that Caribou Coffee has closed their store at SAW. Also, the other Caribou Coffee stores in SAW were closed. After Kahve Dünyası, Caribou is the second coffee chain that left Sabiha Gökçen.
The domestic security checkpoint was empty, also before entering the security area, there were signs asking passengers to check-in their carry-on's as they would not be accepted onboard despite the airline.
There wasn't any wait at the security checkpoint so I was at the airside within 4-5 minutes.
Some merchants at the domestic departures hall were entirely closed, some were closed due to the early hour.
Starbucks, Karafırın, McDonald's, Burger King, Subway and some kiosks were open.
A view of the apron, Pegasus and AnadoluJet dominates this airport
As my gate was 404 located in the new building, I decided to wait over there.
There is also a small food area at the new building
While waiting for my flight, I decided to drink a coffee at Starbucks to refreshen a bit. The Starbucks in the new building is always emptier than the one in the main food court.
A Venti Latte was ₺26 ( about €3 ) which is alright for an airport.
KFC was closed and it seem that they need opened after COVID but I might be wrong.
As wearing a mask is mandatory throughout the terminal, I enjoyed my coffee slowly and when it was time for boarding I've headed to the gate.
While I arrived at the gate, there was a queue at the gate, as it was a bus gate, no row-by-row boarding was enforced.
Although some people respected social distancing at the gate, most people did not.
I was in the first bus and for social distancing when there were 50-60 passengers in the bus, the bus departed. All the passengers were transported to the aircraft with three buses.
After arriving at the aircraft, we waited a minute or two for the rear door to open and then passengers were allowed to board both from the front and rear doors.
TC-IZI would be the aircraft taking me to Antalya. At that time an AnadoluJet 737-800 was taking off.
As I was seated in seat 11A, I used the front stairs. Almost nobody respected social distancing at stairs.
TC-IZI was equipped with the old Pegasus seats which are uncomfortable compared to the newer ones.
The legroom was OK, but it might be horrible for taller passengers.
Unfortunately, my seat had a missing window.
My only view was the window at row 12.
The aircraft didn't have the SkyInterior design
The seat pocket only had the safety card with no other literature available. The BoB menu was also not available in a printed version.
After boarding has been completed, the family seated next to me asked to move to an empty row if available and the cabin crew found an empty row for them so I had the entire row throughout the flight.
After the doors were closed, the safety demo was made and we had taxied to the runway. Later on, we have taken off runway 06.
Shortly after takeoff, the cabin crew started the BoB service, no food was available, however, there were soft, hot and alcoholic beverages available for sale. Although, no cash was accepted and payments should have been made by credit card, debit card or Multinet card.
By the way, the Pegasus Fly&Watch mobile entertainment system was not available on today's flight.
During the flight, I have visited one of the rear lavatories. It was perfectly clean throughout my visit. Also a reminder that before departure there was an announcement asking passengers to check if the lavatories were empty from the illuminated lights before leaving their seats.
Shortly after returning to my seat, the crew collected trash and prepared the cabin for landing. Shortly later we have landed to runway 36C.
Before we have parked, the cabin crew asked passengers to remain seated until the row in front of them was totally empty but 50% of the passengers opened the overhead lockers just after the seatbelt signs have been switched off and these passengers advanced forward just after the front door has been opened.
After saying goodbye to the crew, I have left the aircraft.
A last shot of TC-IZI. We had parked at gate 6.
Before the escalators leading to the baggage claim hall, hand sanitizers were available.
FIDS - Our baggages would arrive at carousel 302, however, passengers who have arrived from an international destination and transferred to our flight would claim their bags at carousel 304 for customs formalities.
Bags arrived about 5-10 minutes after I have arrived at the carousel, at that time some people were still not observing social distancing so the security personnel was warning those who didn't maintained their distance.
Later on, I left the airport and this report has come to an end.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.
This flight was an average post-COVID Pegasus Airlines domestic flight. The experience in SAW was OK, however, almost nobody maintained their social distance during check-in, security, and boarding. The flight was an ordinary flight with the old Pegasus seats, 29-30" legroom, and with a BoB service for drinks onboard. It was also a nice touch that lavatories were kept clean during my visit. The Fly&Watch mobile IFE system didn't work on this flight. During deboarding the situation was same in terms of social distance, some passengers were an expert in rushing forward after the front door has been opened. The experience in AYT wasn't special as well, bags arrived 5-10 minutes after aircraft doors opened so I left the flight.
(+) Wait times at security
(+) No wait for check-in and check bags via kiosks
(+) Food and drink options at the airport
(+) Average seat comfort and OK legroom for a LCC
(+) Lavatories were kept clean
(-) Passengers did not comply with social distancing during boarding and deboarding
(+) Baggage arrived at a reasonable time frame