The airline with the best average rating is Turkish Airlines with 8.1/10.
The average flight time is 1 hours and 15 minutes.More information
Ladies and Gentlemen,
The domestic series would end with the last report in this series with this short 45-minute hop from Istanbul to Izmir onboard the Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ER. On this occasion, I had the chance to visit the Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge in Istanbul Airport after the pandemic.
Here is the routing for this trip
Loads for this flight
Business Class: 40-45%
Economy Class: 95-100%
After arriving from my previous flight and heading up from the escalators at the domestic-domestic transfer boarding pass control, I was in the domestic departures hall.
As the Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge in IST was open, I decided to directly head over there.
After using the elevators down to the lounge, I was in the domestic lounge
Boarding pass for this flight
During my visit, the Elite Plus & Business section of the lounge was closed and all passengers were directed to the Classic Plus & Elite section. Despite one section being closed, the open section was 50% full and it was easy to find a seat.
Due to COVID-19, only olive thymes, veggie sandwiches and vanilla&chocolate cakes were available as food. Nothing else was available to eat.
The only drinks available in the lounge were water, soda, peach juice, cherry juice, tea and coffee. For coffee, milk was available at the bar.
My selection for the day
For those who wish to see a report of the lounge pre-COVID, you could visit this Flight-Report where I visited the lounge in the opening day.
As you might know, Turkish Airlines offers direct bus transfers for passengers eligible for the lounge. There are 10 different bus gates at the lounge where passengers are bussed to the jetbridge or remote stand. Here is the FIDS from the domestic lounge
About 30-35 minutes before scheduled departure time, lounge boarding had started from gate 3.
As there were about 20-25 people boarding the flight from the lounge, a larger Cobus was dedicated for our flight. When there is fewer passengers, a small minibus is allocated for lounge eligible passengers.
After a 10 minute bus ride, we were at gate B15 in the international terminal where our aircraft was parked.
TC-JJO named Istanbul would be the aircraft taking me to Izmir. This would be my second time on this specific aircraft. For boarding, door 2L was utilized and all other doors were closed.
After being welcomed by the crew and being handed my hygiene kit, I took my seat 12A which is the second row in the Economy cabin.
The seats were the Weber seats which are equipped with the Panasonic ex2 IFE system.
The legroom was decent for a Boeing 777-300ER and the seat was comfortable
In domestic flights, the IFE system has limited content due to copyright reasons so live TV and international movies are not offered.
Our neighbor was this Turkish Airlines A321-200 in the special livery Discover the Potential: Turkey
Boarding was completed on time and after the ground staff left the aircraft, we were all set for pushing back.
At that time the safety video was monitored
Shortly later, we started our taxi which took less than 5 minutes.
And we took off from runway 35R
The massive IST tower
Shortly after our takeoff, we made a sharp leftwards turn and IST was visible
Another shot of IST from the air
At that time, an informative video about the COVID-19 virus was monitored from the personal screens.
This aircraft was equipped with Wi-Fi but as usual, Wi-Fi does not work on Turkish Airlines domestic flights.
Shortly after the seatbelt signs were turned off, the water service had begun. As I also mentioned in the previous report, unfortunately, TK removed their food service on all domestic flights and all international flights under 2 hours in both Economy and Business; and the only thing that would be served onboard would be water.
After listening some music we were already over Izmir and the cabin crew made a trash collection run and we have started our descend.
City of Izmir
Gulf of Izmir
FuarIzmir Expo area
Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport from the air
We were going to land at runway 34R
And we've touched down at ADB on time
After a short taxi, we have parked at gate 242 in the domestic terminal.
While deboarding the crew made the announcement that deboarding was going to be made row-by-row, however, as expected, passengers did stand up after the seatbelt signs have been turned off and people rushed through the curtain to the door, there were no row-by-row boarding in practice.
After saying goodbye to the crew, I have left the aircraft and here is the last shot of TC-JJO.
While I was at the carousel, my bags were already at the belt as bags arrived with the respect with priority tags.
After that I left the airport and this report and series have come to an end.
Thanks for reading and hope to see you in another report.
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The flight was a usual Turkish Airlines domestic flight, however, the Boeing 777-300ER makes the journey more comfortable with its seats, power outlets, and USB ports. However, I still find it strange that Wi-Fi is not turned on on domestic flights whereas, in mainland Europe and the USA, passengers have gate-to-gate Wi-Fi access even in shorter flights. However, the IFE offerings are generous for domestic flights including the free Pressreader access that TK provides for their passengers. I still find it strange that TK does not serve anything else than water on these short flights; although starting from 26 August, they started not doing water runs so this means that passengers would need to request water via the call button. The airport experiences were also smooth; especially at ADB, my bag was at the carousel because of the priority tag. If we return back to IST, the lounge was a bit kind of strange with limited offerings; however, it's still a nice touch that TK has opened back their lounges.
So, indeed, it was an average journey with Turkish Airlines, however, I would like to tell that at the moment, if I didn't have extra baggage allowance, free seat selection and lounge access due to my status, they have no difference than Pegasus Airlines which is not a good sign at all. Some people are predicting that TK would have a similar model compared to BA on shorter flights which would be a huge downgrade, but I hope that TK would revert back to their old normal with a decent service.
Nothing special to mention
Turkish Airlines Domestic Lounge IST
(+) Comfortable seats and availability of power outlets, USB ports
(-) Reduced meal and drink offerings
(+) Comfortable seats and decent legroom
(+) IFE system and the presence of the Pressreader app
(-) Wi-Fi not available on domestic flights although the aircraft is equipped
(-) Only water being served
(+) Bags arrived with the respect of priorities