Let's go for a very special itinerary, a Round-The-World trip, but not only is it a RTW, it is especially special as it includes my dream flight : SQ22 Why is it my dream flight ? Because I like to be in the air onboard an airplane, so, of course, the longest commercial flight must be my dream flight.
I was always thinking of flying SQ22 but, since the end of BMI/Diamond Club, it's been difficult to get an award seat in a SQ premium class except with its own FFP, Krisflyer.
Krysflyer has very poor earning rates, prohibitive spending rates and its main benefit is to be able to fly in SQ First Class. I'm not interesting in Flying SQ First Class any more :)
I've been lucky to live the golden era : flying 744 Megatop seating in Skysuites, with Dom Perignon in the lounge, 50ml Ferragamo perfume in the amenity kit and so on…
From cost cutting to cost cutting these times are over and SQ First is not so much appealling especially with the rise of an excellent Business class with full flat bed.
So it was not so easy to get this so coveted ticket but I knew that sometimes SQ, in its goodness, gives alms as J tickets for M&M.
I had in mind this possibility and it was mainly for that reason that M&M was my FFP choice after BMI's sale
I have to go faster last year when SQ announced that the SQ22 route will be discontinued at the end of 2013.
Almost every day I frantically search a free seat on a SQ22 flight using KVS tool but nothing appeared
In April this year I had to try harder and I decided to call my M&M local agent after being able to find a few available seats. She was great and patient enough to check more than 40 days searching availability and bingo she found a free seat on the November 14th, one of the last flights.
I still had to wait for the approbation of the itinerary by the german M&M luminaries and was calling many times before the itinerary has been approved. I immediately went to the M&M office to have the itinerary ticketed ! Looking at the booking I couldn't believe that finally I got it !!!
Sorry for this certainly too boring introduction but I know that most of you are scrolling experts ;)
So here is the complete itinerary built around the SQ22
Tunis TUN - Istanbul IST (Turkish Airlines Business, 737-800)
[YOU ARE HERE]
Istanbul IST - Seoul ICN (Turkish Airlines Business, A340-300)
Istanbul IST - Tunis TUN (Tunis Air Economy, A320)
http://flight-report.com/en/report-5663.html Once again I arrived early at the airport, usually because one never knows what could happen (New security check, strike, …), and this time because I was very excited beginning my RTW.
The check to enter the terminal : almost everybody was ringing the alarm but noone cared
The terminal was overcrowded
I went on walking to the Turkish Airlines check-in business counter, close to the famous Lindo bar.
The flight is displayed but the check-in counter was unmanned
I had to wait almost 30 minutes before someone came
Then a TK agent(male) with an airport agent(female) came and they were laughing and joking together.
The TK agent left but the checkin agent was still laughing.
I told her that it was better laughing than weeping which pleased her. She checked me in asking me if my transfer was to Cyprus…no, ICN is Seoul ! She looked at my passport searching for a visa but I told her that I didn't need one : she answered me that she was trusting me. I still had to ask for a carry-on tag before heading to the immigratiom, customs and check.
A lot of people were queuing for immigration but almost all counters were manned
Not the same for the check with only two lines opened and a long long queue
30 minutes later I was airside and heading to the Tunis Air lounge.
Same food offer as usual with the breakfast pastries and some snacks added at noon
The lounge is not bad except that it is often overcrowded and the offer is very basic. I just grabbed some canapes and a pear juice
This time it was even quite dirty and the couch was in bad shape, hurting my back
Wifi seemed not to work and I had to use my 3G connection
Corporate picture with 3G
Spotting from the lounge
Luggage is loaded on the belts
It was time to head to the gate and to add some planespotting on the way
My airplane at the gate : a Boeing 737-800 TC-JHF, first flight on 23/11/2008
With this five year old airplane I wasn't surprised to see the old business class with neutralized middle seat
I sat at my window seat with decent legroom
Seat pocket stuff
A beverage was offered : choice between 3 TK delicious juices
and then the traditional loukoum
Taxi to runway
Republic of Tunisia's airplane
Smooth take off
Oshibori before the meal
One more view from my high-above-the-clouds restaurant
Meal service began : tray with appetizer, cheese and dessert
Assorted Turkish Appetizers
Home Made Chocolate Mousse Cake
I requested the Beef Tournedos for the main Grilled Beef Tournedos mustard and curry sauce sautéed mixed vegetables/potato gratin
Potato gratin was to die for as usual and the the meat was not overcooked
As I'm a huge fan of turkish cooking and always ready to sacrifice for FR, I asked if it was possible to have a second main: the Moussaka The FA answered me with a great smile : Certainly Eggplant Moussaka
I'm still mouth watering just looking at the picture ;)
I have to talk about my young neighbour : despite being a native English-speaker he seemed to have never learnt the words Please or Thank You :( I was extremely ashamed for him when, for example, he was almost barking Water at the FA during the meal
What terrible people we have to meet sometimes !
The cabin was busy with 4/12 pax
The descent was smooth and we parked at a remote position
Tunis - TUN
Istanbul - ISL
Another great flight with Turkish Airlines, especially with this yummy Do&Co catering for a bit more than 2 hours flight.
Flight Attendants were smiling and efficient
Only the seat was the weak part
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