Review of Turkish Airlines flight Hong Kong Istanbul in Premium Eco

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK71
Class Premium Eco
Seat 12A
Aircraft Boeing 777-300ER
Flight time 11:20
Take-off 03 Sep 13, 23:25
Arrival at 04 Sep 13, 05:45
TK   #12 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 572 reviews
AirCanada881
By 16588
Published on 3rd December 2013
GOING OFF THE GRID PART 8


Itinerary
1. 07 August 2013 - BUD-IST Y http://flight-report.com/en/report-4805.html
2. 08 August 2013 - IST-HKG W http://flight-report.com/en/report-4817.html
3. 10 August 2013 – HKG-CEB Y- http://flight-report.com/en/report-4915.html
4. 21 August 2013 - CEB-CGM Y- http://flight-report.com/fr/report-5627.html
5. 31 August 2013 - CEB-MNL Y- http://flight-report.com/en/report-5649.html
6. 31 August 2013 - MNL-KUL Y- http://flight-report.com/en/report-5656.html
7. 02 September 2013 - KUL-HKG Y- http://flight-report.com/en/report-5683.html
8. 03 September 2013 - HKG-IST W FINAL CALL
9. 04 September 2013 - IST-VIE Y To be published


Welcome to the return flight on board TK. This is my second flight report showcasing a premium product; I'm not so lucky to do it often so I am happy when I Can :)

I am going to include a tourist bonus at the beginning of this FR on Hong Kong because I loved the city so much, if you want to skip to the Flight Report directly, feel free to do so.

When we arrived at our hotel the night prior we asked for late checkout as our flight wasn't until close to midnight, sadly this was denied as our room would be occupied the next day… so at 11 AM the next day the hotel reception kind of haggled us to hurry up and check out… Not the best way to end our time on holidays, so we hurried about and were out by noon.

They allowed us to store our luggage at reception, we would be using TK's in town check in which only opens at 14:30. The night before, exactly 24 hours before departure I tried checking in online to row 11 but the row was already taken :( I don't understand how since I was probably the first to check in. So I will try my luck at the in town check in.

Since it was alittle past 12 we decided to have lunch directly. It was starting to rain which wasn't going to motivate us to go very far, so in the end we decided upon an indian restaurant we had eaten at 3 weeks prior which was quite good (not very creative I know, but hey I love Indian food :)

I can highly recommend this place, for about 50 HKD per person you get a great meal as pictured below a Byriani and a lamb rogan josh. Samosa's and plenty of dipping sauces.
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After lunch it was raining even harder… But we had to get to the in town check in because we still wanted to visit HK before our flight, so we fetched our bags from the hotel and took the fun double decker trams to Central. It took us a while to find the In town check in as I didn't know it was inside a mall
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TK shares a check in counter with other Star Alliance carriers, namely 'Late Canada' and 'United'. I was the first in line for check in and I saw the agent come to open it so there could not have been anyone before me. So I tried my luck again at row 11 and no dice, the lady, an Asian woman whose nose was as annoying as the 3 ladies on our previous Air Asia flight said the seats were already taken. I was really frustrated because I wanted those seats so bad :(
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So 12A/B were our final seats for now and that was that.
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After checking in, we had about 9 hours before our flight. I was happy to be able to stay in HK abit before taking the fast train to the airport. It stopped raining by then so we walked around. Our first stop was the HK Apple store which is quite big and full of people.

view from the Apple store
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Actual Apple store
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Beautiful green areas populate Hong Kong
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It is hard to describe what makes HK such an appealing city. for me the food is definitely a huge factor, the city is a shrine of delicate foods and as 007 has said in his previous reports, HK has more starred restaurants than Paris!
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I also love the fact that there are people everywhere 24 hours a day, somehow it makes you feel part of something bigger, it makes you want to roam around the streets and live as much of the local culture as you possibly can
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Every type of land vehicle roaming this city can be seen here, from the buses to the taxis to the trucks, the SUVs and the cars
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these trams are so atypical
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Slovak girl in Asian city
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Every brand name imaginable has large billboards here
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The skyscrapers in HK are really a landmark in the city, really beautiful buildings, not sure what this one is
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Bank of China Tower, 367 meters tall with the masts
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Lippo centre, 172 meters tall
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Citi bank tower
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Lippo Centre
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We found out that it was possible to go up the Bank of China tower for free before 5 PM (closed after) so we seized the chance to get a great view of HK as we hadn't been able to go to Victoria Peak. the weather wasn't great but still worth it
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The imposing international finance center, 412 meters tall
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View from the top
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After a while we went back down and saw these cool fish swimming around
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Lippo Centre close up, I find the architecture of this building very interesting
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Victoria Peak tram, we noticed the queue was quite short so we decided to go and spend the last dollars on our Octopus card to go up one way. We would then be walking down :-D
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Quite a few people in line. A young Chinese family with kids did not hesitate to walk in front of us in line for their benefit, bless their hearts :)
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Front view
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Back
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Our chariot arrives!
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Inside the chariot, we had to fight to get these seats even though we were close to first in line
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For those interested I filmed the ascension :)


Beautiful skyline from the top
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Who said Hobbits were from New Zealand?
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In this picture you can see both international finance centers, and the commerce center at a whopping 484 meters!
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Panorama
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I love this view, it really shows how unique the HK skyline is, sometimes I wonder how these tall residential towers can sustain structural strength being dug up from the ground in their foundations, I suppose HK doesn't get earthquakes alot?
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The Bay from the South side
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the top of Victoria peak is like a mini village with shops, restaurants, etc. I wonder if there is even a hotel up there!
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Causeway Bay (I think)
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It got dark after a while and I was able to photograph the view at night which is all the more magical with all the lights.


International Finance center close up
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International Commerce Center
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I could never get tired of this view
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Here's a video I took of the Victoria peak night experience


photo DSC04053 [1600x1200]photo DSC04054 [1600x1200]

We stayed up until about 20;30 and then we started making our way down. I didn't think the way down would be so difficult, it is quite steep and I was wearing just flip flops so it made things more difficult. But it was interesting to come closer to the residential buildings as we came down and imagine how their residents live each day, close to the mountain, must be nice exercise every day but in this heat? Not sure I could do it!
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Bank of China Tower from the bottom
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Interesting doorway
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The streets at night
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That's where we are going!
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Thanks to my GPS we didn't really get lost and before long we were on the train to the airport.
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It certainly is a very fast way to get to the airport.
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Arrival at Chek Lap kok
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Beautiful Hong-Kong airport


Seems like our flight is 10 mins early!
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World clock
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Check in area for SQ
photo DSC04088 [1600x1200]photo DSC04089 [1600x1200]

Emirates counters, it seems they need more ;)
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Security went rather quickly and we had to take the people mover to our gate, our flight is still showing 10 mins early.
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Our 77W patiently waiting to take us back to the land of Ottomans and Hazelnuts. I was however disappointed to discover that this will be the same 77W than the one I flew to get here, TC-JJJ Erzurum :/ I was kind of hoping for the FC Barcelona scheme or at least a different reg.
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I tried to speak to the counter to change my seat but the appropriate personal still hadn't arrived. Eventually they did, Asian women with a full nose :( they could do nothing for me, the seats were taken.
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At the final call we decided to board
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100% full cabin again on this flight. TK, if you're reading this I hope you reconsider the withdrawal of your comfort class product.
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46 inches of legroom.
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the Misses already prepared for a long nap.
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The seats in front of us were occupied by a couple in their late 50's and the guy was telling his wife how these are the best seats in the house, and it's probably wrong of me, but I was wondering to myself how this lucky bastard snagged those seats lol. It makes no sense to me…
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Hey there, good lookin'!
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Push back on time next to a Dragonnair A320
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CX A343
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CX 77W
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TG A333
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CX A333
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Aaan another CX 77W!
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We were going to take off behind an Air France 77W. If you enjoy takeoff videos, I was pretty happy with this one, you can hear the huge GE 90's really well and there's a good view of the airport upon takeoff.


View of HK after takeoff, my last glimpse of this wonderful and sleepless city…
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About 20 minutes after takeoff service began with a pipping hot Osihori
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And the menu
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No welcome drink and no loukhoum, so far this flight is not as good as TK70 from 3 weeks ago.

As you can imagine this is a night flight so there isn't much to photograph outside, I therefore went abit crazy on the catering pics, sorry :-P

Service by the trolley
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Our route (which will look nothing like this in the end)
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Amuse bouche with hazelnuts and that oh so divine mint lemonade. This combo alone, is 10/10. the hazelnuts are delicious, the amuse bouche was super fresh, salmon with a cucumber wrap and hummus cake, and the lemonade.. I could eat just these and be happy :-D
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Hazelnuts
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Canapes
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Please if you would do the honors and try this :-D
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Buffalo Mozzarella tomato salad. It was good but not exceptional. The mozzarella was kind of dry, but thr tomatoes were fresh and crunchy on the outside, tangy on the inside.
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Mediterenean salad with Zuchini
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I chose the fish
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It is worth noting that ex HKG, catering is done in 4 phases, amuse bouche, appetizers and main dish, then fruits, cheese and dessert, and then coffee with digestives and chocolates.
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The salad again
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Grilled filer of Sole, cafe de Paris butter, broccoli and cherry tomato saffron rice
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Second salad. You won't go hungry on board TK!
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Oven fresh bread selection
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Real cutlery, and lots of it!
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My signature, still fork in the food :-)
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Everything was tasty. The fish was fresh and moist, very well cooked. I have to say that I was hoping for a meat selection, had there been one I would not have chosen the fish so I was abit disappointed but the fish was nonetheless very tasty.

I was already feeling really full after the fish, here's what came nect :)
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Petits desserts
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Selection of cheese (My wife gave me her portions as she was already wanting to sleep)
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For dessert, I switched to the sour cherry juice. Both the lemonade and the sour cherry juice were the only drinks I asked for and with an unlimited supply I think I had 4 glasses of each throughout the entire flight ^^
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Ok I had some water too sorry :-D
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After this feast I forced myself up to pay a visit to the bathroom
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Various lotions
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Luxury sink
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Overall the bathrooms are very nice and clean and I believe the J pax have to share them with the W pax
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Back to my seat was waiting a bottle of water for the night as well as chocolates. Here's where we were after dinner service
photo 20130904_021239

Let's take a look at the comfort class amenity kit which I find to be very complete
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The lemonade is not part of the amenity kit ^^
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Mid flight experience: The flight was uneventful for the most part. The charge ports were all working perfectly and I was able to charge my phone, the internet worked flawlessly once we left China and it even worked while we were straddling the border by the south, kudos to TK for this, high speed internet for free, when you think of what other carriers charge… Though I understand this is temporary, but it's been temporary for more than a year now! Whatsapp worked, so did Facebook, gmail, all the applications I usually use were working.

Around 4 AM Istanbul time breakfast was served which is the standard on board TK, the tray with my coffee (only black spot of this catering ensemble), and mint lemonade again :-D
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Omelette with Turkish pastry, mushrooms and tomatoes, this was delicious, the eggs were moist and savory.
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More oven fresh bread. Not the greatest bread, more like buns, but it was alright.
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cheese and fruit
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Still fork in the omelette
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Cheese
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More cutlery. they must spend alot on dish-washing!
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Fruit
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GE-90 (This was not part of my breakfast)
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Our flight path:
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Soon enough it was time to land in a dark Istanbul, Landing video here:


Taxiing in IST, TK A321
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Atlasjet A321
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A 5 star A310 :) Probably the only one in existence?
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We docked at the gate 20 minutes ahead of schedule, and for deplaning the curtains were shut to let the J pax deplane first. We were in o hurry so we waited for everyone else to clear the aisles
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The so coveted seats I failed to snag
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One last look at the comfort class cabin, not sure I'll get to see it again before it disappears
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Thanks TC-JJJ, you were a good ride
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Thanks for reading, see you in Part 9 for the final trek home.
See more

Verdict

Turkish Airlines

9.0/10
Cabin9.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering9.0

Hong Kong - HKG

9.8/10
Efficiency9.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Istanbul - ISX

7.8/10
Efficiency7.0
Access8.0
Services8.0
Cleanliness8.0

Conclusion

TK: There isn't much to say. TK's comfort class product is a winner. The competition is not even worth mentioning. The service was excellent, the food great, the seat is like an old style business class seat, the IFE is great, free internet, the only disappointments were the absence of loukhoum at the beginning and the lack of meat as a main dish. Everything else was spot on. Luxurious flight for the price of an economy ticket...

HKG: Perfect airport, nothing else to add there

IST: Could be improved, no complimentary internet, long corridors, immigration/transfer could be more efficient, but overall it's an k import to transit through.

Information on the route Hong Kong (HKG) Istanbul (ISX)

15 Comments

  • Comment 94451 by
    Topper Harley 150 Comments

    Thnks for this FR. Absolutely amazing picture of HK during the take off.
    Il love this city too. Thanks for sharing

  • Comment 94465 by
    02022001 SILVER 4393 Comments

    Really nice pictures ! Thnaks for this flight-report !

    • Comment 284968 by
      AirCanada881 AUTHOR 1631 Comments

      Thanks glad you enjoyed it!

    • Comment 284970 by
      AirCanada881 AUTHOR 1631 Comments

      Thanks DURIAN for your comment LOL you aren't the first one who has flogged me for eating Indian in HK ;)

      I wasn't complaining on being in a 77W, I love the plane, I was just hoping for a different reg :-D

      You are right the portions aren't huge but many:
      - Hazelnuts
      - Canapes
      - Appetizer
      - Salad
      - Main course
      - Cheeses
      - Fruits
      - Desserts
      - Bread
      - Chocolates

      And for breakfast:
      - Fruits
      - Cheeses
      - Hot main dish
      - Bread

      So yeah I was definitely stuffed after the meals :-D

      the free internet is just a trial run I think but it was awesome to use for free :-D

    • Comment 285067 by
      lagentsecret SILVER 10635 Comments

      63 seats in Y+, 28 seats in J and they are often no free seats in both classes

  • Comment 94478 by
    Durian 1183 Comments

    Thanks for the report! The cover picture is fantastic!
    LOL in HK going for Indian food ;-)
    On the pictures of your BP, your last names can still be seen.
    The pictures from Victoria Peak are breathtaking, lucky you, no fog no clouds, such a clear night !

    Don't complain about being again on a 77W, lagensecret will tell you it could have been worse (343) ;-)

    Along with the fully booked Y+ picture, a picture later of how full the J class was would have been very helpful (to understand if the Y+ cannibalizes the J)

    Good catering as usual, although portions are not big (not big but many, so that makes it up!). And free internet, that's impressive !

  • Comment 94481 by
    jetsetpanda 2296 Comments

    Thanks for this fantastic report and the bonus of HKG. I just came back from there and it's good to compare someone else's pespective about this great city. HKG reminds me a lot of NY. It has the same fast paced rhythm and energy. Lots of great places to eat that can satisfy any budget.

    TK catering is always great and flying Comfort Class is a nice treat. I just hope that somehow this cabin survives and is not phased out completely. It would be a shame.

    • Comment 284971 by
      AirCanada881 AUTHOR 1631 Comments

      Thanks for the comment, yes I agree with you, I really hope TK reconsiders, a 3 or 4 row comfort class would be plenty. And I wish they'd have it on their Airbus wide bodies in 2-2-2 config :-D Wishful thinking of course hehe

  • Comment 94506 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4958 Comments

    Great report Will! Nice Hong Kong Bonus--one of my favorite cities! Love the pics from Victoria Peak at night. That tram ride always freaks me out because the angle is so steep that all the buildings look like they're going to fall over when you look out the window. Nice detailed report of the TK Comfort Class experience with some great pics!

  • Comment 94652 by
    Leadership TEAM GOLD 4340 Comments

    Thanks a lot William for this new & fantastic report, I like HK too, and your bonus reminds me good memories.

    Still a flawless W product from TK, seat and catering are top!

    Awesome pictures, it makes me hungry!

    See you ;)

  • Comment 94673 by
    A380B77W 4347 Comments

    Thanks for this awesome report :D

    Amazing pictures of Hong-Kong !!! I'm impatient to be there (teasing ^^) !

    Very good flight, as always with the TK's 77W :D

    Yummm, good good catering :)

  • Comment 94705 by
    lagentsecret SILVER 10635 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this FR

    Gorgeous pictures of Hong Kong (one of my favourites cities), especially the pictures taken from Victoria Peak

    The 77W is a great aircraft but too noisy

    Y+ seats are old business seats with a great legroom

    Great food as usual : I agree with you for the lemonade and the juices that are served on board, the best I've ever drunk

    I hope to see you soon on another TK longhaul ;)

  • Comment 94990 by
    marathon GOLD 9515 Comments

    A great tourist bonus, which reminds me very much of all the places I visited in HK. The catering looks better than that served in J by quite a number of airlines. As to internet on board, well, many other airlines don't even provide it for a charge. I agree with your statement in your conclusion. A really impressive product, and an equally impressive flight report. Thanks !

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