And here we are for the second leg of this trip, between Istanbul And Berlin Brandenburg Airport.
Aircraft : Airbus A321-231
Registration : TC-JRU
Aircraft age by the time of travel : 12 years
Flight Number : TK1727
Flight Time : 02:21
Seat : 23A
Departure Gate : F2
So i am coming from Singapore and as explained in the previous FR I had to go through security again to catch my connecting flight to Berlin. A bit annoying to be honest after a 10 hours flight plus the fact that it's pretty busy. No need to pick up and check in my luggage again though.
The flight is announced with 30 minutes delay.. So I chill out a bit in the lounge and the main airport area. By the time I reach the gate the delay has increased to 45 minutes.
The airport is really huge and divided into three main areas/piers let's say. And for sure the lounge is one one side and my gate is in the opposite.. It took me about 20 minutes to reach the gate F2.
And here below it's not even the main terminal, it's only the pier F (I guess). That's where the gates actually are.
Thanks god I don't have to walk too much since I'm gate F2 (and not F19…), i am pretty tired after the flight from Singapore.
And here's the gate. As you can see, signs are already prepared with the boarding per rows (1 to 17 and 18 to 36) and also the passengers in business class.
Checkin quickly flight radar, the plane.. has landed 20 Minutes ago already but is still taxiing. Yes Istanbul airport is huge and there's a lot of traffic. So the taxi can take some time.
Before boarding begins, they start to check the IDs of the passengers to win some time I think, as we are already delayed… Plus they have to unload and load again the catering, so this might take some time.
Now it's been one hour that I am waiting at the gate at the. The Departure is announced in 20 minutes but boarding still hasn’t started yet. So i guess this we will not make it.
And now the airport staff just disappeared.. No info is given, we are just all waiting here.
At 20:10 departure they shift the departure to 20:40 (originally 20:25).
The boarding finally starts at 20:15. I still havea paper boarding pass which they printed out in back in Singapore. Here like in Singapore they keep the paper boarding pass so that you just remain with this little piece of paper (old style !). It's been years that I haven't seen that ! From all the flights I took the past years, only TK does that now.
So finally passed the boarding gate, but now we are waiting in the jetbridge. Unfortunately without any windows.. I have to say that I'm looking forward to my seat, pretty tired.
So finally inside the cabin and it looks pretty good, neutral colors besides the red which is not too present.
My seat is 23A so I have to go through till the last part of the plane. Good point though, is that since they board from the back towards the front, so seating in the back you get to board after priority passengers and you can easily get a spot for your hand luggage in the overhead lockers.
Each seat is equipped with a personal TV + remote, something that you almost never see with european carriers on short haul. So very good point here ! The screens are pretty big and rather from a good quality, I can't really complain to be honest. And I very much like the fact that there is a privacy shield on each screen which leads to the fact that passengers seating directly on the same row can’t see what the neighbor is looking. Not that I want to hideit, but It can be pretty disturbing seeing the film going on on the screen directly next to mine. So in the end you don’t get disturbed, that’s pretty good. The content of the screen is the same as in long haul flights.
The seats are made of lather and comfortable enough. Nothing special here though. A headset is waiting for each passenger on the seat, not the same ones than on long haul flight though. Here the provide intra ear headphones. I will not use it anyway since I use my personal bluetooth transmitter directly connected to my personal headphones (I can definitely recommend to buy such a device !)
On short haul they don't provide passenger with a blanket or pillow. And the seats don't have any USB power socket, a bit unfortunate to have PTV but no USBs.. Well one can't have everything.
The pitch is rather small though, I am 1.84m big and as you can see my knees are touching the front seat. But the pitch is rather the same than other European carriers to be honest. A pretty big guy will seat just next to me. So I will end up having even less space. And if the passenger sitting in front chooses to recline the seat then i'm done and the flight could be very long…
45 minutes after the start of the boarding the cabin and ground crews are still running through the cabin to clarify some seats which are somehow problematic.. Don't really know what's going on there. They start to move some passengers… Something is definitely ongoing and some hard / hot discussions are ongoing between the crew and one passenger. Eventually the cabin manager had to come all the way to row 30 to get the situation sorted out. But it seemed to be like she was mad at the passenger. I didn’t get a word though as it was in turkish. Everything takes a while to be clarified so that we are now 1:30h behind schedule.
Finally at 21:05 the doors are closed and slides are armed. The cabin light is dimmed and they play the safety video on the PTVs.
And at 21:10 we finally pushback from our parking position. 1:35h behind schedule.
21:15 we start the taxi towards the runway, and get some very short welcome words from the cabin manager. Afterwards the pilot takes the mic and apologizes for the delay due to the usual “late arrival of the aircraft at the gate”. Yes thanks we saw that, but everything else took so long so that's not the main reason obviously… Anyways, eventually he announces a flight time of 2h and 25 minutes.
Finally at 21:25 with 1h45 minutes delay we take off towards Berlin.
(sorry no pictures here, but at night it's pretty hard… And to be honest I was fighting not to fall asleep).
Roughly 30 minutes after take off they start with the onboard service.
The Perks of seating in the middle of the A321? You’re among the last ones to get served… Because they start the service from the front and the back of the plane and eventually meet in the middle. Exactly where I am seated.
Eventually they reach my row and hand me over the meal tray while we are flying through a rather heavy turbulence area. They don't stop the service though.
The tray contains meat balls with rice and some vegetables, Very good ! Some kind of a hummus, and as desert a chestnut mousse, a bit too sweet for my taste. But overall the meal tastes very god ! They also give the famous semi hot chewing gum bread, and yes I can confirm, I don't like it.
As you can see there is also a water box which is from my opinion completely useless. It's too much plastic to be honest. Why not removing it and asking the crew to hand over glasses ? Yes it would take a bit more time, but it's less trash on the other side. And the crew already offer drink service directly after handing over the trays, so why not giving water at the same time ?
But overall the meal was very good and looking at the other persons seating in my row : empty plates. So everybody liked it ! And anyways, any kind of critic is a bit exaggerated since Turkish is one of the few flight carriers which offers complementary meals on the short haul flights. On the other European carriers, almost nothing is free of charge. So I am very happy to have a full meal and drinks.
I just had the time to finish my tray and they are already back to pick them up. No coffee or tea is offered this time. I guess the flight is too short for this.
Having a short look at the scree, it contains the good old travel indicators. But somehow the time in Berlin will stay blocked the whole flight on 00:30.
We have still roughly an hour to Berlin, I will try to get some sleep but not easy since they let the cabin light on and very very bright. I don’t really understand since we are flying late at night. In the end I will be so tired that my eyes will close alone. That's why there aren't very much pictures on this report..
At 22:30 Berlin time we start the descent towards BER Airport, just while passing the city of Dresden.
And finally at 22:45 Berlin time we land in BER, 1hour 15minutes behind schedule. And just after vacating the runway they switch on some kind of piano lounge jazzy music which I find super annoying. Yes it's a taste question, but still, it's very late..
After less than 10 minutes of taxi time we reach our parking position next to this BA City Flyer probably coming from LCY. And yes they are still playing the music in case you were wondering… But thanks god, as soon as the pilotes switches off the APU the music is stops too.
Our parking position is located more or less in the middle of the terminal, meaning not a very long way to walk to reach the passport control and the luggage claim.
Reaching the border control there are two lines. One for European Passports with automatic gates, and another one for all over passeports with police officers.
Here is the line with e-gates. Not too busy, it goes rather fast.
Walking then towards the luggage carrousel. The screen says between 23:15 and 23:30 for the delivery, let’s hope it’s a bit earlier …
And here is the famous very well engineered BER Airport luggage carrousel… You shouldn't get one luggage which is, let's say too sensible. Because they come up and then they just literally crash against the wall. Ok it's made with an incline to that it's a bit easier to pick them up, but on the other hand it can easily break a wheel or something else on a luggage.
Regarding the waiting time it's BER style.. (yeah i've got used to it). Once every ten minutes to luggages are coming, then another 10 minutes wait, then 2 more luggages, and so on… Don't ask why I still don't get it.
In the end I will manage to get mine without any damages and then i'll make my way towards the train station located directly under the main terminal. Last leg of my long trip from Singapore towards home !
And that's all for this very short flight report :)
Thanks for reading !
A rather good experience onboard this european flight with Turkish. Very happy to get a full meal during this 2 hours flight.
Some annoying things like the cabin light and the cabin music, but otherwise pretty happy about this flight !