Once I landed in MUC, I took the bus to T1. LH uses T2 and a few days before my trip, TK moved its operations to T1. Some might speculate that this might be a result of the partnership deterioration between LH and TK, while others will attribute it to better space utilization. Regardless of the reason, it sure doesn't make connections between these two carriers smoother. After all, isn't a seamless connection between partner carriers one of the benefits of an alliance?
I had plenty of time between my connections, but I was in a hurry to get to T1 because I wanted to catch an earlier flight from MUC-IST. I was flying on a J award ticket and decided try my luck in switching to IST which was more convenient since Lagentsecret was arriving there and waiting for me. When I arrived at the TK gate, an agent looked at my boarding pass and asked her co-worker if J tickets can standby for the flight. The other agent explained to me that the airports are different even though within the same city, so that was not possible. In the past I've been able to get away with this on U.S. domestic flights when I flew to MIA instead of FLL as these cities were treated as co-terminals. I realize that in this case I was dealing with an int'l itinerary, but was hoping that the concept of co-terminals will still work in my favor. Even if it didn't work, at least I tried.
With plenty of time to relax, I searched for the Atlantic lounge, designated for TK premium passengers at T1. I went through an area that had some construction going on and took an elevator to L3. The reception desk was just before the entrance on the hallway and upon showing my boarding pass the agent welcomed me inside. I asked to use the shower and was told to have a seat for a few minutes until someone gets me.
Upon entering there is a pantry area with snacks and beverages on the right side and an open seating area that is not very big. A hallways leads to the WC's and shower and there is another small room that had a few seats.
Snacks and beverages. These did not appeal me at all so I did not grab anything to eat. Besides I was flying on TK so the meal onboard would be good.
There was an area with magazines and other publications but most of them were in German.
I waited for about 20 min. and finally I went back to the desk to inquire. There was a new agent sitting at reception who did not have any idea that I was waiting for a shower. She apologized for the misunderstanding and took it upon herself to check the shower area right away. She then got back to me and invited me to use it. I asked her if there were any stations with free internet connection and she advised me that there were none unfortunately. This is not what is stated on their website.
The shower had two sinks which seemed like a waste of space, unless you plan to share the shower with a significant other.
The shower was invigorating and had good pressure.
Upon finishing, I stepped out and found that the floor and nearby area were wet from the water of the shower. Obviously the draining system is not that great. I took my towel and tried to wiped off the excess water from the floor. Feeling much better by now I sat at the lounge with a glass of water. The bottles were glasses and not plastic, perhaps to discourage people from taking them. The lounge was small and not that inviting. The red carpet and bright colors were a bit annoying to my taste. The lounge reminded me of the 80's and felt just utilitarian. I wish I could have taken the bus back to T2 and used the LH Business lounge there but that was a hassle at this point.
Soon it was time to go to the gate and I thanked the nice agent for her assistance on my way out. I sat near the gate podium and soon families with screaming children were showing up and sitting nearby, so I retired to the quiet hallway for some peace and sanity.
When I originally booked this trip, the itinerary stated that it was operated by SunExpress for TK. Imagine the sigh of relief I experienced when I saw this plane at the gate.
However, I also saw this QR 787 next to my gate.
Boarding commenced and there were about 6 wheelchair passengers that pre-boarded the flight, followed by J passengers and families with children. I was welcomed onboard by the purser and there were 2 male FA's at the front of the cabin directing people.
No real J cabin with only the middle seats blocked. However there were footrests.
I love the TK logo everywhere.
Pre-departure drinks were offered and I had the lemonade with fresh mint.
The door was closed and we were soon taxiing to the runway. Saw this SU plane on the way.
Service started at 1705 with FA closing the curtain, then distributing lokum, hot towels and menus.
The appetizer was placed on my tray and the FA wished me bon appetit, which was very nice. The tray looked wonderful but notice the position of the salt/pepper shakers. Someone did not pay attention.
Nice branded silverware.
Green beans marinated in olive oil.
I accompanied the meal with a glass of cherry juice.
Warm breads were offered.
The appetizer consisted of grilled chicken slices that matched the smokiness of the aubergines perfectly. Catering is always great at TK and my meal was no exception.
For the main dish I chose the prawns in tomato sauce which were good.
Finally the profiterole provided a nice ending to a satisfying meal.
Hot towels were offered once again after the meal service.
We started our descent into SAW on this sunny afternoon.
Landing in SAW.
We parked at the tarmac and took a bus to the terminal. In the meantime a new crew came onboard.
Immigration was crowded and it took a long time to clear. Once outside I took the next Havatas bus to Taksim and then to IST Ataturk to meet lagentsecret. We finally arrived at the Marriott Courtyard hotel at around 0040.
Independent Atlantic Lounge
Munich - MUC
Istanbul - SAW
The Atlantic lounge is nothing out of this world and it was just functional. If you have time, it would be preferable to spend it at the LH lounge.
My TK flight was enjoyable with nice and smiling crew. The food was up to TK's standards and it did not disappoint.
SAW can get pretty busy and if possible I would rather land in IST due to the proximity to the city.
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