It´s been few months since my last flight took place so it´s just about a right time to come with a new flight and report here. This one started building up during Christmas last year when I looked for some cheaper flights with flight time 6+ hours. The best option that time was Turkish Airlines offer to Seoul for 440EUR. At first it looked like my solo trip with goal set to be just to fly, but just before booking my brother joined the party and accompanied me for the first asian adventure and we reserved few days in Seoul just to explore the city. Flying in September meant looong 9 months wait, but it didn´t feel that long after all. Soon the departure date came closer and we were both ready to fly the following:
I wanted to visit Asia for some time already. It were mostly Trip reports what made me interested in Asia and also experience new airlines either onboard or just to see new traffic at the airport for me. Turkish is considered to be one of the best airlines out there, mainly when it comes to meals onboard, they are ranked very well. Also my beloved A330 was scheduled for IST-ICN leg so everything was set for some great aviation experience.
Our departure from Prague was set for 12PM. Still we decided to leave Brno and head to Prague the day before. We didn´t want to get up very early in the morning so we booked a hotel close to Central Station at Prague for 50EUR per night. Well, it was rather a bad choice as the hotel was basicly really poor.. Not very clean, wifi didn´t work, I was happy to leave it next morning..
In the morning we left for central station from where it was Airport Express bus as usual. 2EUR is the fare and although it´s peak hour, the journey takes only 30 minutes as scheduled and in no time we are at Vaclav Havel Airport Prague. Terminal 1 for the first time it is for us, but we´re leaving bus at T2 just to show my brother the terminal I like so much.
Then we headed for the terrace to enjoy planes for the first time on that day. And this is how busy the airport was. Wrong time, wrong place, as usual for me at PRG.
At least DY 737 headed for take off
As well as this home A319 for some destination in Russia
And also LH A321 from Frankfurt arrived on stand
With nothing much to see outside we stepped back inside and headed for T1 to check-in and pass the security. I tried online check-in the day before, but for some reason I was unable to fill in our passport information, so had to wait for check-in at the desk. Luckily we had our seats pre-selected so it was stress-free in this way. While booking 9 months before, we were told we can select our seats since 100 days to departure. I gave it a shot in june, but there was still no way to do so. I read through some forums and seemed like everyone had this issue and the only possibility to reserve seats was ta call Turkish Airlines office. Of course I did so and nice woman reserved our prefered seats for all of the segments.
Check-in desks were empty at T1 and after few moments we were on our way to security.
We thought it was going to be security, but it turned out each gate at T1 has it´s own security check so we just went through passport control and we were airside.
Much more action at the tarmac here at Terminal 1, some QS Boeings.
And also the only direct connection of Czech republic to USA arrived, Delta B767 to JFK
Speedbird from/to Heathrow
Our bird arrvied 50 minutes before departure from Istanbul. A320 as scheduled, 7 years old TC-JPH
As each gate at T1 has its own security, they have different equipment. Unfortunatelly our gate didn´t have toilets meaning if you need to use them, you would probably need to pass security again.
Passaegers were split into groups by their seating rows. We were in the first group A, but somehow we missed it was already time for us to board, so we went with group B.
Still full of expectations of how good Turkish is gonna be.
… but this is so disappointing. When stepping inside the seats and whole interior felt like entering low-cost, this is definitely not what I expected to see at first from Turkish.
And no IFE here, except of in-flight magazine.. I wanted to see a map to follow our progress during the flight.
At least legroom was pretty good. But look at the seat pocket..
I left a window seat for brother to let him enjoy our trip at maximum levels. But surely not for free. He had to take a camera and do some shots :)
Everyone boarded and we were ready for pushback. All announcements were made in Turkish and English. Captain welcomed us onboard and told us about nice weather at Istanbul.
Taxiing for 24 as always
Followed by Norwegian 737
We had pretty long take off roll considered it was A320. In the end we still managed to rotate and we started climbing into little cloudy czech sky.
Soon we were over the clouds and enjoyed the view
Well I find these welcome lokums pretty amazing
After about 25 minutes we passed around our hometown with the racing circuit visible
45 minutes into the flight meal service started, it was chicken or beef to choose from. I was really satisfied with such a meal on an intra-european flight.
Both my chicken and brother´s beef were excelent. What was pretty far from excelent was cabin crew. Women at Turkish were very disappointing. One of them on this flight seemed to be so annoyed. I don´t know if this was just a one-off from her, but I don´t understand how she holds here job with this performance. Others were not very good as well. This really surprised me from Turkish.
Flying over Craiova in Romania
Time ran by quickly and soon we were descending over Istanbul suburbs.
We were guided over the sea to approach and land runway 05
I have never been to Istanbul, but from the skies it looked like a quite some city.
Seconds from touch down.
After slightly harder landing it immediately seemed Ataturk is really a pretty busy hub. TK has an absolute dominance here.
The beauty landed just after us
An Uzbekistan 767
We parked next to Rossiya A320. I expected us to leave the aircraft by stairs, but that is not what happened.
We were among last passengers to leave. We had 2h45m to catch our onward flight to Seoul so there was no need to hurry. After leaving our A320 we found out there was almost unbearable heat outside at Istanbul. So we appreciated stepping right into terminal.
Our small bus was parked just next to this company Boeing 777 to Tokyo Narita
Next time we´re flying A330-300 to Seoul Incheon ! Thank you for reading, Michael
Prague - PRG
Istanbul - ISL
My first time with Turkish was not excelent. Cabin although being comfortable felt low-cost and I was very disappointed with the crew, especially that one woman was terrbile. On the other hand we had great meal, left and arrived on time and had a trouble-free flight. To sum up, I still expected to see more from TK. Will see how they do next time.
Prague airport was calm as usual. Each gate at T1 has it´s own security which was rather good, except of lack of toilets.
We just transited at Ataturk and as our gates were very close to each other, it took just something about 3 minutes to get from one to another. Airside at IST offers nice views of runways so you can watch both landings and take offs.
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Hi Michal, thank you very much for sharing this report. I know too well how you feel about coming when the airport is deserted. Happens to me all the time in VIE...
The cabin on the A320 looks dated but the catering does not disappoint which is TK's strong point :)
Looking forward to part 2!
Yeah, I know VIE can be pretty similar sometimes :)
Thank you for sharing your first experience with TK. Nice aerial views and spotting pics.
It's disappointing to hear that the FA was not the best. I think every place has a couple of bad apples. Having said that I don't expect much from the personnel at TK because they can be excellent or poor depending on who you come across.
On the other hand, I'm sure you can now confirm from your own experience that the catering is one of the best in the world. No other intra-European airline can compare to the type of meal your receive in Y.
Thank you, you are absolutely right.
Thanks for sharing.
An average flight with TK : good food and variable crew and cabin. Lol
For how long were you in Seoul ? I was there from 14th to 17th September...
See you for the next leg.
Aw... I arrived in Seoul on 14th evening !
I was there from 11th to 15th September
I dislike airports where each gate has its own security, which means that there are no services once in the boarding room. Not even having toilets is not acceptable.
I share your disappointment at not having the flight map.
Thanks for this good FR, looking forward to reading the next one !
Yeah I believe the absence of toilet can be some kind of big trouble sometimes.. Thanks for your comment
Thanks for sharing this FR
Flying with TK is often a lottery : almost every time with the aircrafts(old or new, with or without IFE) and sometimes with FAs
I've always been lucky with the second point
seen you soon for the next leg
Hehe, you´re right :)
Thanks for this good and detailed report! The problem with TK, is that the cabins are so hit-or-miss...same with the crews. The catering, however, as we see here, is always excellent. TK has a good reputation, and for the most part, it is deserved. Looking forward to the long-haul sector--hopefully the flight was a little more on-par with TK's image. Thanks for sharing!
Thank you Kev. The next leg was a bit different from this one, you´ll see in about a week
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