Review of Turkish Airlines flight Istanbul Seoul in Economy

Airline Turkish Airlines
Flight TK 88
Class Economy
Seat 30B
Aircraft Airbus A330-300
Flight time 10:15
Take-off 10 Sep 14, 18:25
Arrival at 11 Sep 14, 10:40
TK   #12 out of 134 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 575 reviews
mgescheidt
By 7900
Published on 29th September 2014
Here I am with the second leg of my recent trip to Seoul onboard Turkish Airlines. After landing at Istanbul we were about to continue our schedule :

PRG - IST - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8076.html
IST - ICN - you are here
ICN - IST - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8459.html
IST - PRG - http://flight-report.com/en/report-8616.html

On our previous flight from Prague we landed on time which meant we had some 2,5 hours for transit at Ataturk. After leaving the plane we checked FIDS to find out what gate we were going to depart from. Our flight TK 88 was already written there, but only flights leaving within next 2 hours had their gates assigned so we had to wait for a bit. Never mind as from the gate area there were nice views and both take offs and landings were visible with a lot off traffic around although it was TK aircrafts mostly, which became slightly uninsteresting after some time. I´m not sure if I ever saw such a big domination of home carrier as it was here at IST.
Ataturk airside left me a bit unimpressed as it felt a bit chaotic and crowded with people so we stayed just standing at the windows for the most of time.

Air Serbia A319 with MNG Cargo A300 in the back

photo DSC_0134photo DSC_0136

Nothing else but Turkish aircrafts

photo DSC_0137

BA 767 from LHR

photo DSC_0141

Soon about to board one of these ..

photo DSC_0142

Two hours to departure our gate 304 appeared on screens and we started searching where it was located.

photo DSC_0147

And in few moments we found out it´s just about a minute away from our arriving gate and aslo it´s on the … ground floor??! Okay, so why not. In the past I wouldn´t be happy about not using the jet bridge, but walking to the A330 using the stairs sounded exciting that day.

photo DSC_0144

Our gate area was pretty empty 2 hours prior to departure, but it started getting more crowded soon

photo DSC_0145

Boeing 777 prepared for flight to NRT

photo DSC_0146

I knew we were about to have a completely full flight as 3 weeks to departure it was impossible to book this flight anymore. I expected that most of pax would be Turkish, but it turned that Koreans dominated onboard.

photo DSC_0150

Our bus arrived about 50 minutes to departure and we were among the first to board bus number 1

photo DSC_0151

After they filled first bus with as many people as possible, we closed the doors and started our tour around Ataturk airport. Still it was almost only Turkish planes visible anywhere around.

photo DSC_0152photo DSC_0155

as well as this TK´s Borussia Dortmund logojet

photo DSC_0156photo DSC_0158

After a 3 minute drive we reached the ramp with many TK A330 parked. Which one is going to be ours?

photo DSC_0161

And it´s Trabzon ! TC-JNL, almost 4 years in the air

photo DSC_0162

A330 is some kind of amazing when you are this close. After arriving it took about a minute until bus doors were opened and we were among the first to step under this beautiful plane.

photo DSC_0164

Under the massive wing. As we were seated in the back section we moved to the back door.

photo DSC_0168

Boarding widebody by the stairs for the fist time for me

photo DSC_0170photo DSC_0173

I was really curious what I was going to see inside. Cabin on the previous A320 flight was disappointing so I didn´t have the highest expectations this time..

photo DSC_0172

.. but it was superb! FAs welcomed us at the door and we turned into first aisle.

photo DSC_0175

First thing I noticed were large displays and their resolution. So much better compared to older LH planes I experienced earlier this year.

photo DSC_0176

I also liked the seat colors. Pillow, blanket and headset were prepared at every seat.

photo DSC_0179

IFE seemed to be very good. Good screen quality and it also offered a lot of options.

photo DSC_0180

Seat quite comfortable in general, but it had a problem and that was poor legroom. I felt the legroom was even tighter than on A320 during PRG-IST leg. With a 10 hours long flight I was a bit affraid of that.



IFE also had its camera option, this thing is simply great. Bad luck only the resolution isn´t so good.

photo DSC_0189

There were about 30 Turks in these red T-shirts. It seemed they were some musicans. There was a lot of instruments when we were waiting at baggage reclaim at ICN. Maybe they were the reason, why the flight was fully booked so long before flight.

photo DSC_0192

It took a long time until pushback started, maybe almost half an hour.

photo DSC_0194

After pushing back it took over 5 minutes to reach our departure runway.



Entering 35L

photo DSC_0202

It was a noisy take off roll from our A330 and here we started climbing into Turkish sky with the Sun just about to set.

photo DSC_0207

We were offered with some nice Views of Istanbul, but Sun made taking nice pictures barely possible.



In few minutes we got over clouds and nothing else was visible below us. Meanwhile it started getting darker and the short night was about to begin.

photo DSC_0221

By this time it became clear we were about to fly ordinary route for Tk 88 flight. After departure we headed past the Black sea. After passing Tbilisi just before Baku we turned left a headed to the northeast past Kazakh Ust-Kamenogorsk

photo DSC_0230

Menu card and both Korean Arrival card and Customs declaration were distributed. We realized we don´t have a pen so I asked a Korean man seating over the aisle and he was kind enough to lend us his pen.

photo DSC_0233

These are the options for the evening meal service.

photo DSC_0237

I took OJ and turkish beer Efes first, both were pretty good.

photo DSC_0238

And then we both went for the seconds option - the Chicken. I found it very tasty so I was satisfied. Pudding in the back was also excelent. After filling myself I was reading through the in-flight magazine and later I fell asleep for some short time.

photo DSC_0242photo DSC_0243

Before Ust-Kamenogorsk we turned south and headed over Urumqi

photo DSC_0246

Most of the passengers were sleeping, my brother including

photo DSC_0248

Somewhere over China I raised the window shade and found out it´s not dark outside anymore

photo DSC_0249photo DSC_0251

At this time we were approaching Beijing and we were approached by the second meal service.

photo DSC_0253

It was scrambled eggs with toast this time and it was very bad to my tastes. Although I ate it I didn´t like it at all.

photo DSC_0255

Disappointing from TK, enjoyed eggs from LH much more.

photo DSC_0256

Does anyone know, why we had to fly around Beijing on both flights?

photo DSC_0259photo DSC_0260

Approaching South Korea over the Yellow sea

photo DSC_0265

I like the x-shape of this island!

photo DSC_0267

Spoilers were extended few moments after we started our descent

photo DSC_0272photo DSC_0276

Over South Korean soil

photo DSC_0281

Left turn later and here we were already guided to ICN´s rwy 33R

photo DSC_0283

The new Maglev track is visible next to the airport

photo DSC_0286

Landing at Korean Air Country

photo DSC_0290

We touched down gently on one wheel and then the rest parts of our A330 touched the ground and we braked hard to leave the runway

photo DSC_0292

Peach aviation is the first exotic airline we spotted

photo DSC_0296photo DSC_0298

Korean 777 rotating from 33L

photo DSC_0301photo DSC_0306

We parked next to this Garuda Indonesia A330.

photo DSC_0308

It took long until it was our turn to leave the plane. Although having plenty of time, I still managed to leave my usb cable connected to IFE which I found out on the hotel later.

After stepping into the airport I was amazed, it looked very good. Nice, new, it was airy with lot of light. Arrivals also offered nice views outisde. I really enjoyed walking down the concourse. After 5 minutes we got to airport shuttle which took us into main terminal bulding. We were among the first to leave it and so we arrived into immigrations well in advance compared to others. Imigration was completely empty at that time so it took us only about a minute. We got our baggage and arrived into Incheon arrival hall which was still as pleasant as the rest of the airport as we experienced it so far.
After changing dollars into Korean Wons we got ourselves something to drink and headed for the Airport express train to get to Seoul.
See more

Verdict

Turkish Airlines

7.9/10
Cabin7.5
Cabin crew6.0
Entertainment/wifi10.0
Meal/catering8.0

Istanbul - ISX

6.6/10
Efficiency5.0
Access7.0
Services7.5
Cleanliness7.0

Seoul - ICN

10.0/10
Efficiency10.0
Access10.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Conclusion

After rather disappointing flight with TK before, this one was much better. The A330 was perfect - cabin was nice, great IFE, the feeling of the whole aircraft was good. Bad luck only legroom was not so good making long-haul flight less comfortable. There was still big difference from the cabin crew attitude. Men were rather good, they seemed professionals with not very much emotion into their work, but still I found them ok. Women were rather bad again and I didn´t have a good feeling from their performance.
Out of two meal services on this flight one was very good and the second was poor so I was maybe expecting a little bit more.

Airside at Ataturk offered nice views, but I didn´t enjoy the airport so much as it was pretty crowded and felt a little chaotic.

On the other hand Incheon was perfect. It seemed a little bit calm but nice and I felt really well inside the airport. The concourse built in 2008 is very nice. Immigration was a breeze for us. Landisde at Incheon felt very good as well. I had very good feeling about the whole airport so I can give only the highest marks.

Information on the route Istanbul (ISX) Seoul (ICN)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 2 airlines on the route Istanbul (ISX) → Seoul (ICN).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Turkish Airlines with 8.1/10.

The average flight time is 10 hours and 23 minutes.

  More information

4 Comments

  • Comment 119175 by
    jeromekl 3 Comments

    Thanks for the great flight report and photos! I believe the odd routing is to avoid North Korea.

  • Comment 119195 by
    AirCanada881 1631 Comments

    Thank you for this next leg, I have to say that I really like TK's A333's. The business cabin feels very intimate and it much quieter than that of the 77W. Now if only they added wifi it would be perfect.

    The seat pitch in Y does look abit tight, I would try and get an Emergency Exit row on these long flights :)

  • Comment 119343 by
    KévinDC TEAM GOLD 4995 Comments

    Awesome report! Glad to see that this leg was much better than the last, as I imagined it would be. The cabin looks really nice with those huge IFE screens. Overall, between the good catering and the rest, the product is definitely better than most of what you get on long-haul in Europe or North America. Crews, once again, seem to be hit-or-miss on TK. Thanks again for sharing!

Login to post a comment.