What a fun time we had in the past four days! Bali is such an incredible place. It is magical! We spent two nights in Ubud and two nights in Kuta. A few days ago I reviewed Ubud Dedari Villas, the place we stayed at in Ubud. It was a charming and perfect little place to unplug for a few days.
Kuta is an area in Bali where most tourists stay. I’m not a big fan of Kuta. It is crowded and very commercialized. But since my friend was a Bali “virgin”, we agreed to spend the last two days of our trip there. We stayed at the Stones Hotel. It was a nice property and reasonably priced.
Sadly, our vacation in Bali came to an end. We flew Turkish Airlines 787-9 Inaugural flight from Istanbul to Bali. It was a good flight overall. But it was eventful, I didn’t get too much rest. Now it’s time to review the inbound trip.
Flight Number: TK67
Route: Denpasar (DPS) – Istanbul (IST)
Schedule: 21:00 – 05:25
Duration: 13h 25m
Aircraft Type: Boeing 787-9
Cabin: Business Class
Date: July 21, 2019
The Stones Hotel provided us with a complimentary private shuttle from Kuta to the airport, thanks to my friend’s Marriott Titanium Elite status. As you may be aware, Ngurah Rai International Airport went through a major overhaul and the new terminal opened between 2013 and 2014. The new terminal is gorgeous. It is modern yet it has some Balinese traditional architecture blended in.
When we arrived, the check-in counter was already open. There was no line for the business class check-in. I got my boarding pass within minutes, this is because I’m always prepared with the required travel documents. Meanwhile, it took a while for my friend to check-in because he didn’t have any printed copies of itineraries and travel documents with him. As I mentioned in my previous post, always have print outs wherever you travel. Especially if you plan to transit airside without a visa (TWOV), you will need to show your onward ticket and show the proof of your entry requirement document to the third country.
Once all sorted out, we proceeded to the security checkpoint and immigration. Turkish Airlines uses T/G Lounge. They offer complimentary beer and wine (limited to 3 per guest), and selections of a hot buffet. It was decent, but nothing memorable.
We proceeded to the gate an hour before departure. The gate was located at the very end of the terminal. It took us at least ten minutes to get there. Boarding was right on-time. The plane taking us back to Istanbul was the same one we flew on. The registration is TC-LLA, which is Turkish’s first Dreamliner named Maçka.
I assigned myself seat 7K, which is a window seat closer to the aisle. Normally, I prefer the true window seat. However, this seat felt more comfortable because it was easier to access. You can also easily look out the window because it isn’t blocked by the privacy partition.
The flight attendant came to my seat to introduce himself and offered a pre-departure drink. I had a glass of lemon mint. A few minutes later, he came back with an amenity kit. The amenity kit is from Versace. I got a different color this time, but the content was the same. Turkish Airlines doesn’t provide Pajamas on their long haul flights. They only provide slippers in a reusable shoe bag.
The door closed on-time, we were on our way to Istanbul. Shortly after take-off, the seatbelt sign was switched off. I went to the lavatory to change. I don’t like wearing pajamas while flying. I like wearing shorts and a t-shirt because the cabin tends to be warm. Luckily the temperature was perfect on this flight.
Thirty minutes after take-off, the flight attendant rolled the beverage cart. I had white wine and sparkling water with lemon served along with mix nuts. The flight attendant then placed a table cloth, the condiments, and a breadbasket. I love Turkish’s candlelight dinner, I think it’s a unique and cute concept.
The meal service was served off the cart. The service started with canapés, followed by appetizers. I had shrimp, salmon tartare, spring roll, and a bowl of soup. They were all tasty.
For the main course, I had Gindara fish. It was the best fish I had on a plane. It was moist, flaky, and flavorful.
For dessert, I had some ice cream and cake.
At this point, I was stuffed. Turkish Airlines provides a turndown service for its long haul flights. The mattress pad and pillow are good – though there are better ones out there.
I can’t easily sleep on a plane, even on a lie-flat seat. But I managed to sleep for 8 hours. I think that was pretty decent. When I woke up, we were about 3 hours from Istanbul. I didn’t watch any movie, instead, I connected to Wifi on my phone.
When I looked at my phone, I noticed I got a text message from T-Mobile saying I was connected to a network outside my cellphone plan. I thought, oh no! I forgot to switch off my phone. Apparently, the newer inflight internet technology allows the roaming network. What’s concerning is that it connected without me knowing it. Well, I just hoped my phone didn’t do any update, or I would get a surprise bill when I got home.
I immediately switched my phone to an airplane mode and connected it to regular wifi. Turkish Airlines provides free wifi for business class passengers. All you need to do is log in using your last name and seat number.
An hour later, the breakfast service started. I ordered vanilla crepes with blueberry compote and a fruit platter. I also ordered a smoothie, orange juice, and cappuccino.
The crepes and cappuccino were excellent. Judging from the taste, I believe Turkish Airlines has a cappuccino machine onboard. I even asked for the second cup – it was that good.
After breakfast, I went to the lavatory to brush my teeth and change. Something I noticed, the rear lavatory is the business class cabin is equipped with a bidet. Although the front lavatory nearby the cockpit isn’t. That’s interesting.
Preparation for landing began, we touched down about 30 minutes early. Though it took us about 30 minutes to taxi to the gate, even without any congestion. That tells you how massive the new airport is.
We deplaned and proceeded to custom and immigration. There is a fast track lane for business class and Star Alliance Gold passengers. We were on our way within minutes.
It was a very good flight – definitely better than the inaugural one that flew us from Istanbul to Bali. I honestly like the “aisle” window seat better than the true window seat, just because it feels more spacious and easier to get in and out. I’m glad I managed to sleep for 8 hours. It was much needed before my adventure in Istanbul.
The cabin crews were also professional and friendly. I love the candlelight dinner concept, I think it’s cute. The food was excellent and the coffee was amazing – I highly recommend it.
There are better business class flights out there like Qatar Airways for example. That said, Turkish Airlines is not far behind it. I am looking forward to flying Turkish Airlines long-haul flights again in November!