I recently shared my experience participating in the Istanbul city tour or known as touristanbul. If you have a long layover in Istanbul, I highly recommend you take advantage of this excellent program. I returned to the airport at 11:30 AM, which left me a little over 2 hours until my flight to Los Angeles. I briefly visited the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge and took a quick shower.
My flight departed out of Concourse A, which was quite a bit of a walk from the lounge. When I arrived at my seat, my seatmate already occupied her seat. It seemed like there was a family of 4 or 5 traveling together in Business Class. They were loud and somewhat obnoxious.
In this series:
- Alaska Airlines Economy Class A320 Washington to Los Angeles
- Crowne Plaza Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
- Qantas First Lounge at Los Angeles International (LAX)
- American Airlines Flagship Lounge at Los Angeles International (LAX)
- American Airlines Business Class 787-9 Los Angeles to Shanghai
- Cathay Pacific Lounge at Shanghai Pudong (PVG)
- Cathay Dragon Economy Class A321 Shanghai to Hong Kong
- Cathay Pacific The Wing First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International (HKG)
- Cathay Pacific The Pier First Class Lounge at Hong Kong International (HKG)
- Cathay Pacific Economy Class 777-300 Hong Kong to Manila
- Cebu Pacific Economy Class ATR72 Manila to Busuanga (Round-Trip)
- Al Faro Cosmio Hotel Coron
- Island Adventure: Coron, Palawan
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Manila to Istanbul
- Touristanbul – Free Istanbul City Tour Sponsored by Turkish Airlines
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Istanbul to Los Angeles
Flight Number: TK9
Route: Istanbul (IST) – Los Angeles (LAX)
Schedule: 13:50 – 16:45
Duration: 13h 55m
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-300ER
Cabin: Business Class
Date: November 26, 2019
Like my previous flight from Manila, this Boeing 777-300ER aircraft has a 2-3-2 seating configuration with slightly updated finishes. The significant differences are the ottoman and entertainment control. While the older version is more of a bench-style ottoman, the newer one is more of a storage compartment. Additionally, the entertainment control has a small screen located behind your shoulder as opposed to the side of your armrest.
I’ve mentioned that while Turkish Airlines flight attendants are professional, but they’re not necessarily friendly, which I believe to be a cultural thing. However, unlike my previous flight, the flight attendants working in the Business Class cabin were awesome! Special shoutout to Ali, who was not only super friendly, but he was also very enthusiastic!
There were also two friendly chefs on this flight working in the business class cabin. He came around to welcome us onboard and distribute the menu. Moments later, Ali came to offer a pre-departure beverage and brought me a new color of female amenity kit!
We had a bit of a delayed departure, most likely due to a long secondary security theater at the gate for the U.S. bound flights. Once the boarding door closed, we pushed back and taxied to the runway, which took another 20 minutes or so, and then we finally took off. Once airborne, the seatbelt sign was turned off within 10 minutes, and the crews started preparing for the lunch service.
The menu reads as follows:
selection from our trolley
marinated seafood salad
Turkish style puff pastry with cheese
marinated artichoke in olive oil
roasted red pepper hummus
beetroot & wheat salad
“saksuka” eggplant in tomato sauce
bocconcini, arugula leaves and cherry tomato
and / or
CREAMY ROASTED RED PEPPER SOUP
please choose from our selection:
STEAK & SALAD
SEA BASS EN PAPILOTTE
from our trolley;
TRADITIONAL TURKISH DESSESRT POTPOURRI
CHOCOLATE BALL WITH MANGO
“MARAS” ICE CREAM
FRESH FRUIT SALAD
white cheese and chicken sandwich selections
Demel’s petits desserts
Based on several Turkish Airlines flights to/from the U.S., I noticed the starters are served from the trolley, as opposed to being prepared in the galley and brought to your seat.
For the appetizers, I had marinated seafood salad, smoked salmon, roasted red pepper hummus, and bocconcini, arugula leaves and cherry tomato.
For the main course, I debated if I should order the steak or fish, but then the chef recommended the fish as the steak would be served well-done. So I ordered Sea Bass En Papilottee.
The fish was not only tasty, but it was also perfectly poached — it was one of the best fish I’ve had in the sky.
And finally, I had Chocolate Ball with Mango, Semolina Dessert, and “Maras” Ice Cream for dessert. The chocolate ball was decadent, and you can’t go wrong with ice cream. On the other hand, the Semolina Dessert wasn’t that great.
As usual, Turkish Airlines and DO&CO delivered outstanding meal service. I know it’s crazy for me to say this, but sometimes I fly Turkish Airlines to enjoy their culinary excellence in the sky! My flight to Los Angeles was no exception. The only negative thing I could think of was the execution time. Understandably, it was a full flight, but for the meal service to complete, 3 hours after take-off was a bit excessive.
Since it’s a day time flight, I didn’t sleep much, though I dozed off here and there. After browsing and watching a few TV shows, I finally slept for about 5 hours. As mentioned in my previous article, Turkish Airlines offers excellent bedding. Even though it’s an old configuration, the bed is very comfortable, especially if you didn’t have a seatmate. Keep in mind, Turkish Airlines 777-300ERs don’t have an individual air vent. Fortunately, the cabin temperature was perfect — not too hot, not too cold.
Since it’s a newer configuration, the lavatories are also moderately updated. However, unlike my previous flight, the lavatories on this flight were not cleaned regularly. As a result, I noticed some water around the sink and toilet papers on the lavatory floor.
Two hours before landing, breakfast service commenced. The starter consisted of Mozzarella & Tomato and Shepherd’s Salad with White Cheese.
For the main course, I had Spicy Chicken Brochette, which was excellent.
About an hour before landing, the crews started collecting the headphones and prepared for our arrival in Los Angeles.
All in all, it was a good flight. I mentioned previously that Turkish Airlines crews could be a hit or miss. The majority of them are professional, but they’re not necessarily friendly, which could well be a cultural thing. But this flight was an exception. Ali, who worked in my aisle, couldn’t be friendlier — He was awesome!
The food quality on Turkish Airlines flights is top-notch. However, the meal service on this particular took a long time to complete, and the lavatories were not as clean as I expected.
I would fly Turkish Airlines again in a heartbeat. It seems like I can’t have enough of their delicious meal!