Hi everyone! I finally have a chance to snag some time writing a trip report. It’s been crazy in the past few weeks from getting back to work to house hunting, but it’s all good! 🙂
Unlike my recent Turkish Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Istanbul, this flight was so much better in terms of service. Before we get to that, I want to share my layover experience at the new Istanbul Airport quickly.
In this series:
- Introduction: New Year 2020 In The South Pacific
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Los Angeles to Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Class 777-300ER Istanbul to Manila
- Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737-800 Manila to Singapore via Kuala Lumpur
- Malaysia Airlines Golden Lounge Satellite Terminal – Kuala Lumpur Airport (KUL)
- Jewel Changi Airport
- Qantas International First Lounge – Singapore Changi (SIN)
- Qantas First Class A380 Singapore to Melbourne
- Qantas International First Lounge – Melbourne (MEL)
- Qantas Business Class 737-800 Melbourne to Christchurch
- Doubletree Chateau on the Park – Christchurch, New Zealand
- Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Tour Around the City
- Getting Lost in the Countryside: Aoraki/Mount Cook National Park
- Air New Zealand (Premium) Economy 787-9 Christchurch to Auckland
- My First Impression of Auckland, New Zealand
- Adina Apartment Hotel Auckland Britomart, New Zealand
- The North Island Must Do: Hobbiton and Rotorua
- Fiji Airways Business Class A350-900XWB Auckland to Nadi
- Hilton Fiji Beach Resort and Spa – Nadi, Fiji
- Fiji Airways Business Class A330-200 Nadi to Singapore
- Malaysia Airlines Business Class 737-800 Singapore to Kuala Lumpur
- Malindo Air Business Class 737-900 Kuala Lumpur to Kathmandu
- Shopping Spree in Thamel – Kathmandu, Nepal
- Cathay Dragon Business Class A330-300 Kathmandu to Hong Kong
- 16-Hour Delay on my American Airlines, with a Happy Ending
- Cathay Pacific First Class 777-300ER Hong Kong to Los Angeles
- Fin: Final Flights and My Closure with American Airlines – It was Good While It Lasted
I have yet to review the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge, but that’s coming up soon. I had a little over 7 hours in Istanbul. It was too short to get out and explore the city, but it was long enough to have some rest before my connecting flight, but luckily, my itinerary qualified for the day bed inside the lounge.
As I got to the lounge, I stopped by the concierge desk and presented my boarding pass. The agent was friendly and walked me to my room within minutes.
It was a decent sized room, overlooking the terminal. There are a single bed, a desk, and a controller to lower and raise the window blind electronically.
I’ve heard reports that you had to ask the attendant every time you want to re-enter your room. But it wasn’t the case for me. They gave me the key card so I could go in and out of the room as I please.
I managed to take a nap for an hour. By the way, this lounge also provides a complimentary massage service. Though there isn’t a proper massage room and table, instead, you need to catch the massage therapist wearing a white uniform as they walk around the lounge, and they’ll give you a massage anywhere you like. In my case, I had a massage in the dining area. 😉
So, how was the massage?
Quite good! I love a firm massage, and he was especially strong. Tipping isn’t required, but he was appreciative when I tipped him.
Flight Number: TK84
Route: Istanbul (IST) – Manila (MNL)
Schedule: 02:10 – 18:15
Duration: 11h 5m
Aircraft Type: Boeing 777-300ER
Cabin: Business Class
Date: December 27, 2019
Fast forward, I walked to the gate 45 minutes before departure and boarded through door 1L.
I assigned myself seat 2K, and luckily the seat next to mine was vacant.
As I mentioned previously, Turkish Airlines Business Class seat configuration isn’t ideal when traveling alone, especially if you have a seat mate. However, this configuration is very spacious, and the bed is exceptionally comfortable.
The flight attendant working in my aisle was friendly, charming, and professional — totally a different experience compared to my previous flight. He welcomed me on-board and offered a pre-departure beverage. As usual, the options were: lemon mint, fresh orange, fresh raspberry, and water — I had a lemon mint.
As he prepared for departure, I asked him if I could have the female amenity kit. He told me he’d be more than happy to look one for me. Minutes later, he came back with a pink female amenity kit and whispered: “don’t tell other passengers ;-)“ — love it!
Right off the bat, I could tell it was going to be an awesome flight. I’m a big believer that a great flight starts with a great service.
We pushed back nearly 15 minutes ahead of schedule, but there was congestion, and it took about 25 minutes to taxi before we finally took-off.
Meal service commenced about an hour after take-off. The menu reads as follows:
SMOKED SALMON & CREAMY CELERIAC SALAD
MOZZARELLA & TOMATO SALAD
and / or
SWEET PUMPKIN SOUP
please choose from our selection:
GRILLED SWORDFISH BROCHETTE
FRESH HERBED GRILLED BABY CHICKEN
JUMBO PRAWN TAGLIATELLE
from our trolley;
TRADITIONAL TURKISH DESSERT
APPLE RASPBERRY STRUDEL
MANGO ICE CREAM
FRESH FRUIT SALAD
It started with Turkish Airlines taco flavored crackers and drinks.
And it was followed by assorted canapés, which was very good and freshly prepared.
For the appetizer, I ordered smoked salmon and creamy and celeriac salad.
And for the main course, I had jumbo prawn tagliatelle. Frankly, it was good but nothing special.
To finish, I had apple raspberry strudel and mango ice cream.
The entire meal service completed within 50 minutes and the food was tasty, though nothing memorable compared to other Turkish Airlines meals I had in the past.
After dinner, the flight attendant offered a turndown service. While the bed was very comfortable, I only slept for about 4 hours.
I woke up and walked around to stretch and checked out the in-flight snack bar.
The lavatory was kept immaculate, which is appreciated.
I watched a couple of movies, and at some point, the breakfast service started. For the appetizer, I ordered some turkey breast, assorted cheese, fresh fruit, honeycomb, and croissant. I also had a glass of smoothie and cappuccino.
It’s worth noting that the croissant served on-board Turkish Airlines flights were always warm and flaky — one of the best!
For the main course, I had scrambled eggs. For those who argue that airline food is not good, I’m afraid I have to disagree. It was the best scrambled eggs I’ve ever had, on the ground and in the sky! It was super creamy and nicely seasoned.
After breakfast, I reclined and just played on my phone. I love the fact that Turkish Airlines offers fast, free wifi for business class passengers.
Moments later, we descended into Manila. The view of the sunset was magnificent.
We landed in Manila more than an hour ahead of schedule.
What a great flight! In 2019, I flew Turkish Airlines quite a bit. I had a fair share experiencing their hard and soft products. As I mentioned several times, the service can be a mixed bag. Sometimes the service was okay, but this flight was an exception. The flight attendant working on my aisle is such a great asset to the company.
I can’t wait to fly Turkish Airlines again in 2020, as I’m pretty close to reaching the Elite Plus status. So stay tuned for my next trip report installment!
Happy weekend Y’all!