10th April 2013 at 13:06 #586242
Anonymous10th April 2013 at 13:06 #586243
Check-in: I checked in online (on my iPhone, using the Turkish Airlines app) 24 hours before my flight(s) which were operating from Ankara via Istanbul, back to London. Online check-in was simple and easy to follow and I was easily able to change my seat, although because I used the app, I couldn’t print out my boarding pass, although I did have the option of receiving a mobile version. I opted to collect my passes from check-in at Ankara and managed to change my seat on the Ankara-Istanbul flight to an exit row, but this was not possible for the Istanbul-London leg. Check-in at the airport was swift and efficient and the staff were extremely friendly and helpful.
Boarding: Ankara airport is a quiet provincial airport which is quite surprising considering Ankara is the capital of the country. The airport is modern and spacious and boarding was fast and efficient. Istanbul was a different matter however and as our flight from Ankara arrived late, I had to race across the airport from the Domestic Terminal through Passport control and security, to the International Terminal and just managed to reach the London flight as they started boarding. This was a little less organised and apart from announcing business class first, the rest was a bit of a free-for-all.
Seat(s): Both aircraft were arranged 3-3 in economy and on the Ankara-Istanbul leg I had managed to get an exit row seat. This was very comfortable and gave me enough space to stretch my legs out, albeit was a short 1hr flight. It was a different matter on the Istanbul-London leg however as the A321 aircraft that Turkish tend to use on this leg are the most cramped, unspacious and uncomfortable aircraft I have ever had the misfortune of flying in. I have taken a number of flights with Turkish in the last few weeks both from the UK and internally within Turkey itself and I have found that the seat pitch and comfort on the internal flights were much better than that on the UK-Turkey route, with the exception of the A330 they use on the mid-morning flight out of Heathrow.
Flight(s): Both the Ankara-Istanbul and Istanbul-London flights were late, each by 30 minutes. This meant a very tight connection at Istanbul and our flight not arriving back into London until 22:45hrs. Information provided by the flight crew was limited and difficult to understand.
Food & Drink: The Ankara-Istanbul route is so short that you only get a drink and a sandwich, which is sufficient. On the Istanbul-London leg menus were provided shortly after take-off with a choice of two mains. Service is quick and efficient and they offer global and Turkish wines; the food is good and there is plenty of it too.
Entertainment: The only entertainment is either a globally available moving map or on the Istanbul-London flights they often show a film, however on this late night flight no entertainment was provided, probably because most people wanted to sleep a little.
Arrival: A gusty cross-wind at London made for a heavy landing and sharp braking to make the next exit was a little disconcerting. Thankfully Terminal 3 was quiet at that time of night and I was in the car within 30minutes of landing.
Overall: Having flown a number of flights with Turkish Airlines in the last month I have come to conclusion that if you can get on their A330 you will get a comfortable flight, however, every other aircraft they use on the UK routes are cramped and uncomfortable.
I have experienced varying levels of service from the crew, varying timeliness of flights and I’m currently struggling to understand how they managed the accolade of Europe’s Best Airline from Skytrax when compared to other operators such as KLM, Lufthansa and British Airways. I only fly Turkish because I currently have to, to get to Ankara, however if there is any way that I can find to avoid them, I will!
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