What do you think about Turkish airlines

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This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by  Hess963 6 Aug 2009
at 07:40

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 15 total)

  • Anonymous


    in September 09 I will travel with Turkish from BRU-IST-ALMATY In business class , can you tell me how is the service and seat comfort in boeing 737-800 ?


    Alain, please read some of my posts of the last couple of months about Turkish Airlines. I have used them twice this year BHX-IST-Baku and back (8 sectors in total). They are absolutely appalling and have little regard for safety concerns and their ground crew are arrogant beyond belief.

    Their Business product is shabby (unless you are a fan of sky blue and maroon/pink cabin interiors), the food is ok, the lounge is fairly basic at IST. Seats are either 3-3 which have been widened by reducing the size of the middle seat, or (very occasionally) you may find genuine 2-2 seating. They also tend to have the recline mechanism broken, so you often (on 3 of the 8 sectors I flew) have to physically grab the seatback and pull it back up to a sitting position.

    The cabin crew appear lazy. They will not offer you a second cup of coffee in Business unless you use your call button. However, the over-riding factor is their disregard for safety.

    If you look at my earlier post (see ‘Turkish Airlines – Old planes….’) you may understand why I will never fly them again, no matter how competitive their fares may appear to be.

    Regards, Simon

    Sara Turner

    I have to disagree. I flew them recently and found the service more than acceptable and the food the best I’ve had on a flight. And the lounge in Istanbul is excellent, with plenty of space, a good range of newspapers and, again, good grub.


    I respect your view, Travelbug. However, they showed the most blatant disregard for safety that I have every experienced (in almost 1,000 flights with 40+ carriers). Yes, the food is ok on Turkish, but that hardly makes up for a cabin crew that were utterly unwilling to enforce safety regulations a few weeks after a fatal crash, and an incredibly aggressive ground crew who were abusive when I wanted to make a complaint about this issue. I may be naive, but the quality of the food comes a pretty poor second when considering safety!

    Perhaps you have been lucky. As I said earlier, I took them 8 times within 2 months and found every flight to be deficient (even setting aside the safety issue).

    The seats were at best uncomfortable (and in 3 out of 8 flights were damaged); the cabin decor was garish in the extreme; the cabin crew cleared off behind the galley curtain after the (ok, I’ll agree, pretty good) meal service, only reappearing when you pressed the call button. I also thought the IST CIP Lounge to be overcrowded and with limited choice and information (e.g. not many screens showing departure information).

    It is not a patch on the BA (yes, they ARE pretty good), LH or SK lounges I’ve used lately. However, the one good thing about the TK CIP Lounge at IST is that you don’t have to pay for the incredibly overpriced F&B outlets elsewhere at the airport (see other people’s posts on this matter in the Forum).

    Alain also has to know about the nuances of transferring at IST (and I don’t know if this will be different when you come from within Schengen, but I see no reason why it should be). When you arrive, you need to go to a securiity checkpoint WITHIN the airside. There, you have to show your onward boarding pass and get a small IST security sticker, which they will place on the back of your passport. Without this, you cannot get through the security checks within the airside area itself; also, the security sticker will be checked when you board your connecting flight. Just worth knowing, as I found out about this the hard way!

    I guess you have been luckier than me with TK, Travelbug!



    thank for your answer , I read your comments and also others there are more negatives impressions with turkish . but you said that the seat configuration in business class is 3-3 , 737-800 it’s not a new seat configuration 2-2 ?

    Sara Turner

    The B737-800 is 2-2, with flat bed in business class. I think they’re on lease from Jet.


    Ive been on the IST-ALMATY route a couple of years ago in J class. Its a six hour flight and the service is patchy. Im not in the habit of sharing one pillow and a blanket on any flight, even if my colleague travelling with me is a good friend. You are there to the amuse the cabin crew and not the other way round. If you are going to Almaty from BRU, much better to take LH or try Air Astana (one of the Kazakh carriers). Air Astana is a good carrier.


    I think also that LH is better but on the same route the price is 2 time more expensive compare with Turkish and I think that if turkish is a menber of Star alliance the level must be same …


    Alain, you could not be more wrong – TK’s standards are way below most other (if not all other) mainstream Star Alliance Members. By the way, I am still arguing with Star Alliance about the crediting of points to my account from flights I took with TK in February! Therefore, you don’t even necessarily get the points you have earned, let alone the service you deserve.

    Some of the B737s I flew had 3-3 seating in J which had been been turned into 2-2 through modifying the middle seat. Others had proper 2-2 seating. There were certainly no skybeds!


    Well I have been traveling a lot wth TK from HAJ-IST-PEK-IST-HAJ in business, only in the last 2 years I flew this route 10 times, and must say I don’t agree at all with those comments, OK the colors on the 737 and 320 are not my favorite but there are sure much worse colors arround in this world, but the service is far beyond expectations, so good, friendly and helpfull and the planes are safe. the seats= 2 1/2 – 2 1/2 are the same as many airlines have and at least better as those with a 3-3 config and they keep the middle seat free as LH has on many legs.
    The 2-2 config is absolute perfect.

    The CIP lounge in IST is nothing special, with a lot of space for improvement, but in my eyes still a lot better then the SK lounge in Copenhagen, which when I have been there always a disaster,
    espessial when you travel HAJ-Seattle.

    The service on the flights PEK-IST or IST-PEK is perfect, the attendants really take care, normal with LH or so there is a difference between out-bound and in-bound, here not both way the service is perfect, this is one of the reasons I do prefer TK over LH or SK.
    The seats are good, flat to sleep, the food and beverage offer is much better then LH and also this service is perfect.

    I would prefer TK far over many airlines, I would put them on the same level as MAS or nearly as good as SIA.

    I only can judge them on the HAJ-PEK flights but 10 times the same experience is really for an airline very good


    TK nearly same level as SG? Come on …. pull the other leg it’s got bells on !!

    I recently travelled from London to Hong Kong on the return leg of a Star Alliance Business Class journey and was appalled.

    Business class Heathrow to Turkey was cattle class with total cattle truck treatment.

    Istanbul to Hong Kong the seats were about the same as BA, CX, SG etc used in the 1980s …. total rip off.

    When I asked where were the seats as shown on their website all I got was a smile.

    I have most definitely voted with my feet ….. NEVER again will I sit in a Turkish Airlines plane.


    many confusions after read your comments ….


    dhv – all I would add is that in 8 flights over two months or so, I never had a good one, which for an airline is really bad. At least they were consistent. Also, how on earth you can say that the CIP Lounge at IST is better than the Scandinavian Lounge at CPH is totally beyond me.

    Twistgrip – your experiences are much closer to the reality of Turkish Airlines.

    Alain, if you want to feel sure that you will get to Almaty in one piece, and can’t justify LH’s price, then please take CrazyCanuck’s advice and try Air Astana.

    There is a simple fact here: the level of service, size/recline of seats, quality of the food/lounge/wifi access, etc, etc is totally secondary to safety. I come back to the sole reason I will never fly them again. It is this:

    Only 9 weeks after a fatal crash on landing at AMS, in a B737, the cabin crew on a flight from Baku to IST actively allowed passengers in Business Class to keep their seats reclined on landing (they could clearly see that seat backs were not raised as they were sat about 1.5 metres away in full view of the J cabin). When I raised the safety issue with TK staff in the CIP Lounge, they refused to ‘give me permission’ to speak with a senior member of staff and turned extremely aggressive when I said that this was not satisfactory. Those are FACTS.

    Alain, it is your choice, but I would always put safety before ‘good grub’ (to quote one of our correspondees above).


    I have to accord to most of your opinions guys. It is obvious that the crew’s attitude to safety procedures varies. Sometimes they are absoutely perfect in performing it and the next time they all messed up as if they have forgotten them instantly. In the matter of safety on board I am definitely sure that we prefer to be corrected properly instead of ignoring any careless and dangerous acts. Definitely on this matter TK should be consistant on any aircraft type and on any destinations they fly.

    Regarding business class seating on short hauls, the seating used is 2-2 on most of the A320/321 or B737. The seats comfort and recline are like most other european airlines, there is not any real big diffrences. Food quality varies as well. The only good experience on short haul is flying from LHR to IST. Here they use A330( lie-flat angled) or B777(leased from Jet Airways-full flat herringbone configuration) which have long haul business class seatings. So for a short trip from LHR-IST, this is really a very comfortable experience.
    Actually in my opinion the CIP lounge in TK’s mother hub is a dissapointment. Yes, it looks very oriental and nice in the first place. Plenty of seats to choose. Sometimes a very decent buffet with good choices, even some massage chairs to feel comfortable or just catch some sleep. Showers are is inspite of the oriental design, very small( two cubicles )and one small public area where in busy times the other guys wait for you to get finished.( small room with one sink and a marble bench) The appalling paper cloth like towels you get from the reception which should help you get dry-absolutely disgraceful. I told the receptionist about this and TK should consider to offer decent towels in the future. I just earned a grin from the receptionist as if I am expecting over the normal shower experiences.

    The other disgraceful experience was the toilettes-the male area-consist of two western style and one arabian/african style( a hole on the ground), if it gets full in the lounge the traffic to the comfort rooms are just crazy with two cubicles for western style. And inside those rooms there is a metal bin stück on your side which considerably narrowing your already tiny cubicle. TK should definitely improve the toilet facilities and shower amenities. Just compare BA Gallery lounges in LHR. For you guys who have experienced T5, you really feel misplaced when you experience IST CIP lounge, this should not be the lounge on a mother hub of a star alliance member. The similare worse experience I had was before MS move to the new T3 terminal in CAI. I do not know if it has improved or not.

    As for the food quality and service, I am yet lucky to experience good food and wines on board. Well the service could take a bit longer to finish. Very nice and good amenity kits from L’Occitane, they are really useable instead of those cheap und undefinable fluids or cremes which make you smell like trash after using them.

    Unfortunetly I found out TK is withdrawing the B777 leased from Jet Airways in the near future, so watch which aircraft is used on some destinations before booking inorder to experience the full flat bed on the B777 otherwise it is back on the lie flat angled seats of the A330/A340.

    Just let us keep the fingers cross that the TK management thought of installing full flat business class seating on the ordered B777 in the future.

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