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Topic: Globally Yours From Venice To Hong Kong...
Username: JEKY
Posted 2012-11-17 03:26:07 and read 6595 times.

Hi all,

firstly I’d like to point out this is my very first trip report so please be gentle with me. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

This report covers the followings:

VCE-IST on TK’s A321
IST-HKG on TK’s B777-300ER
HKG-IST on TK’s B777-300ER in FC Barcelona special livery
IST-VCE on TK’s B737-900

Our routing




Introduction:

For my birthday my wife and me decided to return to Hong Kong for a week holiday we have deserved so much this last time. We had already been in Hong Kong five years ago on the way back home from Australia but at the time we just spent a couple of days there. Flying out from Venice, our home base airport, choices were to put ourselves on some major euro hub connection or catching one of the EK or QR daily services to the far east. Finally we found out the best air fare was the one of Turkish Airlines. At a great value deal we would have got the chance to try the 2012 best European airline, and we didn’t miss it. A 12 hours layover in Istanbul also allowed us to take a train to the city and spend some time visiting the Bosphorus pearl city.



Pre flight @ VCE:

Venice is not the busiest of the airports but its relatively small size means It can be very crowded at peak hours, so we decided to avoid any possible hassle at the security controls and arrived there well ahead of our scheduled flight time. Few flights in early morning time and we soon got airside. I managed to check out my mails and of course A.net but with big disappointment I had to face the fact that wi fi is not free at VCE and you have to pay to create an account to surf the web. Only in Italy. VCE itself is not that big facility but still it has a pretty cool style. Its architecture recalls some of the typical venetian elements. There is a decent choice of shops and bars, although some of them don’t open until 9.30am. That’s not what you expect at an international airport, the 5th in Italy for passengers number.
Lounges are located on the first floor as some brand shops and bars. However the majority of shops and food choices are downstairs on the departure level. Time went by quite quickly and soon the announcement of our flight was made.

Our routing
pre security @ VCE
VCE flight information display
Shops @ VCE. With not much traffic out there that's what you need to keep you busy
Empty tarmac and a curious glass artwork
TC-JRU ready to welcome us on board



VENICE – ISTANBUL

Date: 02 November 2012
Airline: Turkish airlines (TK)
Flight: TK1868
Aircraft: Airbus A321-231
Reg. number: TC-JRU (cn 4788), first flight 21/07/2011
Gate dep: 20 Gate arr: 222
STD: 10:25 ATD: 10.19 (6 minutes early from stand)
STA: 13:30 ATA: 13:23 (7 minutes early on stand)
Seat: 05A ( first row of economy class)


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Photo © Draps Tony


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Photo © André Siemienowski




I was very curious to try out the ever-expanding Turkish Airlines and my first impression was very positive. The welcoming cabin crew lead us to our seat, 5A and B, we had chosen via the online check in because they are first row of the economy class and have some extra legroom. The aircraft was stunning new and well cleaned. Turkish Airlines is famous for deploying a variety of aircraft on the same route according to the load factor and today I was lucky to fly one of their newest A321. Same flight next day would have been the smaller B737, while on Sunday they often use the much bigger A330-200 on the morning Venice rotation. With my big surprise there was IFE and personal screens not only in J class but in Y too. If it is true you only have one chance for first impression, mine was certainly good.
After a quick safety display, translated in Italian too, we reached rwy 04R in no time and gently got airborne. Weather was fine, with only some minor turbulence in the Serbian airspace. Middle of the flight, cabin crew started the lunch service and yet another surprise: the trademark of the house appeared. Famous Do & Cook service which consists of a dressed up cook who personally serves your meal and tops it up on request. It is actually nothing but one of the cabin crew members who just wear the cook’s uniform but I find it is a fresh new and nice way to perform the routine. To me it surely left a good feeling. Meal itself was one of the best ever had on a plane. Over Bulgaria we started our descent into Istanbul Ataturk International. Landing rwy was 23 which treated passengers on the left side of the aircraft (like me on 05A) with a stunning view of central Istanbul. Blue mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi palace were all clearly visible and I didn’t miss the chance to get them on my camera. Landing was smooth, despite a little crosswind and in just minutes we reached gate number 222 and left the plane. Having some 10 hours before the Hong Kong flight we left our luggage at the airport and went discovering the city. First flight had just finished and my toughts were more than positive.

Business class seat on TK Airbus 321
We are n.2 after this Monarch Takes off bound for LGW
Entering 04R. Here we go!
Overflying Jesolo city just after take off
Legroom on seat 5A
Nice menu cart and welcome snack
Inflight magazine. Always read them for the fleet information pages
Menu cart for this 2 hours flight to Istanbul
My selection:
Austrian A320 passing by
Anybody knows what stadium is it? Should be somewhere in Bulgaria or Serbia
Over Besiktas fc stadium
Blue mosque from the air. What a sight
Approaching IST
Welcome to Istanbul





ISTANBUL – HONG KONG

Date: 03 November 2012
Airline: Turkish airlines (TK)
Flight: TK 070
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3F2/ER
Reg. number: TC-JJE (cn 40707/895), first flight 17/09/2010
Gate dep: 208 Gate arr: W63
STD: 01:00 ATD: 01:05
STA: 16:20 ATA: 16:
Seat: 49K (Y)


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Photo © Ernest K. Appiah - CYYZ Aviation Photography


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Photo © Nigel Harris-CYYZ Aviation Photography




After a quick late night boarding most of the passengers fell asleep very soon. Not me. In fact I was eager to discover and try out all the features of this stunning machine that was going to carry me on for the next 9.30 hours to HKG. The 777-300 has always been my number 2 favorite aircraft after the mighty Jumbo. This young TK’s model was in very good conditions. IFE was world class and properly did its job. Forward camera entertained me during take off and landing, while a less smiling than previous flight cabin crew directed onboard service in a little friendly manner and this was kind of disappointment. I think TK has made great efforts to reach the global position it deserves but still has to work to improve the standard of their service crew. After 9 hours we started our descent into HKIA. Little congestion at this afternoon time and very soon we softly landed 07L. While taxing to our stand I soon recognized the greatness of HKG airport. Three CX 747, one JL 777 and a CX 777 took off in a row. Still the best had yet to come. As I previously told the cabin crew my passion I was invited in the cockpit to join some words with friendly Captain Serdar Girgin who very nicely answered my curious questions and signed my logbook. How I wander this was my office too. Thanx again captain. Well done! Once in the terminal immigration was the fastest I have ever experienced along with Singapore Changi. In just minutes we put ourselves on the airport express and 25 minutes later our Hong kong vacation had just begun.

We hope it too
Istanbul airport departures
Here we go
Love the shape of this beauty from this angle
Beautiful TK logo greets passenger from the rear of the aircraft
Decent legroom
Starting take off run on rwy 35R at IST
No doubt we are on a 777
Menu card and nice amenity kit of TK
Dine at FL350
Somewhere over India
Here comes the sun!
Cabin crew prepares for landing
Lot of ships while we are on final
Final on 07L
Arriving at gate W63
Cockpit view after landing at HKG. Thx to the friendly crew for this one.
With friendly capt. Serdar Girgin. Thanx again for letting me visit your office
Some deserved rest for this beauty






HONG KONG impression

Here are few pictures from our stay at Hong Kong. The city was simply sparkling with its neon lights, skyscrapers, night markets and Chinese streets where you can almost buy everything. I also found a plane model shop in Nathan road where I could have bought the entire store. Nearly all the airlines in all the scales were there waiting to be brought home. I bribed no plane but the book “air” and “Air 2” from legend Sam Chui. Good job Sam!

Sadly not my accomodation for this time
Lights from Wan Chai
The Big Buddha
Po Lin monastery
JAL 777 takes off rwy 35R. Taken from cable car to Po Lin
Wong tai sin temple surrounded by skyscrapers
Great American ales @ downtown Hong kong
Hotel Lisboa, Macao.
Sam Chui's books and little SQ 773



HKIA impression:

Hong kong airport: what can be said on HKIA that hasn’t been yet? World class airport where almost every need is matched in a way you feel you don’t even have to ask for. If it was not for the FIDS you’d almost forget to be at a world’s major hub. It is fulfilled with lots of shops, bars, food stores and entertainment places. It also features a IMAX cinema landside. At almost every corner you find an airport employee wearing the “airport ambassador” badge, ready to take care of you and your needs. Miles and miles away from what we are used in Italy, sadly.

Time goes by quickly at HKIA when you hop from a shop to another
Lot of shops and food store airside, terminal 1
Spot my flight
Plenty of check in counters. I-max cinema on the first floor
The only F class I'll be flying today
Terminal 1 departures, pre security
Never without it
QF A380 to Sydney. Thumbs up for the whale
Beautiful SQ girl greets the lucky ones who join the lounge
That's my flight, they say
Spot the TK flight
No, it is not Temple street. It is HKIA food court.
World clocks @ world class airport



HONG KONG - ISTANBUL

Date: 08 November 2012
Airline: Turkish airlines (TK)
Flight: TK 071
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3F2/ER in FC Barcelona color scheme
Reg. number: TC-JJI (cn 40709/909), first flight 10/12/2010
Gate dep: 42 Gate arr: 220
STD: 23:15 ATD: 23:09
STA: 05:25 ATA: 05:15
Seat: 49K (Y)


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Photo © chiral


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Photo © chiral



The flight: not so much to say on this one. Service was on the average. I still felt a lack of smiles from the cabin crew. My wife had her IFE out of service and asked to be seated on another place. They put her on the very last row of the plane, in proximity of the lavatory and with limited recline. We asked to be seated together but they refused to wake the person who was laying three rows behind us inappropriately occupying three seats. I did not hang on with my requests and for the next 11.30 hours we flew separated. I would have expected some more “can do” attitude. That left me a little disappointed.

ISTANBUL - VENICE

Date: 09 November 2012
Airline: Turkish airlines (TK)
Flight: TK 1867
Aircraft: Boeing 737-9F2/ER
Reg. number: TC-JYB (cn 40974/3693), first flight 15/06/2011
Gate dep: 206 Gate arr: 20
STD: 07:55 ATD: 07:59
STA: 09:15 ATA: 09:35
Seat: 05° (first row of economy)


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Photo © Boran Pivcic - CroSpotterTeam


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Photo © Diego Ruiz de Vargas - Iberian Spotters



Maybe the early morning hour and the 11.30 we already had gathered before, but I have not so much to say on this one as I had slept for nearly the entire flight. Two and a half hours and we safely landed 04R at Venice Tessera airport where nearly no traffic made us quickly collect our luggage and clear the passport check. As usual here in Italy, controls were processed by a very rude and grave police official who reminded me the politeness of Hong Kong airport staff was just a memory. Vacation had just ended. Time to drive the 35 kilometers to Padova and start wondering the next journey…

Conclusions:
My experience with Turkish Airlines has been just good. I am happy to have tried a company that is quickly introducing itself in the top spot. Overall service was good: new aircrafts, cleanness and punctuality surely made for a good travel experience. The cons, as I previously said, were cabin crew’s lack of smiles and little attitude on problem solving. My feeling was they just managed to do what they have to, without any particular attention to passenger. I think if Turkish want to elevate to the top such as SQ, CX or QR (just to mention a few) certainly has to improve cabin staff service.
I am sure in little time They will solve these little features and establish as a major global airline who could easily rival the competitors. Finally, I hope you enjoyed the reading and look forward to your reviews. I put my best in this first ever report and hope to keep writing more in the future.
All the best.
Jeky

[Edited 2012-11-17 03:29:15]

Topic: RE: Globally Yours From Venice To Hong Kong...
Username: flightsimboy
Posted 2012-11-17 08:53:10 and read 6595 times.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
I put my best in this first ever report and hope to keep writing more in the future.
Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
firstly I’d like to point out this is my very first trip report so please be gentle with me. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Welcome to A.net and your very first trip report. So many TK reports on here, that I really never tire of reading them. Thanks for sharing.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
I was very curious to try out the ever-expanding Turkish Airlines and my first impression was very positive.

That is good to know.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
while on Sunday they often use the much bigger A330-200 on the morning Venice rotation.

Would you not have wanted to take that big bird instead!! Nothing like the A330s and those gorgeous winglets.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
Middle of the flight, cabin crew started the lunch service and yet another surprise: the trademark of the house appeared. Famous Do & Cook service which consists of a dressed up cook who personally serves your meal and tops it up on request. It is actually nothing but one of the cabin crew members who just wear the cook’s uniform but I find it is a fresh new and nice way to perform the routine.

I always thought the cooks were restricted to Business Class only. Interesting to know that cabin crew play the part too. But yes, it must feel very good to have a chef serve you!!

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
Landing rwy was 23 which treated passengers on the left side of the aircraft (like me on 05A) with a stunning view of central Istanbul. Blue mosque, Hagia Sophia and Topkapi palace were all clearly visible and I didn’t miss the chance to get them on my camera

Excellent capture of the sights you mentioned above!! Never knew Istanbul had such gorgeous views on approach.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
Photo © Ernest K. Appiah - CYYZ Aviation Photography

Ah, you have to experience that in real life, with that TK 773ER (or for that matter any widebody) coming right over your head just seconds from landing at Rwy 23 at Pearson.

Here are two shots that I took of the TK 773ERs arriving at YYZ's Rwy 23. Not very A.net but to give you an idea.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
Still the best had yet to come. As I previously told the cabin crew my passion I was invited in the cockpit to join some words with friendly Captain Serdar Girgin who very nicely answered my curious questions and signed my logbook. How I wander this was my office too. Thanx again captain
Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
With friendly capt. Serdar Girgin. Thanx again for letting me visit your office

Very nice of the captain to allow you into "his office"

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
No, it is not Temple street. It is HKIA food court.

Very nice they have captured the essence of street food into the HKIA food court as well.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
Aircraft: Boeing 777-3F2/ER in FC Barcelona color scheme

Just awesome you could fly on board this special aircraft!!

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
We asked to be seated together but they refused to wake the person who was laying three rows behind us inappropriately occupying three seats. I did not hang on with my requests and for the next 11.30 hours we flew separated. I would have expected some more “can do” attitude. That left me a little disappointed.

That is a bit sad to hear!!

Topic: RE: Globally Yours From Venice To Hong Kong...
Username: joacocifuentes
Posted 2012-11-17 09:38:15 and read 6595 times.

Excellente TR! I am flying TK from Buenos Aires to Tel Aviv via GRU and IST in January.- Hope my experience will be as good as yours.-

Greetings from Argentina.- Joaquin.-

Topic: RE: Globally Yours From Venice To Hong Kong...
Username: SloAir
Posted 2012-11-19 14:33:51 and read 6595 times.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
firstly I’d like to point out this is my very first trip report so please be gentle with me. I hope you’ll enjoy it.

Welcome among trip reporters! You did a great job for your first report.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
Venice is not the busiest of the airports but its relatively small size means It can be very crowded at peak hours, so we decided to avoid any possible hassle at the security controls and arrived there well ahead of our scheduled flight time. Few flights in early morning time and we soon got airside. I managed to check out my mails and of course A.net but with big disappointment I had to face the fact that wi fi is not free at VCE and you have to pay to create an account to surf the web. Only in Italy. VCE itself is not that big facility but still it has a pretty cool style. Its architecture recalls some of the typical venetian elements. There is a decent choice of shops and bars, although some of them don’t open until 9.30am. That’s not what you expect at an international airport, the 5th in Italy for passengers number.
Lounges are located on the first floor as some brand shops and bars. However the majority of shops and food choices are downstairs on the departure level.

The perfect summary of VCE airport. I like the airport a lot, only the crowds at peak times can be a bit annoying. I had three trips from VCE this year and another one coming in December. With just over 2 hours of driving from Ljubljana the prices are a lot cheaper than LJU.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
Menu cart for this 2 hours flight to Istanbul

Nice, you rarely see that nowdays on such shorth flights.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
As I previously told the cabin crew my passion I was invited in the cockpit to join some words with friendly Captain Serdar Girgin who very nicely answered my curious questions and signed my logbook.

Great job by the TK crew. Never flown them before, but I have read so many positive things about them that I will try to get on board soon.

Quoting JEKY (Thread starter):
As usual here in Italy, controls were processed by a very rude and grave police official who reminded me the politeness of Hong Kong airport staff was just a memory.

Interesting, I never had any bad experience like that at VCE. I hope it stays that way  

Regards,
Blaž

Topic: RE: Globally Yours From Venice To Hong Kong...
Username: JEKY
Posted 2012-11-20 03:21:57 and read 6595 times.

Quoting SloAir (Reply 3):
The perfect summary of VCE airport. I like the airport a lot, only the crowds at peak times can be a bit annoying.

In fact ,mostly in summer time, you have mid-morning flights to JFK, PHL, ATL and occasionally charter flights to Canada that all depart and check-in between 2 hours. Crowds is very much a problem then. You barely find the space to cut the queues and get you and your luggage to the security controls. Guess it is a issue of the airport design itself.
For me departure area is too small

Topic: RE: Globally Yours From Venice To Hong Kong...
Username: emrecan
Posted 2012-11-22 01:33:43 and read 6343 times.

Great report and pictures JEKY,

You are so lucky to flew with the latest additions to TK fleet.


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