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TK Private Suites (IST-BKK): A Taste Of Byzantium  
User currently offlineUlysse From France, joined Oct 2007, 17 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 24909 times:

.




Hi all,

I've always dreamt of flying in Suite but, until now was just building castles in the air. Then TK’s Suite product offered me the most lovely and delightful flight I've ever experienced. I have flown in F with AF, LH, LX, QR, EK, SV, EY, SQ and NH and nonetheless preferred both the TK soft and hard product.

I took about 200 pictures of this trip, but due to a bug on my iPhone, half of them were unfortunately deleted. So I'll try to provide a TR with the remaining ones  Wink

TK has currently leased three 77W from 9W and uses them for their IST-BKK/SIN/HKG routes. Because the service was launched a mere four months ago, the big challenge for them was to ensure a high level of quality.

Due to heavy traffic in the center of Paris, I arrived in CDG just five minutes before the cut-off time for check in. So I was the last passenger to board.




I was utterly amazed by the catering quality for this 3.5-hour flight. Unlike many competitors, TK offers a hot main dish for flights over 2.5 hours.

Everything was served on china plates, and the menu was as follows:

Assorted Turkish Appetizer
Shepherd Salad

Photos - Avions 012


Please choose from Turkish Cuisine:
• "Külbasti" Turkish style grilled beef fillet, eggplant purée, grilled tomato and green pepper / buttered rice
• Grilled Chicken Breast, sautéed mixed vegetables / potato purée
• Home made Rigatoni Pasta, creamy parmesan sauce, sautéed broccoli and zucchini / cherry tomato
Assorted Cheese

Homemade chocolate and hazelnut mousse cake
Freshly brewed coffee or tea

Photos - Avions 061


Except the mousse cake which tasted mass-produced and less-than-stellar, the food was dazzling in its quality and variety, and definitely fitting for First Class.


The male FA was professional but not particularly friendly, and the purser was definitely inattentive.
The seat configuration is similar to LH or AF; however, TK has a great competitive advantage regarding catering.

Photos - Avions 018


Photos - Avions 024

Just before landing


When I arrived in IST, an obliging concierge was waiting for me. I knew Turkish girls were beautiful, but I didn’t know they were so gracious and charming.

Photos - Avions 067


I took advantage of the fact that TK offered connecting F passengers an opportunity to see Istanbul with a private car and driver--all in the name of promoting tourism in Turkey.

I also booked a hotel room to take a shower and get some rest before the second flight.

Some pictures of Istanbul:

Photos - Avions 045

Old Istanbul


Photos - Avions 066

Ayasofya


Photos - Avions 028


Photos - Avions 041

The Bosphorus



At 09h30, the BMW 7-series was waiting for me at the hotel entrance. Thirty minutes later, we reached the airport where the same attentive concierge was waiting for me.


Photos - Avions 007



Date: 19 August 2009
Route: IST-BKK
Flight number: TK 060
Schedule: 23:35 – 13:05
Aircraft: B 77W
Class: F
Seat: the whole F cabin  Wink



After clearing immigration and customs, we reached the Prime Class Lounge which was comfy and not very crowded, yet failed to offer enough privacy.

Photos - Avions 019


Photos - Avions 087


A table was set and I ordered some appetizers. I didn't want to eat more as I knew the onboard food would be great.

Photos - Avions 088


While I was eating, the First Class General Manager came and introduced herself. She asked if everything was satisfactory. We had a nice chat about TK's products and future as a company.


At the end of my light meal, I noticed a man taking some pictures of the lounge and the food and had no doubt in my mind that he was a frequent traveller or a TR writer.

So I asked him, and was proved right. I also had a pleasant chat with this friendly American, who was travelling with his brother to HKG. We were like children talking about our toys. I lost his business card, so if he reads this...  Wink



Once aboard the aircraft, I was greeted by the Chief Purser and amazed by the stunning F cabin.

Menus, Bulgari amenity kits, pyjamas and Bose Headset were handed out.

Photos - Avions 076


I indulged in the superb Cristal Roederer Champagne with some warm nuts. TK offers this marvellous Champagne until the end of September in order to celebrate the launch of their First Class Service. Subsequently, the somewhat less prestigious Louis Roederer will be served in F.

Photos - Avions 083


I was the only pax in F: it was rather amusing to have the FA doing security demonstrations just for me.

Photos - Avions 001



Once airborne, I chose not to eat immediately and instead listened to some music. The IFE was outstanding compared to AF or LH, but still a far cry from the Krisworld. The selection of music and movies is quite Asian-oriented.

Photos - Avions 023


Menu:










Around 2 am, I opted for the Sevruga Caviar, which was exquisite and tastefully presented, with another glass of Champagne. TK doesn’t provide any Vodka.

Photos - Avions 052


Photos - Avions 046


Photos - Avions 089

A generous portion of Malossol.


Then I ordered the "Herbed Chicken breast / white eggplant cherry potatoes / roasted pine nut pesto" which was delicious.

Photos - Avions 026


After that, I requested the "Grilled sea bass, tomato and black olive salsa with zucchini and sautéed potatoes". This fish was top-notch, and the accompanying Meursault Bourgogne definitely voluptuous and well-structured, with a hint of smoked oak.

Photos - Avions 082


Shortly afterwards, I felt a bit tired and wore the provided silk pyjama. The best PJ I've ever seen!

The duvet, blanket and pillows are fantastic.

Photos - Avions 039

Photos - Avions 053


There is a real feeling of privacy (Suite pitch: 90) and the ceiling with the stars is a superb touch! I listened to Sinatra’s song, “Fly me to the moon,” which was appropriate, until I fell asleep.

Photos - Avions 069


My thoughtful FA woke me up an hour before landing, and I had a succulent breakfast.

Photos - Avions 048


Photos - Avions 079


Photos - Avions 077

Excellent croissants given with a red rose.



What would I say in conclusion?

I would never have guessed that TK offered a great F product, and I was really pleased to fly with them. I strongly sensed that they are eager to satisfy their passengers, and I'm rather impressed by their commitment and friendliness. They aim to compete with SQ in J and F and they are making great strides toward achieving this goal.

I am not familiar with SQ Suites but TK F Suites are far better than the SQ F. However, SQ is still my favourite carrier in J, but I really regret having previously wasted my money and time with another poor carrier that will recognize itself.

The only criticism toward TK would be related to their lounge: they offer a fantastic onboard product (I'm only referring to 77W), and the FA service is impeccable; but one would expect a better F lounge with more privacy and a massage or spa service.


Pre-boarding: 17/20
Seat: 19/20
IFE: 15/20
Catering: 17/20
FA Service: 18/20

TK Suite: 86/100


Thanks to TK for this lovely flight and thanks to you for reading this.  Smile


www.airlines.travelblog.fr
19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineDirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1681 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 24711 times:

Great TR....must've been cool to be the only one in the cabin (oddly enough, I had the same dream tha I was only one on a plane last night).
TK does seem to offer a good F product, and their amenity kits look cool. Thanks for sharing Big grin !
Regards,
DG


User currently offlineScotron11 From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2004, 1178 posts, RR: 3
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 24547 times:

Wonderful trip report. I had a great trip with TK last summer LHR-IST-BKK on their A340....alas in Y class! Nevertheless, even in Y they have a very solid product.


Cheers!


User currently offlineHOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 446 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 24467 times:

Thanks for an amazing trip report! And amazing photos to go with your descriptive words. Thanks for letting me see a bit of Istanbul, what a beautiful place! It must have been wonderful to have a private tour of the city provided by your airline. Just lovely photos. Glad you had such a rewarding trip!


747 Number One Fan from U.S.A
User currently offlineQantas777 From United States of America, joined Aug 2000, 484 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 24423 times:

are the TK 77W's really Jet Airways interiors?

good report.


User currently offlineGlobetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 24322 times:

A very interesting trip report Ulysse.

Some great pictures and enjoyable detail. It must have been amazing to have the whole First Class to yourself, but it does not bode well for TK at all. Let's hope that once the economy really starts picking up this will change.

Thank you for posting the trip report.

Globetraveller


User currently offlineLX64A332 From Switzerland, joined Aug 2007, 274 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day 2 hours ago) and read 24271 times:

Very nice TR!
TK is definitely one of the top star carriers on my list, I might chose them for a ZRH-SIN flight (via IST of course!).

Funny enough, I was reading through some TR's on FlyerTalk, and sure enough I read one where someone was travelling IST-HKG with his brother!
Link: http://boardingarea.com/blogs/onemil...ng-kong-part-7-ist-hkg-on-turkish/

No doubt thats the same person!

cheers,

LX64A332



SWISS remains Swiss. With Lufthansa. :D
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26975 posts, RR: 57
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 week 1 day ago) and read 23947 times:

Excellent report. Brings back memories of my F class TK experience in January. They really have a good F product and I would certainly choose TK over alot of other airlines.

Food looked amazing and those PJ's and bedding look awesome.

Thanks for the report.

OA260


User currently offlineMilesaddict From Singapore, joined Dec 2007, 100 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 week 23 hours ago) and read 23728 times:

Another stunning report as usual !

You gave us a good insight product.

Tks a lot.


User currently offlineWNTex From United States of America, joined Jun 2008, 72 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 week 21 hours ago) and read 23545 times:

Hi Ulysse,

I thoroughly enjoyed your trip report--it was appropriately detailed and had some great pictures (although I wish your Iphone hadn't erased your pics)!

TK appears to have some of the best service around.

thanks again for sharing,

WNTex



"The chief cause of failure and unhappiness is trading what you want most for what you want now." -Zig Ziglar
User currently offlineHAF From United States of America, joined Oct 2006, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 week 11 hours ago) and read 22764 times:

wow fantastic product. TK seems to be doing a great job.

By the way isn't the use of Turkish and Byzantium in the same sentence an oxymoron?!  Wink


User currently offlineCmk10 From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 513 posts, RR: 3
Reply 11, posted (5 years 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 22098 times:

Definetly a great report. The person you mention from the IST lounge was Flyertalker Lucky9876Coins. He mentioned you in his trip report on Flyertalk.Com


"Traveling light is the only way to fly" - Eric Clapton
User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 26975 posts, RR: 57
Reply 12, posted (5 years 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 22077 times:



Quoting HAF (Reply 10):
oxymoron

Which of course is a Greek word  Wink  Big grin

I loved the title BTW , Istanbul is a great city and rich in history both Byzantium and Ottoman. Its what makes it unique.


User currently offlineTK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4434 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (5 years 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 21950 times:

Thanks for the report, too bad you lost some of the pics from the trip.
Could you give a bit more details about the city tour you were given? How did you know about it and so forth.

Just to give a heads up to everyone here that are not up to speed with TK's 77W plans:
-Starting October, JetAirways configured leased 777Ws will be used on daily JFK-IST flights, and one day a week on ORD-IST. This will only last less than couple of years since they will be replaced with TK's own 77Ws arriving October 2010 onwards. TKs own 77Ws will not have F class nor F suites, but will have only J, Y+ and Y classes.
Any idea how many miles it would take to do the JFK-IST F suites on UA Mileage Plus?


User currently offlineLondonCity From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2008, 1494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (5 years 6 days 6 hours ago) and read 21493 times:



Quoting TK787 (Reply 13):
Could you give a bit more details about the city tour you were given? How did you know about it and so forth.

Details are posted on the home page of the website. I am using the UK country site so the free tours may not be listed on TK's sites for countries outside Europe.


User currently offlineSInGAPORE_AIR From United Kingdom, joined Nov 2000, 13742 posts, RR: 19
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 20351 times:



Quoting Ulysse (Thread starter):

An excellent trip report Ulysse ! The Turkish Airlines F experience is wonderful. It's a shame they have decided not to install First Class on their to-be-delivered B77Ws.



Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
User currently offlineLewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3636 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 day ago) and read 19876 times:

Great trip report. TKs 777s look very nice and the service seems excellent. Wish OA could use some pointers service-wise.

Quoting HAF (Reply 10):
By the way isn't the use of Turkish and Byzantium in the same sentence an oxymoron?!

Well Istanbul IS the old Byzantium!


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8539 posts, RR: 54
Reply 17, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 18569 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, enjoyed, TK look to be a force to be watched.

Quoting Ulysse (Thread starter):
I took advantage of the fact that TK offered connecting F passengers an opportunity to see Istanbul with a private car and driver--all in the name of promoting tourism in Turkey.

- What a great idea, brilliant!

Quoting Ulysse (Thread starter):
TK doesn’t provide any Vodka.

- No vodka, odd!?

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineReadytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3259 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 11 months 3 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 17764 times:

Wow, loved that TR.
Great photos of the food, always think it tastes better when presented so well.
Once had the nose section of a 747 all to myself coming back from the USA, what a wonderful feeling.
Thank you.  Smile



you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
User currently offlineUlysse From France, joined Oct 2007, 17 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (4 years 10 months 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 15816 times:

Hi all,

Thanks for your comments  Smile
And sorry for the late answer, I experienced some problems with my account.  Sad

Quoting Directorguy (Reply 1):
must've been cool to be the only one in the cabin (oddly enough, I had the same dream tha I was only one on a plane last night).

Yes it was an awesome experience!
With the current crisis, F cabins are often empty, especially with AF where I'm usually the only pax in F.

Quoting Qantas777 (Reply 4):
are the TK 77W's really Jet Airways interiors?

Indeed, exactly the same cabins.

Quoting LX64A332 (Reply 6):
Funny enough, I was reading through some TR's on FlyerTalk, and sure enough I read one where someone was travelling IST-HKG with his brother!
Link: http://boardingarea.com/blogs/onemil...ng-kong-part-7-ist-hkg-on-turkish/

No doubt thats the same person!

Yes it was this guy !  Wink

Quoting HAF (Reply 10):
By the way isn't the use of Turkish and Byzantium in the same sentence an oxymoron?!

Did you rather mean a pleonasm?  Wink
Well, I deliberately chose this name as Byzantium was famous for its splendor and refinement. In French, there is even an idomatic expression "c'est Byzance", meaning it's very luxurious.

Quoting TK787 (Reply 13):
Could you give a bit more details about the city tour you were given? How did you know about it and so forth.

I actually heard about it when I landed in IST, but it wasn't too late to book the car. F passengers with a >6 hours transit time can have a private car with a driver and even a Hotel accomodation free of charge.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 17):
- No vodka, odd!?

Definitely weird but probably due to the recent launch of the F product. However, this bad impression faded away with the Louis Roederer Cuvée Cristal, which was just terrific!



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