Ulysse From France, joined Oct 2007, 17 posts, RR: 0 Posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 24790 times:
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
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
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
Homemade chocolate and hazelnut mousse cake
Freshly brewed coffee or tea
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.
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.
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:
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.
Date: 19 August 2009
Flight number: TK 060
Schedule: 23:35 – 13:05
Aircraft: B 77W
Seat: the whole F cabin
After clearing immigration and customs, we reached the Prime Class Lounge which was comfy and not very crowded, yet failed to offer enough privacy.
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.
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...
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.
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.
I was the only pax in F: it was rather amusing to have the FA doing security demonstrations just for me.
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.
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.
A generous portion of Malossol.
Then I ordered the "Herbed Chicken breast / white eggplant cherry potatoes / roasted pine nut pesto" which was delicious.
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.
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.
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.
My thoughtful FA woke me up an hour before landing, and I had a succulent breakfast.
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.
Directorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1651 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 17 hours ago) and read 24592 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 !
HOOB747 From United States of America, joined Nov 2006, 438 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 24348 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!
Globetraveller From Germany, joined Apr 2008, 379 posts, RR: 20
Reply 5, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 24203 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.
TK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4393 posts, RR: 12
Reply 13, posted (4 years 10 months 3 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 21831 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?
BA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8506 posts, RR: 55
Reply 17, posted (4 years 10 months 1 week 13 hours ago) and read 18450 times:
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.
Readytotaxi From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2006, 3191 posts, RR: 2
Reply 18, posted (4 years 10 months 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 17645 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.
you don't get a second chance to make a first impression!
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?
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.