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Turkish Airlines Business Class To Singapore & KL  
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 18094 times:

Background



A few months ago Turkish Airlines posted a very attractive offer. For the equivalent price of an Economy Class ticket, you could fly from Warsaw to Kuala Lumpur return in Business Class. This offer was simply too good to be refused, and in an instance I booked the fare for a 9-night stay in June. To connect the dots I opted to fly on LOT:s nonstop service from Arlanda to Warsaw, costing me a reasonable €160.

As many people pointed out to be earlier, Kuala Lumpur isn’t the most exciting city in Asia, hence a 9-night stay might be a little excessive. So I decided to spent the first four nights in Singapore, together with fellow a.netter and friend Daniel aka Initious. The remaining five nights were spent in Kuala Lumpur at the DoubleTree By Hilton which was booked with Hilton HHonors points from a friend who was kind enough to sell some of his. The price for the points was much less than booking a regular rate, and with the recent devaluation of the HHonors programme it turned out to be a good deal for the both of us.

Getting from KL to Singapore turned out to be by next challenge. Originally I had planned to book AirAsia which were priced at RM152 for a return. Daniel however, suggested that I’d book Jetstar instead as they operate from International Satellite at KLIA, as opposed to most other LCC:s who operate from the notorious Low Cost Terminal. As luck would have it Jetstar were having a sale at the time, and I was able to secure a return ticket for just RM92. A daytrip to Kuching on AirAsia was later booked for RM86. Another bargain, considering the flight time being close to two hours.


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
26 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 1, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 18166 times:

Wednesday the 19th of June 2013



After a surprisingly calm night sleeping in the terminal at Arlanda, and an uneventful E-170 flight on LOT, I arrive at Warsaw Chopin International Airport. The flight arrived bang on schedule at 9.40am, and with a five hour layover I head straight to the LOT Business Lounge for a well needed shower. My home printed boarding pass is scanned before I’m handed something that resembles a giant napkin. Turns out it was a disposable towel…

Finding a clean shower was tricky as the one assigned had not been cleaned since the last patron, the toiletries were missing, and the whole shower room had a strong odour of urine. I eventually fetch a grumpy shower attendant who reluctantly cleans the stall. After a nice hot shower, a shave and a clean change of clothes I began feeling like a human again. I spent the remainder of my time watching Conan on my ancient iPhone, while savouring a few muffins.

At noon I decided head towards the non-Schengen part of the terminal. At passport control, the woman behind the glass decided to give me a thorough interrogation before letting me through. I was somewhat surprised to discover that I had access to the Bolero Business Lounge in the non-Schengen terminal. This lounge was worlds away from the cramped and run down LOT Lounge. The lounge had a nice and sophisticated feel to it, with its marble decorations, plush leather lounge chairs, great tarmac views, and CLEAN bathrooms. If only I had discovered this place earlier…



Flight TK1766 Warsaw – Istanbul



Departure: 14.45
Arrival: 18.15
Duration: 2h 30m
Seat & Class: 1A, Business Class
Aircraft & Reg: Airbus A321-200, TC-JRL


The gate is packed by the time I turn up. A large crowd has gathered behind the podium, but luckily there is a separate line for Business and Star Gold. A priority boarding call was made but none of the alleged premium pax seemed to move, so I made a move towards the podium myself. But just as I was about to hand over my boarding pass, I feel a hand grabbing my shoulder. I turn around to find a man in a suit furiously yelling ”-The line starts back there!” while holding his Economy Class BP right in front of my nose. Just as I was about to fire back, I hear the gate agent asking ”-Business Class?” after which I leisurely board the plane. I gave the man the evil eye as he passed by on his way to seat 26D.

Once onboard I’m offered a welcome drink and a printed menu while waiting for the rest of the passengers to board. Once airborne the chef places linens on the tray tables, followed by drink orders. I opt for a glass of Champagne which served along with the starter tray.


The starter consisting of chicken breast, aubergine, lettuce, cherry tomatoes and pesto.


The chicken breast was juicy and tender, blending in perfectly with the pesto and aubergine. Next up was the main course. A choice of three courses was available, of which I chose the sautéed prawns with spinach and buttered rice. To drink I had some more Champagne.


The main course.


This dish was perhaps the best I’ve eaten on my four flights with Turkish. The prawns were cooked to perfection, with a nice firm and not too chewy texture. The spinach had a nice and mild flavour to it. The buttered rice was perhaps the best component of the dish. Nice and fluffy texture, with a rich buttery flavour. Eating a bowl of this stuff would’ve been fine enough as meal. Yes it was THAT good.

The trays were soon cleared, and we were offered coffee and digestifs. My preferred Bailey’s wasn’t loaded on this flight, so I had to settle with some Cognac.


The dessert consisting of a custard filled Macaroon covered in dark chocolate.


Upon first glance the dessert looked very familiar to me. Turns out it was the same dessert I ate on my SAS faux Business Class flight from Dalaman to Stockholm two years ago. It had a nice and lagom sweet flavour to it, which blended perfectly with the Cognac.

Once the meal service was finished, roughly one hour of the flight remained. As this A321 was a standard EU configuration without IFE, I enjoyed some music through my Bose QC15 headphones instead. After a scenic approach, we landed at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport bang on time.



Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul



Since its opening in the fall of 2011 this lounge has gotten tons of attention from people praising it as the best Business Class lounge in the world. I on the other hand was not very impressed about this place, but don’t get me wrong. It’s a beautiful lounge with nice decoration, very spacious and the food is sublime. However the lounge is incredibly crowded, which does not only extend to the peak hours but throughout the whole day.

Entering the lounge at 18.30 was like entering the Stockholm Metro at rush hour, as an ocean of people were flooding through the self-entry gates, many without having their credentials checked. Once inside I found it very hard to find an empty seat, let alone get some quiet time as the lounge was pretty noisy. I saw at least a dozen people sleeping on the couches… The bathrooms were crowded, and I had to queue for fifteen minutes to use the toilet. Seeing people wash their feet in the communal faucet didn’t make things better.

Given the fact that Atatürk airport is running way beyond its operating capacity, and the fact that Turkish Airlines is on an aggressive expansion spree it’s somewhat understandable as to why this lounge is so overcrowded. But another part of the issue I think is the advertising of this lounge. Normally airlines tend to be very discrete about their lounge offerings in order to avoid unwanted attention. Turkish’s approach however, seem to have attracted many visitors and I spotted at least a dozen people standing outside trying to look for a sponsor (hence me suspecting a lot of people sneaking in without permission).

As a passenger in Business Class I was entitled to escape the chaos in one of the dayrooms, where I managed to sleep of three hours of my seven hour layover.


The dayroom.


After a good nap and a refreshing shower, I return to the main lounge at 23.00. The place has gotten much quieter now, hence making it much more enjoyable. I spent the last hour in the dining section enjoying some delicious grilled kebabs with a glass of red, before leaving for the gate.



Flight TK60 Istanbul – Kuala Lumpur



Departure : 01.15
Arrival : 16.50
Duration : 10h 35m
Seat & Class : 4A, Business Class
Aircraft & Reg : Airbus A340-311, TC-JDL (Star Alliance livery)


As dreaded and feared our A340 was boarding from a bus gate this evening. The gate area was packed, indicating a healthy load on tonight’s flight to the Malaysian capital. Boarding was delayed by 30 minutes, and once the call was made no priority was given. Not that it mattered anyway… Once inside the bus we were forced to wait another 30 minutes until the last person had boarded the second bus, despite the first one being packed to the brim and ready to leave for the aircraft.

Eventually we pull up beside the maintenance hangar where our A340 stood parked. Boarding was made through door 2L only and people were flooding the airstairs. At the door I got a cold greeting from the crew before making the famous left turn. How I love turning left at boarding…


View of the Business Class cabin on this A340.


With the aircraft being fresh from maintenance, the seats and cabin were in immaculate condition. I stowed my trolley in the overhead before settling down in the comfortable seat.


Great legroom!


The A340s are fitted with the older generation of Business Class seats that don’t go fully flat. I did however find them to be comfier than the newer seats in the upright and lounge position.


Cabin during boarding.


Shortly after settling down I receive a warm welcome from the onboard chef, before being offered a welcome drink and a chocolate praline. A flight attendant soon came by to offer newspapers and amenity kits. I was surprised to find the print issue of Newsweek onboard, so I grabbed the last copy.


Welcome drink consisting of strawberry soda.


The hand-made Belgian chocolate praline from Godiva was a nice touch.


Amenity kit by CrabTree & Evelyn. Since I have no interest in owning an iPad I left it onboard.


The boarding eventually finished, leaving a 50% load in the Business Class cabin hence me being fortunate enough to have the aisle seat free. Our departure was delayed by a slight technical issue, so meanwhile the menu and wine list was handed out. The issue is eventually sorted, and we are ready for departure.


Cabin before departure.


As always on the -300 the takeoff was heavy and slow. Our ascent over the city of Istanbul was low and slow, but we eventually made it to cruise around 40 minutes into the flight. Despite the ungodly hour of 03.00 local time, a full five course dinner was to be served. Table linens were laid out, quickly followed by hot canapés.


The hot canapés consisting of deep fried prawn, goat’s cheese on a slice of watermelon, and a breaded turkey meatball.


Not many airlines offer proper canapés in Business Class, and they were certainly a nice touch. I didn’t quite understand why I was later served a ramekin of nuts. It felt pretty overkill to me. Next up was the starter course.


Starter consisting of a seafood platter. King prawns, smoked salmon, lettuce and cherry tomatoes.


The starter dish tasted nice and fresh and I particularly enjoyed the king prawns. Small side dishes consisting of okra and aborigine salad, hummus and green salad were also found on the tray. All of them tasted great, with the exception of the okra which was a bit too fatty for my taste. To drink I order a glass of Champagne. Next up was soup!


The soup on offer was a lentil soup, served with a tapernade toast on the side.


I’ve eaten my fair share of lentil soups over the years, but I must say that the one served on Turkish tasted almost identical to the one my mother makes. The soup had a nice and smooth texture, with the right amount of seasoning. The tapernade toast tasted great too. Next up was the main course.


I settled for the signature Shish Kebab, served with a grilled tomato and red pepper.


”-Don’t order meat on planes” has been a common mantra over the years which to a large extent has been true since the various steak dishes I’ve been serve have mostly resembled shoe rubbers. On Turkish however, the lamb was succulent and flavourful, pairing perfectly with the rice that has been cooked in its drippings. The presentation was great too, as Turkish are one of the few airlines that plate the food in Business Class.

By the time the dessert cart rolled in, I was too stuffed to even consider savouring the goodies on offer, but the cook insisted that I’d at least round it off with some fruit and ice cream.


Dessert.


By the time the meal service had finished, the sun was already making its appearance in the horizon. The crew instructed all passengers to close their blinds, to which I complied. I put the seat in its fully reclined mode and slept comfortably for around five hours. Four hours of the flight remained by the time I woke up, two of them on watching the latest Mission Impossible movie starring Tom Cruise. Roughly two hours before landing breakfast was served.

The service started off with some hot towels, followed by a glass of freshly squeezed grapefruit juice served from a tray.


Hot towel served on a small plate.


With the towels cleared, the breakfast trays were brought out. First out was a starter plate consisting of various types of cheese, sliced tomatoes, cucumbers and olives. A small fruit bowl and muesli is served on the side, as well as fresh breads and pastries from the basket.


Breakfast starter.


Following the starter came the hot main course which consisted of a turkey toast with scrambled eggs and a roast green pepper.


Breakfast main.


The toast was rather unspectacular and lacking cheese, I found the scrambled eggs to be very nice and flavourful. Eggs served on planes are normally pretty bland and soggy, but I was surprised to find this scramble creamy and smooth.

With roughly one hour to go before landing, I put the seat in a comfy lounge position and watch a few sitcoms for the short remainder of the flight.


I guess it’s not too hard to figure out what show I’m watching.



Descent commencing at T-40 minutes.


Very soon our A340 began its approach into Kuala Lumpur International Airport, before making a smooth landing and arriving at the gate 40 minutes behind schedule.



Transfer at KLIA and Jetstar to Singapore



The departure times between KL and Singapore on Jetstar weren’t too good with only two flights departing at 18.40 and 21.40. At the time Jetstar made it very clear that one had to pass immigration to reach the land side check-in desks to pick up a boarding pass, despite traveling with just hand luggage. Bearing this in mind, I was forced to pick the late flight which left me with a five hour layover in KL.

Upon arrival I notice that we park right next to the gates that Jetstar use, so I wander over to ask if I can have my boarding pass printed at the gate instead. After presenting my documents, the agent ”made an exception” and printed me a boarding pass. By request for taking the earlier flight was sadly denied, and I now had to find a way to kill my four hour layover.

I decided to try my luck at the Thai Airways lounge, by presenting my arriving Passbook boarding pass and Turkish Airlines Star Gold card. As luck would have it, the agent didn’t bother scanning the BP but simply had a quick glance before welcoming me in. The lounge was packed to the gills, and I really had to scramble to find an empty seat. At 21.00 I left the lounge and headed towards gate C33 where my flight was ready to board.

Jetstar left a positive impression on me. The aircraft operating this evening’s flight was a brand new A320 with the new slimline leather seats, bearing a resemblance to the Lufthansa NEK. The overall smooth boarding and departure procedures gave me a sense of deja-vu, as it felt much like being on a SAS evening flight from Copenhagen to Stockholm. After plunging through a thick layer of smog, Changi Airport came into sight and the pilot made a smooth touchdown.

While stepping out of the jetway it was love at first sight. Changi Airport was beautiful, and I couldn’t wait to explore it further on my way back home. Within a matter of minutes I had cleared passport control, and was able to meet up Daniel in the arrivals hall. After a quick stop by the ATM to pick up some Singapore $$$, Daniel introduced me to his pride and joy which would be our chariot for my weekend stay.


Daniel’s Hyundai Getz.



Four days in Singapore



Daniel and I had a great time in Singapore, and despite the haze situation which had gotten pretty bad by the time I showed up, we still managed to make the best out of the situation. I will let the pictures do the talking.


Waking up free from jetlag, we started off our first day with some brunch at Michelin Star restaurant Tim Ho Wan.


Escaping the haze in one of the biospheres at Gardens by The Bay.


The haze clears slightly towards the afternoon, so we cool off the heat with some icy fruit drinks.


…Before bringing the heat back with some genuine claypot rice. Piping hot, but very tasty.


The Singapore Skyline, seen from the Promenade later in the evening.


The Centopah. Aka the World War 2 memorial.


…And not to miss the iconic Merlion.


Many of restaurants and bars in Clarke Quay.


Laser show at the Marina Bay Sands.


The Fullerton Bay Hotel.


A visit to Little India to sample some indian food was also on the agenda.


My final day in Singapore included a visit to Sentosa Island.


Enjoying a last bowl of Singaporean laksa before heading to the airport.



Flying back to Kuala Lumpur



My four days in Singapore were an absolute blast. Daniel was a great hoast, and I’m very thankful that he took the time to show me around Singapore. All in all I was very pleased with the city, and despite the haze I managed to see quite a lot of it. I do however have a lot more to explore, which gives me a good reason to return in the future.

After a quick MRT ride to Changi Airport, I head to Terminal 1 to pick up my boarding pass before exploring the terminals a little further.


The check-in hall at Terminal 3 is absolutely gorgeous. Can’t wait to get back in January!


After spending a good three hours strolling around the terminals, I boarded my Jetstar flight to Kuala Lumpur. The flight was uneventful, and within 30 minutes from arrival I was already on the KLIA Express to KL Sentral.



The DoubleTree By Hilton Kuala Lumpur



Upon checking in at my hotel around 22.30 I am pleasantly surprised to have been upgraded to an Executive Room with lounge access and complimentary breakfast.


My King Executive Room at the DoubleTree By Hilton in Kuala Lumpur.


The bathroom.


The Executive Lounge located on the 34th floor. Breakfast is served here every morning, as well as a happy hour every evening with complimentary alcoholic beverages and hot food. Throughout the rest of the day cookies, sandwiches and non-alcoholic beverages are offered.


The hotel managed to live up to my expectations and I must say that I was very pleased with the top-notch facilities and incredible staff. A big kudos to Ruby and Keith in Executive Lounge who went out of their way to deliver flawless and excellent service.

Due to the haze now having reached Kuala Lumpur at even unhealthier levels than Singapore, I decide to spend the entire first day at the hotel. I meet up with a friend in the evening and we head out for some indian food, before sharing a few beers back at the hotel.


Enjoying a Cappuccino and some cookies in the lounge.



The AirAsia Experience to Kuching



As pointed out by many, five days in KL can be a bit of an overkill, so in order to pass time I decided to go on a little daytrip to the capital of Malaysian Borneo a.k.a Kuching on AirAsia.

After an early 6.00 wakeup and a hearty Indian breakfast at the Makan Kitchen, I left the hotel and headed for the nearby LRT station at 8.00 in the morning. After a quick transfer at KL Sentral, I found myself on the KLIA Transit bound for the notorious LCCT. The ride itself took a little over one hour, and I found the train to be a bit more comfortable than your average commuter train. There was free wifi onboard to pass the 30 minute ride. After a smooth transfer at Salak Tingit I finally arrived at LCCT just after 9.30. Traveling with just my small camera bag I was able to proceed directly to security.


A fairly packed departure lounge at the domestic part of LCCT.

The LCCT terminal is nothing more than a hangar with a few windows and doors. The place was crowded, loud and poorly ventilated. The place felt more like a bus terminal than an airport, and overall the experience was very underwhelming. I certainly hope that the new KLIA 2 Terminal will be a vast improvement.

At 10.00 boarding was called, and we were lead out through a covered walkway before reaching the aircraft.


All AirAsia flights board through airstairs.


In comparison to most LCC:s in Europe, I was quite pleased with the service on AirAsia. The aircraft was clean, seats comfortable, the crew were friendly and very attractive looking, and the onboard menu had a good selection of proper food available at prices that don’t require you to re-mortgage your house.


A rather light load on today’s flight.


I opted to try AirAsia’s signature Nasi Lemak. While it needed some re-heating, the dish was absolutely delicious!


With the load being at 30% I had the whole row to myself, but as misfortune would have it the gentleman in the seat in front of me decided to hit the recline button. And so did his wife… The flight passed quickly, and soon we were on approach to Kuching Airport.


Some nice cloud formations as we reach Borneo.


Coming in for our final approach.


Stepping off the plane in Kuching I couldn’t help but stop for a few seconds to inhale the fresh air. After spending nearly a week breathing nothing but heavily contaminated air in Singapore and KL it really felt nice to get some fresh air again.

The transport options from the airport to central Kuching were few. The airport can only be reached by taxi which is priced at a fixed fare of RM26.


The Kuching Bazaar. The place felt very similar to the Bazaars in Morocco, sans the hustling…


The Kuching Waterfront.


New Sarawak State Legislative Assembly Building


Out of nowhere a tropical monsoon shower decided pull over and get me soaked.


Thankfully I was able to escape the rain at a nearby eatery, and enjoy some genuine Sarawak laksa. Very tasty and dirt cheap!


I spent a total of four hours wandering the streets of Kuching and as time progressed I came to regret not staying longer in there. The city certainly had its charm, especially with the rainforest right around the corner. At 17.00 I decided to call it a day and grab a taxi back to the airport, before boarding my AirAsia flight back to Kuala Lumpur. After a long and tiresome day, I arrived at my hotel just after 22.00 in the evening.



The Sights of Kuala Lumpur



After a good night’s sleep and a steady indian breakfast at the Makan Kitchen, it was now time for my to go out and explore the city of Kuala Lumpur. Luckily most of the haze had now cleared, and I was able to spend time outdoors without worrying about any potential respiratory problems, which the haze has been said to cause.


First off was a visit to the iconic Petronas Towers, situated just five minutes away from my hotel by foot.


The Merdeka Square.


The Old Town of Kuala Lumpur.


Overall my initial impressions of Kuala Lumpur were quite underwhelming. I was able to cover the entire city centre by foot in one afternoon, and there was quite frankly not much to see other than the skyscrapers, shopping malls and the occasional monument. Unlike the other cities in Asia that I’ve visited, KL seem to lack that sense of charm and soul that you’d usually expect to find in a major city. Spending five nights in the city turned out to be a bit of an overkill since you could basically see it all in one day, so for any future visitors I would suggest you’d stay a maximum of two nights in KL.

I decided to spend the evening back at the hotel, enjoying a light dinner in the Executive Lounge and a steady flow of Gin&Tonics, courtesy of the lovely Ruby.

A visit to the much raved about Batu Caves was made the following day. After spending the whole morning at the hotel, I took the LRT to KL Sentral at around noon before connecting on the commuter train to Batu Caves. The ticket from KL Sentral to Batu Caves was silly cheap at just 1 RM and the ride took around twenty five minutes. Upon disembarking the train I simply followed the signs that lead to the caves.


The Batu Caves.


There were plenty of monkeys around, but luckily they didn’t steal anything from me.


Overall the Batu Caves was a pleasant experience, and my visit was rounded off with some authentic indian food from the nearby eateries. The prices were cheap at just 12 RM for a full sized lunch platter of various vegetarian dishes. My visit to the Batu Caves didn’t take more than three hours, and at 15.00 in the afternoon I was back at the hotel where I stayed for Happy Hour, before getting some shopping down at the KLCC Mall.



Flying back on Turkish Airlines



After a pleasant 9 day stay in South East Asia it was sadly time to go home. With my flight leaving at 23.15 I kindly asked Keith for a late check-out. My request was sadly declined due to the hotel being heavily booked for the weekend, but I was able to leave my luggage in the lounge, and use it as much as I pleased for the rest of the day. Bearing this in mind I decided to stay at my room until noon, before checking out in the lounge.

I spent the most of the day shopping at the KLCC Mall, and I returned back to the hotel at 18.00 to pick up my bag before leaving to the airport. After having bid the wonderful staff goodbye, I hopped on the LRT to KL Sentral before connecting to the KLIA Express. I arrived to the airport at roughly 19.00 which was one hour before the check-in counters would open. I spent the hour doing some plane spotting at the viewing terrace before heading back to the counters at 20.00 sharp.

It’s worth noting that Turkish Airlines doesn’t offer online check-in from Kuala Lumpur, but luckily I had already done my seat reservations in advance. After a swift check-in process I’m handed both my boarding passes along with an invitation to the Plaza Premium Lounge. While it would’ve been nice to have used the MH Golden Lounge (which is used by some 3rd party airlines such as EgyptAir and Iran Air) the Plaza Premium Lounge served its purpose.

After a nice hot shower, a change of clothes and a few G&T’s I boarded the plane at 22.30. The load in Business Class was nearly 100% but luckily the seat beside me remained unoccupied, which I assume was courtesy of being TK Elite.

The return flight was practically identical to the outbound, hence why I chose to keep my camera in the overhead. I did however have a very pleasant flight, enjoying the great food and wines. I was also lucky enough to have a lovely young lady serve my side of the cabin.


First of all sorry about the quality. The pics were taken using my old iPhone 3Gs. Starter consisting of seafood platter. Jumbo shrimp, smoked salmon and smoked halibut. It was quite tasty in fact!


The soup served today was a creamy tomato soup. It was absolutely delicious, and I regret not asking for seconds.


I chose the beef fillet as my main course. Not that I’m a big fan of steaks but I wanted to see how well they managed to execute serving a steak in the air. To my surprise the meat was mostly nice and tender, though since it was drying up pretty fast I had to eat it quickly. Some more sauce would’ve been nice, but apart from that it was an OK steak.


Dessert consisting of chocolate cheesecake which was sinister. The cheese was nice and tasty too, though it would’ve been nice with some crackers and fig paste to go along.


Contrary to most other people’s experiences on Turkish the service on my flight was near flawless, with the exception of being served a full-sized glass of Port Wine along with my cheese. I managed to get a good six hours of sleep on the flight, despite the angled seat.

Upon arriving in Istanbul, we once again parked at a remote stand. Luckily however Business Class passengers were allowed to disembark first which didn’t make much sense since I’d rather board the bus last. Nonetheless the airport was fairly deserted, and in no time I was in the CIP Lounge for my seven hour layover.

I decided to get a shower and a nap in one of the day rooms before spending the last two hours enjoying a nice Pannini breakfast and watching a few episodes of Conan. The lounge was petty empty this morning which made for an enjoyable experience.



Flight TK1765 Istanbul – Warsaw



Departure: 12.25
Arrival : 13.45
Duration : 2h 20m
Seat & Class : 2A, Business Class
Aircraft & Reg : Airbus A321-200, TC-JRY


I left the lounge at roughly one hour before the scheduled departure time. At the entrance to the gate, a booth was set up with an agent inspecting passports before tearing our boarding passes and letting is inside the holding pen. Once all passengers had been checked, the boarding began. Once again no priority call was made for Business Class and Star Alliance Gold, but luckily I was able to board fairly early. To my great surprise I found out that a factory new A321 was operating this flight, which meant that the aircraft had proper recliner seats in Business Class and AVOD in all classes.

Once onboard the plane I was greeted welcome by the purser before settling down in seat 2A. Almost immediately I was approached with a tray of welcome drinks.


I opted for the lemonade this time which tasted nice.


Boarding progressed for quite some time and by the looks of it Economy Class was very full. In Business Class only six of the sixteen seats were occupied, but despite that some passengers from Economy decided to upgrade themselves. Luckily the crew managed to spot them and send them back to their assigned seats. Once the doors were closed, turkish delights and printed menus were distributed.


The seats were comfortable and offered plenty of space. The legroom was quite generous too, though the seat controls were quite stiff as the seats were operated pneumatically.


Once in the air, the chef came out to greet the passengers welcome and take meal and beverage orders. Three choices of main course was available, kebab, tortellini or chicken. I chose the chicken and ordered a glass of Champagne to drink. Due to the relatively short flight time no drinks and nuts were served before the meal.


The starter course consisted of a salmon tartar, along with hummus, red bell pepper, a cherry tomato and spinach salad.


The starter dish tasted phenomenal, and while the combination of hummus and salmon may sound strange, they managed to blend together pretty fine. The Champagne served on short haul flights was Charles Heidsieck Blue top, which I found a lot better tasting than the Gosset which is served on long haul. Next up was the main course.


Main course consisting of chicken fillet, roast potatoes, red bell pepper and aubergine.


While the catering on Turkish Airlines have been nothing but fantastic, I was somewhat disappointed to find that this dish did not meet the standard that had been set up on my previous flights. The chicken was a bit dry and so were the vegetables. Neither was there any sauce found, and the dish wasn’t seasoned properly. I am assuming that this may have been caused from heating the dish for too long. Nonetheless it wasn’t a bad dish, and I was able to finish most of it.

Soon the trays were cleared and digestifs were offered. I settled for a glass of Bailey’s along with a cup of black coffee.


The dessert which consisted of a berry compote with a vanilla foam, tasted great.


After the meal service was completed roughly one hour remained of the flight. I decided to explore the IFE offerings and have a look around the cabin before it was time to land.


The leather seats which were comfortable enough for this two hour flight.


View of the cabin.


The aircraft was fitted with the newer version of the Planet IFE, which included roughly 100 movies, a selection of audio, tv shows, as well as an information channel. Acceptable enough for my likings.


Very soon the the pilot began our descent into Warsaw Chopin International Airport, and soon enough we pulled up at the gate for an on-time arrival. The queues at the passport control were rather long this morning, but luckily the EU line was moving quick. Within the course of 30 minutes I had cleared passport control and was on the train bound for central Warsaw.



The Hilton Warsaw Hotel & Convention Centre



Due to the LOT flights to Stockholm being rather expensive on June 30th I decided fly on July 1st and spend the night in Warsaw instead. Hotels in Warsaw are cheap and plentiful, with most 4-5* chain hotels priced at €50-range. During previous visits I have stayed at the Radisson Blu, but this time I decided to give the Hilton a go. I booked an advance purchase rate for PLN299, and thanks to a BRG claim I managed to get the rate down to PLN99. Sadly however Hilton haven’t refunded me the difference yet…


The hotel lobby.


At the check-in I was greeted welcome by a lovely receptionist, before being handed the key to my room. As of January 1st 2013 this property no longer upgrade HHonors Gold members to the executive floor, but the receptionist was kind enough to make an exception and provide me with Executive Lounge access. I was given a standard guest room located on the 16th floor.


My standard guest room.


The bathroom.


Welcome amenity consisting of Polish toffee.


Overall the room was nice and clean. The bed was super comfortable, and the curtains did a great job in blocking out all the outside sunlight. The only downside of the room may have been the size, as I perceived it as somewhat cramped. But then again after spending 5 nights in an executive room at the DoubleTree in KL, maybe I’ve lost some reference there.

The bathroom was rather nice and clean as well, featuring both a shower and a bathtub which were arranged separately. The toiletries were of the brand Peter Thomas Roth, which I found to be of better quality than the CrabTree & Evelyn that are usually found on Hilton properties. The toiletries may however seem a bit masculine, but I hope it isn’t something that will bother female guests.

Overall the room was pleasant enough for my short one-night stay, and I wouldn’t mind spending more time at this hotel. Since I felt rather tired from all the flying, I decided to spend the rest of the day in my room watching a few movies on HBO.


The Executive Lounge.


At 18.00 I took the elevator up to the Executive Lounge for the daily happy hour. I skipped on the alcohol this time, and settled for a few bottles of diet coke to go along with the food. The food offered this evening was chicken skewers and mushroom soup, as well as various canapés, salads and breads. I found it sufficient enough to serve as a light dinner. By the time I had finished my food I was feeling very tired, so I headed back to my room at 19.00 and fell asleep right away.



July 1st 2013



I woke up at 4.00 after a great night’s sleep. I suppose one of the things that I love about westbound travel is the ”jetlag” that wakes you up at a nice early hour. Since breakfast opens at 6.00 I spent the two hours in my room watching CNN, and performing my usual morning rituals.

At 6.00 sharp I headed down to the breakfast buffet. While the spread wasn’t as extravagant as the one in Kuala Lumpur, I still found it to be rather decent. It was quite nice to have a proper western breakfast for once, consisting of scrambled eggs, bacon, sausages and baked beans. The bacon was particularly nice as it wasn’t over salted and crisp fried. Another interesting item on the buffet was the bread pudding served with vanilla sauce. It was absolutely divine, and I ended up having three servings of it.

Feeling rather stuffed after breakfast, I headed back to my room for a lie-down, before spending checking out at noon. The day was spend in Warsaw, walking around in the various shopping malls as well as visiting the old town. I had a late lunch at the Hard Rock Café, before taking the bus to the airport at 17.30. The flight back home on LOT was rather uneventful, hence why I chose not to cover it.



Conclusions



Turkish Airlines managed to exceed my expectations, mainly due to the staff who didn’t turn out to be as rude as feared. The food was outstanding, and the seats were acceptable enough for sleeping. The lounge in Istanbul was somewhat overhyped as I didn’t find the place to be more than a slightly upscale Business Class Lounge. While the food and facilities were fantastic, the overall atmosphere kind of spoiled the experience.

Jetstar Airways also turned out to exceed my expectations by offering a spanking new A320 with comfortable leather seats, and so did Air Asia with their attractive crew and good BOB offerings. Overall the LCCs in Asia are completely different to those we have in Europe. If only Norwegian or Ryanair were up to the same standard, I’d might see myself flying them on a more regular basis.

I hope you have enjoyed my report, and feel free to leave a comment!

[Edited 2013-08-16 12:00:22]


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineflightsimboy From Canada, joined Sep 2005, 1294 posts, RR: 4
Reply 2, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 17978 times:
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Jonas, lovely crisp, sharp photos, the way Business Class trip report pics should be!!  ...though they did fall to the standard of some Business Class trip reports on here with the ones you took with the phone!

Looks like Turkish Airlines is a clear leader and they took good care of you.

What camera and lenses do you use...


User currently offlineTPAfan From United States of America, joined Apr 2013, 165 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 14 hours ago) and read 17037 times:

Great TR!! Business class on the connecting flights on TK, and then the long haul business, the nice hotels, and good lucking food in the cities, it must have been great! I enjoyed every bit of your report.

User currently offlineAyostoLeon From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 16663 times:

Great trip report, Jonas.

Its always nice to meet up, with someone when travelling and lucky for you that Daniel's suggestion to try Jetstar resulted in a lower fare, particularly after scooping a bargain fare with Turkish.

I must say that the meals on TK look attractive. The presentation surpasses that of some other well-known airlines, the food being stylishly arranged rather than simply dumped on the plates.

Good to learn that the standard of service on your flights was high as other trip reporters have commented unfavourably. Perhaps TK is seeking to address the unevenness. If so, that is welcome.

Thanks for sharing.


User currently onlineCXfirst From Norway, joined Jan 2007, 3075 posts, RR: 1
Reply 5, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 16387 times:

Nice trip report, I just flew IST-KUL in Business as well a few days ago, and generally had a good experience. Food was good (presentation excellent), but, the crew seemed a bit rushed, even thought the cabin was only half full. On my earlier HKG-IST flight (full), the onboard chef spent more time introducing himself, and all the menus had passenger names written on them, while the KUL flight, they just had the seat number and the whole service seemed more rushed. They were also slow to refill drinks, or even respond to the call button. But other than that, TK were pretty good, had 2 long haul sectors and 2 European sectors, but unluckily I got the older product (like your first flight) both times.

As for the lounge in IST, I partly agree. The lounge looks amazing and is one of the best around, but it needs to be twice as big, have some quiet sections, more sleep rooms, bathrooms and showers. When I was there in the morning it was hard to find a seat, but when I was there from 23:00-00:30, it was much better, but there was less variety of food to eat, and staff seemed to be packing up food areas etc., which I found to be premature, seeing as there still were plenty of people in the lounge, and plenty more flights.

By the way, did your luggage arrive as one of the first bags at KUL? After my flight, it was clear that priority tagged bags weren't prioritized, as they came spread out, and my bags were some of the last ones, I nearly missed my MH flight because of this, as I managed to check in with a minute to spare.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Amenity kit by CrabTree & Evelyn

Do you know what TK's amenity kit policy is like. On HKG-IST (June) I received a Lanvin amenity kit, on IST-KUL (August) I received a Porsche Design amenity kit, and you received a 3rd type! Contents, however, were exactly the same.

-CXfist



From Norway, live in Australia
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6596 posts, RR: 55
Reply 6, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 16116 times:

Hi Jonas !

Very good to see you post a report again ! It's been too long!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
I opt for a glass of Champagne which served along with the starter tray.

Very impressive meal in Business for a intra-European flight ! (IST is on the European side of the Bosperous)

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
Since I have no interest in owning an iPad I left it onboard.

You should have took it anyway; somebody else might have wanted it that.

Your meal on IST-KUL looks like a First class meal on many carriers! Looks amazing!

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
Daniel and I had a great time in Singapore,

Good that you met up with him and very nice that he showed you around ! He's a very nice guy !

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
The place felt more like a bus terminal than an airport, and overall the experience was very underwhelming.

SAS domestic terminal at ARN looked similar to that in the 1970s before the current international terminal was inaugurated in 1976. Brings back memories from when I was a kid.

Great with a day trip to Kuching! It looks really nice !

KL looks nice too and it's been a long time since I've been there.

Meals on the way back look equally impressive as on the way out.

Thanks for a great report with great pictures !

Make sure to not wait too long to post your next report  ....

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineSR 103 From United States of America, joined Sep 2000, 1740 posts, RR: 39
Reply 7, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 15804 times:

Good trip report as always Jonas. Turkish has been an airline that has eluded me quite some time and I really do need to change that. Everyone keeps singing their praises, yourself included.

The meals definitely look fantastic, even on the shorter European ones. Shame you did not get to try out the new seats on the 777 or A330 as I would have liked to hear your opinion on them.


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 8, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 2 hours ago) and read 15712 times:

Nice report Jonas - look like you had some reasonable flights with TK. The food, as always, looks super.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
So I decided to spent the first four nights in Singapore, together with fellow a.netter and friend Daniel aka Initious. The remaining five nights were spent in Kuala Lumpur at the DoubleTree By Hilton which was booked with Hilton HHonors points from a friend who was kind enough to sell some of his.

Huh? How about some time at the beach? Malaysia has some gorgeous beaches. And rainforests too.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
A priority boarding call was made but none of the alleged premium pax seemed to move, so I made a move towards the podium myself. But just as I was about to hand over my boarding pass, I feel a hand grabbing my shoulder. I turn around to find a man in a suit furiously yelling ”-The line starts back there!” while holding his Economy Class BP right in front of my nose.

Oh dear. He obviously thought you didn;t look like a C pax. Not good that he grabbed you though.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
Entering the lounge at 18.30 was like entering the Stockholm Metro at rush hour, as an ocean of people were flooding through the self-entry gates, many without having their credentials checked. Once inside I found it very hard to find an empty seat, let alone get some quiet time as the lounge was pretty noisy. I saw at least a dozen people sleeping on the couches… The bathrooms were crowded, and I had to queue for fifteen minutes to use the toilet. Seeing people wash their feet in the communal faucet didn’t make things better.

i've heard that about that lounge - seems like it's very poorly managed. The old one was just plain wierd. That day room looked great though.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The leather seats which were comfortable enough for this two hour flight.

Those seats look great.



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User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1951 posts, RR: 24
Reply 9, posted (1 year 2 months 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 15518 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report on TK in Business Class!

Food looks incredible as always, and definitely by the looks of it TK is one of the best airlines out there in both Business and Economy. Thanks for sharing your trip with us! I'd love to try them sometime.

Matthew


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 10, posted (1 year 2 months 5 days 15 hours ago) and read 14816 times:

Hey guys thanks for your replies. I'm very glad you enjoyed the report!  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 2):
Jonas, lovely crisp, sharp photos, the way Business Class trip report pics should be!!  ...though they did fall to the standard of some Business Class trip reports on here with the ones you took with the phone!

Thank you for your kind words! I wasn't planning on doing any coverage on the return flight, but I figured a photo-op of the food couldn't be passed. Since I wasn't in the mood to dig out my camera from the overhead at half past midnight, the old 3Gs had to substitute for a camera.  
Quoting flightsimboy (Reply 2):
What camera and lenses do you use...

I still use my trusty D7000 and a 10-24m wide-angle lens. It's been around for a while now, but still serving me well.

Quoting TPAfan (Reply 3):
Great TR!! Business class on the connecting flights on TK, and then the long haul business, the nice hotels, and good lucking food in the cities, it must have been great! I enjoyed every bit of your report.

Thank you. It was by far one of the most enjoyable trips of the year.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 4):
I must say that the meals on TK look attractive. The presentation surpasses that of some other well-known airlines, the food being stylishly arranged rather than simply dumped on the plates.

Yes I recall TK being one of very few airlines that plate the food in Business Class. It's quite a contrast to airlines like BA who only serve a glorified Economy Class main course in Business.

Quoting AyostoLeon (Reply 4):
Good to learn that the standard of service on your flights was high as other trip reporters have commented unfavourably. Perhaps TK is seeking to address the unevenness. If so, that is welcome.

Turkish is a bit of a hit & miss. The majority of the crews aren't friendly at all, so I was really lucky to have been served by good crew members on all my flights. My TK Elite status may also have been to some contribution. For future flights I will continue to keep my expectations low.

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 5):
On my earlier HKG-IST flight (full), the onboard chef spent more time introducing himself, and all the menus had passenger names written on them, while the KUL flight, they just had the seat number and the whole service seemed more rushed.

Yes I did experience the same thing on both long haul segments. On the outbound they didn't bother writing my name nor seat number, and on the return only the seat number was written on the menu. I didn't experience the service to be very rushed, though they should perhaps offer an express dining option on overnight flights to passengers who would rather maximize their sleep.

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 5):
By the way, did your luggage arrive as one of the first bags at KUL?

I was traveling with hand luggage only (50cm Samsonite trolley case) so I can't comment on that. Though a friend of mine who flew them to GRU a few months ago, told me his bags came out dead last. I think the loaders in Istanbul do the mistake of loading the priority tagged bags first instead of last.

Quoting CXfirst (Reply 5):
Do you know what TK's amenity kit policy is like. On HKG-IST (June) I received a Lanvin amenity kit, on IST-KUL (August) I received a Porsche Design amenity kit, and you received a 3rd type! Contents, however, were exactly the same.

Not too sure what the contents were since I left the kit onboard without opening it. Though I was quite disappointed to receive a non-branded cheap kit on the flight back. There were no toiletries of any sort.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Very impressive meal in Business for a intra-European flight ! (IST is on the European side of the Bosperous)

Hejsan Lars! The food was indeed impressive, and I particularly enjoyed the attention to detail. I would say that they offer the best intra-European Business Class product.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
You should have took it anyway; somebody else might have wanted it that.

I did want to take it but sadly there was no space left in my bag. Of course little did I know at the time that Daniel was collecting the kits. If I had known, I would've asked the crew for an extra bag or such.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Your meal on IST-KUL looks like a First class meal on many carriers! Looks amazing!

The plating does indeed match what many airlines serve in First. In terms of presentation I would even say that they surpass BA in First, and I'm sure the quality of the food would too (though that might be hard to say when I haven't tried BA First).

Quoting The777Man (Reply 6):
Make sure to not wait too long to post your next report  ....

Hehe I've stopped covering short haul EU-flights, but my next TR worthy trip would be in January on the JAL B787. I'd might write up a report on that trip  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 7):
Good trip report as always Jonas. Turkish has been an airline that has eluded me quite some time and I really do need to change that. Everyone keeps singing their praises, yourself included.

Hey Anoosh, thanks for stopping by! Turkish are indeed a hit or miss. You either love them or hate them. I'd say they're a premium airline with the soul of a LCC. I guess their rapid expansion hasn't left them much time to train their staff properly, hence the incompetent customer service and rude staff. Though while they are far from perfect you should definitely give them a try. Just remember to keep the expectations low  
Quoting SR 103 (Reply 7):
Shame you did not get to try out the new seats on the 777 or A330 as I would have liked to hear your opinion on them.

I did actually try the new seats at the ITB 2013 convention in Berlin. They are the same seats that Ethiopian use on their B787 / B77L, except that they go fully flat. I did find the new seats a tad bit unresponsive, with fewer settings and a lounge mode that wasn't as comfortable as on the old seats. In all the old seats are more comfortable, except for when you put them in bed mode.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
Huh? How about some time at the beach? Malaysia has some gorgeous beaches. And rainforests too.

Hey Gabriel! I was thinking of taking a side trip to Tioman Island to log the Dash 7 but the schedules didn't suit well. Though I do regret that I didn't stay longer in Kuching since KL was such a boring city.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
Oh dear. He obviously thought you didn;t look like a C pax. Not good that he grabbed you though.

Yes I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts (I did put on some proper pants on the plane). But he could've at least noticed my luggage tag. But then again the turks have a tendency to be a bit pre-judgmental.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 8):
i've heard that about that lounge - seems like it's very poorly managed. The old one was just plain wierd. That day room looked great though.

It is a nice lounge indeed, but as you say it's managed very poorly. Quite a lot of people sneak in without having the right credentials. But also I'm not too happy about TK giving out access to credit card holders as the lounge is already over its capacity, and neither do I like the fact that the policemen use it as their beak room.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 9):
Great report on TK in Business Class!

Thank you Matthew, I'm glad you enjoyed!

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6596 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (1 year 2 months 5 days 6 hours ago) and read 14321 times:

Hi Jonas !

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
I would say that they offer the best intra-European Business Class product.

I would agree with that. I haven't tried that many airlines in Business in Europe but very nice to see TK having proper C/F seats rather than the standard Y seats with a seat blocked.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
Of course little did I know at the time that Daniel was collecting the kits. If I had known, I would've asked the crew for an extra bag or such.

Always bring the amenity kit with you; you will always find someone who will appreciate it.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 10):
Hehe I've stopped covering short haul EU-flights, but my next TR worthy trip would be in January on the JAL B787. I'd might write up a report on that trip  

Makes sense to concentrate on long haul reports.

The JAL 787 trip should be a great report!

Looking forward to more reports from you!

I'll go on a trip in about 3 weeks to try some more 777s. Reports to follow.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinecaleb1 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 364 posts, RR: 3
Reply 12, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 12 hours ago) and read 13749 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Just reading your report and seeing all of the fantastic meal options available on Turkish made me so full that I skipped dinner! Well done. Excellent report. I hope to fly Turkish one day from LAX.

User currently offlinedirectorguy From Egypt, joined Jul 2008, 1697 posts, RR: 11
Reply 13, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 13457 times:

Superb trip report! The pictures of Malaysia and SG are a great plus, great work   Look forward to reading more.

User currently offlineB738flyUIA From Kazakhstan, joined Dec 2009, 557 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 13357 times:

Hi Jonas

Wow - What a super TR and thanks for sharing your thoughts and photos. TK looks really a super product and sure one day a must try.

I almost had the same trip like you from last December to January. Was in SIN see the Laser Show, Merlio, for sure the Petronas Towers and Batu Caves (with about good 270 steps...)   KUL. Simply was also wonderful and should get down to do the TR. And from my trip there are 4'700 Pics&Vids...  
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
After a pleasant 9 day stay in South East Asia it was sadly time to go home.

I can imagine that Jonas... was also sad to leave the beauty of South East Asia behind me...

The City of SIN is simply amazing and has changed a lot. To see the Marina Bay Sands with own eyes is stunning. The size is just XXL only pity that there was not the time to take a swim on top. For sure another reason to go back there.

Cheers
Zolti.


User currently offlinebeowulf From Singapore, joined Jul 2003, 734 posts, RR: 14
Reply 15, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 6 hours ago) and read 13318 times:

Great report. Yes, the haze was pretty bad back in June.

User currently offlineEmek96 From Germany, joined Apr 2013, 92 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 2 months 4 days 4 hours ago) and read 13205 times:

Hey Jonas !

First of all nice report, and nice that you are ''back'' on anet again, I did read some of your reports in flyertalk, but here on anet, reading reports is much better in my mind.

Also all the pics are very nice, but you should use your fisheye lense more often, well it is a matter of taste but I just love those pics.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A few months ago Turkish Airlines posted a very attractive offer. For the equivalent price of an Economy Class ticket, you could fly from Warsaw to Kuala Lumpur return in Business Class.

I heard of many people about that, was it an offer of TK or just a fakefare or fueldump fare ??

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
This lounge was worlds away from the cramped and run down LOT Lounge.

Why do you think that the LOT lounge is cramped down? I've been there half a year ago, and it was empty and had nice offers.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
A priority boarding call was made but none of the alleged premium pax seemed to move, so I made a move towards the podium myself. But just as I was about to hand over my boarding pass, I feel a hand grabbing my shoulder. I turn around to find a man in a suit furiously yelling ”-The line starts back there!” while holding his Economy Class BP right in front of my nose. Just as I was about to fire back, I hear the gate agent asking ”-Business Class?” after which I leisurely board the plane. I gave the man the evil eye as he passed by on his way to seat 26D.

That happens to me on maybe 9 of 10 flights, I think you don't need to share such experiences, it might be recognized as arrogant by some readers  

The meal looks really great, other EU carriers could learn of it!

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):

Since its opening in the fall of 2011 this lounge has gotten tons of attention from people praising it as the best Business Class lounge in the world. I on the other hand was not very impressed about this place, but don’t get me wrong. It’s a beautiful lounge with nice decoration, very spacious and the food is sublime. However the lounge is incredibly crowded, which does not only extend to the peak hours but throughout the whole day.

Absolutely my opinion! I've been there in july and tought the same, it already begun at the entrance, there are I think 4 gates just like in the underground or train station, and the size of the lounge is absolutely not my taste, I preffer ''real'' lounges where you have the feeling to be in a lounge, here it was thousands of m² and hundret of people. My favourite lounge still is the SEN lounge in FRA in terminal B, because it has just the right size, apron views and good offers, I think you have been there few moths ago.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
How I love turning left at boarding…

I agree  

Great impressions of your stay in asia, espacially of Singapore. I think I should fly ,there sometime, but finding chaep fares to SIN can be difficult I think espacailly in premium classes.

Also Air asia looks much better than I would have expected, how much did you pay for your meal there?


Again, very nice report!
Thanks for sharing,

Elias


User currently offlineCaptainRed From Germany, joined Oct 2010, 698 posts, RR: 21
Reply 17, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 20 hours ago) and read 12755 times:

Hi Jonas,

nice to see another report from you, and a very interesting one it was with a lot of great pictures.

Good idea to take advantage of this offer by Turkish. Really good service it seems, the food they offered definitely looks delicious. Also great to include a side trip to Kuching on Borneo, quite an exotic destination.

Greetings
CaptainRed


User currently offlineMSS658 From Belgium, joined Oct 2010, 2474 posts, RR: 16
Reply 18, posted (1 year 2 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 12296 times:

Hej Jonas


Great to hear from you again.
TKs product looks nice, meals look suberb.
Quite impressed about the A321 seat. Beats such carriers like LH,LX,AF,... by miles.

Greetings
Marc



Next trip report: Well worn A330s and Hassle free MUC transfer
User currently offlinejwhite9185 From United Kingdom, joined May 2007, 1339 posts, RR: 12
Reply 19, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 12026 times:

Hi Jonas, great report with nice pictures as usual.

Interesting to see what TK C class is like, as I'm considering flying them to SIN next year. They look pretty good actually, especially on the Euro sector compared to the other European C classes.

Kuala Lumpur looks good too - I'm off there myself next month, only for two nights though! I think the hotel you stayed in is in the same area that I'm staying in.

Shame you didn't include any pics of Warsaw though, would be good to see it from your point of view!



A300,A319,A320,A321,A333,A343,A346,A388,732,733,734,735,738,741,742,744,752,763,772,77W,788,Q400,DC10,E145,E170,E175,E19
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 20, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 11533 times:

Hi Jonas,

great report with nice pictures! TK's J Class product looks fine as usual, with the catering being most impressive. Nice to see you got the A340 in Star Alliance colors. Which frame did you get on the KUL-IST sector?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
I turn around to find a man in a suit furiously yelling ”-The line starts back there!” while holding his Economy Class BP right in front of my nose. Just as I was about to fire back, I hear the gate agent asking ”-Business Class?” after which I leisurely board the plane. I gave the man the evil eye as he passed by on his way to seat 26D.

  

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
However the lounge is incredibly crowded, which does not only extend to the peak hours but throughout the whole day.

Just like the whole airport.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
The bathrooms were crowded, and I had to queue for fifteen minutes to use the toilet.

Haha, unbelievable that it even happens in the lounge.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
Seeing people wash their feet in the communal faucet didn’t make things better.

  

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
”-Don’t order meat on planes” has been a common mantra over the years which to a large extent has been true since the various steak dishes I’ve been serve have mostly resembled shoe rubbers.
Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Eggs served on planes are normally pretty bland and soggy, but I was surprised to find this scramble creamy and smooth.

I cannot confirm that, I even got many nice meat dishes in Y Class. The same can be said for eggs.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
I opted to try AirAsia’s signature Nasi Lemak. While it needed some re-heating, the dish was absolutely delicious!

Well done! I also tried that on my first AirAsia flight.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
To my great surprise I found out that a factory new A321 was operating this flight, which meant that the aircraft had proper recliner seats in Business Class and AVOD in all classes.

Very impressive cabins - but the lack of consistency is a problem. It's interesting to note that TK started again to introduce used A320s as well. Some of them fly for AnadoluJet, but several frames were painted in full TK colors. Would be interesting know which interior they have and where they fly to.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Once in the air, the chef came out to greet the passengers welcome and take meal and beverage orders.

Chefs on European flights? Sounds like a costly overkill to me.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
course consisting of chicken fillet, roast potatoes, red bell pepper and aubergine.

Now that looks like a Y Class meal. And TK is really obsessed with aubergine...

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
Overall the LCCs in Asia are completely different to those we have in Europe.

Some are different, but there are also "ultra low-cost LCCs" such as Lion Air and Cebu Pacific. I guess one general difference is that Asian crews tend to appear friendlier and more customer-orientated. That's a cultural thing.


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineknightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 21, posted (1 year 2 months 2 days 8 hours ago) and read 11450 times:

Hi Jonas

Interesting report on your Turkish Airlines experience. As you know, I'm not a fan of theirs and I don't think I ever will be, but I must say the food certainly looks rather delicious.

And I really like the pictures of Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, they look quite professional.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
After a surprisingly calm night sleeping in the terminal at Arlanda,

You actually slept in the terminal?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
Finding a clean shower was tricky as the one assigned had not been cleaned since the last patron, the toiletries were missing, and the whole shower room had a strong odour of urine.

Eugh, kind of puts BA's First Class shower situation in T5 into perspective!

Cheers,
William


User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1168 posts, RR: 12
Reply 22, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11136 times:
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Hi Jonas,

It's great to see a report from you again, that has sure been a long time!
Very nice report you made here on your Asian adventure provided with many nice and crisp pictures!
Overall TKs C class looks very impressive, all the food just look outstanding and delicious!   Great to hear the crew were good too, something you are never sure of when flying TK  
Nice to see you explore Singapore, KL and Kuching. You sure made some beautiful pictures of all 3 places  

Thanks for sharing and looking forward to your next report!

cheers,

Brendan


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 23, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 11115 times:

Hey guys thanks a lot for your replies, I'm glad you enjoyed the report!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
The JAL 787 trip should be a great report!

Yes, I look forward to catching the B787 one year later than originally planned. Also have some SQ and CX flight coming up on that trip which should be worth covering too.

Quoting caleb1 (Reply 12):
Just reading your report and seeing all of the fantastic meal options available on Turkish made me so full that I skipped dinner! Well done. Excellent report. I hope to fly Turkish one day from LAX.

Hehe so I guess it's true what they say. Looking at pictures of food can please your appetite   Anyways thanks for reading and I'm glad you enjoyed.

Quoting caleb1 (Reply 12):
Superb trip report! The pictures of Malaysia and SG are a great plus, great work   Look forward to reading more.

Thank you very much, appreciate it!

Quoting B738flyUIA (Reply 14):
. And from my trip there are 4'700 Pics&Vids...

Wow that's quite a lot more than I normally take. I think I made less than 200 pics on this trip.

Quoting B738flyUIA (Reply 14):
I can imagine that Jonas... was also sad to leave the beauty of South East Asia behind me...

Yes it's very easy to fall in love with Asia. I have absolutely enjoyed my previous trips to Shanghai and Tokyo, each city has its own charms and I can't wait to re-visit Tokyo again this winter.

Quoting B738flyUIA (Reply 14):
The size is just XXL only pity that there was not the time to take a swim on top. For sure another reason to go back there.

Yes the place is certainly huge. Though it's a bit overpriced seeing that you can get a night at the Four Seasons or any other proper luxury hotel for the same money. The rooftop pool does seem very cool though, and I suppose it should be a reason to stay there at least one night  
Quoting Emek96 (Reply 16):
Also all the pics are very nice, but you should use your fisheye lense more often, well it is a matter of taste but I just love those pics.

Hi Elias! Now when I have my 10-24 the fisheye has been sitting in its box for more than a year. But I guess I'd might use it again at some point since it does deliver some sharp images.

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 16):
I heard of many people about that, was it an offer of TK or just a fakefare or fueldump fare ??

I think it was an error fare where they had entered the base fare in PLN instead of €, hence the price.

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 16):
Why do you think that the LOT lounge is cramped down? I've been there half a year ago, and it was empty and had nice offers.

The lounge itself is rather narrow and lacking in views, which makes for a rather cramped impression. Also the area by the reception looks rather old. I did spend an hour there when flying back, and it was a nicer experience as the place was less crowded. Also their muffins are nice  
Quoting Emek96 (Reply 16):
My favourite lounge still is the SEN lounge in FRA in terminal B, because it has just the right size, apron views and good offers, I think you have been there few moths ago.

Yes I'd say that's also my favorite lounge. Great views, comfortable seating and the staffed bar which is really nice. Too bad LH are planning to take away access for *G to the SEN lounges by early next year  
Quoting Emek96 (Reply 16):
but finding chaep fares to SIN can be difficult I think espacailly in premium classes.

Yes SIN tends to be rather expensive due to the clientele that flies there. But BKK has plenty of cheap fares in Business Class, with both SWISS and Turkish offering tickets for less than €1300.

Quoting Emek96 (Reply 16):
Also Air asia looks much better than I would have expected, how much did you pay for your meal there?

I paid roughly €3,50 for the meal.

Quoting CaptainRed (Reply 17):
Good idea to take advantage of this offer by Turkish. Really good service it seems, the food they offered definitely looks delicious.

Hey CR! The food is definitely their strong point. The crew leaves some to be desired, but other than that it's a perfectly fine airline.

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 18):
Quite impressed about the A321 seat. Beats such carriers like LH,LX,AF,... by miles.

Hoi Marc. Yes those seats do certainly beat the Euro config found on most other airlines. Though for a 2hr flight it doesn't matter that much to me.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 19):
Kuala Lumpur looks good too - I'm off there myself next month, only for two nights though! I think the hotel you stayed in is in the same area that I'm staying in.

Hi James. Yes it's the same area as the Petronas towers I think, as they are just a 5 minute walk away from the hotel. Good to that you're just staying for two nights, as it will be more than enough to see the city.

Quoting jwhite9185 (Reply 19):
Shame you didn't include any pics of Warsaw though, would be good to see it from your point of view!

I have been there before, and I can't say I'm a big fan of the city. It's rather dull, poorly planned, and has few attractions. Due to an earlier incident I didn't feel very safe walking around with my camera there.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
Which frame did you get on the KUL-IST sector?

Hey PH, thanks for stopping by! I flew TC-JDM on the way back.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
Just like the whole airport.

Yes the airport is definitely running beyond its capacity.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
Haha, unbelievable that it even happens in the lounge.

The lounge has space for 2000 people, so the 8-ish toilet booths are certainly not enough to cater the lavatorial needs. The fact that 4 of them seemed to be closed down did not make things better, hence the wait.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
I cannot confirm that, I even got many nice meat dishes in Y Class. The same can be said for eggs.

Yes meat dishes can be nice if they are stews or minced. Though I suppose my reference frame on the steak department is rather slim at the moment.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
Very impressive cabins - but the lack of consistency is a problem. It's interesting to note that TK started again to introduce used A320s as well.

Yes they operate various different configurations, though around half of their A321s have this new interior. They do last minute aircraft swaps so it's quite difficult to know which seat you'll end up with.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 20):
Chefs on European flights? Sounds like a costly overkill to me.

Technically it's just a flight attendant dressed in a chefs uniform. I wouldn't call them overstaffed as the chef works in Business Class by himself, hence the same as e.g BA or LX who also have a dedicated crew member serving the front.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 21):
As you know, I'm not a fan of theirs and I don't think I ever will be, but I must say the food certainly looks rather delicious.

Hi William. They are an airline that you either love or hate. Though I'm a little curious to try OS on long haul as they also have Do&Co as their caterer.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 21):
You actually slept in the terminal?

Yes I slept in the terminal. I guess it's a concept not unheard of, and you actually see quite many people roughing it at the terminal at ARN, on late summer nights. I actually slept at the terminal in ZRH a few months earlier, and that wasn't experience wasn't as nice. Mainly because of the music playing loudly all night, which I guess is there to prevent people from sleeping.

Quoting knightsofmalta (Reply 21):
Eugh, kind of puts BA's First Class shower situation in T5 into perspective!

Well I suppose one has different expectations when it comes to First Class lounge shower facilities. Especially since BA and Cathay offer bathtubs in their lounges  
Quoting adamspotter (Reply 22):
It's great to see a report from you again, that has sure been a long time!
Very nice report you made here on your Asian adventure provided with many nice and crisp pictures!

Hoi Brendan. Thanks for stopping by, and I'm glad you enjoyed the report!

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 22):
Great to hear the crew were good too, something you are never sure of when flying TK

Yes I was very lucky with the crew as they tend to be rude most of the times, at least the women.

//Jonas

[Edited 2013-08-21 13:35:11]


SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinelukeyboy95 From United Kingdom, joined Apr 2008, 1096 posts, RR: 32
Reply 24, posted (1 year 2 months 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 11088 times:

Hi Jonas.

Excellent report and very high-quality photos and nice text. Well done.

It has been a while since I have spent a long time with one of your reports, and it has rather changed alot! You are not being so cheeky and controversial. I somewhat miss the disgruntled replies you used to get. This was alot more sensible.

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
For the equivalent price of an Economy Class ticket, you could fly from Warsaw to Kuala Lumpur return in Business Class.

Did you mention the exact fare? And any reason TK were running this promo? Did you post it on the TR Facebook Group?

Quoting LH4116 (Thread starter):
daytrip to Kuching on AirAsia was later booked for RM86.

Excellent deal. These normally go cheap.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
After a surprisingly calm night sleeping in the terminal at Arlanda

Nicely done! I could imagine Scandinavian airport sleeping is quite comfortable,

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
I feel a hand grabbing my shoulder.

I would have punched the bastard if he had put a finger on me. Acting well out of his authority.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
I gave the man the evil eye

I am sure he was quaking in his boots.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
However the lounge is incredibly crowded,

Well, in line with the airport as a whole. It's going to bite Tk in the bu if they do not manage that, as LHR did for BA for so long.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
As a passenger in Business Class I was entitled to escape the chaos in one of the dayrooms, where I managed to sleep of three hours of my seven hour layover.

The dayrooms are complimentary? Quite nice.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 1):
indicating a healthy load on tonight’s flight to the Malaysian capital.

Ah ha. Yeah, do they codeshare with MH? I took the MH IST-KUL which leaves at an easier afternoon time.


So, overall, excellent service at excellent fares. Really enjoyed the report, and the food looked very high quality indeed.

Rgds

Luke



Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1744 posts, RR: 30
Reply 25, posted (1 year 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 10510 times:
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Hej LH4116,

I was pleasantly surprised to find another report of you, welcome back   It seems you have lost some of your cheeky tongue and attitude, let that be a good or a bad thing lol! Apart from that you managed to produce a high quality piece - written and pictured - covering your travels on Turkish ‘at the pointy end’ of the plane. We all come to know about Turkish’ very good catering and it shows also here in your reports. It’s good to see that also the service and cabin left little to be desired. Also it seems that low cost doesn’t have to be ‘at all cost’ as illustrated by the good flight you had on AirAsia.

Nice as well to see you escape for the day to Sarawak, a region that definitely merits more than a 4h visit, I can testify to that  

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 26, posted (1 year 1 month 4 weeks 1 day ago) and read 9901 times:

Hey guys!

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
Excellent report and very high-quality photos and nice text. Well done.

Thank you Luke, and I appreciate you taking the time to stop by  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
You are not being so cheeky and controversial. I somewhat miss the disgruntled replies you used to get. This was alot more sensible.
Quoting Sultanils (Reply 25):
It seems you have lost some of your cheeky tongue and attitude, let that be a good or a bad thing lol!

Well it seemed to make some people upset, so I stopped with that.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
Did you mention the exact fare? And any reason TK were running this promo? Did you post it on the TR Facebook Group?

Well the fare was around the same as an Economy Class ticket in the lower fare buckets. It was a currency conversion error and the fare was gone after a day or so. I got the tip from the FlyingFinn, so I assumed he had posted about it in the a.net group as I left it about a year ago.

Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
The dayrooms are complimentary? Quite nice.

Yes they are available for Miles&Smiles Elite Plus and Business Class passengers on layovers between 4 and 7 hours. But if you have a 8 (for Business) or 10 hour layover in Istanbul they will provide you with a free hotel, given there are no flights to your destination in that time. It's quite a generous service that isn't heavily advertised  
Quoting lukeyboy95 (Reply 24):
Ah ha. Yeah, do they codeshare with MH? I took the MH IST-KUL which leaves at an easier afternoon time.

They do codeshare indeed. Would've been nice to try MH since I've heard a lot of good things about their product, but I opted to stick with TK since I wanted the miles.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 25):
I was pleasantly surprised to find another report of you, welcome back

Hoi Nils, thanks for stopping by!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 25):
It’s good to see that also the service and cabin left little to be desired.

Yes while the service was nowhere near as good as SWISS or Ethiopian for that matter, my expectations regarding Turkish were kept rather low, hence me being pleasantly surprised when these expectations came to be exceeded.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 25):
Nice as well to see you escape for the day to Sarawak, a region that definitely merits more than a 4h visit, I can testify to that

Yes indeed, the place was indeed lovely and it felt rather sad to leave after such a short time. If I hadn't booked my hotel in KL already I would've definitely considered spending three nights there. Oh well maybe I'll do a side trip to Kuching, next time I visit the land of the Singaporeans.

Cheers!



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
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