I got to the airport at 5:20 am, which turned out to be a very wise decision. DL went completely kiosks, except paper tickets and international trips. A global airline like this should have more crew for international passengers that were plenty. It took me a good hour and half to get to the check in. There simply were too few people to handle all the international and paper tickets.
Suspecting that the aircraft was full i asked the agent if i could get a better seat. She said she could give me the exit row. I knew that the seats won't recline but given the choice between a legroom with no recline and the no legroom with 5 inches of recline i decided to get the exit row. I was originally assigned 32F, so i got 26F instead.
After the check-in i thought i was home free, but the lines for A checkpoint were extremely long. It took another half an hour to go through the security. By the time i got to my gate, A13 they were already boarding.
I had planned to use this time to charge the battery of my digital camera, but as they were boarding i had no time left. So, you will not get any pictures, unfortunately.
When i got to the aircraft there was a nice surprise waiting for me; well, series of surprises actually. I had the middle seat empty, huge amount of legroom and PTVs. Looked like this was a former Song aircraft but with new DL colors.
We pushed back on time (by DOT standards) at 7:58 am. Took off runway 16L and turned left over Enumclaw.
The flight attendants started their service about 30-40 minutes after the take off. The frills were pathetic for 5 hour block flight. Snack mix which included a cracker, tiny cheese spread and a granola bar. I got my usual drink of sparkling water as a drink.
4:33 scheduled flight passed very fast with two movies i purchased. One was a mistake with Jennifer Aniston and Vince Vaughn, but the other one was a movie with Vin Diesel about a gangster who defended himself. I don't remember the titles.. but they made the time ...fly
45 minutes before arrival flight attendants came for one more round of snacks and drinks. I got a Biscoff cookie which felt pretty tasty as the snack mix was the only breakfast and lunch i had.
We approached NY area from the north. The weather was low overcast so nothing was visible as far the sightseeing is concerned. Following the progress of the flight through the PTV helped with situational awareness. We flew west of Hudson to south and turned east and then by another turn to north. By the time we completed our turn we were under the overcast layer and we did a parallel approach to runway 31L.
At the roll out i could see the Turkish A330 which was my next ride. It was amazing to get this lucky to get a brand new bird in my first Turkish long haul flight in 7 years.
Even though the service was non-existent in DL flight (they should offer buy on board) I was totally impressed with large, comfortable leather seats with PTV. The crew kept a smiling face, kept us hydrated and did a good job. I think is a shame that the airline travel is not like this anymore. Obviously this DL flight was an exception.
TK2 JFK-IST 5:30 pm departure
5,020 miles 9:50 hrs of scheduled time.
Terminal 1, Gate 3
In 7 years that i haven't from/to US in THY things haven't changed a bit. The check-in is done by the same ground handling crew that serves Alitalia/Korean and the Turkish crew lack the English skills. One thing that i noticed was the regular stampede called boarding didn't change.
There was one Turkish guy trying to handle the boarding by row numbers (22 to 35 first and the rest as the second group). The problem is, there were two groups on the boarding passes, which was printed there for nothing. Turkish pax was so eager to get on that once a guy saw a lady to walk up to the counter, he followed her, and 50 more people lined up after him. This was 15 minutes before the scheduled boarding time.
None of the local crew made an announcement about boarding. The Turkish guy made the Turkish announcement very low and half of it was not understandable, the announcement in English was “numbers 22 to 35” with a thick accent.. As I have mentioned before, Turkish needs to work on the professionalism of their ground and flight crews if they really want to be a global player.
I waited to be the last to board, to avoid the stampede. This was a good decision as well; i got to my seat in few seconds. I was really excited to be in this aircraft, the flagship of the long haul fleet.
As soon as i sat down, i was disappointed by the choice of seats. They are extremely hard. They are cloth... Somebody has to explain to me why on earth Turkish ordered leather seats for their A320 family and they 737s but they kept the cloth seats for the long haul fleet? The foot rests under the seat in front of me don't do anything for me either..
I decided to explore the PTV as soon as settled. It had a lot of things in it, like live cameras in front and at the back of the plane, games which you can play with some seat mates; lots of movie choices.
To my luck, the movies were all disabled. The problem was shared with some other people around my seats. The flight attendant tried to reset my PTV several times; but nothing changed. So i decided to play some games, backgammon, blackjack, chess.
We used the regular 31L departure. I was under the impression that we were going to make a left downwind climbing turn towards the NE (I think there is a departure procedure for that)
Flight attendants came around for a drink order and a small bag of hazelnut. Turkey, being one of the biggest producers of hazelnuts in Turkey considers it a natural and national snack. (Aganigi maganigi for our Turkish friends) The big culture of dried fruits and snacks showed in this service too. I really like snacking on some hazelnuts and pistachios while i am having a drink. I got Kavaklidere white wine as a drink.
The dinner was served about half an hour after the drink service. The usual 'chicken or pasta' choice. I went for chicken and ordered nice chilled white Kavaklidere wine (being homesick for some Central Anatolia grapes ). The side items were plenty, small in size but to give you a nice taste of good stuff : a salmon “cocktail” as they called it wrapped with a little artichoke heart, chocolate cake for desert, a heated bun with butter, Eti Form wheat thins, small salad with olive oil/lemon dressing and of course Kavaklidere white wine.
The chicken was ok, the rice side was dry and the carrot side items were fine considering this was an airline food. Quantity and quality of the food was close or even better than some business class food served in some other us airlines, except United. Considering that i was flying coach I was quite happy with the food service.
I slept about an hour after dinner. I really didn't feel that comfortable despite the nice legroom. It is amazing how lack of in flight entertainment made so much of a difference. I had some CDs of a Turkish stand-up guy with me. My laptop came in really handy as i watched that show for about and hour and half. More backgammon and blackjack and some more games later the sun started to rise on our nose. I turned the front camera on and took the following picture.
Passed Hungary the breakfast was served. Nice and tasty fruit plate, fresh dinner bun, butter, triangle cream cheese, cherry preserves and the main dish was something in the middle which i wasn't sure what it was (some egg product?), potatoes, two mushrooms, a single cherry tomato. I took a bite from that 'thing' and decided not to eat it. The fruit plate was yummy, juicy and fresh. This time i decided to get a cup of coffee,waking up with another Kavaklidere wouldn't be that nice
We crossed eastern coast of Bulgaria and started our decent for Ataturk Airport. We flew south passed the airport and made a 180 degree turn towards the runway. A smooth landing was photographed by yours truly Took a high speed taxiway and crossed 36R. While crossing i noticed that there was a single hold short line on the taxiway, not two as it's required for both directions.
I was really shocked not to see a single passenger get up as soon as the wheel touched down. This is one of my biggest pet peeves in Turkish pax. Kudos to all the pax. We pulled in to a gate close to the charred cargo terminal. Getting off the plane was quick and painless. After a short walk through passport control i was in a taxi to go home (the other home besides the one in US) to see mom and taste her home cooking..
Negative Impressions of THY:
- The only two times i saw a smiling face was when the head flight attendant was greeting people on and off the plane. The known fact is THY crews don't smile. Not even once.. As a matter of fact if you are on the way of a THY flight attendant like i was when she was serving the girl next to me, you will hear “PARDON ME!!!” which can translate into 'get out of my way'. For a country that thrives on its hospitality, THY F/As need to put on more smile and less make up
- The boarding in JFK has been a mess since my first flight on TK in 1993. Being state owned, THY simply doesn't care..
- The in flight entertainment needs to be looked at. I think there were some issue related to this when A330s were supposed to be delivered.
THY is the flagship of inconsistency. We beat the dead horse on the A320/B737 order mix, but why on earth they would order leather seats for the new aircraft on short haul but order cloth seats for long haul, beats me..
- Maybe it was defective system, but i was not able to listen to radio channels and watch the progress of the flight at the same time on the screen.
Positive Impressions of THY:
- Nice aircraft with very good legroom on coach. I didn't measure it but i think i head 33 if not 34 inches on coach.
- Good food, plenty of food at coach.
- Good choice of in flight entertainment even though i never had a chance to taste it. The fact you can play games with other people on the aircraft is amazing.
- I don't know if it's an Airbus or THY thing but flood lights in the aircraft were perfect. The night lighting is great, combination of pink, blue, turquoise, was pretty neat..
- The North American flights are known for delays but the flight left only 10 minutes late and arrived 25 minutes ahead of schedule.
- Really nice looking interiors.
Thereandback From Turkey, joined Aug 2005, 699 posts, RR: 4 Reply 1, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 14906 times:
You only posted six pictures but they are all really good pictures.
If you have any more pictures I would really like to see them.
This summer I flew TK from JFK - IST twice and I didn't get on the A330. I was booked on IST - MUC but cancelled 2 hours before departure because I got sick and I checked and it was an A330 I missed. So yeah, you are very lucky.
Quoting Bahadir (Thread starter): Somebody has to explain to me why on earth Turkish ordered leather seats for their A320 family and they 737s but they kept the cloth seats for the long haul fleet? The foot rests under the seat in front of me don't do anything for me either..
Most airlines have cloth seats in their long haul aircraft I'm not surprised they went with leather for domestic and cloth for long haul. The leather seats on the 737's are really soft and comfortable I hope you get to try them out someday.
If you read my trip report posted a while ago our breakfasts will look VERY similar.
Quoting Bahadir (Thread starter): One thing that i noticed was the regular stampede called boarding didn't change.
They really need to start boarding in order of business class only then families with young children which usually means every other person and then by row in Y class it and if they spoke clearer it would help too.
Do you think TK's safety video is too long?
Thanks for posting this trip report it was really really great!
TK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4268 posts, RR: 13 Reply 2, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 14894 times:
Thanks for the report, how lucky to get the 332 on the route.
-That salmon artichoke thing is great, but the menu hasn't changed for 4 years?
Couple of things I disagree with you:
-The loading procedure isn't that bad. All you have to do is sit at the bar right across the gate, and enjoy the show, and get onboard last. That simple. Turks line up and get on the plane like nobody elses business in less than 10 mins. Always amazing to watch.
-PTVs are always a pain in the butt. Recently I flew KLM, AF, OS in their flagships 773s, 332s, and they all have the same problems. Some sections on the plane don't work, controls don't work, headphones cut out.
I thought 332s have weight restrictions west bound on the route. Is this only in summer time? Can we expect to see more 332s on this route?
Bahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1732 posts, RR: 11 Reply 4, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 14863 times:
I had 20 minutes or so to charge my camera, so not that many pictures. I was already dark as we left and I was getting ready to jump off the plane (not literally) to head home. Besides, you cannot take good pictures from arrivals. Another factor that played against me taking more pictures that i didn't have an window seat.
I think in the lower temperatures the airline is able to dispatch them to JFK, especially if you have less cargo than usual. If you check the cargo schedule on the THY's website you will see that they are sending 332s to JFK 2-3 times for next week or two. My return flight is scheduled as 343 though..
I don't care about the bar on the gate area.. a global airline has to get its act together for lack of customer service skills... They may be efficient, and they are, but a smile goes a long way...Then again, English is always an issue.. I think they are also trying to avoid conversations with pax due to lack of foreign language skills..
I agree with you on PTVs.. United had issues with them when they first came out as well..
Bahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1732 posts, RR: 11 Reply 7, posted (7 years 2 weeks 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 14832 times:
ThereandBack , i will post another trip report for sure for the return. I am not a big fan of window seats on 10 hr long flights. It's a major hassle to get in and out. I will try to get an aisle on the sides..
I was really impressed to see JFK-IST flight that packed. The C was completely sold out as well. I think we will need 10-14 weekly flights in summer but i think the airline is doing fine. A lot of the Turkish people were originating from JFK it looked like. On the other hand i think a IST-IAD-IST flight is long due and we can see that happen soon with the pending Star Alliance.
What would be really nice to see a UAL 744 to do IAD-IST-KWI-IST-IAD or have them do IAD-IST-KWI-IAD and IAD-KWI-IST-IAD..
TurkishWings From United States of America, joined May 2006, 1430 posts, RR: 9 Reply 8, posted (7 years 2 weeks 2 days 22 hours ago) and read 14649 times:
Thanks for the report.. It reminds me of another TK report recently posted here
I agree with you that the crew should really have to change their attitude.. They are doing their job well but nothing more... I always get their smiles because many of them still recognize me. Even if they don't, after I introduce myself to them, I become a VIP pax
Are you sure the seats were cloth? I spent 9 hours on that plane thinking they were leather.... Even if they are not, it must be a very special fabric.. It certainly is 100% different than the seats on the 340.
I personally loved my flight on the 330 BUT I think TK has the worst headphones among all airlines They are just impossible to put together.... What do you think?
Cgnnrw From Germany, joined May 2005, 1118 posts, RR: 2 Reply 11, posted (7 years 2 weeks 2 days 9 hours ago) and read 14142 times:
Nice report. One thing that impresses me is the size of the PTVs. They look huge! I've flown AF A330s quite a lot and I don't think their's are as big. Too bad you couldn't enjoy any movies during the flight.
One other note...not too keen on the color of the seat fabric. Way too much turqoise or aquamarine or whatevr TK calls it.
Bahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1732 posts, RR: 11 Reply 12, posted (7 years 2 weeks 2 days 7 hours ago) and read 14029 times:
i am amazed how big the new screens are. I think this size will become a standard in the aircraft now.
As far as the interior colors of TK, I hated them until i saw them personally. The infamous 737-800 interior picture looks too bright for my taste. The same thing goes for the new interiors of A330s.
When you step on the aircraft, it's a different ball game. I had a chance to fly IST-ESB last June on a brand new 737 and both of these aircraft have interiors that look awekward on the pictures. When you are inside is not such an eye sore.
N503JB From Hong Kong, joined May 2000, 300 posts, RR: 2 Reply 13, posted (7 years 2 weeks 1 day 23 hours ago) and read 13801 times:
Very nice and enjoyable report.
I do agree with you on some of the points, the cabin crew doing their job just very standard and without extra to the passenger. This is the fact that they has to improve.
I flown CCLS IST-BKK TC-JNA in Sep 06. The seat were comfort but too thin if compare with the old A340 CCLS seat. I slept all the way until 45 mins before arrival BKK without having any meal, I requested a cup of coffee but the crew didn't return to me at all with the coffee.
AY104 From Canada, joined Nov 2005, 505 posts, RR: 7 Reply 15, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 12661 times:
Great trip report!
Not surprised to hear about the lack of staff at DL counters in SEA. This seems to be a concern with many DL passengers in these forums.
I worked at YVR for DL for many years, until 1998 when they pulled out of YVR. The last few summers there were very grim indeed, especially for a so-called full service carrier like DL. Our lack of staff in those last years was at best very embarrassing. Incredible delays in the AM, especially the 757 flights to CVG and SFO. Every day, especially CVG, we would have hundreds of passengers who would miss their connections, because of delays due to lack of checkin staff. I took our nonstop flight to ATL one time, about 5 hours, and was appalled by the service, or lack of, and the hideous meal that we were served. It was almost a relief to me when DL pulled out of YVR in 1998, and I decided to start a totally new career. The last 3 years of working for DL made me totally lose faith in the carrier. I am sure that they were overall no worse than most American carriers, except perhaps Continental and Southwest, and it is so sad to see that a carrier like Delta that once had a reputation for the finest service choose to take the road of mediocrity.
Very interesting trip report, and Thank You.
The only thing a customer should expect for his/her loyalty is good service
PlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6498 posts, RR: 78 Reply 16, posted (6 years 11 months 1 week 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 12608 times:
Very interesting report and good pictures. Nice to see THY follows the trend for larger PTV screens.
Quoting Bahadir (Thread starter): As soon as i sat down, i was disappointed by the choice of seats. They are extremely hard. They are cloth... Somebody has to explain to me why on earth Turkish ordered leather seats for their A320 family and they 737s but they kept the cloth seats for the long haul fleet?
Cloth seats in longhaul Economy are very common - I'm not aware of any airline using leather in Y on longhaul.
Quoting Bahadir (Thread starter): - The in flight entertainment needs to be looked at. I think there were some issue related to this when A330s were supposed to be delivered.
Quoting Bahadir (Thread starter): Maybe it was defective system, but i was not able to listen to radio channels and watch the progress of the flight at the same time on the screen.
Of course that's disappointing - but issues with complex IFE systems are not exceptional, unfortunately. Sometimes it's just bad luck with a particular seat.
Quoting Bahadir (Reply 12): As far as the interior colors of TK, I hated them until i saw them personally. The infamous 737-800 interior picture looks too bright for my taste. The same thing goes for the new interiors of A330s.
I find the color quite attractive - similar to SriLankan.
Bahadir From United States of America, joined Oct 2001, 1732 posts, RR: 11 Reply 19, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 12035 times:
Quoting ETStar (Reply 17): Looking at the pics, all I could think of was Pepto Bismol!
Believe me the pictures are deceiving. I would like you to see them in person, they are not that bad.. I didn't write a trip report for the trip back but it was amazing how clean and neat the interior of 340 was even though it was 13 years old.
Airnewzealand From New Zealand, joined Oct 2000, 2538 posts, RR: 6 Reply 21, posted (6 years 11 months 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 11958 times:
The reason for cloth is beacause your body/chair can breath. Imagine sitting on a leather seat for 7+ hours.
Its a different story in J/c and PC as they can choose different positions and lie down etc etc...