Had an interesting time with TK
over the past two weeks.
in Comfort: the load looked to be around 65-70%. A few empty seats, particularly towards the back of the cabin. J looked even emptier. Y looked packed - must have been running over 90%. The seats are showing wear and tear (the padding of the seat bottom was wearing thin). Catering was excellent - no discernible change in quality since my first Y+ flight exactly a year ago. WiFi on board was excellent - it worked everytime I tried. Live TV
was a little dodgy - it stuttered a lot.
On transit in IST
, went to a smaller security point (2 machines) - no priority lane there.
in Comfort: Y was pretty full - only counted one or two empty seats, J looked to be somewhere between 40% and 50%. Y+ looked like a healthy 80% + - must have been around 6 - 8 empty seats. Y+ seems very popular with Europeans, Turks and Iranians. Again, top notch catering, WiFi and IFE worked without a hitch, and all in all an excellent flight, but the wear and tear was more obvious here - the plug point had no cover, which made it hard to charge (it was working, but the slightest movement could dislodge the plug).
Also had the VERY unfortunate experience of flying IST
. The combination of being a TK
E and a one-stop *A flight made TK
my obvious choice, but if I were to judge my experience on that flight alone, I would choose 9W
2 stop in a heartbeat. Poor ground handling - flight delayed by 1 hour, but ground staff kept in the dark and all displays showed on-time departure. Poor souls had to deal with some very irate pax. Personally, I would have preferred to stay in the lounge than sit at the 300 gate level. Boarding was a mess - they really should assign more staff to certain flights, particularly those going to South Asia. No priority boarding for TK
E+/E/*G announced. Quietly inquired about it midway through the board process and was escorted past the line by a poor lady who looked like she was about to cry. Should point out that boarding in IST
was a mess even for IST
. No priority boarding announced (just one quick announcement of Group A), and it rapidly turned into a free for all.
The Meridiana 332 was, quite simply, atrocious in Y. It was simply appalling. There was no legroom to speak off, and while the generous recline was somewhat helpful, the absence of IFE was quite jarring for a flight this length. In half a mind to send TK
a very irritated letter about how inconsistent their product was. The bright spots - excellent catering and I finally got my hands on the pencil case amenity kit. Love it.
This was redeemed somewhat by an excellent experience in a 333 on the return leg. The slide forward mechanism was a bit odd. TK
's Y breakfast (the cheese pastry with the spinach and the grilled cheese sandwich) is undoubtedly my favorite airline breakfast by a country mile. Got a more basic amenity kit - no box.
Pleased to note that the cabin crew are looking less flustered these days - lots of service with a smile. The lounge in IST
was brilliant as always, though it does seem to get a little too crowded at times. Some lounge users might benefit from some lessons in etiquette - the greed on display when that delciious Pide was available was a bit baffling. The concierge I encountered on both legs was very pleasant on the eyes.
All in all, apart from the Meridiana experience and the boarding in IST
, everything was top notch - no discernible deterioration in the quality of service (wear and tear notwithstanding) and the crew seem to have stepped up their game. Security in IST
was pretty fast too. Was with non-*G travel companions, so didn't try to use the priority security lane (there seemed to be one), but security took less than 5 min. Hope they keep comfort class on this route once the new non-Y+ 777s are inducted.