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Fly-K
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Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Tue Oct 02, 2001 5:43 pm

Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

September 16, 2001 Frankfurt-Istanbul Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-8F2 TC-JFN “Bitlis”

Scheduled as an A310, this service was actually operated by a B737-800, so the Economy cabin was rather full, but I had chosen Business Class, and here only 3 from the 20 seats were occupied. Unlike most other European carriers, which have no special or just convertible seats in Business Class on intra-European flights, Turkish has a very comfortable 2-2 configuration with tastefully decorated seats. I was seated in 1A and could enjoy the view from 2 windows. Before departure, a welcome drink (orange juice, wine or champagne) was offered by the very friendly flight attendant. I later found the whole crew to be very friendly, displaying typical Turkish hospitality and defying the old “THY – They Hate You” image. English language skills of both cabin and cockpit crew also seemed to be sufficient. Shortly after takeoff (the inflight entertainment system only displayed the AirShow map, the installed audio system was not used), the menu card was handed out, and appetizers served. A choice of three meals was offered for the main course, all sounded good, but were rather European cuisine than Turkish, perhaps due to the fact that this was an inbound flight with catering from FRA. Nevertheless, the meal quality was high and also the visual presentation (design of the plate) pleasing. This was my first flight in the –800, and I appreciated the new interior, although in my opinion, it doesn’t make up for the more spacious A320 cabin. The cabin is relatively quiet in the first row, and I didn’t notice as many strange noises as on the Airbus. After a flight time of 2.5 hours we descended over the Black Sea, down the Bosphorus and a very scenic approach with the center of Istanbul at my window. After landing on runway 24, the shorter cross runway, we taxied to the new international terminal and arrived on time. I didn’t notice too many interesting aircraft, one TK A340, Moldavian Saab 340, several aircraft of the various Turkish charter carriers, a Balkan AN26 and World MD-11, which probably exchanged cruise ship passengers as a huge cruise liner was in town, so I went right through immigration and left the airport.

After ten days in and around Istanbul, it was time to return home. I didn’t attempt to do any spotting around the airport – all along the perimeter there are watchtowers with armed guards at 1,000 ft intervals – talk about a fortress airport! So for my return flight, I passed the first security checkpoint at the entrance doors and went straight into the terminal building, which is very large, modern and nice, with the adjacent old terminal now used for domestic flights only. After passing the airy checkin hall, you enter the passenger area through a large shopping and eating mall, before reaching the long linear concourse, which provides an excellent view over the apron in both main directions. I was hesistant at first, but after a few first attempts with my camera, I found that nobody intervened, so I continued taking photos, of course putting the camera back in my bag in between and trying not to act too obviously. However, I don’t know what the official rules regarding photography are, so keep this in mind. Highlights included a Tretyakovo IL62, Vaso IL86 in Transaero colors, KMV TU 134, Vnukovo TU 154 (which apparently broke down, as all passengers had to leave the aircraft again), Transjet MD80 in Air Liberté colors, Air Algerie 734 with Pegasus tails and various Turkish carriers. To the far North, I made out Top Air’s 727s plus two other ones I couldn’t identify, all of which seemed to be stored. MNG was active with its cargo A300s, and some more Russian aircraft were parked on the far stands. All major European carriers were present with mostly their largest equipment (BA 763, IB 757, AF 321, SR 321, SN 321, KLM 738 etc), intercontinental guests included a CX 343 and Malaysia 777.

September 26, 2001 Istanbul-Frankfurt Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-8F2 TC-JFF “Afyon”

My return flight was in Economy Class, which was about two thirds occupied, again with few passengers in Business. I was seated in 12A which was at the Emergency Exit; more legroom but no real armrest and no recline. Takeoff was on the long runway 36 to the North, a parallel runway is under construction – with the new terminal and three runways IST seems well placed for a growing role as a European gateway. Not much to see after takeoff, a left turn into the clouds, and cloud cover all 2.5 hours to FRA. I found the service in Economy class to be very acceptable too, three times drink services, hot meal services with a choice between beef and pasta (even though the food itself was a bit lacklustre, again not really Turkish stuff), and hot towels before arrival. Passengers were a colorful mix of Turks living in Germany, some Turkish businessmen and German tourists. All in all a very good trip and high marks for Turkish Airlines which can easily match its European competitors and probably excel over most Southern European airlines.

Marks
On-Time 5/5
Aircraft and cabin appearance 5/5
Crew 5/5
Meals (choice, presentation, quality) 4/5
Inflight Entertainment 3/5
TOTAL 22/25

Some photos to follow (currently in the upload queue)!

Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
Ikarus
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Tue Oct 02, 2001 6:26 pm

Nice report. Glad to know I'm not the only one who has no idea what all those strange noises in an A320 are about...

Regards

Ikarus
 
swiss-airplane
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Wed Oct 03, 2001 1:35 am

Great trip report. Looks really like that Turkish airlines is a very good airline. I have never flown on a Boeing 737-800 but I would love to do it soon. I love Boeing airplanes very much. This year I was in Turkey as well for leisure holidays. I found Turkish people very friendly, I like this country very much.
Greetings
Mike
 
zizou
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Wed Oct 03, 2001 7:48 am

Nice trip report. How did you find Istanbul? and Turkey in general?
 
Guest

RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Wed Oct 03, 2001 1:19 pm

very nice... TK are way underrated for what they really deliver... Istanbul is a fantastic place too, bet you enjoyed it... You're right about the fortress airport, not too many god spotting places. But there is a highway that passes right behing the southern threshold of the longer runway, good spot if you can find a place to stop your car...
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Wed Oct 03, 2001 9:45 pm

Thanks for all the nice comments.
Yes, Istanbul is a great city, one of the most beautiful and spectacular I've seen.
Thanks for the tip with the highway, I might check it out (carefully) next time.

Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
Sabena332
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Thu Oct 04, 2001 12:40 am

Hello Konstantin,

thanks for the report, looks like TK is a very good airline. All my (turkish) friends told me : "use a german airline when you fly to Turkey", but now i change my opinion.

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
ren41
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Thu Oct 04, 2001 4:31 am

Hey Konstantin,
I visited Istanbul in July and flew with BA(763- Animals in Trees c/s). Isn't that a great airport! It's so clean and there was no one there! BTW, I went on that huge cruise ship you mentioned! (Golden Princess)

--Ren41--
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Thu Oct 04, 2001 5:20 am

Patrick, I think what your friends are saying relates to the Turkish charter carriers, although I've flown Onur Air a couple of years ago and found them OK. Also Sunn Express and Atlas have a good rep.

Ren41, agree with you on the airport. One of the nicest I've seen.

Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
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Fly-K
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Fri Oct 05, 2001 11:13 pm

OK, here are some pics from my trip now:


Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Click for large version
Click here for full size photo!

Photo © Konstantin von Wedelstaedt



Enjoy,
Konstantin
Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been...
 
Sabena332
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Sat Oct 06, 2001 3:12 am

Hello Konstantin !

Thanks for posting the pic`s !

Patrick

PS: Yes, you are right, all of my turkish friends have flown with charter airlines, never with TK.
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
MEA-707
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RE: Trip Report TK 738 FRA-IST-FRA

Sat Oct 06, 2001 11:33 am

Another nice place to spot is on the beach, walkable from Yesilköy (where there is a nice airplane museum), if the planes approach from over the sea. I was there for a day and spotted many interesting AC. As long as you are not seen by the watchtowers...
I was in Istanbul twice. Came with Air Alfa in 1995 and Istanbul airlines in 1999. The last one was very decent, that's all I want to tell about it.
nobody has ever died from hard work, but why take the risk?

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