jeffrysky
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:56 pm

Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 1:57 am

Hi all this is my first ever trip report on this forum. I noticed there aren't many trip reports for Turkish Airlines, so I will be glad to provide one here for referral. I was travelling to Tunisia for a 2 week break, and Turkish provided the fastest and most economical connection into Tunis. I would just describe my experiences on the SIN-IST sectors first ..

18th Dec 2004
Turkish Airlines TK 061
Operated by : A340-311 TC-JDK "Isparta"
Route : Singapore Changi - Bangkok Don Muang -Istanbul Ataturk Intl.
ETD : 2225 hrs

"Aydin" Turkish Airlines .. didn't manage to capture a shot of "Isparta"

It was a calm Saturday evening, as my Toyota rolled to a gentle halt in front of Departure Hall Entrance 4 of Singapore Changi Airport Terminal 1. The time was 2025 hrs, exactly 2 hrs before the ETD of Turkish Airlines TK 061. Changi was really crowded tonight , with the festive season just round the corner and the onslaught of budget airlines offering dirt-cheap regional flights for the past week.

The check-in row for TK 061 was Row 10, together with Scandinavian SK972 to Copenhagen. Our travel agent had advised us to promptly check in 2 hrs before our flight, as the Turkish Airlines Singapore airport manager was known to be pretty strict and hard on late-comers.


The counters were all nicely lit with Christmas hollies and candles. The check-in agent told me the sector from Bangkok to Istanbul was overbooked, but she said since we checked in rather promptly, it was still possible to get window seats. Indeed, she did manage to , and my allocated seat was 32K. Strangely, none of the counters had Turkish Airlines baggage tags. She checked in all of our bags straight to Tunis, and pointed out our gate number C22 on the boarding pass.


After sailing through immigration and lingering around the departure lounge of Changi, Turkish Airlines announced a boarding announcement for all passengers to Bangkok and Istanbul. "Last Call" flashed for TK 061 on the inflight information screens.

I hastened my pace towards C22, and tried to avoid getting trampled upon by the herds of British Airways/Qantas cabin crew who dominated most of the "C" gates' area. An anorexic looking Santa Claus stood outside the gate of an arriving British Airways flight from Melbourne, bellowing at the tired and jet-lagged passengers who only cast weary glances. Overall, the mood at the airport was very cheery and vibrant !

A long queue had gathered outside Gate C22 for TK 061.

When finally I managed to get past security, I finally waited together with the rest in the departure lounge. Tonight's flight leaving from Singapore looked very much full, although ground staff said even more passengers were going to join us in Bangkok. TK used to be one of the cheaper options for SIN-BKK-SIN.

A picture of the Turkish Airlines Singapore ground staff member. She is quite an aggressive character. On the return journey home, she was anxiously waiting outside the gate for some transfer passengers on a tight connection to Denpasar,Bali, and was politely lecturing some innocent looking European tourists on the technique of forcing your way out of the plane when you are on a tight connection. When one poor young , obviously junior airport staff member did not hold the placard reading "Denpasar Bali" high up, she grabbed the poor girl's hands and yanked them high up in the air.

Since 32K was at the back of the plane, my boarding call came first and I strolled down the aerobridge sans the crowd and all the ruckus.

A Turkish Airlines flight attendant stood just outside the door, with a trolley of local newspapers to select from. I was directed to my seat 32K, and waited for all the other passengers to file in. I noticed that there was very good legroom ! i believe 34" contrary to 32" that is in the Seat Pitch guide of www.airlinequality.com. I am 1.76m and could stretch out my legs pretty comfortably !

The seat next to me was vacant. There was a red "Scottish kilt"-design blanket wrapped in plastic placed on every seat.

The cabin-crew all didn't look very friendly .. rather surly in fact. Well I was anticipating this , but the cheery X'mas atmosphere in Changi was so infectious that nothing really could dampen my mood.


Flipping through the inflight magazine, the entertainment options were quite frightful, considering this was a 14 hrs journey from Singapore to Istanbul. Some really old movies like The Princess Diaries were being screened on this little TV set in the middle. The audio selection wasn't anything to rave about .. mostly Turkish hits and some English selections, including a tribute to Jennifer Lopez ( god ! why would anyone pay a tribute to her ? ). Anyway, I was anticipating the poor entertainment options , so I wasn't too shocked about it.I was going to sleep through the whole flight anyway with the help of my iPod, Scottish blanket and pillow !

The aircraft pushed back at 2230 hrs, and lined up for take-off as there was a good number of arriving and departing aircraft at that time. We waited for a Cargolux 747 , an arriving Asiana B767 and Tiger Airways A320, before we were cleared for take-off. As we turned onto the runway, engines bellowed and the jet roared as we accelerated down into darkness. The plane effortlessly lifted off into the night sky, and was instantly enveloped into darkness. One thing I noticed was that the crew did not dim the cabinlights for take-off , and we took off with the cabin blindingly bright !

As the aircraft levelled off, the cabin crew , with the surly faces , hastened off to start the dinner service. No menu was provided. The elf-look alike flight attendant simply asked me if I wanted "Beef or Pasta". I chose Beef. With that, she handed me a tray and later placed a bun on my tray.

The beef was fairly alright, but I figure some people may not like the way it was done. It had the typical meaty odour , which reminded me more of mutton.


Meal service was efficient but minus all that girly smiles, warmth , pampering Asians are so used to. The cabin crew came for one more round for coffee and tea , collected the trays and disappeared. We all stared at the Airshow map and awaited our arrival into Bangkok.


We touchdowned at Bangkok as on schedule, and immediately taxiied off the runway towards the gate. The cabin-crew first announced for Bangkok passengers to deplane first. Then we were told that only 15 minutes was given to passengers, who wished to smoke, to proceed to the smoking lounge in the terminal with their passports and boarding card. All the rest of the passengers were to remain in their seats for the next hour while the aircraft was being refueled. We were quite crudely and bluntly warned by a crew member that we "cannot shit otherwise our buttocks will get sucked into the toilet bowls". A Thai ground staff member at the door was frantically dissuading people from leaving the aircraft unless they wanted to smoke. Nevertheless, people didn't want their buttocks "sucked" so they protested and left the aircraft anyway in search for a loo.


Meanwhile, a team of 20-30 Thai cleaning crew came onboard, and started to clean up the aircraft. It was really difficult for them to do their jobs especially with all the transit passengers lingering about.

At close to midnight local time , passengers joining us for the Bangkok-Istanbul sector began to file into the aircraft and began to fill up the seats at the rear of the aircraft that were empty from Singapore. There was no crew change at Bangkok unlike other airlines, and the crew looked even more weary than ever.

I was so tired and the aircraft cabin felt so hot while on the ground. I was just so anxious to get into the air, and I felt that the transit stop would be so much more tolerable if they allowed all of us to deplane albeit the logistical inconvienience.
A German passenger headed for home took the empty seat next to me, and he was heading for Frankfurt. I curiously asked him why he didn't choose Lufthansa or Thai, and he said Turkish offered really cheap fares. He also started telling me all his adventures on "lower-cost options" like Royal Jordanian , Kuwaiti and even a horror story of Royal Brunei , on how the aircraft was delayed for 3 days.

We were handed our headphones and an amenity kit, which was either red or yellow ( I hadn't seen any other colours ). After waiting for like what seemed like decades for the meal service to reach my seatrow, my eyes were barely open when a tray of Chinese noodles was abruptly thrust in front of me , followed by the customary bun.

This was my second meal onboard within 2 hrs, thanks to the stop in Bangkok. The noodles tasted OK ; they were dry just like the way I liked it. I gobbled up the meal, and went into a light sleep where I was plagued by nightmares of being trapped in a salt-and-pepper shaker. The turbulence seemed to be really bad for hours since we left Bangkok.


The cabin-crew doesn't do any drink rounds during the flight. Passengers can go to the galley and help themselves to any drinks they wish.


As in the picture, some passengers found the eyepatches insufficient and very innovatively used the Scottish blanket and draped it over two adjacent rows to form a nice canopy over their heads.

Hours went past, and after hours of staring into the seatback and flipping through the inflight magazine, it was time for the breakfast service.

As for the supper service, we didn't have any choice and I was just thrusted a tray of this, plus the customary bun of course.

Breakfast was simple and very standard. Suddenly, I smelt a wisp of my breath and it smelt as if Jabba the Hutt died inside. Must be that strange-smelling beef from the SIN-BKK sector. Not wanting to be accused of carrying hazardous gases and violating Section 2920 of Turkish Civil Aviation act, I whipped out my Turkish Airlines amenity kit and headed for the lavatory.



The toilet was clean enough but obviously no one bothered to empty the bin of all that paper. After brushing my teeth, I cleaned up the sink and gingerly reached to stuff my used tissues into the already-stuffed bin. I noticed that there was no cologne or any moisturiser provided. Oh well.


Here's a picture of my friends in my seatpocket which kept me company throughout the flight ! I liked the SkyLife magazine .. it seemed rather interesting to read, and had an fairly informative section of Ataturk Airport.

Soon it was time for descent...


On final approach into Ataturk ...




Spoilers deployed !


The warm glow of the morning sun !


After a rather long taxi, we proceed to dock at Gate 223.


Parking brakes set.


Generally, I find Turkish Airlines a mediocre yet very efficient airline. It is effectively a low-cost full-service carrier especially for those plying the Europe-Asia routes. There is nothing really lousy or awful about the service, but it is just plain , "discharge the food tray on the table" kinda service. Well as we all say, you only get what you paid for !
 
YUL2010
Posts: 309
Joined: Tue Jun 17, 2003 8:57 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 2:16 am

Excellent trip report! Loved the pics! There has been rumours that Turkish might serve YYZ/YUL next summer. We would see lots of connections to BEY, DAM, AMM, etc. if so.
Thanks for sharing!
YUL2010
"Hotel November Oscar clear to land runway 24L"
 
ba319-131
Posts: 8120
Joined: Sat Jan 13, 2001 1:27 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 2:34 am

That was really good reading and the pictures are great too.

I sure look forward to the Tunis sector and the return flights.

Rgds

Mark
111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
 
AMS
Posts: 1620
Joined: Thu Aug 14, 2003 7:34 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 3:03 am

Yes, nice to see a TK report!
Also quite interesting seat pitch of 34Inch on the A340!

Regards,
AMS
 
airxliban
Posts: 4285
Joined: Wed Oct 01, 2003 12:14 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:04 am

thanks for the great report and also first time i've seen interior pix of the TK A340.

Lived in turkey for 2 years but never flew on TK A340s, so that was good to see and also pleased to hear of the comfortable 34" seat pitch!
PARIS, FRANCE...THE BEIRUT OF EUROPE.
 
jetBlue190
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 1:59 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics

Sun Jan 02, 2005 4:11 am

Great trip report and excellent pics. Makes me wish I could go somewhere like that. Also nice to see a report on an airline such as TK, with good interior pics and everything. Nice job.

-jB190
"Look into his eyes and you can see, why all the little kids are dressed in dreams..."
 
Horus
Posts: 5131
Joined: Sun Feb 22, 2004 1:04 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics

Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:58 am

Great trip report and pics Jeffrysky!

I flew on a TK A343 in 2003 on the LHR-IST route and I have to agree with you that service is alright but the crew are, in my opinion, a bit snobbish and 'rough'.

Horus

EGYPT: A 7,000 Year Old Civilisation
 
jumbojim747
Posts: 2425
Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2004 8:05 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:40 am

Very nice trip report enjoyed it very much.
Also nice pictures
Did you try for a cockpit shot?
On a wing and a prayer
 
Sabena332
Posts: 14938
Joined: Wed May 09, 2001 3:57 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:50 am

Fantastic report with excellent pictures which show all the interesting details! I enjoyed reading and watching very much, especially because TK is an airline which doesn't appear very often on the A.net Trip Report Forum.

The food is looking very good actually, you are lucky that there was a stop in BKK so you got an additional meal.

I can't wait to read and see the report about the IST-TUN flight and about the return flight back to SIN!

Patrick
NZ1's mother is a disgusting crack-whore and his father is a worthless alcoholic!
 
LFutia
Posts: 3155
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2002 11:04 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 10:48 am

Hey!

Its nice to see a TK report! I like your pics! I hope to see more TK pics  Smile
Leo/ORD -- Groetjes uit de VS! -- Heeft u laatst nog met KLM gevlogen?
 
Qantasclub
Posts: 729
Joined: Wed Nov 19, 2003 2:48 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 2:21 pm


Fantastic report, well done. I like your sense of humour and the pics were great!
I must say, you captured those 'surly faces' of the cabin and ground crew rather well. haha.

Cheers
Qantasclub.
Long Haul is the only way to go
 
9v-svc
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Joined: Sun Oct 14, 2001 5:19 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics

Sun Jan 02, 2005 5:00 pm

Excellent trip report, nice to hear a Turkish's trip report especially from SIN.  Smile The food looks good to me , making me feel hungry !
Airliners is the wings of my life.
 
SR 103
Posts: 1618
Joined: Sun Oct 01, 2000 6:19 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 6:00 pm

Excellent trip report! It is a treat to read such a well written report on an airline we do not get to hear too much about. The pictures were just amazing as well. I am eagerly awaiting your future reports.

SR 103
 
docpepz
Posts: 1706
Joined: Thu May 24, 2001 8:20 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 7:27 pm

Oh James James.... You did make this trip after all! Now may i ask how you got your Tunisian visa considering they don't have an embassy in Singapore and are one of the very few countries that require Singaporeans to get a pre approved visa before arrival?

My friends and family went through lots of trouble flying to Jakarta to get their visas.

Other friends bought their tickets in France only to find out 3 days before travelling that they needed a visa.

Otherwise, that was a very entertaining report. Thanks for the effort and see you online soon.

I loved this part:

"We were quite crudely and bluntly warned by a crew member that we "cannot shit otherwise our buttocks will get sucked into the toilet bowls". A Thai ground staff member at the door was frantically dissuading people from leaving the aircraft unless they wanted to smoke. Nevertheless, people didn't want their buttocks "sucked" so they protested and left the aircraft anyway in search for a loo. "
 
Ryanair!!!
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Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 8:55 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 02, 2005 8:26 pm

What an excellent report. It reminds me so much of my overnight flight on Gulf Air. The only difference is that the catering on TK seems MILES better. I love the pics, by the way.
Welcome to my starry one world alliance, a team in the sky!
 
JAGflyer
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RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics

Mon Jan 03, 2005 3:04 am

Great report and very nice pictures.
Support the beer and soda can industry, your recycle old airplanes!
 
CXoneworld
Posts: 312
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 2004 1:59 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Mon Jan 03, 2005 4:17 am

That's great stuff!! Thanks!!

Really refreshing to see a TK report for a change...  Big thumbs up
oneworld alliance revolves around you
 
Flying Belgian
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Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2001 12:45 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Tue Jan 04, 2005 2:41 am

Excellent report and pics, I felt like I was in the trip.

FB.
Life is great at 41.000 feet...
 
jeffrysky
Posts: 177
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2004 12:56 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Fri Jan 14, 2005 1:01 am

Hi all .. since the Photobucket bandwidth has been exceeded for the rest of the month, an alternative link is here at http://pachome2.pacific.net.sg/~jeffrysky/singapore-istanbul/

Thanks for all your enthusiastic replies so far .. Smile/happy/getting dizzy

[Edited 2005-01-13 17:03:28]
 
BA
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Joined: Fri May 19, 2000 11:06 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Fri Jan 14, 2005 4:23 pm

Excellent trip report! It's wonderful that you took all those photos!

I have to say, that despite the boring unhappy crew faces, the food looks GOOD! I just got hungry by looking at them!

Again, thanks a lot. We don't see TK much on here.

Regards
"Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need." - Khalil Gibran
 
Scan340
Posts: 69
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 12:40 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 16, 2005 8:32 am

Fantastic report! The pictures and description were right on point.

I must say, after reading your report and looking at those pictures, I don't think I'll be flying Turkish any time soon.
 
carmy
Posts: 590
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 12:00 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sat Jan 22, 2005 12:03 am

I only just re-read this trip report and was most sufficiently amused. Oh 'tis a good one!
 
Milesdependent
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Joined: Sat Sep 08, 2001 5:27 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sat Jan 22, 2005 5:57 pm

I too was thinking of flying SIN-Europe with TK, but after reading this report, I think perhaps not.

Very entertaining!
 
N503JB
Posts: 291
Joined: Sat May 13, 2000 3:49 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 23, 2005 1:14 pm

All cabin are looking same............boring unhappy faces to passengers (Even Business Class).
HKIA Ramp Spotters
 
SQ772
Posts: 1647
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2001 5:16 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jan 23, 2005 4:51 pm

We were handed our headphones and an amenity kit, which was either red or yellow ( I hadn't seen any other colours ). After waiting for like what seemed like decades for the meal service to reach my seatrow, my eyes were barely open when a tray of Chinese noodles was abruptly thrust in front of me , followed by the customary bun.

This was my second meal onboard within 2 hrs, thanks to the stop in Bangkok. The noodles tasted OK ; they were dry just like the way I liked it. I gobbled up the meal, and went into a light sleep where I was plagued by nightmares of being trapped in a salt-and-pepper shaker. The turbulence seemed to be really bad for hours since we left Bangkok.


Excellent report with really good pictures, just the way I like them!
You mentioned that the Chinese noodles were served after departure from BKK. It looked like the picture was taken in day light. Shouldn't it have been after midnight when supper was served?

Btw, I'm in the process of getting myself another digicam after i found that the Panasonic OIS that I had didn't do a very good job taking pics in aircraft cabins. Can I know what camera did you use for this whole trip?

Looking forward to more of your reports!

There's always a better way to fly...
 
emrecan
Posts: 845
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2000 7:20 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Sun Jul 03, 2005 12:12 am

wow...

may be it is late but it is really a great topic

I really enjoyed reading it....
 
kingsford
Posts: 403
Joined: Mon Nov 10, 2003 6:26 pm

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Mon Jul 04, 2005 11:41 pm

Excellent. Great pics ! I was thinking of flying on THY on long-haul in the future as IST is one of my regular bases. I'll think long and hard about it now.
 
mrniji
Posts: 5382
Joined: Sun Feb 29, 2004 11:51 am

RE: Turkish Airlines TK061/A340:SIN-BKK-IST (+Pics)

Tue Jul 05, 2005 8:54 pm

I can only second what the others said: Excellent report, beautiful well-caught pics, and nice to have a report on TK (and some cabin pics)! Keep on going with writing!  Smile
"The earth provides enough resources for everyone's need, but not for some people's greed." (Gandhi)

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