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airbuseric
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Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Thu Jan 07, 2010 11:44 pm

Hi, dear readers!

I have to apologize for posting this tripreport so late, but due to family matters, the national holidays and my schedule at work… no time to write it earlier.

This report is continuation of part 1 which was already posted:

Istanbul Delight: AMS-IST On LX Business (pt. 1) (by Airbuseric Dec 3 2009 in Trip Reports)




After a few days in the city of Istanbul, which became a very pleasant stay actually, it was time to fly home again. But before we go to the flights itself, first some final city-pics:


Old train at Sirkeci Station. Once the Orient Express arrived here. The left train was leaving for Sofia (Bulgaria) Station



Aya Sofia




Sultanahmet – Inside the ‘Blue Mosque’



Galata Bridge



Entrance of ‘Eminönu Mosque’ during prayer



Galata Tower at night



Sunset over the Marmara Sea / Bosphorus



We flew out on 16th November, with an afternoon departure out of IST. Very good timing for us, so after enjoying breakfast in our hotel for the last time, and checking-out, we walked with our trolleys towards the tramline. This tram would bring us to Zeytinburnu station, at which we connected to the metro which is having it’s final stop at Ataturk Airport (Havalimani Stn). In case you travel by using Akbil, beware to return the Akbil at a stand at Zeytinburnu Station. You will find a small stand during your transfer from tram to metro. There is no possibility to do this at the airport. So, you have to buy a normal ticket (TL1.50) for the last part of your journey to the airport.
You can also keep your Akbil for a next visit to Istanbul.

Once in the terminal, we tried to check-in at the business class counter of TK, and since they’re Star Alliance partner, and at their homebase, we expected TK to be able to check us in. This was not the case, but the staff showed us the desk for LX (E-area). The LX desk was not open yet, but waiting didn’t take long. Some 10 minutes later staff came and made lines. Several passengers for C-class were in line, quite a lot for Y-class too. One remark, 4 desks were checking-in Y-class, and one desk for C-class. The first C-class passenger was flying onward ZRH-JFK, and the lady had to input a lot of data for US immigration purposes. This took quite a while. None of the other check-in staff called us forward to the Y-class section, so we had to wait for quite some time.
At our turn the friendly lady did put priority labels on our suitcases, and gave lounge invitation cards for the Millennium Lounge. So, regular Star Alliance business class passengers cannot use the TK lounge? We didn’t try, and the Millennium lounge was fine enough. Several –not too exciting- foodoptions, plenty of drinks and relaxing chairs. Also free WiFi or Internet-PC’s were available. Only the noise from a music store on ground level was quite disturbing. Nevertheless we heard also some nice songs, which made us decide to purchase that particular CD in the shop!


SWISS check-in at IST



IST departure lounge



IST departure lounge



Entrance of ‘Millennium Lounge’, used by SWISS



Inside ‘Millennium Lounge’



Food & Beverages



’Millennium Lounge’



’Millennium Lounge’



’Millennium Lounge’



Arty waterfall in the departure lounge



No calls were made for any flight, and of course we left maybe a bit too late. So we hurried ourselves over to the gate, 211. We did not have to wait for the security and proceeded without delays. Most passengers already boarded. Newspapers at the door only in Turkish or German language, and when we entered the cabin we got a word of welcome from the crew.


Our A321 (HB-IOD) waiting at the gate



Boarding HB-IOD at IST



Cabin shot after boarding



Doors were closed at 14:17, on time.

IST-ZRH
Flight No.: LX1801 Date: 16NOV09
STD: 1420/b] ATD: [b]1420
STA: 1620 ATA: 1622
A/C: Airbus A321-100 Reg No.: HB-IOD
Seat: 02A – Business Class


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Gerry Stegmeier



The A321 which served on this flight was previously also flown by TK as TC-JMA, but returned back to LX after a few years. The inside cabin is a bit worn though, and starts to show it’s age, not strange for this 1995 build example and nearly 15 years ‘old’.
Pushback was exactly on schedule. The safety demo was on the overhead screens, but I was more busy by looking to an Ariana Afghan Airlines B737-800, leased from Saga.
During taxiing to runway 36R I noticed enough other interesting birds around and we got airborne 10 minutes later.


Airborne! No future anymore for those Bosphorus European A300’s…


After our initial climb one of the crew from the flightdeck informed about our route. This was roughly via Plovdiv – Beograd – Budapest to ZRH. Due to headwinds along the whole route we had also a long flighttime, but they were trying to arrive on schedule.


First drink after take-off



Mealservice (hotmeal, AVML)



Enjoying the flight…


Throughout the flight a bit unstable flight, caused by the headwinds, but nothing serious actually. The crew was friendly enough, and drinks were refilled throughout the flight. There was some choice of meals too, for my partner, but I got my pre-ordered vegetarian choice. And that was a bit disappointing, since it was exact the same meal as on my previously flown LX1800 ZRH-IST flight. The kitchen at LX is not very original… at least not for me.

The evening came in from the East also when we neared ZRH. Light was mostly gone, so I have to apologize for not having good pictures of the approach. We landed on runway 14, and taxied to the remote apron near the B-gates. Deplaning by stairs, and a bus to the terminal. Arrival was only 2 minutes late, so basically ‘on schedule’.

We got eventually dropped off in the terminal and proceeded through passport control into the ‘Schengen/EU’ area. We were now in the shopping area of the terminal and walked around for a while before proceeding to the lounge. We had several hours to kill now, and were not in a hurry at all. I count this specific part of the airport among the best and best looking terminals in Europe. Very stylish, friendly staff, good but pricey offerings for food/drinks. This is ‘typically Swiss’, I think. Some images might give an impression:


Zurich departure/transit lounge



Zurich departure/transit lounge



Zurich departure/transit lounge



Zurich departure/transit lounge



Then it was off to the lounge. The one that is famous for it’s long bar. It was pretty busy inside, but when the time passed, it became more quiet. Drink offering is very good, but I was really slightly disappointed with the food offering; only a dish of paella was served. No changes during our stay. Of course some salty crackers, peanuts etc. were available, but I was expecting a few more dishes, at least to have some choice. A large amount of Apple internet PC’s is available too, and you can take a shower if you wish to do so. We read a bit during the stay, I made some pictures, who can do the job overhere:


Inside the SWISS lounge; this was the only food available at dinnertime



The long and famous bar at the SWISS lounge


I checked on the Zurich airport website for our flight, and this website provides also the registration of the aircraft which is planned to operate on each flight. Therefore I noticed that once again, Edelweiss Air would carry out the last part of our trip. And lucky me, a different aircraft then a few days before. Since no boarding calls were made inside the lounge, we left a few more minutes early. Not too far to walk, our aircraft was the first one on the apron, our gate A65. Boarding just started and a large group of old Dutch travellers was very loud. We were greeted friendly at the doorside and stored our bags, jacket etc. It took a while maybe, and the group was pressing through the aisle. I didn’t complain about it, but just noticed their behaviour. The cabin supervisor brought us Dutch newspapers, we gladly accepted. Then the group members also wanted newspapers, but this was friendly rejected by the crew. That’s only for business class, they said. I thought this was quite funny in this particular situation.

Door closed at 20:28, early enough, and with a light load (4 in C, not so much in Y either) we left exactly on schedule.

ZRH-AMS
Flight No.: LX736 Date: 16NOV09
STD: 2035/b] ATD: [b]2035
STA: 2210 ATA: 2203
A/C: Airbus A320-200 Reg No.: HB-IHZ
Seat: 02D – Business Class


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Brian Tu



Also on Edelweiss Air, dropdown screens from the overhead panels will show the safety demonstration, as well introduce the flightcrew and cabin crew members by name (and photo). If you doubt about the aircraft registration on Edelweiss, just bring a visit to the forward lavatory; a plate with the aircraft and name/registration is located on the wall. Nice details…

Seats are comfortable, but big. With the large blue leather cushions, legroom is significantly reduced, and much more worse then on mainline LX. I wouldn’t feel comfortable on longer sectors, and I’m 1.88m tall.
During taxiing to runway 28, captain Boris Surdez informed us about the expected flighttime of 1h15m and the route would lead us over Stuttgart, Saarbrücken, Brussels and along the coast to Amsterdam.
Frédérique Stingelin was looking after us in the cabin, and took care for business class by herself. She was very friendly and really tried her best to get everybody satisfied. Although it was a bit embarrassing when she distributed the meals from the trolley.
Both to me and my partner she handed the meal, but it was a cold plate with carpaccio. I rejected this, since I specifically ordered a vegetarian meal, just because I don’t ear red meats. She was a bit shocked, since she had only the carpaccio’s and not any special meal. I complaint a bit, since this was the first and only flight out of 4 which went wrong, and I said that I couldn’t understand this handling. She agreed with me, and said that I should complain by letter to the airline. And she offered to find some more suitable food for me. After a minute or 2 she returned, with a cheese sandwich from economy class, and a plastic cup with some salad (part of her crewmeal she said). I accepted, and she apologized once again.
After this she started to serve the passenger seated in front of me, but the same problem occurred. That passenger ordered some low calorie meal (or low fat, I didn’t understand well), and at that moment Frédérique was really wondering how this all happened so went for a thorough investigation in the galley. And after a while she came back full of smiles; all special meals were loaded correctly but she overlooked herself. So I got my plate also in the end, and I must say, it was very nice.
Some glasses of white wine tasted good also and I talked with Frédérique for a while and said her not to worry and I wasn’t upset at all. She handled the case professionally and even tried to make the best out of it. And that is what counts.
One of the younger crewmembers handed out the famous Swiss chocolates during approach, but she handed herself just 1 per passenger. No chance for me to get a few more this time. Their chocolate is really delicious.


The meal, made by the cabin supervisor when my AVML choice ‘was not found’



And after she found my AVML meal, it was presented to me!


Landing was done on runway 18C, and that was very unusual for AMS at that specific time of the day. One would expect 18R instead, but that was apparently closed for some reason. Good for us, a 18C landing means a much shorter taxitime and we it took only 7 minutes to reach our stand on gate B23. Within schedule, once again.

We disembarked, thanked the crew, and were off to the baggage hall. It took handling company Aviapartner about 25 minutes to deliver the first bags on the belt. And of course, they didn’t care about priority labels. The last few km’s home were by bus, and just after 11pm we were back at our own place.

I hope you enjoyed this report as well. LX is a good airline, and still offers very reasonable fares in all classes. Despite that, I think that there must be an eye also on some details, e.g. variation in special meals. Also the food offering in the lounge is really disappointing and can’t meet with other airlines’ standards around dinnertime. Edelweiss was operating on behalf of LX and did well. But seatpitch is too small for a business class product. Maybe slimline seats (like mainline LX) can bring a positive change here. The crew made up everything and was professional and in a friendly way.
Once again, Aviapartner didn’t deliver baggage within 20 minutes, a standard for me. I work for an airline and last baggage is on the belt 20 minutes after block-in. Including unloading from ULD’s. That’s performed on a daily basis in AMS, and almost never fails. And therefore I find no excuse for an airline (read handling company) that fails to deliver within 20 minutes (at least for the first bag), and then even doesn’t look after priority labels.

Thanks for reading, and expect my first report from 2010 here in a few weeks. My first travel is next week again, with hopefully an interesting story once again. For now, your feedback or opinions are gladly appreciated and I will answer them when possible.


Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:18 am

Thanks for a great report, but more so for some amazing photos!! Nicely done!  bigthumbsup 
 
akhmad
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:01 am

Hi Eric,

I have been waiting for this report. It looks like you have had a great time in IST.

Oh yes, the LX cabin service effieciency is still etched on my memory. They always manage to prove themselves in handling difficult situation.

The ZRH terminal looks great during the winter. I hope I can return there again sometime.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Entrance of 'Eminönu Mosque' during prayer

Nice shot. It looks surrealistic.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
gave lounge invitation cards for the Millennium Lounge. So, regular Star Alliance business class passengers cannot use the TK lounge?

I was wondering about the same thing when I was given a invitation card to other lounge than the MS lounge in CAI. Star Alliance still has something to sort out here.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Mealservice (hotmeal, AVML)

Pity that you have got the same meal on your return trip. But it still looked delicious for me.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
My first travel is next week again, with hopefully an interesting story once again

You are going to catch a fifth freedom flight, aren't you?  wink 

Thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
FlyingFinn76
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:48 am

Hi Eric,

A nice report about a trip that apparently wasn't as good as expected. Now I understand what you meant when you told me about your Swiss experience! That curry sure looks good, even if it was the same meal as on your flight over.

That special meal confusion on the AMS flight sounds bad, but luckily it was sorted out in the best possible way.

PS. I had already forgotten that you hadn't yet posted the second part. I guess it's been a while  Smile
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:28 am

Hi guys, thanks for your replies so far;

Quoting Flightsimboy (Reply 1):
Thanks for a great report, but more so for some amazing photos!! Nicely done!

Thanks for this compliment  Wink

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 2):
They always manage to prove themselves in handling difficult situation.

They handled well in the end, but basically it shouldn't happen at all, and crew should be aware of their 'specials' on each flight. It's all about details ...

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 2):
The ZRH terminal looks great during the winter. I hope I can return there again sometime.

Shouldn't be a problem for you isn't it? Just book!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 2):

You are going to catch a fifth freedom flight, aren't you?

That's correct indeed. Will post the report hopefully somewhere next week.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 3):
Now I understand what you meant when you told me about your Swiss experience!

Yes, when you remember part 1 also, you saw various details/items which were not as good as one would expect on LX/Business. At least my expectations were higher after reading so many positive reports. Anyway, I'll give them a try once more on the same routing in April.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 3):
PS. I had already forgotten that you hadn't yet posted the second part. I guess it's been a while

I would have done it earlier, but do you have some extra time for me then?  Silly

Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
ba319-131
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 11:06 am

Hi Eric,

Thanks form posting this, always nice to see how the return trips are.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
One remark, 4 desks were checking-in Y-class, and one desk for C-class. The first C-class passenger was flying onward ZRH-JFK, and the lady had to input a lot of data for US immigration purposes. This took quite a while. None of the other check-in staff called us forward to the Y-class section, so we had to wait for quite some time.

- That's not good, one of the Y check-in agents really should have called forward the waiting C passengers.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
the Millennium lounge was fine enough. Several –not too exciting- foodoptions, plenty of drinks and relaxing chairs.

- Agreed, lounge is ok but it lacks views of the apron, such a shame, there are so much interesting traffic @ IST

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
The meal, made by the cabin supervisor when my AVML choice ‘was not found’

- That meal looks better than your AVML meal, IMO.

Overall LX still look pretty decent, shame about the mix up with the meal, causes upset when it's not due. The hot offering in the LX lounge @ ZRH was rather poor, really expected more from them.

Looking forward to the next ride, it's Tuesday if i remember - I could not join you due to a meeting in Wales!

Cheers

Mark
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shamrock321
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:05 pm

Good report, the handling agent I work for in DUB is the same with priority baggage they just dont care, when I can I go to the hall and make sure they are doing it but sometimes they have them buried at the bottom! Idiots! Great pictures aswell, look forward to your future reports.
 
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rogerbcn
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:19 pm

Hola Eric!

Thnaks for this TR. Your pictuires of Istanbul are awesome, really nice done, excellent job.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
I have to apologize for posting this tripreport so late

It was about time, I thought you remained in IST, not that Turkish delights do not deserve it  Wink

LX is usually super airline. What a mess with the AVML  Sad that was really a pity, but I am happy to see that they handled this well.

About the offerings on the lounge in ZRH, they are usually quite poor. The paella looks rather poor, I have tried it once and it was bland, my favorite is going there in the morning when they offer some sausages... it is always best to stick to local products.

Salut! and Happy Flying!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
 
LH4116
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:49 pm

Good evening Eric! A great report as always, featuring some really nice pictures  Smile

The lounge in Istanbul looked nice, though in some earlier LX reports, an older lounge have been used for LX pax. Or is it the same lounge, only that it has been refurbished?

The food on the return flight looked rather OK, but the Y class sandwich looked nice, at least for Y class. Looks pretty differ from what LX usually serve...

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Only the noise from a music store on ground level was quite disturbing. Nevertheless we heard also some nice songs, which made us decide to purchase that particular CD in the shop!

Is the album from the singer I'm thinking of?  Wink

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Enjoying the flight…

My favourite pic in this report! Big grin

Thanks for sharing!

//Jonas
SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
 
FLIEGER67
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:14 pm

Hey, Eric,

a real good conclusion around you´re trip to IST.

I like especially all that location pics, as earlier said, it seems I need to leave the airport next time at IST or SAW.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Thanks for reading, and expect my first report from 2010 here in a few weeks. My first travel is next week again, with hopefully an interesting story once again.

I´am looking forward to that run and hopefully nothing goes wrong.
You know what I mean when I look outside the window and see nothing else than
white all around.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)
Tripreporter.net
 
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OA260
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:56 pm

Hi Eric ,
Fab photos. Really nice and unique shots of Istanbul. Love the one at the Mosque in prayer time with the birds. Maybe the choice for AVML is not great but personally I love the LX meals ( normal ones) . My favourite is the steak/beef. I hope I get that next time.

Regards

Philip
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 08, 2010 10:00 pm

Hi all, thanks for your reading and replies!

@ Mark;

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
there are so much interesting traffic @ IST

So true, and that's the reason I booked myself in for April again for some spotting.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
That meal looks better than your AVML meal, IMO.

Actually the AVML which I got after a while was really good and fresh. Exactly good for that time of the day. I didn't eat the Y-class sandwich.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
The hot offering in the LX lounge @ ZRH was rather poor, really expected more from them.

Very poor indeed. I really expected more and am dissappointed by this weak offering.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
Looking forward to the next ride, it's Tuesday if i remember - I could not join you due to a meeting in Wales!

Hehe... I hope you make it into Wales Mark... and I hope that I can do my run. LHR is involved, so I hope that your homebase isn't suffering by snow too much after the weekend.

@ Andrew;

Quoting Shamrock321 (Reply 6):
the handling agent I work for in DUB is the same with priority baggage they just dont care, when I can I go to the hall and make sure they are doing it but sometimes they have them buried at the bottom! Idiots!

Thanks, and that's the best spirit you can have, to try at least to get it done according the 'standard procedures' of the airline.  thumbsup 

@ Roger;

Quoting Rogerbcn (Reply 7):
About the offerings on the lounge in ZRH, they are usually quite poor. The paella looks rather poor, I have tried it once and it was bland, my favorite is going there in the morning when they offer some sausages... it is always best to stick to local products.

I will do the exact trip again in a few months. Let's see if they changed their style in the lounge by then.

@ Jonas;

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
The lounge in Istanbul looked nice, though in some earlier LX reports, an older lounge have been used for LX pax. Or is it the same lounge, only that it has been refurbished?

The furniture was looking quite new. So maybe refurbished indeed...

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 8):
Is the album from the singer I'm thinking of?

I don't think so. It's a Turkish dance mix-CD.

@ Markus;

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
I like especially all that location pics, as earlier said, it seems I need to leave the airport next time at IST or SAW.

A good reason for you to book once again in that direction  Wink

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
I´am looking forward to that run and hopefully nothing goes wrong.
You know what I mean

I know exactly what you mean, and 'Daisy' will start to hit also our place here from tomorrow afternoon. I hope not too much disruption... and also for LHR, part of my trip next week.

Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
lukeyboy95
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sat Jan 09, 2010 1:15 am

The superb photos continue! It seems that birds where bringing interest to your non-aviation photos... two questions;

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Sultanahmet – Inside the ‘Blue Mosque’

Did you alter your camera for this... the blue of the sky seems very vibrant through the windows

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Entrance of ‘Eminönu Mosque’ during prayer

Absolutely perfect photo! Long exposure then? The gentleman entering is perfectly centre.... superb!
You've enspired me to see Istanbul (though in the winter like you) at some point... mosly likely via EasyJet though I'm afraid... I see BA often offers quite attractive fares out there.... and sometimes on the 767.... One day!

Many thanks again,

Luke
Breaking down the stereotypes - one by one
 
Flightsimboy
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:23 am

Turkish has flights from Toronto, with sometimes a whole day stopover in Istanbul to onward destinations in the Indian Subcontinent. Would be nice to avail such a stop, especially after seeing your great photos. This one is really a winner.

 
ba319-131
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:45 am



Quoting Flightsimboy (Reply 13):
after seeing your great photos. This one is really a winner.

- Agreed, it's an excellent shot!

Eric,

LHR seems normal for now, though we are expecting more snow saturday night in the London area!
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
 
lychemsa
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sat Jan 09, 2010 5:59 am

Well you are lucky you got your bags. On an Air Canada Geneva to New York via Montreal flight I have been waiting 2 months for mine and it's still not here. Be grateful. I wish I could have waited as long as 1 hour just to see it again.

As to Swiss they are good in C and but average in Y on long haul flights in my opinion. However good chance to get your luggage unlike Air Canada. And they do clean the seat pockets unlike AC. And their in-flight magazines are current unlike Air Canada.
 
akhmad
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:09 pm



Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
- Agreed, it's an excellent shot!

I am with you, guys!  Smile
Friends forever
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sat Jan 09, 2010 9:51 pm

Hi guys, thank you so much for the compliments and your reading!

Quoting Lukeyboy95 (Reply 12):
Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Sultanahmet – Inside the ‘Blue Mosque’

Did you alter your camera for this... the blue of the sky seems very vibrant through the windows

No, that picture from inside the 'Blue Mosque' is un-edited and original as it can be. I must say that the weather outside was supurb with very clear blue skies. This was of course a benefit for me.

Quoting Lukeyboy95 (Reply 12):
Entrance of ‘Eminönu Mosque’ during prayer

Absolutely perfect photo! Long exposure then? The gentleman entering is perfectly centre.... superb!

I waited indeed for the man to come in the middle, but the birds was not planned and more the 'lucky moment'. Exposure was 1/125 at F10.

Quoting Flightsimboy (Reply 13):
Turkish has flights from Toronto, with sometimes a whole day stopover in Istanbul to onward destinations in the Indian Subcontinent.

If you can do such a stopover on TK, then it's really recommendable. There are organised tours from the airport to the cities' highlights, and if you rely on yourself, take the metro or just a taxi (not too expensive either), and find your way in the city. Prepare yourself a bit in advance and read about the various neighbourhoods, to make the best decisions which suit your interest!

Quoting Lukeyboy95 (Reply 12):
You've enspired me to see Istanbul (though in the winter like you) at some point

September through November is the best season to visit Istanbul. After mid-November, lowseason starts and hotelrooms get cheaper too. From November beware for cold or wet winters. And in mid summer, temperature rise way to high to enjoy for a city-break; not recommendable at all then.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 14):
LHR seems normal for now, though we are expecting more snow saturday night in the London area!

Thanks Mark for this info. So far also AMS is running fine, as well are the railroads. We have to deal now with some blowing snow here, giving quite a bit disturbance to traffic on the roads...

Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
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NZ107
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sun Jan 10, 2010 8:10 am

Hi Eric,

A really enjoyable read accompanied by some brilliant photos, especially the ones at the beginning from Turkey! That pigeon shot is mindblowing!

Moving onto the flights.. The food and service looked great.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
One remark, 4 desks were checking-in Y-class, and one desk for C-class. The first C-class passenger was flying onward ZRH-JFK, and the lady had to input a lot of data for US immigration purposes. This took quite a while. None of the other check-in staff called us forward to the Y-class section, so we had to wait for quite some time.

That shouldn't be happening.. Sounds like bad service to me. It's usually the reciprocal that happens - the Y passengers head to the J desk!

The meal offering in the ZRH lounge looks appalling.. But I guess you can't expect everything/everywhere to be like CX's HKG ones or SQ's SIN one.

Thanks for sharing!

Regards,
Nicholas
It's all about the destination AND the journey.
 
vandenheuvel
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sun Jan 10, 2010 9:49 am

Hi Eric,

As mentioned before, your pictures are great. IST and especially ZRH airport terminals look fantastic.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
Old train at Sirkeci Station. Once the Orient Express arrived here. The left train was leaving for Sofia (Bulgaria) Station

These trains look great, I will like to travel them.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
That’s only for business class

Another difference with Star Alliance partners. Even Lufthansa serves free newspapers in Y.

Tim,
 
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CrimsonNL
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sun Jan 10, 2010 2:55 pm

Hi Eric, loved the pictures. The IST and ZRH terminals look awesoe!

Thanks for sharing,

Martijn
Always comparing your flown types list with mine
 
ronerone
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sun Jan 10, 2010 4:17 pm

Hi Eric!

Excellent report on LX! .. I have always wondered what Edelweiss was all about, as i always seem to be attracted to their interesting livery  Smile Seems that they handled your special meal misunderstanding very professionally!

I wasn't too impressed with your AVML on the ZRH-AMS flight, but found the one on the IST-ZRH one to look scrumptious!

I would really like to try LX one day! The last time i flew a swiss airline was Swissair on an MD-11 ZRH-ATL! .. So i think it is time i got an update  Smile

As for the baggage issue on arrival at AMS, i had a similar issue with OpenSkies at AMS. I believe Menzies (as per what was showing on the FIDS above the carousel) was handling them, and it was still quite an annoying wait.

Last but not least, the pictures of Istanbul were absolutely stunning, and i agree with everyone here,that pigeon is brilliant! .. Excellent fisheye too! Which one do you have?

Thanks a lot for sharing these reports!

Regards,
Roni
Fly Roni. Aviation Journeys. Photos. Videos.
 
abrelosojos
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sun Jan 10, 2010 5:44 pm

Thanks for the report. Istanbul is indeed one of my top 5 favorite cities in the world.

The TK CIP lounge in IST is REALLY REALLY good ... and you should not have a problem if you are Star Gold. You can fly Y and use it like any other Star Gold lounge even if they gave you an invitation to Millenium. I find the later pretty basic so use the CIP. Sort of the same thing happens in BOM. MS and others issue passes to the cheaper lounge - but the LH Star Gold lounge is decent - not the best in BOM, but decent.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 2):
The ZRH terminal looks great during the winter. I hope I can return there again sometime.

= ZRH is a really nice airport ... though, the last time I passed, I realized that the intercontinental concourse (flew BOS-ZRH-TLV) does not have a LX lounge. So flying Y and being Star Gold in 3 carriers means zilch. I found it unacceptable that to use the LX lounge at their hub airport, I had to go through immigration. Very poor. Otherwise, ZRH is a very efficient airport for European standards.

Saludos,
A.
Live, and let live.
 
akhmad
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sun Jan 10, 2010 6:49 pm



Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 22):
I found it unacceptable that to use the LX lounge at their hub airport, I had to go through immigration. Very poor.

Actually I was able to use a LX lounge in the non-Schengen area on my way from CAI to AMS last September. I remember that I had to go through immigration afterward to get my gate. So, I assume that things have changed by now.

Cheers,
Suryo
Friends forever
 
Contact Air
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Mon Jan 11, 2010 8:53 pm

Hi Eric,

great report - I was looking forward to your return story. Very nice pictures of your flight and of the City of Istanbul - a city that is on my "to-do-list" as well. Good to hear that LX and Edelweiss Air all in all performed well on your flights.

Quoting Airbuseric (Thread starter):
We had several hours to kill now, and were not in a hurry at all. I count this specific part of the airport among the best and best looking terminals in Europe. Very stylish, friendly staff, good but pricey offerings for food/drinks.

I agree, this part of ZRH is really unique. I like ZRH a lot - it is clean, modern, efficient and staff is friendly. And yes, it is expensive compared to other European airports.

Regards
Christoph
 
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Tue Jan 12, 2010 9:25 pm

Hi guys, thanks once again for your many replies!

Quoting Vandenheuvel (Reply 19):
These trains look great, I will like to travel them.

The right one on that image is a really old one. Travelling back im time... nice experience and completely different then what we're used to here in Holland.

Quoting NZ107 (Reply 18):
The meal offering in the ZRH lounge looks appalling.. But I guess you can't expect everything/everywhere to be like CX's HKG ones or SQ's SIN one.

Even BA's lounge in LHR is better. Come on LX, it's your homebase and then this is far below standards...

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 21):
I have always wondered what Edelweiss was all about, as i always seem to be attracted to their interesting livery

I think EDW have among the best liveries around in European skies.

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 21):
The last time i flew a swiss airline was Swissair on an MD-11 ZRH-ATL! .. So i think it is time i got an update

Hmm... that's a long time ago indeed. I heard their new A330-300s business product to JFK is very good  Wink

Quoting Ronerone (Reply 21):
Excellent fisheye too! Which one do you have?

Nikkor 10.5mm , since a few months now and still playing with it. Interesting stuff!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 22):
Istanbul is indeed one of my top 5 favorite cities in the world.

I can imagine that. I think I feel the same!

Quoting Abrelosojos (Reply 22):
The TK CIP lounge in IST is REALLY REALLY good ... and you should not have a problem if you are Star Gold.

But I'm not a Star Gold  Sad

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 24):
I agree, this part of ZRH is really unique

Hehe,... they call(ed) themselves 'Unique Airport Zurich' , now we know why  Wink

Regards,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
StefanPAD
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:30 pm

Hi Eric,

nice to read your return report. Nice to read a TR, when I know that I've been on the same flight  Wink I think I'm on two of your photos at check in and in the Millennium lounge.

At ZRH we've been on the same bus, but at passport control I couldn't find you again. I didn't visit the lounge, because my connecting flight to HAJ was leaving at 17:30. Only some 40 minutes remained for some shopping and security control.

BTW, how about security controls at AMS? Tomorrow I'm going to AMS and stay overnight at Ibis Airport. On Tuesday morning I'll fly KL 785 to SXM. After the troubles on the AMS-DTW flight at Christmas I don't know what to expect at AMS security.

Regards,
Stefan
 
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airbuseric
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:40 pm

Hi Stefan,

nice to read your reply.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 26):
Nice to read a TR, when I know that I've been on the same flight Wink I think I'm on two of your photos at check in and in the Millennium lounge.

Yes, that was a coincidence indeed. I blurred all faces. Will see if you are on the original ones. Can mail them to you then.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 26):
I didn't visit the lounge, because my connecting flight to HAJ was leaving at 17:30.

You didn't miss anything special...

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 26):
BTW, how about security controls at AMS?

No problem. Same control as usual.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 26):
Tomorrow I'm going to AMS and stay overnight at Ibis Airport.

Good to hear. I'm working till about 7 or 8pm. Will you be at Plaza at night?

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 26):
On Tuesday morning I'll fly KL 785 to SXM. After the troubles on the AMS-DTW flight at Christmas I don't know what to expect at AMS security.

It will be as always. Only US flights now have the body-scanner, which is basically no problem, but might not feel good for your privacy. I'm not sure what to think of it. I used this body-scanner already for over a year (testphase for staff), and everytime I got a secondary bodycheck because the person checking behind the scenes thought to see something 'interesting' on my body. So, usually, I skip these scanners when on duty.

I try to look up your aircrafts in advance and send you a message on FB.

Have a good one,
Eric
"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
 
PlaneHunter
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RE: Istanbul Delight: IST-AMS On LX Business (pt. 2)

Fri Jan 22, 2010 7:42 am

Hi Eric,

great report with many stunning pictures from Istanbul! The meal on the IST-ZRH looks excellent, but I wasn't impressed by the catering on the other flight.


PH
Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!

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