bonviveur
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:20 am

Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Sun Jun 09, 2013 8:29 am

Trip Report – Turkish airlines Brussels – Istanbul in Business class.
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/uk/f/fb/Turkish_Airlines_Logo.png

Dear A.net members,

After reading so many great trip reports for years on A.net I thought it was finally my turn to share my travels, hence my first trip report. I do hope that it gives you some nice reading material as many other trip reports gave me before joining. Please note that I wasn’t planning to do a trip report so pictures of these flights are rather limited but I’ll keep attention in future! Comments, tips and advices are highly appreciated.

2013 is been already a busy year for me, which contained also a lot of travelling. This is already my 3th Asia trip in 6 months and in between I had a lot of intra European flights mainly on LH, SN and OS. So after this small introduction, let the flying begin!

This trip report contains the flight between Brussels and Istanbul.

This trip took me on a short 5-day business trip to Bangkok and as usual I booked my flight way too late in this case only 2 days before departure.
This meant that flight options were rather limited. There are a few direct flights a week out of Brussels by TG operated by their new B77W but they just didn’t fit my schedule. When browsing the Internet, TK came up with a nice fare and promptly a J-ticket on my way to Bangkok was booked.

Pre flight:

Monday morning, 6 am my alarm went off way too early. It was a late night at work and the fact that I couldn’t go to sleep afterwards gave me only a 3hours rest that night.
After finally waking up I took a so-called “James bond” shower starting with hot water and ending with cold water, which (together with a double espresso) made me feel human again.

At around 8 am I left my home and took a 40 minutes train ride to Brussels international airport. The Belgian railway company NMBS made his reputation come true as we had a 10 minutes delay ☺.

Once arrived at the airport, I was actually surprised how busy it was. I haven’t seen it busy like this for years. Maybe because it was Monday morning and my flight was leaving together with some eastbound USA departures.
Also the JET airways activity was on his way in BRU, which might soon disappear ☹.

Check in:

There were 2 or 3 counters for economy class passengers and they were quite busy. Luckily the Business class counter was empty and I proceeded directly to the counter.
I was greeted by a not very friendly check in agent, who suffered from the ‘Monday morning syndrome” I guess.
Anyway I gave her my passport and frequent flyer card and soon afterwards my luggage was tagged all the to Bangkok and I received both boarding cards as well.

Lounge:

TK flights leave at the Non Schenghen B terminal and use the Brussels airlines lounge, as they are both star alliance partners. In the past TK used the British airways gallery’s lounge that is far more superior.

Anyway, I was greeted by a very friendly Dutch female agent, who mentioned that I could use the diamond lounge as well because of the rush hour in BRU.
I decided to stay in the lounge, grabbed a few Internet vouchers and took a seat next to the window overlooking the apron.

The lounge is really a joke. All the seats, carpeting etc show signs of wear; no showers and lavatory’s are located outside the lounge.
At least it offers some nice views over the apron and the beverage selection isn’t that bad either.
This morning some bread, cheese and croissants were available.

After 2 hours catching up some emails it was time to board the aircraft.

Boarding:

TK flights out of Brussels and today TK1937 was no exception, are always delayed. We were supposed to take off at 11.15 and we left the gate at 11.40 only.
As I arrived at the gate I was happily surprised to find one of the newer A321’s which are equipped with the new 2 – 2 seating and PTV’s in J. Recline is limited although they have leg rests and are perfectly comfortable for flights of this length.

Having missed the priority boarding, I just waited my turn and eventually I got
Onboard. Once greeted by the male chef and a female flight attendant I took my seat 4B.

Flight TK 1937

Once seated in 4B I said “hi” to my neighbour in 4A who was very grumpy and didn’t even reply. I did not mind, as 3AB were empty and changed shortly after boarding was completed.


http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p724/bonviveur92/IMG_2003_zpsc5c35ae6.jpg

http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p724/bonviveur92/IMG_2004_zpsd8e020de.jpg

At my seat a nice pillow and noise cancelling headsets were awaiting for me.
It is really a nice touch of TK to offer such kind of headsets, even on the shorter intra European flights. Often airlines forget to pay attention to this.

After boarding was completed welcome drinks were offered containing still mineral water, champagne and a raspberry – soda mocktail which was very refreshing.

After a delay of 30 minutes we finally took off and 15 minutes later the seatbelt sign was switched off.

I decided to try out the PTW and let’s be honest TK’s Planet system isn’t that bad. Okay, it doesn’t complete with Krisworld etc but had actually a very nice selection of movies, and I decided to watch “the godfather”.
http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p724/bonviveur92/IMG_2005_zps7889cb1a.jpg

Soon the chef came around the cabin to distribute the menus for today’s flight.
http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p724/bonviveur92/IMG_2006_zps95d701f3.jpg

As starter we were offered “assorted Turkish appetizers” which were very tasty.
On the side the dessert and cheese platter were already placed on the tray.
http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p724/bonviveur92/IMG_2007_zpse7b761b6.jpg

As main course I took the very flavourful “grilled Chicken Breast with sautéed mixed vegetables and potato purée”
http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p724/bonviveur92/IMG_2008_zps556ba900.jpg

The other choices contained “Home made rigatoni pasta “ and “ Turkish Style grilled beef”

This delicious meal was finished by some coffee and cognac.
http://i1348.photobucket.com/albums/p724/bonviveur92/IMG_2009_zps1b977f50.jpg

TK has together with Austrian airlines the best in-flight catering on European flights as they both work with DO&CO. They really leave the competition behind in their food.

The rest of the flight remained uneventful and I took a quick nap until our final descend at 3.55 Pm local time. We landed at gate 213 and as I left the aircraft I bid the crew adieu and thanked them for the nice flight.

Verdict:
I fly TK already quite some time and they really progressed. Sometimes the crew can be a hit or miss, and as today it was a hit, by TK standards. They were not on the level of some Asian carriers but were genuinely friendly, loved their job and were not grumpy as some of their colleagues.
As for the seat and food: it is for sure very nice and move all other European competition aside of flights of this length.

This was my first part of the trip.
Stay tuned for the Istanbul – Bangkok flight.

Comments are appreciated!

Regards,

Bonviveur
 
User avatar
rogerbcn
Posts: 1173
Joined: Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:45 pm

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Sun Jun 09, 2013 10:28 am

Hola Bonviveur!

Thanks for this TR and welcome to the a.net community, really great to have new people coming in and sharing their views and opinions on the industry.

TK offers a superior service to many European carriers, the food you were served, the seats and the idea of having a chef on board looks really classy and a great idea to promote their company.

I still have to fly them but looking at the pictures and the food you were offered it seems they are asking for 'come and fly with me'.

I understand as well that they have the furthest hub from central Europe where all main carriers fly from so it is a great idea to offer such a distinctive service for its passengers.

Looking forward to reading your next installments.

Salut!

Roger
"At reise er at leve" H.C. Andersen (Travelling is Living)
 
planiac787
Posts: 233
Joined: Wed May 09, 2012 9:20 pm

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Sun Jun 09, 2013 12:38 pm

Great first report..

My unlce recently traveled TK from Del to Ist...He said it was a horrible flight and that tk had sent in one of the older 330 with no PTV's...And the crew apparently were also horrible...

But with your report it looks like TK can also get it right...
I would have liked to see some more photos of the airport and aircraft..

Gr8 job though and keep writing..

Cheers

Pradat
Be the change you want to see in the world- M.K.Gandhi
 
bonviveur
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:20 am

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Sun Jun 09, 2013 1:58 pm

Hi Roger,

Thanks for these kind words and welcoming me to A.net  

Hi Pradat,
Thanks for your comments, and I will keep notice of airport and aircraft pics on further travels.
I flew also TK already between IST and DEL / BOM and back then they used the ex QR A330's with indeed inferior hard products. the problem with those flights is that they are between short and long haul and TK treats them as short haul (only 1 mail service).
So if the crew had a day off on the day your uncle flew, then I couldn't agree more  
Regards,
 
WROORD
Posts: 667
Joined: Sun Mar 15, 2009 5:36 pm

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Sun Jun 09, 2013 9:07 pm

Nice Report. A real chef onboard? I am impressed. The food also looks great for a relatively short hop from BRU to IST.
I think I would be done right after the starter. There was a lot of food.
I wonder how the service in J compares to Y?
 
homer3152
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:48 am

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Sun Jun 09, 2013 11:37 pm

Thank you very much for this nice trip report..it somehow confirms my onwn TK experience. Actually, they dont convince me compared to the Gulf carriers. Why should i fly an economy product/seat all the way to IST when I can get a nice wide body on EK or even the Dream Liner on Qatar? Actually, they think it gives them a competitive edge in the market to fly mainly narrow bodies - well - not with me. And why should I fly with not too rarely unfriendly crews when I can have fun and jokes with and be pampered by an international crew on EK or Qatar? And - in my case - why should i continue to Africa at 02 am on another narrow body with 45 degrees reclinable seats where i cannot sleep..when EK gives me a free sleep over in a 5 star Hotel in Dubai? I surely think TK is totally overrated - well, probably they are better to Asia..but as long as they continue to use narrow bodies and crew attitudes are not improved, they are certainly not my choice.
 
bonviveur
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:20 am

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Mon Jun 10, 2013 6:48 am

Hi WROORD,
thanks for your comments. Indeed a chef onboard but I do think it is more a marketing trick because there is no "real" cooking onboard. Nevertheless a nice touch of them  
I only flew them in Y some time ago and while the crew back then was average at best, legroom was ample and food was really good compared to the crap LX gives on the ZRH - IST route. hope it helps.

@ Homer3152, you are absolutely right about it, EK or QR still is better and as for your travels to africa you are right. Tk has just a (very very) good geographical location which they take advantage off. let's say if I need to travel from Bishkek to Dakar, they would offer me the best flights with only one stop even though I am flying a narrowbodie. it is just another business model I guess.

The main reason I fly TK is however a very good frequent flyer program and their membership in star alliance as I do take a lot of TG, LX , OS.

regards,
 
FlyingRoo82
Posts: 79
Joined: Sat Aug 04, 2012 3:40 am

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Thu Jun 13, 2013 10:39 am

Great trip report! The inter-Europe J product that TK offer looks fantastic. A few weeks ago I flew TK from Tel Aviv to Istanbul in Y - for a 2 hour flight the food was pretty good and service was attentive and efficient. I've head their Y+ and J products on long-haul are great.
 
sultanils
Posts: 1929
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2010 5:37 pm

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Thu Jun 13, 2013 11:29 am

Salut bonviveur,

Welcome to the TR writing community! A nice report to start off with, I always wondered about the TK service to BRU. The onboard product is pretty good, the new(er) seats look modern. Too bad about the limited recline though. By the looks of it, the catering really makes up for that.

Quoting bonviveur (Thread starter):
I was greeted by a not very friendly check in agent, who suffered from the ‘Monday morning syndrome” I guess.

That seems to be a more and more regular issue at BRU unfortunately...

Quoting bonviveur (Thread starter):
TK flights out of Brussels and today TK1937 was no exception, are always delayed. We were supposed to take off at 11.15 and we left the gate at 11.40 only.

Oh, are they? I never noticed that.

Quoting bonviveur (Thread starter):
Once seated in 4B I said “hi” to my neighbour in 4A who was very grumpy and didn’t even reply.

That's not nice. Being courteous doesn't hurt anyone nor is it a great effort...

Quoting bonviveur (Thread starter):
We landed at gate 213

 Wow! Wow, you must have had a very skilled pilot at the controls  

Sultanils
In thrust we trust.
 
themit9
Posts: 99
Joined: Sun Apr 08, 2012 10:06 am

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:26 pm

Hi bonviveur,

Great work on this report. The highlight for me was certainly seeing the chef coming out with the menus- not many airlines do this to my knowledge. Certainly has the 'wow' factor. The seats also looked good- better than the blocked-out middle Y seat as seen on other carriers within Europe. Keep up the great work on the reports, as others have said a few more photos of the lounge and such would be great, and would compliment your written text well.

Looking forward to seeing more from you.

Regards,

themit9
 
bonviveur
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:20 am

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Fri Jun 14, 2013 2:11 pm

Hi Sultanis, thanks for welcoming me on A.net   Oh did you have bad experiences with ground crew in BRU as well ?

Hey FLyingRoo82, I didn't test their Y+ seat but indeed looks impressive! nice to hear you had a good flight between Istanbul and TEl aviv!

Hi Themit9, Thanks for your comments and I'll keep notice in future for lounge pics  
 
homer3152
Posts: 23
Joined: Sun Jun 26, 2011 11:48 am

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Sun Jun 16, 2013 11:03 pm

@bonviveur: I am totally looking forward to flying Brussels Airlines to Nairobi in a single aisle seat and a lovely Leffe in front of me )))
 
bonviveur
Topic Author
Posts: 21
Joined: Thu Jun 06, 2013 7:20 am

RE: Off To Asia! Part 1, TK BRU - IST In J

Wed Jun 19, 2013 3:19 pm

Hi Homer,
I can imagine that you are looking forward to it   enjoy your flight , and you're going to
drink only one Leffe on a 7h flight?  

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