May 18, 2019

Review: Turkish Airlines B777 Business Class, Istanbul-Manila

Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul to Manila

Flight: TK84
Departure time in Istanbul (IST): 1:50
Arrival time in Manila (MNL): 18:45
Aircraft: B777-300
Seat: 6K
Duration: 11h 55m
Date of flight: May 10, 2019
*This is a revenue ticket (used Elite Plus upgrade voucher) Business Class flight #191



Video Review from YouTube 📺


Lounge

We had a really long lay over in Istanbul Airport so we were able to explore the Business Lounge ...

... and Miles&Smiles Lounge which were both impressive lounges 👍

Boarding, Gate F3

Boarding was scheduled an hour before departure although it was a bit delayed and did not start before 1:05am.

As usual, we had priority boarding as business class passengers.

Cabin

Our seat is located in the smaller business class cabin behind the galley.

View of the cabin from my seat.

Seat Map


Mike and I chose seats 6J and 6K. The cabin I believe was not even half full.

Seat 6K

My seat, 6K is a window.

Personal screen. On the ottoman were the slippers and the blanket.

Slippers

The pillow was from the new bedding but the rest was from the old one.

The business class amenity kit: Molton Brown pouch bag with a lip balm and hydrating cream plus the usual eye mask, socks, earplugs, shoe horn, comb and dental kit.

Inflight entertainment

Around 1:25am, one of the inflight chefs came addressing my by name to offer the menu card and drinks list. He took my food order afterwards and I opted for the seafood option both for the appetizer and main course.

Five minutes later, Denon headphones were distributed.

DENON headphones

Movie selection

I ended up watching 2 films including Glass.

WIFI

As a business class passenger, I had access to unlimited use of wifi. This benefit is also given to economy class passengers if you have Elite Plus status 👍

Predeparture Beverage

Around 1:32am, one of the flight attendants came to offer some pre-departure drinks.

Lemon mint, raspberry and orange juice 😉

I settled for a glass of water.

Moments later, a male flight attendant came to present himself to us as the one who would be taking care of our side of the cabin. He also offered some newspapers although we declined.

Inflight Safety Video

We had our pushback at 1:56am. About 15 minutes later, the captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard and to give us some flight information including our flight time of 11 hours and 45 minutes, and the temperature in Manila which is 25 degrees.

New inflight safety video.

We had a smooth take off at 2:19am.

Take off went smoothly after which the crew started offering immigration forms and bottles of water.

Turndown Service

Around 2:46am, the crew passed by to offer turn-down service.

Blanket

Dining

Menu card and wine list

Menu

Dinner

Around 2:50am, the flight attendants came to take my drinks order, addressing me by my name. I settled for a glass of apple juice.

The service started with some nuts and hot appetizers, as well as some drinks.

Mike had the soup which according to him was fantastic.

I had the Potpourri of Seafood which was perfect.

For my main course, I opted for the Potpourri of Grilled Seafood which was phenomenal 😋

To end the dinner, I had some fruits. Unfortunately, no tea or coffee was offered, not even hot towels 👎

I was able to sleep for a few hours which was good.

Breakfast

Around 4:35pm Manila time, the crew started offering hot towels for the breakfast service.

Breakfast with carrot juice, cheese and olive plate, fruits.

I also asked for a cup of green tea to go with my breakfast.

For his main course, Mike had the scrambled eggs.

I actually did not pre-order any main course, but when the flight attendant asked if I wanted to have something, I opted for the Turkish breakfast.

Another cup of green tea 👍

Onboard Bar

There would normally be 2 onboard bars set up but since this flight had a very light load, only one was done.

Lavatory

The cabin has a total of 3 lavatories, one on each side between the main and smaller cabins, and one near the cockpit.

Lavatory with Molton Brown hand wash and hand lotion.

Lavatory with perfume spray.

Headphones

As the flight attendants collected the Denon headphones, I was given a standard one so I could finish watching my movie.

Airshow

Airshow enroute to Manila with a little bit of detour.

Landing in Manila Airport Terminal 3

Around 6:35pm, the captain came on the PA to give us some updates and that we would be landing at 7:10pm due to heavy traffic. Turkish Airlines was using Terminal 1 before and it has only been months since they transferred to Terminal 3 which is a much better terminal in my opinion, as they have the Cathay Pacific Lounge here as well as the Singapore Airlines Lounge 😉

View before landing

We landed in Manila around 7:12pm and reached our gate 13 minutes later.

Baggage carousel, NAIA Terminal 3, International

As expected, our luggage were one of those who came first 👍 From the time we reached our arrival gate to the time we reached the baggage carousel area, it only took us 9 minutes which is very fast 😉

CONCLUSION

Writing this review days after Turkish Airlines have been given the Skytrax rating of 3 stars which is down from 4-stars is interesting. I thought that the new airport and the new lounge are definitely impressive and a big improvement to the old ones. However, Turkish Airlines´ soft product is still the same, and in some instances have been worse. Just like on my most flights in Turkish Airlines business class, the crew were friendly. But that´s it. I guess they really have to make an effort to make sure that they deserve to keep the 4-star rating and move to 5-star rating like Lufthansa, like be more proactive in asking how was the food or can I offer you some more bread. I read about the new bedding that Turkish Airlines have introduced but on this flight, only the pillow was part of the new set. We got the same blue mattress pads and blanket which they were giving before. Two things I love about Qatar Airways business class is that the crew always make sure the lavatory is clean after every use and that they have curtains between the galley and the cabin closed so as not to make much noise. On this flight, one of the lavatories I used was really dirty. The curtain between the galley and the smaller cabin where we sat was not closed which was only worsened by the noise from the crew and their activities. I have flown a lot in Turkish Airlines business class and I appreciate the improvements they have made like the DENON headphones, candle light dining and amenities in the lavatory. Of course, DO&CO catering makes sure that they offer one of the best dining experiences in the sky although my last flights in British Airways business class had a better presentation 😉

Turkish Airlines has a lot of potential especially now that they have a new airport and new lounges so I really hope they can continue what they have been doing good and try to improve the things which need improvement. If they do that, there is no doubt they will be among the best airlines in the world, with or without the Skytrax approval 😉

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