June 9, 2019

Review: Turkish Airlines B777 Business Class, Manila-Istanbul

Turkish Airlines Business Class, Boeing 777 Manila to Istanbul

Flight: TK85
Departure time in Manila (MNL): 21:30
Arrival time in Istanbul (IST): 5:05 (+1)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300 (TC-JJH) Rumeli
Seat: 7A
Duration: 12h 35m
Date of flight: May 28, 2019
*This is a revenue ticket (used Elite Plus upgrade voucher) Business Class flight #192


Video from my YouTube Channel 📺


Check-in, Desks E1 to E9

We arrived at NAIA Terminal 3 shortly before 6pm and saw that the check-in counters have already opened. According to one of the airport agents, they opened at 5:40pm. Desks E8 and E9 were used for business class passengers and after being helped by a friendly agent, we had our boarding pass issued as well as a lounge invitation. There was no fast track lane but fortunately, all went smoothly.

Lounge invitation to PAGSS Premium Lounge

PAGSS Premium Lounge

The PAGGS Premium Lounge is a basic lounge where you can enjoy good food and relax before your flight although I wished we could use the beautiful Singapore Airlines SilverKris Lounge. We left the lounge around 8:30pm and headed to our departure gate.

Aircraft, Boeing 777 (TC-JJH)

Our bird to Istanbul 😉

This Boeing 777 named Rumeli was delivered to Turkish Airlines in June of 2010.

Boarding, Gate 116

Boarding started at 8:28pm with those flying in business class and with status getting priority boarding.

It´s boarding time!

Business Class Cabin

Turkish Airlines Boeing 777 business class cabin from rows 1 to 7 in a 2-3-2 configuration.

View of the cabin from my seat

This aircraft was also equipped with wifi 👍

As we were seating in the last row of the business class cabin, I took a picture of the economy class cabin which was right behind us.

Seat, 7A


We assigned ourselves seat 7A and 7B which are located in the smaller business class cabin behind the galley.

My seat 7A is a window seat.

Already waiting are the business class slippers placed on the ottoman.

Moments after settling in, one of the two inflight chefs came to our seats and presented us the menu. We also got the Turkish Airlines ballpens.

Turkish Airlines business class pillow and blanket

Placed in the storage under the center armrest are the amenity kits.

The Christian Lacroix pouch bag contained a lip balm/facial cream plus the usual eye mask, socks, comb, shoe horn, earplugs and dental kit.

Inflight Entertainment Screen

Movie selection

I ended up watching a few films including "The Upside".

A few minutes later after being given the menu card, Mustafa, the flight attendant working our aisle came to present himself and offer us some predeparture drinks.


I opted for a glass of water while Mike had the usual lemon mint.

Denon headphones were also distributed around 9pm. About 25 minutes later, the captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard and to give us some flight information including our flight time to Istanbul of 12 hours and 35 minutes.

Two minutes later, the inflight safety video was shown on the screen. About 20 minutes later, the captain was back on the PA to inform us of the delay due to heavy traffic. I believe there were works being done in the runway during this period which was causing the delay. Around 10:10pm, the captain was again back on the PA to inform us that it would take another 15 minutes for the go signal from the flight controller. A couple of minutes later, we began our pushback although it was not until 10:53pm that we could take off.

Dining

One of the two inflight chefs 😉

Business class menu card and wine list

Dinner menu

Breakfast menu card

To start the dinner service, hot towels were offered.

This is also the time the flight attendants would offer to do the turndown service which I think is really effective as they wouldn´t have to disturb the passengers later after dining. On the other hand, I don´t think Qatar Airways crew would do the same as they prefer giving an excellent dining experience (where you are not seating on the mattress pad) and then offer the turndown service afterwards.

Moments later, the crew came to take our drinks order. I settled for a glass of apple juice as usual 😉

Mixed nuts, an amuse bouche and a glass of apple juice.

Just before serving the appetizers, a bottle of mineral water was offered.

Dinner

For my appetizer, I had the Grilled Prawns and Vegetables which was very good 😋 (and yes, it´s another candlelight dinner high above the clouds)

Mike had the Zucchini Soup which he thought was also very tasty.

For my main course, I opted for the Filipino Style Beef Stew although up to now, I still can´t figure out which Filipino dish it resembles 😉 The closest I can think of is Beef Caldereta because of the sauce.

Mike on the other hand opted for the Grilled Cod Fish which he said was phenomenal.

I skipped the cheese selection and went straight for dessert, choosing the Mango Ice Cream which was fantastic 😋

To end the meal, hot towels were offered.

Breakfast

With about 2 hours and 30 minutes left before landing in Istanbul, breakfast is served starting with a hot towel.

Fresh fruits, bread, muesli with yogurt and melon smoothie

I also had a cup of green tea.

For my main course, I opted for the Spinach Tomato Omelette.

View while enjoying my breakfast 👍

To end the meal, hot towels were offered.

Lavatory

Business class lavatory with Molton Brown hand soap and hand cream

There was also a unisex  cologne spray.

Lavatory

Onboard Snacks Bar

Between the dinner and breakfast service, the crew would make a self-serve snacks bar in the galley. It offered fruits, chocolate bars, crackers, potato chips, etc.

Airshow

We had a lot of detours on the way to Istanbul probably due to bad weather.

A video showing how to connect in the new Istanbul Airport was also shown.

Around 5:30am, the crew started collecting the DENON headphones and since I was still watching a movie, I was given the simpler type. I realy hope they would stop collecting the headphones before landing just like all other airlines 😉

The captain was also back on the PA around 5:58am to give us updated flight information and that we would be landing in 40 minutes with the current temperature of 21 degrees in Istanbul.

Landing in Istanbul Airport (IST)

View before landing in Istanbul Airport

We landed at 6:25am, an hour and twenty minutes behind schedule ...

... and parked at the F gates 10 minutes later.

The new Istanbul Airport is a HUGE airport and to get from gates F to gates B (where our flight was departing from) it takes about 25-30 minutes. With our connecting flight to Stockholm departing at 7:30am, we really had to run and fortunately, we made it.

CONCLUSION

There are lots of things I loved about this flight including the friendly service from the crew, the flat bed and the (almost) excellent dining experience. On the other hand, I feel like the business class configuration on this aircraft (and most of  their aircraft for that matter) which doesn´t give aisle access to every passenger is a big disadvantage. Fortunately, Turkish Airlines will be receiving their first Dreamliners soon so it would really be a game changer. Overall, it was a wonderful flight and for the price we paid for economy class (and the upgrade to business class using our Elite Plus voucher), it was definitely worth it 👍

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