Review: Turkish Airlines B787 Business Class, Istanbul-Bali

Turkish Airlines B787 Business Class, Istanbul to Bali

Having heard earlier this year that Turkish Airlines would fly their new Boeing 787 to Bali, I had no choice but to book a flight to Bali even if it was not my final destination in Asia. The seats were like the ones Singapore Airlines is using in their regional flights so it was interesting to see if it would also be perfect for a flight of more than 12 hours. Find out more on this review.

Last updated: October 9, 2019


Flight: TK66
Departure time in Istanbul (IST): 1:30
Arrival time in Bali (DPS): 19:30
Aircraft: Boeing 789 (TC-LLB)
Seat: 5K
Duration: 13h
Date of flight: October 2, 2019
*This is an award travel, Business Class flight #203

Video from my YouTube Channel πŸ“Ί


TourIstanbul

I had about more than 9 hours connection in Istanbul Airport and decided to take advantage of the free TourIstanbul. The only tour available for my time is the Bosphorous Tour which starts from 6pm and ends at 11pm.

One could either avail of the free tour or the free hotel but since my connection was not the shortest connection possible, I was not eligible for the free hotel accommodation. We left the airport around 6:10pm and reached the city pretty quickly.

Galata Tower during the Bosphorous Tour

Bosphorous Bridge during the Bosphorous Tour

*The tour also included some complimentary snacks πŸ˜‹

I was glad I took advantage of this free tour as I have never done it even if I had visited Istanbul a lot of times in the past. In case you are eligible for the tour, I recommend that you take advantage of it πŸ‘

Istanbul Airport

We were back in Istanbul Airport around 10:15pm as there was not much traffic. I took entrance number 5 which is the priority entrance for business class passengers as well as those with status.

Then there is the check-in entrance for Turkish Airlines Elite and Elite Plus members to the left while to the right is the entrance for business class passengers.

This way to business class check-in πŸ‘

Business Class check-in desks

Just like the check-in desks for business class passengers of Qatar Airways in Doha and the first class check-in desks for THAI in Bangkok, the one here in Istanbul has a nice seating area on one side ...

... and the other.

Fast Track

As usual, there was also fast track service πŸ‘

Located landside is a YOTEL although I believe there is also one airside.

Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Lounge

Duty Free shops

I had access to both the Miles&Smiles Lounge as well as the Business Class Lounge and decided to stay at the Miles&Smiles Lounge. Around 12:10am, I left the lounge for the 12:30am scheduled boarding since the departure gate is a bit of a walk from the lounge.

Boarding, Gate A1B

Gate A1B is located downstairs.

I arrived at the gate around 12:18am and after seven minutes, boarding commenced.

Those flying in business class as well as those with status had priority boarding (the aircraft was in a remote stand) although we used the same bus with economy class passengers so in the end, some of us in business class were among the last to board the plane.

Aircraft, Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner (TC-LLB)

The beautiful Dreamliner flying us to Bali

Turkish Airlines Dreamliner 😍

Dreamliner engine πŸ˜‰

Business Class Cabin

I was greeted by one of the flight attendants upon boarding and directed to the aisle where my seat was located.

Turkish Airlines B787 business class cabin

Turkish Airlines B787 business class cabin

Seat 6K


The business class cabin on Turkish Airlines B787-9 consists of seats from rows 1-8 in a 1-2-1 configuration for a total of 30 seats, with row 8 only having two seats.

New Uniform

And yes, the crew were all wearing their new uniform which I think is much better than the old one.

Seat 5K

Welcome to my seat, 5K!

My seat is a window seat and is located closer to the aisle. The seats alternate so the one in front of me as well as the one behind me are closer to the window than to the aisle.

The seats reminded me of the seats Singapore Airlines uses in their regional flights and which I was able to test during the crew familiarization flights last year.

Located to the side of the (right) arm rest are the seat/light controls, DND, etc. and the IFE controller.

The armrests can be lowered so as to better fit during bed mode πŸ‘Œ

Turkish Airlines business class pillow

Turkish Airlines business class blanket

The seat "shield" has the light controls as well.

In front of the seat is an 18 inch HD screen πŸ‘

From the movie selection, I ended up watching "Aladdin" (and a bit of  Spiderman) which I thought was a cool movie πŸ˜‰

There was also Live TV so I was able to watch a bit of CNN.

My Music

And of course, there was wifi connection where business class passengers have unlimited access πŸ‘

Foldable tray table

Foldable tray table

The footwell unfortunately is a bit small.

Coat hook

Literature pocket

Safety instruction card

To the right of my seat is a mirror and a small storage compartment.

Storage compartment and headphones hook

Inside, you´ll find the DENON headphones, USB and AC power outlets.

Denon headphones and IFE controller

Slippers

Electronic window shades πŸ‘

Personal air vents and lamp

Pre-departure Beverage

Moments after settling in, the flight attendant taking care of my aisle came to offer some drinks and asked if I wanted some newspapers (at the same time). I chose a glass of water.

Glass of water

At 1:08am, the inflight chef came to offer a pen. Ten minutes later, the captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard and to give us the usual flight information including our flight time to Bali of 12 hours.

Versace Amenity Kit

Moments later, we were offered amenity kits which was branded Versace and included a Versace lip balm, refreshing scented mist and small spray perfume among others. The female kit was a white one so I guess I would have to ask for it next time πŸ˜‰ Menu cards were also offered later.

Safety Video

At 1:33am, the safety video was played followed by our pushback. We were also reminded by the crew to use the seat belt the way one would have it when driving a car. It was obligatory only during take off and landing though.

Zero Waste Blue Movement Video

A video entitled Zero Waste Blue Movement reminding us not to throw wastes in the sea is a very good way to teach people to love our environment for the sake of the next generation, and I hope more and more airlines show this video as a sort of reminder to all of us πŸ‘ At 1:49am, we had our take off. As soon as the seatbelt sign was turned off, the inflight chef started taking meal orders.

Turndown Service

The other flight attendants on the other hand offered turn down service and distributed bottles of mineral water.

The business class blanket was actually much better than the older one, and reminded me of Qatar Airways blanket although this one is much thinner.

Dining

Breakfast and dinner menu cards

Dine on Demand menu card

This is the first time I´ve seen a snack menu offered. This could be a replacement to the onboard snacks bar usually found on their B777s but not here on the B787.

Beverage menu

Aperitives, beers, etc.

At 2:40am, hot towels were offered. Five minutes later, the flight attendant came addressing me by my name and took my drinks order. I chose a glass of apple juice.

The apple juice was served with some warm nuts.

Then the usual trio of small appetizers were served.

For my first course, I chose the "Wild salmon tartatare and marinated prawn" which was very good πŸ˜‹

Then, for my main course, I had the Seafood medley which was also fantastic although the portion was too big for me so I was not able to eat everything.

For my dessert, I had the Maras pistachio ice cream πŸ˜‹ I was also asked if I wanted to have coffee or tea and asked for the latter. I noticed that unlike my previous flights with them in the past where they would pass by with the dessert, coffee, tea and liquor trolley, here they had simply asked and served it. I thought that the main reason was that the aisle in the B787 is too small for the trolley but since they do have trolley service on other B787 routes, then I guess it is for another reason πŸ˜‰ I also noticed that most flight attendants were serving main courses in both hands, so as not to go back and forth. I guess this is because the aisle is too small/narrow. Maybe πŸ˜‰

My green tea.

To end the meal, hot towels were offered.

After a very good (late) dinner, I went to sleep and was able to actually sleep for a few hours. I noticed that the seat in bed mode was not really that spacious so I wonder what it was like for those who are bigger and taller than me πŸ˜‰

Breakfast

I woke up with 4 hours and 30 minutes left before landing and decided to watch some more films/browse on the internet. Interestingly, the flight attendants passed by without asking if I wanted something to drink πŸ‘Ž Also, I didn´t see any onboard snacks bar, as there was no place to have it onboard. I guess that was the reason why they had the snacks menu instead.

With 2 hours and 20 minutes left before landing, the flight attendants started offering hot towels which signalled the start of breakfast, at 5:30pm local time πŸ˜‰

I was served a tray with the usual breakfast items plus a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice (which I never drink). The fact that I filled up the breakfast menu card and wrote "carrot juice" for my drink, and for it to be not collected so they know what they would prepare was a bit frustrating. Not many airlines provide a separate breakfast menu card and it actually works very well. An example is Qatar Airways πŸ‘

Bread was also offered and for my drinks, I asked for a cup of green tea.

Instead of having the Black Sea omelette or Scrambled eggs, I opted for the "White cheese and chicken sandwich" and Demel´s petits desserts from the "Anytime Menu".

Lavatory

The Dreamliner has two lavatories, one in the front and another in the back. As usual, they had the Molton Brown hand soap and hand lotion as well as a unisex cologne spray.

1 of 2 business class lavatories

1 of 2 business class lavatories

Surprisingly, they have installed the washlet πŸ‘

Airshow

Airshow enroute to Bali

Landing in Ngurah Rai Airport

At 5:30pm, the crew started offering hot towels.

Around 30 minutes later, the crew collected the DENON headphones and gave us the normal/economy class ones as substitute. At 6:04pm, the captain was back on the PA and informed us that we would be landing in 40 minutes. Then, he was back about 20 minutes later to inform us that there would be a delay due to the number of flights landing in Bali at the same time, and that we expect to land at 6:55pm.

View of Mt. Agung πŸ˜‰

Moving map (camera forward/down) upon landing πŸ‘

We landed in Bali at 6:51pm and reached our gate 4 minutes later.

Upon arrival in Bali

Unfortunately, there was no fast track service although it went pretty quickly in the end πŸ˜‰

CONCLUSION

Just like in most flights I´ve taken, there are pros and cons on this flight. The pros: brand new aircraft which is more fuel efficient and quieter with wifi, live TV, electronic window shades, etc.; brand new seat with modern design, offers better privacy and direct aisle access; the Versace amenity kit is so far the best kit I have received from them; the new uniforms of the crew were much nicer in my opinion and the new bedding has a better design and the blanket much softer. For the cons: The seat unfortunately is sort of small and this is because the B787 is much smaller than other aircraft like the B777 and A350; the privacy is not fully private in the sense that I was distracted by the lights of the personal screen coming from the seat in front of the passenger beside me; the service was not that 4 stars anymore since the crew were trying to do two things at once because the aisle is small and that would save them time (I guess). An example is when they offer the pre-departure beverage and ask "would you like to have newspapers" while holding the tray of drinks in front of me. Another example is when they served plates in two hands and clear dirty plates in two hands as well. Overall, I guess it is a matter of preference. The B787 seats and service was almost perfect for me as I am a small guy although I wish they would still stick to serving just one plate at a time (Oh I miss Qatar Airways 5 star service πŸ˜‰). To all the crew on this flight, TeşekkΓΌr Ederim!


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