Turkey Trip Overview
Booking Flights To Turkey
British Airways First Class Lounge IAH
British Airways 777 First Class IAH-LHR
Transiting Heathrow and British Airways A320 Business Class LHR-IST
Marriott Courtyard Istanbul Airport
Pegasus Airlines Istanbul to Izmir and Back
Ephesus, Mary’s House and Basilica of St. John
Pamukkale Bus and Preiene
Major Sites to see in Istanbul
Radisson Blu Bosphorus
Turkish Airlines Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines 777 Business Class IST-IAH
We boarded through door 2L and I crossed through the galley to the right aisle to settle in seat 3K, which I had selected via a call to Turkish Airlines once the seat selection window opened in June. And it was here that the tale of musical chairs began.
Turkish Airlines 33
Seat 3K (business class)
At first I was seated next to a gentleman who asked if I would swap seats with his wife, so they could sit together. I was a little irritated but asked where she was seated as I really wanted a window. He wasn’t sure, but only knew she was in the mini-cabin behind the galley. I told him if she had a window I would do it. Apparently she did not have a window because the next thing I know, the two of them are seated in row 1 J&K.
Then a woman with a baby tries to persuade me to change seats for one in the middle section and gets a bit irritated when I won’t. She and her husband and their 2-3 year old aand the baby are all traveling together. They managed to con enough people into changing seats that they ended up with the three in the middle and the husband right beside me.
I’ll be the first to admit I’m not a “kid person” and I’m sure that colors my views on these things. But I like logic. Logic states that if getting seats together is important to you (and I believe it’s crucial with small children) you should get seat assignments ASAP. You should also be prepared to have one parent sit with one child and the other parent with the second child, perhaps one behind the other, perhaps with one pair on the other side of the cabin. This is not rocket science. If you get your premium class seats as the result of a last-minute upgrade, if you can’t get two seats together then don’t take the upgrade. Expecting entire cabins-full to rearrange to fit your needs is selfish and rude. Ideally I’d like to see a “no children under age 6” policy in business and first class but I recognize that’s not realistic. OK, end of the baby rant.
The business class cabin is arranged in a 2-3-2 configuration with flat bed seats and 78 inches of pitch. The seats are the shell type, so that when reclining you don’t infringe on the space of the person behind you. I found the seats quite comfortable. As this was a daytime flight I didn’t spend much time in the fully-flat position but by the end of the trip I was quite tired and was nodding off a bit. The bedding consisted of a sleeping pillow, a waist support (lumbar) pillow, a matress and a duvet. The IFE screen was fairly large and there was an ottoman with plenty of storage space underneath it. I really loved how big the storage space was as I could easily put my shoes in there along with the wrapped bedding.
I was given a Porsche amenity kit which contained the usual suspects: toothbrush, toothpaste, lotion, lip balm, comb/brush, ear plugs, a shoe horn and socks. The lotion and lip balm were Acca Kappa brand. I was also given some slippers that I really liked and now wish I’d kept. I liked the quilted look of them!
The seat controls were intuitive, same as you’ve likely seen on other planes. The IFE controller was placed vertically beside the seat back which made it a little awkward to pop out but then it stayed out for most of the flight anyway.
I was offered a pre-departure beverage and I selected the Limonata, which was quite tasty. I had several more of these over the course of the flight. It was sweet but not as sweet as a soda which was a nice change of pace. We each received a piece of Godiva chocolate too. Yes, thank you!
As it was shortly after noon, once we reached cruising altitude the flight crew went into action. One of the things I’d been anticipating on this flight was the meal service as there are chefs from DO & CO on board. I was not disappointed. Here is the menu (click any photo to enlarge):
As you can tell, there was some mood lighting during the early part of the flight!
We started out with the appetizers:
And there was a “candle” for added ambiance:
The Chicken Caesar salad with sun-dried tomatos:
The Chickpea Pumpkin soup was really good:
I had the Sole Brochette as my entree:
and topped it off with the Fresh Strawberries & Marscapone:
and enjoyed a cup of tea:
Wow, that was a lot of food! And it was all good. After the meal service we closed the window shades and all sat back to enjoy the in-flight entertainment. I don’t typically watch movies while at home so I caught up on several I’d missed including Million Dollar Arm and 42. Guess I was in a baseball mood.
The flight was smooth but the biggest irritant was the family with the two small children. The baby was frequently upset and one or both of the parents had to be up bouncing it around. I know they can’t help this – but it doesn’t make it less irritating. Plus, they did not keep the older child buckled in, even when we passed through some mild turbulence and the seat belt sign came back on. I must say the only time I was not pleased with the flight crew was when the seat belt sign was on andthey looked at the child sitting at the end of the lay-flat seat (up near the TV) and said nothing to the parents. If we’d hit any kind of severe turbulence that child would have hit the ceiling and possibly broken his neck.
But the crew was unfailingly polite to me, even letting me know I did not have to change seats if I didn’t want to do so. Towards the end of the trip when my tray table would not stow properly, a number of crew members attempted to help but in the end they just taped it in place until ground crew could fix it.
We touched down in Houston on time and I zipped through thanks to Global Entry. I noticed that my connecting boarding pass did not have TSA Pre✓® so I stopped at the transit desk to see if they could reprint the boarding pass in hopes that TSA Pre✓® would pop up. Alas, it did not. I later learned that the boarding pass has to be issued by a US airline for TSA Pre✓® to apply. Fortunately the lines were not long as my luggage came out relatively quickly. Then it was on to my connecting flight to Memphis, which was delayed, naturally. The regional jet was quite a step down from international business class but the flight is only about an hour and a half and I survived just fine.
So our trip was complete and I got to experience my first international first class and enjoyed business class on Turkish Airlines. I thoroughly enjoyed my time in Turkey and there are more areas of it that I’d love to spend some time exploring.