Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Turkish Airlines: ARN-IST round trip

This is my first experience with Turkish (TK) and overall they seem like a reasonable choice for where they fly, although the tickets from Stockholm to Istanbul are not the cheapest in the world. Ticket prices for destinations further off, however, have been pretty good for advance fairs to the far east (which yield decent mileage runs).


On the way down, it was a A319 with a “soft” first class: A movable curtain and a choice not to fill the middle seat determined how much “first class” there was. Although I was in economy, I was seated in row 7 and it seemed to have more leg room than most economy classes I’ve been in (much more than my seat in row 21 on the way back).

The food was surprisingly good and menus were passed out ahead of time to tell us what we would be getting. In my case, I decided on the herbed chicken breast which was a clear step up from the normal airline chicken. All meals on Turkish comply with Muslim dietary requirements, but alcohol is also provided if desired (at least on this route).

One area that I think Turkish could use a little more attention is in their selection of movies: Predators and Day and Knight were the movies chosen on the flights there and back, respectively, and both start off fairly early with scenes involving flight mishaps. In Predators, the main characters start off in free fall with a semi-functioning parachute. In Knight and Day, the main character crash lands a plane in a field. I’m not sure if this is meant to suggest that if something bad happens it’s survivable or what. It also didn’t help that the landing into Istanbul was pretty rough, with winds, rain, and the plane moving in directions that it normally does not.

To give you an idea about how much rain there was, this is a photo from near where I was staying. It was literally a river as wide as the sidewalks and street combined!


On the way back up, we were in a 737-800 and I was seated in an aisle seat back in row 21. The flight itself was uneventful, and an early morning flight. Again, menus were passed out and this time the meal was a surprisingly good scrambled eggs with a bit of turkey ham toast. Generally, I would say that the food on Turkish seems to be more flavorful and better than most. Turkish tastes seem to be fairly well adapted to flight, where the lack of humidity affects the way we perceive taste and makes virtually everything taste blander than it actually is (no kidding!)

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