Anyone care for some pus with their Turkish delight?

Hello live from Turkish 51, somewhere between Tokyo and Istanbul! I was quite excited to try Turkish given that I haven’t flown them in years. The last time I flew them was when they still had 777s that they were leasing from Jet Airways, which featured first class suites (sadly these are long gone).

Anyway, this flight featured their new business class seats, which are pretty standard lie flat seats. They’re not fancy or anything, but they do the trick and are quite comfortable.

On the plus side, the food is phenomenal. Much like Austrian, Turkish has DO & CO catering, and the food is among the best in the sky.

The crew is a different story, though. They have the combined charm of a DMV on a public holiday. It’s not that they’re rude, per se, but rather just so uninterested and blank faced that I feel like they’d make great poker players.

The most interesting part of the flight had to be when the chef (a guy in his lower 20s) popped a zit before takeoff and then proceeded to walk around the cabin at least a handful of times while he was holding a bloody tissue to his face (and by bloody tissue I mean bloody tissue, not the British use of “bloody”… nevermind).

On the plus side the flight has wifi, and it’s free. How awesome is that? Unfortunately as expected we’ve crossed all of Russia in the time it took me to upload the above five pictures.

More details coming with the trip report, as usual, though if anyone has questions in the meantime I’m more than happy to answer.

Filed Under: Awards, Travel
  1. The zit issue alone might have people running for Saudia or Ryan or any other carrier. Glad you didn’t pay for this flight. Happy trails.

  2. Yea, that’s pretty disgusting and enough to setup a rather disappointing in flight experience. I flew TK about this time last year from IST-HKG. I was very impressed with the meal service, the cabin crew was good, and I really enjoyed their hard product.

    One first for me though…I was sitting in 1D and upon our rather hard landing in HKG, the cockpit door flew wide open, so I had a nice 10-15 second view out the front window before the lead FA was able to pull the curtain closed.

  3. I flew TK in J from IAD-IST, and then IST-FRA, back in May. Our food was also very good, but so was the service. They really got a kick out of our attempts to learn Turkish.

  4. Try the sour cherry juice, Lucky! It’s delicious.

    Ironically, I found the wifi to be agonizingly slow over North America, but over Europe and Asia it was fine. Go figure.

  5. I flew 4 flights from IST to HKG and SIN/PEK in last 30 days. Food good, yes, but in-flight service and crew… disaster. So highly uninterested, I am sure that they would rather be somewhere else but on the plane…

  6. I flew TK several times last year (mostly LAX-IST and IST-PVG), yes the food is great, the crew is only OK, but the TK ground staff in IST is terrible! You need something, forget it, they won’t help you and have no desire to solve a problem. They really don’t give a $%^& about the customer. I was not allowed to lounge several times during 6+ hours layovers although I’m StarAlliance Gold (UA 1K) and had my card and later even confirmation from LAX and PVG TK staff that I’m really SA Gold, because their (TK) system was not showing my status. The staff at the lounge entrance was so unbelievable rude and not willing to do anything about it. I have complained about the ground service (my only complaint about an airline performance in my life) and had to send over 20 emails, and get 1K and SA customer service involved, to get some lame and very general response after 7 months. I was so upset about the service that after AA status match I moved most of the business to them and to OneWorld. And now I’m a very loyal AA and OW customer (250K+ miles/year). This is how you lose a customer….

  7. I’m flying Turkish in a couple months, is the wi-fi free in all cabins? (Sadly, I’ll be in the back, so I’m not expecting much.) Is that only on their 777s, or do other fleet types for them have it at well?

  8. @ Chris — I think they’ve been fitting most of the fleet with it for the past year or so.

    @ Coutureguy — As a marketing gimmick (to create the impression that the food is fresh and awesome) quite a few airlines have onboard chefs nowadays.

  9. Oh ok. Well if airlines are looking to cut costs, they can start right there. Talk about an unnecessary expense. I don’t know who would get fooled by that gimmick, lol.

  10. It’s not really a big cost. All TK has to pay for is some chef uniform for a few flight attendants.

    To give you an idea of how useless they are: in Turkish C you are asked to fill out a form to specify your breakfast preferences. So I did and left it on my arm rest. FAs and the “chef” walked by numerous times until breakfast, never once bothering to pick it up. Then, towards the end of the flight, they brought breakfast, without asking what I wanted – much less consulting the form, which was still on my armrest.

    Now, you’d think the least a chef could do is prepare food to order. Apparently not the TK “chefs”. It’s all just a silly gimmick, and I suspect the food would be just as good without the poofy hats.

  11. Sounds like the gimmick could backfire, causing a customer service problem rather than enhancing service.

  12. @ — Yes, the 77W has fully flat beds, while the A330 has angled flat beds, so I’d say it’s quite a difference.

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