I'm scheduled to go to a wedding in ULN mid-July leaving from NYC
There is a good fare right now on TK about $1800 or less for NYC-IST-FRU-ULN. (Technical stop in FRU)
I'm curious if anyone knows about this route in coach ?
Flying using OW airlines (I'm aadavantage) is way too expensive for this trip and not worth the extra $1K or more in coach. I'm already forking $3K to do a round trip to australia 2 weeks before that which is borderline crazy ($900 of various taxes in there), so need to calm down a bit.
Other solution is flying CI, but still brings me about $500 more which can be a bit more useful somewhere else.
Programs: LH/LX Sen, was SQ QPP4, BA GGL, TK*G EL, AB P, HHonors D, SPG G, Hyatt D
Most people agree that TK is a fairly good airline - with very good food, but some issues in case of irrops.
However, perhaps on this route you need to consider the schedule, especially on the outbound. You'll have two overnight flights, one from JFK to IST in a long haul plane, and another from IST to ULN in a short haul A320 (that's why there's a technical stop). In between, you have quite a long layover in IST and looking at your status no lounge access. So this doesn't look too attractive, at least to me ...
Finally it was a 737/800 which arrived in ULN and had the "real" J seats in a 2+2 layout for the 10hour flight back to IST.
Was done in a couple of minutes. Baggage was checked through to final destination. BP only to IST. Had to grab the second one in IST. Security check took itīs time but they finally opened up to three screening points.
Basic 3rd party lounge.Softdrinks, juice, coffee and beer. To eat only some cookies. No mention of loune during check in. Just go there, show your boarding pass, they will take our BP and make a fotocopy of it.
No calls for boarding or the delay.Was "only" one hour but do not know why, since the flight arrived quite on time. They started business and then they shouted: Istanbul. Just go through the only one door. It still had the details of the previous flight on screen. So do not get confused since there is only one door for the two aerobridges.
From the dimensions the seats are like the comfortclass seats in the widebodys. Quite comfy for a day flight of 10+ hours. Recline is enough, IFE is standard. So nothing to complain. Would recomend to sit in a F seat, since there will be no direct sunlight through your window. Blinds could stay open the whole time and you had a nice scenery to watch.
Pre-departure drinks offered: water and orange juice. hot towel service before and after each lunch.
Crew was attentive and made their way through cabin quite often. So if you wanted something, just ask. Or press the button, but since they walked through quite often no need to press the button.
An amenity kit was handed out. Itīs the same like the comfort class kit in longhaul.
Full lunch menu for ULN-FRU and FRU-IST + some extra sandwich and cookie on the second leg.
Overall: Quite tasty and TK standard
Downside: Some of the food (fresh tomatos in the salad) looked a little bit sad. I think it was brought up from IST because the sandwich tasted like it was already one day old.
Technical stop in Bishkek:
They let off first only the persons which had as final destination FRU. After that all other passengers had to leave the plane. No business lounge, just lingering in the departure hall for approx. 40min. You also had the chance to go shopping in 6 duty free shops. Be aware, that the prices are little bit higher than in ULN for cigarettes and alcohol. If you intend to buy stuff like this: Do it in ULN!
Would jump on this flight without any hesitation again since this is a day flight. No need for a full recline seat during day time.
Hopefully I did not forget anything and that this feedback does not look like a trip report.
If you still have question ask or stay quiet.
Quick report too, will pale in comparison to the one from solfi.
My flight was JFK-IST-FRU-ULN return.
I'll pass for the JFK-IST part, was in comfort class. No complaints whatsoever, loved the food, good IFE, definitely top of my list of airlines now.
Departure from IST about 30 mins late.
I was in coach, for some reason the AC was set fairly low. Same good IFE. Pleasant food for coach.
Landed in FRU at about 3am, the pilot mangled some incomprehensible instructions in something that vaguely looked like english and everybody stared at each other trying to figure out what to do.
FRU paxs have to exit first, they will get counted at the door by officials, then ULN passengers have to exit (with their carry-on). We were directed in a room at ground level with some chairs, a single toilet booth (men+women), and a tv playing bbc news while 2 women got down the stairs with a few 'duty free' items to put on a shelf (a soda or 2, some biscuits, a kit kat bag, 3 mars bars and things like that). Before you land in FRU, make sure to hit the toilet if you think you need to.
Landed about 45min late in ULN.
Check-in at the MIAT counter (they issue MIAT branded BP), they checked-in my baggage all the way to JFK but gave me a single BP (important point) only to IST.
You can pay $40 to wait in the lounge in case you don't have status (a tad excessive given the non existant service, you would need to drink 20 cans of soda). WIFI was very poor when it was actually working. No food, only some salted biscuits.
No communication at all and no information screen regarding boarding status, you have to trust the lady to come back pick you up (she also had my passport). The boarding was 1h late which left me a bit uneasy (I had 1h45min connection in IST)
Same thing again in FRU regarding stop. Totally unintelligible english from the pilot. this time it was in daylight, we were directed to the full 'duty free' area which was way nicer than the room at 3am (NB: a friend of mine flying a week before did not have this luck and had to endure the minimalistic room for this flight too). From the hall, in full daylight you can admire the tarmac filled with KC-135s and C-17s from the USAF.
Arrival in IST, we were collected by buses. As soon as I hit the airport, I ran all the way to the TK Transit Desk to get my BP...which had probably 30-40 people waiting... finally managed to get my BP at pretty much supposed departure time. Had to go through security screening (2 mins) and then ran to the gate (agents were calling out for NYC paxs all over), they took a good 5 mins shuffling around passport before I could board. Of course I was among the last one to board. As could be expected, my bag didn't make it on that flight, it was delivered the next day to me to my home in manhattan.
Pleasant flight for the way back (comfort class). *Lots* of food.
In summary: Watch out for delays for that route in case you have tight connections / meetings but would definitely fly TK for that route again. It was my first time flying TK as well and was impressed by the service.
Thanks for the reviews, as for the ULN lounge, I don't really bother (and have never been offered access), the beer is fairly inexpensive at the bar/take away and the chairs are acceptable. The internet is generally dodgy in the entire airport (including directly under the WIFI zone signs). The only place I have found it works regularly is the domestic departures lounte.