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East Africa: Tanzania and Seychelles via Air Canada & Turkish Airlines Business Class

East Africa: Tanzania and Seychelles via Air Canada & Turkish Airlines Business Class

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Old Oct 8, 18, 5:56 pm
  #1  
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East Africa: Tanzania and Seychelles via Air Canada & Turkish Airlines Business Class

East Africa: Tanzania and Seychelles via Air Canada & Turkish Airlines Business Class

YVR-YYZ-IST-DAR (Aeroplan Award)
DAR-ZNZ-DAR (paid)
DAR-NBO-SEZ (paid)
PRI-SEZ (paid)
SEZ-IST-YYZ-YVR (Aeroplan Award)





Preparation:

The frequent flier world always changes and, in this travel chapter, it was the announcement (in December 2017) that Air Canada would soon be severing its relationship with its frequent flier program Aeroplan. This likely meant that, at the worst, our points would be able to be redeemed for merchandise and economy class seating on any carrier. The horrors! We’d had a good run with Aeroplan, having redeemed about 1.2 million miles with them over the course of the years. At the time of this report, no bright future was in sight. Instead of having our points turned into toaster or appliance redemptions, we decided to burn off the majority of the points with two North America – Africa Business Class Awards.

Thanks to generous business class award space on Turkish Airlines, we booked departing from Vancouver across Canada to Toronto in Air Canada Business Class (in Boeing 787 long haul pods), connecting to Turkish Airlines down to Tanzania. Our return was an open jaw from the Seychelles, re-tracing our steps back to Vancouver. I was initially unable to get 2 business class seats on the Air Canada Vancouver – Toronto flights so I had booked into Premium Economy for this segment. I set Expert Flier seat alerts and fortunately, at the four month mark, 2 business reward seats opened up. I called in and had us moved up to business without charge. Each ticket was 150,000 miles a for piece for six flights in business class. Aeroplan doesn’t collect fuel surcharges for flights on Turkish Airlines so our taxes and fees per ticket were a low $197.41 CAD per ticket. These tickets were booked at 5 months before travel with selective award availability.

Since this was an open jaw ticket, we had to get ourselves from Tanzania to the Seychelles. I noticed that Kenya Airways was flying in between Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania and Mahe, Seychelles via Nairobi, Kenya. The ticket was a surprisingly low base fare of $35 USD, a bargain basement price for a one way international fare. With taxes and fees, the ticket came to $160 USD each. We didn’t bother with a business class ticket at $600 USD per person on this route. We didn’t need the extra baggage allowance thanks to several propeller plane rides throughout the trip, and our ability to access lounges on this trip was limited with only a 50 minute connection in Nairobi.

In this Report:

Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - Domestic Vancouver International Airport
Air Canada "Signature Service" Business Class: Vancouver - Toronto
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge - International Toronto Pearson Airport
Turkish Airlines Business Class: Toronto - Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge - Istanbul Atatürk Airport
Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul - Dar Es Salaam
Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam - The Killimanjaro
Precision Air: Dar Es Salaam - Zanzibar
The Residence Zanzibar by Cenizaro
Park Hyatt Zanzibar
Stonetown, Zanzibar
Precision Air: Zanzibar - Dar Es Salaam
Kenya Airways: Dar Es Salaam - Nairobi
Kenya Airways: Nairobi - Mahe
Le Meridien Fisherman's Cove Seychelles
Beau Vallon, Seychelles
Chateau Des Feuilles, Praslin
Praslin Island, Seychelles
Air Seychelles: Praslin - Mahe
Salon Vallée de Mai Business Class Lounge, Seychelles
Turkish Airlines Business Class: Mahe - Istanbul
Turkish Airlines ETour / Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge Istanbul
Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul - Toronto
Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport - Terminal Three
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Domestic: Air Canada Terminal One
Air Canada Business Class: Toronto – Vancouver

Links to my previous reports:

Spring Break with WT73jr at Vail Colorado, USA via Alaska Airlines. March 2018
Polyensia Part II: Easter Island, Chile & Mexico City, Mexico via LATAM Business Class. Sept 2017
Summer is a state of mind; Kaanapali, Maui, via Alaska Airlines with my 13 yr old son, August 2017
Fiji, New Zealand and French Polynesia via Fiji Airways, Air New Zealand and Air Tahiti Nui Business Class (AS, Y, FJ J, NZ Y, VT Y, TH J, AA J), June 2017
Mileage Running to New York via Delta Airlines First Class for Alaska MVP Status (DL J), Dec 2016
Havana and Varadero Cuba via Westjet Holidays from Canada (WJ Y) Nov 2016
Malta (and the island of Gozo), Venice, Italy and Oktoberfest in Munich, via Air France Business Class (AF J, LH Y) Sept 2016
South Africa, Namibia, Victoria Falls, Mauritius & the UAE via Emirates First, Qatar Business (QR J, EK F, BA J, SA J, SW Y) April 2016
Dodging Volcanic Ash: A family trip to Bali / Singapore with my 11 year old (DL J / OZ J / KL J / JL J) July 2015
RTW#3 (J): Vietnam, Maldives, and Tackling India’s Golden Triangle. (AC/OZ/SQ/AI/TK), May 2015
Experiencing flying as a "Non-Rev", Australia Wine and Beaches, (AC J/Y, QF J) November 2014
Alaska Airlines First Class to Las Vegas, and a stay in the Aria Sky Suites “Penthouse” (AS F), August 2014
Family trip to Kenora Lake of the Woods Ontario via Air Canada Business Class (AC J). August 2014
Cathay Pacific First Class to New York, a sombre visit to the 9/11 Memorial Museum & 4 days of eating in NYC. (CX F) May 2014
RTW #2 (J) The Khors of Oman- via Japan, Poland & the UAE. RTW in Biz (NH 787, OZ, TG, EY, TK, LH). April 2014
South Africa, Safari in Maasai Mara Kenya, & Mauritius (UA J, SA J, XAK, LX J, AC J) Nov 2013
A family trip to Westin Playa Conchal, Liberia Costa Rica, (UA Y) Aug 2013
Buried Treasure: UAE Empty Quarter and Beyond to Huvadhoo Atoll, Maldives (UA Y, EY J/Y, Q2 Y), Nov 2012
RTW #1(F) The Time Share Presentation: Spain / China / Thailand. (AC J, OZ F, TG F, LH J/F, AC Y, May 2012
A visit to Macchu Picchu and Valle Nevado, Peru and Chile. (AC J, LA Y) Sept 2011
Travel after the Revolution of January 25, 2011. Egypt. (MS Y) May 2011
A Step Back in Time: The Twilight of Burma, a visit to Myanmar (MI Y) Sept 2010

Last edited by worldtraveller73; Nov 24, 18 at 2:23 pm
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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:03 pm
  #2  
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
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Posts: 4,161
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge
Domestic: Vancouver International Airport


We had a bit of a rushed get away this morning from the house. We’ve had a dry spring so I spent lots of time giving the plants an extra long water. MrsWT73 volunteered to drive us to the airport today so we packed up the car and we were off at 10 AM.

MrsWT73 dropped me off at the Vancouver International Airport domestic with the bags section while she went to park the car. The area is getting quite small and they have out grown their foot print in the old original airport building which dates back to 1968.





We checked in at the Air Canada Priority Desk that has been jazzed up in elegant black since the last time we flew with them. This desk handles all business class domestic and international check ins for Air Canada. The US Transborder Departures are handled at a separate area that is closer to the US Pre-Clearance facility.









A friendly check in agent verified our Tanzanian’ visa’s and was excited to hear that we were travelling all the way to Tanzania. “Have fun you guys” she exclaimed as she sent us no our way with three boarding cards. Our bags were tagged the entire way to DAR and flagged with Star Alliance Priority Tags.





There was a long line at security screening today that had about 200 people in it. Thanks to Nexus Trusted Traveller cards, we followed the pathway around to the left at screening check point “B” and snuck our way into the security lane that only had about 5 people in it.

After we had cleared security, and passed the new First Nations Art work in the C wing, we headed down to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge – Domestic Terminal. This lounge used to be a regular stop over of mine but it has been probably 6 months since I’d visited last. I still think that it is cool that there are Brentwood boxes decorating the inside of the Vancouver Airport.











The Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Domestic has its lobby area on the entrance level followed by a rectangular shape on the upper level.





There were lots of promotional displays advertising the new Air Canada Signature Service; a fancy way of re-branding the fact that they offer a flat seat on wide body aircraft around North America. They claim to offer a higher level of premium by elevating the service from end to end.





The lounge itself is looking quite worn. The leather chairs are quite beat up and there are a lot of stains on the carpet. The place has gotten quite a bit of use recently.











MrsWT73 insisted that we eat in the lounge on the way there instead of stopping for a proper meal. “There will be sandwiches there lovey”. Famous last words. . . Unfortunately, it seems as though there have been some cost cutting. Two salads, green peas and flatbread was all that was on offer. Now looking less than United Clubs an Even the Plaza Premium Priority Pass options in Vancouver are looking much more nicely appointed than the Maple Leaf Lounge.









Despite the meager food selection, there were a handful of British Columbia wines available. There were also lots of self pour spirits. It wasn’t anything too exciting but nice to have the option.







The best part of the lounge are the large windows with views across to the domestic / international swing gates and the coast mountains north of Vancouver. There are great views from the lounge of the international and domestic apron.





There are also showers available in the back, which Vancouver being my home airport, I’ve never needed the opportunity to use since I rarely connect through here.

The Air Canada Maple Leaf Domestic Lounge is a reasonable place to spend some time before a flight. I’ve been here so many times, it’s almost got an institutional feel to it. The best part are the views of the aircraft operations on the apron and the mountain views if it is a clear day. The worst parts seem to be the current cut in food and beverage. There isn’t enough there to enjoy as a meal replacement unless small pieces of flat bread are enough to satisfy you.

Last edited by worldtraveller73; Oct 15, 18 at 11:36 pm
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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:15 pm
  #3  
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Air Canada
AC 116 – Business Class (I)
YVR-YYZ (Vancouver International Airport – Toronto Pearson International Airport)
May 26, 2018
01:00 PM – 8:22 PM
Booked: Boeing 787-900
Flown: Boeing 787-900


We headed down at T-50 to Gate C49, which was one gate up from the Maple Leaf Lounge. Today’s service was on a beautiful new Boeing 787-900 with the attractive sunglasses livery. Air Canada boards by zone and it wasn’t long before the zone gate mazes filled up.





We were able to board in Zone 1 and we were the 5th and 6th people on board the aircraft. We self guided ourselves to business class Seats 4A and 3A. Air Canada offers a pretty nice 787 reverse herringbone product. When we arrived to the seat, we found the sleep set consisting of upgraded bedding and a pillow.









The seat itself has electronic seat controls accessed by a touch screen.





There were also thankfully individual air vent nozzles. It’s a feature I’ve grown to appreciate more and more through my years of flying.



There were lots of great cubby holes, storage place and plug ins.







As we prepared to get underway, a bottle of Naya water was dropped off. It wasn’t clear to me whether this was to be saved for the flight or whether this was the “pre-departure beverage”. It seems that they have either cut the PDB on domestic flights since no one ever came around again to offer anything. I ended up shelving the water for later in the flight.



The menus were dropped off. The wine lists were of the “ask your server” variety (also known as non existent).





The captain came on to announce a shorter than usual flight time of 3 hrs and 47 minutes flight time and 4 hours and 19 minutes gate to gate. As this was happening, the flight attendants came around to take lunch orders. The orders were taken from right to left. Although I was near the end, I was still able to get the first choice of entrees.

We had a short and unexplained push delay of about 10 minutes. We set off for Runway 08R which had us departing over my home town of Surrey. Were we joined a queue of about 7-9 aircraft waiting to take off. This included a Korean Air Cargo Boeing 777 Freighter.









Once we were under way, the in flight service started with a towel service.

This was then followed by a beverage service with nuts. I thought that the staff would not be back again for a while, so I filled up with a Tanqueray gin and tonic plus a white wine. I was pleased to report staff was around frequently for drink refills.



The Hawksworth menu items surprisingly absent and unreferred to. Despite this, food was tasty and pleasant.

Appetizer plate served on a tray.

Ceaser salad, romaine, pancetta, Parmesan pepper crisp, French bread croutons, creamy Ceasar salad dressing (is there any other kind)?





The main was Chicken Piri Piri, smoked paprika, curcuma basmati rice, green beans, carrots, red peppers. The sauce was great and nice to have some spice on the plane where everything usually tastes so bland.



The dessert was a Chocolate chip cookie baked fresh on board, vanilla (gelato) ice cream, coffee.



After the food service, the cabin was turned down and I settled into the in flight entertainment system. Throughout the balance of the flight, there were frequent drink refills and I was addressed by name at almost every opportunity. It was a solid effort by Air Canada.





MrsWT73 had no issues with the set up by the looks of things.



We arrived to Toronto just as the sun was setting for the day. As always, an approach over many freeways.





As we deplaned in Toronto, I got some additional photos of the seat since the sun was in our eyes in Vancouver.





The Boeing 787-900 flight with the reverse herringbone configuration remains THE most comfortable way to skip across Canada. It certainly beats the narrow body recliner seats that most Air Canada flights offer on their Airbus fleet. We had great and friendly service from our crew.

Last edited by worldtraveller73; Oct 15, 18 at 11:31 pm
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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:21 pm
  #4  
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Posts: 4,161
Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge International
Toronto Pearson International Airport


We got off at gate D24, which is in the commuter airline area. We wandered down the usual path towards the escalators up to the E connection gates.



We used the express travellator over to the International concourse which is an interesting contraption by Thyssen Krupp that is a double speed travellator that moves on an accordion floor that shrinks and expands depending on where you are. The escalator was so infamous (for being broken), it even had its own Flyertalk thread at one point.







The escalator dumped us off at the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge International Toronto. We were admitted thanks to the business class access with our ticket.





It’s my second time in this lounge and it’s always a dark affair since I’m always connecting internationally in the evening. The layout seems less impressive these days compared with some of the massive hub lounges of the world, although it is a perfectly nice lounge. The seating areas are nicely spread out with ample spots to sit. The better spots seem to be further into the lounge away from the entrance.













There was also a buffet with more substantial offerings at than the domestic Vancouver lounge.











The usual inexpensive wines were on pour, with the same types as the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Vancouver Domestic Lounge. No special upgrades here in the wine category, it’s all just the same.





We didn’t stay to long and just uploaded / downloaded laptop emails and charged up with some water.

All in, a pretty solid international lounge. It has all that you’d need connecting to an international flights. It’s got a reasonable buffet and some comfortable chairs to spend time in between your connection. I doubt that I would count on this for a meal replacement, if you were hoping to get to sleep right away on your international flight, but it’s pretty good nevertheless.
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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:28 pm
  #5  
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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Posts: 4,161
Turkish Airlines
TK 18 – Business Class (I)
YYZ-IST (Toronto Pearson International Airport – Istanbul Atatürk International Airport)
May 26, 2018
10:30PM – 3:15 PM +1
Booked: Boeing 777-300ER
Flown: Boeing 777-300ER


At about T-55, we headed down to the gate. We passed by the beautiful sculpture in the international departures hall. Every time I pass by, I always go stand in the middle of it and listen to the echo of my voice. If you’re through, you should try it… it’s pretty neat.





We headed over to Gate E71. In true Turkish Airlines style, the boarding area was pretty messy. The line queue was managed by one poor guy who was trying to separate the gate through localized public address announcements.







There was a schizophrenic flight display sign; boarding, but take a seat. LOL.



While we were waiting near the front of the maze, we were charged by several dozen (probably about 30) families with small children pushing to the front without despair. Eventually, children, elderly, business class and Turkish Elite and Star Gold, all called to board at once. It was about 90 people trying to get on the flight through a crowd of the remaining 150. It seems like they’d lost interest in bothering to separate the groups.

Once we were walking down the jet bridge, we learned that double door boarding was in effect today. We passed by a manned jet bridge and boarded the aircraft through the business class door at L1.

The Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300 business class cabin is configured in a 2-3-2 configuration. We were in seats 3J / 3K on the far right hand side. There are comfortable seats for traveling with a partner, but hardly state of the art. Or at least they were state of the art about 12 years ago when they started getting rid of reclining chairs up front.









There were a variety of seat controls and adjustments.



I pity those in these awkward middle seats. It would be miserable to be stuck in the middle seat on a ten hour flight.



On the seat ottoman was a shoe bag, containing slippers.



We had a twenty minute delay departing. Turkish has updated their AVOD entertainment to have refreshing scenic images of Turkey cycling as you are welcomed on board. The photography was really beautiful and inspires a trip to Turkey. There were lots of interesting things to look at; some landmarks familiar and some not.



















As we settled in, we got the usual Turkish offering a non alcoholic pre departure beverage of water, orange juice or the terrific lemon and mint. We both had lemon and mind which is always a great start. At least if it is a non-alcoholic offering, Turkish does it right with a selection of interesting drinks.



While were on the ground, the menus were dropped off.

The menu package was pretty impressive.





The drink list was even more impressive. It contained 11 wines, although 4 of them were from Turkey. There were 3 whites, 5 reds, a champagne, a rose and a desert wine. There is no easy way to take the menu photographs.













We were encouraged to complete a breakfast card for the breakfast order.



An entertaining safety video was played twice; one in Turkish and once in English. It's apparently hosted by a magician on the left.



Noise cancelling headphones were also presented, in addition to “Bentley” fragrance amenity kits. There were mostly useless things in here. The Bentley branding was limited to a brochure, lip palm and a small tube of body lotion; a pretty chintzy offering that’s been completely forgotten about since I took the trip.





I checked out the in flight entertainment system. It had a good number of movies and enough to keep you entertained for several long haul flights.





Prior to the dinner service, we had a towel service. This was followed by a pre supper cocktail. Champagne was on order tonight.





The dinner service started with a small mezze platter, and soup, plated together. This came with the oh so cool LED candle light in the sky which is a silly but excellent touch of ambience at cruising altitude that I always look forward to on Turkish Airlines.





The main course was steak and arugula with potatoes. I love having steak and red wine on a plane but it seems really hard for airlines to invest the money to execute it right. Today’s steak was awfully tough, worse than sirloin and quite grainy in texture. Unlike the Bentley amenity kit, this I did remember for how lousy it was.



Desserts were brought around from the cart, which is always super impressive. I ended up with chocolate mousse based on appearance selections.





Dinner was a leisurely affair with service completed about 2.5 hours into the flight. The cabin was turned down for the evening with the window shades closed and the service cleared. A small bottle of 330 ml water was dropped off at the seat. There was an offer to have the bedding made up but I elected to catch up on the trip report before turning in. We were just off the coast of Newfoundland by the time that we were done the food festivus.



Turkish Airways offers free wifi to business class passengers. Unfortunately, the connection is super slow. I did a speed test and only managed 6 MPS with the application crashing outright on the upload portion.

After dinner, I turned down for the evening and tried some rest. It was a bit of a bumpy flight and I managed about 4 ½ hours’ worth of sleep.

I woke up over of Dubrovnik, Croatia to the sounds of breakfast. Service was prompt and the first breakfast offering was presented within 10 minutes of waking up.





Breakfast started with a coffee, a strawberry smoothie, cut fruit and bread offerings.



This was followed by an omelet with potatoes and peppers.



After breakfast, I stocked up some water from the self service bar which had been mostly packed up for the flight. We had a straight in approach with no holds, touching down at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. We were dumped off at one of the last gates on the international wing. As a result, we had a long walk to the connections check point.



Turkish Airlines is a great way to get across the Atlantic. Thanks to generous business class reward availability, and no fuel surcharges, it’s not usually too hard to find flights with them. Although their business class seat isn’t class leading by any means, their tasty DO and CO catering is a great way to pass the time while you’re on board with them. Add to this the fact that they fly almost everywhere, and you have a winning combination.

Last edited by worldtraveller73; Oct 15, 18 at 11:32 pm
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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:43 pm
  #6  
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
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Posts: 4,161
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge
Istanbul Atatürk International Airport.


Our flight arrived to Gate 230, which was the furthest east most gate in the Atatürk airport facility. There was double jet bridge off loading and we were into the airport quickly. We had a long walk to the connections security checkpoint through a nice spacious pathway that appeared to be fairly new.



We connected upstairs and ended up in the eastern end of the concourse. We made our way back to the Turkish Airlines lounge for our transit lounge experience. The Istanbul Atatürk airport has always been a busy, crowded and unpleasant airport to transit and today was no exception. It’s the usual people standing in the walkways, walking and texting, or suddenly changing direction into your walking path.



We eventually found our way to the Turkish Airlines lounge.

The lounge advertises automatic entry with a scan of your boarding pass. Our boarding cards that were issued on Air Canada stock did not work at the gates. An attendant promptly swapped our cards for new Turkish Airlines boarding passes which swiped us in.





We have previously visited the lounge on several prior occasions; the last time being in April 2015. The lounge has reached a certain maturity level as it’s days are numbered with a new Istanbul Airport scheduled to open in October 2018.

As we wandered in, the place was pretty packed. The white leather slung chairs that feature as the main loungers had all the charm of a Nigerian Drug Dealers mansion. We located a spot on the upper level. I went to get MrsWT73 a rose wine, then set out to take photographs.















Along with the sheer size of a lounge that seats 2,000 people, the food is the highlight of the lounge. As usual, there were a lot of options on offer today. The funny part is that most of it seems to taste exactly the same with a similar flavour profile.









The usual flatbread station was open. As usual, it gets snapped up pretty quick.



I found my way downstairs to the lower floor where most of the food is. I located the pasta station and had some the Turkish pasta. It was made fresh and mixed together prior to being presented on a plate. Along with a crisp glass of white wine, it was very tasty and a have again. We would later find it as a pasta option on a future Turkish Airlines flight.





They still have the television room, golf simulator and race track available for entertainment.





As for the ambience of the lounge, it’s fallen a bit. It’s become a bit too full and has all types of people… slow walkers, fast cutters, people walking and talking aimlessly on cell phones. Cleaning and bussing staff that can’t keep up with the pace of the operations at peak capacity. Furthermore, the furnishings are showing a bit of wear and tear, although not nearly as much as our earlier experience this trip in the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge in Vancouver, BC.

I put my name on the list for a shower. It was a 40 minute wait announced at the reception which turned out to be a 32 minute wait by the time it was all said and done. The reception took my boarding card in exchange for a buzzer that you get at a popular family restaurant. The shower room was clean and in reasonable state of repair. The shower handle came off in my hand when I tried to turn it on, but I replaced it and it worked properly.



Overall, the ambience of the lounge has fallen a bit from the glory days when it first opened. I’d say it’s still worth a visit to come for the food. If you’re looking for a quiet and serene place to hold up with a sense of style – this isn’t it anymore. It’s full of all sorts of behaviour and humanity where tranquility and peace isn’t necessarily part of the equation. I used to really enjoy this place but it has become quite popular and crowded. This reads as a bit of a negative review, but the facility has been designed to process thousands of people as opposed to just a few.
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Old Oct 8, 18, 6:52 pm
  #7  
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Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: YVR - Vancouver, with most winter weekends in Whistler.
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Posts: 4,161
Turkish Airlines
TK 603 – Business Class (I)
IST-DAR (Istanbul Atatürk International Airport – Dar Es Salaam International Airport)
May 27, 2018
7:05 PM – 2:30 AM +1
Booked: Boeing 737-900ER
Flown: Boeing 737-900ER


This flight was the only one of the trip that I was least looking forward to. Who relishes narrow body flight in a chair lounger after you’ve crossed an ocean in a nice comfy bed, when you’re in a different time zone, flying a flight that is seven hours long; overnight? It certainly wasn’t me. I’m happy to say that I was very much surprised at how comfortable Turkish Airlines made this last segment. It was my first time flying on a Boeing 737-900ER and this flight was clocked in at about 7 hours and 15 minutes duration.

We left the lounge and picked up some duty free at the Atu Duty Free shop in the main plaza of the Istanbul Departures Hall at Atatürk. The gate for our departing plane turned up on the monitors about 2 hours before our flight. It was listed as Gate 703 which I assumed to be a bus gate given the seven hundred area of the airport.

We wandered for about a 10- minute walk to Gate 703 which was down a set of stairs. It was indeed a bus gate. Surprisingly, there was a full food fair and duty free shop down here as well. MrsWT73 picked up some Tic Tac’s among other souvenirs.



Boarding was called at 10 minutes past the time printed on our boarding cards. Business class was asked to board the bus first, although we were along with everyone else when we got off. There were some nice views of Turkish Airlines wide bodies from the ground level as we walked out to the bus.



The Boeing 737-900ER was parked a short distance away from the main terminal. There was double door boarding with rows 18 and under boarding through the front doors and rows 19 and upward through the back doors. We scrambled up the front stairs under cloudy skies at Atatürk.









On board, we got into the Boeing 737-900ER 2-2 business configuration. Wow – these have to be the longest narrow body seats that I’ve ever flown. I’m 6ft 2 inches tall and my feet could not even touch the seat in front of me. It was easily two and a half windows between seats. It was most certainly no compact Alaska Airlines First Class here. LOL.









There was USB power available between the seats but no power plug ins on today’s flight.



The seat also had the old fashion retro seat reclines.



The video screen also had a somewhat dated corded remote. The screen was a pull out of the armrest variety, showing the beautiful welcome images.





While we waited to depart, a “welcome drink” was offered of orange, lemonade, water or tomato juice. I had another great lemon and mint drink.



Even with the narrow body aircraft, amenity kits were passed out while we were still on the ground. This time around, they were Cerreuti branded but still had the same useless stuff inside them. Another one destined for under the bathroom sink at home, never to see daylight again. =)





The safety video played through overhead monitors.



The dinner menus were distributed. Tonight’s menu was a thinner version of the large menu cards we received on the long haul flight.





As we got underway, I took some photos of the climb out. It got cloudly really quickly so there wasn’t much to see.





The flight track was to take us straight across the Mediterranean, through Egypt and straight down towards Tanzania. The flight time was seven hours and fifteen minutes.





Dinner was served fairly promptly as we headed out over the Mediterranean sea. The starter was Smoked Salmon and Celeriac Salad, Garden Fresh Salad with olive oil dressing, selection of cheese and DO & CO Chocolate Mouse presented all at once. This was paired with an unspecified champagne.



Once that appetizer was finished, I had the grilled chicken brochette with sweetcorn mousseline and grilled zucchini for the main. It was quite tasty.



After dinner, spirits and tea and coffee were offered from the cart. I had a Irish Cream and Coffee to try to keep me awake so I could get onto the African Time Zone.

I then followed it up with a Gin and Tonic while I worked on the trip report. The sun set beautifully over the Mediterranean Sea.







I also managed to get some photographs of Cairo. It’s a shame the flight was not an hour or two earlier as the right hand side of the aircraft would have had a great view of the pyramids and Nile River. Instead, I got to see the bars, hotels and Corniches by night that I’ve visited over the years.





I slept for a few hours in the recliner. It went back pretty far and allowed for some sleeps with back resting sleep. It wasn’t too comfortable on the side but the plane did feature the wings on the head rest.

I woke up with about one hour and ninety minutes left in the flight. MrsWT73 had also gotten some sleep and had told me that there were sandwiches that we available as a snack. I ordered one and got a sponge cake to go with it. Pretty tasty and no complaints here as a second snack service.



We headed in on the approach for Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania. In a typical landing for an African country, it was totally dark outside and an absence of any real electrical grid in the rural areas. Any lights were on appeared to be industrial security lights as opposed to house lights.

We arrived to the gate and there were only a few lonely planes parked overnight, an Embraer 195 from Kenya Airways and an Airbus 320 form South African Airways. We entered into the small arrivals hall where there were immediate counters for visa on arrival.



At the immigration counter, we provided a full set of electronic fingerprints and a photograph. After immigration, we went into the baggage hall. The hall only had a single belt and no washroom; unfortunately, the washroom was before immigration. The baggage gods were smiling on us today as our bag was one of the first 10 out on the belt. We had a customs X-ray and we were out to meet our driver on the public side. At 2:30 AM, all the foreign exchange shops were closed but there were about 30 taxi mafia standing around all wearing blue shirts at a central taxi kiosk post. It was about 20 minutes into the city. I suspect the taxis would have taken US dollars as a negotiated rate.



Our narrow body flight down to Tanzania on Turkish Airlines was most more comfortable than I anticipated. We were well fed, the space was comfortable and the whole flight was without major issues. I was initially reluctant about a long narrow body flight but we didn’t have any issues at all. I wouldn't hesitate about flying a Turkish flight such as this throughout Africa.

Last edited by worldtraveller73; Oct 15, 18 at 11:33 pm
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Old Oct 8, 18, 8:59 pm
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Great start to your report, worldtraveller73! Excited to see another report from you and I have seen a few of your other photos on your instagram!

"This flight was the only one of the trip that I was least looking forward to. Who relishes narrow body flight in a chair lounger after you’ve crossed an ocean in a nice comfy bed, when you’re in a different time zone, flying a flight that is seven hours long; overnight? It certainly wasn’t me. I’m happy to say that I was very much surprised at how comfortable Turkish Airlines made this last segment. It was my first time flying on a Boeing 737-900ER and this flight was clocked in at about 7 hours and 15 minutes duration."

This is amazing to me. I wonder why Turkish would deploy a 737 for such a long flight like this - at least your seats looked a bit more comfortable than normal 737 J class seats. Did you find the service on the flight to DAR to be very good?

Looking forward to the next part!

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Old Oct 8, 18, 10:49 pm
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Excellent trip report! The 737-900ER J-seats are horrible for such a long flight. Especially if you book business class because you want to be able to work/be rested the following day. I read somewhere that TK actually have fitted these planes with additional fuel tanks to be able to fly this far.
​TK has announced they are planning to use 737Max on IST-DAR from starting some time 2019. They will have a new type of recliner seats.
​​​​​​Hopefully TK will one day be able to fly a wide-body with lie flats on this route. They have done that seasonally before from IST-ZNZ I believe.

It should be noted that a new and much better airport in Dar is well underway, should open next year.
A minor detail, you write TK603 is business class (O) , but O-fare is economy, isn't it?

Last edited by Goaguy; Oct 8, 18 at 10:55 pm
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Old Oct 8, 18, 10:51 pm
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Looks like it is actually possible to fly wide body to DAR on certain days in the future:

Last edited by Goaguy; Oct 9, 18 at 6:42 am
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Old Oct 12, 18, 6:11 pm
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excellent TR so far, are all Narrow Body TK planes feature the same Business Class seats? In March we need to fly from Ireland to Naples It and TK has a flight, was just wondering.
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Old Oct 12, 18, 8:17 pm
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Originally Posted by FlightNurse View Post
excellent TR so far, are all Narrow Body TK planes feature the same Business Class seats? In March we need to fly from Ireland to Naples It and TK has a flight, was just wondering.
Great TR.

Most TK narrow body aircraft are 2-2 in C, but there are about 40 with Euro Business i.e. 3-3 with middle seats blocked. They are predominantly used on domestic and ex-SAW flights.
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Old Oct 13, 18, 12:09 am
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Originally Posted by TPJ View Post
Great TR.

Most TK narrow body aircraft are 2-2 in C, but there are about 40 with Euro Business i.e. 3-3 with middle seats blocked. They are predominantly used on domestic and ex-SAW flights.
TY
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Old Oct 13, 18, 4:27 am
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Great start to your TR!

Am in agreement with the lounge in IST - wonder what they will come with for the new lounge at the new airport?
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Old Oct 13, 18, 5:26 am
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Excellent trip report, as always!
Originally Posted by worldtraveller73 View Post
This flight was the only one of the trip that I was least looking forward to.
I tend to avoid TK to East Africa since I got to fly once the B738 with domestic (?) recliners on IST-KGL...
Also the arrival time in the middle of the night is far from being attractive. Catering looks good though!
Did you get a chance to glimpse DAR new terminal?
Anyway, thanks for sharing and looking forward to the rest
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