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DEL - IST - JFK in Business, what to expect

DEL - IST - JFK in Business, what to expect

Old Jun 3, 12, 9:20 am
  #1  
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Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: UA 1K, AA EXPLAT, UA MM, DL Gold
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DEL - IST - JFK in Business, what to expect

I am new to Turkish Airlines and have an upcoming trip next week from DEL - IST - JFK and am looking forward to the experience. I have searched for recent reports of the inflight experience but haven't found anything current. Has anyone flown from New Delhi on the 6am flight? Lounge in New Delhi? How early do we really need to get to the airport for the early morning departure? Is the one hour to connection in Istanbul going to be straightforward? Any meal information for either flight?

Just curious overall and would love the insight from the experts! Thanks in advance.
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Old Jun 5, 12, 9:36 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: YYZ/YUL/YOW
Programs: TK*G/E+ SPG (G)
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Originally Posted by brysal View Post
I am new to Turkish Airlines and have an upcoming trip next week from DEL - IST - JFK and am looking forward to the experience. I have searched for recent reports of the inflight experience but haven't found anything current. Has anyone flown from New Delhi on the 6am flight? Lounge in New Delhi? How early do we really need to get to the airport for the early morning departure? Is the one hour to connection in Istanbul going to be straightforward? Any meal information for either flight?

Just curious overall and would love the insight from the experts! Thanks in advance.
Haven't done J, only Y+. Around the time I flew (end March), DEL got a lot of equipment swaps to the 332, which has a distinct J product( I flew the route in Y). Can't comment on the lounge in DEL.

The food in Y was excellent so u expect J will be great as well.

I believe there are 2 or 3 daily flights to NYC. This is a blessing in disguise. IST in April was ( I m being charitable) a gong show. N America flights have some absurd system for security. So depending on the gate you arrive at, there's a separate security section either a little bit before or after the absolute mess that is security. This security section is towards the windows, as opposed to the regular security section, which is next to lthe transfer desks and oriented towards the inside of the building. First you go to one set of desks (on the side closer to security). They look at your passport, put a sticker and send you to a second set of desks that are 25 feet away (on the side farther away from security). They will add another sticker. After this you may join the regular security line.

Since there is no priority security (well there want in april), by this point you will be behind planeloads of people. If you re lucky, you ll get through in 15 min. Many people have reported longer times. Took me around 20-25 min (but I am navigated the N. America desks faster than others - 10 min). Suffice it to say, unless something has changed dramatically in the last few months, the possibility of chaos at security remains, so while I think you should make it through all the security points within 15-20 min, you never know. The security check is unpleasant - lots of angry pax who re almost definitely going to miss cnx. Hence you being lucky with the multiple departures to NYC.

Hopefully things have improved but 1 hr is cutting it very close, especially if your aircraft ends up on a remote stand like mine did.

TK is excellent in the air, but in the ground it's got the same bureaucracy raj apathy that drives me up the wall in India.

Two additional points - the IST-JFK legs will likely be much better. New planes, some with WIFI.

As for DEL, there's not much traffic at that time, so two hours should be enough (unless you want to use the lounge a lot). Track the inbound flight - it ll give you an idea of your real estimated time of deparure. The inbound flight may be delayed due to congestion in IST.

Last edited by yulred; Jun 5, 12 at 9:41 am
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Old Jun 6, 12, 6:58 pm
  #3  
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Thanks for the reply! So no FastTrack cards issued? I thought I read it's possible to get them at check-in but I wasn't sure if that was just at Istanbul.
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Old Jun 6, 12, 10:45 pm
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
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Originally Posted by brysal View Post
Thanks for the reply! So no FastTrack cards issued? I thought I read it's possible to get them at check-in but I wasn't sure if that was just at Istanbul.
Not sure. I was a lowly *S then, but as I recall, theres only one cordoned "entrance" to the security check manned by a couple of staffers who speak reasonable english but are utterly overwhelmed and subjected to a lot of yelling. There was no line (or rather, five parallel lines) trying to squeeze through this entrance, which was wide enough for about 2 people. The 2 security staffers were checking N. America bound pax passports for the stickers (2 of them, I think - of the variety used in Delhi for flights to the UK/US). No sign of priority security for anyone.

In fairness to them, once they realised the logjam (it was pretty empty when I got into the terminal, they pushed all the xray machines into service within 10 minutes, which was definitely a good move - accelerated my path out. But even then, I would say 1 hr is cutting it close.

To put my experience in context, I was due to arrive in IST at 1025 for a connection to YYZ at 1315. The flight arrived late in Delhi - departed a little over an hour late. Then some circling over IST ensued, before wheels were down by around 1115 am. Then we taxied towards a gate. Then stopped. Then taxied for ages and came to a stop at a remote stand around 1140. In the meantime, connecting pax of all nationalities nearly staged a revolt. One couple from Germany stationed themselves at the door, ignoring the F/As pleas. Over time, others followed. The F/As simply gave up.

Into the terminal at noon. I rushed to security - no line at that point - when I came across their silly N. America rules. That took a little while to sort out with people just jumping the line. That took maybe 10 min to sort out, by which point security resembled a zoo. They managed to press more X rays into action which helped. I made it through at 1225, only to find out my flight to YYZ had been delayed to 1515 - apparently everything was delayed.

Now you know the security trick - make a beeline for it. Last time it was towards the windows, diagonally across from the security checkpoint (it looks pretty temporary/movable) If you clear that fast- well, its your best bet.
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Old Jun 12, 12, 7:51 am
  #5  
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My mini-review : all went well

I just thought I would give an overall mini-review for my flight yesterday. I have to say I was a bit stressed about the potential of missing my connection in Istanbul considering the flight from DEL-IST was delayed for the 6 previous days by a minimum of 20 mins.

Check-in: No line in New Delhi. We checked in at 4am, 2 hours prior to departure. No line, very quick through passport control and security, although they spent about 5 mins trying to track down a metal collar stay from my shirt that was in one of my bags.

Lounge: Great lounge overall. Good internet, showers if you need them, good food and drink offering. Better than expected and pretty quite for this early morning flight.

Boarding: Quick and easy. It wasn't clearly marked for business class, but we walked right up to an agent at the left podium without a cue.

Onboard: After a bit of worrying, the flight was actually out of the gate 10 mins early! And with a long taxi across the airport to the runway, we were wheels up about 5 mins after our 6:05am scheduled departure. The cabin crew gave a quick service of a warm samosas appetizer within the first hour and then disappeared / lights out. I hadn't realized that the breakfast service would happen about 1 1/2 hours before landing. Great second service, complete breakfast. The aircraft was the A330-300, no internet, but comfortable seat and good video options. We landed 25 mins early and were at a gate (not a remote stand) 15 mins prior to our scheduled arrival.

Transfer: From start to finish my passport and boarding pass were checked 6, yes 6 times. I had 2 more checks then the person I was traveling with. We did hurry through the terminal in fear of big lines but overall we waited a max of 5 mins at the first US passenger check (by the windows), then the secondary check, and then about 5 mins through security. As reported, they opened an additional line quickly when it started to get busy.

Next Flight: TK 001 from IST to NY (new 777-300)
Overall a great flight. Attentive crew, free internet (not the quickest but functional), great seat, a ton of movie choices, and terrific meals from start to finish. We also got the IPAD cover amenity kits, which were different from the first flight. The only missing thing I would have liked for the 10 hour flight would have been pajamas.

Sorry, no pictures for the review. I might track down a few meal photos.
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Old Jun 16, 12, 10:04 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: NYC
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I am doing the same flight in July and your report is very helpful. I had one question however, are the Business class seats in the DEL-IST leg the lie-flat kind?
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Old Jun 16, 12, 10:30 am
  #7  
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Yes to lie flat if it's the a330-300. Same exact seat as the 777-300 to ny but no wifi. But on occasion they aircraft swap. It's a 6 hour flight and we woul have been fine either way. We were still stressed on the 1 hour transfer though. We had a list of backup options if we misconnected. We had a connection onto Boston after new York that had we misconnected in Istanbul would have been messy. Happy to answer any additional questions if you have them.
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