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Trip Report: Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Los Angeles - Istanbul

Trip Report: Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Los Angeles - Istanbul

Old Jan 10, 20, 9:32 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 98
Trip Report: Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Los Angeles - Istanbul

Hello again!

I recently came back from my end of year vacation in the South Pacific, and I've been looking forward to sharing many trip reports over the last few months with you all!

We were scheduled to depart at 6:25 PM, but we didn’t push back until 6:41 PM. Previously, I mentioned that Turkish Airlines crews are usually professional but not necessarily friendly. I believe it has something to do with the culture and language barrier. However, they tend to be friendlier to Turkish speaking passengers.

On this flight, it was no exception. The service felt rushed, and the crews have a rigid personality. As you know, I’m a big amenity kit collector. I flew Turkish Airlines quite often, so I have all of the colors of the male amenity kit. I asked if I could have the female one instead, and she simply said no. She just shrugged and told me if I wanted the female amenity kit, I could just swap with other female passengers. I didn’t want to make a fuss about it, so I just took whatever they gave me.



Waiting on my seat were a pillow, blanket, and slippers. The crews then distributed the headphones, amenity kit, and menu. I can’t help but noticed the chef rushed me to fill out the breakfast order card as he wanted it done before take-off.





That said, I’ve always loved Turkish’ candlelight dining — they have one of the meals in the sky, thanks to their partnership with DO&CO. The dinner menu reads as follows:

assorted canapés

selection from our trolley
marinated octopus salad
salmon tartare
chicken brochette
grilled artichokes
moutabel
marinated seafood salad
beetroot with goat cheese
Mediterranean salad

and / or

WILD MUSHROOM SOUP

please choose from our selection:

GRILLED WILD SEA BASS

or

FILLET OF BEEF

or

GNOCCHI WITH ROASTED RED PEPPER SAUCE

from our trolley;

POTPOURRI OF TRADITIONAL TURKISH DESSERTS

PECAN TART

CHOCOLATE ICE CREAM

CHEESECAKE

SELECTION OF CHEESE

FRESH FRUIT SALAD

anytime …

tuna sandwich
sour cherry chocolate mousse cake


The canapé consisted of salmon, falafel, and mozzarella, basil, and tomato skewer. The salmon was moist, warm, and tasty — it was excellent. The falafel was on the spicy side, which was good as well.



Forty minutes later, the crews and the chefs rolled out the appetizer cart. I had marinated octopus salad, salmon tartare, chicken brochette, and marinated seafood salad, as well as the soup.




They were all delicious, especially the soup.

For the main course, I had grilled wild sea bass — easily the best fish I had in the sky! It was very flavorful and moist.





Finally, the dessert trolley was rolled out with few items that were not listed on the menu — for example, cream puffs and chocolate ice cream instead of vanilla ice cream. I decided to have cheesecake, cream puff, and vanilla ice cream.



The meal service was finally completed nearly three hours after take-off, which was excessively long.

After dinner, I immediately reclined and took a 6-hour nap. As usual, the bedding on Turkish Airlines flights is very comfortable, especially with the old 2-3-2 seat configuration. Despite the lack of privacy, I find it very roomy and spacious.



I woke up briefly for a bio break. The lavatory was pretty standard on this plane, and it was reasonably clean.

I went back to my seat and browsed the movie selections. I’m not a big TV person, so I didn’t watch a whole lot throughout the flight. Luckily, WiFi onboard Turkish Airlines flights are complimentary for business class passengers, so I worked a little bit and played with my phone catching up with social media. I also ordered the cherry mousse cake from the anytime menu.



Two hours before landing breakfast started with fresh fruit and a few side dishes.



I specifically ordered homemade muesli, but I was served cottage cheese. I asked the flight attendant if that was a mistake. She said no, it was muesli. I told her, I tasted it and it was definitely cottage cheese. She then persisted that it was muesli. She finally asked the chef. The chef came to my seat and agreed that it was cottage cheese. He explained that there was a passenger in the economy who was allegedly allergic to wheat. I wasn’t too thrilled, but whatever.

There were two options for the main course: pancake and free-range fried eggs in butter. I’m sure the latter is yummy. I’m more of a savory breakfast kind of person, but I thought I’d order the pancake this time just to see if it’s any good.



The pancake was okay. It could’ve been better if there were some kind of syrup or cream or custard because the berry compote was tart.

We touched down in Istanbul at 6:20 PM local time and parked at a remote stand 17 minutes later.



Conclusion

I have to say it wasn’t the best Turkish Airlines flight I’ve had. The lack of hospitality becomes a norm as I take more and more trips with them. Of course, I had amazing crews before, like Ali and Chef Selchuk.

There is definitely room for improvement. The catering is impressive, but the service could be friendlier and personalized as it sets the tone of how good a flight would be.

That said, I will continue flying Turkish Airlines and am looking forward to sharing the experience on my connecting flight to Manila.

So stay tuned!
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johnsw1988 is offline  
Old Jan 10, 20, 11:28 pm
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 112
Many people live behind amenities kit so if look around you may find you missing kit next time.

The service in US flights seems definitely inferior comparing to those departing from IST.
After boarding, chef comes and asking for my order, service is on demand(you ask for it) and seats are in 2-2-2 arrangement.
I hope they replace the 777 but I think this is too much I ask from a 3 star airline.
MixalisK. is offline  
Old Jan 11, 20, 12:49 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Istanbul, Turkey
Programs: TK M&S Elite Plus, QRPC Platinum, BAEC Silver, PC Bolbol, All Silv, HH Blue, Bonvoy, BW Rewards
Posts: 5,705
johnsw1988, thanks for sharing your experience with us here on FlyerTalk.

Originally Posted by MixalisK. View Post
Many people live behind amenities kit so if look around you may find you missing kit next time.

The service in US flights seems definitely inferior comparing to those departing from IST.
After boarding, chef comes and asking for my order, service is on demand(you ask for it) and seats are in 2-2-2 arrangement.
I hope they replace the 777 but I think this is too much I ask from a 3 star airline.
Business-class seats in TK 777-300ER aircraft have a 2-3-2 configuration, also dine on demand is optional, the passengers have the choice to be served at scheduled mealtime.
They would change the Business-class seats of the 777-300ER ( reported on Australian Business Traveler back in 2019 ) but we don't know when the replacement would be made.
ISTFlyer is online now  
Old Jan 13, 20, 3:50 am
  #4  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: CGK, BDO, MXP
Programs: QR Gold, WY Gold, TK Elite, EY Silver,
Posts: 294
My review on 777-300 CGK-IST

I “steal” this thread for sharing my trip review as it was my first flight on TK J class on the same B777-300 even on the opposite direction.

Came back end of November from my usual trip CGK to Europe return, I'm not keen and I'm too lazy for sharing a real trip report as there are so many already, no photo either they would be very similar to the one OP shared above. I wanted to add my main impressions and eventually knowing others experience.

I do the same trip 2-3 times per year, often with whole family (of 3) or just with my now 5 yo daughter, since the last 3 years mostly J class, ever flown EY, SV, QR and WY always on the same route while about EK was too long ago to compare. For different reasons I often change airline and this time was I tried TK after more than a decade not using them; my main decision are based on budget at first then trying to get a decent flying experience accordingly, avoiding too long transit as it is already a never ending trip of 26-28 hours home to home.

Main observations:

Before flying

Check in experience was a breeze both at CGK and at MXP. At CGK was surprised of being called by name by the agent when I was still 10 meters from the desk (nobody in line), I guess he recognized us as I was the only J passenger traveling with child, he had to inform me our selected seats 2 A/B IFE was not working properly thus he request us to move to 1 A/B and I promptly confirmed. In Jakarta no priority security and passport controls, anyway everything required no more than 10-15 minutes.

In Milan the CI agent request me to reduce the XL trolley weight as it was 34 kg; my bad, I didn’t realize I put too much of my usual survival stuff (wine, salami, parmigiano, coffee, chocolate and other ‘oleh oleh’ for parents and friends) thus I had to move 2 kg to the cabin bag.

No issue regarding boarding as J and elite passengers’ lines are generally well guarded.

On the planes

About aircrafts and seats, short haul to/from MXP on A321 and 330 definitely good considering less than 3 hours flight, even seats are old school recliners they are still the best you can get on intra-Europe flights.

About 777 for the long haul I had mixed feelings, cabin and toilet were clean and tidy, IFE has a decent selection and the new type screen (remote smartphone style) is good enough. Yes, seats are wide and comfortable to sleep, but I was missing the privacy that competitors offer, I also found the cabin style too minimalist in addition to the high number of seats it gave me the sensation of a “flying dormitory”. Even more if unlucky enough to end up sitting in the middle seat of 3 central I definitely wouldn’t be happy. Somebody here may disagree but I prefer WY and QR seats, except maybe the QR A330 (and I am not considering Q suites that I never tried), I’m just 1.73 meter and lightweight thus I usually not facing issues of J short or cramped seats or foot cubicle phobia.

Concerning amenity kits, for children they distribute specific ones with some toys and smaller headsets. My daughter liked them, not sure they are the same they give in economy or not.

About service onboard same as the OP, I found it professional but quite cold, overall on the two long legs the impression is that they just want to finish as soon as possible, little interaction even with my daughter while I found most that on other airlines FA try to be more friendly and caring with kids even on economy. In this respect, I find QR and WY superior (EY depends), especially on QR is more polished, the crew normally tries to interact and going the extra mile, asking frequently if everting is fine, refilling drinks and so on.

I also have to admit while my past QR flights were only around 70% full, this time all TR flights were packed with Y full and J with just one or two seats left I guess they did different opups. I was thinking that mid November to be low season time, on the contrary realized how groups of Haj/Umrah pilgrims are filling up the CGK route almost all year round.

I found the food quality good, overall better than QR and EY, just the variety was quite limited on CGK legs, in difference with OP trip, I couldn’t recall any starter or dessert trolley. Otw to CGK I found odd to be served breakfast 3 hours before landing (3 pm Jakarta time or 11 am at IST), as I preferred to sleep at 3 am for the “dinner” after takeoff, I thought before landing they were offering some lunch options, but no way, just breakfast, take or leave it.

Same as with other airlines I always had the feeling that SE Asia routes, Jakarta for sure, to be considered as second-class route just like a bus to transfer crowds of pilgrims or overseas workers, thus they prefer to leave their best crew and equipment for Europe or North America.

As everyone already mention, at IST always very looong taxing, one flight above 4 was bus connected, long walking, good lounges, crowded both on a Saturday morning and a Sunday night but still managed to find seats and grab some food.

Check in baggage always returned quickly with other priority ones.

Conclusions

In general, the overall experience was OK with no issues; I would rate TK a solid 4/5.

I’d prefer flying QR if sold at similar price; about WY not anymore, due to they are totally unreliable in term of both schedule changes and not existent customer service in case any problem occur, even more the era of WY cheap J tickets is already over, at least from CGK. EK J product is always priced higher than the other mentioned even during sales, thus I do not expect to fly again with them soon.

If TK will maintain similar current price policy I am ready to fly them again next.
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BobFF68 is offline  
Old Jan 13, 20, 8:19 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Toronto
Programs: MileagePlus 1K, Marriott Platinum, MPC Green
Posts: 39
Hi BobFF68: Did you order a child meal for your 5-year old? If so, how was the quality / quantity relative to the regular meal? Will be flying TK again after 3 years with our 9-year old. She preferred the child meal over regular meal when she was 6. But, i was wondering what we should do this time. Thanks!
escherfan is offline  
Old Jan 13, 20, 2:01 pm
  #6  
 
Join Date: Jan 2017
Posts: 112
I'm going to write my own trip report after my trip ATH-IST-KUL.
Food seems terrible to me as for breakfast they serve eggs or omelet which I really dislike. I will have a big meal at the lounge and a later one at the aero plane do I can skip breakfast.
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MixalisK. is offline  
Old Jan 13, 20, 4:03 pm
  #7  
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 300
Originally Posted by MixalisK. View Post
I'm going to write my own trip report after my trip ATH-IST-KUL.
Food seems terrible to me as for breakfast they serve eggs or omelet which I really dislike. I will have a big meal at the lounge and a later one at the aero plane do I can skip breakfast.
There are non-egg breakfasts available in C.
max_kolesne is offline  
Old Jan 13, 20, 6:37 pm
  #8  
 
Join Date: Apr 2016
Location: YYZ
Programs: TK *G
Posts: 2,160
Originally Posted by max_kolesne View Post
There are non-egg breakfasts available in C.
There is usually one egg dish and another non egg local dish in C for breakfast.
songsc is offline  
Old Jan 13, 20, 11:15 pm
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: CGK, BDO, MXP
Programs: QR Gold, WY Gold, TK Elite, EY Silver,
Posts: 294
Originally Posted by escherfan View Post
Hi BobFF68: Did you order a child meal for your 5-year old? If so, how was the quality / quantity relative to the regular meal? Will be flying TK again after 3 years with our 9-year old. She preferred the child meal over regular meal when she was 6. But, i was wondering what we should do this time. Thanks!
Yes I did. Table setting and starters were the same while the main was specific for child menu. I recall pasta on the short leg from Milan, definitely tasting bland, while on the long haul they served breaded chichen steak with potato, meat was a bit dry, portions were big, enough for an adult. They also added some snacks, yoghurt and fruit, not too much impressed but overall OK.
BobFF68 is offline  
Old Jan 15, 20, 8:25 am
  #10  
 
Join Date: Mar 2015
Location: Toronto
Programs: MileagePlus 1K, Marriott Platinum, MPC Green
Posts: 39
Originally Posted by BobFF68 View Post
Yes I did. Table setting and starters were the same while the main was specific for child menu. I recall pasta on the short leg from Milan, definitely tasting bland, while on the long haul they served breaded chichen steak with potato, meat was a bit dry, portions were big, enough for an adult. They also added some snacks, yoghurt and fruit, not too much impressed but overall OK.
Thanks BobFF68!
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escherfan is offline  
Old Jan 15, 20, 8:57 am
  #11  
TPJ
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Programs: TK*G (E+), AA OWS (Plat Pro), EY Silver (compted), IHG Plat
Posts: 6,774
Originally Posted by MixalisK. View Post
from a 3 star airline.
Slightly OT, but I stopped believing in Santa Clause and Skytrax 'ratings' some time ago
TPJ is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 8:06 pm
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 98
Originally Posted by MixalisK. View Post
Many people live behind amenities kit so if look around you may find you missing kit next time.

The service in US flights seems definitely inferior comparing to those departing from IST.
After boarding, chef comes and asking for my order, service is on demand(you ask for it) and seats are in 2-2-2 arrangement.
I hope they replace the 777 but I think this is too much I ask from a 3 star airline.
Sometimes I was tempted haha.. I was like.. "OMG.. how come you leave that gorgeous amenity kit behind?!?" HAHA..
But I resisted cause it sort of looks tacky :-P I guess just another reason to fly again hehe..
johnsw1988 is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 8:08 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 98
Originally Posted by BobFF68 View Post
My review on 777-300 CGK-IST

I “steal” this thread for sharing my trip review as it was my first flight on TK J class on the same B777-300 even on the opposite direction.

Came back end of November from my usual trip CGK to Europe return, I'm not keen and I'm too lazy for sharing a real trip report as there are so many already, no photo either they would be very similar to the one OP shared above. I wanted to add my main impressions and eventually knowing others experience.

I do the same trip 2-3 times per year, often with whole family (of 3) or just with my now 5 yo daughter, since the last 3 years mostly J class, ever flown EY, SV, QR and WY always on the same route while about EK was too long ago to compare. For different reasons I often change airline and this time was I tried TK after more than a decade not using them; my main decision are based on budget at first then trying to get a decent flying experience accordingly, avoiding too long transit as it is already a never ending trip of 26-28 hours home to home.

Main observations:

Before flying

Check in experience was a breeze both at CGK and at MXP. At CGK was surprised of being called by name by the agent when I was still 10 meters from the desk (nobody in line), I guess he recognized us as I was the only J passenger traveling with child, he had to inform me our selected seats 2 A/B IFE was not working properly thus he request us to move to 1 A/B and I promptly confirmed. In Jakarta no priority security and passport controls, anyway everything required no more than 10-15 minutes.

In Milan the CI agent request me to reduce the XL trolley weight as it was 34 kg; my bad, I didn’t realize I put too much of my usual survival stuff (wine, salami, parmigiano, coffee, chocolate and other ‘oleh oleh’ for parents and friends) thus I had to move 2 kg to the cabin bag.

No issue regarding boarding as J and elite passengers’ lines are generally well guarded.

On the planes

About aircrafts and seats, short haul to/from MXP on A321 and 330 definitely good considering less than 3 hours flight, even seats are old school recliners they are still the best you can get on intra-Europe flights.

About 777 for the long haul I had mixed feelings, cabin and toilet were clean and tidy, IFE has a decent selection and the new type screen (remote smartphone style) is good enough. Yes, seats are wide and comfortable to sleep, but I was missing the privacy that competitors offer, I also found the cabin style too minimalist in addition to the high number of seats it gave me the sensation of a “flying dormitory”. Even more if unlucky enough to end up sitting in the middle seat of 3 central I definitely wouldn’t be happy. Somebody here may disagree but I prefer WY and QR seats, except maybe the QR A330 (and I am not considering Q suites that I never tried), I’m just 1.73 meter and lightweight thus I usually not facing issues of J short or cramped seats or foot cubicle phobia.

Concerning amenity kits, for children they distribute specific ones with some toys and smaller headsets. My daughter liked them, not sure they are the same they give in economy or not.

About service onboard same as the OP, I found it professional but quite cold, overall on the two long legs the impression is that they just want to finish as soon as possible, little interaction even with my daughter while I found most that on other airlines FA try to be more friendly and caring with kids even on economy. In this respect, I find QR and WY superior (EY depends), especially on QR is more polished, the crew normally tries to interact and going the extra mile, asking frequently if everting is fine, refilling drinks and so on.

I also have to admit while my past QR flights were only around 70% full, this time all TR flights were packed with Y full and J with just one or two seats left I guess they did different opups. I was thinking that mid November to be low season time, on the contrary realized how groups of Haj/Umrah pilgrims are filling up the CGK route almost all year round.

I found the food quality good, overall better than QR and EY, just the variety was quite limited on CGK legs, in difference with OP trip, I couldn’t recall any starter or dessert trolley. Otw to CGK I found odd to be served breakfast 3 hours before landing (3 pm Jakarta time or 11 am at IST), as I preferred to sleep at 3 am for the “dinner” after takeoff, I thought before landing they were offering some lunch options, but no way, just breakfast, take or leave it.

Same as with other airlines I always had the feeling that SE Asia routes, Jakarta for sure, to be considered as second-class route just like a bus to transfer crowds of pilgrims or overseas workers, thus they prefer to leave their best crew and equipment for Europe or North America.

As everyone already mention, at IST always very looong taxing, one flight above 4 was bus connected, long walking, good lounges, crowded both on a Saturday morning and a Sunday night but still managed to find seats and grab some food.

Check in baggage always returned quickly with other priority ones.

Conclusions

In general, the overall experience was OK with no issues; I would rate TK a solid 4/5.

I’d prefer flying QR if sold at similar price; about WY not anymore, due to they are totally unreliable in term of both schedule changes and not existent customer service in case any problem occur, even more the era of WY cheap J tickets is already over, at least from CGK. EK J product is always priced higher than the other mentioned even during sales, thus I do not expect to fly again with them soon.

If TK will maintain similar current price policy I am ready to fly them again next.
Feel free to steal the thread! :-) And thanks for your trip report! Yeah I'm glad I'm not alone about TK crews. Besides Asian carriers, QR is definitely more polished than TK.
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johnsw1988 is offline  
Old Jan 17, 20, 8:11 pm
  #14  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 98
Originally Posted by MixalisK. View Post
I'm going to write my own trip report after my trip ATH-IST-KUL.
Food seems terrible to me as for breakfast they serve eggs or omelet which I really dislike. I will have a big meal at the lounge and a later one at the aero plane do I can skip breakfast.
Really? I thought breakfast on TK is pretty good. As far as I can remember, the croissant was very very flaky and the scrambled eggs were so creamy. But it was on a long haul flight though.

I flew a short haul CAI-IST and I kind of agree with what you're saying. The quantity was small. It didn't fill me up.
johnsw1988 is offline  
Old Jan 18, 20, 4:21 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 9
Originally Posted by johnsw1988 View Post
Hello again!

Previously, I mentioned that TK crew are usually professional but not necessarily friendly. I believe it has something to do with the culture and language barrier. However, they tend to be friendlier to Turkish speaking passengers.

On this flight, it was no exception. The service felt rushed, and the crews have a rigid personality. As you know, I’m a big amenity kit collector. I flew Turkish Airlines quite often, so I have all of the colors of the male amenity kit. I asked if I could have the female one instead, and she simply said no. She just shrugged and told me if I wanted the female amenity kit, I could just swap with other female passengers. I didn’t want to make a fuss about it, so I just took whatever they gave me.

I can’t help but noticed the chef rushed me to fill out the breakfast order card as he wanted it done before take-off.

Conclusion

I have to say it wasn’t the best Turkish Airlines flight I’ve had. The lack of hospitality becomes a norm as I take more and more trips with them. The catering is impressive, but the service could be friendlier and personalized as it sets the tone of how good a flight would be.
I am sorry to hear that, can you please elaborate your comments on "friendliness" , "culture" , "language barrier", "personality", and "lack of hospitality" of the crew.
wcreek is offline  

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