Go Back  FlyerTalk Forums > Miles&Points > Airlines and Mileage Programs > Turkish Airlines | Miles&Smiles
Reload this Page >

Turkish at TLV. How did they get to be so successful?

Turkish at TLV. How did they get to be so successful?

Old Feb 3, 20, 11:05 pm
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 60
Turkish at TLV. How did they get to be so successful?

Just returned to TLV after my second trip with TK this year in J. Until recently Turkish has been TLVís largest foreign carrier. After the second flight I am even more confused as to how that has come to be.
  • no business class queue available for pre-check in security. The guy managing the queue said thereís nobody waiting and that he doesnít have an agent for business. There was a short queue but still took 10 min. Never happened with another airline
  • 2 supervisor counters not forthcoming in helping when the business counter was occupied for 5 min+ (by economy passenger) with luggage problem
  • Star alliance website says entry for gold is to any of the three Dan Lounges in TLV. As flight was departing from the E gates, I tried to enter the lounge in E and was told itís not for Tk and to go to other side of terminal - B gates
  • Boarding handling was a mess both times... info on screens not updated, no signage for priority, more like a pushing scrum to get onto the plane
  • bus gates in Istanbul and TLV with inconsistency on the business class bus (once had, twice did not). In TLV the whole plane was squeezed onto one bus which even LCCís donít do. Took 15 min to load (on arrival).
  • Inconsistent seat- everything from 3-3 with the middle blocked and no IFE to extra reclining 2-2
how did they get to big here with such a basic and bad product compared to basically every other airline (even LY)...
flymeoutofhere is offline  
Old Feb 3, 20, 11:13 pm
  #2  
Moderator, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles & Le Club Accorhotels
Accor 25+ Badge
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: BRU
Programs: TK*G, Le Club Accorhotels Platinum
Posts: 6,916
Originally Posted by flymeoutofhere View Post
how did they get to big here
Pricing and number of destinations.
ISTFlyer, anaidross and Yoshi212 like this.
starflyergold is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 1:06 am
  #3  
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: United Arab Emirates & Arizona, USA
Programs: UA MM/1P, EK Ag, QR, TK, Marriott Life Ti, Hilton Dia, IC Spire, Hyatt Glob, Shangri-La
Posts: 4,238
I suppose the lack of competition. If one wants to fly southbound or eastbound from TLV there are not a lot of options.

Maybe someday politics will thaw and Emirates can serve TLV, which would end TK's competitive advantage.

P.S. Which foreign carrier is now larger than TK there?
mecabq is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 1:50 am
  #4  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by mecabq View Post

P.S. Which foreign carrier is now larger than TK there?
Wizz
but also when you combine Lufthansa group they are bigger (11-15 daily flights)

star alliance carriers are combined bigger than LY (reason for a Star lounge)
flymeoutofhere is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 5:32 am
  #5  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MD/DC
Programs: Hilton Diamond, PC Platinum, Club Carlson Silver, Marriott Platinum, TK Gold
Posts: 1,337
Originally Posted by flymeoutofhere View Post
Just returned to TLV after my second trip with TK this year in J. Until recently Turkish has been TLVís largest foreign carrier. After the second flight I am even more confused as to how that has come to be.
  • no business class queue available for pre-check in security. The guy managing the queue said thereís nobody waiting and that he doesnít have an agent for business. There was a short queue but still took 10 min. Never happened with another airline
  • 2 supervisor counters not forthcoming in helping when the business counter was occupied for 5 min+ (by economy passenger) with luggage problem
  • Star alliance website says entry for gold is to any of the three Dan Lounges in TLV. As flight was departing from the E gates, I tried to enter the lounge in E and was told itís not for Tk and to go to other side of terminal - B gates
  • Boarding handling was a mess both times... info on screens not updated, no signage for priority, more like a pushing scrum to get onto the plane
  • bus gates in Istanbul and TLV with inconsistency on the business class bus (once had, twice did not). In TLV the whole plane was squeezed onto one bus which even LCCís donít do. Took 15 min to load (on arrival).
  • Inconsistent seat- everything from 3-3 with the middle blocked and no IFE to extra reclining 2-2
how did they get to big here with such a basic and bad product compared to basically every other airline (even LY)...
Many of the issues you have identified are airport issues and not TK issues.

In my experience there is always a business line available for business class passengers - though it is never marked and you have to ask about it (you'll need to be assertive).

There is no * lounge in TLV. Dan E is clearly a different beast and on most carriers websites it is clearly said that it is excluded.

TLV-IST is a short flight - I'm still surprised they send 777 and A330 on the route. Connecting to the many USA cities this is usually the best connection time and you can be assured for a real business class seat. That said, there are plenty of narrow bodies on the route. But it barely two hours flight and it is better than any other carrier from TLV (apart from Swiss and British).

It is still the best service out of TLV connecting forward, if you chose your flight strategically and understand the general limitations of TK.
MD/DC Flyer is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 6:38 am
  #6  
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
Location: SIN
Programs: SQ PPS
Posts: 845
Checking % of scheduled int'l seats for w/o 3 Feb (source: CAPA)
1. El Al 22.9%
2. easyJet 6.3%
3. Ryanair 6.0%
4. Turkish Airlines 5.9%
5. Wizz Air 5.5%
6. Aeroflot 4.0%

Frequencies:
1. El Al 23.4%
2. easyJet 6.5%
3. Ryanair 6.1%
4. Turkish Airlines 5.7%
5. Wizz Air 5.1%
6. Aeroflot 3.6%
airoli likes this.
nanyang is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 6:56 am
  #7  
TPJ
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Programs: TK*G (E+), AA OWS (Plat Pro), EY Silver (compted), IHG Plat
Posts: 6,773
Originally Posted by flymeoutofhere View Post
how did they get to big here with such a basic and bad product compared to basically every other airline (even LY)...
I guess LY is much worse...

PS. This is just judging on LY forum discussions, I never flew with them...
TPJ is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 7:18 am
  #8  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Programs: LY-PL, A3-*G
Posts: 1,494
I never had a business class bus in TLV for any airline.
Houminer is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 10:42 am
  #9  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by MD/DC Flyer View Post
Many of the issues you have identified are airport issues and not TK issues.

In my experience there is always a business line available for business class passengers - though it is never marked and you have to ask about it (you'll need to be assertive).

There is no * lounge in TLV. Dan E is clearly a different beast and on most carriers websites it is clearly said that it is excluded.

TLV-IST is a short flight - I'm still surprised they send 777 and A330 on the route. Connecting to the many USA cities this is usually the best connection time and you can be assured for a real business class seat. That said, there are plenty of narrow bodies on the route. But it barely two hours flight and it is better than any other carrier from TLV (apart from Swiss and British).

It is still the best service out of TLV connecting forward, if you chose your flight strategically and understand the general limitations of TK.
I agree that itís not entirely down to the airline but I fly 30 times a year from TLV and these are issues I only ever experienced with TK. There was simply no priority line for security - they told me they donít have enough staff for it. Itís the airport who provides the service but other airlines have always have a local station manager or deputy present to oversee their ground handler and checkin (LH, LX, UA, AF, AC, DL, BA etc). It would never with one of the above.

Similarly most others give a lounge voucher at TLV and say which sleeve itís valid in if thereís a limitation. ( regardless of the fact that it says on * website that E is valid for Star Gold.)

And most of the mainline airlines donít use remote gates, they connect via jetbridge, and if it does happen (rarely) whilst thereís no separate business bus, Ive never seen them try to squeeze a whole plane into one bus (even LCCís or domestic flights). Itís just down to the airlineís SLA and agreement with their handling agency and local/global management.

Again, thereís no need for lie flat on such a short route but when they advertise recliner seats Or better and you get middle seat blocked itís not impressive...
flymeoutofhere is offline  
Old Feb 4, 20, 1:34 pm
  #10  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: HFA
Posts: 1,569
Many of the issues you encountered are indeed not TK-specific.

The security issue is totally out of TKs control. It's the airport, period. And it must be a fluke, as I've never had the same experience when flying business, on TK or any other airline.

And the lounge at E... Check the LY forum for discussion of the E lounge. It's currently only used by BA and LATAM. Long story... but no other airline uses it. Indeed, it's high time for a Star lounge at TLV, but it's not a TK issue.

Why did they succeed? I have some theories. First, they were the first foreign airline to introduce decent schedules to/from TLV. If I need to get to, say, Berlin or Oslo, before the age of the LCCs I could connect in maybe a dozen cities in Europe, but I had to choose between departing TLV at 5am and departing in the afternoon but arriving around midnight. With TK, connecting in IST, I could depart at 11am or 2pm and arrive early evening: much more humane. And the same holds for the returns to TLV. Second, TK had excellent catering, including in Y, which is a winner for many leisure Israeli passengers. Third, in spite of the political differences between the two governments, Israelis feel comfortable around Turks, it's that similar mediterranean attitude. Add that to the low fares to Antalya and the all-inclusive deals there, and you will understand why Antalya, and Turkey in General, are preferred vacation destinations for Israelis. Finally, TK regularly flies widebodies to TLV, and is one of the only airlines that can take you from TLV to several European cities (and, of course, to most long-distance destinations) in lie-flat seats. And indeed, their fares used to be very competitive (less so now, I must admit).

I suppose this should provide some explanation.

Shuly
shuly is offline  
Old Feb 5, 20, 12:24 am
  #11  
 
Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: OTP, CHQ, EIN and beyond
Programs: AF/KL platinum, Turkish gold, QR gold
Posts: 1,345
Originally Posted by shuly View Post
Third, in spite of the political differences between the two governments, Israelis feel comfortable around Turks, it's that similar mediterranean attitude. Add that to the low fares to Antalya and the all-inclusive deals there, and you will understand why Antalya, and Turkey in General, are preferred vacation destinations for Israelis.
I wish that some of the Israeli airport security officers would take this into account the next times I will fly to/from Israel. Seems they don't care much about many other stamps in my passport (even not other Islamic countries) but somehow all the Turkey stamps always raises lots of questions upon departure from TLV!

But that's just a minor hassle though - and I can obviously understand their point of view
Romanianflyer is offline  
Old Feb 5, 20, 1:41 am
  #12  
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: TLV
Programs: UA Platinum, Avis Chairman, Marriott Gold, Hilton Gold, GA Pilot
Posts: 3,205
I used to fly HBO ex TLV to a lot of secondary destinations in Europe that required connections on any airline. Combination of price, frequencies, star alliance perks (the lounge in IST is great) made them an easy choice until Erdogan made it a much more difficult choice with his behavior and words). Now I mostly avoid TK if I can.
NYTA is offline  
Old Feb 5, 20, 11:38 pm
  #13  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Posts: 60
Originally Posted by shuly View Post

And the lounge at E... Check the LY forum for discussion of the E lounge. It's currently only used by BA and LATAM. Long story... but no other airline uses it. Indeed, it's high time for a Star lounge at TLV, but it's not a TK issue.


If thatís the case, then the Star Alliance website is wrong as the screenshot shows. However, I got into the E lounge recently but I donít remember if it was with UA, AC, or LX...
By
flymeoutofhere is offline  
Old Feb 6, 20, 5:45 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: MD/DC
Programs: Hilton Diamond, PC Platinum, Club Carlson Silver, Marriott Platinum, TK Gold
Posts: 1,337
Originally Posted by flymeoutofhere View Post
If thatís the case, then the Star Alliance website is wrong as the screenshot shows. However, I got into the E lounge recently but I donít remember if it was with UA, AC, or LX...
By
With the recent changes to Star Alliance Lounge policy for contract lounges it does not matter what they Star Alliance site says - it is up for individual airlines to set the policy.

At airports where neither a Star Alliance branded lounge nor a Star Alliance member carrier offers a lounge, third party lounges are contracted by some of our member airlines. As a Star Alliance Gold customer travelling on a Star Alliance member airlines operated flight from such airports, you may have access to these third party contract lounges. Please refer to the Lounge Finder to identify which lounges you may have access to, according to the policy of each airline*.
Note that it says "may" and "according to the policy of each airline".
MD/DC Flyer is offline  
Old Feb 6, 20, 11:34 am
  #15  
 
Join Date: May 2000
Location: HFA
Posts: 1,569
This is totally outdated. There was a short period during which the E lounge at TLV was available to business class pax (but not Star gold flying Y); but in the last few months, it's only open to LATAM and, more recently, BA pax.

Shuly
shuly is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: