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

Brief Flight Report -- TK8 IAD - IST on June 20, 2020

Brief Flight Report -- TK8 IAD - IST on June 20, 2020

Old Jun 24, 20, 3:38 am
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 300
Brief Flight Report -- TK8 IAD - IST on June 20, 2020

Hello all! I've taken the first flight from IAD to IST with my partner (seats 1E and 1F) and wanted to share this brief flight report for those of you who may be wondering how is it like to fly with TK during this pandemic. To begin with, many of my friends have asked me if the middle seats were empty. Unfortunately, I haven't seen if the middle seats were empty.

Check-in:

- Check-in was almost exactly the same as before. People did not care about social distancing, they pretty much lined up exactly the same way that they did before. There were lines for Business/*G and economy passengers.
- You cannot take a piece of carry-on luggage with you but you can take a personal item bag (laptop bag, small backpack, etc). Because I've had many devices with lithium-ion batteries, my personal item bag was pretty full and heavy. However, the check-in personnel did not weigh my personal bag.
- The check-in personnel said that the overhead bins would not be available; however, they were available (at least in the business cabin).

Security and airport:

- The airport was very empty. The TSA personnel asks you to remove your mask when you are going through the passport control (passport control in Turkey did not require that). You can take a 16 oz bottle of hand sanitizer with you. TSA will test the botle before they let you take it.
- All the lounges are closed until further notice (LH, BA, TK were the ones that I've seen).

Boarding:

- No more separate boarding for business and economy. The boarding process starts from the last 5 rows. Once those 5 rows were completed, they started letting the next 5 rows. So, business passengers are the ones to board last. Boarding personnel DID send back people who tried to board earlier than they were supposed to board.
- People did not care about social distancing in the boarding area either. They were mostly good with the masks though. You can see the photo below. We've tried to cover our distance as we were going to board last anyways.
- Boarding personnel did a body temperature check before boarding.



Food and in-flight amenities:

- No amenity bag was distributed. The staff still make your beds.
- Cabin crew gave all of us a form which asks you COVID-related questions with your communication information.
- No hot food, you can see the photos of business food below. The sandwiches were vegetarian.






- In all the flights that I've taken in a TK-operated 787, I have had an instance of a broken seat. The rule did not change, and I've realized that my seat had a broken piece right before landing.





De-planing:

- De-planing started from the front and moved to the back. Although everyone was warned not to stand up before their rows were called, everyone did stand up as soon as the plane approached to the gate. Thus, while I wanted to see if the middle seats were empty when leaving the plane, I couldn't as everyone had already lined up in the corridor.

Security/pre-cautions at IST:

- None. No warnings to isolate yourself for 14 days, no temperature checks. News reported that we would be tested for COVID-19 but there was no testing.
- No separate passport control for Business/*G and other passengers. Having said that, the airport is very empty anyways that you wouldn't wait in lines.
- No priority baggage handling even if the luggages had "priority" tags on them.

That's pretty much all I can think of at the moment but feel free to ask any questions you may have!
max_kolesne is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 5:36 am
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: BOM/DEL/GAU
Programs: A few airlines, hotel programs and car rentals
Posts: 1,126
Thanks max_kolesne for a report on flying TK during COVID pandemic!

Question:

1. Are J + *G pax allowed their normal check-in baggage allowance (i.e. J allowance + elite allowance + additional carry-on allowance)?
2. I understand that only one piece of carry-on is allowed - is it only a personal item or can it be a hard-sided strolley bag as well? And is it same regardless of class of travel and / or status?
AvidFlyer1990 is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 5:47 am
  #3  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 300
Originally Posted by AvidFlyer1990 View Post
Thanks max_kolesne for a report on flying TK during COVID pandemic!

Question:

1. Are J + *G pax allowed their normal check-in baggage allowance (i.e. J allowance + elite allowance + additional carry-on allowance)?
2. I understand that only one piece of carry-on is allowed - is it only a personal item or can it be a hard-sided strolley bag as well? And is it same regardless of class of travel and / or status?
1- Yes, the normal check-in baggage allowance for J + *G is the same. The only difference is that you have to check-in the carry-on as well, and it is included in your total allowance (So for *G flying in J, the baggage allowance is 3 regular suitcases up to 70 lbs each and 2 carry-on suitcases up to 17.6 lbs each)

2- It is only one piece of personal item such as a small backpack or a laptop bag. A hard-sided carry-on would not be allowed and this rule is the same for business passengers as well as economy passengers. Basically, anything that would not fit under an economy seat is not allowed. Having said that, I could use the overhead bins without any issues.
mafaky likes this.
max_kolesne is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 5:55 am
  #4  
TPJ
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Programs: TK*G (E+), AA OWS (Plat Pro), EY Silver (compted), IHG Plat
Posts: 6,774
Thanks for sharing.

Was there anything to drink other than water I could see on the picture?
TPJ is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 5:59 am
  #5  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 300
Originally Posted by TPJ View Post
Thanks for sharing.

Was there anything to drink other than water I could see on the picture?
they had a selection of drinks but not the full selection. There was no menu so I couldn’t see all the options they had. I asked for a glass wine with the main food and I got a small bottle of wine with a plastic cup. Only one option for the red wine. Along with the second meal, I’ve asked for orange juice but they didn’t have it. They only had “mixed,” cherry, or peach. They did not have a traditional drink service but rather they asked each passenger what would they want to drink and then they brought their drinks from the galley.
max_kolesne is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 6:06 am
  #6  
TPJ
 
Join Date: Jun 2008
Programs: TK*G (E+), AA OWS (Plat Pro), EY Silver (compted), IHG Plat
Posts: 6,774
Thanks for the update max_kolesne!
max_kolesne likes this.
TPJ is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 6:45 am
  #7  
 
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: 5,679
Thank you max_kolesne for sharing this report with us,

- I would like to say that I'm not surprised to see that passengers were not paying attention social distancing. People who know about Turkish people would understand what I mean.
- One of the United Club's in IAD is open, however, the detour to the other concourse is definitely not worth it if they are only offering bottled water and some snacks.
- For boarding at IST, when they are two jetbridges connected, they dedicate the front jetbridge for Business Class but in IAD, the contracted Swissport agents couldn't think that way. Obviously no priority boarding for Elites & *G's.
- I find it interesting that no amenity kits were distributed. In a TV program, Mr. İlker Aycı ( Chairman of Board ) has mentioned that they would offer an improved amenity kit with masks, hand santizers, etc... I assume that they are still working on it.
- The food is obviously not acceptable for Business Class and the breakfast is the same as regular Lufthansa Economy Class breakfast on USA-Germany routes. However, it would be unfair if I don't say that TK is offering an extra yoghurt compared to the offering below.

- For deboarding, on my flights on 1 June, it was enforced but nothing changed, people started to hurry in a rush but ended up waiting in the carousel. However, on my flights the crew was handling the situation very well not allowing people in unannounced rows leaving the aircraft.
- I had not had any "Priority bags did not arrive first in IST" after the movement to the new airport, but it seems that there are still some ground staff who doesn't care.

Once again thanks for sharing this brief report with us.
And, thanks for showing us that flying Business Class at the moment does not have anything advantageous than extra baggage allowance, the lie-flat seat and a better meal compared to Economy Class.
DaveS and mafaky like this.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 7:08 am
  #8  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 300
Thank you for the additional information ISTFlyer . There are a few things I have forgotten to add.

- I have forgotten to add, they did have an "amenity kit" with a few masks, hand sanitizer, and an antibacterial wipe. But that was it, they did not have the regular amenity kits. They also did not distribute noise-canceling headphones, only the economy versions were available.

- I agree with your statement about not having anything advantageous than the things that you've already specified. If I was paying cash, I would probably not pay the premium for business class (I would probably not pay cash for any flight during these volatile times, but that's another discussion). However, it still could be a good option for folks who are anxious about social distancing as the business-cabin in 787s allow as much social distancing as possible in a plane, especially during the first couple weeks after TK started its flights. This particular flight was pretty full due to the flight being the first scheduled flight after a while between IAD and IST. However, if the loads remain light for the rest of the summer, you can probably have the full row for yourself in the economy cabin as well.

Last edited by max_kolesne; Jun 24, 20 at 7:24 am
max_kolesne is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 7:19 am
  #9  
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: somewhere between Europe and Africa, from SFO
Programs: A3*G, EY Silver
Posts: 7,927
How were the loads on the flight?
Palal is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 7:22 am
  #10  
 
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: 5,679
Originally Posted by Palal View Post
How were the loads on the flight?
This flight and the flight on the 22nd from IAD to IST were both fully booked.
max_kolesne likes this.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 7:24 am
  #11  
 
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: 5,679
Originally Posted by max_kolesne View Post
Thank you for the additional information ISTFlyer . There are a few things I have forgotten to add.

- I have forgotten to add, they did have an "amenity kit" with a few masks, hand sanitizer, and an antibacterial wipe. But that was it, they did not have the regular amenity kits. They also did not distribute noise-canceling headphones, only the economy versions were available.

- I agree with your statement about not having anything advantageous than the things that you've already specified. If I was paying cash, I would probably not pay the premium for business class (I would probably not pay cash for any flight during these volatile times, but that's another discussion). However, it still could be a good option for folks who are anxious about social distancing as the business-cabin in 787s allow as much social distancing as possible in a plane, especially during the first couple after TK started its flights. This particular flight was pretty full due to the flight being the first scheduled flight after a while between IAD and IST. However, if the loads remain light for the rest of the summer, you can probably have the full row for yourself in the economy cabin as well.
I am not sure that the loads for TK flights to the USA/Canada would be empty this year. Turkey being one of the open countries for US citizens without quarantine, I've heard about people from the USA would travel to Southern Turkey for their beach holiday, plus we have the Turkish population in the USA visiting their friends/relatives in Turkey.

In addition, the only way to travel from Turkey to the USA with no-quarantine on arrival is either to fly TK, or make a detour and fly QR or EK with horrible connection times ( except for QR IST-JFK ). That's why most people would choose the former option.

We'll all see how the situation evolves but IMO, TK would always have loads close to 100% on USA routes for this summer.
mafaky and max_kolesne like this.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 7:35 am
  #12  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 300
Originally Posted by ISTFlyer View Post
I am not sure that the loads for TK flights to the USA/Canada would be empty this year. Turkey being one of the open countries for US citizens without quarantine, I've heard about people from the USA would travel to Southern Turkey for their beach holiday, plus we have the Turkish population in the USA visiting their friends/relatives in Turkey.

In addition, the only way to travel from Turkey to the USA with no-quarantine on arrival is either to fly TK, or make a detour and fly QR or EK with horrible connection times ( except for QR IST-JFK ). That's why most people would choose the former option.

We'll all see how the situation evolves but IMO, TK would always have loads close to 100% on USA routes for this summer.
these are all very good points. I will book our return flights soon and fortunately award space is still wide open. I think I shouldn’t postpone the bookings after seeing your insights.
ISTFlyer likes this.
max_kolesne is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 7:55 am
  #13  
 
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: 5,679
Originally Posted by max_kolesne View Post
these are all very good points. I will book our return flights soon and fortunately award space is still wide open. I think I shouldn’t postpone the bookings after seeing your insights.
I assume that IAD and MIA are the least popular USA routes within the scope of the routes that resumed so it has more award availability than ORD and LAX.

I was looking for a friend living in LAX and there are no Business limited awards available for August. This does not seem like the auto-block for the LAX route in order to encourage people to purchase paid tickets as there was wide-availability for booking this route in late-May for August.
mafaky and max_kolesne like this.
ISTFlyer is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 8:38 am
  #14  
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: UK/Mauritius
Programs: BA Executive Skywards silver Virgin Enrich Flying Blue Hilton Honours Hyatt Priority Club Kestrel A
Posts: 610
Smile

Thanks for the report, very helpful.
We arent flying until December, having rescheduled from June and we are new to TK having been loyal J class EK customers for years.
Disappointed with the carry on restrictions (even the UK LCC allow bags post covid) and the food service.
We were attracted to TK by the in flight service plus the fact that they worked out slightly cheaper than EK when we booked.
Fingers crossed they manage to resume some kind of proper J class service by December.
I suppose we can say we are lucky to be able to fly at all during the pandemic.
max_kolesne likes this.
daisymay2 is offline  
Old Jun 24, 20, 1:45 pm
  #15  
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Programs: AA PLT the rest, Kettle Power
Posts: 603
Thanks for the detailed report. Curious to know how long the meal service took then? With everything boxed and limited drinks I'd have to imagine it was quick and then everyone off to bed!?
I'm taking ORD-IST soon - fingers crossed - with kids and those lights can't go out fast enough! Hard to convince a 4 yr old to go to bed when everyone else is watching tv/eating/chatting etc.
TGGDEL is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search Engine: