Author Topic: Turkish Airlines?  (Read 4956 times)

Libertea

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Turkish Airlines?
« on: August 30, 2016, 01:41:00 AM »
Anyone here ever flown them?  How is their economy class?  Would be going to Istanbul.

geekinprogress

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #1 on: August 30, 2016, 02:50:30 AM »
I flew them from Chicago to Istanbul (on the way to Cairo) in economy and thought they were fine, although that was in 2010 :) 

shrnjad

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #2 on: August 30, 2016, 04:22:19 AM »
Flew with them from Munich to Singapore via Istanbul around 4 years ago. It was a very pleasant flight, I especially liked the food. But then I love Turkish cuisine. ;)

Also after we totally missed the flight due to rush hour traffic jam, they rescheduled us for the same flight the next day for 100 euros each, which I though was very nice of them.

Little Aussie Battler

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #3 on: August 30, 2016, 04:58:41 AM »
They are fine.

Istanbul is not.

vhalros

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #4 on: August 30, 2016, 05:01:43 AM »
Turkish Airlines is great. They have food that I might consider eating even if I were not trapped in an aluminum tube with nothing else to eat, which is about the highest praise I can think of for airline food.

norabird

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #5 on: August 30, 2016, 10:44:28 AM »
I loved Istanbul when we went last year, and the other parts of Turkey we visited too. We flew TA domestically (in first class somehow) and it was great service wise though a bumpy flight due to not reaching a high altitude.

SKL-HOU

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #6 on: August 30, 2016, 12:42:37 PM »
I fly Turkish Airlines all the time. It is a good airline. Great service majority of the time. The flights are usually packed.
Istanbul is fine too.

Libertea

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #7 on: August 31, 2016, 01:43:13 AM »
Turkish Airlines is great. They have food that I might consider eating even if I were not trapped in an aluminum tube with nothing else to eat, which is about the highest praise I can think of for airline food.
Hahaha, this is the post that sold me.  Thanks, guys.

EricL

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #8 on: August 31, 2016, 05:00:02 AM »
+1 To Turkish Airlines.  It's relatively new, the Turks are very proud of it, and its services reflect that. Definitely better than most US carriers.

Istanbul is just like any ginormous city. All the benefits and all the aggravations. But from a purely tourist perspective it's the bomb. Just stay in the well lit touristy areas at night. And don't eat any street vendor food unless you have a robust constitution.

Marvel2017

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #9 on: August 31, 2016, 02:18:31 PM »
I booked through them a few months ago (before the airport bombings there)...flight from Chicago to Germany, with layover in Istanbul. They kept changing my itinerary (agent said because of security procedures) which was annoying, until finally they pushed my departure flight after the layover into the next day (increasing the 4 hr layover to about 14 and overnight). They gave me the option to cancel with full refund so I took it. I just don't trust flying in that general area to be honest but their flights are about 30% cheaper than competitors it seems. I ended up booking a replacement flight with Swiss. That's my experience.

Jack

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #10 on: August 31, 2016, 02:37:25 PM »
Istanbul is fine too.

Istanbul is just like any ginormous city. All the benefits and all the aggravations. But from a purely tourist perspective it's the bomb. Just stay in the well lit touristy areas at night. And don't eat any street vendor food unless you have a robust constitution.

So the whole "coup attempt and subsequent purge of president Erdogan's opponents and other assorted intellectuals" thing last month is no longer an issue?

norabird

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #11 on: August 31, 2016, 02:54:30 PM »
Turkey definitely has many issues and I wouldn't travel to Ankara or the East. But it is still a low chance that one would be impacted (the coup attempt is affecting Turks who've been detained, but not tourists) and the economy could benefit from visitors. And if it is only a few years away from tipping into the ISIS chaos fully...doesn't that make it important to go know when it's still safe? I don't think we consider France no longer safe for instance. Terrorism is just part of life now at home or traveling and I don't think it should in these cases necessarily determine our plans.


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SKL-HOU

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #12 on: August 31, 2016, 02:57:42 PM »
Istanbul is fine too.

Istanbul is just like any ginormous city. All the benefits and all the aggravations. But from a purely tourist perspective it's the bomb. Just stay in the well lit touristy areas at night. And don't eat any street vendor food unless you have a robust constitution.

So much the whole "coup attempt and subsequent purge of president Erdogan's opponents and other assorted intellectuals" thing last month is no longer an issue?

My whole family lives there. They dont seem to be worried.
« Last Edit: August 31, 2016, 03:00:03 PM by SKL-HOU »

Libertea

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #13 on: August 31, 2016, 03:45:36 PM »
The Dept of State has issued a travel warning for Turkey, particularly for SE Turkey near the Syrian border.  I can't say I have much desire to visit that region anyway.  I would basically just be spending a day or two touring Istanbul, and then I'd move on to the next country on my itinerary.

I've seen people's reports online of going on tours of Istanbul that were set up by Turkish Airlines.  Does anyone here know if the free day tours of Istanbul through Turkish Airlines (for people with long layovers) are still ongoing since the bombings last month? 

EricL

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #14 on: August 31, 2016, 07:58:53 PM »
Istanbul is fine too.

Istanbul is just like any ginormous city. All the benefits and all the aggravations. But from a purely tourist perspective it's the bomb. Just stay in the well lit touristy areas at night. And don't eat any street vendor food unless you have a robust constitution.

So much the whole "coup attempt and subsequent purge of president Erdogan's opponents and other assorted intellectuals" thing last month is no longer an issue?

My whole family lives there. They dont seem to be worried.

Istanbul relies a lot on tourist money and maintaining Turkey's image as a modern, sophisticated nation (which the Western 1/3 is). So they try to keep it reasonably safe.  The wider implications of the failed coup and aftermath have serious international implications.  But they have to circle back around over time to ruin any shopping in The Grand Bazaar.  Though if you're the type of tourist seeking thoughtful conversation with a Turkish intellectual or have an Efes beer you may be SOL if you don't get there quick.   

BTW, Turkey's been fighting a running war with the Kurd for decades with mutually high casualty rates. Since Kurdish attacks in Turkey tend to be terrorist in nature there's always been some danger and occasionally ugliness.  Kind of like America's domestic and international terrorism + nut cases with guns problems.

But there are other threads for all that.

jamesbond007

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #15 on: September 01, 2016, 11:50:02 AM »
I took Turkish airline from SFO to Istanbul to Rome and back the same route in Nov 2015. I wouldn't recommend for a few reasons:

1. Istanbul airport is a mess. You don't know which gate your connections is going to be until an hour before the departure time or something I don't remember exactly how long. It is frustrating.
2. Turkish airlines ground staff at the airport are the least friendly. When I went to them with complaints for a missing stroller, they told me they don't speak English. But they were speaking English fairly well with the person next to me. Go figure.
3. They messed up my food order in spite of repeated phone confirmations even the 3 days before departure both directions. I am a vegetarian and ordered vegetarian food. I never got mine. So when I asked what happened, they offered me fish and told me they ran out of vegetarian food. They pulled up the roster and my name wasn't even there on the list. I am UFO according to them.


Never again. Ever.

hollyluja

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #16 on: September 01, 2016, 01:36:21 PM »
Turkish Airlines is great. They have food that I might consider eating even if I were not trapped in an aluminum tube with nothing else to eat, which is about the highest praise I can think of for airline food.

I second this!  I've actually recreated a grain and yogurt salad at home that I had on their flight because I loved it so much.

norabird

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #17 on: September 01, 2016, 02:22:34 PM »
The food we had in first class with them was craaaazy delish

russianswinga

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #18 on: September 01, 2016, 02:44:44 PM »
If you have a long (6hr+) layover in Istanbul and fly Turkish, they will offer you a free city tour of Istanbul. If you have an overnight layover, they will also offer you a free hotel.

Capsu78

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #19 on: September 01, 2016, 05:29:14 PM »
As a wise man has said "...it wasn't a failed coup, it was a successful purge".  They bought a copy of "Dictators for Dummies" with a forward by Vlad Putin.

Libertea

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #20 on: September 01, 2016, 06:48:19 PM »
If you have a long (6hr+) layover in Istanbul and fly Turkish, they will offer you a free city tour of Istanbul. If you have an overnight layover, they will also offer you a free hotel.
Yeah, I read other people's description of this online.  Anyone here done it in the last month since the coup?

SKL-HOU

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #21 on: September 02, 2016, 09:50:53 AM »
6 hours is not enough time to do any kind of city tour. The traffic is pretty bad. So unless they take you to places near the airport (not many touristy places) then you would spend most of that time sitting in traffic.

muckety_muck

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #22 on: September 03, 2016, 02:58:45 AM »
We were pleasantly surprised with Turkish Airlines, although this was about 3 yrs ago... the food was amazing (and we are very picky eaters) .... the people were stinky on the airplane, and on mass transit around Istanbul. Istanbul is beautiful at night and the people were pretty friendly. A few were pushy but we were able to escape them pretty easily. I'm not sure that I would travel through there now, with all the political/terrorism stuff going on, but it was fine a few years ago. We were able to get around pretty easily, not speaking any Turkish. Picked up one of those pocket guides to the city and had a good day seeing most of the top 10 sites, etc.

Check-in/Customs with turkish airlines was difficult. if you are not Turkish, the Turkish Airlines gate check-in employees will likely pull you for secondary screening (Racial profiling?) and give you a hard line of questioning. Saw it happen to most American-looking types on our flight from Istanbul back to the U.S. Had a long layover in the airport, as did quite a few people we saw there. Many large groups just sleeping along the walls, etc. But the concourses are wide and long so there is plenty of room. We felt safe at the time, and everything was well-lit... lots of food options, etc.

WerKater

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #23 on: September 03, 2016, 03:54:27 AM »
We flew with Turkish Airlines from Stuttgart via Istanbul (Sabiha Gökçen) to Tbilissi and back via Istanbul (Atatürk). All flights were very pleasant (economy class) and the food was great. However, be aware that Istanbul-Atatürk is notoriously overloaded. So there can be long delays.

EricL

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #24 on: September 03, 2016, 08:50:22 AM »
We were pleasantly surprised with Turkish Airlines, although this was about 3 yrs ago... the food was amazing (and we are very picky eaters) .... the people were stinky on the airplane, and on mass transit around Istanbul. Istanbul is beautiful at night and the people were pretty friendly. A few were pushy but we were able to escape them pretty easily. I'm not sure that I would travel through there now, with all the political/terrorism stuff going on, but it was fine a few years ago. We were able to get around pretty easily, not speaking any Turkish. Picked up one of those pocket guides to the city and had a good day seeing most of the top 10 sites, etc.

Check-in/Customs with turkish airlines was difficult. if you are not Turkish, the Turkish Airlines gate check-in employees will likely pull you for secondary screening (Racial profiling?) and give you a hard line of questioning. Saw it happen to most American-looking types on our flight from Istanbul back to the U.S. Had a long layover in the airport, as did quite a few people we saw there. Many large groups just sleeping along the walls, etc. But the concourses are wide and long so there is plenty of room. We felt safe at the time, and everything was well-lit... lots of food options, etc.

U.K., yeah. Some bad things about Turkey: Turkish BO.  I think there was a Seinfield episode referencing it.  If a Turk skips a shower on a hot day, you'll know from as far away as 50 meters (seriously).   It's something about the volcanic soil the food grows in.  It's excellent food though. If you stay there long enough you'll get bad BO too. 

Turkish bureaucrats:  Turks learned bureaucracy-fu from the Germans, so they're very particular over rules and regs. But they're Turks, not Germans. If you throw a fit at a German bureaucrat who holds you up but later get your i's dotted and t's crossed it's OK.  But Turks are sensitive. A Turkish bureaucrat you piss off will bury you in red tape as long as possible.  Be, if not polite, at least very formal dealing with them.

One last thing: Turks love to fight. They'll throw down in a heartbeat when they get worked up. That's endearing or frightening depending on your POV and situation. Steer clear of religious or political conversation.

Gerard

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Re: Turkish Airlines?
« Reply #25 on: September 04, 2016, 01:42:15 PM »
Speaking specifically about the airline rather than the country, I would sum it up as "amazing food, well-meaning but poorly trained staff". No more bureaucratic or stubborn than any European airline, and maybe resulting from staff not having permission to "own" your problem.

If you have (or can wheedle) lounge access in Istanbul, you totally have to do it. They have people baking pide and making and cooking fresh pasta on the premises, plus a cornucopia of meze.