Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class B777-300ER, Toronto – Istanbul
Turkish Airlines is one of the most rapidly expanding carriers around the world. As a member of Star Alliance, they offer connecting service through Istanbul, Turkey to many destinations around the world. They started service into Canada through Toronto and Montreal, later expanding to Vancouver. We would get the opportunity to test their service out from Star Alliance Hub city Toronto, to Turkish Airlines Hub city Istanbul. Did Turkish Airlines live up to being a true global international carrier ?
This post is one chapter on our trip to the Republic of Tanzania and the Islands of the Seychelles. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and enhanced through World of Hyatt and Marriott Bonvoy Elite Status. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.
Read More from This Trip
- Trip Introduction: Zanzibar, Tanzania and Islands of the Seychelles via Air Canada and Turkish Airlines Business Class
- Air Canada Signature Business Class: Vancouver – Toronto
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge: Toronto International Terminal
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Toronto – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Dar Es Salaam
- The Hyatt Regency – The Kilimanjaro, Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania
- Precision Air: Dar Es Salaam – Zanzibar
- The Residence Zanzibar by Cenizaro, Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Crossing the Island of Zanzibar, Tanzania
- The Park Hyatt Zanzibar, Tanzania
- The Decorative Doors of Stonetown, Zanzibar, Tanzania
- Among the Horrors at the Slave Trade Market, Stonetown, Zanzibar
- Emerson Spice Tea House Restaurant, Stonetown, Zanzibar
- Cruising into Sunset on a Dhow Cruise, Zanzibar
- Precision Air: Zanzibar – Dar Es Salaam
- Kenya Airways: Dar Es Salaam – Nairobi
- Kenya Airways: Nairobi – Mahé, Seychelles
- Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove, Mahé, Seychelles
- The Beaches of Beau Vallon, Mahé, Seychelles
- Cat Cocos Ferry: Mahé – Praslin
- The Chateau des Feuilles, Praslin, Seychelles
- Tortoises at Anse Lazio and Vallée de Mai, Praslin Island, Seychelles
- The Beaches of Praslin Island, Seychelles
- Air Seychelles: Praslin – Mahé
- Salon Vallée de Mai Business Lounge, Mahé, Seychelles
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Mahé – Istanbul
- Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge, Istanbul Atatürk
- Turkish Airlines E Tour, Istanbul, Turkey
- Turkish Airlines Business Class: Istanbul – Toronto
- Sheraton Gateway Hotel in Toronto International Airport, Canada
- Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge, Toronto Domestic
- Air Canada Signature Business Class: Toronto – Vancouver
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class B777-300 ER, Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal One – Istanbul Atatürk International Airport
At about fifty five minutes before our flight, we left the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Toronto International and headed down to the international gate departures area. We passed by the beautiful “Tilted Spheres “sculpture in the international departures hall. The sculpture is so large, the sculpture had to be installed prior to the walls and roof going onto the building. Every time I pass by, I always go stand in the middle of it and listen to the echo of my voice. If you’re through the Toronto Pearson International Airport Terminal One, you should try it… it’s pretty neat.
We continued over to Gate E71. In true Turkish Airlines style, the boarding area was pretty messy and chaotic. The line queue was managed by one poor guy who was trying to separate the gate through localized public address announcements.
There was a schizophrenic flight display sign that wasn’t helping matters. It announced “boarding, but take a seat”.
While we were waiting near the front of the maze to board, we were charged by about thirty families with small children pushing to the front without despair. Eventually, children, elderly, business class and Turkish Elite and Star Gold, were all called to board all at once. It was about 90 people trying to get on the flight through a crowd of the remaining 150. It seems like the gate agents had lost interest in bothering to separate the groups.
Once we were walking down the jet bridge to board the aircraft, we learned that double door boarding was in effect today. We passed by a manned jet bridge and boarded the aircraft through the business class door at L1.
TK 18 – Business Class (I)
YYZ-IST (Toronto Pearson International Airport – Istanbul Atatürk International Airport)
May 26, 2018
10:30PM – 3:15 PM +1
Booked: Boeing 777-300ER
Flown: Boeing 777-300ER
On Board Turkish Airlines Business Class:
The Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300 business class cabin is configured in a 2-3-2 configuration. We were in seats 3J / 3K on the far right hand side. These are comfortable seats for traveling with a partner, but they lack a little privacy if you are travelling on your own for business.
The seats themselves are hardly state of the art. Or at least they were state of the art about 12 years ago, when they started getting rid of reclining lounge chairs up front. However, in today’s world of reverse herringbone seats, the pair of seats is set with a little less privacy than the competitors offer. Despite this, the seats do lie completely flat.
It is worth mentioning that the middle seat in the centre row of “three” would be among the worst seat in business class if travelling solo. You would be occupied on either side by other travellers and would have to step over them in order to get out at any opportunity. It would be miserable to be stuck in the middle seat on a ten hour flight.
The seats offered a variety of seat controls and adjustments. These included a massage and a lumbar function.
Waiting for us on the seat ottoman was a shoe bag, containing slippers.
We had a twenty minute delay departing. Turkish has updated their AVOD entertainment to have refreshing scenic images of Turkey cycling as you are welcomed on board. The photography was really beautiful and inspires a trip to Turkey. There were lots of interesting things to look at; some landmarks familiar and some not.
As we settled in, we got the usual Turkish offering a choice of non alcoholic pre departure beverage of water, orange juice or the terrific lemon and mint. We both had lemon and mint, which is always a great start. At least if it is a non-alcoholic offering, Turkish does it right with a selection of interesting drinks.
While we were on the ground, the menus were dropped off. The menu package was pretty impressive. Turkish Airlines has been offering DO & CO Catering, which has been a very tasty endeavour in my experiences. The DO & CO Catering has offered interesting food and taste flavours that are better than the usual combinations you find with airlines.
The drink wine list was even more impressive. It contained 11 wines, although 4 of them were from Turkey. There were 3 whites, 5 reds, a champagne, a rose and a desert wine. The menu has somewhat of an institutional look to it, unlike other carriers that dress up their wine menus which pictures of the wine bottles or wine labels.
We were also encouraged to complete a breakfast card for the breakfast order.
An entertaining safety video was played twice; one in Turkish and once in English. It’s hosted by a magician on the left.
Noise cancelling headphones were also presented.
The Amenity Kits: Bentley Branded Kits
The amenity kits were dropped off. The amenity kits were branded as “Bentley” fragrance amenity kits. There were mostly useless things in here. The Bentley branding was limited to a brochure, lip palm and a small tube of body lotion; a pretty chintzy offering that’s was completely forgotten about after I took the trip.
I checked out the in flight entertainment system. It had a good number of movies and enough to keep you entertained for several long haul flights.
Turkish Airways offers free wifi to business class passengers. Unfortunately, the connection is super slow. I did a speed test and only managed 6 MPS with the application crashing outright on the upload portion.
We got underway after the twenty minute delay and up to cruising altitude.
A Pre-Supper Towel Service:
Prior to the dinner service, we had a towel service. This was followed by a pre supper cocktail. Champagne was on order tonight.
The Meal: A Three Course Dinner
Candlelight High Above the Clouds
The dinner service started with a small mezze platter, and soup, plated together. This came with the oh so cool LED candle light in the sky which is a silly, but excellent touch of ambience at cruising altitude that I always look forward to on Turkish Airlines.
The main course was steak and arugula with potatoes. I love having steak and red wine on a plane but it seems really hard for airlines to invest the money to execute it right. Today’s steak was awfully tough, worse than sirloin and quite grainy in texture. Unlike the Bentley amenity kit, this I did remember for how lousy it was.
Desserts were brought around from the cart, which is always super impressive. I ended up with chocolate mousse based on appearance selections.
Dinner was a leisurely affair with service completed about 2.5 hours into the flight.
The cabin was turned down for the evening with the window shades closed and the service cleared. A small bottle of 330 ml water was dropped off at the seat. There was an offer to have the bedding made up but I elected to catch up on the trip report before turning in. We were just off the coast of Newfoundland by the time that we were done the food service.
After dinner, I turned down for the evening and tried some rest. It was a bit of a bumpy flight and I managed about 4 ½ hours’ worth of sleep.
The Second Service: Breakfast
I woke up over of Dubrovnik, Croatia to the sounds of breakfast. Service was prompt and the first breakfast offering was presented within 10 minutes of waking up.
Breakfast started with a coffee, a strawberry smoothie, cut fruit and bread offerings.
This was followed by an omelette with potatoes and peppers.
After breakfast, I stocked up some water from the self service bar which had been mostly packed up for the flight.
Landing at Istanbul:
We had a straight in approach with no holds, touching down at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport. We were dumped off at one of the last gates on the international wing. As a result, we had a long walk to the connections check point.
We disembarked and headed off to our Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Dar Es Salaam flight on their unique Boeing 737-900 ER aircraft.
My Thoughts on Turkish Airlines Business Class:
Turkish Airlines is a great way to get across the Atlantic. Thanks to generous business class reward availability and no fuel surcharges, it’s not usually too hard to find flights with them. Although their business class seat isn’t class leading by any means, their tasty DO and CO catering is a great way to pass the time while you’re on board with them. Add to this the fact that they fly almost everywhere, and you have a winning combination.