Earlier this week I compared Lufthansa vs. Turkish Airlines within Europe and the differences on this flight could not have been more stark.
Frankfurt (FRA) – Istanbul (IST)
Thursday, April 21, 2016
Depart: 11:40 AM
Arrive: 3:50 PM
Duration: 3hr, 10min
Seat: 4A (Business Class)
Turkish operates an A330-300 widebody with lie-flat seats in business class on its late morning flight from Frankfurt to Istanbul. Instead of a slimline economy class seat with the middle seat blocked, we had spacious fully lie-flat beds for the 3hr journey to Istanbul. On today’s flight, business class was only about 25% full.
Seats are controlled electronically and include power and USB ports. A privacy divider slides out if you do not wish to converse or see your neighbor.
Business class seats are in a 2-2-2 configuration and the cabin is staffed by two FAs and a “chef”.
Blankets and pillows are weak for this short haul flight, but also not necessary.
Compare that to Lufthansa on the same route:
Check-In and Lounge
Check-in took mere moments in Frankfurt’s Terminal 1 and we were directed, without invitation, to the Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge. Our business class tickets and my Star Gold status also gave us access to any Lufthansa Business or Senator lounge.
Boarding was delayed due a late-arriving aircraft from Istanbul, but we still arrived on-time despite taking off about 30 minutes late.
Here’s a video I took of the FRA takeoff–
Food on Turkish is simply great. Upon boarding a choice of freshly mixed juices was offered:
Meal service began shortly after takeoff. A large appetizer tray with an assortment of food followed by a selection of three mains — today beef, shrimp, or pasta. More fresh juice to drink.
My friend Denny had shrimp for his main:
Dessert was sweet and paired nicely with coffee — first just filtered coffee and later a very strong shot of Turkish coffee. A cheese course was also present on the tray.
Hot towels were distributed at three points during the flight by the chef:
A Turkish delight was presented prior to landing:
Because this aircraft is also used on longhaul routes, IFE is provisioned with several dozen movies and TV shows.
We landed over the Sea of Marmara.
On the ground at IST, we taxied for quite a while before finally parking at a remote stand. Remote stands are fairly common in Istanbul but Turkish sends a separate bus for business class. Thankfully, we did not have to re-clear security, perhaps because we had arrived from “safe” Germany. With about 2.5 hours before our connection to Dar Es Salaam, we walked over to the CIP Lounge. Once again, another great ride on Turkish.
It is always nice to have a widebody on such a short flight and the lie-flat seats made the journey even more comfortable. Turkish is an affordable, comfortable airline that continues to impress me. If you are flying to Istanbul from Frankfurt, Turkish is the superior option.