Check out part 1 first, this is a continuation of the journey:CLICK HERE!
FLIGHT #2: ISTANBUL-SINGAPORE
Aviation Geek Details:
Airline and flight number: Turkish Airlines flight # TK54
Route: Istanbul (Ataturk)-Singapore (Changi)
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Airplane (registration and year built): TC-JJR built in 2014.
Miles flown: 5,627 miles
Flight duration: 10 hours and 7 minutes
Class of Service and Seat: Business Class, seat 7K (window)
This is my: 674th flight on 94 airlines.
This is my: 14thflight on Turkish Airlines
This is my: 15thflight on a 777-300
Gate 304 is really just a door that leads to the buses that take you to the remote parking stands. Probably annoying for most folks but for an aerophile, there is nothing like boarding a widebody from the airstairs. Tonight’s flight was obviously a codeshare with Star Alliance partner Singapore Airlines.
I’m going to blame the iPhone 100% for this one! I took a video leaving the bus, walking out to and boarding the plane but only a bit of the video actually recorded. They say a good surgeon never blames his or her instruments so I guess I will take the responsibility. None the less, after a quick bus ride to the remote stand and climb up the airstairs, we were aboard TC-JJR, a 2014 built Boeing 777-300, once again in seats 3J and 3K.
I love the little branding accents throughout the cabin including the Turkish Airlines logo on the back wall at the end of every cabin.
Proof of life pic # 2, getting settled as boarding continues. This is also a proof of shower and change of clothes pic to those paying attention.
Guess I wasn’t the only one getting comfortable during boarding. Sorry to the vertically challenged but, only us long-legged folks can do this.
The seats on this 777 were a little bit different than the seats on the first 777. These seats had a little spot to place your belongings between the two TV screens which was an upside. The downside, the ottoman did not open completely on this aircraft like it did on the first, so it was more difficult to store things beneath the ottoman.
Again, a blanket and slippers were waiting on the ottoman in front and…
pre-departure beverages were offered. What can I say? either I am difficult or I really just like the mint lemonade because I made a special request for one even though it wasn’t on the tray.
No problem was the response and within minutes she brought me a nice, fresh mint-lemonade.
Okay, I know everyone is dying to know what the slipper look like so…
wonder no more, here they are keeping my ten little tootsies nice and toasty.
Sorry baby, I just can’t keep my eyes off of you…the mint lemonade that is! Keep your mind out of the gutter folks, I’m a married man!!
Amenity kits were distributed and…
these Molton Brown kits were different from the kits distributed on the flight from Chicago. Now, I know what you are thinking, you didn’t show the kits on the first flight. Guilty as charged, just take my word for it, these were different.
Again, noise canceling headphones were offered and then things went a bit south.
Okay, I’m being a bit pampered and overdramatic. My wife’s tray table would not completely retract and despite his best efforts, the guy from Turkish technic couldn’t fix it so we were moved to 7J and 7K. I know, first world problems.
My only concern with 7J and 7K is that they were in the last row of Business Class and the first row of Economy Class is where the bassinets are placed if needed. And you know what that could mean, yup, a crying baby or babies all night long.
Thankfully there were no crying babies and at 2:10 AM, 10 minutes behind our scheduled time of departure, our Boeing 777-300 was pushed off of the hard stand.
I connected to the wifi and went directly to flightradar24 to track our flight. TC-JJR had gone from the shores of sunny Miami to the dense urban jungle of Hong Kong in the last four days. Have I ever told you that I want to be reincarnated as an airplane?
Now, some might consider two Turkish Airlines pens to be an odd thing to take a picture of. The cabin crew distributed landing cards for Singapore once we were already taxing to the runway and my carryon was tucked away in the overhead bin. I’ve seen many a US-based flight crew member bark at poor passengers asking for a pen so I hesitated myself to ask for one. I decided to be brave and just ask and the crew member produced not one but two pens. When I thanked him and told him that I would give it right back, he waved his hand and said, “No need, we have tons of those on board”. Wow! an airline caring a little bit more for its customers than nickeling and diming it’s onboard product to pad the bottom line a wee bit more. Okay, rant is done! It was just refreshing.
The trend in safety videos these days seems to be to make them entertaining. The Turkish Airlines safety video had a magic theme. If you want to see it, check out my embedded flight report video.
After a short taxi and a 55-second takeoff roll, we were high above the night sky of Istanbul.
Look who managed to catch the beacon light, yup, this guy right here.
Soon after takeoff, the cabin lights came back on and the cabin crew took dinner and breakfast meal orders.
Menus had been distributed soon after boarding but were apparently not the right ones for this flight because they were shortly thereafter re-collected. So, the cabin crew came through and described the options instead.
Before the meal service started, cabin crew members offered to prepare your bed which just consisted of placing a pad over the seat and giving you a larger blanket and pillow. Given the things that people do when they sleep, the pad is a nice touch (although I guess they could do those things on the pad as well, damn! warm and fuzzy feeling gone!).
And here is the second blanket they give you to supplement the smaller one in the plastic bag on your ottoman.
These seat controls were similar to those on the first flight with all of the same functions.
Again, there was a handheld controller for the in-flight entertainment system.
The mood lighting was set prior to the meal service so…
I decided to kick back and start a movie, Resident Evil. I have to be honest, once I realized it was all in CGI, I decided to watch The Shape of Water instead. The movie definitely kept me watching if not a bit entertained but I honestly found the whole premise a bit gross. Kind of took bestiality to a new, even more, disgusting level. I won’t say any more for those who haven’t seen it yet.
Hot towels were distributed…
and the linens were laid for the dinner service.
Despite a late departure, we were still estimated to arrive in Singapore a few minutes early.
As we clipped along at 33,000 feet and 469 knots, we were…
surrounded by a bunch of other aircraft flying between the continents of Europe and Asia
Service started with beverages and mixed nuts.
I guess the missus had a bit more detoxing to do because she went for another detox tea.
The first appetizer consisted of a meatball, a spring roll and a savory pastry with shrimp. Compliments to the chef, all were quite delicious.
Next up was a plate with chicken, blue cheese with peppers, and brown rice.
A tomato and mozzarella salad followed.
Some people think that they are corny but I like the “candlelight” dinner theme. Gives the darkened cabin a cozy feeling.
Next up was the bread basket followed by…
the main course. If nothing, I learn from my mistakes, so I went for the fish option this time.
Again, learning from past mistakes, I saved a little more room for dessert, so I had a threesome-an apple tart, pistachio ice cream and a piece of chocolate cake.
After dinner, I caught a beautiful sunrise and then…
took in the mood lighting and…
kicked back for a few hours of sleep.
Unfortunately, after about 3 hours in slumberland, my diuretic kicked in, which meant a middle of the night bathroom run. Word of advice, diuretics and long flights just don’t mix but then again neither do high blood pressure, strokes and long flights so…I guess I’ll keep taking that diuretic.
Much like the last flight, this bathroom was well stocked and as a bonus, it even had some fake plants for added ambiance.
Okay, my fellow germophobes probably see what I consider to be the best part of this picture. Yes sir, a no touch garbage can. First time I have seen a foot pedal controlled garbage can.
The downside of the diuretic, you have to get up and pee. The upside of the diuretic, you get to visit the snack station in the galley after you get up to pee.
I’m not proud of myself because I wasn’t even hungry but I downed a Snicker and a Twix (mini’s okay, stop judging) and went back to sleep for a few hours. When the mood lighting was switched to dawn mode, I woke up to find the breakfast service had started. The first course included breakfast meats, cheese, and peppers.
I would say I slept a combined 6 hours and by now we were less than 2 hours out of Singapore.
Next up was a salad followed by…
scrambled eggs and…
coffee. I know, I know…they say never drink airplane coffee but I broke down and had a cup.
With about an hour and 20 minutes left, another Turkish 777 was tight on our tail headed for Jakarta, you can barely make out it’s yellow outline under the orange of our plane.
hot towels were distributed.
The cabin came to life as people started to open their window shades. The afternoon sun was shining brightly over southeast Asia.
And guess who got to keep his Turkish Airlines pen?
I bet you are thinking, “Dr. I, you are off your game! what happened to the in-flight magazine and the fleets page”. I was a bit sleepy when I boarded both flights but before the flights ended I had to check out the contents of the literature pocket where I found Turkish Airlines’ in-flight magazine, SkyLife.
Apparently, there is a Business Class version as well, SkyLife Business.
Why keep up the pretense, of course, I just skipped all of the articles and went straight to the fleet page.
Next up was the domestic route map, which is pretty impressive.
Everybody talks about the ME-3 but…
Turkish Airlines may be the one to watch when it comes to world domination.
With only 17 minutes to go, we were still cruising along at 37,000 feet and…
our across the aisle neighbor, who was clearly a stomach sleeper, was still sound asleep. Guess someone missed breakfast.
We soon started to descend into an overcast Singapore though the sun still made a bit of an appearance.
With the cabin secured for landing, and our across the aisle neighbor finally awake and on his posterior, we…
broke through the clouds and caught our first glimpses of Singapore.
After a quick descent, we were soon on short finals at Singapore’s Changi airport. Well hello Mr. Emirates A380!
After a quick taxi, we were parked at the gate and disembarking TC-JJR. Thanks for the safe ride, my friend!
Experience/Total stars: Excellent/ 4.6 out of 5 stars.
Lounge: 5 out of 5. The Turkish Airlines Istanbul lounge is one of the best in the world.
Boarding: 2 out of 5. There was no priority boarding and while I like boarding from a remote stand, not everyone likes climbing up stairs with luggage.
Seat: 3.5 out of 5. Again, great space and legroom with ample storage. A bit firm for sleeping and privacy could be better. Also, my wife’s tray table was broken necessitating a move from row 3 to 7.
In-Flight Entertainment: 5 of 5. Great selection with live TV and free wifi.
Meals: 4 of 5. Great portions and presentation. Menus weren’t loaded and breakfast could have been better.
Cabin Crew: 5 of 5. Very attentive and polite.
Cabin ambiance: 5 of 5. Loved the various modes of mood lighting and the Turkish branding.
Cabin cleanliness: 5 of 5. Bathrooms were as clean at the end of the 10-hour flight as they were at the beginning.
Price paid and value for money: 5 of 5. Paid for using Mileage Plus miles at the lowest rate.
Thumbs up: Relatively new airplane, great crew, clean cabin and lavatories, good food.
Thumbs down: Boarding was a bit chaotic and menus weren’t loaded.
Check out my flight video report for TK#54 Istanbul-Singapore.
Turkish Airlines flights operate from terminal 1 at Changi airport and our Singapore Airlines flight to Male was scheduled to operate from terminal 3, this meant a quick tram ride. Clearly, the excitement of the tram ride was contagious.
What better place to spend a three-hour layover in Singapore than the Silver Kris lounge?
I know what you are thinking, seriously dude? You had five meals in the last 29 hours and you are eating again? What kind of travel blogger would I be if I didn’t at least sample the offerings?
Plus the chef, how could I look this poor woman in the eyes if I didn’t at least taste what she had so lovingly prepared? Okay, you get the point. I stuffed my face again (it was good, that’s my review) and then I slowly lumbered towards the gate.
Check out part 1 first, this is a continuation of the journey:CLICK HERE!
Check part 4, Dr. I’s first seaplane flight (from Male to Rangali Island) CLICK HERE!
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TheTwinDoctors.com is the creation of twin OB/Gyn Doctors Jamil and Idries Abdur-Rahman. Jamil (Dr. J) and Idries (Dr. I) were inspired to start TheTwinDoctors.com after participating on season 22 of CBS’ ‘The Amazing Race’.