Newest Review: ... on Turkish airlines pull your socks up as you need to address this absurd system of check in and sort yourselves out it is utterly ridiculo... more
Still some has some way to go for it to compete with the Big Boys!
Member Name: garymarsh6
Advantages: Good food reasonable comfort.
Disadvantages: Some staff miserable poor checking in system.
Turkish airlines are the national carrier of Turkey their main hub being in Istanbul at Ataturk International airport. With a fleet of over 160 aircraft Turkish airlines fly to four continents around the world including Europe, America, Africa and the Far East. They are part of the Star Alliance code sharing partners group of airlines.
They used to have a fairly poor reputation due to their poor customer service both on the ground and in the air. Well let me tell you that is a thing of the past and they are nearly comparable with other airlines in their quality of service with the exception of some very unhelpful ground staff and some of the flight crew.
I believe that Turkish airlines are trying to change their attitudes of their staff and for some they are quite committed and have changed their ways but there are some that have not changed one bit.
The in flight experience can be a bit hit and miss but I suppose that it very much depends on the crew really because there were different levels of service both on our outward trip compared to the return trip.
Check in was quite simple just turn up show your passport and your boarding card is issued. There was a group of us travelling together ideally we would have liked to have sat together. Something very weird happens with Turkish airlines you do not get the chance to sit together as they told us that the seats are allocated according to the way your name is spelt. How absolutely ridiculous however I have also come across this type of system in China so it is not new to me. We specifically asked to sit together but were sat in different seats in different rows in different parts of the aircraft. On inspecting our tickets we pointed out that we were sitting all over the place the unhelpful answer was to ask other passengers to change seats. Come on Turkish airlines pull your socks up as you need to address this absurd system of check in and sort yourselves out it is utterly ridiculous and shameful especially in this day and age of computerised checking in systems.
I flew from London Heathrow airport from Terminal three to Istanbul international airport. Boarding was done by row number from the back to the front of the plane. This is one of the fastest ways of boarding the plane and is far better than leaving it as a free for all as passengers loading at the front of the plane hinder those trying to reach the back.
The crew on the outward trip were quite robotic and did not interact with the passengers very well. There were very few smiles or friendly interactions with the passengers and their service was quite robotic to say the least.
The plane was quite old an airbus A321 but was fitted with leather seats. Business class was quite considerably more expensive but as it was just a short flight of 4 hours 10 minutes we travelled in economy. The only difference in the seating is that the middle seat is converted to a table. The leg room is no different to that of economy class so it does not warrant the extra hike in the fare. That being said the service is usually better and the standard of food is generally better too.
In flight meal.
I must say that the food was of a very acceptable standard and was quite tasty. There was a salad, a main course of lamb or chicken, a chocolate cake, cheese and biscuits followed by coffee. There was red or white wine to accompany the meal which was quite ok. The meal was handed out following a pre dinner drinks run and all seemed to run quite smoothly. The trays were collected in a timely manner but in a very businesslike fashion.
In flight entertainment.
There were over head screens showing a Turkish film. No seat back avod system to let you choose yourself a film or music channels which is a bit poor these days however it is the same on BA on these short haul European flights.
The return flight.
We travelled from Ankara to Istanbul and changed flights. Fortunately for us our baggage was checked in for us as there was a group of thirty travelling back to the UK. They did a mass check in. Again the leg from Ankara to Istanbul was chaotic and we were sat all over the place. Landing at Istanbul international airport was quite straightforward and we just followed the signs to our departure gate. Through security checks once again. We had approximately two hours to wait for our connecting flight.
Whilst we were waiting for our flight I noticed a trolley passing the window with our suitcases I could see they were our cases because of the labels on the side of the cases. One of the suitcases fell off as it was driving past although it was not mine. I reported it to one of the restaurant staff who got on the phone to someone. A small trolley appeared and took this suitcase to the plane.
We boarded the aircraft in the same manner in seat order. This time we were sitting together thankfully. The cabin crew were completely different on the return journey. They were happy and the interaction was probably one of the best I have seen for a very long time. The young crew were absolutely smashing laughing and joking with the passengers and it did make quite a difference in the atmosphere on the plane.
The food was very good again and service was swift and efficient. My only complaint was that the heating was absolutely unbearable. Most of the passengers were complaining about how hot it was. In the end I called one of the cabin crew and asked her to tell the purser to turn the heating down as it was very uncomfortable and making people feel ill. She went off to the front of the plane and spoke to the purser soon the cabin became much cooler and more comfortable. After approximately an hour the heating crept up yet again. I called one of the cabin crew again and asked her to turn the heating down.
For those of you who do not know the cabin temperature is controlled by the crew don't take any notice if they tell you they cannot adjust the temperature of the plane as they jolly well can. What their intention is that it is so hot that the passengers will fall asleep making it an easier flight for them.
The flight continued to Heathrow with no further incidents. As I was leaving the plane I spoke to the purser and told her that it was not acceptable to make the flight so uncomfortable for the passengers she just shrugged her shoulders. I must point out that the rest of the crew were brilliant and cheerful with the exception of the purser who incidentally looked like she was sucking a lemon.
Waiting for my suitcase it failed to appear after an hour of waiting. I went and reported it missing. I spoke to one of the Turkish airlines to say my baggage had not arrived and he said well it wouldn't because it is still in Istanbul! How it was separated from the other baggage I do not know however he informed me it would be sent on the next flight arriving the next morning and would be delivered to my home. I was finally reunited with my suitcase two days later.
Would I use Turkish airlines again? Well I would probably use them again for short haul flights but I am very dubious about using them for long haul as I would not like to experience that kind of service when travelling long haul. I think that they are changing for the better but they still have a fair way to go to meet the standards of other airlines.
Turkish airlines a message to you!
Sort out your checking in system and get your staff to smile.
Summary: Still has some way to go in the way of improvement.
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