Contributed by Hirofumi Suda
Date: September 4, 2017
Flight No.: TK716
Route: Istanbul Ataturk to Delhi Indira Gandhi International
Airline: Turkish Airlines
Type: Boeing 777-300ER
Flight Duration: 5 hrs 58 min
My round-the-world trip with Star Alliance came to an end with a Turkish Airlines flight between Istanbul and Delhi. The flight was operated by a Boeing 777-300ER – same as the previous flight – however, the seating configuration was slightly different.
Chaotic Boarding at Istanbul Ataturk
After spending some time in the Turkish Airlines lounge, I headed towards the flight’s departure gate. It was at the far end of the terminal, and it took good 20 minutes of walking to reach.
By the time I got to the gate, economy class boarding had already started, and there was no priority lane for Star Alliance Gold members. As such, I got at the end of the very long economy class queue.
The long queue combined with the tiny gate area provided for a not-so-pleasant experience. In fact, even though Ataturk has what I consider to be the best business class lounge in the world, the terminal itself is seriously overcrowded and a bit of a zoo.
At the same time, at least it is kept clean and offers decent facilities.
Turkish Airlines Old Generation Business Class Seat
Unlike the terminal, the business class cabin was quite empty, and so – luckily – even by the time boarding was completed, I had no neighbor.
With everyone settled, the cabin crew went around the business class cabin offering welcome drinks. I chose their excellent rose sherbet.
Before continuing, I want to note that the aircraft I was flying on was originally delivered to Kenya Airways in 2014. However, since Kenya Airways used to have the same business class seat type as Turkish Airlines, it was hard to notice much difference from the 777 I flew between San Francisco and Istanbul.
Just as on my previous flight, the seats were very spacious. And, at the same time, the window seats didn’t offer direct aisle access. Because of that, the fact that I had no neighbor made quite a difference in how comfortable the flight felt.
Also, interestingly, the amenity kit offered on this flight was different from the one on the earlier flight. On the longer flight, Bentley amenity kits were provided. On this flight, a Furla pouch containing Institut Karite cosmetics was provided.
Simple Dinner After Take-Off
After take-off, I enjoyed night views of Istanbul, and had a glass of lemonade which came with macadamia nuts.
Then, it was dinner time. The menu read as follows:
If you read my previous review, you will be able to tell the significant difference in the meal offering. The menu cards were much smaller on this flight, and the options were fairly limited. The food quality was quite decent as with all the other Turkish Airlines flights I took, but given that the flight was almost six-hours long, I expected much more.
Just as a point of comparison, when I took Etihad Airways flight between Abu Dhabi and Delhi – half the distance of this flight – I was offered two choices of appetizers, three choices for the main, as well as two choices of dessert.
Going back to the dinner on this flight, I went with the spicy chicken brochette which was juicy and tender.
I was very disappointed with the dessert, though, since it consisted just of jalebi – a traditional Indian fried dough with sweet syrup inside.
And, surprisingly, there was no butter to go with the bread. When I asked for it, the crew brought it over from economy class. Perhaps, they forgot to load it for business class…
Comfortable Full-Flat Bed All the Way Until Delhi
Immediately after the dinner I went to sleep.
While the meal was simple, very comfortable bedding – just like on the long-haul flight before – was provided.
When I woke up after a comfortable sleep, we were already getting close to Delhi – and it was still dark outside with the full moon being the only light source.
In no time, we landed at Indira Gandhi airport bringing not only the Turkish Airlines flight, but also the whole round-the-world trip to an end.
Turkish Airlines 777-300ER Istanbul – Delhi Business Class Summary
Since I took this flight after taking the longer flight from San Francisco to Istanbul, it was more of a “shadow” than the main experience I looked forward to.
Still, the wonderful crew and comfortable seat made for an enjoyable flight. I found the seat slightly more comfortable than on the previous flight. But, I wish Turkish Airlines put a bit more thought into the catering on the route. (The quantity of food was no different from a two-hour Cairo–Istanbul flight that I took in the past.)