TRIP REPORT: Turkish Airlines, Skopje - Nice via Istanbul


Submitted by Atanas Alkov 

So, this is my first trip report. Route is Skopje - Nice via Istanbul on Turkish Airlines all the way. Date of flight 25.07.2018. When I bought the tickets two months prior the date of travel, Turkish Airlines was cheapest at 265 euros R/T. The second cheapest option was Austrian at 330 euros. On top of the price advantage, Turkish had more convenient times out of Skopje.

Check-in at Skopje was fast, but passport control was very slow with only two counters open. What was noticeable at passport control and on the gate were new staff in who were stil in the process of training.

Boarding was fast and I could see four people in business class out of twelve seats in 2-2 configuration. In economy, the load factor was around 95%.This morning the Turkish Airlines flight from Skopje was operated by a B738 reg.TC-JZE.

The flight to Istanbul was smooth. Unlike my last flight on Turkish Airlines in March, catering to/from Skopje had changed from a sandwich to full cold meal. I think the sandwich was the better option because cabin crew had a limited time to do the service especially on the Istanbul - Skopje sector which is ten to fifteen minutes shorter. I opted for the Kosher meal just to see what it looks like. On the Skopje - Istanbul sector the regular meal was better but on Istanbul - Nice flight my kosher meal was superior in taste and quality. Since I was travelling with my family I was also able to taste the standard options, breaking every single kosher rules by mixing seafood, meat and dairy.

In Istanbul we were parked at a remote stand and the bus took us to the terminal building .Istanbul Airport was crowded as always. My flight to Nice was in three hours and after the gate was announced I realised that, once again, the plane was leaving from a remote stand.

Our gate was 306 on the ground level of the terminal building. This part of Istanbul Airport, gates 300-312 is below standard and overcrowded.

Boarding started on time and the first bus left the gate so we were already on the second bus when the gate agents told us to disembark and go back in the gate area. Soon after the first bus came back with the passengers. We were told that there will be a delay due some operational issues.

Some 40 minutes later boarding was resumed and we were airborne one hour behind schedule. The aircraft to Nice was an A321 reg.TC-JMK. I guess this is an older aircraft in their fleet since IFE was very old with maps only and a belly camera, There were no movies or music.

Economy class was 100% full, I have no info on the business cabin. Majority of the people on this flight were French, Russians and Jews from France.

Routing to Nice was over Greece, Italy and the Ligurian Sea. We landed in Nice 40 minutes behind schedule on RWY 04L. On my way back the A321 on the Nice - Istanbul sector was brand new with great IFE, so maybe we were flying with a back-up plane to Nice ,not the one initially planed.


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  1. Anonymous09:04

    Nice report. TK catering and overall short haul product puts European airlines to shame.

    1. Anonymous09:18

      +10000 mate.

      I first thought it was business class. Just imagine their business class then. Wow, TK is GREAT!

  2. Thanks for the great photos! Very interesting to see the food you were served, given that it is short-haul economy.

  3. Anonymous09:38

    great report

  4. Anonymous12:46

    ...and then other airlines wonder why they can't compete with TK.

  5. Anonymous14:33

    Very nice report! Thank you.
    The price was great.

  6. Anonymous18:39

    1. That SKP airport shuttle bus stole KLM livery
    2. Balkan has unhealthy obsession with onboard food. Paid on board or included with economy ticket, none of those meals would be considered acceptable in any respectable restaurant. Sadly, region somehow treats meals as a pinnacle of short haul flight experience.

    1. Anonymous19:04

      Yes, maybe because people are big and need to eat more in the Balkans.
      I still think that YM had the most generous catering. Most airlines passed to BoB.
      But yet again, the JU BoB is one of the most requisite..

    2. Anonymous23:59

      You know what's worse than people obsessed with onboard food? Those who think they're somehow above the rest just because they claim not to care about it.

  7. Anonymous05:12

    Turkish Airlines started yesterday to fly from Skopje Alexander the Great/International Airport to Istanbul Ataturk Airport with new aircraft Airbus 321 NEO registration TC-LSA,one pilot of the crew is Macedonian nationality with Turkish passport.


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