TRIP REPORT: Turkish Airlines, Zagreb - Istanbul


Written by Mia

I took this flight on the last day of July in 2020 as I was heading back home to Southeast Asia from Zagreb. On this occasion I used Turkish Airlines which had an affordable fare and also the best schedule. The only other option was to backtrack to Germany and then fly again via another point to Southeast Asia. At the time, Qatar Airways wasn’t flying to Zagreb. 

Zagreb Airport was relatively quiet at the time of my flight, although it was one of the last of the day. There was just an Air Serbia flight to Belgrade afterwards, as well as Croatia Airlines to Split and Dubrovnik and a Trade Air flight to Osijek. Most shops were closed. The load on the flight was quite light. I would say around 70 passengers and I had the entire row to myself. 

Before departure, the crew gave out headphones. Each seat had an IFE system with a good selection of movies and TV shows. The seat pocket contained just the safety card and nothing else. The Skylife magazine is no longer printed (or at least that was the case at the time of my flight). We pushed back around fifteen minutes late. 

Upon departure we were given a paper bag by the crew. It contained a small bottle of water, a cheese sandwich, an orange juice, a cookie and some wipes. No other service was provided. Other drink choices were not on offer either - both standard drinks and tea/coffee. Only water was available upon request. Still, for a short flight, I think the food they offered was more than fine. The crew passed by the cabin ten minutes later, collected the rubbish and would not be seen until landing. 

The flight was very short - around an hour and a half and despite the late departure we landed in Istanbul about twenty minutes ahead of schedule and parked at a remote stand, which was good since taxi times to the terminal take up to half an hour at the new Istanbul Airport. For all the safety precautions Turkish Airlines takes, like not serving hot drinks or making its crew barely visible during the flight, it was ironic that we were all packed onto a bus like sardines and driven to the terminal. 

The whole experience was kind of eerie. Crew nowhere to be seen, few passengers and it really didn’t seem like the Turkish Airlines from the past, but then again neither does the rest of the world.

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  1. Anonymous09:15

    I think even with the bag they offer more food than most airlines. But without doubt it's a sharp decline in what they used to offer.

  2. Anonymous09:21

    Wow 50% LF to a major hub airport is pretty bad.

  3. Anonymous09:37

    Such a service from Turkish Airlines (which is still the case for the time-being) is nothing else than cost-cutting. At least, they recently re-introduced hot meals in Business class (yet not full service) on flights >8 hours.

  4. If those seat back Televisions were working, then I would say Turkish Airlines has an excellent product for such a short flight.


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