TRIP REPORT: Turkish Airlines, Belgrade - Istanbul

TRIP REPORT


I flew Turkish Airlines’ morning flight from Belgrade to Istanbul two weeks ago and decided to write this quick report. Around two days before my flight I was offered an upgrade offer for 90 US dollars from economy to business, which I took. Check in for Turkish Airlines at Belgrade Airport was done at Terminal 1 since most of the check-in area at Terminal 2 is now closed because of expansion work. After checking in, I headed to the Belgrade Airport lounge which is used by Turkish Airlines. The lounge hasn’t changed anything in terms of their service because of corona. There was a buffest breakfast style spread with ham, chasse, breads and salads. There were also packaged sandwiches, juices, fruits, coffee etc



There was a lot of construction work at the airport. My gate of departure was C6, which is the last gate before the expanded part of the terminal begins. They are expanding the C hall now so they can align it with the new part of the building. Unfortunately, our plane was late on arrival by around 30 minutes and I noticed a lot of people were panicked whether they would make their connections. When our aircraft arrived from Istanbul and passengers started disembarking, their passports were checked right after exiting the air bridge. This is the case for all flights from the Gulf and Turkey. What caught my eye was that in addition to the three Serbian police officers checking passports there was also a German police officer in full Polizei uniform doing the same. Serbian passports aren’t even looked at but they carefully check foreign ones.



When the aircraft was ready for boarding, business class passengers and those traveling with young children were called to board first. At the door there was a cart with a hygiene kit which included two masks, a disinfectant gel and some wet wipes. This A321 had a full business class product, unlike some other Turkish A321s which have a European style business class with economy class seats and a blocked middle seat. The configuration in business class was 2-2. The crew was welcoming. The plane was quite full although there were 4 empty seats in business (the cabin has 20 business class seats). Everyone travelling in business was going to the US which I found out as there was an American passenger on board who was rather loud and upon disembarking was asking everyone where they were headed (she had quite a few drinks and was tipsy). The two Indian passengers sitting in front of me said they were headed to Houston, there was a couple seated in the same row on the other side going to San Francisco and, interestingly, many (including the tipsy passenger who revealed she was part of a movie crew filming in Serbia) headed to LA.






After I took my seat, the crew gave headphones to everyone and took everyone’s personal TV screens out so the safety demo could be played. After the animated video was played, the crew put everyone’s TV screen back in the armrest and we started taxiing to the runway. It was a rainy day in Belgrade but I just managed to catch Conviasa’s A340 which was preparing for departure to Caracas. Also, as we took off you can see a lot of construction taking place at the very end of the runway.








Shortly after departure menus were distributed. There is no meal choice, as there is only one, although the beverage list was extensive. The seats were very comfortable and the PTV had full on demand in flight entertainment although I didn’t use it. The crew took everyone’s drink order and then served breakfast. It was tasty. The lavatory was also in good shape.







The meals were cleared shortly after everyone finished and we were already close to beginning our descent. The flight lasted around an hour and 20 minutes. Upon landing we thankfully didn’t have a notoriously long taxi that Istanbul Airport is known for. Despite parking at the terminal with an airbridge next to us, it was not used, and we had to use the bus instead. People were running to make their connections, made worse that the transfer areas which require everyone to undergo security was packed. The security checks also take long because everyone with laptops and tablets have to turn them on for safety reasons and shown to the police before they can be switched off. 

Overall, this was a good short flight and I liked Turkish’s short haul business class. Istanbul Airport was very busy.


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Comments

  1. Anonymous09:25

    So many people travel to US via Istanbul. I get there's EU-US travel issue but that was the case even before corona. It's unpleasant detour, BEG needs more possibility for western US connections once they're allowed (British, Iberia), I guess KLM will be really happy soon with these transfers. And JU needs some partner at JFK.
    Btw, nice report :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous13:23

      Even though for KLM and British the US is much closer, Turkish airlines is still offering the best prices.

      Delete
    2. Anonymous20:04

      After 8 NOV. Fully vaccinated can enter US from anywhere.

      Delete
    3. Anonymous09:01

      You'll still need an antigen test.

      Delete
  2. Anonymous10:34

    Loved the tipsy movie crew passenger heading to LA, the funniest story I ever read in this reports...and Conviasa to Caracas, makes BEG look very world class.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Anonymous11:00

    Good trip report, tanks for sharing. It seems that Turkish has the best service in Europe. But also that depends of the aircraft they use. I have watched few days ago trip report on TH A321neo and cabin, seats, in flight entertainment system... in economy class looked far better than this one in business.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Aэrologic18:13

      Are you kidding me?

      On a 6 hours flight from Kazakhstan we only got a small piece of burek.

      Delete
  4. Anonymous16:44

    Nice report, thank you. Did Turkish offer $90 upgrade for one way or return?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:45

      One way

      Delete
    2. Anonymous19:17

      Хвала!

      Delete
    3. Anonymous20:14

      Just to note, they don't send emails with upgrade offers. You have to keep accessing your booking online and the offer will appear there :)

      Delete
  5. Is the Conviasa plane refueling in BEG on its way to Tehran?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anonymous17:45

      It's returning from Tehran to Caracas.

      Delete
  6. Anonymous18:14

    Turkey breast in the menu :D

    ReplyDelete

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