I never really posted about our second Turkish Airways flight from Istanbul to Hong Kong, so I figured I’d briefly do that now. First of all, we once again had the cabin to ourselves, so that’s three “private” international first class cabins in a row. And, as expected based on the 0% on-time performance of our flight, it was late. By about 1.5 hours. As usual, there was hardly an announcement apologizing or justifying the delay, other than “an issue with a cargo door.” Anyway, to understand Turkish Airways First Class you really have to watch their commercial, which I’ve posted before:
Then check out this Kevin Kostner commercial:
It really was just like that, for better or for worse. The food was truly spectacular. I lost count after about nine courses. The hard product was the best out there, probably better than Cathay Pacific’s (which was previously my favorite). Where it got interesting was the ground services and the onboard service. The ground services were simply magnificent, almost uncomfortably so. Being driven through the terminal in a golf cart with two personal assistants and being escorted every step of the way almost got uncomfortable at times. It just wasn’t as discreet as Lufthansa ground services, for example.
The onboard service was the biggest disappointment. The flight attendants were friendly, but they were execeedingly unpolished. They seemed to lack the confidence to serve a first class cabin. This isn’t really surprising given that Turkish doesn’t have First Class aside from their leased 777’s from Jet Airways. You really do “feel like a star” in that the flight attendants almost seemed tongue tied when trying to communicate with us, as if we were celebrities they were nervous to talk to.
Either way, the onboard service could use some training, but everything else was incredible.