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Turkish Airlines.

Turkish Airlines.

I have been flying with Turkish Airlines well over 50 times in the past decade and this is my personal opinion on the airline.

Flying turkish Airlines.

Flying turkish Airlines.

Turkish airlines is an airline that has gone from being a small obscure airline to one of the biggest airlines in recent years and you will often find that they have extremely good prices on many destinations, so they are worth looking in to if you travel a lot to exotic destinations. Back in the 1980’s, Turkish Airlines was a loos making company, but then a visionary guy called Cam Kozlu took over the leadership of the company and Turkish Airlines has not looked back since, even if Cam Kozlu is not there anymore.

The fleet and onboard service at Turkish Airlines.

Free beer on Turkish Airlines.

Free beer on Turkish Airlines.

Turkish Airlines has a very new fleet and I am quite happy with the onboard service. On international flights there is always free food and free drinks, including alcoholic drinks and the food they serve on their overseas flights is some of the best I have ever had in the air, so on this point they are really good.

The fees for oversized luggage are high on Turkish Airlines.

Flying with a bicycle can be expensive on Turkish Airlines.

Flying with a bicycle can be expensive on Turkish Airlines.

I fly quite often with my bicycle as I am a bicycle traveler and Turkish Airlines do unfortunately charge quite high fees for bicycles and other large items. They are a little like North American airlines in this matter. The charge on Turkish Airlines for excess luggage depends on how far you fly with them, so you need to check with them in advance how much extra you have to pay, if you fly with large itms like me.

Changing planes in Istanbul.

Istanbul is fantastic.

Istanbul is fantastic.

If you are not flying to Turkey with Turkish Airlines, then you will most likely be changing planes in Istanbul and this is pretty good with Turkish Airlines. They usually have plenty of staff at the gates, helping to direct people towards their connecting flight, so in this regard they have really good service. Should I say something negative, then it would be that the airport can be quite cramped if you have a few hours to wait and the beer is too expensive in the bars in the transit area. If I have a quick transfer then I am really happy with Turkish Airlines, but if I have several hours to wait between flights, then Turkish airlines can be a little annoying to fly, because of the airport facilities at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul. If you can get a connection at Sabiha Gokcen Airport, then this airport is more pleasant to transfer in.

Stay for a day or more if you can in Istanbul.

The blue mosque by night.

The blue mosque by night.

One really great thing when flying Turkish airlines, is that you can often take a stopover in Istanbul, which is one of the most amazing cities on the planet if you ask me. I have been there well over 20 times and keep going back to this pretty and vibrant city, where old meets new and Europe meets the Middle East.

Young turks chilling out in an Istanbul park.

Young turks chilling out in an Istanbul park.

My final verdict about Turkish Airlines.

All in all, this is a very nice airline, that is well above average. They are quite efficient and have good service onboard and their prices are mostly very very competitive. Should I say something negative, then the airlines has gone a bit more in a conservative direction recently, maybe because president Erdogan has been sticking his ugly face in to the meeting rooms where decisions are made, or maybe he has friends in the leadership there. But if I have to put Turkish Airlines on a scale from 1 to 10, where 1 is the lowest and 10 is the highest, then I would give them a 7. Turkish Airlines is not as good as Emirates and Singapore Airlines, but they are a lot better than big european airlines like Lufthansa and Iberia for instance.

Claus.

Old man in Istanbul.

Old man in Istanbul.

Turkish girl dressed up for the cherry festival.

Turkish girl dressed up for the cherry festival.

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1 Comment

  1. Hi Claus, I am totally with you, Turkish Airlines are better than Lufthansa or Iberia but I would say that they can’t measure up with Emirates or Etihad. I have only used them once so far for my flight from Germany to Amman and back and I have mixed feelings about them. Food and drinks provided were good as was the onboard service is the included luggage of 30 kilos. However, we departed with a delay in both Cologne and Istanbul and it took ages until we were informed about the delays. Also, I am no fan of Istanbul Airport. I had 3.5 to 4 hours layovers there on both ways and there were no informations from which gate onward flights would depart. Turkish Airlines told us that we have to check the scoreboards ourselves but no more than 60 minutes prior to departure. Also, there is no WiFi in the airport. Well, I am probably too pampered from using Emirates for most of my long distances flights including layovers at Dubai International Airport within the last 5 years. Nevertheless I will probably use Turkish Airlines again this year if I decide to book a trip through four of the “Stans”. They have a great deal for the open jaw flight Düsseldorf – Almaty – Tashkent – Düsseldorf and they are probably the best airline offering this route.

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