March 27, 2023

  • Turkish Airlines A330

    Turkish Airways
    IATA/ICAO Code:
    Airline Sort:
    Full Service Service
    Istanbul Airport
    Yr Based:
    Star Alliance
    Bilal Ekşi

Dwelling in Vilnius, Lithuania has its execs and cons. Whereas it’s a gorgeous metropolis, one main draw back is that the airport lacks any commonly scheduled long-haul providers. In consequence, Lithuania-based vacationers might want to join by way of one other hub airport to entry long-distance flights. One airline stepping in to fill the necessity is Turkish Airways, which connects the world by way of its Istanbul hub. On this reivew, we are going to go over the economic system class flight expertise, touring from Vilnius to Istanbul in a Boeing 737 MAX 8. So, let’s get began.


Journey background and fundamentals

This flight was taken on August thirtieth as flight TK1410. It is a service that’s scheduled to depart Vilnius (VNO) at 12:30 and arrive at New Istanbul Airport (IST) at 15:35 (native time). Our full journey from Vilnius would take us to Bodrum with a connection in Istanbul. Pricing was pretty excessive, however given the origin and vacation spot, few single-itinerary alternate options existed.

Turkish Airways might function as much as two day by day flights to Vilnius. However, no matter frequency, the plane kind connecting the 2 cities is all the time a Boeing 737. Nevertheless, this may occasionally fluctuate between a Boeing 737-800, -900ER, or MAX 8 (and presumably MAX 9). The plane on the middle of this evaluation was a Boeing 737 MAX 8 registered TC-LCU. Planespotters.internet information signifies that this plane is among the airline’s latest MAX 8s, having been delivered in September 2021.

All the pieces earlier than the plane

Arrival at Vilnius airport was fast and straightforward. It’s a comparatively small metropolis with regards to inhabitants, and its airport is comparatively near town middle. The airport is well-connected to the primary bus and prepare stations through public buses, airport shuttle buses, an rare prepare service, taxis, and automobile sharing providers. For individuals who don’t thoughts a barely longer and fewer snug journey by public transit, vacationers pays lower than a euro to get to the airport. For us, residing exterior town, we might have taken this feature however determined to ‘deal with ourselves’ to get there sooner utilizing an electrical automobile sharing service.

We obtained our boarding passes the day earlier than, as on-line check-in opened 24 hours previous to the flight. With none checked baggage, we entered the airport terminal constructing and headed straight by way of to safety. Passenger screening appeared pretty normal, requiring passengers to separate liquids and laptops from baggage. With only one checkpoint open, issues appeared sluggish and inefficient however in actuality, we have been by way of safety in lower than 20 minutes.

The non-Schengen space of the airport is kind of small however has just a few outlets. Picture: Chris Loh | Easy Flying

With the nation of Türkiye being exterior the EU and Schengen zone, we needed to clear passport management to get to our gate. On the time we arrived (considerably earlier than our boarding time), there have been no line-ups. Nevertheless, one other traveler was having some points with paperwork and simply preoccupied one border guard for for much longer than common.

Getting by way of passport management, we reached the few gates reserved for flights exterior the EU. With most flights from Vilnius serving locations inside the Schengen space, this non-Schengen part was fairly small. Certainly, you’ll primarily see flights to London and Istanbul lately – notably as flights to Moscow and Minsk now not function.

The departures space is just like many trendy airports, however on a a lot, a lot smaller scale. The terminal has excessive ceilings in most locations. Giant home windows additionally let pure mild flood in whereas on the identical time providing nice views of the apron. Vilnius airport has just a few issues to make vacationers really feel snug:

  • WiFi is quick with restricted registration
  • Exterior all or most rest room services there’s a water fountain to fill water bottles
  • There are a handful of cafes and eating places providing the fundamentals (though that is extra restricted within the non-Schengen part)
  • iQOS lounges in Schengen and non-Schengen areas permit folks to make use of their vape units (though I’m undecided if cigarettes are allowed in these fully-contained rooms.

All in all, the airport is small however fairly trendy and comfy for these on their means out.

The cabin and seat

Since I didn’t test the actual plane beforehand, I solely realized that I used to be about to take my first-ever flight on a 737 MAX after searching the window of the terminal and seeing these distinct winglets. Having written for Easy Flying since 2019, the inner response was combined: Understanding all the main points in regards to the 2018 and 2019 crashes brought about a quick second of tension. This, nonetheless, was countered by the truth that the plane has been in common service all over the world for over a yr now, accumulating over 1,000,000 secure flight hours.

Consciously reassuring myself on the security of the kind and trusting the revised regulatory course of, my thoughts moved to the constructive facet: We have been on a reasonably new plane with a brand new and comfy cabin.

Boarding was a comparatively fast course of going down through jetbridge, and we took our seats at 23A and 23B. As somebody who’s about 180cm (just below six ft) tall, I had no points with legroom. I prefer to journey with my laptop computer and accesories closeby always and so I had my considerably giant backpack below the seat in entrance of me. Though it actually ate up most of my obtainable legroom, the bag (a 30L Peak Design On a regular basis Backpack) match below the seat with out concern.

Whereas the seats are considerably slim, they have been snug and fitted with highly-adjustable headrests. Whereas unable to tilt, these headrests might slide up and down. The facet “wings” of the headrests have been adjustable to supply facet extra facet assist. Another small touches and options additionally value mentioning embody:

  • Each giant (major) and smaller seat-back pockets. The smaller pockets have been a pleasant contact, permitting easy accessibility and storage of telephones.
  • A small steel ‘nub’ on the facet of the ahead seat meant for hanging coats and different clothes
  • And a reasonably normal quantity of recline

Inflight leisure

The inflight leisure was new, quick, and trendy. The screens have the flexibility to tilt forwards and backwards, permitting for higher viewing for passengers of various sizes – or when the individual in entrance decides to recline their seat.

The system’s audio comes through a two-prong audio jack, with Turkish Airways offering earbuds. Nevertheless, as I’ve discovered with these new programs, you may nonetheless use your individual wired single-prong earphones/earbuds and get sound in each ears. The one different port that passengers will discover is a USB-A port for gadget charging.

As for the content material obtainable on these programs, it appeared fairly strong and numerous. From the most recent films and TV exhibits to music and video games, passengers ought to be simply entertained for flights brief and lengthy. The airline’s moving-map utility was additionally enjoyable to mess around with.

The IFE features a strong shifting map utility. Picture: Chris Loh | Easy Flying

One factor that I discovered annoying as a passenger was the variety of disruptions after beginning a film. Not solely is viewing paused for pilot and flight attendant bulletins, however every Turkish Airways flight additionally appears to have two adverts/commercials that run initially of every flight. One in every of these is named “#HelloTürkiye” and appears to tell vacationers that the nation now desires to be known as Türkiye fairly than Turkey. The video following it’s a cinematic Morgan Freeman-narrated business meant to excite vacationers with how Turkish Airways connects the world. For a brand new traveler, these is perhaps fascinating to observe. Nevertheless, for somebody who has discovered an excellent film to have interaction with on a two or three hour flight, these movies eat in to some valuable viewing time!

Meals and beverage

Meals and beverage for this brief flight was unbelievable, and I really feel just like the airline does a fantastic job with inflight meals and catering. With two choices obtainable, my spouse and I agreed to get completely different dishes in order that we might pattern each. On this flight, the airline’s economic system meals have been:

  • Pasta with a creamy mushroom sauce and cherry tomatoes
  • A beef patty on rice with a bean stew

Objects that got here normal (or have been supplied) with all meals have been as follows:

  • An appetizer that seemed to be some form of eggplant dish with bitter cream on prime.
  • A dessert. This was a mango mousse topped with chocolate shavings.
  • A heat bread roll.
  • Selection of beverage (soda, juice, beer, or wine)

I’ve to say that each major programs tasted nice, as did the appetizer and dessert. Utensils have been steel, which was additionally a pleasant contact.

Lastly, it’s additionally value mentioning that after meals have been completed and trays cleared, flight attendants got here by way of the cabin with a espresso/tea service.

A number of small quirks

Whereas your entire flight expertise was principally constructive, there have been just a few quirks that we observed.

Near the top of the flight, a message pops up on the display notifying passengers that gate and connecting flight data is accessible. Nevertheless, checking this part out on the system proved that this wasn’t fairly working because it was purported to. I’ve discovered this to be the case on different airways as nicely, and it looks like one thing that might be deserted (until they’ll get it working correctly).

Moreover, the shifting map additionally consists of data on the plane. Nevertheless, on this case, it was clear that the 737 variant listed was incorrect (picture beneath). This specific level is, after all, insignificant and certain gained’t be observed by many vacationers.

The connecting flight data did not show whereas different data appeared inaccurate. Picture: Chris Loh | Easy Flying

Closing ideas

All in all, the expertise of flying a brief worldwide flight in a Turkish Airways narrowbody plane was unbelievable – even in economic system class. Certainly, this expertise places different airways to disgrace – notably European carriers working longer narrowbody sectors and North American airways working from the US to Canada and vice versa.

Thus, should you’re touring to Türkiye from Europe and ticket costs are related amongst different full-service airways, then it will appear to be the clear alternative ought to be Turkish Airways. Subsequent week, I’ll go over the expertise of the second leg of the journey – flying from Istanbul to Bodrum on a Turkish Airways Boeing 777-300ER. Keep tuned!

Have you ever flown on a Turkish Airways 737 MAX but? Share your individual expertise by leaving a remark.

Sources: Planespotters.internet

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