Tokyo for the New Year: Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul to Tokyo Narita (IST to NRT)

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TK 50
Istanbul (IST) to Tokyo Narita (NRT)
Friday, December 27th
Depart: 5:15pm
Arrive: 11:15am +1
Duration: 11h
Boeing 777-300
Seat: 1K

I underestimated how far the gate was from the lounge, so by the time I made it there, it was already near the end of the boarding process. Boarding takes place in the door behind the business class cabin, so that means that coach passengers aren’t walking through the business class cabin. My seat mate was already comfortably settled in his seat, so I made my way to the other side of the cabin to take a picture of the seat.

Seats 1A and 1B

Seats 1A and 1B

Turkish Airlines has their business class cabin in a 2-3-2 configuration, which means that not all seats have direct aisle access, but there are only four rows in the cabin, so each seat still feels pretty spacious as there’s a lot of space between rows. This also means that it’s relatively easy to climb over seats, so it was okay that I didn’t have direct aisle access from my window seat.

View from 1K

View from 1K

Seat controls

Seat controls

While settling in, I was offered a pre-departure beverage. There was a blanket, pillow, and slippers already at my seat, and I liked the fact that the blanket wasn’t staticky and felt cool to the touch since I often find airplane cabins to be overheated. We were also soon handed menus and a Godiva chocolate, although there seemed to be lots of frantic running around by the flight attendants. In general, the service appeared a little bit disorganized, as my seat mate and I had to ask for things like headsets from the flight attendants.

The in-flight entertainment service had a pretty extensive movie selection, but it was a little hard to navigate as the movie categorization was a bit odd. For example, “Miss Congeniality” was listed in Action instead of Comedy. But their selection was superior to that of Austrian which I had just flown.

Pre-departure beverage

Pre-departure beverage

The menu included a breakfast card to fill out as well as the dinner menu. There wasn’t an option to say that you don’t want to be woken up for breakfast, so you might want to say that explicitly to a flight attendant if that’s the case.

Breakfast menu

Breakfast menu

Regular menu

Dinner menu

After taking off, the lengthy dinner service began. First up came some mixed nuts, which seemed somewhat gratuitous given the amount of food on offer coming up, and those were soon followed by some amuse bouches of what I believe was a meatball, a fried cheese stick, and an eggplant tart.

Nuts

Nuts

Amuse bouches

Amuse bouches

Next up was the place setting and bread. I found the fake candle in paper to be a quaint touch.

Place setting

Place setting

They then wheeled around the appetizer cart. I didn’t partake in much, but one of the chefs continuously tried to push more food onto me. I did try to the soup, which I did not think was very good.

Appetizer cart

Appetizer cart

For my entree, I selected the pasta with eggplant, which was edible, but that’s about it.

Pasta

Pasta

Finally came dessert, which was a little overly sweet but still tasty.

Dessert

Dessert

From beginning to end, the meal service took about 3 hours. And the pre-departure service started two hours prior to landing. I’m all for a good meal, but it might be hard to get a full night’s sleep on these flights given the length of the meal services.

After the meal, I reclined my seat into bed mode. Turkish’s business class offers fully-flat beds, and although there’s not as much privacy as other business class products, the seats do feel spacious, and there’s no restriction of the foot space in a cubby. While I felt that the seat could have used more padding, I found the seat to be quite comfortable for sleeping.

Seats in fully reclined mode

Seats in fully reclined mode

Turkish Airlines business class bed

Turkish Airlines business class bed

No restricted foot space

No restricted foot space

I woke up shortly before the breakfast service was to begin. I enjoyed the beverage selection and got a smoothie and some carrot juice, and the first course consisted of cheeses, olives, and some cold vegetables.

Breakfast first course

Breakfast first course

For my entree, I had the scrambled eggs with toast, which was passable. When the chef came around with the bread basket, if I showed the slightest bit of hesitation, she would just load up my plate, so I wound up with a lot of selections from the bread basket.

Breakfast entree

Breakfast entree

Overall, the flight was comfortable, the in-flight entertainment was good, and the service was fine. While others I know have raved about the food on Turkish, I found the food to be okay with an extensive selection. I’d happily fly them again, and the Turkish Airlines lounge in Istanbul is a treat.

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