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Heathrow gets the newest Turkish Airlines aircraft and business class seat

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Turkish Airlines recently began to took delivery of its Boeing 787-9 aircraft.  There are thirty on order, arriving by 2023.  The airline has now chosen to put one into service on the busy Heathrow-Istanbul route.

This is particularly good news because it features the airline’s new business class seat, which looks significantly better than its existing hard product. There are 30 seats in the business class cabin in a 1-2-1 configuration with direct aisle access.  It appears to provide far more privacy than the legacy seat.

Turkish Airlines new business class seat on 787

The new seat is based upon the Aurora seat manufactured by Stelia Aerospace. It is very similar to the business class seats on the Emirates A380, Singapore Airlines 787-10 and Iberia A350 (review here).

From Heathrow the 787 is on TK1986 which departs at 4:30pm. From Istanbul it is on TK1985, with a 1pm departure. You can book it on the Turkish Airlines website here, and frankly you’d be crazy if you booked British Airways Club Europe instead of this.

Comments (64)

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  • James says:

    The Turkish Airlines news is great.

    • BJ says:

      Except that it is a 787 which have frequent ongoing issues such as in Rone last month and over the Atlantic yesterday:
      https://www.thejournal.ie/norwegian-air-jet-divert-dublin-4797036-Sep2019/

      • The Original David says:

        Except that Turkish’s 787s are equipped with GEnx engines, not the RR Trents that have all the problems.

        • BJ says:

          The engine may not be the only problem the 787 has. Unless I’m mistaken, the battery issues were never solved, only contained.

      • Doug M says:

        But air travel is so safe why care. Even including the 737MAX doesn’t change the numbers much. I never consider the safety of a particular aircraft. Unless of course I misunderstood and you meant more likelihood of disruption with aircraft changes.

        • fivebobbill says:

          Comfort, service and value are usually THE major factors when booking a flight for me, safety I usually take for granted. However, you will not see me on a 737MAX

        • BJ says:

          If I can choose an aircraft type that is safer then I’m going to do it. I hadn’t heard the battery on 787 was fixed, glad to hear that, I will now be happy to try it provided it doesn’t have RR engines. 737 MAX I’m going nowhere near it for some time. Apparently, the European regulators are now not prepared to take FAA word for it that it is safe to fly again, seems that they want to test it themselves.

  • Shoestring says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/business/2019/sep/05/british-airways-spurns-olive-branch-from-pilots-union

    BA turned down chance of last minute talks with BALPA to avert the strike but if you read the article you’ll see why. Still, it means they’ll be getting back around the table pretty soon.

  • Paul says:

    Back at the beginning of August I flew to
    Bali on TK on their newest 787. It was the aircrafts first long haul commercial sector.
    The business class seat is really very good, indeed the entire experience was terrific. It is not QSuites but it offers a very high quality product.
    The seat feels a little claustrophobic due to the wraparound nature of the seat build. This however provides very high levels of privacy. It was very comfortable and I slept well for more than 6 hours on both sectors.
    Food was outstanding and served with panache and by candlelight. The seats major flaw is that it’s nearly impossible to get out of you seat when set up for meals. This is not a major issue for me as I am happy to trade that having someone sat next to me.
    Cabin crew were very helpful but on the outbound sector there were very obvious issues with service delivery. These were clearly to do with lack of familiarity as the aircraft was a week old and my flight just the 7th service to Bali. Service was great on the return and the 9pm departure from DPS for the planned 13 hrs back to Europe ( actual 12hrs) is very convenient. Dinner, a movie or two, free WiFi and 6 hours sleep really help to limit jet lag on the return.

    I flew to IST in club Europe on a redemption and cam back in ET. Outbound was baresble in part because it was the start of the family holiday. The return was ghastly on a tiny plane with two toilets fitted in the very back where the galley used to be. Despite it being the days first flight it was dirty, there is nothing in terms of service and the switch from
    TK business to BA Euro traveller very stark. In contrast my daughter flew home separately on flew TK IST LHR in economy. Food and IFE were provided and she got the better deal.

    Now that you can fly 777 or 787 on the route you really would be mad to fly BA. BA are generally cheaper but then you get what you pay for.

    • Shoestring says:

      aren’t those candles a bit of a fire hazard? 🙂

      • Bagoly says:

        I think they are the LED type?

        • Lady London says:

          As a single diner I find candles quite naff. Same for restaurants.
          Even as a couple I can just about put up with it.

      • Chris says:

        Its quite funny; Singapore Airlines Lalique first class amenity kits come with Candles now; with a warning sticker “Not for Use inflight” i miss the cologne in the old ones tho 🙁

    • Aston100 says:

      Hello, what is the cubby hole and sleeping angle like on these new seats?
      I hear these are similar to the new ones on Singapore and there seem to be many complaints about the angle you have to lie at due to the position of the cubby hole on these similar seats on that airline.

      Thanks.

      • Paul says:

        I weigh 210lb am 5’11 and have size 9 feet. I had no issue sleeping and the cubby hole presented me with no issues. I prefer the AA CX and QR seats (pre Q suites) but I did enjoy the privacy and comfort that TK provided. It wont be for everyone but its a huge improvement on 2 x 2 seating or BA Club World.

        What impressed me was TK’s overall service. From check-in to fast track then the amazing lounge experience it was absolutely top notch. I had a problem with my final sector and needed to make a change. This was done swiftly and accurately by the airport staff with the right fees charged and the fare rules properly interpreted. This was in marked contrast to BA a year earlier when they extorted £1350 for a similar change on a ticket with the same rules and then took 8 weeks to refund the £1000 over charge.

        The LED candles are a gimmick but they support some of the best J class catering I have ever had. the presentation taste and choice was fantastic.

        Some aspects of the service were OTT. For examples the menus are huge and there were multiple pages held together by rather fancy paper clips. You couldn’t argue with the presentation but it was not necessary. Similarly the crew member in full chef’s whites seem a bit OTT but it did give a sense of occasion, something that is missing from much of todays so called premium travel experiences.

        I cant say I gave safety any thought. The safety video was brilliant (Lego Characters around the TK network) and very engaging. As someone has commented , schedule, value for money and service are what I consider with safety a given. I have my own list of no go carriers but TK is not one of them.

        Finally, Miles and Smiles matched my BA Gold, the miles from 4 people pooled like a family account to add some icing to the cake.

        Going East TK makes a lot of sense albeit it will be sometime before they extend the 787. But for Bali it’s a great flight even with an LHR start. No one operates non stop ( GA did but now halt in Medan) so Europe to Bali always involves some sort of stop.

        • Pangolin says:

          Thanks for the useful review and comments. Always good to see info about Star Alliance carriers.

        • BJ says:

          I cannot see that Medan stop lasting, perhaps it will change yet again now that they are going to operate their new a330neo on the LHR route. Business seat configuration will be 1-2-1 I think.

          • Axel says:

            I think the Medan stop is only there to help coordinate and supply product for the haj flights.

            The Indonesian government is also pushing Lake Toba as a tourist destination so it may be political pressure which Garuda needs to obey so no one loses face.

  • John says:

    Some people think you’d be crazy to fly TK over BA given the safety culture.

    • KP says:

      What safety are you referring to ? Im guessing you know something that the others don’t? Or is this just a generic remark because Turkey is not a western, developed country

      • Lumma says:

        I’d rather fly Turkish economy on the 777 or A330 than club Europe personally

        • Lady London says:

          Having flown TK Economy and had my socks blown off by great food and service, I agree with you

      • John says:

        Search flyertalk. I consider Turkey to be a “western” country, at least Thrace / Istanbul and personally I think the risk of dying in a car crash is higher, however BA takes safety seriously and TK less so.

        • Roy says:

          I’d always worked on the basis that if they’re cleared to fly in European airspace, then an airline is safe. My understanding was that the EASA have no compunction about banning an airline from European airspace (even for overflights) if they’re not happy with the safety regime.

          Although you have to be slightly careful about how you extrapolate to non-European operations; there have been some overseas airlines whose international operation was fine, but which had issues with their domestic operations.

          Is the EASA not quite as on the ball as I was giving them credit for, then?

  • Kai says:

    OT: I have spent over 10k on my Virgin+ card and my miles from the latest statement has just posted. How soon can I expect to receive the voucher? Thanks.

    • jc says:

      You probably have it already if you phone and ask. It’s not a physical voucher, it’s just on their system when you phone. IIRC a letter does show up quite a while later to let you know, but you “have” the voucher pretty much straight away.

  • Oh! Matron! says:

    “There are plans to expand the codeshare onto regional flights to Argentina, Uruguay and and Chile, as well as reciprocal frequent flyer programme benefits, although nothing concrete has been announced yet.”

    TAKE MY MONEY!!!!!!!!

    Yes, nothing concrete, but if it does happen then, wow!

  • Harry Hv says:

    For domestic Brazilian sectors on Gol you can book an exit row seat for a small fee, well worthwhile… BUT before you can sit in the exit row, Brazilian law requires you to a) speak Portuguese and b) be under 60 years old. Regardless whether you had paid. So the trick is to ensure you give them a compliant date of birth, and if necessary travel alongside a Portuguese-speaker and get them to do a lot of talking while you interject the odd word.

    • Rich says:

      Or, alternatively, fulfil the not unreasonable safety requirements that have been put in place for the small but rather serious eventuality of an exploding aircraft.

    • Roy says:

      I’m confused. Do Brazilians generally lose the ability to speak Portuguese on their 60th birthday?

      • Shoestring says:

        Getting too feeble to detach the exit door & throw it out!

        On my flight back on Monday I was in Exit row middle with a meaty guy on my right but on my left some silver haired granny about 90YO 🙂

        I did wonder how useful she’d be in an emergency – but OTOH it only takes 1 person to dump the door, I guess

      • Lady London says:

        Probably because the staff can only speak Portuguese?

        • Roy says:

          Not necessarily that they don’t speak any other languages – but in an emergency they just want to shout instructions and have them immediately understood.

          Pretty sure Lufthansa requires exit row passengers to speak German, even though all their cabin crew IME seem to speak decent English.

          • Roy says:

            Actually, thinking about it, I think the Lufthansa requirement is something like to “be able to understand instructions given in German”. I don’t think they actually require you to speak, only to listen 🙂

  • pauldb says:

    OT, maybe old news: I have £10 off £40 at Cote Brasserie and 20% off White Brasserie on my Amexs. Both are also offering a free bottle of wine for newsletter-signup. Two decent courses for 2 plus wine and tip for <£40 net is hard to pass up. (Brasserie Blanc often do the same.)

    Any other offer stacks you might have caught?

    • Rich says:

      Not old news I don’t think. New for me today on Gold & Plat. Thanks for the wine tip. Didn’t know that!

    • Brighton Belle says:

      I have used the Cote free bottle of wine a few times for the newsletter signup and it does actually work if you book using the link in the promo.

      • Rich says:

        Ah, so you have to book through the email to get the freebie – you can’t just walk in? Any idea how long after signup you have before it expires?

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