I enjoy most flight reviews and I’m generally a fan of Turkish Airlines. That’s why a recent trip report warning of the deplorable state of affairs in Turkish Airlines economy class really rubbed me the wrong way.
Reviewer Warns Of Deplorable Turkish Airlines Economy Class, But I’m Not Convinced…
The review of a Turkish Airlines A330-300 economy class journey from New York (JFK) to Helsinki (HEL) via Istanbul (IST) appeared on Insider.
The reviewer did not like the seat:
For an airline that’s supposed to be one of the best in the world, my seat on the Airbus A330-300 was one of the most uncomfortable I’ve had on a flight. My tiny seat was hard, I barely had legroom, and the tray table was so low it hung right above my knees.
I’m not sure what makes it “uncomfortable” or “tiny” when it is the same seat we see on so many airlines with legroom of 31-33 inches (she does not specify) depending upon the row. Sure, it is not a business class seat, but I’ve flown in this seat for 13 hours from Istanbul to Los Angeles and I thought it was okay.
She says, “The seats could be comparable to any US budget airline,” but has she flown Spirit or Frontier? Thankfully, the Turkish Airlines seats are much more padded and have screens, footrests, and USB chargers.
The reviewer also did not like the meal service onboard. Or did she? She says the food was horrible (even in the headline), but when it comes to describing the meal itself she said:
Dinner on my first flight wasn’t as bad as I thought. My vegetable pasta dinner — which I picked over the fish — was surprisingly good: slightly sweet but salted with a heavy hand.
So I guess the dinner was surprisingly good…
Unfortunately, the shrimp in the “salad” finished on notes of plastic while the fried eggplant with cheese was so oily it could’ve powered a cross-country drive.
Note to author: avoid (the attempted) humor.
Breakfast was a problem:
Nothing like a creamy eggy mush, a flavorless tomato, and seemingly unseasoned slabs of mushroom and potatoes to start off your day. The side serving of cheese was fine although the tasteless feta had the mouthfeel of a block of rubber…I couldn’t take more than five bites of the egg slop.
Five bites? That’s like half the dish. But she’s not picky.
I’m not a picky eater but I was so noticeably turned off from the meal.
What else made it so bad?
Well, the bathroom was “surprisingly clean.” She liked the amenity kits onboard, “But to my delight, we all received toiletries bags with items like socks, eye masks, a toothbrush, and toothpaste during a later service.”
Service? “The flight attendants were straightforward and never cracked a smile.” Her gripe was with the other passengers onboard, some of which played their music loudly and without headphones. She laments that flight attendants did not intervene.
That is her one reasonable gripe.
All of this on a ticket that cost only $637.
Insider (formerly Business Insider) is a respected online platform – I would not waste my breath if it was just an obscure blog review. But this review leaves me shaking my head. Rather than just dismiss it, I offer this constructive criticism to the author: I enjoyed your writing (beyond the cringe-worthy humor). But you might want to fly a few more carriers before you complain so bitterly about Turkish Airlines. I’ve flown many by now and while it is perfectly reasonable not to love Turkish Airlines, I find it fairly unreasonable to gripe about a standard seat and food that is by many measures above average compared to the competition.
I guess for me Turkish Airlines comes out still looking just fine, but for the readers who may never have flown Turkish before, the carrier is painted in an unfair light.
There’s a lot missing from the report too. No info on the hundreds of movies and TV shows available onbaord. No info on internet. Nothing about the transit experience in Istanbul or anything about the connecting flight (beyond the breakfast, which was yucky…).
Good first draft…now I’d like to see more details filled in.
Turkish Airlines is not great in economy class…I don’t think any carrier is great behind the curtain (maybe Singapore Airlines). But in terms of internet, IFE, food, amenities, and yes, even the seat, I think Turkish Airlines offers a very respectable product in economy class. I’d have no qualms about taking my family on it should the situation merit.
How do you find Turkish Airlines economy class?