This is the final flight installment of the Tanzania trip report and it will be brief. The story of Turkish is this: a consistently high-quality experience and a superior airline within Europe.
After a hearty breakfast at the Hyatt Regency Ataköy and with an early departure, we spent only a few moments in the lounge prior to boarding. Going through the private security and passport control for Turkish Business passengers saved us at least 20 minutes.
Note that you must also proceed through a metal detector as you enter the airport. All bags are scanned but you do not remove laptops or other electronic devices here, unlike with security inside.
This was a Miles&Smiles award ticket and we originally were scheduled to fly back to Frankfurt. We changed that to Hamburg in order to have dinner with my brother and a former work colleague, which turned out to be a small ordeal. Although the agent made the flight change over the phone, the ticket was not re-issued. We were directed to the Turkish Airlines ticketing desk. Thankfully, the re-issue there, only took about two minutes.
Our flight to Hamburg left on time and not surprisingly, from a remote gate. Business class passengers (turned out to be only four) were not bussed separately for this flight.
Istanbul (IST) – Hamburg (HAM)
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Depart: 10:15 AM
Arrive: 12:30 PM
Duration: 3hr, 15min
Seat: 2D (Business Class)
Our A320 had only two other passengers in business class. Seats were identical to the 737-900 we had flown between Istanbul and Dar Es Salaam.
One last glass of the mint lemonade prior to takeoff along with a hot towel and Turkish Delight.
Lunch service began immediately after takeoff. The menu–
I had passed over the lamb option on two earlier flights so ordered the “Adana” (minced lamb) kebab. Honestly, I was full at this point but could not resist: it was delicious.
The mozzarella and tomato appetizer was also great — the curry chicken and pineapple…not so much. The mascarpone chocolate bar for dessert was amazing, especially with an espresso.
The FA working business on this flight was very friendly and insisted that I try Rakı, which is a strong, unsweetened, anise-flavored brandy. He brought me a full glass and stood there, waiting for me to taste it.
Perhaps it is an acquired taste, but I thought it was one of the worst drinks I have ever had. But I tried it and appreciated the FA’s pride in one of Turkey’s national drinks.
IFE selection was comprehensive as usual, but I just put my seat back and relaxed for the rest of the flight. We arrived into pouring rain at Hamburg…though at least in a jet bridge.
I never mentioned onboard lavatories in my previous three Turkish reports, but they were all clean–
If my experience is any indication — not just on this trip but on several previous ones — you cannot go wrong with Turkish. Business Class within Europe is a step above the competition and the food cannot be beat.
Read More of my Tanzania Trip Report
Detour: My Other Africa Trip Report
Review: Lufthansa Welcome Lounge Frankfurt
Review: Air Canada Maple Leaf Lounge Frankfurt
Frankfurt to Istanbul in Turkish Airlines A330 Business Class
Review: Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge Istanbul
Istanbul to Dar Es Salaam on Turkish Airlines 737-900 Business Class
How to Obtain a Visa on Arrival in Tanzania
An Honest Cab Driver in Dar Es Salaam
Review: Hyatt Regency Dar Es Salaam
Ferry from Dar Es Salaam to Zanzibar
She Tried to Deny Me Entry Into Zanzibar!
Review: Park Hyatt Zanzibar
An Amazing Journey Through Stone Town in Zanzibar (Pictures)
Looted But Not Livid in Zanzibar
Review: Zanzibar Dhow Lounge (ZNZ)
20-Min Flight from Zanzibar to Dar Es Salaam on Fastjet
Transit in Dar Es Salaam (DAR)
Review: Tanzanite Lounge (DAR)
Turkish Airlines 737 Dar Es Salaam to Istanbul Business Class
Review: Turkish Airlines Arrivals Lounge Istanbul
Review: Hyatt Regency Istanbul Ataköy
Turkish Airlines Elitism at IST
End of Oct. through begining of Nov. 2016 flew Turkish Airlines from Tel Aviv to Israel with a stop in Istanbul. It was such a treat! Blankets, pillows, a bag with slippers, socks, toothpaste and brush, a mask, lip balm. Felt like royalty. Good food, snacks. Free wine! Free movies! Free water. A great experience!
“The prognosis of Turkish is this”. Medical guy here. I think you mean your overall impression or assessment (or something similar). Prognosis is sort of a forecast of success. Like; “The long-term prognosis looked good and arrangements made for a friend to stay with her during her convalescence.” The post mirrors our (Matthew-facilitated) experience this Summer.
Thanks Paul! I fixed it.
Raki is definitely an acquired taste. I obliged a sample my first time in Istanbul, but I’m not a fan. I’d say it’s somewhat similar in that respect to grappa, another drink I don’t care for.
Rakı is usually made from raisons and actually has some sugar content which comes from the souma (the partial distillation product in the presence of botanicals) which is then mixed with neutral distilled alcohol to bring it up to the final proof. They don’t explicitly add sugar as you note. It’s essentially the same as other Mediterranean culture liquors — Ouzo (Greece), Arak (ME), Chinchon (Spain), Sambuca (Italy – this one is sweetened), Pastis (France). If you’re a beginner, it’s probably better to try Rakı with ice and water as opposed to just room temperature water as the FA prepared here. Preferably on a hot summer night by the sea with live music, beautiful Turkish friends and mezes like impossibly good Turkish ripe melon, cheese and olives. If you didn’t grow up in Europe chewing on liquorice sticks as a kid or drinking this kind of thing, you’re palette is at a disadvantage so you should make a point of catching up.
Raki is a great drink to sip when it’s hot outside, it’s the mid afternoon, you are sitting under an umbrella that is shading you from the sun, and you are fully relaxed to the point where all you care to do is to watch people walk by in front of you…