Ljubljana – Muscat

Trip Report Information

Departure Airport: Ljubljana International Airport (LJU)
Arrival Airport: Muscat International (MCT)

Via: Istanbul Ataturk International Airport (IST)

Aircrafts: Airbus A321 and Boeing B737-900ER

Class: Business Class

Journey Lenght: 15 hours and 50 minutes

Check-In

I arrived to the airport about 1:30 hour before departure. Turkish Airlines has 4 check-in desks (3 for the Economy Class and 1 for the Business Class and Elite members. Check-In took less than 5 minutes and the agent was friendly. The airport was very empty, security check-point had also no waiting line.

Check-In Desk and Departure Board

Lounge

There is only 1 Lounge at the Ljubljana Airport which is used by the all airlines, Priority Pass and credit cards with lounge access. The lounge is located next to the waiting area for gates 9-13.

The lounge is divided into 2 parts. First part is more like a “Quiet Room” with 9 semi-private suites. The suites are offering personal reading light and power outlet. Second part have a lounge chairs, few tables and food & drinks buffet.

Semi-Private Suites

Lounge Chairs

Food is limited to snacks and some limited breakfast items (croissants, yogurt and fresh fruit). Drinks are soft drinks, wine, beer and choice of coffee and tea.

Coffee Machine

In the lounge there was few people. Lounge is nothing special but during busy periods is nice to stay away in the quiet space while waiting for the flight.

Lounge Rating 9/20 (Food and Drinks 2/5, Ambiance 2/5, Facilities 2/5, Service 3/5)

Boarding

At about 09:40 boarding started, there was a dedicated Priority Boarding line for Business Class, M&S Elite/Elite+ and Star Alliance Gold but gate agents didn’t really care who was using Priority Boarding line.

Empty Ljubljana Airport

Turkish Airlines Airbus A321 and Adria Airways Bombardier Canadair Regional Jets

Flight Info

Route: Ljubljana – Istanbul

Flight Number: TK 1062

Airline: Turkish Airlines

Aircraft: Airbus A321

Departure Time 09:35 am (actual 10:05 am)

Arrival Time: 01:40 pm (actual 01:55 pm)

Flight Duration: 2 hours 5 minutes (actual 1 hour 50 minutes)

Class and seat: Business Class, seat 1D (Recliner)

Departure and Arrival time are local

Flight

This Airbus A321 had separate Business Class cabin with 16 reclining seats. Seats offered quite generous legroom in bulkhead. The seat was equipped with personal inflight entertainment screen and USB power port. The seat had manual controls for leg rest, back rest and lumbar support. To the side of the seat there was also a table. Recline of the seat was not that generous but for 2-hour flight is better than what most airlines offer in Business on European routes. It could be compared to the Qatar Airways A320 / A321 (minus electric seat control). During the flight there was a moving map displayed on the overhead TV screens. Unfortunately, I had some work to do, so I could not check the collection of movies, music and games.

Business Class Seat

Business Class Seat Controls

In-Flight Entertainment Remote

In-Flight Entertainment Screen

Overhead moving map display

The boarding was completed few minutes before 10:00. Once the boarding was completed I was offered a choice of welcome drink (water, orange juice, watermelon juice and lemonade). I choose the orange juice and I was also offered some nuts. There was also a menu for today’s flight. They served hot breakfast on flight to Istanbul with choice of main course.

Menu for today’s flight

Welcome Drink

Nuts

Shortly after takeoff the fasten seat belt sign was turned off and crew began serving the breakfast.

Breakfast

First they brought the tray with a cold starter (cheese, sliced tomatoes and cucumbers), small plate of olives, small bowl of spicy tomato dip, small bowl of fruit cuts and jam with butter. They also offered few times the choice of bread and sweet pastries.

Cold starter was good, maybe I would add to it some cold cuts (meat or fish) and more choice of jams would be nice. Otherwise the food was delicious and not too cold. For drinks I had orange juice which was good and Turkish coffee. Turkish coffee was also very good and not to sweet.

Appetizer

After they asked me about my main course. I choose Cheese Omelet. Cheese Omelet was also good, specially the side dish with peppers and spinach. I would maybe add some salmon to it.

Main Course

After I finished with the breakfast was time to work. I worked for about 50 minutes until fasten seatbelt sign was switched back ON and we where ready for descent to the Istanbul Ataturk international airport. Just before landing I asked for another glass of water and it was served promptly with the napkin.

Conclusion

This short flight to Istanbul was very good. Food was good and crew was very friendly and professional. Luckily, I had long layover in the Istanbul so delay was not affecting me and I was not worried about catching connecting flight.

Rating for this flight

Seat Comfort 3/5

Food & Drinks 4/5

Service 4/5

Cabin Comfort 5/5

Check-In and Boarding 4/5

Lounge 2/5

Total 22/30 (7.3)

Transit at Istanbul Airport

Few seconds after the aircraft was parked at the gate, the doors where opened. After leaving the aircraft ground agent was check-in onward boarding passes and directing people to the Arrivals Hall or to the Departure Hall. From the arrival gate there was about 10 minutes walk to main area of Istanbul Airport and another 5 minute walk to the Lounge. It was around 2:00 pm and airport was quite busy at that time.

Turkish Airlines Boeing B737-8MAX parked at the gate

Lounge

Turkish Airlines is having own flagship lounge at the Atatürk Airport.  Access to the lounge is possible for Business Class passengers, Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus members, Star Alliance Gold members and Turkish Airlines Corporate Club Members.

The lounge is offering many food options such as salads, appetizers, hot food, desserts, cheese and olive selection. The lounge is also offering variety of drinks such as soft drinks, wine&beer, spirits and selection of teas and coffees.Drinks are placed around the lounge so you don’t need to walk far to get drink. Unfortunately I forgot to take photo of my lunch in the lounge but was delicious. I had some Turkish Meze for starter and Baklava (Sweet cake) with for dessert.

Soft Drinks and Water

Spirits Selection

Wine Selection

Salads and starters

Selections of Turkish sweets

Lounge is also offering Private Suites, unfortunately I was not eligible to use one. Lounge attendant explained to me that you need to arrive or depart on 6 hours or longer flight and have between 4 and 7 hours layover time in Istanbul.

Lounge have also Kids Center with video games, golf simulator, pool and RC Formula One racetrack.  Lounge is offering various lounge chairs around the place as well as dinning tables on lower level. On upper level there is also Business Center. The Business Center is offering few computers and printers. There is also cinema and TV lounge displaying various international TV channels.

Lounge Chairs

Central Staircase

Dinning Tables

Service in the lounge was good, they where promptly clearing used plates and glasses. Sometimes even to fast. Otherwise staff in the lounge was friendly. Wi-Fi available in the lounge was working badly, especially login to the internet was difficult and took few tries to do it. Maybe I would add also Al Carte dinning section like in Qatar Airways lounge in Doha.

Lounge Rating 16/20 (Food and Drinks 4/5, Ambiance 4/5, Facilities 4/5, Service 4/5)

Boarding

At about 06:45 pm I left the lounge and walked to the boarding gate. Boarding gate was about 10 minutes away from the lounge. This boarding gate was for the remote stand. Boarding started at 07:15 pm, there was no Priority Boarding line which was disappointing. Also there was no Premium Bus to the aircraft for this flight even that I saw some Premium Buses at the Istanbul Atatürk airport.  Bus ride to the aircraft took about 5 minutes. They used 1 pair of stairs and front doors of B737 where used for boarding.

Turkish Airlines B737-900ER

Flight Info

Route: Istanbul – Muscat

Flight Number: TK 774

Airline: Turkish Airlines

Aircraft: Boeing B737-900ER

Departure Time 07:35 am (actual 07:50 am)

Arrival Time: 01:40 am (actual 01:20 am)

Flight Duration: 4 hours 5 minutes (actual 4 hour 30 minutes)

Class and seat: Business Class, seat 3F (Recliner)

Departure and Arrival time are local

Flight

This Boeing B737-900ER had separate Business Class cabin with 16 reclining seats. Seats where same as on my first leg of this trip (Airbus A321). Seats offered average legroom. The seat was equipped with personal inflight entertainment screen and USB power port. The seat had manual controls for leg rest, back rest and lumbar support. To the side of the seat there was also a table. Recline of the seat was not that generous, it would be okay for 4 hour flight if this would be day flight. It could be compared to the Qatar Airways or Etihad Airlines A320 / A321 (minus electric seat control). I know this flight is still regional flight even that is one of the longer flights operated by B737. During the flight there was a moving map displayed on the overhead TV screens. This B737 was also equipped with “Sky-Interior” advance cabin lights.

Business Class seat

Seat Controls

In Flight Entertainment Control remote

In Flight Entertainment Screen


White ambiance lights (used during boarding and meal service)

Blue ambiance lights (used during night flight time)

Orange ambiance lights (used before landing and after meal service) is like sunset/sunrise simulation to help the transition from light to darkness.

Overhead TV screen

Unfortunately, I had some work to do, so I could not check the collection of movies, music and games.

The boarding was completed few minutes before 19:30. Once the boarding was completed I was offered a choice of welcome drink (water, orange juice, watermelon juice and lemonade) and newspaper. I choose the orange juice again and I was also offered some nuts. There was also a menu for today’s flight. They served hot dinner on flight to Istanbul with choice of 3 main courses. They also offered amenity kits. Amenity kit was nothing special, it contained: eye shades, earplugs, socks, slippers and lip balsam.

Amenity kit and headphones

Welcome Drink

Nuts

Menu for tonight’s flight

Dinner

Prior the meal service I was offered hot towel.

First they brought the tray with a cold starter (slices of salmon, tomato with horseradish cream), salad (cucumbers, tomatoes, onions and mushrooms), cheese plate and chocolate mouse.  They also offered few times the choice of bread through the dinner.

Starter

Cold starter and cheese board where very good. Otherwise the food was delicious and nicely presented.

For drinks I had red wine (Shiraz from France) and some water with ice. Wine was good and I liked that they served wine in small bottles (about 250 ml) and there was already a bit wine in the glass when they serve to taste it.

After they asked me about my main course. I choose Meatball Brochette. Meatball Brochette  was also good.I liked side dish which was a rice with sauce.

Main Course

I also liked that the food was not to hot. Disappointment was that this wasn’t my preferred choice because they ran out of it and that all 3 main dishes had meat. Personally I love meat but for someone who likes fish or is vegetarian would be nice to have 1 main meal without meat.

After Main Course crew also went trough cabin with Spirits Trolley. I choose glass of Ballantine’s with ice.

Ballentine’s with ice

After I finished with the dinner I took nap for about 2 hours. When I woke up I asked crew for Turkish coffee which was quickly brought to me with glass of water and sweet delight. I enjoyed the coffee and beautiful view of Dubai from the window. Shortly afterwards we started with the decent to the Muscat airport.

Turkish Coffee with sweet delight

Views of Dubai

Conclusion

Food and crew where good on this flight. The ground experience was disappointing, I expected at least Priority Boarding. Cabin comfort was okay, I didn’t liked that the overhead screen remained switch ON after the cabin lights where dimmed. This screens where very bright and where disturbing passengers in rows 1 and 3 because they are placed right in front of them. It would be nice if they would turned them off after meal service. If someone want’s to check moving map can do this via personal TV screen. I personally love moving map display but this one was way to bright.

Arrival

After 5 minute taxi we where parked to the main terminal and door where opened very quickly. From the aircraft to immigration area there was about 10 minute walk. Immigration took less than 5 minutes. Also luggage delivery was quick and I was in the hotel car less than 30 minutes after landing.

Rating for this flight

Seat Comfort 2/5

Food & Drinks 4/5

Service 4/5

Cabin Comfort 3/5

Boarding 2/5

Lounge 4/5

Total 19/30 (6.3)

Overall Rating

Flight 1  22/30

Flight 2 19/30

Total: 41/60 (6.8)

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed Business Class experience with Turkish Airlines. First leg was beyond my expectations. I was expecting A320 or A321 with 3-3 seats and blocked middle seat for Business Class. Also the lounge in Istanbul was good but they should fix the Wi-Fi. Second leg was below my expectations, it started with no priority and continued with poor seats for night flight. I was happy that at least service and food where good. I would fly again with Turkish Airlines but avoid long layovers in Istanbul and regional night flights.

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