We managed to find flight availability from Istanbul to Cape Town on Turkish Airlines so we snapped up the opportunity to fly them a second time. Similar to the first time, the flight was a red eye and left very late at night (or very early in the morning depending on how you look at it). Prior to boarding the flight, we spent a glorious 7 hours in the Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge in Istanbul.
Once again, we were up in Business Class aboard Turkish Airline’s long haul workhorse, the A330-300. Unfortunately, this flight was serviced by a plane that had a slightly older hard product (less storage, no wifi, no live TV) but I was still looking forward to the food on board. I was hoping for a quicker dinner service due to the time but like the other flight, the service took about 2.5 hours.
Once on board, we were presented with the amenity kit for the flight. Turkish Airlines mixes their amenity kits up depending on whether you are arriving into Turkey or departing from Turkey. On the ex-Turkey flight, we were presented with a Jaguar branded amenity kit. The bag that the amenities come in is a nice size and is designed to fit an iPad. I used it for storing all or my cables and chargers and it was probably the best bag that I received on this round the world trip.
The kit contained hand/face cream, lip balm, a shoe horn, eye mask, comb/brush, socks, ear plugs, toothbrush and toothpaste. Like before, you are provided with stickers to place on your seat to let the flight attendant know whether or not to wake you for breakfast.
I skipped the wine on this flight and went with an orange juice to wash down my mezze and warm nuts.
The service on this flight was very similar to that of our Montreal to Istanbul flight and it’s nice to see a consistent quality of service as some airlines are very hit or miss depending on the whim of the purser and flight attendants.
I was provided with my bread plate which came with butter, spices, olive oil, a bread bowl and magnetic salt and pepper shakers that are shaped like minarets. My favorite part about this setup is that the salt and pepper shakers are magnetized which allows them to placed on the ceramic plate without having to worry about whether or not they slide off during turbulence.
You are provided with two full sets of silverware (yes, not plasticware) along with a napkin and a candle so you can enjoy a “candlelight dinner in the sky”.
While it is a cheap electronic candle, I love that Turkish Airlines goes out of their way to make your meal service an experience.
Once again, the soup was served in a brass bowl and was very delicious. Again, my apologies for not photographing the menu but if I remember correctly, this was a pumpkin based soup.
Along with the soup, a nice chicken salad was served and it was very good. The chicken managed to stay moist and the veggies were crisp.
For the main course, I went with the sea bass with potatoes and an assortment of vegetables. The fish was very buttery but unfortunately a bit overcooked and dry but still edible and delicious.
For dessert, Turkish Airlines wheels around a trolley full of delicious desserts and you are free to pick whatever strikes your fancy. As we were in Istanbul for 4 days, I had my fill of Turkish sweets but I just couldn’t resist a couple more baklava. Also couldn’t resist the pistachio ice cream. Both were very delicious and left me very full.
After dinner, I went to bed and had an excellent 6 hour sleep. I was woken up about 1.5 hours outside of Durban and provided with the breakfast I had chosen the night before. This was probably the best breakfast I had on any of my flights. Everything was very well presented and tasted great. As there was nothing to cook, nothing was dry or overcooked. Once again, I was provided with full silverware to eat my breakfast.
Now for a lesson in airline terminology. This flight is marketed as a direct flight from Istanbul to Cape Town. So why the stop in Durban? Well a direct flight is a flight between two cities without a change in the flight number but may include a stop for refueling and to take on additional passengers.
As this time between brake on and push back was only an hour, it wasn’t a big deal and allowed us to get changed for our imminent arrival in Cape Town.
If you are looking for a flight that goes from point to point without any stops, you are looking for a nonstop flight so be aware that a direct flight is not the same thing.