But I have to say that Turkish compares very favourably to almost anything else I have flown on this route. I would put Air Canada at the top, since it is direct. Swiss and Lufthansa are also quite nice, despite the changeovers. But I think I would prefer Turkish over Lot, Austrian, KLM or any of the different U.S. airlines.
Part of the reason I took the flight was timing. It left at 10:30 pm from Toronto, which meant I was able to work all day in Toronto before leaving. I will also say that price was a consideration as Turkish was much cheaper than other options for the days I was flying.
The aircraft from Toronto to Istanbul was decent -a 3-3-3 configuration. The seats felt wide enough. Each person has a large personal screen and an electrical outlet (that handles all types of plugs). There are also USB ports for charging USB devices. The entertainment system includes a range of movies, games, music and other items.
The flight attendants were very attentive. They came around often and were friendly and helpful.
I ordered an Asian (Hindu) vegetarian meal, which was great. There were also a few wine choices and lots of other drinks. Like Air Canada and all of the European airlines, there is wine and bar service at no charge throughout the flight.
On arrival in Turkey, we had to take a shuttle bus from the plane to the terminal. We then had to pass through personal security. This was similar to other airports and nothing particularly eventful or problematic.
The airport terminal itself is huge and very nice. Lots of shops - many very fancy, recognizable name brands. I only bought one item - a bottle of whiskey - and I was able to do so at a reasonable price. There was a fairly wide selection. On the way to Israel I also picked up some "Turkish Delight" at the request of a friend of mine. There was quite a selection of different types all over the airport.
|Inside the Turkish Lounge|
There is a golf swing area with a range of practice clubs....an area with Sony PlayStations, showers, available Macs for use, a massage area, and a sleeping area with reclining chairs. In case you are wondering, I did not wind up getting the Turkish massage...maybe next time.
I could probably go on and on but it is fair to say that I don't remember anything comparable from any of my other lounge visits in different airports. As nice as the lounges are in Frankfurt and Toronto - or Zurich - this is a whole different league.
In case you are curious, I did see many Orthodox Jews on the flight and they did not seem to have any kind of problem flying with Turkish. Certainly the Turkish planes did not seem to be as filled with Israelis or North American Jews as one might find on an El Al or Air Canada flight. But the security seemed reasonably sophisticated and I felt safe.
My flight to Israel had a connection time of about 2 hours which worked out fine. On the way back I wound up with an 8 hour layover because I was late in booking the flight, but I think that is generally avoidable. There are several flights a day between Tel-Aviv and Istanbul.
All in all - thumbs up and I might do this more often....
A final note is that you must carefully look at the class code if collecting Aeroplan points is important. Some classes of economy travel on Turkish Airlines do not allow for accumulation of any points. For example, "U" class, as of June 2016, is in that category.