Written by Dimitris Zopounidis, Aviation Industry Analyst, Founder of aviationlife.gr and Head of Research Western Crete Aviation Observatory (WCAO)

The evaluation and reporting of experience is solely personal, subjective, and not generalizable.

Flight number TK1843 took off on Saturday 30 July 2022, with the wide-body Boeing 777 (full type: Boeing 777-3F2(ER)), 6 years old with registration TC-LJG, one of the largest twin-engine aircraft in the world, called very often also as “Triple Seven”.

The flight had departure gate D13 at the International Departures terminal of the imposing Istanbul Airport. Boarding took place from two boarding bridges. On the one hand, passengers traveling in business class and Star Alliance gold card holders boarded. On the other hand, the passengers traveling in economy class.

Before the flight, there we visited the excellent Business Lounge of Turkish Airlines in Istanbul. An evaluation and experience report will follow in a subsequent analysis.

The flight was delayed and departed at 20:38 instead of 19:05 as we were waiting for the aircraft from its previous flight from Los Angeles. Once it arrived at the gate, it looked quite large and very beautiful, aeronautically. One of the aviation life goals that have been set was about to be achieved, a flight with the Boeing 777. Another one had already been achieved a few hours ago (visiting the Istanbul Star Alliance Gold Lounge).

Once boarding was done, we passed through the Business Class section, which looked very comfortable and well-appointed with large, reclining, leather, and comfortable seats. From a quick glance, the individual screens were large while there were good storage areas, pads, and remotes for the in-flight entertainment system.

Our seats were 16A (window) and 16B (middle row) in economy class. The view from the window was very good, on the engine, the large wing of the aircraft as well as a general view of the airport. We were parked next to an Airbus A350-941 of the same company heading to Manila, Philippines which is equally gorgeous and one of my future flight goals. Economy seats are excellent, made of very good fabric, adjustable leather headrest and good storage space. It was possible for the seat to be reclined and adjusted to the passenger’s needs.

There were In-Flight Entertainment (hereafter IFE) screens, while the flight attendants offered every passenger who wanted them headphones for personal listening. The IFE program was very rich, with a wide range of films, TV programs, podcasts, music, games, information about the company’s destinations, an information section about the company itself (about us) as well as Live flight tracking not only with tracking maps in real time (live maps) but also with live cameras on the front of the aircraft and under the fuselage! This last feature excited us and is judged to be more than perfect for the passenger, as he can monitor the terrain, take-off, landscapes, and places during the flight and landing as if he were in the cockpit and he is given other perspectives besides the ones he already has from the window. At the same time, he can monitor other useful information such as the local time of arrival, etc. It has to be noted that on the Boeing 737 MAX 8 flight that took place Athens – Istanbul (there is a corresponding review of the flight that you can find on the aviationlife.gr website in the “Flight Reviews” section ») there were no live surveillance cameras. This entertainment system gives satisfaction to the traveler and enables him to spend his time very pleasantly, especially when the flight is long. Turkish Airlines offers in-flight entertainment on domestic flights as well.

The taxiing started with the corresponding delay. Throughout the process until take-off, I admired the aircraft we encountered, among the most notable being a Turkish Airbus A330 in the carrier’s special retro livery, an Uzbekistan Airways Boeing 787 en route to Tashkent, the Capital of Uzbekistan as well as a Russian Sukhoi Superjet 100 operating a flight from Sochi, Russia. Of course, the aircraft of Turkish Airlines were the ones that prevailed at the airport. We got into position and took off, watching the process from both the window and the cameras (front and under the fuselage). During the take-off, I also noticed the base of Turkish Technic, whose object is the maintenance, repair and proper operation of the company’s aircraft.

As far as the hot meal offering goes, a fairly satisfactory menu was offered on this international flight. It contained a Caesar salad, a sandwich with the basic ingredients of chicken, cheese and lettuce, a piece of chocolate cake, as well as a bottle (not the classic one found in Greece, you will see in the photo accompanying the review below). Of course, there were also the analogues that accompany a meal, such as some soft drink, coffee, and tea.

Also, the Boeing 777 was spacious, big and comfortable. Everything you need for transatlantic distances wherever you operate (America, Asia, Africa). The toilet was very clean and spacious. The airline safety video was informative and enjoyable, with animations that grab your attention. Advertising campaigns also existed.

Arrival at Athens International Airport was one hour late at 21:35 instead of 20:30 where it was the scheduled arrival time.

The crew was very kind, the flight attendant even agreed to take a photo of me on the Boeing 777 for souvenir purposes, the food was good quality, the same as the Athens – Istanbul flight, staying in the cabin the whole time was very pleasant with the accompaniment of the entertainment screen made a very nice combination for the passenger.

I was very satisfied with my fourth flight with this airline and finished the trip with very good impressions of my first (and I hope to follow soon with other types of aircraft) flight on the majestic and beloved Boeing 777.

With this evaluation and experience report, the “Flight Reviews” section of the scientific website aviationlife.gr is launched.

A photo tribute follows.

©️ Photos by Dimitris Zopounidis, use only by permission