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newbief1yer
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Posts: 619
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:07 am

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Video Report

Turkish Airlines - Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Background


For our trip back home from Kyrgyzstan I needed a flight that would leave around the same time as my in-laws flight so that we could help them through immigration. Their flight back to Shijiazhuang was with China Southern via Urumqi (Which also entailed a 19 hour overnight transit :)). Their flight was scheduled to leave at 9:30 AM, so the only viable option for us was with Turkish Airlines via Istanbul, scheduled to leave Bishkek at 10:25 AM.

It was more than twice the price of the cheapest option with Pegasus (at £170), but at least we get to travel in relative comfort and at a decent time.

It would by my first trip on Turkish. It would also be my second longest trip on a narrow body jet, clocking at 6 hours block time, the first being my United B737-900 flight from LAX to HNL.

Booked via gotogate.com. After booking I was able to add details about my booking on Turkish website. I was even allowed to select exit row seats. It was quite odd, I tried to select seats and the only available seats for selection were the exit row seats, which seemed like there was a charge for it ($59). So I cancelled the selection and went back to manage my booking. Over there I could see that the seats which I had tried to cancel, had been selected and it was chosen! But I was not charged (yet). Not sure what was going on, so just ignored it for then.

Called the helpful Turkish Airline staff in their UK office the next day and they confirmed that my selected seats were eventually chargeable. So they removed my seat selection and confirmed that the seat selection will be open 100 days before the flight. Result!

I tried selecting seats around 50 days before departure and it worked well. Front and exit row seats were chargeable ($39 and $59) any other available seats were free of charge. I even got to choose the 2 seats towards the rear of the B77W on the way back from Istanbul! Happy about that!

I was even able to choose seafood special meals for my missus. A very Good online experience with Turkish thus far.

This is the last and final instalment in this series.

1. Virgin (on a rare A340-600) to Dubai -> for a quick 7 hour catch up friends
2. and then onward to Bengaluru on Jet Airways via Mumbai
3. India Domestic -> Bengaluru to Mumbai
4. A strange routing -> Mumbai to Urumqi with Air Arabia via Sharjah!
5. Part 5 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Air Astana from Urumqi to Bishkek via Astana
6. Finally return back to London from Bishkek on Turkish via Istanbul


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Turkish Airlines - TK345 & TK1971
Route: FRU - IST - LHR
Flight Reg:TC-JYO; Delivered to Turkish on May 2015; named Ilica  
TC-JJM; Delivered to Turkish on March 2011; Named Marmara
Aircraft Type: Boeing 737-900ER & Boeing 777-300ER
Seat: 10A & 51A
Flight time: 10:25 - 13:25 ( 10:35 - 12:52 ) 14:40 - 16:40 (15:31 - 17:01)
Actual flight time: 5 Hr 17 min & 3Hr 30 Min
Distance: 2325 and 1565 Miles
Load: 100% load on both flights.
Price: £714 for 2 seats (gotogate.com)
9th Sep 2018
My Log book: 1st & 2nd flight on Turkish / 2nd flight on Boeing 737-800 & 9th flight on Boeing 777-300ER/ 176th & 177th Total overall flight


Day before flight, OCI was a breeze. All our previous settings (Seats and special meals) were intact and was looking forward to the flight on Turkish on their B739ER and B77W.

Day of the flight, drive to the airport was a brisk 25 minute taxi ride.

Manas International Airport
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Our check in for Turkish was super organised and quick. Done in 4 minutes. But for the in-laws, China southern was an entirely different ball game. chaotic and disorganized.

Check in desks for Turkish
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Check in desks for China Southern
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Heading towards passport control
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Interesting experience at the airport. Just before passport control a police officer caught my in laws and said that they haven't stamped their visa in 5 days and hence there is a fine of 10k som. I said keep the passport or else all I have is 40 GBP. There was a guy translating for us and he seemed to be the broker in this racketeering mafia. They agreed to this deal and I paid the translator/broker and passports handed over to us.!

Second time in 1 week I'd have to bribe my way out. The other being for apparently over speeding at 60 km/hr on the motorway where there was apparently a patch that was 40 km/hr. Yeah right! All part of the Kyrgyz experience.

Air side at FRU
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Plane Spotting - Avia Traffic B737-300
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Air Manas B738 heading to Delhi
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Our ride to IST
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Boarding commenced at 9 50 and I was at my seat before 10 00.

First impressions

Very clean and tidy aircraft. Welcome was warm and cordial all done with a smile. Seats were comfortable with very good leg space.

Boarding complete by 10 15. FA made a round distributing newspapers which I hadn't seen in a long time.
Pushed back on time and airborne by 10 35.

Time to board
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Up close and personal
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Business class seating
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Row 10
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Window Shopping
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Decent leg space
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IFE on board
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Amenity kit on this flight
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Reading material on board
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The fantastically creative LEGO movie Safety video
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Announcements made in Turkish followed by English. Flight time of 5hr and 20 minutes announced.

Once reached cruising altitude, the captain made an announcement regarding the route for the day along with the speed and altitude for the remaining flight and wishing us a pleasant flight. Good communication.
Route was over Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan, Georgia and then over Turkey.

Bye Bye Bishkek
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Cabin view after take off
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Really good socks for the flight
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Enjoyed this movie. Quite an odd movie, but worth a watch. Could not believe that it was available to watch on this flight. It had not even released in the UK at this time.
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En-route
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Drinks and breakfast round commenced 90 minutes after take-off. The trays were quickly collected post breakfast giving us a good 3 hours to take a nap.

Continued watching a couple of movies and then closed my eyes for a bit.

Meal on this flight - tasted very good and I enjoyed it. Went well with the spicy bloody Mary. The sides, for a change, was very good too. Good hummus and the cake was yummy too.
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Movie #2 - A good movie for the flight
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Before I knew it, we had started our descent into Istanbul.

Service on this sector was very good. I had asked for a second round of bloody Mary which was duly obliged and as we were descending we needed some water and it was swiftly bought to us. A very good effort by this crew and they ran a tight ship for a full flight.

Flight landed well ahead of time and were parked at a remote stand.

At IST - Not heard of this airline before this
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Turkish Retro A330
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Neighbours at IST
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Being Bussed to the terminal
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Business class busses
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Transfer at Istanbul.

I know it won't be long until the new airport is opened. Until then, the transfer experience at the current airport is a bit chaotic to say the least.

Walking up to the security was fairly quick and the security screening itself was quick. But then you're thrust upon the main city free Area which is reminiscent of the grand bazaar in old Istanbul. Probably this is the peak time and it was all a bit overwhelming. The airport does have all facilities, including a barber if you wanted to have your hair cut. We were at gate 700 which was a good 20 minute walk from where we were.

Upon reaching the gates we realised that they had blocked both 700 and 701 for this flight, given that it was the 777 and it seemed like a fully packed flight.

Arrival Terminal at IST
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Transiting at IST
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Into the main duty free area - Busy!
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Heading towards Gate 700
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Finally near our gates, ready to board
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Bussed to the Aircraft
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Under the wing
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Our ride to LHR
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Once on board, captain announced a smooth flight with a flight time of around 3 hours and 20 minutes.

We had pushback at 14 50. But as expected, given it was a busy time at Istanbul, we were way back in the queue. 12th in the queue. :(

While taxiing, the aircraft temperature was extremely hot.

It got a bit better after take-off. But still on the warmer side. It was nearly an hour after scheduled departure that we were airborne. Looks like a slightly delayed flight on arrival.

On board
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Row 51
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Neighbours at IST
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Similar reading material on board, except for the safety card
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The music director of this movie is a close friend of mine The super talented, nice guy -> Raghu Dixit. I messaged him to let him know that his movie is on Turkish Airline.
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I can watch this on repeat
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Money shot during taxiing
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Met the retro jet during our taxi. We had a long wait before take off
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Finally over Istanbul
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Cabin crew spring into action as soon as seat belt signs were off. Lots of people to feed in a comparatively short amount of time.

Wi-Fi on board didn't work as expected. It was paid for and even that was a bit spotty to get to the login page.

Service, once again on this flight was top notch.

Very good toiletries on board
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View of our cabin after take off
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En-route
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Meal on this flight - meatballs mains with hummus along with 2 glasses of Ayran :) Delish!
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Wife's sea food meal -> said it tasted very good too.
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Watched my favourite detective movie - Tintin!
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Contrails en-route
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Rest of the flight was uneventful in a good way. Landed slightly delayed but not a deal breaker. Bags collected and out of the airport by 6 pm.


I should know better, Emirates Arsenal stadium?
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Neighbours at LHR T2
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You call this Premium Economy!!!?? Wow!
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Arrivals at T2
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Baggage reclaim
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Exiting T2
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Verdict

A very solid performance by Turkish on this routing. Clean air crafts, professional and courteous Flight attendants, very good food and entertainment, on time and a fantastic safety video. They are slight let down by the transit experience at IST. It was quick, but just felt a bit too over crowded. I guess this would change once the new airport has commenced operation.

Would gladly fly Turkish again and hope to soon.

So that is the end of this series of reports. It was indeed an epic trip and hope you liked this series.

If things go as planned, my next report would be our trip to the famous Ice Hotel in Sweden, in December.

Until then, I shall leave you with a few snapshots from our trip around Kyrgyzstan.

Feedback and comments welcome.

Until next time, happy and safe flying, adios!

Sights around Kyrgyzstan

Ala-Too Square, Bishkek
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Osh Bazaar, Bishkek
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Being a local at Victory Square, Bishkek
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Ala Archa National Park, Kyrgyzstan
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En-route to Cholpol Ata
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Lucky to experience the World Nomad Games, 2018, whilst at Kyrgyzstan
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Witnessing the weirdly strange sport, Kok Boru
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Kyrchyn Dcayloo Area of ​​Nomad Games, Kyrgyzstan
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Our ride for the trip (me inspecting the tyres), with the 7 Bull mountain in the background
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Kok Jayik valley, near Karakol
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Near Barskoon Waterfall
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Fooling around at Fairy-tale canyon "Skazka"
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User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 619
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:08 am

Previous Trip Reports

Part 5 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Air Astana from Urumqi to Bishkek via Astana
Part 4 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Air Arabia from Mumbai to Urumqi via Sharjah
Part 3 trip to Kyrgyzstan - IndiGo from BLR to BOM
Part 2 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Jet Airways from Dubai to Bengaluru via Mumbai
Part 1 trip to Kyrgyzstan - Virgin to Dubai on A340-600 (G-VNAP)
Weekend trip on Austrian to Vienna - A321-100
Oman Air - London to India and back - A333 & B738
Part 5 - Long way to Vietnam - Return from Shanghai on BA B77W Club World
Part 4 - Long way to Vietnam - China Southern - Hanoi to Shanghai
Vietnam Domestic on Vietjet
Part 2 - Long way to Vietnam - Vietnam Airlines A350 to Saigon - Business Class
Part 1 - Long way to Vietnam - BA to Shanghai - Club World
Weekend trip to Budapest on FlyBe (SEN) and BA (LHR)
Part 4 - KLM from Beijing to London via Amsterdam - B787-9 & ERJ190
Part 3 - Spring Airlines - Seoul Incheon to Shijiazhuang - Airbus 320-200
Part 2 - Korea Domestic on Korean Air and Jeju Air
Part 1 - London to Seoul on KLM? No. Air France? No. Korean Air?
Part 5 - Canadian Escapades - Vancouver to London - BA A380-800 - Club World
Part 4 - Canadian Escapades - Edmonton to Vancouver - WestJet B737-800
Part 3 - Canadian Escapades - Toronto to Calgary - Air Canada B767-300ER
Part 2 - Canadian Escapades - Quebec to Toronto - WestJet Encore Dash8 Q400
Part 1 - Canadian Escapades - London to Montreal - BA 787-8
Weekend in Bilbao - BA A320 - Photo + Video Report
Cambodian Escapades - China Southern B787, A321 and A320
Domestic Cambodian Escapades - Sky Angkor - KOS-REP - A320
Weekend in Zurich - Swiss and BA (Club Europe) - Airbus 320-200
Weekend at Cinque Terre - BA to Bologna - Airbus 320-200
Journey to the East (Part 5, Final) - BA B747-400 (Club World)
Journey to the East (Part 4) - China Eastern A321-200
Journey to the East (Part 3) - Etihad 5th Freedom Route
Journey to the East (Part 2) - BA, JAL, Etihad, China Eastern
Journey to the East - BA, JAL, Etihad, China Eastern
Norwegian And Air Baltic To ARN And RIX
London To Muscat On Gulf Air - A332 And A320
Part 4:India Domestic-9W, AI, SG On A321,B737,Q400
Part3: Phuket To India - Bangkok Airways -A320-200
Part 2:Thailand Domestic -Nok Air And Thai AirAsia
Part 1:Qatar Airways - Thailand And India
Part 3:BA Club Europe - LCA-LHR - Boeing 767-300
Part 2:Blue Air - Athens-Larnaca - Boeing 737-400
Part 1: Aegean Air - LGW-ATH-JTR - A320-200
Ryanair London(STN) To Lake Como (BGY)
Weekend In Belfast - Aer Lingus A319-100
BA First - PEK To LHR - Mid J B747-400
China Railway (CRH) - Video Report - SJW - Beijing
BA CW - Upper Deck To Beijing - High J B747-400
LAN Dreamliner (J) Experience - MAD FRA
Weekend In Trondheim - DY/SK - Boeing 737-800/600
Baltic Escapades - VNO/TLL/RIX On W6,BT And OV
South France - EasyJet A320 BA A319
UK To India - The EK Way - B777-200/300 & A380
India Domestic–Jet Airways And Indigo–A320/ATR 72
BA A320/321 - LHR To Berlin TXL - Christmas Day
China Southern - LHR-CAN-HKT - B787/A321
Cool Blue To BOS And Got Blue? To LAS - E190 A320
Mahalo Hawaii, Hello NYC - DL B767-300
Aloha! The United Way - B777-200 And B737-900
VS Little Red To ABZ And EZY Return
24 Hours On A 787! - Final Leg CZ - AKL-CAN-LHR
Part 5 - BHE-WLG-AKL On NZ Beech1900D And A320
Part 4 - MEL-AKL-ZQN On QA And NZ B738\A320
Part 3 - CNS-MEL On JetStar A321-200
Part 2 - SYD - CNS On Virgin Australia E190
Canton Route Part 1 - LON-SYD - CZ DreamLiner/A332
DREAM(liner)ING Of Hainan - China Southern
Panda Calling - BA LHR To CTU - Club World
China - The Low Cost Way - Spring Airlines - SJW-CTU
China United Airlines (KN) - CTU - SJW - B737-700
Norwegian B737 - LGW-TOS-BGO-LGW
Jet Airways: LHR – COK
Barra Trip – that was not to be
Dusseldorf Calling - BA & EZY - Club/Eco - A321
Part 5: PVG-LHR - BA - Economy - B777
Part 4A&B - SHA-SJW-SHA - FM: Eco: B737
Part 3A&B : DXB-HKG-PVG: CX & KA :Eco: A333
Part 2: KWI-DXB - FlyDubai - Economy - B737
LHR - KWI - BA 747 - Part 1 - Middle East -China
Morocco Trip - LGW-RAK-TNG-LHR - EasyJet & Iberia
 
GaryDay
Posts: 27
Joined: Fri Mar 24, 2017 11:53 am

Re: Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:02 pm

Great trip report as always. I'm not a fan of the egg chasing game but the stadium is not the Emirates but Twickenham Rugby stadium . The smaller stadium in the background is another Rugby stadium called the stoop, home of Harlequins RFC
 
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 619
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Sun Sep 16, 2018 8:33 pm

Thanks for the comments GaryDay
Ah! I knew I got that wrong :)
Thanks for the info.
 
DDR
Posts: 1544
Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 11:09 pm

Re: Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Mon Sep 17, 2018 6:19 pm

Very nice trip report as usual. Thanks for the great pictures! Looking forward to the ice hotel report!!
 
opticalilyushin
Posts: 648
Joined: Tue Oct 22, 2013 6:35 pm

Re: Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Tue Sep 18, 2018 11:09 am

Fantastic pics! I visited Kyrgyzstan early this year whilst on a 3 week Central Asia trip, and I really fell in love with the scenery, Bishkek and the people. I'm sorry and surprised to hear about the bribes though.
 
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newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 619
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:16 pm

Thanks for the comments DDR. I am looking forward to it too :)

Thanks opticalilyushin (:))
Yeah, wonderful country. I am not surprised by the cops, coming from an Indian background, it was my way of life.
 
LAXdude1023
Posts: 5605
Joined: Thu Sep 07, 2006 3:16 pm

Re: Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:36 pm

Great Report!

The picture of TK's "premium economy" was actually their J cabin.
Next flight: IAH-GUA-IAH on UA in Y.
 
User avatar
newbief1yer
Topic Author
Posts: 619
Joined: Thu Dec 06, 2012 9:35 pm

Re: Part 6 (Final) trip to Kyrgyzstan - Back from Bishkek to London via Istanbul

Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:41 pm

Thanks LAXDude1023
Ah, was it? I thought they used to have a Prem Economy cabin and did not see anything else. So assumed this was their Prem economy cabin.
Thanks for the correction.

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