Turkish Airlines, Airbus A330-200 economy class, Rome to Istanbul

THE ROUTE

Flight TK1862 Rome to Istanbul

THE AIRCRAFT

Airbus 330-200

THE LOYALTY SCHEME

Turkish Airlines is part of Star Alliance, so I have the points credited to my Singapore Airlines account.

CLASS

Economy seat, 17J (aisle)

DURATION

2 hours 40 minutes

CARBON EMISSIONS

According to the My Climate carbon calculator, my flight emissions are 0.264 tonnes.

FREQUENCY

Turkish Airlines offers multiple daily flights between Rome and Istanbul.

HEALTH

Masks are mandatory throughout the flight, although several passengers seated near me are lackadaisical about how they wear them. To enter Turkey, you must currently be fully vaccinated, show proof of recent infection or a negative PCR test.

CHECKING IN

The online check-in process is smooth, and I have my boarding pass in hand before I go to the airport. Apart from my vaccination certificate, I need to fill in an online travel form for the Turkish government before boarding the plane, which I also do in advance online.

THE SEAT

This particular plane is a little tired-looking, which surprises me – other Turkish Airlines planes I experience on this trip, including on domestic legs, are notable for their streamlined design and leather seats. Seats are in a 2-4-2 configuration, and I have an aisle seat. I chose the seat online because it had an empty window seat next to it. When I board, however, the window seat has been taken. Since the flight is half empty, I shift to the aisle seat opposite, which has two empty seats next to it and empty seats in front and behind. Seats are 17-inches (43.18cm) wide with a 31-inch (78.74cm) pitch.

LUGGAGE

Checked baggage allowance is 20kg with one carry-on bag of up to 7kg plus one personal item, up to 5kg.

ENTERTAINMENT

Turkish Airlines is reliable when it comes to offering a rich selection of entertainment. Even on some domestic flights you can choose from almost 600 movies and more than 1100 television episodes.

SERVICE

The airline prides itself on the friendly service it offers, particularly to families – at Istanbul Airport, there are dedicated check-in counters for families, with hopscotch grids marked on the floor. The pre-recorded service announcements promise that “we are smiling under our masks”. The captain is thoughtful when it comes to the seatbelts sign: it comes on a couple of times when we hit small patches of turbulence but as soon as we have passed through the turbulence, the sign is quickly switched off again.

FOOD

Lunch is served not long after take-off and is a choice between chicken and pasta. Pasta seems the safe choice for a flight out of Italy and the penne comes with a tomato, olive and goats cheese sauce, as well as a small Mediterranean salad and a coffee cream dessert.

ONE MORE THING

The recorded service messages start with “Dear passengers”, which I find quite delightful.

VERDICT

The newer planes in Turkish Airlines’ fleet are a pleasure to fly on; unfortunately this wasn’t one of them.

RATINGS

★★★½

The writer flew at his own expense.

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