Christmas & New Year in the Philippines flying Turkish Airlines Business Class
For the second time after three years, I celebrated Christmas and New Year in the Philippines, together with the Singelresor group. We were a group of 16 although I guess it could have been more. Our program started in Manila, the capital city and after that, we flew to Cebu to explore the oldest city in the country. Then we had four nights in Panglao where we visited the famous Chocolate Hills, the Philippine tarsier, and did the Loboc River Cruise among others and of course enjoyed the white sand beaches of the island. Then, we flew to Boracay, the world's best island for 2016 according to the readers of the Condé Nast Traveler where we celebrated New Year 😍 From there, we flew back to Manila and took the long bus ride to Banaue to visit the 2000 year old Banaue Rice Terraces. Finally, on our last day in Manila, we visited the famous Pagsanjan Falls before taking our evening flight back to Stockholm. Unfortunately, the snow chaos in Istanbul Airport caused us to have an extra three nights in Manila where we were accommodated in the Belmont Hotel Manila. No doubt, it was one of the best Christmas and New Year celebrations I've had lately and would celebrate it here every year if only I could 😉
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Exploring the Philippines
Photo Review: PAGSS Lounge, Terminal 1 by Gate 2, NAIA
Review: PAGSS Lounge, Terminal 1 by Gate 6, NAIA
Review: Turkish Airlines B777 Business Class, Manila-Istanbul
Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class, Istanbul-Stockholm
Flight: TK 85
Departure time in Manila (MNL): 21:45
Arrival time in Istanbul (IST): 5:10
Aircraft: Boeing 777-300ER
Duration: 12h 25min
Date of flight: January 10, 2017
*Revenue Ticket, Business Class flight #123
NAIA Terminal 1
Check-in, desks 61-62
Aircraft, Boeing 777-300ER
Boarding, Gate 9
Seats 7A & 7B
I have flown on a similar Boeing 777 in November from Istanbul to Guangzhou so I would just be concentrating more on the service.
Cerruti 1881 Amenity Kit
my flight from Bangkok to Istanbul last November. Newspapers were also offered afterwards.
Inflight Safety Video
By this time, the captain came on the PA to welcome us onboard and to advise us of our flight time of 12 hours and 25 minutes and that the temperature in Istanbul was 2 degrees with light snow. There was actually heavy traffic in NAIA. Pushback was at 11:12pm and 18 minutes later, we took off.
It was a bit turbulent so the FAs had to wait before starting with the table set up.
The other choice was "Chicken Stuffed with Ricotta and Spinach".
For my main course, I couldn't help but choose the Philippine style beef stew while Michael had the fish.
The beef stew actually would have been perfect if it hadn't been too salty.
Just before everybody else went to sleep, we were offered a hot towel and a bottle of mineral water. Needless to say, I was able to get a good night's sleep 😉
There were also some snacks offered according to Mike where he got some Pringles. I woke up around 4:45am (Istanbul time) and went to the lavatory. Unfortunately, it was not as clean as it was supposed to be, with small pieces of toilet paper on the floor. In my experience, Qatar Airways is very good in making sure that their lavatories in the business class cabin are always clean.
My "Spinach Tomato Omelette" was served later and I was continuously asked if I wanted more bread which was a nice gesture.
Toilet & Lavatory
Around 6:15am, the captain came on the PA to advise us that we would start our descent in 10 minutes and that we would be landing at 7am, with the weather being partially cloudy. We landed at 6:54am and parked at Gate 227 which was the newer portion of the terminal.
Transitting in Istanbul Ataturk Airport
As we had enough time for our connecting flight to Stockholm, we decided to head to the beautiful Turkish Airlines Lounge.
Finally, after being stranded in Manila for 3 days due to the winter chaos in Istanbul Airport, we were able to take the flight back to Europe! First, I have to commend Turkish Airlines for putting us to a very nice hotel (Belmont Hotel Manila). Unfortunately, we had to personally go to the Turkish Airlines Office at the airport to be rebooked earlier, which was really time consuming. During the flight, I thought the flight attendants were friendly although it could still improve. The meal was very good specially the prawn and the soup. Unfortunately, the beef stew was a bit too salty, otherwise it would have been perfect. Complimentary wifi was a big plus and which I was able to take advantage of. Overall, the flight was very nice although I wish they could have a better system when serving the welcome drinks, and that they could really keep the cleanliness of the lavatory. For the price we paid, I really think it was worth it and we would definitely fly with Turkish Airlines again in the future 😉
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