Tuesday, 28 March 2017
Crossing the sky
On my latest trip I flew from Athens to Heathrow T5 with British Airways and returned from Heathrow T2 to Istanbul with Turkish Airlines. This gave me a perfect opportunity to compare two national carriers. The cost was almost the same with THY coming out a bit cheaper per mile. Both included hold baggage of 23kgs. Both terminals at Heathrow were free of queues and I got from plane to car park at terminal 5 in less than 20 minutes. A good reason to steer clear of flights to Gatwick as the passport queue there is always a truly long and winding road. On board BA the friendly confident voice of the pilot always reassures but after that Turkish Airlines won hands down. BA has abandoned its inflight food provision and serves drinks and snacks from a trolley at a price, and an important factor now laptops and iPads are banned into the UK from certain countries - BA had no inflight entertainment. THY served drinks and food; either köfte or a vegetarian pasta choice if you hadn't prebooked, I had chosen a veggie/fruit meal on booking at no extra cost. There was an impressive choice of films and music available on THY throughout the flight and it was also available during takeoff and landing which should keep anyone missing their tablet happy and each seat had a charging point for phones. My battery is always on its last legs when I get back to Turkey, so this was appreciated.
In view of the electronics restriction, Turkish airlines are accepting laptops etc at departure; bubble wrapping, labelling and storing in a hard case (similar to those used for musical equipment) and say they guarantee their safe return. Easy Jet have also announced a similar policy. BA hasn't made a press announcement yet on how it is dealing with this ban so I welcome comments from anyone who has flown from one of the restricted countries in the last week.