Day Twenty-Two Part 2: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-300 MLE-IST summary.

We arrived at the gate approximately 30 minutes before departure time. I was discouraged by the crowd that had already formed, thinking I would be relegated to boarding behind everyone. But lo and behold the gate agent announced boarding for Business, and we strolled across the tarmac to the stairs of the A330-300.

-The Big One! Introduction/Giveaway
-Day One: Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport Review
-Day Two: United First Class B737-800 SFO-IAD summary
-Days Three through Six: D.C Area recommendations: Smithsonian, National Harbor, Baltimore Aquarium
-Day Seven: Lufthansa Business Class Lounge IAD summary, Lufthansa First Class A330-300 IAD-MUC Summary
-Day Eight Part 1: Six hours in downtown Munich, Lufthansa First Class Lounge Munich Summary
-Day Eight Part 2: Lufthansa First Class A330-300 MUC-DXB Summary
-Day Nine Part 1: Dubai Exotic Limo brief review part 1 & Abu Dhabi recommendations: Ferrari World, the Grand Mosque
-Day Nine Part 2: Park Hyatt Abu Dhabi Review
-Days Ten through Twelve Part 1: Park Hyatt Dubai Review
-Days Ten through Twelve Part 2: Dubai Exotic Limo brief review part 2 & Dubai recommendations:  Burj Khalifa Sky
-Days Ten through Twelve Part 3: Dubai Recommendations: Tea at the Ritz Carlton Jumeirah Beach, Atlantis Monorail, Dubai Mall
-Days Ten through Twelve Part 4: Dubai recommendations: Platinum-Heritage Falconry Heritage Tour.  The Dubai Museum
-Day Thirteen: Emirates 777-300 DXB-MLE summary, Moonima Lounge MLE summary, Park Hyatt Maldives transfer summary
Days Thirteen through Sixteen Part 1: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa Review
-Days Thirteen through Sixteen Part 2: What to do at the Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa
-Day Seventeen: Maldivian Dash-8/Boat Transfer Park Hyatt-MLE summary, Conrad Rangali MLE Lounge summary, Trans-Maldivian Twin Otter transfer MLE-Conrad Rangali Island
-Days Seventeen through Twenty-One Part 1: Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Review
-Days Seventeen through Twenty-One Part 2: What to do at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island Resort
-Day Twenty-Two Part 1: Trans-Maldivian Twin Otter Conrad Rangali Island-MLE summary, Conrad Lounge MLE summary, Leeli Lounge MLE summary
-Day Twenty-Two Part 2: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-300 MLE-IST summary.
-Day Twenty-Three Part 1: Turkish Airlines IST Lounge Summary, six hours in Istanbul
-Day Twenty-Three Part 2: Turkish Airlines Business Class B777-300  IST-SFO summary
-Day Twenty-Four: Hyatt Regency San Francisco Embarcadero Review
-Trip Summary/The Numbers
-The BIG Question: Park Hyatt Maldives Hadahaa or Conrad Maldives Rangali?

Flight Stats:

Aircraft Type: Boeing A330-300
Seats:  2J & 2K (Business)
Duration: 8 hours, 20 Minutes
Cost: 80K United Miles and $75 Per Person – Booked through to SFO
Value: ~$2500 per person- Booked through to SFO

We boarded the aircraft and were directed to our left.

We found a spacious cabin of four rows with 6 seats across in a 2 by 2 by 2 configuration. A 5th row featured two seats on either side of the aircraft.

We took our seats in the second row and got settled in.

Our two seats were as spacious and comfortable as one could hope for in a business-class cabin. A center console seperated the two of us, while ottomans ahead of us opened for storage.

A picture as blurry as my midnight vision.

The rest of the cabin settled in and economy loaded up behind that. 

Our cabin was mostly calm. A couple of children joined the busines class cabin but were fairly subdued.

We taxiied out on the sole taxiway in Male and soon we launched into the night.

Our evening flight left at close to midnight and was scheduled to arrive 8 hours and 20 minutes later at 5:30 in the morning in Istanbul.

After departure the flight attendants presented us our meal service.  I perused through the menu and salivated at a couple of the options.Though I had eaten quite a bit at the Leeli lounge prior to departure I couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some Lobster and Salmon.

The food came promptly, and while I can say I enjoyed it (as much as one can enjoy such a thing on an airline), it certainly wasn’t quite what I expected in terms of presentation and size.

Regardless, it sat perfectly given that I had but a little room left in the stomach by the point it came time to eat.

After our meal the flight attendants came round to remove our dishes and trash.

As soon as the food was all cleared I reclined my seat to a lie-flat position and snuggled into it with a blanket. Kim did the same.

Like on our first overseas flight with Lufthansa we felt the cabin was a bit warm, and that may have prevented us from getting a more solid shut-eye. Greater an issue for Kim though was the older couple ahead of us, who failed to cease conversation or to turn off their overhead lights for the duration of the trip.

At some point into the wee hours of the morning there was a breakfast service.  But I was either too tired to engage or too hungry to take photos.  Whichever it was I don’t have details on it 😉

After some cabin announcements indicating we’d be landing soon, Kim and I sat up and put on our shoes.  I watched as we descended over Istanbul.

Even after the announcement that we’d be landing shortly it seemed to be quite some-time before we were on the ground.  Our landing was smooth and we taxied up to our parking spot. Much to my surprise we stopped in an area with no jet-bridge.  Instead, we descended a stairway and were met by a bus.

Fortunately for Kim and I and the other business class passengers, we only loaded up our own cabin, which left plenty of room.  The economy passengers would be left to board other busses on the scene, and from what it appeared given how many passengers were back there and how many busses they sent, they would be a bit more cramped.

Our bus dropped us off at an arrivals area and we followed the crowd heading towards the terminal for connecting flights.  It was all a blur and a mess at 5:30 in the morning, but we simply traveled among the masses and found ourselves where we needed to be.  We continued to follow signs to the Turkish Airlines business class lounge.  I had a pre-researched plan to drop off our luggage before our morning tour of Istanbul.  All that and more in the next post: Day Twenty-Three Part 1: Turkish Airlines IST Lounge Summary, 6 hours in Istanbul.

Ultimately

While I can’t give you a ton of in-depth detail on our flight, I can say that the advance planning to ensure lie-flat seats paid off.  I’m confident I was much happier up front than I would have been in reclining and cramped economy seats after a long day of packing, snorkeling, and transferring over to the Male airport from the Conrad.

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