Family Friendly Airline Review- Turkish Airlines
Real Experience – by Jennifer Boniface from London Gatwick to Johannesburg January 2016 with a 5 year old and 11 month old.
The overwhelming impression of Turkish Airlines is that they are out to impress – and to a large extent out to impress kids.
Getting on and off, particularly at the transit, was well managed, with a particularly attractive feature being the ‘buggy bag: a full plastic sheath for your buggy (with all those precious toys, blankets etc. which just could not be squashed into hand luggage) safe inside. The buggy was delivered to the link door, so very convenient. Transit was really lovely as Istanbul Airport is absolutely NOT what it used to be (in a good way). I must admit, the last time I flew through Turkey, the airport was more like a bus shelter – I mention this, as it was a big worry for me in choosing Turkish airlines, knowing we had a substantial waiting time between flights. The airport is a beautiful glass box, with good café access to the gates and they sell bananas.What a joy.! But the other lovely thing – they have large areas of dimmed lighting for those who want a nap or have sleepy kids. ( For
If you are into freebies for kids, the sheer extent of paraphernalia supplied was
fairly phenomenal. My son was given a Rubik Cube, colouring book, a proper little travel bag (not just a plastic envelope) full of all sorts of things (slippers, tooth brush, headphones and a really nice little snap on watch). The headphones were a really good idea as the small ones supplied for adults aren’t comfortable in small ears.
They haven’t clocked babies yet though. Having returned on Emirates, and received their baby pack (awesomely useful: tiny pack of wipes, a bib, cute blanket) – my baby was awkwardly offered all the same kit as my older son, and both the steward and I were a bit confused as to the usefulness of it.
They also seemed to have a good selection of kid’s movies and games on their online system.
Food wise: A good touch was the supply of a chocolate milk with cute character as a breakfast thing for the children, as I generally find hot breakfasts don’t work for my children. Breakfast for kids: Does no one know – all children need is Philidelphia or cheese rolls, fruit, and yoghurt? The simpler the better.
I can’t remember a kids meal – but what I do remember which did not fill me with joy was all of us being served at once. I think there should be a parent’s dinner slot!! I know kids meals usually come first to make this work. I don’t know what went wrong there, but when struggling with a baby and a small child, if one parent could eat first, it would be such a tremendous help, but they seemed stymied by this.
The food overall was good. I loved the real Turkish delight (not the vile western stuff) they served. I think they could go a bit more ethnic on that, as real Turkish food is sheer delight.
We weren’t offered a bassinet position, but my youngest was over the weight limit of 8kg. Instead we had a row of 3 seats and the flight was also very full.
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