Review: Turkish Airlines 787 Business Class from DPS – Denpasar Bali to IST – Istanbul Turkey
Turkish Airlines started their Dreamliner 787-900 service on select international routes over the summer in 2019. These newly acquired 787s allowed Turkish Airlines to expand their fleet and to modernize their business class product. In November 2019, we flew on Turkish Airlines ‘ new 787 in business class from DPS – I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport (Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia) to IST – Istanbul Airport. In this post, we share information about the Turkish Airlines 787 business class product.
The Bottom-line Up Front:
We were ecstatic when we found out that Turkish Airlines was launching a new route between DPS – I Gusti Ngurah Rai and IST – Istanbul because it would cut down our trip to RAK – Marrakesh Menara by 1-2 stops. We would also have a decent layover in Istanbul to enjoy the amazing Turkish Airlines Lounge before boarding a 4 hour flight to Marrakesh on an actual business class product with a 2-2 configuration and large seat too; none of this economy seating with the middle seat blocked like most European airlines do!
In 2012, we actually flew on Turkish Airlines from DPS to IST but the flight stopped in SIN – Singapore Changi Airport for a couple of hours and while this wasn’t terrible it also wasn’t ideal. Our other option was to fly from DPS to HKG on Garuda Indonesia to catch a Cathay Pacific flight to CDG – Paris Charles de Gaulle and then fly on either Air France or Royal Air Maroc from CDG to RAK; this would have been a long and inefficient routing with overnight stops in Hong Kong and Paris which sound lovely but are not always ideal.
Our decision to book this option was two-fold; the itinerary was the most time efficient and we were excited to experience the new business class product and the new airport.
Overall, we really enjoyed the hard and soft products on the Turkish Airlines 787-900 business class flight between DPS and IST and find it surprising that so many people complain about it.
Pre-departure – Lounge at DPS – Denpasar:
Even if the airport has been renovated and is recently, none of the lounges at DPS – I Gusti Ngurah Rai airport are that good so do not go early to enjoy the lounge. There is food, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages but we usually skip the food and have one last Bintang before our flight. The lounges have showers but they are not up to Western standards and it does not appear they provide towels so be warned.
The Boarding Process:
Boarding was on time and they had escalators taking you down to the plane and used one jetway but it was in the middle so business class went left and economy to the right.
Upon boarding, we were greeted by our assigned flight attendant who introduced herself and offered us a signature juice; the lime juice was delicious and reminded us of the ones we had in Dubai.
We were also handed a menu card with a sheet to order breakfast and asked to fill it out. Breakfast is usually our least favorite meal on a flight so we decided to make a final decision after dinner.
Overall, we quite enjoyed the seat and found it comfortable. The setup is 1-2-1, which is an improvement from their old 777 product of 2-2-2.
We can understand why some people do find it a bit small but as average sized people, we have no complaints. For comparison, this table shows the seat dimension for various business class products on 787 aircraft.
Airline Aircraft Pitch/Bed Length (inches)
787-900 43-44/76 20.1
Air Canada 787-900/800 80 21
Qatar Airways 787-800 80 22
Qantas 787-900 46/80 23-24
West Jet 787-900 46 21
Japan Airlines 787-900 78 20.1
We have flown in business class on the 787 on Air Canada, Qatar Airways, and Japan Airlines (review to be posted soon) and found the seat on Turkish to be more private than the other ones but not as spacious the one on Air Canada or Qatar Airways. We also have an upcoming flight in Qantas business class this year and look forward to the comparison since it does appear to be the largest seat of all of the ones we compared.
Jason was in 6A and Maxine in 8A; we chose these seats because the armrest is to the right by the aisle which gives you more privacy and space. Some couples choose middle seats together but Maxine likes the aisle and Jason likes the window so getting a seat with window and aisle access is the way to go.
After dinner, they do provide a mattress pad and offer to make your bed, which is nice. No pajamas or slippers are provided though.
If there is one thing that is out of place with the seat, it’s the panel that does obstruct your window view; not sure what they were thinking with that one. Of all the premium class products we flew on this trip, this was by far the most private one after JAL First Class.
The Food and Beverage:
Turkish Airlines has a chef on board who wears a chef’s outfit. The chef is from our observation on numerous Turkish Airlines flights a Flight Attendant in charge of preparing the food and serving it.
Unlike other star Alliance Airlines, they do not ask elite members to place their meal orders first. Even if we were both at the back of the cabin and last to place meal orders, there was enough of our first choice meal.
Overall, we enjoyed the food and beverage. When Maxine ordered red wine, a bottle of French wine was brought out but the staff was happy when Turkish wine was requested instead. Maxine enjoyed the Turkish red wine served on board since it reminded her of the time we spent in Turkey, including sampling local red and white wines, which are very underrated or unknown due to their limited reach. They were a little stingy with the champagne but that is probably due to cost; they only poured a half glass.
The service on Turkish is a little more old school; all courses are brought out on a cart where you can see the options and choose. They also offer a fine on demand for those who do not want to go through the formal meal process.
It was around 22:30 when we had dinner and so we were not that hungry and did not eat as much as wanted. The catering is also better on departures out of Istanbul because you can pre-order and they have more Turkish food options, which we have enjoyed in the past.
Overall, the service was good too: in the past, we have found Turkish Airlines Flight Attendants surly and while this crew was not overly friendly, they were pleasant and brief to provide good service without being in your space all the time, which was appreciated.
The breakfast cards were left on our tables and picked up by staff after we fell asleep. The breakfast orders were also served as ordered even if we did not necessarily filled them out clearly and had to scratch out our mistakes.
The Inflight Entertainment and Internet:
We enjoy watching foreign films and enjoyed the selection of Turkish films with English subtitles onboard. They also had the usual western blockbusters that appeal to most people.
Maxine was able to connect to the free WiFi and found it worked well; it was quick and did not cut out. Jason was not able to connect and the Flight Attendants were not able to troubleshoot the issue when he raised it.
There are two restrooms specifically for business class and one near the economy class cabin that can also be used. The one restroom to the back right of the aircraft is huge; lots of room to change! The toilet seat also has a bidet which is the first time we recall seeing that on an aircraft. The restrooms were well maintained during the flight and no complaints on our part.
The Arrival at IST – Istanbul Airport and the Turkish Airlines Lounge:
We were excited to visit the newly built IST – Istanbul airport but we were quite disappointed overall. Upon arrival after close to a 14 hour flight, we were assigned a remote gate, had to walk down stairs, and bussed to the terminal: how can a new fancy statue of the art airport not have enough gates?
Yes, there is a business class only bus but you still need to wait for everyone and it takes time to drive to the terminal so this is definitely not what we expected. That being said, we were bussed to a 777 when we last flew Emirates First Class in Dubai so it is common at some airports. The airport itself is nice and seems to be a good spot to connect due to Turkish Airlines flight network that is one of the most extensive in the world.
We did enjoy the food, beverage, and space in the Turkish Airlines Lounge but do agree with people that it does look worn down for such a new lounge. We didn’t get to leave the airport to explore Turkey which pulled at us from a nostalgia perspective but the lounge had familiar favorites such as Turkish coffee and tea, wine, and food to sample. We had simit, olives, cheese, peppers, and their Turkish food specials made as you watch.
We also signed up for showers on arrival and ended up waiting 1.5 hours. The shower rooms were very clean and well equipped but not like the ones at the Cathay Pacific The Pier Lounge in Hong Kong which are still our favourites.
Overall, Turkish Airlines has a solid international business class product and no other airlines fly to as many destinations as they do, making them a viable option for those who want to visit many places in the world. It is also difficult to find an airline that offers so much rewards space for low fees and reasonable amount of Aeroplan points to redeem rewards tickets
We really hope the YVR – Vancouver International Airport service to IST – Istanbul International Airport that is scheduled to begin on June 9, 2020 using a 787-900 is successful as it would be so much easier for us to fly to places like Mauritius, Georgia and Sri Lanka on a good product with minimal stops.
We hope they do keep the seats on the 787 as they are because the old 777 and A330 product was not very good but if they do change them, perhaps they should look at something similar to JAL’s or Qatar Qatar Airways’ business class on the 777 or Canada’s 787 Signature seat. Maybe we have flown long hauls in economy enough to know how much more comfortable a lie flat seat is, even if it might be a tad smaller than other ones.
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