Monday, June 18, 2012

A painless way to Europe on Turkish Airlines

Talk about a painless way to Europe. The other day, in my never-ending Travelife, I journeyed from Tokyo to Manila to Hong Kong and then to Istanbul all in a matter of a couple of days that could be divided into a couple of hours.

Yes, it was a tough schedule in an already emotionally taxing week, but somehow the Travelife way of going around the world is pretty good and resource-efficient -- so here I am at the uber-cool Turkish Airlines lounge at Istanbul airport on an early morning, fresh and perky, and waiting for my flight to Prague.

All this in a matter of hours, including a couple of missed opportunities in Istanbul. But that's a never-ending Travelife for you. Scroll down to read about our next adventure...


I'm going to Prague with two friends. As we were coming from different parts of the world, we met up in Hong Kong airport at the Turkish Airlines (THY) lounge there, just before the flight to Prague via Istanbul.

I've been taking this THY flight so many times to Istanbul and beyond that it's pretty routine now. I can't even count the number of times I've met up with friends at this lounge and then we've flown together to Istanbul and other places.

For some reason, I always have the same line when I meet my friends at the THY lounge in Hong Kong. My travel companion is always ahead and waiting at the bar or in one of the tables and I always arrive later.

Then I walk up and say: "You look familiar..." Everyone turns and looks at us, and it feels like a scene in a movie. Don't ask me why I do it this way as I don't really plan this in advance -- but this is what I feel like saying when I see my friend at the lounge waiting for me.

Well, it happened this way again, this time around. One of my friends was on the PCs so I simply waved hello, and the other was seated at one of the tables and so I went up to him with this line.


But it's so nice to be traveling with these two friends of mine, who are some of my oldest friends in the world. We'd been to Istanbul together some years back, and now here we are headed to Europe for a drive to Germany and a trip around the Czech Republic. I can't think of better companions, especially at a time like this.

On the way over, we had the good fortune of all being seated in a row in business class even if we didn't check in together or arrange seating in advance. So for the first two hours, over a pretty good dinner served by a proper chef from Istanbul, all we did was laugh and talk inside the plane. We probably disturbed the cabin but fortunately, most people had taken their sleeping pills and had already stretched out as it was a midnight flight.


But we had lots to catch up on so we did dinner and talked through most of it. I ride club class all the time but I have to say that THY really does its meals well. We had lovely appetizers to start, and then salad and soup, followed by main course and a trolley full of cheeses and desserts -- including our favorite Turkish ice cream. Everything is served by a proper chef in full regalia.

Then after dinner, I switched on a movie while they got out the flat beds and went to lala land. I watched half a movie and then went to sleep for a good seven hours -- that's longer than the sleep I get even in Manila.

When I woke up, it was just over an hour to landing and they were serving a very nice hot breakfast of literally the best cheese omelette I have ever had.

Talk about a completely painless way to Europe. From here, practically everywhere in Europe is about three hours away. And this is why I always take THY whenever I can.

Just another day in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

PS: Just to let you know that THY didn't put me up to writing this. But you know us at Travelife. When we believe in something, we put our thoughts online and go the full mile. And when we don't believe in something, well, you'll know it as well...


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