✅ Verified Review
| London Gatwick to Mombasa with Turkish Airlines. TK currently have rock-bottom fares (around £1300 return to MBA from LGW). Arrival / departure times are inconvenient which may be a contributing factor. TK use the new Number 1 lounge at LGW. The ‘onboard chef’ on TK flights is a lot of fuss about nothing. The ‘chef’ on the first short sector to IST is simply a flight attendant in a chef’s hat who serves the drinks and most of the food. There was no chef on the long-haul sector. The food offering was excellent on both flights. There is a Turkish flair to the menu (Mezze, Turkish coffee, Turkish wines), however there is enough to choose from to please the less adventurous palate. The seat is clearly the reason that the lower fares are currently offered on the route. The seats are not flatbed. They are similar to most airline’s Premium Economy seat offer. Good leg-room, a foot rest and good recline. Other than that a normal medium haul business class seat. If I was paying the fare BA or KQ charge on the route I would have something to grumble about, but I am not – so did not. Everyone talks about the lounge at IST. It certainly is large, and impressive with self-service bars throughout, deli-style counters with sweets, cakes and savoury options. The pizza chefs, BBQ chefs, pasta chefs cook for the streams of passengers queuing for them. There is a virtual golf range, scalextric track to ‘play’ with in addition to cinemas, pool tables and a huge library. There are massage therapists with whom you can book an in-seat massage too - but order this early as waiting times can be long. The thing is, the lounge is so big you tend to sit in one spot where you find a seat (there are no ‘quiet areas’, just lots of seats and tables dotted around). It’s big and brash (like the network and advertising for it), and I will go back – but it’s not ‘special’. The staff were also not especially welcoming. Questions about availability of yoghurt for example was met with a disinterested, “I don’t know – look over there”. There was no feeling of being a special guest. It felt more like we were being done a favour by being allowed into the lounge – now we must fend for ourselves. Even if you are not travelling in business class, IST is a fab transit point. Excellent shops, restaurants and bars. Both my wife and I said it will be our preferred transit stop, whichever class we travel in future. Signage could be improved and the information points were staffed were not interested in offering any form of ‘customer service’. The one time we asked for directions we were answered with grunts and a tired ‘nod’ in the direction we should go. I would hesitate letting anyone transit alone who was unsure about how to get around an airport (elderly parent etc.), simply because of the lack of genuine help available by the staff on duty. The service of the flight to Kenya was equally good with nice choices from the menu. The presentation could do with some work – meals brought out from the galley wrapped in foil (from an airline boasting top cuisine and a chef?) which is unceremoniously unwrapped in front of you. Turkish coffee was made from instant powder in full view of the cabin before being served (nicely) with Turkish delight. This was a little disappointing. Overall, a good product at an excellent price. The food service is good and transit process reasonably easy for frequent travellers. We will definitely book this airline again on this route.