British Airways Economy Class : Istanbul to London on the Boeing 767-300ER (BA677)
On my last trip to Europe I found myself in Istanbul with a need to get to London, I had two options to consider: Turkish Airlines or British Airways. I ended up selecting British Airways because I got a terrific price and it was on one of my favourite planes, the Boeing 767-300. BA operate three times a day between Istanbul and Heathrow, two of the flights are on boring Airbus A320's and then there is this flight, on the class B767. This is a short pictorial review of flight BA677.
ROUTE: Istanbul Ataturk to London Heathrow
DURATION: 4 hours
AIRCRAFT: Boeing 767-300ER (G-BNWB)
I had pre-organised a private transfer (20 Euros, quite reasonable) from my hotel in Old Town to the airport. It took about 40 minutes or so to get there.
|A quiet check-in zone for BA|
As you can see in the above photo the woefully inadequate terminal building was a zoo. Completely overcrowded and just far too small for the number of passengers passing through. Thankfully I could escape that and head to the lounge:
Unfortunately for me the lounge was not much better. Barely any seats left and the food options were awful. I sat there for a while with a glass of Fanta before I decided to head to the gate:
After being randomly selected for a secondary security examination and pat down I was cleared and allowed into the gate area. There I saw G-BNWB, a 1989 build Boeing 767. This bird has been flying longer than I have (my first flight was in 1990). At 25 years old she is nearing the end of her useful life with BA.
Boarding was eventually announced so I headed to the gate and joined the queue. Unfortunately it seems the crew weren't actually ready to take passengers so we all had to stand around waiting for about another 15 minutes before we were eventually let on. This would have been ok normally but unfortunately the air conditioning wasn't working very well and I was sweating!
Once on board I made my way to seat 27K on this European configured aircraft (meaning Club Europe seats up the front, essentially identical to economy really). The aircraft can carry up to 244 passengers and today it was almost full. I did notice that the aircraft had been refurbished with comfortable leather seats throughout AND new overhead bins, making it look quite modern really. She was definitely looking good for a 25 year old aircraft.
|The 767 exit row seats still have a great window view|
|Loads of room in row 27|
|I shall be quite comfortable here|
|All pretty standard in here :)|
After enjoying my beer the food carts appeared in the aisle with dinner. I didn't expect too much but I was pleasantly surprised when I received my meal. There was a choice of 2, I've actually fogotten what they were but here's the picture:
|How the meal arrived|
|After the 'unboxing'|
With the meal over there was nothing left to do but sit back and enjoy the ride across Europe. It was nice and smooth and I got through several episodes of a comedy TV show I'd been enjoying recently. Soon enough we were on descent into Heathrow, even though it was 7pm it was still light outside as it was summer time.
|The 767 flaps extended as we make a turn during the approach|
|Feeling homesick as I notice 2 Qantas A380's parked at Heathrow|
|Arriving at a satellite terminal of T5|
Overall a great experience on British Airways economy. These B767's may be a quarter of a century old but they are still a very comfortable way to travel, I'll take one over an A320 any day!