Part 1: United First Class from SFO-NRT
Part 2: How to Get to Hotel from NRT Airport
Part 3: Andaz Hotel Tokyo
Part 4: Tokyo Itinerary
Part 5: How to get from Tokyo to Kyoto
Part 6: Hyatt Regency – Kyoto
Part 7: Kyoto Itinerary
Part 8: Shinkansen Kyoto to Tokyo
Part 9: Conrad – Tokyo Part 1
Part 10: Conrad – Tokyo Part 2
Part 11: Singapore Business Class Tokyo to Singapore
Part 12: Conrad – Singapore
Part 13: Silk Air Business Class Singapore to Danang
Part 14: Intercontinental Danang Part 1
Part 15: Intercontinental Danang Part 2
Part 16: Turkish Business Class Hanoi to Istanbul
Part 17: Turkish Business Class Istanbul to Rome
Part 18: United First Class Rome to Chicago
How much did this cost?
80,000 United miles x 2 tickets = 160,000 UR Points transferred to United
Using a Chase Ink Business card to accumulate UR points, this amounted to $999.51 plus $147.12 in taxes and fees for a total of $1,146.63, or $573.32 per ticket
How much would this have cost had we paid cash?
This Turkish Airlines Business Class leg would have cost $1,948.00 x 2 = $3,896.00.
This was part of a trip from HAN > IST > ROM > ORD. In total, the flights for the entire honeymoon would have cost $10,907.00 x 2 = $21,814.00
Combined with the starting legs of our trip, ORD > SFO > NRT > HAN > SIN > DAD > HAN, we went around the world for our honeymoon!
Having heard great things about Turkish Airlines, I booked this long trip back home in order to try its business class product. We were scheduled to leave Vietnam via Hanoi on a late night flight so had dinner with QL’s family in the city. Thus, after checking out of the Intercontinental, we caught a late morning flight to Hanoi. For dinner, we had Cha Ca La Vong, which is an iconic dish of Hanoi and a Vietnamese dish we had never tried. Cha Ca La Vong is small nuggets of white fish marinated with turmeric and galanga root, pan-fried table side with lots of fresh dill. It is served over fresh noodles with green onion, garnished with peanuts, fish sauce, and chili. It was good and definitely worth trying once. Someone else grabbed the check so I don’t know exactly how much it is, but I think it’s ~$7-8/pan, and a pan should feed two people.
Before going to the airport, we grabbed some drinks and snacks at Highlands Coffee, floating on Truc Bach lake. One interesting thing to note about Highlands is that the Vietnamese founder started the chain with the goal of selling it to Starbucks. Highlands has since become wildly popular in Vietnam at the same time as Starbuck’s has opened ~25 locations across the country.
After that, the family took us to Noi Bai airport, where we bid everyone adieu and went to explore the lounge before our departure. It was much nicer than we expected.
When you enter, to the right of the check in counter are some lockers and a few massage chairs. The rest of the lounge opens up on your left.
There was a lot of seating and a business center.
At the other end of the lounge were the food and refreshments. There were some snacks and spirits on one side of the counter.
On the other side, there were cold drinks, noodles, fried rice, and a pho station where an attendant will make you a bowl of pho.
There is also a table of fruits, sweets, and other foods to pick from.
We grabbed a drink and then walked over to try out the massage chairs. They were amazing and turned out to be a great idea before getting on a long flight.
Because of the awesome massages, we waited until the last-minute to leave the lounge. We got to the gate just in time and were literally the last ones to board.
We had seats 1D and 1E, making a point to avoid A/B or J/K because of no direct aisle access.
We boarded late so qcouldn’t take pictures of our seats. This is what seats 2J and 2K look like.
On board, we were served a welcome drink and given a menu to order our meals. The flight attendants came around and took orders before takeoff. There was one flight attendant who was visibly stressed and unhappy. We thought she would lighten up during the trip, but we were wrong, as she kept it up the entire way to Istanbul. We were further disappointed when we interacted with the head flight attendant and she was also cold and rude.
Shortly after takeoff, the service began. I was impressed by the amount of effort the workers put into dinner service. They started by setting the table and serving warm nuts and an apertif. I had a glass of champagne. QL had dozed off by now and she ended up sleeping through nearly the entire flight.
The crew then passed out battery-powered “candles” to enhance the ambiance.
They then passed out bread, oil, butter, seasoning and these tiny little salt and pepper shakers, which were magnetic and connected to the serving dish.
Each flight has a chef on board. It was pretty fun to see the chef dressed in style.
To start, I had some tuna, a beef roll, and a prawn cake. I also had a cup of the zucchini soup. The presentation all around was beautiful, especially considering we were five miles in the sky. The food tasted ok. I liked the soup a lot.
For the main, I had the grilled cod. It was good and reminded me of Portuguese Bacalau.
When dessert was served it was also beautiful. I had the ginger chocolate cake and tiramisu. Again, both were ok. I should have tried the key lime cheesecake.
After dinner, I asked the flight attendant to help make the bed and went to the bathroom. The bathroom wasn’t very big, but it was accented with plants. It also had Molton Brown lotion and soap, which was a nice touch.
The amenity kit they provided was from Bentley. It had a toothbrush, hand lotion, and lip balm, among other items.
When I returned to my seat, the attendant had laid out the bedding. She had brought a mattress pad, pillow and comforter. The seat was much narrower compared to Singapore’s but I was still able to sleep for a few hours before waking for breakfast.
Breakfast was less of a show and more efficient than dinner was. It was served in two courses. The first course was a plate of fruits, cheeses, butter, jam, and honey. We were also served yogurt and coffee.
Next they served fried eggs, which were well cooked at 30,000 feet. If only they had some soy sauce.
The plates were cleared, they continued to offer coffee and tea, and shortly after we landed in Istanbul.
Overall, Turkish Airlines Business Class product felt a little amateurish. That makes sense given it hasn’t been doing this very long and is still figuring things out. On this flight, the food service and presentation were excellent, however the comfort/space of the plane, and attitude of the flight attendants were poor. I’m glad we flew it so we could try out the product. Going forward, we’ll try to stick with other Asian carriers for long-haul flights to Asia, but we’d fly Turkish again. Hopefully its flight attendants check their attitudes at the gate next time.