This week, San Francisco International welcomed Turkish Airlines inaugural Boeing 777 flight from Istanbul, and TravelSkills was there on the runway to capture the moment. (I was there broadcasting live using the new Periscope app in my iPhone. Are you on it yet? If so, be sure and follow me!)
Turkish is pushing hard for the Bay Area tech crowd, and even created a special livery (above) to commemorate the new flight. The B777 on the route sports a colorful mural of San Francisco in the left side of the plane, and a similar mural of Istanbul on the right side.
>Clearly hoping to appeal to techies, Turkish created a clever riff on HBO’s Silicon Valley TV series with a video (see below) and a sponsored post on BuzzFeed about why SF and Istanbul are two long lost sister cities.
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>San Francisco is the carrier’s seventh U.S. destination. It also flies to: Boston, Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York, and Washington DC. Atlanta is rumored to be its next destination, and it did not go unnoticed on us that the carrier’s newly appointed PR company is located there.
>Turkish is fast growing, with a modern fleet and easy (but crowded) hub in Istanbul. It’s an excellent new option for travelers headed to Greece (one stop SFO-Mykonos!), or elsewhere in Eastern Europe. It’s also competing with the big UAE carriers like Emirates and Etihad for tech travelers headed to India. For example, it competes with Etihad and United for the shortest flight times (21-23 hours each way, one stop) between SFO and Mumbai..
>The flight time between LA or San Francisco and Istanbul is around 12-13 hours depending on winds. From the east coast, flight time is around 10-11 hours.
>On its Boeing 777-300ER serving SFO, Turkish offers 300 economy seats, and 49 flat bed business class seats, but no premium economy, as you’ll find on LAX-IST. All seats are leather and have individual on-demand video entertainment screens at every seat on its 777s. Plus there’s wi-fi onboard and it’s free in business class.
>Turkish is a member of the Star Alliance. Business class passengers get access to United’s business class lounge at SFO’s International Terminal G.
Have you flown Turkish Airlines yet? What did you think? Please leave your comments below.