About a week ago a Germanwings copilot crashed a passenger plane into the French Alps, killing everyone on board. Not only is this sad for the families and loved ones of the deceased, but terrifying for anyone who flies around Europe on a regular basis.
We were already skeptical about flying with Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia (there's actually not many other affordable choices when flying to Bali)... now we were getting the chills at the thought of flying anywhere with any airlines, especially long haul to the European continent.
We decided not to go with anything that flew over Ukraine or Russia, didn't want to go through Oslo again, and were not keen on flying with Air Asia the whole way. Left with just two choices, flying through Dubai with Emirates or stopping in Istanbul with Turkish Airlines, we decided to go with Turkish to collect points in our Miles&More program.
Our flight from Kuala Lumpur to Istanbul came with two meals included in the price.
When booking online we had the opportunity to choose what kind of meal we'd like to receive while on board. The dietary choices are pretty much the same as on any long flight; low calorie, Hindu, vegetarian, vegan, lactose-free, etc. I chose to try Kosher. After all, I've always been fascinated by Judaism and I've never had a special in-flight meal. Tomy jumped on the bandwagon with his selection of a low calorie meal.
Turns out that the special meals arrive significantly sooner than the regular meals. I was happy to receive my box of kosher treats with a sticker stating the date on which the food was prepared (only the day before!). Certified fresh, I was asked to open the box myself before my food could be heated. While everybody else was chewing on their rubbery chicken penne, I got to feast on a beef with peas meal with compote and blessed bread roll on the side. Tomy's low calorie meal was also a winner! Instead of pasta with chicken he got to munch on a salmon filet and small dessert.
The one not so awesome thing about ordering a religious meal on any airline is the reaction of the flight attendant serving you and the possibility of also being judged by your fellow passengers. Growing with a Jewish sounding last name (Fiedler) made for many experiences like this. If you're okay with the chances of being judged, I recommend you definitely try the Kosher meal!
Choosing your seat on the plane is actually pretty important.
Normally we like to book the seats with extra leg room, right near the emergency exits. Not just for comfort, but for the sake of saving lives if something goes wrong. Unfortunately we didn't have much of a choice when reserving this flight just a week and a half before take off. We ended up right behind the legroom seats, where two Turkish passengers switched to before we got the chance.
The seats on this particular airbus were outdated but clean. The armrests still had the old remote control built in, but the monitors were updated to touch screen (probably about 5 years ago). Sitting in economy didn't make our flight any more comfortable than the average, but some of the small details provided by Turkish made it easier.
Some time before lights out flight attendants came around to pass out small bags of complimentary items. An eye mask, foam ear plugs, socks, a toothbrush with mini toothpaste, and lip balm. The best of the package was definitely the lip balm and socks!