Coming home from Taiwan, I flew with Turkish Airlines from Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport (TPE) to Istanbul Atatürk Airport on TK25 and then on TK1671 to Cologne Bonn Airport (CGN). So, how was it?
First of all, I was too early at TPE. It was my mistake. I thought T25 took off at 15.15, it was at 22.15. As I arrived at 12.30 at the airport, I had to kill about seven hours before I could check in. What did I do. I walked every possible meter looking for a quiet spot to start typing. I did find a food court with some hidden corners downstairs near the Airport Terminal 2 Station of the Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport Access MRT. The MRT is the Taipei Mass Rapid Transit.
I used the ‘lost’ time typing an article for ZiZo, updating my travel diary which I have written privately for a few friends, I wrote some tips on Taipei and Taiwan for Romain, a French guy I met through Instagram and I wrote some of the articles you will read or have read on Trip By Trip. I also had a very nice meal at Tokyo Curry. It was expensive, some 590 NTD, but it was nice.
Taiwan Taoyuan International Airport
I was the first to check in for TK25 and I was told to make sure my bag got through the scanner. So I did. Security and passport control were both smooth so I had about two hours to roam the transit area.
TPE is huge. It has many walkable kilometers so I did. TPE features themed waiting areas. There’s a Hello Kitty waiting area, a postal service waiting area, some nature and tourism themed ones etcetera. There are plenty of food and beverage possibilities, there’s a gym, a library and obviously souvenir shops, duty free stores and famous retailers present.
The aircraft of TK25 was a Boeing 777-300ER. I flew economy. Leg room is decent, the entertainment system is varied and food is good. After 10 days of Chinese cuisine I had Italian pesto pasta. The cutlery is real cutlery.
I watched a movie, I slept, I had omelette for breakfast and I watched another movie. Before I knew, the 12 hours were over. I sat on a A-seat. While C was occupied, B was empty. It was very nice to have some extra space.
Istanbul Atatürk Airport
IST is gigantic, is busy, is a bit chaotic. It was my second time. While a week earlier I was positively impressed by Atatürk, I wasn’t then. The WiFi played up. Two hours free is a nice amount of time, but it didn’t work well this time. The gate for TK1671 was announced early on, but at the gate itself there were no signs. Also a staff member came just before boarding. This was annoying and confusing.
TK1671 departed late because of traffic and weather. I sat on the emergency exit row. Some people like it very much for the royal legroom, but I don’t. I don’t like having to put my jacket and backpack away. Anyway. For a three hour flight we got full service: a meal and entertainment. But I slept.
Köln Bonn Airport
Flughafen Köln/Bonn ‘Konrad Adenauer’ is too big for its usage. It seems the airport is empty. The walking time between the gate and baggage claim is too short, which makes the waiting time seem longer. But overall CGN is a clean, friendly airport.