Review: AnadoluJet Ankara to Izmir (Boeing 737-800)

In this review we take a flight from Ankara (ESB) to Izmir (ADB) on a Boeing 737-800 operated by AnadoluJet, a Turkish Airlines subsidiary.

Towards the Aegean coast

After a fantastic train ride on the Dogu Express I found myself at Ankara’s central station.

Unfortunately, I didn’t had much time for sightseeing in Ankara due to the delayed arrival of my train.

I initially planned to have a walk and grab a coffee around Ankara’s citadel (Hisar), an area full of old-style Ottoman houses which I visited once before in the midst of winter more than a decade ago.

However, when I looked at the clock I decided to take a taxi straight to the airport as I’d rather spend some time taking it easy there than hurrying through Ankara on a hot summer day.

Ankara Esenboga Airport

It’s a 28-kilometre drive from the central train station to Ankara Esenboga Airport, the modern airport which serves the Turkish capital.

There was only a short queue for check-in and I managed to snag an emergency exit seat for my AnadoluJet flight.

My impressions of Ankara Esenboga Airport were certainly good as the airport looked bright, clean and neat thanks to all the natural light shining through the glass windows and lots of open spaces.

The domestic terminal – which is much larger than the international one – is centred around a large water feature.

Along the entire length of the gate area you will see a few ponds as well a level down – I quite like the design of it!

ankara esenboga airport check-in anadolujet turkish airlines
Check-in area at Ankara Esenboga Airport. ©Paliparan
ankara esenboga airport
Ankara Esenboga is a neat and modern airport. ©Paliparan
ankara airport
Giant Turkish flag at Ankara Esenboga Airport. ©Paliparan

AnadoluJet and Turkish Airlines

My flight from Ankara to Izmir would be operated by AnadoluJet, which is a sort of low-cost subsidiary of Turkish Airlines.

AnadoluJet mostly operates domestic flights within Turkey and to neighbouring countries in the wider region, although the airline also flies to destinations as far as Germany.

For this, the airline solely uses narrow-body Boeing 737s, namely the Boeing 737-800 and the Boeing 737 MAX 8.

Most of AnadoluJet’s flights are operated out of Ankara and Istanbul’s secondary airport Sabiha Gökçen (SAW), while Turkish Airlines flights use the city’s main international airport (IST).

Both AnadoluJet and Turkish Airlines proper use ‘TK’ as the IATA airline code for their flights, so make sure you read the small print on booking websites whether your flight will be on Turkish Airlines proper or their AnadoluJet subsidiary if this matters to you.

AnadoluJet lounge access

For many years, the biggest difference between Turkish Airlines and AnadoluJet flights had to do with frequent flyer benefits and elite recognition.

One of the main reasons why AnadoluJet was considered to be ‘low-cost’ was the fact that you couldn’t access a Turkish Airlines business lounge before your AnadoluJet flight – something which wasn’t even possible for a Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite member, let alone frequent flyers of other Star Alliance airlines.

Fortunately, the airline has since reversed course and you can now access Turkish Airline and Star Alliance lounges again when flying AnadoluJet.

As this wasn’t implemented yet when I took my AnadoluJet flight, I had to sit somewhere in the terminal of Ankara Airport, which wasn’t too bad as there are quite a few decent places to grab some food or a drink.

airport shops
Airport shops and cafés. ©Paliparan
airport café
There are plenty of cafés at Ankara Esenboga Airport if you want to sit down for a bite or a drink. ©Paliparan
oreo cheesecake
Enjoying some Oreo cheesecake and a Turkish coffee before my flight. ©Paliparan

Boarding

When I approached the departure gate a huge queue had already formed even though there was still no gate agent in sight to start the boarding procedure.

It turned out that boarding of my flight was delayed by 20 minutes as the aircraft which would take me down to Izmir had not yet arrived at the gate.

After a while, both the AnadoluJet Boeing 737-800 and a gate agent showed up and boarding commenced in a chaotic manner with no regard for priority boarding privileges.

airport
Waiting for the plane to arrive. ©Paliparan
anadolujet review boeing 737-800 flight ankara izmir turkish airlines
The AnadoluJet Boeing 737-800 which would operate my flight from Ankara to Izmir. ©Paliparan
anadolujet review boeing 737-800 flight ankara izmir turkish airlines
Walking down the jet bridge towards the Boeing 737-800. ©Paliparan

Ankara (ESB) to Izmir (ADB) on AnadoluJet
Flight TK7008 Boeing 737-800Seat 14F
Departure: 2.15pm
Arrival: 3.35pm
Flight time: 1h20m Distance: 338 miles

ankara izmir flight anadolujet turkish airlines
A flight between Ankara and Izmir takes around an hour. ©Great Circle Mapper

AnadoluJet cabin and seat

Today’s flight to Izmir was absolutely packed and we racked up another 30 minute delay as boarding took forever.

I was seated in 14F, an emergency exit row seat on the starboard side of the plane, and therefore had quite some legroom.

AnadoluJet is an all-economy class airline and as you may expect has rather standard seats in a 3-3 (three abreast) configuration.

If you fly with AnadoluJet in economy class, you won’t really find much of a difference in terms of seat pitch and comfort compared to a flight on a narrow-body Turkish Airlines plane.

For a short domestic flight within Turkey, it was certainly more than acceptable.

However, do note that the AnadoluJet Boeing 737-800 was not configured with power sockets or USB charging ports and that there won’t be any WiFi internet on board either.

anadolujet turkish airlines seat boeing 737-800
Emergency exit seat on the AnadoluJet Boeing 737-800. ©Paliparan

Departure

With a small delay, we were finally pushed back from the boarding gate.

It was a gorgeous summer day for flying and the views over the bleak landscape upon departure from Ankara were quite decent.

ankara esenboga airport anadolujet turkish airlines
Taxiing away from the terminal at Ankara Esenboga Airport. ©Paliparan
ankara departure
Taking off from Ankara Airport. ©Paliparan
ankara airport departure view turkish airlines anadolujet flight
Ankara Esenboga Airport departure view. ©Paliparan

In-flight service

When it comes to in-flight service, there is hardly any difference between AnadoluJet and a mainline Turkish Airline flight.

Just like you get on Turkish Airlines, you will also receive a complimentary snack and some water on your AnadoluJet flight.

The sandwich which was served on my flight to Izmir was actually edible and fairly tasty.

No alcohol is served on domestic flights in Turkey – whether you fly AnadoluJet or Turkish Airlines proper.

anadolujet turkish airlines food
A sandwich and a cup of water was served on this domestic flight on AnadoluJet. ©Paliparan

Arrival

The flight from Ankara to Izmir was rather uneventful and went by fast.

Upon final approach to Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport I however spotted something unusual from the window.

At first instance, it looked like the skies were a bit hazy from smog as visibility decreased as we got closer to Izmir.

However, it turned out there was a large fire somewhere close to Izmir Airport – and the plume of smoke coming from it certainly made for quite a spectacular sight.

Fortunately we landed safely at Izmir Airport, although by now we had racked up a delay of almost an hour.

After a short taxi ride along the international terminal we arrived at our gate at the much busier domestic terminal of Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport.

izmir flight
Approaching Izmir. ©Paliparan
izmir final approach
On final approach towards Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. ©Paliparan
smoke plane anadolujet turkish airlines
A large plume of smoke visible in the distance. ©Paliparan
plume of smoke
The massive plume of smoke somewhere around Izmir Airport. ©Paliparan
izmir international airport terminal
Lufthansa and Sun Express planes parked at the international terminal of Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport. ©Paliparan

Into Izmir

As I was carrying some Georgian wine, I had to check my trolley bag into the hold for the flight to Izmir.

Fortunately, baggage reclaim at Izmir Airport was operating fast this day as my bag arrived within 5 minutes.

As I still had a public transport card for the greater Izmir area with enough credit on it, I could walk straight to the airport’s suburban railway station for the relatively short ride into the city centre.

airport baggage reclaim
Walking from the gate towards the baggage reclaim area. ©Paliparan
izmir airport train station
Waiting on the platform of the train station adjacent to Izmir Airport. ©Paliparan
izmir airport train
Into the suburban commuter train from the airport to Izmir. ©Paliparan

Conclusion

Despite the small delay I had a pleasant and comfortable AnadoluJet flight from Ankara to Izmir.

Seating comfort on AnadoluJet is comparable to any other airline in Turkey or Europe.

Besides, you can’t really complain about the AnadoluJet service as you even get a free snack and some water on a flight of just over an hour in length.

For the average passenger, the differences between Turkish Airlines and its AnadoluJet subsidiary are rather small in terms of comfort and service provided.

The biggest difference can be found in price, as AnadoluJet flights are often cheaper priced than Turkish Airlines-operated domestic flights.

Trip report index

This article is part of the ‘Khachapuri & Kebabs: A Summer Trip to Georgia and Turkey‘ trip report, which consists of the following chapters:

1. Review: Wizz Air Bucharest to Kutaisi (Airbus A320)
2. A Day in Kutaisi, the Charming Capital of Imereti
3. Caves, Churches and Monasteries – A Kutaisi Day Trip
4. Review: My Warm Guest House, Batumi, Georgia
5. Beautiful Batumi – The Pearl of Georgia’s Black Sea Coast
6. From Georgia to Turkey: Batumi to Kars by Bus
7. Review: Kars Konak Hotel, Kars, Turkey
8. A Day Trip From Kars to the Ancient Armenian City of Ani
9. Goose, Cheese and Russian Remnants: A Visit to Kars, Turkey
10. Review: Dogu Express Night Train Kars to Ankara, Turkey
11. Review: AnadoluJet (Boeing 737-800) Ankara to Izmir (current chapter)

** rest of the chapters to follow soon **

koen paliparan rhodes rodos

Koen

Koen works as a freelance journalist covering south-eastern Europe and is the founding father and editor-in-chief of Paliparan. As a contributor to some major Fleet Street newspapers and some lesser known publications in the Balkans, he travels thousands of miles each year for work as well as on his personal holidays. Whether it is horse riding in Kyrgyzstan’s Tian Shan mountains, exploring the backstreets of Bogotá, or sipping a glass of moschofilero in a Greek beachside taverna, Koen loves to immerse himself into the local culture, explore new places and eat and drink himself around the world.

2 thoughts on “Review: AnadoluJet Ankara to Izmir (Boeing 737-800)

  • May 29, 2022 at 9:54 pm
    Permalink

    I like the domestic terminal at ADB and for that matter the international one which when I first visited was the only terminal and it was chaos! The best thing though is a domestic departure from the TK business terminal – it begins to rival the LH F terminal at FRA – you must try it some time!

    Reply
    • koen paliparan rhodes rodos
      May 30, 2022 at 10:08 am
      Permalink

      Had the pleasure a while ago of a private car transfer from the business lounge at Adana Airport over the tarmac to my TK widebody! Quite nice indeed. However, not a fan too much of business lounge boarding at IST when flying economy, as you arrive always as the last passengers on the plane and it can be difficult to find overhead storage space.

      Reply

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