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Friday, June 21, 2024
HomeIraqBaghdadThis Flight Is Bound for Baghdad: IST to BGW Turkish Flight Review

This Flight Is Bound for Baghdad: IST to BGW Turkish Flight Review

Turkish Istanbul Baghdad Flight Review is part of the Iraq Homecoming Trip Report.

Are you ready for Turkish Airlines Flight Reviews? As part of my RTW ticket (see 25,000 Mile RTW Trip Including Iraq Booked!, I made great use of ANA’s flexible routing options to add many new countries to my Country Count List (see Where I’ve Been). While flying direct is the most optimal way to book such a ticket, I had no choice but to transit in Istanbul over and over, and over, and over again. Accordingly, I have these eight flight reviews to share:

  1. VIL to IST
  2. IST to BGW
  3. BSR to IST 
  4. IST to TUN
  5. TUN to IST 
  6. IST to TBS
  7. TBS to IST 
  8. IST to DOH 

Passenger: Excuse me, is this gate A9?

Agent: Where are you going?

Passenger: Cancun. What’s this line for?

Agent: Baghdad

Passenger: Oh

Walks off gingerly.  

a building with two doors and a sign

a sign on a wall

On my 40th birthday, my journey to my homeland for the first time was underway (see Iraqi Homecoming Trip Report: An Introduction)!

Unlike my Turkish flight from Vilnius to Istanbul (see Vilnius to IST: Turkish Flight Review 1 out of 8) and unlike previous Turkish flights in general, this one did not disappoint.


Flying the A320 neo was incomparable to the standard A321. There was a crisp TV screen, large chairs, and a footrest where I could actually rest my feet.a seat in an airplane a tv on a plane


I’ve joked in the past that it’s not that Turkish flight attendants are mean or indifferent, it’s that something is lost in translation. I hypothesized that “You, food?” in a sharp tone may not sound warm, but it is not purposefully mean (see Turkish Business Beirut to Istanbul: Lamb Chop!).

On this flight, there was nothing lost in translation. Everything was ‘sir this’ and ‘madame that.’ The service was impeccable.


There was no alcohol on the flight but the OJ was freshly squeezed (contrast LOT’s JFK-WAW Tropicana offering). Other juices were available as well.

a glass of pink liquid with a straw in it
Sour cherry juice? No, thank you.

Pillow and blanket

I was freezing from Vilnius to Istanbul and was not offered either a pillow or a blanket. On this night flight to Baghdad, I was offered both.


The food was terrible on the last flight from Vilnius to Istanbul. On this flight, the simple appetizer was great. The croissant, though a no-no on the travel diet (see A Holiday of Healthy, Tipsy, & on Budget? Basically Impossible) was appropriately hot, and the mushroom omelet, though not spectacular, was good enough.a plate of food on a table a plate of food on a tray


I passed out on the last flight but have had the chance to peruse the in-flight entertainment on this one. While the TV comedy shows were sparse, the movie selection was full of favorites. Since I will be flying Turkish six more times on this RTW trip (see 25,000 Mile RTW Trip Including Iraq Booked!), that was good to know.


There was 1GB of free Wi-Fi for business class.


Although it was 3:30AM and I should have slept, I refused to do so. I was taking in the experience. I never thought I would visit Baghdad and now I was minutes away from arriving. a screenshot of a map

a view of a river from an airplane window
Tigris River


I’ve landed in hundreds of cities but nothing will compare to touching down in Baghdad on my 40th. To think, had my parents not emigrated to the US, this could have been my home airport. Beyond that, it is eerie to imagine all that has transpired at this airport. It used to be called Saddam Hussein International Airport, SDA. After the US invasion, the name was changed to Baghdad International Airport, BGA.  an airplane on the runway airplanes on the tarmac a plane on the tarmac a large building with many windows and a parking lot


Thank you Turkish for taking me home for the first time in comfort and style.


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