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Şebnem Akalın

Low Cost Flight, Business Class Lounge

Issue 16 - 2023
Low Cost Flight,  Business Class Lounge

Every flight, every journey begins with a story written by each passenger through their personal experience with the airport, airline, and the city. It begins from the moment you see the airport departure sign until the airplane touches down on the runway on your way back home.

Even with the thrill of buying the plane ticket, securing your hotel reservation, anticipation builds as you daydream about places you have decided to visit and your tastebuds are eager to experience new types of food; all of this excites us before the holiday.  The real excitement truly begins the moment you step into the airport, and you feel like you could be another person for couple of days in an unknown city.

In this article we’ve captured our passenger perspective for you on board Pegasus airlines as we travelled to experience the unknown. Pegasus airlines is one of Türkiye’s successful low-cost airlines. Our three-hour flight started from Sabiha Gökçen airport enroute to Cologne-Bonn airport.

As Pegasus Airlines is a low-cost airline, it is very important to plan your holiday by paying close attention to the packages you receive and their contents. We first took the most basic packages and then shaped them as we wanted. In doing so, the flight can be enriched with content depending on your preferences and will be very comfortable. If you have the idea to go to your destination with less luggage and turn back with more, low-cost airlines allow you do that. You are able to increase your weight allowance on the way back home and pay accordingly in advance to avoid any hassles.

Make your low-cost airline most like to Premium class…

As humans we enjoy the freedom of choice and the prospect of advantages in life, and this should also be available in every moment of our lives. So why should that matter less when traveling? I don't know if it's because we chose it ourselves, but Pegasus airlines' food always tastes better to me, especially if you're celebrating a special day, the cake served on board is delicious.

However, the main meal options are somewhat limited on board so if you are a frequent flyer, it is very likely that all passengers are eating the same meals. Alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink options were also reasonable, but few were loaded for purchase, and some seats were served in turns, so the choices were considerably reduced.

Airport…

I have always loved airports, it always seems like they are the key to saving a memory, the key to the door that opens with new excitement and memories to new places.

If you want to travel low cost but live the experience of Business Class in the airport, here is an essential tip; get into a lounge. Some of the lounges will require some travel cards or bank cards and you’ll need to make a reservation. Before this trip, I enjoyed the Plaza Premium Group Bosphorus Lounge, one of the 2 Lounges in the International Terminal. Plaza Premium Group brought a new face to the Sabiha Gökçen Airport with two Lounges. Sabiha Gökçen airport has a relatively smaller Lounge due to the fact that it is a city airport, but it hosts many travelers at every time of the day with its resting areas and food court.  These types of lounges are relatively quiet compared to other points of the airport. These lounges were renovated and completely made from scratch to operate with a reservation system. While awaiting your boarding time, you can taste the delicious food as you wish from the open buffet, sip your coffee in the morning or enjoy a glass of wine accompanied by your afternoon snack. If you don't want to miss your flight by relaxing too much, be sure to check your flight status from the conveniently located arrival/departure screen displays. 

And now we are seated on the plane, boarding has been completed and we’ve heard the voice on the intercom say ‘cabin crew slides armed and cross check’ we are ready to fly… Our flight took off smoothly as we settled into the seats we had chosen and purchased beforehand.  Then the comforting voice of our female pilot provided an announcement from the cockpit.  Pegasus Airlines is one of today's airlines that places a high level of importance on Gender Balance, and the voice coming from the cockpit deepened our trust in both the airline and our pilot. 

Our journey begins with the Airbus 321 Neo aircraft named Zeynep Ela.

The seats were wide enough and clean. If you are traveling with a low-cost airline, knowing that comfort is limited and you want the best situation possible, the best will be determined by your own preferences. If you place an order for your flight in advance, your order will be delivered to you correctly, but on our flight we were informed that there were not many options left for the passengers who didn’t preorder and would order in flight, and sometimes there was nothing left or very little to choose from. Keep in mind, especially since the plane that flies to Cologne in the morning, taking passengers on the return, returns to Türkiye, the food and drinks that are loaded from the airport are sold out on the outbound flight, and unfortunately, there won’t be many options in terms of eating and drinking, and of course, it may not be very pleasant.

We had ordered hot meals, sandwiches, and a celebration cake for this flight in advance and during our flight we had kind of a small party with sparkling wine and the other drinks we ordered. Unfortunately, we couldn’t have the second round of drinks as the availability of items loaded was limited, but enough to enjoy the flight. The crew was incredibly kind, caring and smiling. As we all know the cabin crew is always there for our safety, providing comfort and assistance during the flight.

Here we are… Cologne.

Cologne is one of the greatest cities in Germany, situated on the Rhine and with the presence of Cologne Cathedral, this city is absolutely worth a visit. This Gothic cathedral was laid on the Feast of the Assumption of Mary on 15 August 1248. The previous building was apparently no longer deemed impressive enough to house the remains of the Three Wise Men, which Archbishop Rainald von Dassel had brought to Cologne from Milan after the latter city was conquered in 1164. Because of these relics, the cathedral became one of the most important places of pilgrimage in Europe. Its two massive towers have dominated the city’s skyline since their completion in 1880. At 157.38 meters, the northern tower is 7cm taller than the southern one. The cathedral covers almost 8,000 square meters of floor space and can hold more than 20,000 people. Due to the building’s impressive Gothic architecture, the shrine of the Three Wise Men, the outstanding stained-glass windows and the many other important works of art, UNESCO declared Cologne Cathedral a World Heritage Site in 1996.

The city is also a city of culture with its many museums. The Chocolate Museum is one of the sweetest museums and is one of the first stops for travelers, the reason is that there is no better reason than starting a holiday sweet. While visiting the Chocolate the museum, you'll walk through a 10-meter-high tropical garden of live cacao trees, learn more about the production of chocolate and observe the casting process of chocolate figures.

You will also see the five-thousand-year history of cocoa, covering the mystical ceremonies of Central America and the luxury drink of the European aristocracy through to the instantly available treat that it has become today.

When you are done eating chocolate, you can visit Ludwig Museum or The Roman-Germanic Museum. Our first stop was the Roman-Germanic Museum. This museum is located in the city of Cologne and carries the traces of Roman history that you often feel and notice while walking on the streets of the city.  It is one of the stops you should take time for.

The Romano-Germanic Museum was opened in 1974 on the former site of a Roman urban villa just to the south of the cathedral. It was the result of the fusion of two collections owned by the City of Cologne: The Roman collection that, since 1935, had formed the Roman and Germanic Departments of the Wallraf-Richartz Museum, and the collection of the Prehistoric Museum, known since 1926 as the Museum of Prehistory and Early History.

Museum Ludwig is so close to the Romano and Germanic Museum, and you can literally step into it in just a few minutes. If you’re an art lover, Museum Ludwig is one of the places you absolutely need to visit in Cologne.

At Museum Ludwig on display you’ll discover the world’s third-largest Picasso collection, masterpieces of Expressionism and the New Objectivity style, photographs from the beginnings of photography to the present day, works by significant representatives of the Russian avant-garde, and contemporary art.  Museum Ludwig established its Photography Collection in 1977 and has become one of the first museums of modern art to permanently include photography as an art form in its inventory of exhibits. The Ludwig collection comprises 70,000 photographic works, ranging from the beginnings of photography to the present day. Selections from the total inventory are presented on a rotating basis in order to preserve the photosensitive display pieces over the long term.

If you are tired of visiting museums and need a break for a cup of coffee, a nice lunch or a couple of drinks, you have many choices. As the city has different cultures, you’ll find restaurants for every kind of taste. But I suggest you try German cuisine; you can try beer houses for local tastes and beers. Specifically order Kölsch and enjoy the view of the river.

Cologne is a nice city and worth visiting. The best times for visiting the city is Spring and Autumn but in winter we had great time visiting museums, tasting great food in cozy restaurants.  Don’t miss out on talking a walk on Hohenzollern Bridge at sunset and be sure to visit the Botanical Garden established in the 19th century.  As your trip comes to an end you’ll realize that there are more things to do and see in this quaint city and you’ll will find yourself dreaming of your next trip to this beautiful city, watching the passing of ships on the river.


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