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Product Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class and Lounge

What Is it: Turkish Airlines’ Business Class service and newly revamped Istanbul airport lounge.

Pros (Lounge):

Let’s start with the lounge, located at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. This is the largest airport lounge we’ve ever seen—and one of the newest. (It was just revamped in 2013). The lounge is over 63,500 square feet, and sprawls over two levels. You’ll find more amenities here than in the entire airport. There’s a fully-stocked library, a children’s playground, pool tables, showers, private rooms for napping, an arcade, and even a golf simulator.

The food options here are great. Not only are there plenty of healthy food and drink options (like a salad bar and a tea garden), but the lounge also has fresh cooked food that can be made to order. There are lots of Turkish specialties—we found foods to sample that we had heard of, but hadn’t found in Istanbul during our trip to try, such as Manti (a pasta dish), Pide (a Turkish pizza) and Simit (kind of like a Turkish bagel) are baked fresh in front of you. A very tempting selection of Turkish desserts are also spread out through the lounge, to accompany your tea or coffee.

Cons (Lounge):

Seriously, the only con of this lounge is that we didn’t have enough time here! Never before have I wished for a flight to get delayed so that I could hang out in an airport longer, but I wouldn’t have minded here.

Pros (Business Class In-Flight Service):

  • Spacious seats with plenty of legroom (22 inches wide)
  • Enough space to store a large carry-on bag in front of you
  • Big overhead bins with plenty of space for the entire cabin
  • Free in-flight WiFi
  • Slippers provided, plus each seat has a little cubby to store your shoes in
  • 180-degree lie-flat seats transform in to a 75-inch long bed, plus each seat is provided with a sleeping pack with a duvet and pillows for extra comfort. (The flight attendants will make up your bed for you when you’re ready).
  • Seats have massaging functions
  • Cup holders located in front of you, in case you don’t want to have your tray table down.
  • Retractable privacy divider can separate you from your neighbor.
  • Great amenities kits. On one flight, we were given a Crabtree and Evelyn amenity kit (in a case that could double as an iPad sleeve), full of luxury items like a Jojoba Oil lip balm, hand lotion, toothbrush and toothpaste, socks, an eye mask, a folding travel brush and comb combo, and a shoe horn. On the return flight, we received a similar kit produced by Porsche.
  • Premium alcohol served for free
  • Noise cancelling headphones provided
  • Large seat-back TV screens offer on-demand entertainment
  • Healthy welcome drinks (fresh juices or water) served as soon as you sit down on the plane. Other healthy drinks were available throughout the flight, including unique tea blends designed to help with ailments just as jet-lag or traveler’s tummy.
  • Meals cooked up by an on-board chef, in a full chef’s outfit. Appetizers are served tapas-style, where you can choose from a number of different options. Your choice of warm, fresh bred accompanies the meal. Main courses always had a vegetarian option, as well as meat/chicken/fish. There’s even a dessert trolley, where you’ll be allowed to pick as many sweet treats as you like—go for the coconut ice cream if it’s on offer!
  • Expedited lines for everything. Business class customers get their own check-in, and they get a dedicated line for customs/security, both entering and exiting countries. This alone made the experience worth it!

Cons (Business Class In-Flight Service):

  • Boarding time—for both of our international flights, Turkish Airline started boarding the plane a full hour before take-off time. While we appreciated an on-time take-off, we really didn’t want to sit on the plane for an hour longer than we had to. (Even if it was in business class)!
  • (Photo: Turkish Airlines)

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