Turkish Airlines flies to more destinations than any other airline, and its route map spans five continents. The airline connects the world via its new Istanbul Airport hub. Most notable for the airline is the range of cities it serves - often destinations that few other network carriers fly to. Turkish Airlines is an integral part of the global transportation and logistics network.
The airline does not skimp on amenities for Business Class passengers, which is important as Turkish does not offer a First Class cabin. Business Class passengers enjoy the best of the best when flying Turkish. Its culinary program - in partnership with Do & Co - is among the best of any airline globally. You will not go hungry when flying Turkish, and the experience is memorable.
While several aspects of the Turkish Airlines Business Class experience meet and indeed exceed industry best practice, the airline also has a challenge with inconsistency. Two of the most important elements of any Business Class product are seats and service, and on Turkish both can range from underwhelming to world class. If you fly on an aircraft offering the latest cabin products and the crew is at their best - Turkish Airlines Business Class can be top notch.
Miles & Smiles is the airline’s loyalty program offering great value for members looking to earn and redeem miles. Turkish is also part of Star Alliance. Members of any alliance loyalty program can earn and redeem miles flying with the carrier. Partner airlines include Air New Zealand, ANA, Austrian, Ethiopian, Lufthansa, Swiss International, SAS, Thai and United. No matter what class of service elite status cardholders are flying, they are welcome to use extra perks including priority check-in, boarding lines or lounges when travelling with Turkish.
A few years ago Turkish moved its entire Istanbul operation to a gleaming new airport terminal with natural light, beautiful architecture and plenty of space. This was designed to handle the airline’s many flights and connecting passengers. Those starting their trip in Istanbul will find lots of check-in counters and security lanes - with some dedicated to those in the premium cabin. Waits are rarely long, and once through security, there is plenty of duty-free shopping and dining to entertain you.
Even better is the airline’s lounge product that offers a range of Turkish and international cuisine. You will find handmade manti (meat dumplings), Turkish pide (like pizza), fresh pasta and grilled meats, nearly a dozen types of fresh salads and a dessert station that would make any dietician blush. The bar includes a global selection of beer, wine and spirits. Children are afforded a play area, as do adults, thanks to billiard tables, video games and golf simulators.
The lounge has a cinema, work stations, sleeping rooms, showers and even a roving massage therapist. You will want to budget plenty of time to enjoy all the lounge has to offer.
One criticism of the airport is that when aircraft land, the taxi times can be quite long from the runway to the terminal. This can chip away at your transit (and lounge) time. Inside the airport, the walks from one end of the terminal to another can be tremendous with few moving walkways to expedite the journey. Plan accordingly as the transit experience in such a big airport can require patience.
In most other cities, Business Class passengers receive access to a partner or third-party lounge where they can enjoy pre-flight refreshments or get some work done. Turkish Airlines also operates a small network of its own lounges in a few cities including Bangkok, Nairobi, Miami and Washington Dulles.
Turkish has various aircraft, including Boeing 777-300ERs that fly ultra-long routes and 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A330s and A350s. Its older planes have a disappointing 2-3-2 setup with a middle seat on the B777s and 2-2-2 on the A330s. Since most airlines now offer 1-2-1 as a standard configuration in Business Class, many Turkish Airlines aircraft need to meet the industry standard. Even so, the beds go flat or adjusted to lounge position with footrests for added comfort, and there is plenty of storage space and space to manoeuvre to the aisle. A privacy screen can be drawn on either side if stuck in a centre seat. A benefit of the older configuration is plenty of leg space, even when sleeping.
On the Boeing 777-300ER, the Business Class cabin divides into two sections, with the galley separating them. There is also a galley in the front of the cabin, and the centre galley often prepares meals for economy, meaning that bulky carts move through the second cabin that can disturb other passengers.
The B787-9 and A350-900 all have a 1-2-1 setup with the airline's latest inflight product. These seats, too, have fully-flat and lounging capabilities at the touch of a button. Privacy is best on the solo window seats, while couples may prefer having the centre section of two seats. While the new cabin design represents a significant upgrade and provides much better privacy from the curved, high-sided shell of the seats, the new seats are slightly narrower than the old product.
No matter what the aircraft, you will find power and USB outlets, side pockets for storage and a plump blanket, duvet and slippers. When you are ready for sleep, a mattress pad is available on the airline's longest flights for extra comfort.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes images, videos, and seat maps for most airlines and aircraft Search results also include details such as seat pitch, width and recline. This way, you can see the seat and cabin configuration of the flight in which you are interested before making your choice.
The inflight service will blow you away. On many flights, you will find chefs working in the cabin. Their primary role is to set up the multi-tiered trolleys, serve passengers and plate the dishes. The experience is very much like a restaurant down to small details like a faux candle placed at your seat for a bit of romantic appeal and a breakfast card to complete the pre-landing meal so that you do not have to be woken up too early. Even the bread plate has a cut-out for olive oil and two magnetic salt and pepper shakers shaped like minarets.
Business Class passengers on intercontinental flights to and from Istanbul can make meal selections with a requested time of service to suit the passenger's needs. That means passengers will have the chance to enjoy uninterrupted sleep or catch up with the latest movies. Main course meals can be viewed (with photos) on the airline's website and selected at least 48 hours before your flight.
After take-off, the meal begins with a drink from the bar plus a ramekin of nuts or assorted canapes. Printed menus outline the service fliers will enjoy, and the chef stops by to answer questions and take the main dish order.
Appetisers and salads arrive on a beautifully arranged trolley where the meal is served family style. You can point to things that look appealing or leave it up to the crew to give you a sampling of everything. It includes a lovely Turkish mezze spread and a variety of warm bread and vegetarian options. On some flights, soup is also served as a course.
The presentation is often restaurant-style, meaning there are no trays with the designer plates and silverware placed directly on your linen-lined tray table. There are typically three main dishes: beef, chicken or seafood and a pasta. At least one of the dishes has Turkish influence, which is a lovely effort, especially for passengers simply connecting in Turkey and wanting to taste some of the local flavours.
The dessert trolley soon follows and is chock full of cakes, sweets, fresh fruit, cheese and other treats. Ice cream and Turkish pastries are often the highlights. Another cart follows with after-dinner drinks, coffee and tea, complemented by Turkish delight. Flight attendants dispense Turkish tea in traditional cups from a metal urn for that final note of elegant service. The meal service is somewhat of a production and a highlight when flying Turkish.
Intercontinental flights provide passengers with a snack menu containing dried fruits, mixed nuts, cookies, crackers and crips, chocolate and fresh fruit. Snacks are also available on some international flights.
Before landing, a second meal is served based on the time of day and includes a choice of hot dishes and an appetiser. Intercontinental flight breakfasts have three main course options, including pancakes and French toast. The quantity and quality of food on Turkish is exceptional.
Before takeoff, passengers can choose between a variety of juices or water. Unlike other airlines, the airline rarely provides Champagne before departure, although some flight attendants will pop a cork for you on request. The printed menus detail the many options available once in flight. Top-ups are always available, but flight attendants are less forward with them, so you must ask.
The crew rarely pass through the cabin between meals, so you may have to venture to the galley for a refill.
Expect a wide variety of fresh juices squeezed before the flight, including homemade lemonade with fresh mint or freshly squeezed orange juice, numerous soft drinks, still or sparkling water, and homemade ayran (a traditional Turkish yoghurt drink). Turkish and American coffee and a long list of wellness teas are also available. Children will find treats of their own, including chocolate milk.
In the air, Turkish generally offers three white wines, a sparkling wine, a rose wine and five red wines of Turkish and international origin. Often, however, not all are boarded on the plane, but be sure to ask. There is always a selection of Turkish wine. Typically, there is also a dessert wine and Port on offer. The Champagne on offer is Taittinger Brut Réserve. Delicious mocktails and detox drinks are also offered on the latest drinks menus.
Turkish Efes is the standard beer option, but other international varieties are sometimes available. There is a long list of spirits, liqueurs and digestifs on flights, including Jim Beam Bourbon Black, Absolute Black Vodka, Grand Marnier and Chivas Regal 12. Of course, there is also raki, a Turkish spirit that is a strong favourite of many passengers.
Business Class passengers receive a bottle of water during the flight at their seats, although beverages are available anytime.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on which Champagne is served in Business Class and First Class on many airlines. We do our best to keep track of any changes but feel free to let us know if we missed something.
Turkish crews vary quite a bit from friendly and proud of their home country to indifferent and shy. Some have a better command of English than others, but you will never have a problem finding someone that speaks fluent English. There are fewer flight attendants that speak the language of destination, however, which means if you are flying to – for example - Uzbekistan, non-English speakers may need some help.
Unfortunately, between meal services, flight attendants rarely pass through the cabin offering service - you will need to ring your call light or go to the galley yourself.
Large entertainment screens activate via touch and remote control, and the spectrum of programming depends on the aircraft, with newer planes (like the Dreamliner or A350) having more responsive systems with more variety. You will find global and contemporary music, Hollywood films and short subject programs, sitcoms and cartoons for children. Those passengers wishing to check flight progress can watch a 3-dimensional inflight plane tracker.
Noise-reducing Denon headphones are available at each seat but collected 30 minutes before landing.
Most Turkish long-haul aircraft feature Wi-Fi, which is complimentary for Business Class passengers with a data cap of 1 GB. Elite members in the Miles & Smiles program seated in Business Class enjoy unlimited data.
A new initiative sees Miles&Smiles member passengers enjoying free and unlimited messaging services on international flights where internet access is available. Passengers can use WhatsApp, iMessage and Messenger, among others. Non-Miles&Smiles members can apply for membership before or during the flight to take advantage of this helpful service.
International newspapers are available during boarding, and the airline's inflight magazine is in the seat pocket. It includes excellent maps of the carrier's route network.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on Wi-Fi and inflight entertainment.
Separate male and female amenity kits are another perk of long-haul Business Class. Male passengers receive a designer kit bag by Hackett London, and females a kit by Coccinelle. They come well-stocked with useful inflight accessories, including good-quality eyeshades, ear plugs, socks and dental kits. Turkish also provides day blankets, slippers and shoe bags.
Turkish Airlines has introduced new bedding, including a plush pillow, a thick velvet-touch blanket, and a mattress protector.
Molton Brown or Turkish orange-scented air freshener and hand lotion await passengers in the lavatories. The provided hot towels are a refreshing way to begin a meal on long-haul flights.
Turkish Airlines provides dedicated amenity kits specially designed for its youngest Business Class passengers - a nice touch. Families travelling with infants can request seats suitable for a bassinet; these should be reserved in advance to guarantee availability.
Turkish operates shorter flights on a mix of widebody and narrowbody planes. Some aircraft have recliner-style seats in Business Class, which do not go fully flat. This is most common on its Boeing 737 and Airbus A321 planes that the airline operates on medium-haul flights overnight to many African and Central Asian cities. These can be a disappointment, and a handful of aircraft used on shorter flights have economy class-style seating in Business Class with the centre seat blocked. You can see these details on the seat map before booking a flight.
While the seating can vary wildly, the menu remains impressive, although narrowbody planes are less likely to have the full trolley presentation. Some routes use meal trays instead of placing the dishes directly on the linen-lined table. Still, the number of main dish choices and high-quality food and drink are available.
You will notice that wine, however, is served from splits rather than the full bottle on these shorter flights, and there are far fewer choices available than on a long-haul flight.
Unlike most other airlines, Turkish provides amenity kits on flights between 5 and 8 hours. The airline has teamed up with one of the country's most distinguished painters, Devrim Erbil, to provide collectable amenity kits designed with eight different artworks, each representing one of the unique symbolic buildings in Istanbul. The eye-catching colourful, and vivid images are applied on Saffiano leather bags via digital printing.
The short-haul amenity kits include an eye mask, earplugs, non-slip socks, dental care set containing toothpaste, and New Zealand brand Antipodes hand cream and lip moisturiser. Each kit also includes a small brochure with a quotation from Erbil and information about the featured artwork.
The airline takes the environment seriously, aiming to become a carbon-neutral airline by 2050 by implementing carbon emission offsetting projects. In 2022, Turkish won the Airline Sustainability Innovation of the Year prize awarded by CAPA for helping to develop the world's first carbon-negative sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) with its microalgae-based sustainable bio-jet fuel project.
The number of next-generation aircraft in the fleet will increase, as will the consumption of SAFs. On the ground, the airline is expanding the number of buildings boosting renewable energy.
The flight search on BusinessClass.com includes information on CO2 emissions for each flight. Our quality algorithms also give a higher score to flights operated by the most modern and environmentally friendly aircraft.
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