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 a wide variety of aircraft including Boeing 777-300ERs that fly ultra-long routes as well as 787-9 Dreamliners and Airbus A330s and A350s. Its older planes has a disappointing 2-3-2 setup with a middle seat on the B777s and 2-2-2 on the A330s. Considering that most airlines now offer 1-2-1 as a standard configuration in Business Class, many of the Turkish Airlines aircraft lag behind the industry standard. Even so, the beds go flat or can be adjusted to lounge position, and there is plenty of storage space - as well as space to manoeuvre to the aisle. Luckily, a privacy screen can be drawn on either side - if you get stuck in a centre seat. A benefit of the older configuration is that there is plenty of leg space, even when sleeping.
On the Boeing 777-300ER, the Business Class cabin is divided into two sections with the galley separating them. There is also a galley in the front part of the cabin, and the centre galley often prepares meals for economy meaning that bulky carts move through the second cabin that can be disturbing to 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 over the old and provides much better privacy, the new seats are relatively narrow.
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.
While Turkish does not offer dine on demand, 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 for the pre-landing meal so that you do not have to be woken up too early. Even the bread plate has a cutout for olive oil and two magnetic salt and pepper shakers that are shaped like minarets.
After takeoff, 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 as well as 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. Typically, there are three main dish choices: 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 want 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. 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.
On long flights, there are some light refreshments set up in the galley.
Before landing a second meal is served based on the time of day and includes a choice of hot dishes as well as appetiser. The quantity and quality of food on Turkish is exceptional.
Before takeoff, passengers can choose between a variety of juices or water. The airline rarely provides Champagne before departure, unlike other airlines, although some flight attendants will pop a cork for you on request. The printed menus detail the many options available once inflight. Top-ups are always available, but flight attendants are less forward with them so you will have to ask.
Between meals, crew rarely pass through the cabin - so you may have to venture to the galley for a refill.
Expect a wide variety of fresh juices squeezed before the flight, numerous types of soft drinks, still or sparkling water, and ayran (a traditional Turkish yogurt drink). Turkish and American coffee plus a long list of wellness teas are also on offer. 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. 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.
Turkish Efes is the standard beer option, but there are other international varieties 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.
During the flight, Business Class passengers receive a bottle of water at their seats although beverages are available at any time.
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 there is something we missed.
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 are activated via touch as well as 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 both global and contemporary music, Hollywood films and short subject programs including sitcoms and cartoons for children.
Noise-reducing Denon headphones are available at each seat, but they are collected 30 minutes before landing.
Most Turkish long-haul aircraft feature Wi-Fi, and it is complimentary for Business class passengers with a data cap. Elite members in the Miles & Smiles program seated in Business Class enjoy unlimited data.
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 WiFi and inflight entertainment.
Separate male and female amenity kits are another perk of Business Class, but Turkish does not seem to have one design. They work with a variety of partners so you will see different products on different flights. These can include brands including Versace, Molton Brown and Porsche Design. They come well-stocked with useful inflight accessories including eyeshades, ear plugs, socks and dental kits. Turkish also provides day blankets, slippers and shoe bags.
Turkish Airlines has introduced new bedding that includes a plush pillow, a thick velvet-touch blanket, and 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 privide dedicated amenity kits specially designed for its youngest Business Class passengers - a nice touch. Families traveling 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 planes used on shorter flights has 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. These planes also use trays for meals 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 a long-haul flight.
Unlike most other airlines, Turkish provides amenity kits on many of its short and medium haul flights. The airline has teamed up with one of the country’s most distinguished painters, Devrim Erbil, to provide collectible amenity kits, designed with eight different artworks each representing one of the unique symbolic buildings in Istanbul. The eye-catching colorful and vivid images are applied on Saffiano leather bags via digital printing technique.
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 moisturizer. Each kit also includes a small brochure with a quotation from Erbil and information about the featured artwork.
The airline takes the environment seriously, and last year alone, it conducted 19 internal audits to review its policies and efforts to find new ways to reduce energy use. For example, the airline avoided the use of more than 12 million plastic bags last year choosing instead to provide things like toys for kids and headsets to business class unwrapped.
Crews help to sort inflight waste for recycling, and in the cockpit, more efficient route planning and taxiing allows for less fuel use. Turkish is continuing a study on microalgae-based sustainable jet fuel.
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.