If unsold seats remain, Turkish Airlines will sell you an upgrade at the airport.
While checking in for my Los Angeles to Istanbul flight last week, I noticed a small sign in the Star Alliance Gold check-in line:
The price is identical whether you are booked in the cheapest economy class fare bucket or a full-fare economy class seat (which may sometimes be more expensive than a discounted business class seat). It is only available from out-stations, not from flights departing Istanbul.
Is a Turkish Airlines Upgrade Worthwhile?
$1299 is not chump change. It is actually not even a super value considering Turkish Airlines routinely offers reasonably priced business class tickets between the USA and Europe. Even so, for a special occasion this may be worth it.
Business Class includes a beautiful multi-course dining experience, lie-flat bed, room to spread out, and much more personalized service than economy class.
Perhaps, though, the best way to gauge the difference between the economy and business is to read my two reviews:
(note the business class review is just my summary of the flight, not the forthcoming full flight review)
Economy Class on Turkish Airlines is tight. Business Class sure makes the flight more enjoyable. It’s something to at least consider next time you fly on Turkish. If you do not see the sign, just ask.