Turkish Airlines offers a consistent, above-average product in its European business class. This flight demonstrated, once again, why I enjoy Turkish Airlines so much.
It wasn’t the A330 I thought it would be…I already addressed that in my initial thoughts on this flight. But Turkish Business Class combines the best three elements of a optimal European business class.
- Great Lounge in Istanbul – see my detailed review of the CIP Lounge in IST.
- Great Seat Onboard – while not true on every flight, the vast majority of flights offer a “real” business class seat instead of a coach seat with a blocked middle. Some flights even have fully lie-flat beds.
- Great Food Onboard – often the only difference between economy and business class in Europe is the meal. Turkish never disappoints, with an excellent meal even on shorter flights.
Unfortunately, it was just a codeshare. I have to yet to fly the “Iran Air: The Airline of the Islamic Republic of Iran” (it’s actual name).
Anyway, our aircraft was parked at a remote gate and so a bus was necessary to reach the aircraft. No special bus was offered for business class passengers (though perhaps one would have come later…)
I enjoyed the drive to our aircraft — it’s always fun to be so close to so many beautiful planes.
Istanbul (IST) – Frankfurt (FRA)
Wednesday, December 20
Depart: 9:15 AM
Arrive: 10:35 AM
Duration: 3hr, 20min
Climbing the stairs, I found the business class did not feature lie-flat beds, but still featured seats similar to domestic first class in the USA. That would be fine for this relatively short morning flight to Frankfurt.
Seats were adjustable by manual buttons and USB ports (plus ethernet), power plugs, and headphones jacks were present in the center console.
Upon sitting down, a FA greeted me and took my coat, returning with a drink tray. This morning I chose fresh raspberry juice, which was tremendous.
Newspapers and headphones were also offered. Headphones, by Philips, were noise-cancelling:
A comfortable pillow was already on the seat:
My seatmate, a large Ukrainian man who was having a lively conversation on his phone, settled in and snapped at the FA to bring him some water.
We took off late…as always out of Istanbul…but would make up all the time in the air.
Upon taking off, I checked out the IFE, which was identical to the Los Angeles to Istanbul flight I was connecting from. Kudos to Turkish for offering IFE on flights within Europe, something very few carriers do.
I noticed that The Ottoman Lieutenant was available, the Turkish response to The Promise in touching on the sensitive issue of the Armenian Genocide.
Breakfast is Served
Here’s the breakfast menu and bar card for the flight:
Breakfast service began with a huge tray of items including sliced chicken breast, cheese, peppers, cucumber salad, fresh fruit, and bread. Also on the tray: Turkish butter, honey, and Acuka (walnut and tomato spread).
That was more than enough, but next came the main course. The choices were a tomato and cheese omelet or a Gözleme, a grilled flat pastry stuffed with cheese. I love Gözleme, but feeling like I had a enough carbs with all the pide I had in the lounge, stuck with the omelet.
The food is delicious on Turkish. Always. I’ve never had a bad meal in business class.
With two hours left in the flight, I leaned back and attempted to sleep. The seat felt like it reclined about 20º which is enough to take a nap after working the entire night.
> Read More: Trapped in Istanbul Airport!
It is usually a good sign when your only disappointment on a flight is that the business class seat isn’t good enough. I’m happy to continue to fly Turkish and am already looking forward to my next trip with them.