Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge at Istanbul

If there is one place I would love to be stranded, it would be here – The Turkish Airlines Business Class lounge at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport.  This place is so colossal and grand, it takes a good day to really enjoy all the amenities this place has to offer. You have everything you need from a bed, a shower, and plenty of food, to make the long journey even better.  Business Class passengers traveling with Turkish Airlines, Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus cardholders traveling in Comfort or Economy Class, Star Alliance Gold and Turkish Airlines Corporate Club members can use Lounge Istanbul and enjoy all its services.  The place is a like a two level mall, with eateries in just about every corner of the space.  We landed about 5 P.M. local time, and our Kuala Lumpur flight was scheduled to depart at 12:40 A.M., so we had some serious time to burn, and eat, and sleep, and eat some more.  I wasted no time, and headed to the pide station.  As usual, there was a long line of people waiting to get the freshly made, Turkish style pizzas.  They were perfectly made, with minced meat, spices, and a crispy crust.  I also enjoyed an ayran (Turkish yogurt drink) with it.

After scarfing down the pide, I needed something sweet to finish it off, so I headed to the dessert section.  There was an array of baklava, Turkish delights, and other pastries, that complemented my cappuccino perfectly!

They also have a kids section, with a small playground, which kept the girls busy for sometime, and let us enjoy a little quiet time, which was nice. While they were playing in the kids section, I went over the the pool hall, to people watch, and enjoy a Turkish coffee.

If you go there, dont forget to try the Thai food station. This was pretty popular as the dishes weren’t that bad, actually.  It was quite spicy, and they did their homework on what Thai food should taste like.

 

Lock up your bags and roam around

 

The place is so huge, with spiral staircases, and cool lighting. One thing I forgot to mention is a massage therapist who walks around and gives you shoulder rubs. I totally forgot to do that, as I as too busy eating my way through the lounge.  Oh well, next time…..I promise !

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Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class Chicago to Istanbul

When I started planning for our family trip to Malaysia, the hardest part was finding 4 business class award seats to Kuala Lumpur.  In looking up availability, I came across this flight from Portland to Kuala Lumpur via Istanbul, with Turkish Airlines as a partner.  The caveat? A 9 hour layover in Istanbul, which I didn’t mind.  The reason I didn’t mind is I knew I would be at one of the most amazing lounges in the world – The Turkish Airlines Business Class lounge.  I went ahead and secured my 4 seats using United miles I got from transferring Ultimate Reward points from Chase.  Not traveling for 4 years, and a dash of manufufactured spending, I had racked up well over 300,000 UR points. So in no  time, we were booked for UA 464, TK6, and TK60.

We were seriously worried about missing the Turkish flight because of the tight connection time.  We had roughly an hour to connect to the Turkish flight. I’m not too familiar with ORD, but I do remember going from terminal 1 to terminal 5 takes some time.  With two 4 year olds, it was a little challenging, but we made it.  However, one of our bags didn’t (more on this later).

I had pre-selected the seats via direct message on Twitter with Turkish Airlines, so we were strategically seated.  I love Turkish Airlines due to their 2 – 3 – 2 seat configuration, which makes it great for families, if you are traveling with kids, and need to be seated next to your child.  I got situated and the flight attendant brought the pre-departure drinks. A selection of orange juice, water, and raspberry drinks.  I chose the raspberry drink, which was delicious and refreshing, after that mini marathon to the gate. Doors closed and we were off to Istanbul!

Just a bit before take-off, the on-board chef came around to get our meal selections.  I went with the steak & salad. It was tender and delicious, and most satisfying. Dessert was followed, with some Turkish style tea.

Onboard Chef

Shortly after the dinner service, amenity kits were passed out, which included a nice Bentley kit. They also included a kids amenity kit, which included kid sized headsets, some eco-friendly toys, a backpack, kids size slippers, eye shades, and an old era style pilots headgear.  My girls actually loved them and played with them throughout the flight. Kudos for Turkish Airlines for taking the time to come up with something for the kids!

Awesome Toys

The business class seats are so nice if you are traveling with kids.  They will have a nice restful sleep at night, and the whole whiny kids factor, goes right out the door. My daughter slept a good 6 hours, which gave us both some sanity and relaxation time on-board. The sleep configuration is comfortable and plenty of space to stretch out.

Throughout the flight, a snack area was setup by the galley for business class passengers to gnaw on something during the flight.  I did catch a couple of movies and caught up with emails, as Turkish Airlines has on-board WiFi free for business class passengers. This was very handy.

At about 2 hours before we landed, we were served breakfast. I was so stuffed with the snacks and dinner, I went for a light meal of just fresh fruit, feta cheese, and coffee.

 

The Turkish flight was awesome.  I first flew with them back in 2010, and I fell in love with the service, the hospitality and the overall product. The food was well prepared, fresh, and appealing when served. They really go all out on presentation and make you feel welcome on-board.  Happy Travels!

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