When it comes to the Business Class flying experience, you can expect varying levels of products and services. The service benchmark is typically set by the world's dominant carriers, which in Europe include Lufthansa, Air France, British Airways, and Virgin Atlantic. These powerhouse airlines continue to duke it out at the top, leaving secondary and lesser known airlines at an unfair disadvantage. But, I'm quite proud to share that Turkish Airlines has arrived at the top thanks to their incredible Business Class experience.
This post will kick-off my Turkish Airlines Business Class review from Milan to San Francisco via Istanbul - beginning with the airline's lounge in Istanbul.
Airline: Turkish Airlines
Lounge: Business Class Lounge Istanbul
Istanbul Atatürk International Airport is the main airport serving Turkey by passenger volume and is also home to Turkish Airlines stunning Business Class Lounge. The lounge is branded with an "Omega" symbol, which you'll notice is carried throughout the architectural design of the space. The smart use of this dome-like structure is just so chic. Pair that with high contrasting colors and you have one of the world's best looking Business Class Lounges.
Feast your eyes on this well-appointed pool hall and circular bookcase.
Or, this massive indoor gazebo, emblazoned with the airline's logo.
Aesthetics aside, the lounge is one of the largest spaces for a Business Class lounge. Spread generously across two floors, the lounge is divided into multiple small and intimate sections, from formal dining spaces to a kids play area. Browsing room-by-room, I counted a handful of bars and food stations on both floors, a business center, pool hall, entertainment zones, coffee station, and more. In terms of seating, there's plenty. I would care to guess a couple thousand people could comfortably enjoy this lounge. That's oodles times more seating than any basic lounge in the US.
Furthermore, the list of lounge amenities is quite extensive. The main floor offers a small "massage area" with two massage chairs, that's sectioned off by plants. It's not the most private space, but it should do for a quick back rub. Managing the space is a single Massage Therapist and when they're not tending to passengers in this pseudo-space, they're walking around the lounge giving out massages.
The lounge also offers complimentary shower rooms and nap rooms. While the shower rooms can be requested by an attendant on a first-come-first-served basis, the day/nap rooms, on the other hand are a bit restrictive. You are only eligible for a day room if you arrive from a Turkish Airlines flight, your layover is between 4 and 7 hours, and you are connecting to another Turkish Airlines flight.
And the food? Just stupendous. Like the airline's onboard service, the food options here have no end in sight. Each food station is open at all hours of the day, serving you a variety of meals and flavors from around the world. From mezze platters to a decadent dessert display, you'll leave very satisfied. And, if you're still hungry, be prepared for the onboard feast.
Of the airline lounges on my list, the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge in Istanbul easily ranks in my Top 5. This is arguably one of the best Business Class lounges around the world for both design aesthetics and service. I can't think of another airline around the world that offers an extensive list of amenities and food options for its Business Class passengers. I'll certainly be coming back.
Bravo Turkish Airlines, you've outdone yourselves.