We tested the Turkish Airlines Business Class on Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 on our flight from Munich to Malé
W hy flying with Turkish Airlines? There are several good reasons. First of all the affordable ticket prices also for Business Class on long-haul flights to Asia, Africa, Canada, South America, the USA or to islands in the Indian Ocean. Only Qatar Airways and Etihad can keep up with that. Ticket prices for September flights to the Maldives booked in May range from 750 to 1,000 euros in Economy Class and 2,600 to 3,000 euros in Business Class.
Another important reason: the large network of Turkish Airlines with over 325, partly exotic destinations in 128 countries. How about Malabo (Equatorial Guinea), Almaty (Kazakhstan), Cotonou (Benin) or Point-Noire (Congo)?
Another incentive is the fact that Turkish Airlines operates almost 200 flights a week (as of 5.2022) from eleven German airports. This saves many travellers the sometimes stressful train journey to the major airports as Munich or Frankfurt.
The hub of all TK-flights is the super-modern İGA (İstanbul Grand Airport), which opened in October 2018. It is one of 14 airports worldwide to receive the Skytrax “5 Star Airport” rating.
In addition, Turkish Airlines is the only airline with which I have so far travelled on intra-European flights in long-haul aircraft with “real” business class seating.
This means that long-haul comfort beginsfrom Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Stuttgart or Cologne. Other departure airports are Hanover, Leipzig, Cologne, Bremen, Hamburg and Nuremberg.
The baggage policy? Turkish Airlines Business Class customers can take 30 or 40 pieces of luggage and two pieces of hand luggage, each weighing a maximum of 8 kilos.
By the way: If you are not flying Turkish Airlines Business Class, but Economy, and do not have lounge access, you can sweeten waiting times of ten hours or more with the free Istanbul city tour offered by Turkish Airlines with your own guide.
360-degree panoramic view into the Turkish Airlines Business Class Kabine on a Boeing 777
The Turkish Airlines Fleet
The most fancy cabin is, without question, in the new Business Class on Boeing 787-9 with 1-2-1 seating (= all aisle access). Let’s take a look at it before we move on to the test products…
Distinctly young and colourful, that sums up the fleet. The long-haul fleet consists mainly of Dreamliner 787-9s, Airbus A350-900s, Boeing 777-300s and Airbus A330-300s. In each type, the business class cabin and the soft product are slightly different, right down to the fact that different noise-cancelling headphones are distributed.
Turkish Airlines Business Class on Airbus A330-300
Turkish Airlines Business Class on Airbus A330-300 has 28 seats, four rows in 2-2-2 and one in 2-2 seating. The comfortable seats with massage function offer a width of over 53 centimetres. Just for comparison: on the A321 used by Lufthansa to Istanbul, the Business Class seats are eight centimetres less wide.
The seat pitch is almost lavish. Useful feature: the “ottoman” with space even for a weekender bag. With the seat almost flat, you lie up straight and don’t have to twist your legs anywhere or push them into recesses.
The overall cabin design is not playful, rather zen and cool. Apart from the teasing use of corporate red on the seat belts and in the storage compartments next to the screens.
The price to pay for so much space and headroom is little privacy. This is better provided on the new 787-9 Business Class seen above and on board of competitors with almost closed, suite-like products, high partitions and deep seat shells.
Apart from that, the storage options are not particularly refined. If you charge your mobile phone while you are asleep, you better be careful: The only storage space available is close to the gap between seat and centre console, and the mobile phone quickly entangles itself.
The noise-cancelling Philipps headphones are okay, but no comparison with the performance of the Denon over-ear headphones available on the Boeing 777 to Malé.
Turkish Airlines Business Class on the Boeing 777
What immediately stands out are two things: an incredible amount of space between the rows of seats and the slightly offset 2-3-2 seating. The 49 business class seats have a width of over 65 centimetres. The comfortable, 1.93 metre long lie-flat seats form an extremely comfortable bed for a relaxed and stretched out sleep.
As in the Turkish Airlines Business Class on the A330, privacy is provided only by an armrest that can be lifted up to a height of around 30 centimetres.
So, How Does it Taste?
Turkish Airlines Business Class passengers can choose their preferred menu on selected flights via the Turkish Airlines app up to 48 hours before departure. This service is available on flights from Istanbul to Bangkok, Bali, Cape Town, Los Angeles, Singapore, Phuket, San Francisco and Toronto, among others. Otherwise, you choose from the clear menu and have what you want served when you want.
After delicious mezze, I had a tender, juicy sea bass filet with vegetables as main dish and Sütlac pudding for dessert. I chose the Turkish Sauvignon Blanc to go with it. There is also kosher food, vegan dishes, special meals for Hindu and Jain or gluten-free dishes on request.
On the outward flight to the Maldives, cognac was served as a digestif. On the return flight, which was fully booked, it was no longer available. Reason according to the purser: The flight time of less than eight hours was too short… The only thing left to do was to reach for the fennel-ginger-anise tea.
The Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge
The centrally located Business Class Lounge in Istanbul’s new airport is not only extra-large on paper, but also feels extra-large. Seating only becomes tight with 700 or more guests. No gate is more than a ten-minute walk away.
The lounge in elegant, modern design has large lockers for luggage. This means you have both hands free for the great range of Turkish specialities such as freshly baked flatbread, lahmacun or chicken from the Teppanayaki grill. Besides tea, espresso or Turkish mocha, beer and wine is served.
A grand piano strums, video screens and a golf simulator provide distraction.
As a Turkish Airlines Business Class customer, you can even take a look at around 35 works of contemporary art from Turkey in the branch of the Istanbul Museum of Modern Art.
The free suites are reserved for Turkish Airlines Business Class travellers who need to stay for five hours or more. Shower facilities, however, are available for all. The Business Lounge’s alter ego is the equally large Turkish Airlines Miles & Smiles Lounge for frequent flyers and Star Alliance Gold members.
The entrance to the Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge is located opposite Gate E1. The Miles & Smiles lounge is opposite gate C1.
The quality of the lounge cuisine is so good that it was awarded “Best Business Class Lounge Dining” by Skytrax. Just as Turkish Airlines’ in-flight cuisine, with the legendary Flying Chefs, has won and continues to win awards.
Inflight Entertainment on Turkish Airlines Business Class
The selection of new films and some classics certainly covers many tastes. Many of my fellow travellers made use of the 1 GB free data volume that every business customer can use. Signing up for this service is pleasantly simple and intuitive, which by the way is quite rare. The 46-inch screen is large, but susceptible to distracting light.
Infos and Bookings
For more information on the route network, special fares and impressions of the new, completely different Business Class in the Dreamliner 787, go to turkishairlines.com
Interested in more airline reviews? Read our review of Singapore Airlines’ Premium Economy Class