Editor’s note: The author of this article received a free upgrade from Turkish Airlines.
Splurging on a premium airfare can be a tough decision to make. Will the extra cost be worth the experience? I tested The Turkish Airlines Business Class Experience on a long-haul flight (10.5 hours) to find out.
Turkish Airlines stands out from other airlines because it only has two classes available for booking: business and economy. (There are no first class cabins on the airline.) Is its business class experience comparable to first class, but at a cheaper price?
I stole Turkish Airlines’ Istanbul-Boston route, which costs around $600 for a one-way economy class ticket. A business class fare for the same route usually costs around $3,000.
On a long flight, I think the most important feature of a premium cabin is the seats. Specifically, can you lie flat on it? This is what makes the biggest difference to having a comfortable flight experience that allows you to arrive at your destination well rested versus landing feeling like you haven’t slept in days.
No matter how good the food or the amenities, if you’re stuck sitting in one position for hours on end, you’re going to have an uncomfortable flight.
Luckily, Turkish Airlines business class seats exceeded my requirements. These premium seats are packed with features and extremely comfortable. And yes, the extended seats open up to a 75-inch bed at the touch of a button, so even the tallest passengers can sleep comfortably fully reclined.
When you’re ready to rest, notify a flight attendant and they’ll prepare your “bed” for the flight with a mattress topper, pillow and duvet to make you feel like you’re in a five-star hotel.
The seat connects to a built-in footrest to provide even more reclining space, and under the footrest you’ll find plenty of storage space, so you can stow your personal item without having to take it out. stow overhead for take-off and landing.
Little touches like personal USB power outlets, personal reading lights, lockable storage, suit hangers, and massage features add to the luxurious experience.
A privacy screen can be lowered or raised to separate you from the person next to you if needed.
Each seat has a large TV with plenty of options for movies and entertainment so you won’t be bored when you’re not sleeping.
Food and drink
Turkish Airlines Business Class Meal Service feels like dining in a fancy restaurant. A chef wearing a white hat comes to take orders for starters, then a range of starters are handed out for passengers to choose from a la carte. On my flight, the canapes options included red pepper hummus, caprese salad, cheese pastries, and traditional Turkish dishes.
Meals are served with fresh, warm bread, and a faux candle on each tray adds to the restaurant vibe.
The dessert service is decadent, with options like cheese, chocolate mango balls and Turkish ice cream tempting passengers to indulge.
Drinks are available throughout the flight, and the non-alcoholic options are almost as good as the harder stuff, with freshly squeezed orange juice, wellness herbal teas (designed to help with everything from jet lag to relaxation) and homemade ayran (a Turkish yogurt drink.)
A wide range of spirits and wines will accompany any meal (there’s even Taittinger champagne if you’re feeling festive.)
Business class passengers are offered a free in-flight comfort kit from Coccinelle or Hackett. Each bag contains useful gear, including an eye mask, plush socks, earplugs, lotion, and lip balm.
The kits include ingenious stickers that you can place on your seat to let cabin crew know if you want to be woken up for meals or if you prefer not to be disturbed.
Denon noise canceling headphones are distributed to business class passengers for use during the flight, which really helped muffle any ambient sound and create a restful environment.
Free Wi-Fi is available for business class passengers. Up to 1GB is free for all business class travelers, and unlimited access is granted to those with Miles & Smiles Elite status or Elite Plus cards.
The baggage allowance is larger for business class tickets than for economy class tickets and includes two pieces of hand luggage, which is a big plus. Additionally, checked baggage belonging to Business Class passengers will be tagged with a priority tag and should be delivered to baggage claim sooner after your flight.
Is it worth it ?
Turkish Airlines Business Class offers a comfortable and relaxing flight with reclining seats and impeccable food and beverage service. With tickets costing significantly less than first class but providing an equally luxurious experience, it’s well worth it. Think of it as an investment in your vacation to arrive well rested and ready to explore.
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