After a nice flight from Houston, I had an overnight layover before my flight onward to Manchester. Thanks to Turkish Airlines generous offer of a hotel during my layover, I stayed at the Renaissance Polat Hotel near the airport.
My 737-900ER above the clouds somewhere over Europe
Unlike most airlines flying in Europe, Turkish still maintains a true Business Class cabin on many of their flights, with wide seats, rather than just a blocked middle seat. It was a nice treat when flying intra-Europe.
My layover didn’t leave much time to do anything but sleep, but the Renaissance was a great place for that, especially on Turkish Airlines’ dime Kuruş. Shortly after getting to my room, some fresh juice was delivered which was a nice touch. The room was fine, and I’m not going to bother reviewing this hotel since my time there was so short. I visited the lounge and the excellent gym, but otherwise just slept.
‘Welcome’ juice delivered to room
Being a Marriott property in a predominantly Muslim country, there was an interesting mix of religious materials available in one of the desk drawers.
Available religious materials, plus a Qiblah pointing to Mecca
Despite being only 10 minutes from the airport, Turkish Airlines had arranged a shuttle to pick me up 4 hours before my flight. While annoyed with the early alarm time, I figured more time for a visit to the Turkish Airlines CIP Lounge would be worthwhile. I was in the nearly empty lobby at 5am awaiting my shuttle. At about 5:15, I asked the front desk if they knew what was going on, and they said, the shuttle is often late, but they would call. It took 10 minutes or so to get through to someone, but finally they said a shuttle would be sent. It was nearly 5:45 before the shuttle came, and I rode alone to the airport. Another service annoyance with Turkish. There was a security screen before entering the terminal, and once through there, I quickly received my boarding pass and headed to security where the line was minimal. This wasn’t the case when on my second trip through Atatürk Airport. I will discuss that and my time at the lounge later.
Turkish DO&CO Catering trucks near our bus gate
This post is about flights in Turkish Business Class on short and medium haul flights. The Istanbul to Manchester segment was operated by a new Boeing 737-900ER with Boeing Sky Interior. The flight departed from a bus gate, and there was a huge line to get boarding passes scanned and get on the bus. Departure time passed while waiting for the bus to move. Ultimately the business class cabin was half full, with only 8 passengers. The seat looks similar to what Mike reviewed on when he flew Turkish Business on the A320. There was no pre departure beverage service, but I’m guessing this was due to the delayed departure. I’m not sure why our flight was delayed, but it was a cool rainy morning in Istanbul.
Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-900ER Sky Interior cabin
The cabin was well equipped, with the modern lines of the Boeing Sky Interior, although my seat seemed to be broken, it would neither go all the way up nor recline fully. I just moved to the aisle seat after leveling off. In addition to overhead monitors used for the safety demonstration and inflight map, each seat had its own monitor with a similar library from what I experienced on my longhaul flight from Houston. There was also some seat to seat communication available, but I did not partake, maybe in part of the stern warning shown below.
Rules everywhere: Turkish…will not be responsible for any kind of misbehavior..
There was a menu provided for the breakfast service. There were 2 main course options, and I opted for the toasted egg sandwich.
The first course consisted of olives, cheese, and vegetables. I also had some muesli and the mint lemonade that I didn’t get before departure.
breakfast tray with first course
main course with eggs and toast with cooked mushrooms, peppers and tomatoes
It was another predictably excellent in flight meal served up by DO&CO. Its one of the most reliable things in the air, the quality of their meals.
After the meal, I reclined the seat, and while its far from lie flat, the recliner seat has a lot of legroom. I dozed off for a few hours.
Turkish Business Class seat on the 737-900ER.
comfortable cabin layout, much better than first class in US
Departing from Luxembourg Findel Airport
I also had a leg in Turkish Business class on my way back home. This time I was flying from Luxembourg to Istanbul. This flight was on a Boeing 737-700. There was a separate Business Class cabin, but the hard product was clearly a past generation. The cabin was tired, but my seat was fully functional. I had the unique experience of being the only passenger in the 12 seat cabin on this leg.
Turkish Airlines 737-700 Business Class Seats
Turkish Airlines 737-700 Business Class seat controls
Service on this leg had the signature pre-departure beverage trio served in Business Class.
This time I opted for raspberry
Lunch was provided on this flight, and again there was a printed menu. The service consisted of a tray with a cold chicken dish with eggplant, tomatoes and some pine nuts. There was a mix of cheeses, pickled vegetables and dessert was some sort of cream covered in chocolate.
Lunch tray on Turkish Airlines Business class between Luxembourg and Istanbul
The main course I selected was a lamb kebab served with cooked vegetables and couscous. Another tasty DO&CO meal on Turkish Airlines.
Lamb kebab main course
After 2 intra-Europe flights on Turkish, I was pretty impressed by their product. Their meal service is known to be good, and the fact that a true dedicated Business Class seat is a nice change from the typical offering by most other carriers. The seats are recliners with excellent legroom, surpassing Domestic First Class in the United States. I’d definitely recommend Turkish if you have Business Class flights on short to medium haul destinations from Istanbul.