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02 Mar 2024
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Istanbul Review
Planning a trip with Turkish Airlines? We recently visited their flagship lounge in Istanbul after flying Turkish Airlines Business Class from Kuala Lumpur.

Planning a trip with Turkish Airlines? We recently visited their flagship lounge in Istanbul after flying Turkish Airlines Business Class from Kuala Lumpur. If you’re heading to Europe in Business Class with them, there is a high chance you’ll stopover in Istanbul and have the chance to experience the lounge for yourself!

Turkish Airlines Istanbul International Airport

Did you know Turkish actually has two lounges within Istanbul Airport? These huge, almost identical spaces are to accommodate the size of the airport and the number of guests they get through.

One is called the Business Lounge (where we visited) for Business Class passengers flying Turkish Airlines or its Star Alliance partners. The other is called the Miles&Smiles Lounge, named for the airline's loyalty program and for Star Alliance Gold-status guests flying economy.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Layout

The Turkish Airlines Business Class lounge is located near gate E1, simply turning right after clearing passport control and security for both originating and transiting passengers.

With good signage throughout the airport it was very quick and easy to find. When arriving, we found escalators to take us up to the lounge level, and were then greeted by staff. There is also an assisted passenger entrance just prior to reaching the escalators.

Turkish Airlines Busines Class Lounge Istanbul Entrance
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Entrance
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Assisted Entrance

It was seemingly a busy period to be entering the lounge, with a few people waiting to be served. This made staff rather abrupt at the check-in counter, very different to the nice service we had just experienced on our Turkish Airlines Business Class flight.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Foyer

Once checked-in we immediately noticed the size of the lounge. Being part of the world’s largest airport terminal, it was no surprise it had a decent floor space. It is an open-air level overlooking the main part of the terminal, something we weren’t a massive fan of as it doesn’t feel as ‘exclusive’ as other lounges - you still feel part of the terminal.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge

Turning right into the main area of the lounge we found a number of seating options. Throughout the centre there were mostly dining tables that surrounded the eating options, while to the left of these were some lounge chairs situated in front of a number of TVs that had a range of sports and news being displayed.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Dining Seating
Turkish Airlines Lounge TV Section
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Seating
Turkish Airlines Lounge Toilets

Continuing through we found another dining area and chef stations where you could request certain foods to be made up. Looping back we found the toilets tucked away towards the back of the lounge along with a golf simulator. A kid play area was also available which features a slide, popcorn machine and a slot-car racetrack.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Race Car Track
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Golf Simulator

There were also darker, quieter seating areas, with lounge style chairs. This was a nice change from the bright and exposed area of the lounge.

We ended up finding a seat in this area due to it being a lot quieter than others. It was also one of the few areas where we could find a seat, yet were later joined by a couple who were clearly also experiencing the same issue. More seating options would be a nice improvement considering traffic volumes.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Seating
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Toilets

The bathrooms were spacious and had mirror lined walls, opening up what is usually just a small cubicle space. Small makeup stations were also available in the female toilets, with face wipes, moisturiser and perfume.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Toilet Vanity

Food and Beverage Options

There were a good amount of food options in the lounge, ranging from self service style to chef prepared dishes. The self service consisted of a range of cheeses, salads, yoghurts and fruits, while there were also a few dessert stations scattered around offering traditional Turkish treats or your standard sweets such as chocolate cake. There was even a pretzel cart!

Turkish Airlines Lounge Self Serve Food Area
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Self Serve Food Area
Turkish Airlines Lounge Traditional Turkish Sweet Section
Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Self Serve Dessert Section
Turkish Airlines Lounge Pretzel Cart

A stand out dining feature in the Turkish Airlines Business Class lounge was the freshly prepared dishes by chefs. For example, the pasta is made minutes before cooking. You simply cannot get any fresher than that.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Chef Section
Turkish Airlines Lounge Chef Section & Dining Area

With a great amount of care taken when preparing the food, this also does come at a cost - it can take a little longer. This can sometimes cause a line to build up, but nothing you wouldn’t experience from any other Business Class lounge food area.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Chef Section
Turkish Airlines Lounge Chef Section
Turkish Airlines Lounge Chef Section

There was also a selection of fresh fruits available along with huge drink fridges that offered a good selection of waters, juices and soft drinks.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Self Serve Drinks Section

Staff were very attentive in replenishing each station, with stock barely getting low before someone topped it up.

Spreading these self-serve buffet style areas across the lounge made it easy for anyone to access no matter where they were seated. We found this also prevented too much overcrowding in one area, reducing waiting times.

Various alcoholic beverages were scattered around the lounge in smaller bar style carts. They were available all day and had a selection of wines to pick from. They were however rather hard to locate, with there not being a distinct bar area.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Self Serve Alcohol Cart

There were also coffee and tea stations, which had a barista ready to prepare your coffee. We always find it’s a nice touch having a barista in the lounge.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Barista Coffee & Tea Station

Not sure about you, but sometimes we find it rather hard to get a decent coffee while travelling, so having a barista available in the lounge is a nice touch.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Barista Coffee & Tea Station

A smaller tea area with biscuits was available in the quieter area of the lounge.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Self Serve Tea Station

Extra Amenities

Some added amenities in this lounge included designated work spaces. These were not your usual cramped space, but instead had a large sized table (enough to fit 6 people around), a large screen, big glass sliding doors, luxury curtains and also a keypad to use to enter. These were all occupied so unfortunately we couldn’t look inside.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Lounge Meeting Rooms

On top of this, lockers were also available to store baggage while enjoying the lounge. There were quite a few lockers available, but we however weren’t a huge fan of the fact they were see-through. In our opinion, we’d rather passer-byers not be able to see our bags inside.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Lockers

Relaxation areas and lounges are offered in this lounge too, but due to being there in the evening, they were all occupied.

As Turkish Airlines was also the first official airline partner of the UEFA Championships League, they offer a bit of a unique experience in this Business Class lounge. The lounge features a display showcasing iconic items from the European teams with the most appearances in the Champions League history.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Champions League Display

There are 33 jerseys, 33 match balls and two pairs of soccer boots, representing 33 iconic teams. This exhibit remains open until the UEFA Champions League final, which takes place on 1 June 2024. Although it’s a nice touch and offers an educational and personal experience, it would be nice to see this space used for some extra lounge seating.

Turkish Airlines Lounge Summary

Although this lounge was a nice place to relax prior to our flight to Paris, the ‘open-air’ style did make it feel less exclusive compared to similar style lounges. In saying this, there were some quiet areas that offered more privacy from the hustle and bustle of the airport.

There was a wide range of food options while having cooking stations and chefs added a nice touch of luxury. By offering separate snack areas of fruit, desserts and drink fridges, this also prevented overcrowding around the main food stations.

We understand we visited the lounge during a busy period, but we would like to see a few more seating options available. Maybe this will come when the display of the UEFA Championships League finishes in June this year?

Are you travelling Turkish Airlines Business Class? You can read more about our Business Class experience here.

If you’re ready to jet-off in Business Class, speak to one of our airfare specialists about securing the best Business Class airfare suited to you!