Ultimate Guide to Turkish Airlines in Business Class

4 coloured drinks are offered in business class on Turkish Airlines
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Istanbul has become one of the most popular long-weekend destinations and for good reason.

I planned a long weekend friends get together in Istanbul and expect to fly in Economy Class from Birmingham in the UK.

If you’re considering upgrading to business class on Turkish Airlines, then you can book an upgrade on the day. I love a bargain that bags me a more comfortable seat, interesting business class food and better service.

With an upgrade on the day, I experienced the lounge and was excited to find out how Turkish Airlines has kitted out its Airbus A321neo planes with business class. Read on for every detail in my flight review!

Turkish Airlines A321neo shown at the gate in Birmingham UK

Turkish Airlines: The Wait

Flight TK1970 departs from Birmingham BHX to Istanbul IST and was the first medium length flight I’ve done from Birmingham. Once through security (fast-track), I tried out the lounge, which closed 30 minutes later and made my way to the gate. This is one of those waiting areas where everyone has to show their passport to enter.

The flight was delayed about two hours in total: one hour at the gate and a further hour on board.

Information about our Final Call for Turkish Airlines TK1970

The Seats

The livery onboard is a deep charcoal grey with piping and highlights in a rich sand colour. These movable headrest wings are imprinted with the Turkish Airlines logo. The sand colour way is brought through to the seat belts. 

Turkish Airlines business class seats

After boarding, business class customers are offered a choice of non-alcoholic drinks. I chose a raspberry-based drink. It was quite sweet, but still nice.

4 coloured drinks are offered in business class on Turkish Airlines

The staff were a delight to work with. When I let them know I wanted to take a picture, the staff member went back to get the fun little swizzle sticks for each flavour! And yes, I checked that she did not want to be in pictures.

Although this is not a lie flat product, the business seating is still roomy and comfortable.

A side view of business class seats on board the A321neo by Turkish Airlines

You have control over the recline of your seat and an electronic footrest. 

There is a hanger for your jacket.  The tray table is tucked neatly into the arm rest and is spring loaded. 

A view forward between the seats where individual entertainment screens can be seen.

Turkish Airlines: Facilities

The IFE (in-flight entertainment) screen is very impressive in business at 13″ and really very good in Economy too at 12″.

The IFE or screen on board Turkish airlines is quite large in business class!

Each seat came with a pair of headphones (see below). I was going to say that I think the majority of people now travel with their own noise-cancelling headphones (I do), but is that right, do you bring headphones (add a comment below)?

Headphones are provided in Turkish Airlines but are not of the highest quality.

Each seat also has this sand-coloured pillow for added comfort.

A saffron-coloured pillow is provided in business class.

Turkish Airlines: Business Class Food

Right when I bought my upgrade, the sales agent advised me that only one business class meal was available on board. As I was the first to buy the upgrade, that meant I got the meal!

The scheduled flight time is 3 hours and 45 minutes. The length of the menu seemed about right: a starter, a main course and a small dessert.

The on board menu has a shorter number of items than you might expect.

Before long, we were up in the air. The A321a neo was very smooth at take-off (see my video review) and above the grey clouds of Birmingham, there was still some darkening blue sky.

Barely were we above the clouds than service began with a hot towel. Yes, I’m a fan.

An individual hot towel held aloft

I had thought the starter would be small. In fact, it was Turkish meze, a selection of items served on proper china (no tinfoil here!). From left to right, I had a stuffed vine leaf (fragrant), turned vegetables in an artichoke turned bowl, tomato-bulgar wheat, baba ganoush with white cheese.

A large selection of Turkish mezze with a small bottle of white wine.

Note that the dessert and cheese course (in the small black bowl on the left) were served at the same time as the starter.

A plate of typical Turkish meatballs with bulgur wheat and vegetables

I was offered a choice of main course and I went with the Turkish meatballs. These were very burger-shaped to my mind, and quite firm. In my humble view, adding some breadcrumbs to the meat lightens it a bit, but perhaps that is not traditional in Türkiye.

I did not know what that green vegetable was. It looks like courgettes/zuccini but had a little bit of chewiness.

After dinner, everyone turned to their screens to catch up on a movie or with their emails. Business Class customers get 1GB of free data (really) which was relatively fast. No limitations on social media versus email versus streaming.

Information shown is about arrivals at Istanbul on the main seatback screen

All too soon, there were just 12 minutes left as we made our descent into Istanbul. A first visit for me.

Watch the Video

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Arriving into IST Istanbul Airport

On arrival in Istanbul, the typical transfer time by car to the Old City is about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic. The bus journey can take over 1 and half hours. I pre-booked a service, which was clean and fine. However, be warned, passport control can be VERY slow. I waited for over an hour to be seen by a very grumpy service agent.

Related articles if you’re planning a trip to Istanbul:

I'm Patrick, your Irish guide to the skies and beyond. With 58 countries visited, my journeys have taken me from busy economy to fabulous first-class.

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