What does Turkish Airlines' business class look like
How good is the new Turkish Airlines Business Class compared to other products?
Two weeks ago I went on my first review trip, the focus of which was on getting to know new products and getting interesting reviews. The new Turkish Airlines Business Class was the trigger for this trip, because I had booked my flight months in advance to be on one of the first long-haul flights.
I had extremely high expectations of the new Turkish Airlines Business Class and hoped that something very great was coming up here. Accordingly, the disappointment was great during and after my flight, when the product was anything but market-leading.
In my post with my first impressions of the flight, I wrote about the fact that the seat is way too tight, especially on the feet, and that the service just didn't want to go as you would like. Die-hard Turkish Airlines fans in particular found that I panned the airline too much in this post and even if my flight was really not good, I would like to try again objectively to compare the new Turkish Airlines Business Class with other products.
While the full reviews of my “review trip” are still pending and I won't start the detailed trip report until the next few days, I've already shared some of my first impressions.
Guides on the topic:
How good is the new Turkish Airlines Business Class compared to other products? | On the ground
The business class experience no longer begins at the aircraft door; the experience on the ground also plays a major role. In addition to fast and uncomplicated processes, a good business class lounge is of course also important here, in which you can relax before the flight.
This is precisely where the new Turkish Airlines Business Class can score completely. The new airport itself is already huge in the first stage of expansion, which is why the distances can be a bit longer, but I actually walked the entire terminal and it took about 25 minutes.
Without a doubt it is one of the most impressive airport buildings I have ever seen. I want to deliberately leave out all discussions about the construction of the airport or the political situation in Turkey, because if you only evaluate the terminal itself, you really can't help but respond with "WOW".
But not only the terminal, which puts almost every airport in the world in the shade with its shopping offer, is very positive, all processes during my transfer also functioned smoothly. The transfer control was quick and efficient and its size is obviously designed for enormous numbers of passengers. A changeover in Istanbul is therefore absolutely recommendable.
The Turkish Airlines Lounges have long been considered to be the best in the Star Alliance network and the new lounges have gone one better.
The lounges are modern and finally offer enough space at the new airport, so that it is not particularly difficult to find a quiet place here.
With an extensive range of food and entertainment including an art gallery, golf simulator, children's play area, as well as dayrooms and many showers, this lounge can actually be classified as one of the best Star Alliance business lounges.
I personally see the new Turkish Airlines Lounges in Istanbul via the Lufthansa Senator Lounges and also via the Business Class Lounges of Singapore Airlines or ANA. Since a comparison with First Class Lounges is simply unfair, only the United Polaris Lounges come to mind, which are a bit better than the Turkish Airlines Lounge.
How good is the new Turkish Airlines Business Class compared to other products? | The seat
Let's get to the most important point on a Business Class flight: the seat. The main reason why you book a Business Class ticket is the possibility of sleeping here and on this point the new Turkish Airlines Business Class seat is unfortunately in a very bad position Light.
With the new Business Class, Turkish Airlines has 1-2-1 seating for the first time, meaning that every passenger can get up straight away without disturbing the person next to them. The privacy and design of the cabin is also good, so the first impression is definitely positive. Why, however, a screen to the window has been installed other than as a holder for the reading light, I did not understand, but let's just leave it aside.
Unfortunately, all this good news comes with a high price, because the new Turkish Airlines Business Class is tight. The Turks also have to think economically with their airline, but with the Aurora seat from Stelia Aerospace, one of the most space-saving business class seats on the market has been chosen. In this case, saving space also means that the seats are a little narrower than many other business class products on the market.
The seat manufacturer itself developed this seat for medium and short long distances and it is a great product for that. Singapore Airlines uses the seat as a regional business class seat and Turkish Airlines will also use the Boeing 787-9 on medium-haul routes such as from Istanbul to London, Amsterdam and Dubai. It is precisely on these routes that the new Turkish Airlines Business Class seat is an excellent product, after all, the competition flies here with an Airbus A321 and often simply with a European Business Class.
The situation is different on long-haul routes and Turkish Airlines also flies the Boeing 787 on some of its longest routes, such as the 13-hour flight to Bali. Especially on these flights you have to put a lot of emphasis on sleep and this is exactly the point at which the new Turkish Airlines unfortunately far behind lags behind the competition.
The seat is unfortunately quite short as a bed and much worse, the foot compartment is so small that I only got my two feet into the compartment. With shoe size 43, I regularly clinked glasses (without shoes), which is very uncomfortable when sleeping. The crucial five centimeters more space is simply missing here.
I was hoping that the new Turkish Airlines Business Class could keep up with the new top seats in the Business Class, but the Qatar Airways Qsuite, Singapore Airlines Business Class or American Airlines Flagship Business and United Polaris Business Class all play in one other league!
In the Lufthansa Group, too, the Business Class seats of Swiss, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines are much more spacious. I would also prefer the Lufthansa Business Class seat to the new Turkish Airlines Business Class on night flights and I certainly do not give the Lufthansa Business Class seat top ratings. Even the narrow Lufthansa Business Class seat offers a little more space in the bed function than the new Turkish Airlines Business Class and unfortunately I have to say that you have to create something like this first.
I'm almost sorry to have to write something like that, but all I can think of spontaneously is the old Emirates Business Class in the 777-300, which I perceived as similarly cramped in its 2-3-2 seating.
How good is the new Turkish Airlines Business Class compared to other products? | The service
In terms of service in particular, I expected Turkish Airlines to shine with the concept of Turkish hospitality and a cook on board. Unfortunately, I was more than disappointed on my flight! This wasn't even because the crew was unfriendly or unwilling, but you didn't know the aircraft and were obviously overwhelmed with the new situation.
The fact that it took four hours to serve the food after take-off (on a night flight) should be enough to say, and unfortunately my food on this flight was not even really good. I was particularly surprised that my main course arrived cold.
When talking to the crew, you noticed very quickly that they were not satisfied with the situation and the cook said something that gave me a lot to think about: The Dreamliner is the narrowest aircraft he has ever worked in. You just don't have enough space, which reflects my impression of the aircraft very well, because you obviously tried too hard to fit as many seats as possible in the 787.
The service is always a very subjective story and in Turkish Airlines Business Class you can, as all too often, be lucky and unlucky. Turkish Airlines certainly has potential for world-class service, but there is clearly a lack of consistency here.
How good is the new Turkish Airlines Business Class compared to other products? | Price-performance
The price in particular is something that Turkish Airlines often sets itself apart and on the way to Asia you are very often one of the cheapest providers in business class. When evaluating the price-performance ratio, the actual offer always counts, of course, but I would prefer many airlines for the same price.
With miles flights, Turkish Airlines has the great advantage that it is very easy to find award flights, which is a big plus. However, here too, I would prefer other products if they are available.
However, on the shorter routes to Europe and the Middle East, Turkish Airlines Business Class is again an excellent choice! As a regional Business Class product, the new Turkish Airlines Business Class is really fantastic. Just don't hope for hours of sleep.
How good is the new Turkish Airlines Business Class compared to other products? | Frankfurt Flyer Comment
A business class product stands or falls with the seat, because sleeping in particular is probably the decisive factor and this is where the new Turkish Airlines Business Class is not well designed. Even with older business class products, there are a lot of seats that offer a lot more space and freedom.
Not only in comparison with the top Business Class seats, the new Turkish Airlines Business Class is at the back, but unfortunately also with very average seats, which is a real shame with a product launched in 2019.
Personally, I hope that Turkish Airlines will accept the feedback from customers, because this is rather mixed from the long-haul routes and then maybe improved a little on Business Class. A few centimeters more space between the seats and slight modifications to the seat could make a difference here.
Probably you won't be able to do much more with the Boeing 787, but I am already developing certain hopes for the Boeing 777-300, which will also get a new business class seat in the coming years.
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