Airline reviews Turkish Airlines Lounges First & Business

Turkish Airlines Business & First Class lounges

NEWS: Turkish Airlines has opened the doors to its new Business Class lounge at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. The lounge has a patisserie, massage & relaxation rooms, shower facilities, a library with pool table, a movie room and popcorn, occupies 3000 square meters, and is designed for 2000 passengers a day. ...read more here.

Turkish Airlines has a combined Business and First Class lounges at it's hub in Istanbul for International passengers, and a smaller domestic lounge. Turkish Airlines also maintains lounges at Adana, Ankara Esenboga, Antalya, Bodrum, Dalaman, Gaziantep, and Izmir. Although seeing how tired some of these lounges are, 'maintain' may be an oxymoron.

Access to the Turkish Airlines lounge is given to Business class passengers, plus, Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus, and Star Alliance Gold. It is not possible to buy your way in, if you are in economy or comfort class (premium economy).

Outside Istanbul, you'll be stuck with partner lounges. Around Europe, Turkish mainly use either the generic Star Alliance lounge, Lufthansa, Swiss or Austrian lounges, however there are some exceptions. In London the bmi master Star Alliance lounge in Terminal 1 is used, in Paris there is the ADP VIP lounge in Satellite 3, in Frankfurt there are all the Lufthansa Senator / business Lounge options.

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Business Class lounge
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Business Class lounge

Istanbul - IST - Turkish Airlines lounge

Airside, pre-security. Open 24 hours
Access for First & Business Class, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus, and Star Alliance Gold
Turkish Airlines business class lounge in Istanbul is a radical change from the old lounge, but it is still in the same location, to the left hand side of the main international departures hall next to the Cafe Crown, where some pretty stern bouncers have check your boarding card thoughly. There is another entrance to the lounge, andside, where there is a separate security check, and there is the novel feature of automated entry to the lounge, via gates with bar code readers.

Once youíre in, the new Istanbul Turkish Airlines lounge has a patisserie, massage & relaxation rooms, shower facilities, a library with pool table, a movie room and popcorn, occupies 3000 square meters, and is designed for 2000 passengers a day. Itís vast, but alas already getting pretty squalid, with huge piles of rubbish heaping up during the day.

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Business Class lounge
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Business Class lounge

The lounge has several distinct areas, under large circular arches which define the lounge. There are comfortable squashy armchairs dotted throughout the lounge, although they are fairly scarce, and at peaks times (7am and 10pm) finding somewhere to sit can be a problem. There are large flatscreen TVs dotted about, although most of these show Turkish TV, apart from one in the central area which shows CNN.

There is a library area, with plenty of books and albums on Turkey and Turkish history. In the middle of this room, rather incongruously, is a pool table. To keep children out of the way, there is a play room for children and private infant room also available for passengers travelling with their children.

Showers are very good at the Turkish Airlines lounge Istanbul, and a vast improvement over the old lounge, with special toiletry kits (ask at the desk by the showers for these). The relaxing rooms are in a darkened area, and even have a bed, with a TV at the end of it.

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Business Class lounge
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Business Class lounge

Food is supplied by Do&Co of Vienna (As is most of the airlineís catering) and it is very good. There is a barbecue grill where Do&Co chefs prepare kofte (meatballs)plus Pide. And Prejudice is not evident against western catering either, with salads, meat pies, ham and cheese all available. In the morning itís possible to get a full cooked English, with a kitchen in full view serving sausages, eggs, mushrooms and grilled tomatoes. Yogurt and muesli is available for those with a healthier bent.

Turkish Airlines Istanbul Business Class lounge
Turkish Airlines Istanbul Business Class lounge

The bar is excellent, and includes Turkish beer, Australian wine, and a good range of spirits including Martell XO and Johnnie Walker Blue. Soft drinks are in the vast fridge, and include Organic Apple Juice, Eker Ayran, Sour Cherry, homemade mint and non-mint lemonade. There is a juice machine, and a real cappuccino machine.

There is a decent computer room, with eight iMacs, plus some other laptops in other areas of the lounge, and free wi-fi. One ten person meeting is also available.

Incidentally, the lounge is a radical change from the old Turkish Airlines lounge, which was decorated in Arabian style, with plenty of gold and bling. Its radical styling caused some Star Alliance airlines, such as Lufthansa, to decamp to more traditional Millenium lounge at Istanbul.

London Heathrow - LHR - Turkish Airlines Business Class lounge

Terminal 1, after security Open 0500-2200
Access for First & Business Class, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus, and Star Alliance Gold
London LHR Star Alliance lounge March 2009
London LHR Star Alliance lounge used by Turkish Airlines Airways
At London Heathrow, Turkish Airlines use the brand new Joint Star Alliance lounge in Terminal 1. It is after security, and then you walk right through the shops, and right again into the main square: the lounge is hidden in the corner, to the right of WHSmiths.

The lounge is very large, but rather dull. Food is pretty good, with a hot option available for the Turkish Airlines flight so you can eat in the lounge before getting on board. Food is often curry, with salads and sandwiches also available.

London LHR Star Alliance lounge March 2009
London LHR Star Alliance lounge used by Turkish Airlines

The bar is rather poor, with bottles of Gin, Vodka, VSOP, Bacardi Rum, and Whisky with Jack Daniels, Famous Grouse, and Jamesons. There is just one type of white, two types of red, and a rose wine. Most of these are pretty cheap and nasty versions. There is a beer pump for Grolsh, and - rare for a lounge - Magners cider in bottles in the fridge, along with bottles of Becks and cans of Guinness.

There are showers in the lounge, and free Wifi, but no computers.

Full details of this lounge are contained in the bmi pages, under the Joint Star Alliance LHR Lounge section.

Note that you might be better off going to the bmi Great British Lounge by gate 5. This has a much better atmosphere, great views of the runways, and a lovely bar called The Local. Again, details of the London Heathrow Great British Lounge are contained in the bmi pages, under the Great British Lounge section.

Turkish Airlines Frankfurt Lounges

Travelling on Turkish Airlines in First Class means you can use the new Lufthansa lounge at the airlines hub in Frankfurt. The Senator lounge is the first on the Lufthansa network with a spa. ...read more here

For the regular Turkish Airlines flights to Frankfurt, Turkish Airlines Airways use the Lufthansa lounges.

The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt pier B
Frankfurt The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in pier B
At Frankfurt, remote stands are used a lot by Turkish Airlines, and this involves a sometimes lengthy bus ride once you're off the plane. The lounges can be quite a hike from the gates, and they don't always announce departures, so watch those monitors carefully and give yourself a little extra time to make your boarding.

Full details of both the Frankfurt Turkish Airlines Airways lounges are contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Frankfurt - FRA - Turkish Airlines Airways First Class lounge (Lufthansa Senator Lounge)

Terminal 1, Pier B (International, non-Schengen) by gate B43, top floor. Open 0530-2230
Access for First Class, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus, and Star Alliance Gold
The large new lounge has only just opened, and is a vast improvement on what went before. There are the usual large armchairs, with small tables between (which also have power sockets).Oddly, you can access it either with a First Class ticket, or in Economy as a Gold Royal Orchid Plus, but not on a business class ticket.
The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in Frankfurt pier B
Frankfurt The new Lufthansa Senator Lounge in pier B

The bar is great: called the City Lights Bar, you can sit around the bar on high bar stools, looking at the lights behind it. There is a barman to mix cocktails. Service is slow, and a separate bar area has two beer taps, spirits on the glass shelf, beer in the cooler on the worktop, and 3 white and 2 red to the left of this. Food has the usual Lufthansa lounge offerings of cheese and lard, olives, rice, ham and salad. Alas the eating area is dull, with a curved wall with small tables.

There are showers and two spa rooms, offering massages for €50. There are a few computers in the business area, and free wifi, plus luggage lockers and a smoking room.

Full details of the Frankfurt Turkish Airlines Airways First Class lounge is contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Frankfurt - FRA - Turkish Airlines Airways Business Class lounge (Lufthansa Lounge)

Pier B - International (left and right rotundra) Open 0600-2200
Access for First & Business Class, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus, and Star Alliance Gold
The Turkish Airlines Airways Business Class lounges in Frankfurt is in the central part of both rotundra in pier B, reached by the spiral staircase right next to the gates.

Frankfurt Business lounge Pier B Sept 2003 Frankfurt Business lounge Pier B
There are drinks and nibbles provided, showers, and free Internet. There is also a big sleeping room. Take a circuit of the lounge as you walk in to check out all the facilities - its on a circle, so you can walk all the way round.

The bar has an OK choice is good with excellent coffee, two types of wine, and Sparkling Wine (or rather "Lufthansa Brut").

Full details of the Frankfurt Turkish Airlines Airways Business Class lounge is contained in the Lufthansa pages, under the Frankfurt Lounge section.

Seoul - ICN - Turkish Airlines Airways Lounges

Incheon Main Concourse AsiTurkish Airlines Business Class lounge March 2009
Incheon Turkish Airlines Airways Business class lounge

There are two Business Class lounges available at AsiTurkish Airlines's hub in Seoul. One is used exclusively for Asiana Airlines flights, in the main concourse, and the other one is in Concourse A, and used for all Turkish Airlines Airways flights, but operated by Asiana Airlines. In any event there isn't any real significant difference that I've noticed between the two, except the Concourse A lounge also has hot food at 1530. However, because there is a one way train to the Satelitte, you can't use the Concourse A lounge if you are on an Asiana Airlines flight. There is a convenient Map so you can find them.

Full details of both the Seoul Incheon Turkish Airlines Airways lounges are contained in the Asiana Airlines pages, under the ICN Lounge section.

Incheon Main Concourse Turkish Airlines First Class lounge

By gate 42 Open 0500-2100
Access for First Class passengers
This lounge is on the left hand side of the lounge pair. The significant difference in the First lounge is the food. The drinks section are impressive, with spirits including Johnny Walker Blue. There are two more magazine racks in the small private sitting areas.

Incheon Main Concourse Business Class lounge

By gate 42 Open 0500-2100
Access for First & Business Class, Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles Elite and Elite Plus, and Star Alliance Gold
This lounge is much larger than the Business side, and covers a big chunk of both sides of the upstairs area above the shops. The large bookshelves along the wall give the feeling of being in a modern hotel, although there are again just the usual rack of the same four or five books. The Bar was fully equipped with a large range of spirits. In front of the bar area is the food. There is salad 24 hours a day, in large tubs in the fridge.