When you are traveling by plane in business or first class, you should expect a premium experience from start to finish – and that includes the lounge experience on connecting flights. Turkish Airlines certainly took that to heart and offers one of the best lounges I’ve ever been to at their hub in Istanbul! In addition to the standards of seating, food and showers, the giant lounge offers a piano, a chance to work on your golf swing or play car racing with your kids. Even a long layover will fly by – find out all it has to offer in my detailed review with photos!
Once you make your way to this giant lounge, you’ll find a thoughtful detail past the reception desk: transparent lockers for your carry-on.
It’s a good idea to use them, because the lounge is huge and spreads over two floors with a stylish staircase at the center.
In case you get lost or don’t have time to explore everything, there is a map provided near the staircase. The lounge is so large and slightly confusing, you’ll need it!
Just like at any other airport lounge, you’ll find plenty of seating, with a mix of comfortable lounge-style seating and some bistro style seating if you want to eat.
And you DO want to eat. All around the lounge are food stations, some offering a wide selection of snacks and drinks. You’ll also have a few manned stations, offering freshly prepared, hot food and you’ll even get to sneak a peek into the open kitchens. And if you like your coffee hot & fresh, there are baristas making it just the way you like it!
But while that’s where the offering of many lounges stops, the TK Istanbul lounge is just getting started:
You can improve your golf game or your pool game.
There is a car racing track or a number of video game stations. All of that should help you pass the time on a longer layover.
My first stop after an overnight flight is usually the shower. You get a shower suite with shower, sink and toilet, all decked out in marble to freshen up! It was all clean and looked upscale. You’ll find fresh towels, a bathrobe and soap/shampoo in dispensers.
The only disappointment at the lounge was the service that was not even remotely as friendly and attentive as onboard. It started at the showers, where the staff handed me a pager and made me wait for 20 minutes – despite the empty lounge and nobody else being in the showers! It continued with bored staff occupying the video games and grumpy baristas. It always baffles me when airlines manage to offer world-class service onboard, yet treat you like a government office on the ground!
Bottomline: Despite the lackluster service, the Turkish Airlines flagship lounge is something to look forward to and several steps above anything a US airline will offer you. It’s beautifully designed, offers lots of food and drink and enough diversions to make even a long layover fly by! The Istanbul lounge is an important part of the business class experience when flying Turkish Airlines and I enjoyed it a lot!