Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-3, New Delhi – Istanbul

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Turkish Airlines offers a consistent business class product and has an exceptionally large destination list, along with reasonably good partner reward availability, making it great for those frequent flier redemptions for members belonging to programs in the Star Alliance network. Please read on for our experience on how we would use them to get from India to North America in relative style.


This post is one chapter on our third Round the World trip via South Korea, Vietnam, Singapore, the Maldives and India. This trip was redeemed through Air Canada’s Aeroplan and through Starwood Preferred Guest (Marriott Bonvoy) and Hyatt Gold Passport (World of Hyatt) loyalty programs. For more information on how this trip was booked, please see our trip introduction here. For other parts of the trip, please see this index.

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Review: Turkish Airlines Business Class A330-3, New Delhi Indira Gandhi International Airport – Istanbul Atatürk International Airport

“Turkish Airlines Business Class medium haul is highlighted by excellent DO & CO catering, along with a fully flat seat; set up perfectly for travelling with a partner”

Turkish Airlines
Business Class
DEL – IST (Indira Gandhi International Airport T3 – Istanbul Atatürk Airport)
TK717 – Business Class (I) 
6:05 AM – 10:25 AM
April 21, 2015
Booked: Airbus 330
Flown: Airbus 330-300

At about T-50, we left The Plaza Premium Lounge New Delhi Terminal 3 and headed down to Gate 15. It was situated immediately across from the shopping concourse. A well organized boarding process was already underway, with a completely separate but unmarked area for priority boarding for business class passengers.

After an airline employee check, a military hand luggage security screening check, and a military boarding pass identity check, (all done by three separate people) we were underway down a segregated business class jet bridge. I have to appluaud the New Delhi Airport Authority for this set up as a plexi glass wall separated us from all the other economy passengers for double door jetway boarding. 

Gate 15 at Indira Ghandi International Airport
Segregated Boarding for Business (left) and Economy (right)

On Board Turkish Airlines Business Class:

On board, we settled into Turkish Airlines comfortable and spacious Airbus 330-3 business class configuration. We had previously flown a similar equipment type on an Airbus 330-2, on a medium haul leg on Turkish Airlines Business Class Dubai – Istanbul, so you can check there if you want another review on a similar medium haul flight with Turkish Airlines Business Class.

It’s worth noting that there are 4 versions of the Airbus 330 currently in service, and only the 330-3 has the fully flat seat, whereas the other versions in a 2-2-2 business class configuration have an angle flat seat. There is also a A333-2 version with herringbone seats in a 1-1-1 business class configuration that we flew Turkish Airlines Business Class Mahe – Istanbul that does also offer a full flat seat; however this configuration is a bit of an outlier, as there are only a few of them flying around out there.

The configuration in Turkish Airlines Business Class on today’s Airbus 330-3 is 2-2-2, featuring a fully flat seat.

Turkish Airlines Business Class Cabin Airbus 330-3
A Comfortable Pair of Seats
The Cabin View while seated in your Seats

The cabin on this particular aircraft was showing a little bit of wear, but it is still a very comfortable experience.

Turkish Airlines Branding

Pre Departure Services:

A pre-departure beverage was offered of assorted drinks. Today it was lemon and mint. MrsWT73 pronounced it as “tasty and delicious”.

Homemade Lemon and Mint Pre-Departure Beverage

Our 6:05 AM departure from New Delhi was on time, and down a runway that was so hazy at 6:20 AM, you couldn’t see the end of it. 

Departing into a bank of smog at New Delhi, India

As we got underway, I played around with the in flight moving map that would take us on a track over Pakistan, Iraq and the Caspian Sea.

Our Flight Track for Today between DEL – IST

The Amenity Kit, featuring Bogner products:

The amenity kits were dropped off and and newspapers were offered. The amenity kit continued to feature Bogner products, although were not overtly branded as Bogner. The kit, for the medium haul flight, has shrunk from the larger kits that they used to previously offer.

Turkish Airlines Mid Haul Amenity Kit
Bogner Lip Balm and Moisturizing Cream, along with a traditional comb and shoe horn

The Meal: A Full Breakfast

While in the introductory services for the flight, once at altitude, the usual small Turkish Airlines paper menus were also dropped off. The food menu is always separate from the beverage menu and they are usually presented one inside the other.

Turkish Breakfast Menu DEL – IST

The breakfast service started right away. The usual Turkish DO & CO catering was, as always, outstanding. The products appeared to have been double catered from Istanbul, Turkey as most of the items had Turkish language on them. 

I started with the Fresh Fruits, Yoghurt with Honey, Assorted Cheese, and Jalebi.

 Fresh Fruits, Yoghurt with Honey, Assorted Cheese, and Jalebi.

I opted for the main of Gratinated Crepe with Scambled Eggs, Tomatoes and Peppers, Sauteed Mushrooms and Grilled Red Pepper, paired with Heidsieck Co Monopole champagne.

Gratinated Crepe with Scambled Eggs, Tomatoes and Peppers, Sauteed Mushrooms and Grilled Red Pepper

Overall, it was a slight relief to have some different food other than Indian food after our 7 days in India.

After breakfast, I crashed out for some sleeps. The seat goes completely flat and I sacked out somewhere over Pakistan.  

I woke up with a small crink in the neck as the pillow that had been provided to us wasn’t too substantial. It was more of a back lumbar pillow that I was improvising to use as a person who is side sleeper. 

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The Second Service: A Light Snack

Around Baku, Azerbajain, I woke up. At about 1 hr prior to landing, the flying chef stopped by to take a snack and drink order. I had a Gin and Tonic. 

A small samosa plate was dropped off for the second snack service. Catering must not approve of the Indian ice as they seem to have run out of it. Similar to Turkish Raki that I’d previously experienced in Turkey, the Gin and Tonic was served straight up. 

A Light Samosa Snack

Arrival into Istanbul Atatürk Havalimani International Airport:

We had an easy approach into Istanbul Atatürk where there were the usual interesting planes lined up on the apron. I know some may feel that Aegean isn’t that interesting, but I’m fascinated by them since I don’t think they are going to be around much longer. 

Aegean Airbus A320 on the apron at IST

We disembarked at Istanbul Atatürk International Airport, where were we able to get a great view of the Airbus A330 – 3 that flown us today.

Turkish Airlines Airbus 330-3 “Selçuklu”

We would end up heading on to the Turkish Airlines Business Lounge Istanbul Atatürk and then onwards to Turkish Airlines Business Class Istanbul – Montreal in order to get back home.

My thoughts about Turkish Airlines Medium Haul Business Class:

Turkish remains a comfortable way to get around. For the most part, the food is reasonable, and the execution is almost there. It certainly isn’t at the level of some of the other European or Asian carriers, but it’s surely trying to gain ground against these carriers and the Middle East three of Etihad, Qatar and Emirates. If only the connection experience in Istanbul wasn’t a bit easier. The wonderful Turkish Airlines Business Lounge makes up a little bit for that! 


If you live in the Middle East Region, do you prefer to fly Turkish Airlines over the Middle East Three ?

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